Friday, September 30, 2011

History of Art by Anthony F. Janson

History of ArtHistory of Art by Anthony F. Janson
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Copiously illustrated, this provides a useful schema from which to learn about different periods of art, and a lot of information you can use for reference.

The edition that I read was pre-political correctness so that means a history of dead white guy artists.  It would be better titled a History of Western Art, although it ends with an apologetic and half hearted nod to Asian art. (for a critical view, see The Guerrilla Girls' Bedside Companion to the History of Western Art)

Needless to say, whenever you cover such a large territory, you are bound to be forced to leave somebody out, and get slammed for your choices, so I won't belabor the point.  Despite this, you can learn a great deal about the history of art, and the author is not entirely neutral in tone, which I consider a plus, as you can then assess the author's opinions yourself.

Despite Goodreads, which seems to be hallucinating, this book is not 150 pages, but 767 pages long.

View all my reviews

Some New Paintings

These two have a more open feel.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Age of Discovery

recently somebody asked me to describe my techniques... good question, so I wrote up these notes:

In my practice process is not an end to itself, but rather a launching point for a voyage of discovery. I favor processes that confront me with accidents and effects to prevent me from complacency.

I currently favor acrylic, as it is a highly flexible medium that permits experimentation, and dries quickly.

I use the movement of forms and colors through a scanning pass where I move the image during the scan to produce an electronic gesture, and transfer the gestures and colors to paper, and using acrylic transfer technique, placing the paper face down into the painting and removing when dry, leaving the pigment embedded in the acrylic substrate. The sources of the images can be digital photographs, other of my paintings, fabrics, or other materials, but I always modify them in the scanning phase.

The removal process often can produce a worried or ragged image that has more resonance that the original, and the transferred image always has an element of surprise, like unwrapping a present. I layer these electronic gestures with painted ones.
I also transfer drawn lines in charcoal and pastel into the painting using paper with acrylic medium in much the same way. I can use very soft charcoal or high pigment load crumbly pastels as they will be embedded in the acrylic.

I also embed unusual materials and found objects in my paintings, petals, twigs, buttons, garter belts and so forth. I may cover portions with a clear gesso, and rework in pencil on the roughened surface, or I may cover a layer of twigs with white paint and layer it with a distorted scan of a digital photograph of some natural texture.
Much of my choice is driven by my intuition of the emerging character of the individual work.