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Having recently sold a poster of Grant Wood’s iconic painting, I couldn’t resist showing you this barn. Appropriately for me, it’s at Mount Vernon, which was named in honour of an ancestor of mine. When Lawrence, George Washington’s older half-brother, was in the Royal Navy, his commanding officer was Admiral Edward Vernon of War of Jenkins’ Ear and Portobello fame.

A hidden barn-sized rendition of Grant Wood’s most famous, and most parodied, painting.

Source: American Gothic Barn – Mount Vernon, Iowa – Atlas Obscura

N.B. I’m not currently responding to comments or visiting blogs because of ill-health but I much appreciate your support.

Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah

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Utterly absorbing video in which famous paintings are animated. Thank you, James, for posting.

Just add pictures

I was shown the video below earlier today. It is constructed by animating well-known and beautiful paintings. The result is stunning, and really rather moving. It is well worth a look.

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Originally posted on Mimi Matthews.

The scandalous tale of Lady Godiva’s ride has been in circulation for nearly ten centuries.  In that time, it has provided inspiration for innumerable poets, painters, and sculptors.  Inevitably, Lady Godiva is depicted as naked on horseback, covered only by her long hair, as she rides through the town of Coventry.  But did such a ride ever take place?  According to some sources it did.The legend was first recorded in Roger of Wendover’s 13th century Flores Historiarum (Flowers of History).  Since then, it has been listed as fact in several other historical texts, including both Charles Knight’s A History of England and Chambers’ Encyclopaedia.Lady Godiva by William Holmes Sullivan, 1877. According to the legend, Lady Godiva was so distressed about the high taxes levied on the citizens of Coventry that she appealed to her…

via The Legend of Lady Godiva: Depictions in Art, Literature, and History | Mimi Matthews.


Another captivating post from my childhood friend, Pippa Rathborne, which tells me much that I didn’t know about Gainsborough’s family.

Originally posted on LAST POST.

The Painter’s Daughters Chasing a Butterfly, one of Gainsborough’s intimate studies of his daughters made in the late 1750s, which took 18th century sensibility forward into a Romantic awareness of individual development through the senses. Image © copyright The National Gallery London

He sees beyond the fragile innocence of two little girls, in the glancing light of a fashionably Rousseauian childhood idyll, to a more profound understanding. He is not just a portraitist exploiting vulnerability and shimmering fabric; he is their father who loves them. He dared to paint the anxiety showing in their faces as they move rapidly through the sinister half-darkness of a wood, that is both catalyst and externalization of their unconscious minds.

Happiness as represented by the decoratively winged insect is always out of their reach; they experience, as Keats described, “the feel of not to feel it”.

Love and madness disturb a summer’s day two hundred and fifty years after two little girls chased a butterfly.

I try to imagine again my first…

via Summer disturbed « LAST POST.


It was an original painting of a ‘cabinet of curiosities’  on Wikimedia that inspired me to create this image. These ‘cabinets’ contained collections of objects around a theme whether it be art, theatre or archaeology, antiquities, religious icons or geology, or anything else for that matter.

One might even refer to them as miniature museums. If you have ever gathered objects of a certain type, as I have done, on a small table or in a room, for instance, then you have created a ‘cabinet of curiosities’.  I should point out that ‘cabinet’ in this case refers to a room and not, as Wikipedia tells us, a piece of furniture.

I used the following image from Wikimedia as my starting point.

A corner of a cabinet, painted by Frans II Francken in 1636 reveals the range of connoisseurship a Baroque-era virtuoso might evince

A corner of a cabinet, painted by Frans II Francken in 1636 reveals the range of connoisseurship a Baroque-era virtuoso might evince [Wikimedia]

I continued by making small versions of some of my own images and placing them on top and within the frames of paintings before blending and merging. Look carefully and you can see The Lynx has Landed in the bottom left corner and Earthly Delights top left. Scrutinise the next to last image bottom right and you might see that I have merged a part of Romantic Meeting with the original Tudor-looking man to create what looks — to me — like Danny La Rue in his glad rags drag!

The finishing touches were done with a texture from 2 Lil’ Owls, a layer of yellow in Photoshop’s Overlay mode, and a black & white photograph by Len dela Cruz from Unsplash.

Processed with VSCOcam with g3 preset

Available at the following galleries:
Redbubble
Crated
Zazzle US tba
Zazzle UK tba
Fine Art America
Fine Art England
Saatchi Art tba

Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah


More delights from Pippa Rathborne to make up for an inability to create my own posts with the current connection within any decent time frame; I think the Dark Angels post took me three days! Plus ca change!

Pippa Rathborne's LAST POST

or To love and be loved

marieadelaidereadingMadame Marie-Adelaide in Turkish costume, by Étienne Liotard, 1753, oil on canvas, Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence. Image source: WGA
The book is not a mere prop. This was a princess who loved reading and collecting books for their own sake. She ended up with 5000 volumes in her library. Marie-Adelaide was the favourite daughter of Louis XV. She never married and spent fifty-seven years of her life at Versailles. Unfortunately for her she was intelligent, and ambitious, so being denied a fulfilling role at court embittered her. She survived the Revolution, and all her brothers and sisters, and her nephew Louis XVI and his queen, and died in exile in Trieste in 1800, aged 67.

The majority of female readers, whether they were intellectually curious or just wanted to be trendy, were brainwashed by the best-selling novels of Rousseau. He extolled female education in…

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My connection is still atrocious but this painting by Manet, posted by Maedaz at A Small Press Life, is immensely cheering!

Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah

A Small Press Life

I adore this painting; in fact, it is my favourite by Manet. A beautifully framed copy hangs in my dining room.

Why post it today?

The cold, the cold!

It’s far below zero–the chilliest temperature of the season. Since this painting makes me feel happy, content, and warm, I thought you might enjoy it, too.

Young Lady in 1866 by Édouard ManetYoung Lady in 1866 by Édouard Manet. The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

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Pen and Ink Love Greeting Card
Pen and Ink Love Greeting Card

Although she won’t know this until it’s published, I have combined a delightful article from Pippa Rathborne’s Last Post blog about love and the Brownings with some of my Pen and Ink products from Zazzle, which include Elizabeth Browning’s famous sonnet.

Pen and Ink Love Bag
Pen and Ink Love Bag

Pippa writes:


Feeling weary, stale and unprofitable, I’d vowed to give up blogging for a while, but the always happy thought of Elizabeth Barrett and Robert Browning has spawned this self-indulgence.

As I mentioned before, I was named after Browning’s Pippa Passes, and immersed by my mother in the love story of Robert and Elizabeth while I was growing up, Flush the spaniel and all. For a long time, as happens with history’s celebrities, their romantic personae overshadowed the value of their individual work.

If ever there was one, theirs appeared to be a marriage of true minds. It is painful to consider the possibility that in reality he had a restricting effect on her writing, specifically on her social and political freedom of thought. Robert had trouble stopping Elizabeth from dressing their only child, their son Pen, as a girl. Ignore, ignore, forget, forget, facts are only the dreary letter, not the spirit of truth.

And, anyway, Pen grew up filial, amiable and cheerful, a lover of Italy, a restorer of a palazzo, a painter and a bon vivant. He did not inherit his parents’ intellectual genius or determination, but he did not…

Continue reading“How do I love thee?” collateral « LAST POST.


Pen and Ink Love Round Sticker
Pen and Ink Love Round Sticker

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
For the ends of being and ideal grace.
I love thee to the level of every day’s
Most quiet need, by sun and candle-light.
I love thee freely, as men strive for right.
I love thee purely, as they turn from praise.
I love thee with the passion put to use
In my old griefs, and with my childhood’s faith.
I love thee with a love I seemed to lose
With my lost saints. I love thee with the breath,
Smiles, tears, of all my life; and, if God choose,
I shall but love thee better after death.

Elizabeth Barrett Browning
Sonnet 43, Sonnets from the Portuguese, pub. 1850

Pen and Ink Love 3 Ring Binder
Pen and Ink Love 3 Ring Binder

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Design available at the following galleries:
Zazzle (UK)
Zazzle (US)

Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah


Pippa Rathborne's LAST POST

enchanted castleClaude Lorrain, Landscape with Psyche outside the Palace of Cupid, 1664
National Gallery. Image source: National Gallery

“You know the Enchanted Castle, – it doth stand / Upon a rock, on the border of a Lake, /
Nested in trees….” (Epistle to Reynolds)

(FINAL) PART EIGHT

Claude’s Landscape with Psyche outside the Palace of Cupid, inspired by Apuleius’sstory, which Keats sourced for his Ode to Psyche, is a late work of the painter’s, an elegant baroque fantasy with less than the usual “incessant observation of nature” and quality of “Brightness [that] was the excellence of Claude, brightness independent on colour…the evanescent character of light”[1] that Constable valued above all other artistic attributes.

The picture’s shortcomings, its dark, sleeping stillness, as if waiting for someone to step in and breathe life into it, gave literary advantages to Keats. The glimpse of the stone…

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Pippa Rathborne's LAST POST

“…..every man whose soul is not a clod
Hath visions, and would speak, if he had loved
And been well nurtured in his mother tongue.”
(Keats, The Fall of Hyperion – A Dream)

turner sunriseTurner, Norham Castle Sunrise, 1845, Oil on canvas, Tate Gallery, London. Image source: WGA
“Oh God, not another f******* beautiful day”. (Alice de Janzé quoted in White Mischief, novel by James Fox, 1982, and in the film adaptation, 1987, screenplay by
Michael Radford and Jonathan Gems.)

At the climax of Hyperion, tremors are passing through golden-haired Apollo’s classically beautiful body like electric shocks . He shrieks while “Creations and destroyings, all at once / Pour into the wide hollows of my brain”. Empathizing with all this random suffering and emotion is too much for a god to bear, let alone an artist or poet, striving to render teeming images exactly as they were when originally experienced.

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Pippa Rathborne's LAST POST

sunsetBonington, Sunset in the Pays de Caux, 1828, watercolour. Wallace Collection, London. Image source: WGA
Delacroix praised his long dead friend Bonington’s “astonishing ability”, “that  lightness of touch which, especially in watercolors, makes his works a type of diamond which flatters and ravishes the eye, independently of any subject and any imitation.” [1]

Richard Parkes Bonington has been called “the Keats of painting” – if only it were that simple, we could wrap this up now in relief. Yet another marvellous boy, his vivid output and early, painful death of tuberculosis aged 25 resemble Keats’ own art and life. There’s poetry in Bonington’s brushwork, the liquid freshness of colours, the delight in shadow and light. His technical genius was in hiding technique, so that with him all the spontaneity for which other Romantics strove looks effortless. His pictures are more than just pretty; he was a painter’s painter, loved…

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Pippa Rathborne's LAST POST

Thomas-Lawrence croftSir Thomas Lawrence, (Isabella) Mrs. Jens Wolff, painted 1803 – 1815.  © The Art Institute of Chicago, Mr. and Mrs. W. W. Kimball Collection.

She sits in profile, rapturously contemplating an art book, brightly illuminated by a hanging lamp, the dark mysterious recesses of an arch behind her. An artist wants a picture to tell its own story; but we, the viewers, the readers, the audience, we lap up gossipy biographical details that add to our emotional titillation. Lawrence and the willowy, poised divorcee, with her distinguished aquiline features and slim modern figure, her intelligent expression and taste in contemporary and Renaissance art (her rapture is ostensibly aroused by studying Michelangelo, not by her consciousness of being studied herself) were bound in a relationship that lasted till his death.

Part Four of THE CHARACTER OF LIGHT

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Pippa Rathborne's LAST POST

Beguiling_of_Merlin1874Edward Burne- Jones, Beguiling of Merlin, 1872 -77, Lady Lever Art Gallery.
“La Belle Dame sans merci/Hath thee in thrall!”
Image source: Wikipedia. 

PART THREE OF THE CHARACTER OF LIGHT: JOHN KEATS AND VICTORIAN PAINTERS

When the Pre-Raphaelites, ardently following “the footsteps of Keats”[1] away from mannerism towards revitalized Gothicism, took inspiration from the fresh, saturated colours of his imagery and medieval settings, they chose to overlook his devout Hellenism and appreciation ofRaphael’s “heroic simplicity and unaffected grandeur”. [2]

Their admiration for his technique of conveying intensity of sensory experience was genuine – “the next Keats can only be a painter” observed Dante Gabriel Rossetti in a letter to William Morris – but like many apostles they distorted the vision of their prophet.

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Pippa Rathborne's LAST POST

Everyday pains and regrets, washing hanging on the line on a windy day, a glass of wine, a loaf of bread, a plate breaking in the kitchen sink, are as vital to art and writing as the greatest loves and losses, the grandest landscapes and lushest nudes. The material sublime was made out of rock and hair, skin and wood, sap and egg and insect carcasses.

Part Two of The Character of Light

DionysosFigure of Dionysos from the east pediment of the Parthenon, Athens, c.438-432 BC. © Trustees of the British Museum. “Misshapen monuments and maim’d antiques” – Byron, satirizing English Bards and Scotch Reviewers
for indiscriminate gushing over the Elgin Marbles.

Keats’ imagination links him to the chain of art, from the realistic details of classical sculpture and drapery in early Renaissance frescoes, to the joyful experienced sensations of Impressionism, the anguished lyrical Expressionism of Munch, and the quietude…

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Pippa Rathborne's LAST POST

The first thing you notice is the astonishing blue. It is a woman’s dress, with a luminous life of its own, a bright heart bursting out of a pale pink shell, made of the same colours as the blue sky, flushed pale carmine by the setting sun. Darkling, she “cannot see what flowers are at her feet, /Nor what soft incense hangs upon the boughs”. She has a woman’s head, but her body looks more like an exotic blue flower, a lady elf transforming from gordian to woman’s shape. Her dark curling hair might be part of a tree’s foliage.

gainsborough ladybate-dudley1787Lady Bate-Dudley, oil on canvas c.1787. © Tate. Her husband, Sir Henry, known as the Fighting Parson, was a loyal friend and supporter of Gainsborough; he also wrote comic operas. The Bate-Dudleys seem to have inhabited a surprisingly passionate landscape of their own.

Viewed as late 18th century society portraiture…

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