Karina James – Pressed Flower Artwork

Like most Americans, artist Karina James has traveled a long way from her ancestors. She traces her unique history back to the beautiful country of Guatemala, nestled deep in Central America. She has embraced her new opportunity with passion and creativity. Drawing inspiration from flowers, petals, and pieces of bark, she creates beauty with the natural world which surrounds us all. It takes an attentive, mindful eye to see what world and to bring it into fresh view.

In Karina’s case, it was a pair of friends which first brought the flowers into focus. One friend was gathering up flower pieces as raw materials for crafting. Another friend looked at those items and commented to Karina, “What are you going to make – a peacock?”

Those words rung in Karina’s mind long after she returned home. Indeed, the colors were vibrant. The threads were delicate. She carefully set to work. She had to cut delicate diamonds out of blue and black to form the eye petals. Then there was the researching of what a peacock’s dimensions presented and how to recreate those in birch bark and lobelia. It was a painstaking process.

Karina works with careful precision. She draws out the initial dimensions. She organizes her supplies and carefully dabs each flower with Elmer’s glue. Then, carefully, with tweezers and toothpicks, she puts down each item.

This is an activity that those of us with less-than-ideal hands could never dream of attempting. We are incredibly grateful that people like Karina exist in the world. For without them, such visions would never be realized.

Item by item, petal by petal, Karina dabs glue on each specific spot and lays it down onto the background. Banana peel for the branch. Birch for the legs. She won’t spray any sort of fixative or glue over the face of it, because that would mar the overall effect. She trusts in the environment to hold together. She has faith.

The artwork holds.

What results is not just a work of art. It’s a cohesive community of nature – a collaboration of flower, tree, and hope. It is an inspiration of Guatemala realized in a nestled suburb of Massachusetts.

It’s a sign that our world comes together to create a beauty which we all treasure.


Be sure to follow Karina on her Facebook page:


https://www.facebook.com/karina.james.5



Verne Thayer – Landscape Oil Painter

Verne Thayer adores painting local Massachusetts scenery. No matter the challenges, he finds a way to create his landscapes. So it’s no wonder he was driving around central Massachusetts with a keen eye one foggy morning, looking for the absolute best possible angle to document. His aim was to capture it in photograph, so that in his studio he could turn it into a work of art.

At a quiet brook in Mendon, he found the exact angle he had hoped for.

It was a well-traveled road, and there was no place to set up a plein air easel. But he carefully backed up, parked, and got out to take photos from a variety of angles. The drifting fog and gentle light was just as he had envisioned. When he was sure he had what he needed, he headed back into his studio to bring it into vibrant life.

Verne has been painting since he was quite young. Life interfered for twenty years, as it often does with dreams, but Verne persevered. When once again time was available, Verne knew what he wanted to do.

And that was to paint.

Verne is quick to point out that photographs are often taken with the object of interest at the center of the image. It’s a tendency of the human eye. But with paintings, there are other considerations to account for. Often in a work of art one wants to lead the eye into what is important. He ensures he gets a number of images to be able to build that effect.

This scene of a gently foggy river is typical of Verne. It juxtaposes a traditional New England landscape with technically challenging images of water and dappled sun. Verne agrees that the water in this painting was the most challenging aspect of the image to tackle. He wanted to bring it to life – to give it that glow of the sunlight interacting with the moving surfaces.

For those considering picking up a brush, Verne has enthusiastic advice – just do it. Don’t be frightened. Get a cheap canvas and just throw paint on it.

Looking at the beautiful landscapes Verne creates, we are inspired to do just that.

To view more of Verne’s beautiful artwork, be sure to visit:

https://www.vlthayerfineart.com/

Happy Birthday Charles Dana Gibson – Sept 14 1867

gibsongirlToday we celebrate the birthday of famous artist and illustrator Charles Dana Gibson! He created the iconic “Gibson Girl” style in the late 1800s which soon influenced fashion and society. He became fairly wealthy and was sought after by a variety of publications and marketing groups.

Gibson was born right here in Massachusetts! He was born in Roxbury. His talent in art was clear from when he was young and he attended the Art Students League in New York City.

He illustrated books. He created images for Life, Collier’s, and many other magazines. He did oil paintings. The Gibson Girl was found on a wide variety of products.

He eventually ended up being the owner of Life! So his talents ranged far beyond drawing and painting.

Here are a few books that feature Gibson illustrations:

Books with Gibson Illustrations

Here’s an exhibition at the Library of Congress –

Charles Dana Gibson Exhibition

 


Happy Birthday to Jan Brueghel the Younger

Happy Birthday to Jan Brueghel the Younger! He was born on September 13, 1601. He was born into a painting family. He and his brother were heavily encouraged by their father, Jan Brueghel the Elder, to continue the family business.

Jan II was born in Antwerp and took over the family business once his father passed away. He was well respected by the aristocracy of the time. He then trained his own sons in painting.

The family is most known for their landscapes.

Paintings by Jan Brueghel the Younger


Happy Birthday to Man Ray

Happy Birthday to Man Ray! He was born on August 27, 1890. He was famous not only for his photography but also for photograms, which is when light-sensitive paper is used without a camera. Man Ray wasn’t satisfied just calling his “photograms” though. He called his works of art “Rayographs” after himself.

He was born Emmanuel Radnitzky in Pennsylvania but in Paris he re-invented himself. He was reborn as a new person.

manray Here is one of Man Ray’s rayographs. He lived in Paris for most of his life and loved the surrealism freedom. In addition to his wildly abstract works he also created highly acclaimed portrait photos of many of the luminaries of the time – James Joyce, Gertrude Stein, and so on.

Man Ray even explored light painting! He would leave his camera exposure open and then move around in front of it with glowing items. He signed his name on one photo.

One of his most famous quotes is:

“There is no progress in art, any more than there is progress in making love. There are simply different ways of doing it.”

Man Ray at the Museum of Modern Art