Painting Moonlight

Night landscapes aren’t as common as daylight ones for obvious reasons.

I love them. There is something borderless about paintings of the night sky. Sharp edges tend to destroy the illusion. Silhouettes and shadows meld into one by moonlight.

Moonlight on the Bruges Canal by Charles Warren Eaton. A beautiful tonalist work.

Lisière de Bois by Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot and Moonrise by Robert Macauley Stevenson.

A painting I can’t find the title to from Franz Sedlacek. Google him. His work is odd and all over the place. If the internet is informing me correctly, his work is a mix of Bosch, Fantastic Planet, Goya, pop surrealism and Magritte. It’s confusing me in a pleasant way.

Moonlit Landscape by Jean Delville, one of my favorite Symbolist painters.

Moonlight Ring by Henry Prellwitz and Moonrise by Stanislaw Maslowski.

Looking at these is like seeing the afterimage of a brighter day behind your eyelids, after rubbing them, laying in bed staring at the ceiling in the dark.

Star and Siberia by Alphonse Mucha.

Art in Asheville – ALLIGOODART

My plan for a while has been to blog about local art I find in Asheville, and not just from white walled exhibitions. There is a lot going on here. Most businesses seem to try to incorporate local art into their decor. Below are some pieces I’ve seen on display at Harvest Records, a local indie record shop near my place in West Asheville. It took me a while to figure out who the artist was. There wasn’t any attribution tags below the works which was a bit frustrating. Maybe if I was truly a local I’d already know who she was. I stumbled across her work looking at other local profiles on instagram. She goes by Alligoodart and you can see more of her work on her instagram feed. I’m going to go out on a limb and assume her name is Alli Good.

It’s interesting to me that I immediately had the gut assumption that this work was created by a man. The grotesque stylization and bright, acidic colors are things I associate with male artists. It reminded me of work by Ryan HeshkaTravis Lampe, and Gary Basemen, but then I realized another artist it reminded me of was Camilla Rose Garcia, a woman, not exactly of course, but they are all in the same extended family. The detail on the turtle necks, painted patterns of strawberries and cherries, should have clued me into the work being created by a woman. I remember growing up wearing such things usually paired with too tight corduroy pants.

In the end though, it doesn’t matter what the gender of the artist it. It’s just interesting to examine your immediate assumptions about anything.

Please check out her instagram feed. She seems to update it very frequently with not just paintings, but tons of ink drawings. Hooray for gross art! Our bodies are itchy and prickly vehicles that makes all sorts of funky fluids and noises. Girls are especially under pressure to deal with monthly weirdness all while expected to pretend our bods are fragrant and soft spring meadows. Okay, I’m being silly, but it’s true. I just like art created by girls that pokes fun at bodies.

POSING FOR ARTIST ANGELA CUNNINGHAM

When I first moved to Western North Carolina I was studying full-time and didn’t have time for a regular job. To earn some extra spending cash, I posed regularly for local artists and drawing groups. I haven’t had the time to do it much lately. Being employed makes it difficult to be on call, but lately I have been sitting for artist and my former instructor, Angela Cunningham.

It’s a slow process but an amazing one to see come together. Every step is important in order to create a successful end product, which is in this case, a large format all graphite drawing, and perhaps also an oil painting. She’s done a few color studies, one of which is shown below.


As a figure model, I never have much expectation or investment in the work completed based on my posing. I know it’s not about me. It doesn’t hurt my feelings if the likeness isn’t there, or if it’s not particularly flattering, but sitting for Angela has been a unique pleasure because of her skill. It’s one of the few times I’ve allowed myself some satisfaction and expectation for the final piece. I can’t wait to see how it turns out and feel honored to be a part of her body of work.

Below is one of my favorite pieces of her work. It is titled Silence. I love this painting not just because it’s beautiful, or that I’m partial to skulls, but also because the moth in the lower right hand corner is a polyphemus moth I found fluttering while it died on a hot night the first summer I had moved here. It reminds me of how exciting that time was and how beautiful, for both good and bad reasons, my experience here has been.

Burnished Vignettes – Contemporary Inspiration

I have a tendency to drown in other’s work. I have a hard time balancing being inspired and being paralyzed by how beautiful by it. There are more working artists now than any other time in history and all competing for an audience. Below are some of my latest or long time favorites. 

All the below pieces are produced by contemporary artists I admire. They all inhabit a similar space in me in how I categorize artists and work. All very different but stir up similar feelings. Contemporary and antique. Like opening an old book full of yellowed pages and secrets.

I feel that all these works are successfully part of the long conversation of art history. They look backwards and forward.

They remind me of looking into a miniature diorama, a view finder, all a scene of a single piece of work or play. They also seem to share a similar balance of warm and cold golden browns. 

I’m going to try to blog more about my influences as a way to organize my own thoughts and to help me understand what it is what I want to achieve as well.

influences and inspiration – historical to contemporary

Below are examples of artwork from the past and present, antique and contemporary, that especially appeal to me. I think it’s important to have influences, and even more important to be aware of what they are.

Above from left to right – Death the Bride by Thomas Cooper GotchMemento Mori by Tom Bagshaw. Bagshaw’s halo in the above piece reminds me of details from Paul Delaroche’s paintings dealing with the subject of death. Bagshaw’s work is an example of what painterly effects can be achieved through digital media.

Drained by Lori EarleyThe Sleepwalker by Maxmilián Pirner.

Daphne by Hubert von HerkomerYou Don’t Sing to Me Anymore by Caryn Drexl. Caryn is a very talented contemporary photographer who I wished lived near me so I could collaborate with her!

La nuit by Auguste Raynaud, Evening Mood by Bougereau, The Morning Star and the Moon by Carl Schweininger. It’s pretty clear that I am a sucker for floating bodies and gauzy vapor and/or fabric.

Below are some links to some sites that sustain me a bit, especially when it comes to breaking down the process and solving technical issues. Though I have to be careful not to let myself get too sucked into reading about painting and drawing rather than actually doing it.

Underpaintings

Paintings Stuff to Look Like Stuff

Portraits of Painters

DG Oil Painting Techniques

David Kassan