Friday 17 August 2012

Recommended Artist: Michelle Morin

Michelle Morin is an illustrator and painter who lives and works on the North Shore of Massachusetts. How nice must it be to live beside marshlands. She graduated with a BFA in painting and art history from Massachusetts College of Art. She works in watercolors and her work combines elements of the natural world with intricate geometric patterns. The combination results in simple, organic paintings like the ones shown here.

"Low Tide"
"Busy Bodies"
"Pelicans and Branches"

I really like the compositions that she employs, and the colors that she uses. She has a very clear understanding of anatomy, and puts in just enough details to keep viewers engaged. Drawing birds isn't easy. Artists get the urge to put in every single detail that they see, which results in a lifeless drawing. Michelle Morin knows that pitfall and doesn't let the details bog her down.

Friday 3 August 2012

Recommended Artist: Vicente Romero

  Vincent Rmero is a Spanish painter, born in Madrid in 1956.  saw Vicente Romero He obtained his degree in 1982 at the Faculty of Fine Arts of San Fernando in Madrid. His technique comes from his academic training in oils, although he has increasingly explored pastel. The more direct, spontaneous effects he achieves in pastels are what draws him to the medium.

  The luminescence from his paintings take my breath away. The "airy" feeling that many artists strive to achieve in portraiture is beautifully displayed in all of his paintings, and his academic training in the Arts show through in his works. Brilliant compositions. Brilliant use of colors and light.
I chose this painting for its composition. 
The classic "T" composition is usually used for landscapes,
 and I felt it was very refreshing to see it in portraiture.
Brilliant use of light. Just look at the transparency of the cloth and the warmth of the morning light.
Again, the brilliant white of the light is beautifully used, and is balanced with a
 very dark shadow to give the painting a good sense of balance.
The transparency of the lady's dress, and the umbrella she holds. Just, brilliant.
  Recently, however, he is returning to use the oil in his work (almost forgotten in the last 4 years), thus producing a mutually enriching dialogue between the two techniques. Since 1987, he has been living in Costa Brava, choosing that venue for its luminous and peaceful settings on the Mediterranean as a home for his studio.

  With a strong understanding of the human anatomy, and the anatomy of cloths, he paints beautiful women in a beautiful way. And his pastels really do look like oils, don't they? Luscious, transparent, and airy all at the same time. I believe I have found another artist to add to my list. Kudos to you, Sir, for your excellence. 

Visit his blog here.

Thursday 2 August 2012

"Learn from everyone, follow no one"

At 59 years old, Mr. Liak Teng Lit has overseen the construction of the award winning Khoo Teck Puat Hospital, and is now planning the upcoming Yishun Community Hospital.

However, why I chose to bring him up is because of his life motto; "learn from everyone, follow no one". That holds true in all artistic endeavors. You learn from Old Masters, brilliant contemporary artists whom you admire, take lessons from the few who are still alive today, and attempt to mimic a certain artist's style or brushstrokes. Yet, you don't want to be any of them. You want to be you. An original, one of a kind, no-other-artist-has-your-style, you.

I had a fear, once upon a time, in the past, that if I copied or mimicked another artist's work, I will become him, and will forever more walk in his shadow. It was not until very recently that I began to understand that when you copy another artist's work, (you of course, cannot sell that work.) you learn how he/she came to get to the finish point of the painting. You learn how to make certain brushstrokes, how to mix a certain color, the composition of the piece, and lots more. You like the painting for reasons, and it's only when you retrace the artist's steps that you begin to learn from someone else.

As my dad once said; "Make sure you're practicing the right technique. Else, all you're doing is practicing your mistakes."

Personal style, as we call it, will come with time and practice. For now, learn from people you admire. And never fear that you'll walk in the shadow of someone else, because everyone's artistic journey is different. Everyone is unique.

Learn from everyone. Follow no one.