Tag Archives: lichtenstein

Going Dotty for Dots (15/365)

I arrived on Vancouver Island for a visit only to find Dad having a bit of a medical issue. A wicked nosebleed that refused to stop has meant four visits to emergency rooms in two different hospitals over the past 36 hours or so. Don’t worry, Dad is ok – but he has, as a result of his leaking blood vessels, spent a fair bit of time hanging about in waiting rooms.

 

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Magnifying Glass by Roy Lichtenstein (1963)

 

What does one do under such circumstances? Talk about dots, of course…

And, spots… like the many, many paintings featuring coloured spots by Damien Hirst.

 

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Valium, by Damien Hirst

 

According to Hirst’s website (www.damienhirst.com) there are more than 1400 of his spot paintings out there. The spots range from teeny tiny and thousands upon thousands on a single canvas to larger works with fewer, much larger spots. Assistants have helped paint some of the canvases, which are meant to look like they could have been painted by a machine.

This next painting by Bonnard is lots of fun and features spots in a different way. The combination of playful dog and the woman’s spotty dress make me smile!

 

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Woman in a Polka Dot Dress by Pierre Bonnard, 1890s

And here’s one by the French/Chinese artist, Sanyu that features one of my favorite subjects, horses.

 

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Two Spotted Horses by Sanyu (1950)

 

 

This conversation about spots and dots, of course, led back to my own dot experiments and then Dad piped up with “… what about dominoes? You could do something with that… ”

Which is how I wound up searching for domino images on Google while trying to ignore the steady stream of walking wounded moaning and groaning their way into the emergency room…

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I had my daytimer with me, so I started doing some quick sketches of the basic domino shape… and was just getting warmed up when Dad got summoned to go in for treatment and we had to stop chatting and put away our pencils.

It’s an intriguing idea, though. I can imagine adding colour… and multiple dominoes, and patterns of falling dominoes… Who knows where this may lead?? It’s late now and it’s been a very busy day with a great meeting with my editor about the medically-assisted dying book plus the next project about civil disobedience, presenting to students at Royal Oak Middle School, having a chat with my accountant, and searching for ground lamb (there are plans afoot for a weekend away on my daughter’s boat and rather elaborate preparations are ongoing as Dani puts together a rather spectacular menu), so I’ll leave things there for now.  Can’t wait for tomorrow to see where the spots and dots and dominoes may take us next!

 

 

 

 

 

L is for Landscape, Leonardo, Liu, Lowry, Lichtenstein and Lots more…

 

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Mountain and River by E. Colin Williams. Yes, I’m lucky enough to live inside a landscape that looks a lot like this painting done by my father. 

Growing up I looked at a lot of landscapes – not just the ones we lived in and drove through but also the ones my father painted and my mother photographed. In a way, I got to see everything at least twice – once as a fleeting impression as I moved through the landscape and again, later after it had been filtered and transformed on its way to becoming a painting or a photograph.

Maybe because of that I love seeing how artists interpret the world we live in, how they try to capture the essence of a place on a two-dimensional surface.

 

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Leonardo (da Vinci) is not the first artist that jumps to my mind when I think of landscape painters. This painting is called Bird’s Eye View of Sea Coast and was painted in 1515. I find it fascinating because it feels quite abstract and clean in its execution, features the strangest composition, and shows the world from a perspective Leonardo could not have experienced firsthand. It’s a strange blend of cartography, art, and imagination. 

 

 

Lautrec painted lots of outdoorsy scenes, but generally they include people, horses, or both… This is very different to my father’s paintings which rarely included humans, birds or animals. Until recently, that is, when Dad has been exploring subjects he spent little time with earlier in his career (a topic I’ll explore in more depth in a later post).

 

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Fishing Boat by Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, 1880

 

In the literary arts department, Jack London had a gift for capturing the landscape on the page. The Call of the Wild certainly evokes the brutality of the Yukon and the impact the landscape has on its inhabitants.

 

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Jack London was not the only one inspired by images of the frozen north. The Russian painter Nicholas Roerich often turned to the mountains in winter for inspiration. This is Snowy Lift (1924), by Nicholas Roerich

 

 

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Here’s Roy Lichtenstein’s take on the northern landscape. Arctic Landscape, 1964

 

 

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L. S. Lowry’s dull as mud colours were typical of his early landscapes, this one from 1910. Though it’s titled Clifton Junction, Morning this hardly screams ‘morning light’ to me. 

 

 

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Compare Lowry’s somber morning with this exuberant sunburst by van Gogh. Enclosed Field with Rising Sun, 1889. 

 

And, finally, here’s a landscape by Georgia O’Keeffe… It may be abstract, but I can still see the landscape in the colours and natural forms.

 

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From the Lake, 1924 by Georgia O’Keeffe

 

Today I was priviledged to watch the amazing photographer Amy Liu at work. She was taking some photos of Ally Lacentra, super-talented young actor (and my step-daughter who, as luck would have it, has an abundance of Ls in her name).

 

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Amy and Ally at work – I felt bad for them as it was brisk outside today! Poor Ally had to try and look relaxed even when the chilly spring breeze blew down from the mountains! 

 

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One of the many gorgeous shots Amy Liu captured during the shoot today. Lovely!

 

 

And on that note, off I go to get back to work on the current work in progress. Let me know in the comments below if you have a favourite landscape painter…

Catch you later!