Tag Archives: painting

How To Analyze a Painting

In a recent post I analyzed a work of art by Barry McGee, identifying the elements and principles of design. Today I want to look at a painting by Kerry James Marshall. As a reminder I’ve included a list of … Continue reading

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Design Advice: DO Sweat the Small Stuff

Several posts ago I wrote about small, humble things that have been the subject matter of significant art. Today I want to extend that conversation and talk about things that are even smaller…namely details – the little decisions and little … Continue reading

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Little Things Mean A Lot

In this blogpost I want to share examples of the work of two artists who helped convince me that little things can be – and often are – the substance of significant art. Giorgio Morandi was an artist frequently referred to … Continue reading

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Hip Hop Meets Renaissance: Urban Portraits

Several months ago I wrote two posts about the art of portraiture, promising more in the future. After all this time you may not remember the discussion so you can link to posts one and two here. Napoleon Leading the … Continue reading

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What’s in a Rectangle?

Painters who depict recognizable imagery do more than just record a scene. They first consider the shape and size of their canvas, or piece of paper or prepared panel. They think about how that shape can be subdivided and how … Continue reading

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What’s In A Line? Agnes Martin and Sean Scully

Here are two artists known for their paintings of lines and stripes arranged in simple geometric compositions. At first you might think that their paintings would look very similar but this is not the case. One artist makes compositions that … Continue reading

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Portraits In The Age of Selfies

What is a portrait? Is it just a faithful rendering of a person. And if so, in the age of cellphone cameras, is there a need for anything more? Why create a portrait in the first place? Is it to … Continue reading

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Painting: Composing With Light

Realist painters have a long tradition of using light and shadow to organize their compositions and influence the way viewers respond to their paintings. Here are three well known painters working at different times over a span of 400 years. … Continue reading

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Two Artists Working With Shape

Shapes are the basic building blocks of two-dimensional compositions and three-dimensional objects. Shapes define the forms we see and the space around those forms. Let’s look at the work of two artists who emphasize shapes and use them as primary … Continue reading

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Chance With Limitations: The Art of Pat Steir

Poured, dripped, thrown. Random and yet controlled. Speaking of her work, Pat Steir says, “It’s chance with limitations. I decide the colors and make simple divisions to the canvas, and then basically the pouring of the paint paints the painting.” … Continue reading

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