Thursday, December 31, 2009

Henri Rousseau

Tiger in a Tropical Storm. Surprised!

This is one of my favourite works of Rousseau. He achieves a good balance between warm and cool colours, and the energy of the storm is wonderfully expressed. The variety of green shades look vibrant but natural (in this reproduction at least). As in Eastern painting, this work has a near total absence of shading and atmospheric perspective (desaturation of colours with distance), techniques used to create the illusion of three dimensions. The result is a unified flat design, almost like a textile, in which colour and line are celebrated.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Avner Moriah - Israeli

The simplicity of this work - just olive trees, red earth and white walls - gives it strength .

Marjorie Moskowitz

Lavender Field

Friday, December 4, 2009

William Trost Richards

The South Shore, Newport, 1903, 30 x 25 inches

Richards was influenced by the British art theorist John Ruskin and his idea of faithfulness to nature.
There is an almost photographic faithfulness in this work but also a transcendent, poetic mood.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Frederic Lord Leighton

Ruined Moorish Arch, Spain
The Villa Malta, Rome

Leighton is best known for his figurative work, but these landscapes are gems. I like the use of chalky white scumbled over grey to evoke weathered walls in these two works.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009


Aldobrandini Madonna
(foliage detail)

Titian creates a mysterious natural effect with layers of semi-transparent oil paint. This is just a small detail from this large canvas.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Daniel Pinkham - American

Use of square format gives a contemporary feel, and suits the abstract qualities in these works by the West Coast American painter Daniel Pinkham.

Dennis Doheny - American

Almost monochrome
Use of orange-purple complementaries

John Singer Sargent - American

Yoho Falls, 94 x 113 cm

The Italian born American painter JSS was a genius of brushwork.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Juliet Holmes a Court - Australian

138 x 138 cm, oil and wax on canvas

Wax can be used to create interesting textures in combination with oil paint. One artist I know has tried it but found they had slight problems with reduced adherence to the canvas. I would be interested to see comments from anyone who has tried using wax: has anyone else had problems, what sort of wax to use, and how to use it.
Here's a link to an article about encaustic painting (painting with wax medium).


Like the windswept snow feathering off the peaks.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Sorolla (or contempory of)

John Glover

Sun Rise, Shropshire

The English painter John Glover is well known in Australia as one of the first Europeans to depict the Australian landscape. The pink in the clouds makes the neutral hues in the trees appear a very subtle green. Without the pink, this landscape would be a lifeless sepia. If the green hues were brighter they would detract from the delicacy of the evening sky. Colour, used in this contextual way, is magical.

Ric Amor

Hanging Rock, 58 x 90 cm

Ric Amor is a contemporary Australian  painter whose work has a dreamlike quality. Hanging Rock has a mysterious, ominous presence in the Australian psyche due to the movie Picnic at Hanging Rock.

Friday, August 14, 2009

David Larned - American

Hill Town, Oil on Canvas, 13.5 x 13.5 Inches

Jeremy Mann - American

Noon Down Leavenworth, Oil on Panel, 10 x 13 inches, 2008

This work successfully captures the haze obscuring objects in the distance. Tonal contrasts are much greater in the foreground.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Peter Simpson - Australian

It's often said that artists and galleries avoid green paintings. It's difficult to mix convincing greens. But I love the green in these pieces.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Randall Exon 1956-

Toward the Sea, 8 x 20 inches, oil on board

Cliffs Near Early's Farm

The canvases and boards sold in art supply shops are usually formatted to standard golden rectangles, but formats stretched in the horizontal can be more interesting, and better evoke the vastness of a landscape.

Jo Bertini - Australian

Dune Moon II, 45 x 45 cm

Desert Salt Farming

Simeon Walker - Australian

Rock Formation, Oil on linen 91 x 213 cm

Miracle on the Service Road

Tuesday, July 21, 2009


Fleurieu Landscape Competition

Morgan Allender, Evensong Gordon River,
Oil on Linen, 137 x 168 cm

Chris Delpratt, Through Trees and Beyond,
Oil on Canvas, 95 x 112 cm

These two Australian works are nearly monochrome. Australian artists have been greatly influenced by Chinese and Japanese ink landscape paintings.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Camilla Connolly - Australian

Cape York - Wall Drawing and Table, 62 x 102 cm

The warm colours, and combination of interior and landscape, are reminiscent of Bonnard.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Childe Hassam

The Ledges

Image with a sense of unity from a blue-orange contrast throughout, and unified impressionist brushwork. The static square format helps balance the energetic brushwork.

Frederick Childe Hassam (b. October 17, 1859, Dorchester, Boston, Massachusetts) was a prominent and prolific American Impressionist painter, noted for his urban and coastal scenes. Along with Mary Cassatt and John Henry Twachtman, Hassam was instrumental in promulgating Impressionism in America.

Hermann Herzog

Western Landscape, 18.25 x 24.75 inches


The Conflagration

Semi-abstraction influenced by Turner.

Arthur Lemon

The Wooing of Daphnis

The near black tones in the trees brings out the white of the cows in this bucolic scene.

Helen Sheldon Smillie 1854-1926

When the Dew is in the Grass

Ross Dickinson - American

Valley Farms, approx 40 x 50 inches

Friday, June 19, 2009

Gustave Cimiotti - American

Summer Hillside, 1920, 15 x 18 inches

The sky has been pushed up to the top of this composition, making the expanse of hillside more powerful. A much stronger image than if the horizon had been placed according to the rule of thirds. Chosing a squarish format, rather than a rectangular one, gives a feeling of stability and rest, which suits the subject - a hill. But the curving diagonals provide visual energy, and lead the eye from the hilltop to the pond - a small area of blue in the lower right corner to nicely balances the blue sky at the top of the painting.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Dorrit Black - Australian

The Olive Plantation, 1946, 63.5 x 86.5 cm

In the Foothills

Landscape painting of the 30's and 40's was often characterised by robust structure, reflecting the dramatic upheavals of the period. It's worth looking at these works if your landscapes have become too vague. Cezanne was the precursor of this kind of painting. Outlines are strong but also broken. Without this breaking of lines, the image would become captive and lifeless.
See also this work by Ross Dickinson