Archive for the ‘Inspiration’ Category

Inspired by Imagination and Dreams – Rousseau

Wednesday, June 18th, 2008

Henry Rousseau did not start out life with the intention of being a painter. In fact, his only ambition was to get his family out of debt and on the path of prosperity. He was born in the 1800’s to a plumber. In his early life he worked as a lawyers assistant and then found a job with the government where he remained for many years. It wasn’t until he was in his forties that he took up painting and at 49 he retired from his job to take up painting full time.

He had no formal art schooling but did get some consultation from Felix Auguste Clement and Jean Leon Gerome. Most of his paintings are inspired by fantasy and dreams. His research is done from taxidermified wild animals, illustrated books, and botanical gardens. He once told a famous art critic that he seemed to dream when he went to the botanical gardens and felt like he was in far off lands.

At the time many of his contemporaries thought he painted child like paintings and that he was highly unprofessional. Today he is thought to be one of the influences on Fauvism.

Keith Harring Inspired by Social Issues

Friday, June 13th, 2008

Keith Harring was a contemporary painter born in 1958, in Pennsylvania. At an early age he was found drawing and developed the skills from his father. He started with simple cartoons drawn from Disney characters and popular books he loved. As his talent developed he found himself being drawn and inspired by public places. He lived in NewYork and became fascinated with downtown streets, subways, clubs, dance halls. His friends were graffiti artists, writers, musicians, and performers. The energy of such a life is what inspires his current work. He took social issues to heart and it is seen throughout his work. He was also inspired by the works of other artists like Pierre Alechinsky, Jean Dubuffet, Brion Gysin and Robert Henri. With all of these influencing factors Harring became determined to make his work public. In the 80’s he was inspired to draw on large advertising panels in the subway.  Because there was such a public audience here he began to draw several white chalk drawings on black matte paper and ended up doing hundreds of these drawings in the subway system. During this time he achieved international recognition. He has done several public paintings regarding social issues, including a billboard in Times Square.

This artist found his inspiration in living and in all thing that surround his New York life and his work reflects this and he was very apt at expressing his feelings in this regard. Keith Harring acomplished much in his short life. He died from AIDS at the age of 32.

Let Deadlines Inspire You

Wednesday, June 11th, 2008

Born in 1944, author Rita Mae Brown writes the Mrs. Murphy books and The “Sister” Jane Foxhunting mysteries. She is also known for rescuing myriads of animals and placing them in new homes. If she can not find other homes for them, she keeps them herself on her large Virginia homestead. Her Mrs. Murphy books are based on the sleuthing abilities of two cats and one dog.

Speaking from a writer’s viewpoint, she said,

“A deadline is negative inspiration. Still it’s better than no inspiration at all.”

College students everywhere can attest to getting the term paper or the project started and completed as a result of the deadline the professor set at the beginning of the semester.

However, even though the deadlines are negative inspirations, they can provide us with some fabulous projects and very creative papers. The artist who will be showing his or her work on a certain date may decide to expand on a certain landscape, turning one idea into several terrific ideas – all because of a deadline. The soloist who sings in church on a given Sunday has a deadline. The teacher who begins his or her career has a deadline for preparation before the work begins.

Deadlines are everywhere – in the workplace, in the social setting, in the school setting.

However negative the inspiration, let them inspire!

Ptoto: Courtesy of BradChristensen

Inspiration from Everyday Objects

Tuesday, June 10th, 2008

Illustration of Small Objects in Same Hues

Do you like a lot of things? You may even be worried because you tend to like a lot of different art styles and cant focus on just one style, but this is normal. There are even many artists that like many different objects and styles and have started combining them in interesting ways.

A great example are the illustrations by Andrea Joseph. In her work, she displays her love of small things, like tickets, buttons, certain things made of a certain color. She combines this love into her illustrations. Although these illustrations may seem to be without any definite composition, the composition of these pieces is very well thought out, and you can tell by the way your eye travels through the illustration. If you look at her pieces for a moment, you will notice that certain tickets or parts of paper stand out above others, this is what makes the composition of her illustrations work. The colors she chooses are also unique, because they tend to be all in the same hue, just in different shades, which only an extremely talented artist can do.

Inspiration From Algorithms- Joshua Davis

Monday, June 9th, 2008

Joshua Davis - BMW Z4 Coupe

BMW recently commissioned Joshua Davis to portray his impression of the Z4 Coupe.  It turns out that Joshua Davis, a renowned commercial and fine artist, is working in algorithmic graphic design, which is a program that uses mathematical algorithms to reconstruct an image. The above image is what he came up with for his impression of the Z4 Coupe.  Many have commented that they just cannot see the relationship between this piece of work and the car.

But if you look closely you can see how the mathematical precision does give you the impression of what a car is like. It really depends on each person and whether he can see the resemblance, but the truth is that the new use of such algorithms are interesting, and the way an image can be reconstructed and turned into a piece of expensive art work is also interesting.

Art is in the eyes of the maker and the eyes of the beholder. It really depends on the artist, what he wants to portray and what you see as the viewer. One thing is for sure, anyone who is into computer graphics will understand the difficulty in creating an image with 120, 000 layers and 50,000 vectors.

Surrealists Inspired in Dreams – Rene Magritte

Friday, June 6th, 2008

Rene Magritte - Les AmantsAnother famous artist who was inspired by his own imagination and inner thoughts was Rene Magritte. He was born into a middle class family, his father, a tailor, and his mother a milliner.

Rene Magritte was a Belgian artist, born at the end of the 19th century. He began to draw in 1910 when he began to take private art classes. When he was 12 his mother committed suicide, and many of his first paintings, a series of paintings of people with cloths obscuring their faces, may have been influenced from his witnessing the retrieval of his dead mothers body from the river.

In 1927 he had his first surreal exhibit and was criticized terribly for it. His failure caused him to move to Paris where he continued to show his paintings.

As it occurs in many other cases, most of the interest in his work did not occur until some time after his death. His work is mostly fantasy based, but has a somber mood and style to it. It is said that his work may have influenced the Pop, conceptual, and minimalist art movements. His work showed with younger contemporaries who later took on the fauvist and pop style.

Inspiration from Neon Signs

Thursday, June 5th, 2008

Anthony Ross - Rush HourAnything and everything can be art. An artist can find subject matter in anything he sees and many artists specialize in just one or two subjects.  As an example, I know of several artists who only paint doors, or windows and have been painting those subjects now for a number of years. They eventually learn to paint their subjects as no other person can.

In the US there was a time when streets of cities and highways were infested with neon signs. They were the trademark of Hollywood and the cinema industry. Today there are little vestiges of those old cinemas and those old signs, but there is a rural highway that transverses the entire country where landmarks of this bygone era still remain, and an artist who still loves to record and remember these bygone days through his paintings is Anthony Ross, who specializes in sign painting.

His work expresses a bygone era in Americanism and for those people that remember the era, his work expresses reminiscence of a freer time, a time when going to the movies was true entertainment, and drive thru’s were the Saturday night thing to do. A time where young adults met and socialized in these places.

Brueghel the Elder Inspired by Everyday Stories

Tuesday, June 3rd, 2008

Pieter Brueghel was a Renaissance painter, he was born in 1525 and died in 1569 in the Netherlands. He was best known for his landscapes and peasant scenes which always depicted some every day event or story just as in the above painting of the local children playing.

In his later life Brueghel specialized in peasant life landscapes and he is known as one of the first painters to paint landscapes for the sake of their beauty and not as a backdrop for a portrait. All of his landscapes portray some kind of a story, as you can tell in the painting “The Triumph of Death.” He is known to have paid a great deal of attention to the manners and lifestyle of peasants, which was very rare in Brueghel’s time. He painted scenes that included agriculture, festivals, games, meals and even hunts.

His paintings are also filled with iconographic symbols of social and religious life in his time. As an example lets take “Children’s Games.” In this painting there are many references to the types of games children of the period played. His paintings today are priceless because they give us a glimpse of what life really was like during this period.

Inspiration from Animals – Back to Our Origins

Friday, May 30th, 2008

Ashes and Snow by the renowned Canadian photographer, Gregory Colbert. This audiovisual is a moving museum with 50 astounding photographs a 60 minute film and two short films, that once you begin watching you will be taken on a magical journey through humanity and animal life. You will live this show with an intense wonder at the magic of life in all its forms. The exhibit opened in 2002 in Venice and has been traveling all around the world receiving public acclaim wherever it goes. It has traveled throughout Europe, United States and North America. It reverberates with the strength of nature, and the perfection of creation. We are reminded of the thin thread that divides mankind and animals.

Among some of the titles of the works are “Dreaming amongst lions” and “Learning from the Falcons” The images are truly unbelievable and unique, and if the exhibit is near you, this is one of those “once in a lifetime” exhibits. The book of Ashes and Snow is also on the market, if you never got to see the exhibit and well worth reading.

Ashes and Snow brings us back to our “Origins,” when we were one with the animals. If we learn to observe our surroundings, listen to others in our surroundings we will be able to coexist with the elements as we were once able to do. Our essence would be reborn, and we could rejoice with nature and obtain eternal harmony.

Inspiration – A Moment’s Insight

Wednesday, May 28th, 2008

Oliver Wendell Holmes was a physician, writer and poet in the 19th century. Dr. Holmes wrote Old Ironsides, a poem which caused the USS Constitution warship to be saved from the scrap heap and turned into a monument. He wrote medical articles and published essays and hymns, as well.

Dr. Holmes once wrote,

“A moment’s insight is sometimes worth a life’s experience.”

The kind of moments of which he speaks are very real but also very rare. Rare not because they do not come very often but rare because we do not slow down in our hurried lives enough to listen to and hear them.

Sometimes the moment’s insight will come through a story being told by a friend; sometimes it comes in the stillness of night; sometimes it comes because the day dawned bright and sunny after what seemed an eternity of dim and dreary days.

The often repeated phrase, “Out of the mouths of babes,” can bring many moments of insights if we are listening to the words of those children and infants. If we want to hear or see or feel the insights, we must take the time to hear, see, or feel. Those insights can help us avoid a lifetime of sorrow or they can provide a lifetime worth of peace in just a few minutes. It is all in how we perceive them.


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