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Worth Watching
  • Empires - The Medici: Godfathers of the Renaissance
    Empires - The Medici: Godfathers of the Renaissance
    A fascinating and highly entertaining look at one of the most important families of the Renaissance era--the Medici.
  • Sister Wendy - The Complete Collection (Story of Painting / Grand Tour / Odyssey / Pains of Glass)
    Sister Wendy - The Complete Collection (Story of Painting / Grand Tour / Odyssey / Pains of Glass)

    “Sister Wendy Beckett has transformed public appreciation of art through her astonishing knowledge, insight and passion for painting and painters.” This set includes Sister Wendy's Story of Painting, Sister Wendy's Odyssey, and Sister Wendy's Grand Tour. Simultaneously delightful and scholarly--this is a must have for anyone interested in art history.

  • Exit Through the Gift Shop
    Exit Through the Gift Shop
    When British stencil artist Banksy traveled to Los Angeles to work, he came across obscure French filmmaker Thierry Guetta and his badly organized collection of videotapes involving the activities of graffiti artists. Inspired, Banksy assembled them with new footage to create this talked-about documentary, and the result is a mind-boggling and odd film (so strange as to be thought a hoax by some) about outsider artists and the definition of art itself.
  • The Impressionists
    The Impressionists
    A dramatization of the Impressionist movement as seen through the eyes of Claude Monet. Highly entertaining and informative.
  • The Impressionists: The Other French Revolution
    The Impressionists: The Other French Revolution
    A very personal and revealing look at the personalities that created Impressionism.
Tuesday
Mar062012

Tips on Buying Brushes for Oils and Acrylics

Photo by D. ChaskinSo...you’re in an art store or shopping online--and you come across this great deal on brushes in packages. The price is too good to be true! BE CAREFUL... because the “deal” just might be too good to be true. Shedding brushes are a nightmare for the painter. When you buy brushes--you want to be able to tug on them a bit, to make sure they’re non-shedders. Once those hairs get into your painting--they’re virtually impossible to remove. When you buy brushes online--make sure to stick with reputable, known retailers. Their brushes will be decent. Also, don’t spend tons of money on brushes for acrylics. Remember...acrylics are basically plastic. So acrylics are tough on brushes. No matter how well you care for them--they will take a beating over time. So buy good but not super expenses brushes for acrylic painting. If you’re an oil painter--you can treat yourself to some fine brushes. The linseed oil in your paint and medium will help to preserve your brushes over time. If you paint in both media--use separate brushes for each.

Monday
Mar052012

Picasso's "Guernica" Undergoes Medical Check At the Museo Reina Sofia in Madrid

A technician works as a camera mounted on a mobile robot-like structure moves across Pablo Picasso's 'Guernica' painting at the Reina Sofia Museum in Madrid. AP Photo/Paul White.It’s always fascinating to see the ways in which increasingly sophisticated technologies enable us to learn more and more about art’s great masterworks--AND take better care of our artistic treasures.

Experts have long been concerned about the health of Picasso's "Guernica," one of the world's most iconic paintings but one which is diagnosed as extremely delicate after a hectic life. A mobile, robot-like structure, which using advanced infrared and ultraviolet photographic technology, is taking thousands of microscopic shots of the painting to allow analysts to penetrate the work like never before and see its real condition. AP Photo/Paul White.

From ArtDaily.org:

Pablo Picasso's "Guernica," one of the world's most iconic paintings, is getting a full health check as it marks its 75th anniversary. A giant robotic machine is taking tens of thousands of microscopic shots of the black-and-white anti-war masterpiece to allow experts to penetrate the work like never before and see its real condition after a hectic life traveling the globe....

Read the rest of the story here...

Friday
Mar022012

Quote of the Day

Edgar Degas, c. 1850s

“Everyone has talent at 25. The difficulty is to have it at 50.” - Edgar Degas
Thursday
Mar012012

Beauty and the Beast?

Breton Brother and Sister, 1871 - Adolphe-William Bouguereau - Metropolitan Museum of Art - New York (USA)William-Adolphe Bouguereau (1825-1905) was a French painter, dominant in the academic painting tradition during the second half of the 19th century. He was honored for his mythological and allegorical paintings, and his portraits. The achievements of this artistic genius were long ignored by scholars--overshadowed by the study of the avant-garde movements of the same period, which led to Modern Art.

Henri Rousseau - 1891 National Gallery - London (England) Painting - oil on canvas

On the other side of the technical wizardry of Bouguereau was Henri Rousseau (1844-1910) the French painter who is considered the archetype of the modern naive painter (although he was by no means the first naive artist). Rousseau is known for his richly colored and painstakingly detailed pictures of lush jungles, wild beasts, exotic figures--as well as landscapes and portraits. These two artists were working at the same time in Paris. Bouguereau had the far greater success at the time--since the art world of the day only allowed for one type of art--one set of standards. Thankfully, we live at a time when all styles of and approaches to art can peacefully co-exist--and be celebrated.

Wednesday
Feb292012

Giotto: “The Father of European Painting” 

Giotto - Scenes from the Life of Joachim: Joachim among the Shepherds - 1304-06 - Fresco, 200 x 185 cm - Cappella Scrovegni (Arena Chapel), PaduaGiotto (c. 1266-1337) was the most important Italian painter of the 14th century. His works point to the innovations of the Renaissance style that developed a century after he lived. For seven centuries, Giotto has been revered as the “Father of European Painting” and the first of the great Italian masters. He is the only artist in the Western Tradition who has no forerunner. Without precedent, he broke away from the styles of the Middle Ages and ushered in what Vasari called “the good modern manner”. Giotto’s influence can also be felt in the Modern and Postmodern movements--particularly in works by such artists as Diego Rivera and Fernando Botero.