Friday, October 25, 2019

Popular Painting Styles

In painting world there are so many styles that are very popular. But before giving an account of different popular styles we need to know what the term "style" means. In fact, there is not any certain definition of "style". It may be understood in the aesthetic terms as what to paint or which physical technique implied in painting. Aesthetic movements like realism, romanticism and impressionism belong to this explanation of style. To further understand it, we may say that style is said to be the ways an artist paints and applies colors and texture. The perspective and the way in which an artist looks at the things visible and invisible characterize his or her style.

Scholarly discourse on style has given more technical term "movement" or "school" to which an artist can be associated with. Inclusion of an artist to certain school or movement may be done by the deliberate affiliation of the artist to such movement or by the art historians.

Some of the popular painting styles are discussed under following heads:

Constructivism: This movement had started in Russia in the wake of socialism. It was not purely an art but was a fusion of art and architecture. This movement was principal inspiration in raising many socialist establishments in Russia after the October revolution. Constructivism was on high in the period between 1919 to 1934. The chief proponents of this style of art were Alexander Rodcheckno, Liubov Popava, Vladimir Tatlin and Olga rozanova.

Fauvism: This is painting style in which proponents believed in the use of color as a massive emotional force. This style was marked by expression of feelings in colors with severe roughness and clumsiness. The use of simplified lines to expressively reveal the subject and theme of the painting was also used to be the attempt of the artists. They preferred spontaneity and freshness over the finish in any work of art. Pioneer of this art style was Gustave Moreau.

Classicism: This term refers to the paintings style employed by the ancient Roman and Greek painters. Classicism is characterized by the simplicity and adherence to the basic rules and principles. This art style is refined and elegant, disciplined by order and symmetry. Classicism is unique style which does not encourage self expression and individuality. Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael and Mantegna were the painters who tried to imitate this ancient style of art.

Besides, there are so many other styles and schools which are significant and have expressed different thoughts and subjects of the self and society in a unique way. Noteworthy of them are- abstract art, aboriginal art, aestheticism, art brut, art nouveau, baroque, Byzantine art, cubism, dada, dragging, encaustic, paintings, expressionism, gothic, impressionism, mannerism, marbling, minimalism, modernism, neoclassicism, orientalism, primitivism, ragging & stippling, realism, spattering, surrealism, symbolism, theorem paintings and wood graining.

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Friday, October 18, 2019

Female 20th Century German Expressionist Painter - Kathe Kollwitz

Born in 1867 to a father who was a radical social democrat who became a mason and house builder and educated by her grandfather on matters of religion and socialism Kathe Kollwitz dedicated her life to political activism. From an early age she was confronted by death when her younger brother died, leaving her deeply affected.

Her father's encouragement beginning at the age of 12 saw her progress artistically until she was old enough to go the Women's School of Art in Berlin, at a time when women were not allowed to study like men. At the age of 17 she got engaged to a medical student Karl Kollwitz whom she would not marry until 1891 when he was a qualified doctor. In the years in between she studied at Munich woman's art school, discovering there that she was a more talented draftsman than painter, then she returned to her home and rented a studio where she continued to draw Germany's working class laborers.

Two of her greatest works were The Weavers: an etching cycle inspired by the oppression of Silesian Weavers in Langembielau and their ultimately unsuccessful buy violent revolt in 1842, and The Peasant War: and etching cycle equally inspired by a violent revolution this time in southern Germany during the early years of the reformation when, in 1525, the peasants took arms against the feudal lords of the church who treated them as slaves.

During WWI she lost her one of her sons to the fighting and lost a grandson to WWII. All throughout her life she was a pacifist and produced anti-war art. She provided prints for the left-wing publications of pre-Nazi Germany and during the power struggle which followed the abdication of Kaiser Wilhelm II sought to ally the workers with the communist Soviets.

When the strongly anti-communist Nazis came to power they banned her from exhibiting and stripped her of her teaching post at the Berlin Academy of Art. Despite all this she stayed in Germany. She left Berlin in 1943, and during the latter days of the war her house was destroyed by an allied bomb, taking with it the majority of her work, all except a small portfolio she took with her.

In 1932 she finally finished her monument to the son she had lost in 1914: sculptures called The Grieving Parents. She was the first woman to be elected to the Prussian Academy of Arts. She died in 1945 in Moritzburg.

Works: The Weavers

Peasant War

Death and Woman

Death Woman and Child

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Friday, October 11, 2019

German Expressionist Painter - George Grosz

As did many of the German artists of the time George Grosz fought in the trenches of WWI, having volunteered for military service. In 1915 he was discharged on medical grounds however he was drafted in the January of 1917 due to the shortage of soldiers, where he did not fight but guarded and transported prisoners of war, but by the May he was given permanent discharge as he was unfit for duty after a suicide attempt forced them to diagnose shell shock. Having faced his own disillusionment about the nature of war he turned his attention the bourgeoisies of 1920s Germany and painted a series of mocking caricatures of them and those who were in support of war.

He provided illustrations for German left-wing publications through his involvement with the German Dada group, and became a member of the KPD, the German communist party in 1919. He was arrested during the Spartacist uprising which marked the end of the German revolution, but he escaped using fake identification papers. In 1921 he was accused of insulting the army and was fined 300 German marks and had his work Gott Mit uns, God With Us - a satire condemning German Society - destroyed.

After spending five months in Russia meeting with people like Trotsky and Lenin he left the KPD, unwilling to live under any sort of dictator and as such his politics were strongly ant-Nazi. He was invited by the Art Studies League of New York to teach there in 1933, just at the time when the Nazis came to power. He received word that they had been to his apartment and his studio looking for him and so he stayed in America, becoming a naturalized citizen in 1938. During this time his work become more romantic and to many this signaled a decline.

He continued to teach, forming a private art school in his own home during the 1950s and he worked as an artist in residence. He was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Letters in 1954. He returned to Berlin where he died after a fall down some stairs in 1959.

Works: Suicide 1916

Fit For Active Service 1918

Grey Day 1921

The Face of the Ruling Class 1921

The Eclipse of the Sun 1928

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Sunday, October 6, 2019

“Be so good they can't ignore you”- Steve Martin

If you are good at something, and can afford to make a living from it, why do it for free? You have a talent or a skill; there are people willing to pay you for that skill, so why let go the opportunity of making money from it. I am not saying that we should be money freak; I am simply saying that you deserve to get paid as long as you are adding value to others. When you are so good at something, it becomes impossible for the world to ignore you.

In the superhero film, ‘The Dark Knight’, there is a line that is worth mentioning that I will like to refer to: "If you are good at something, never do it for free." I have always told people that your desire to do something for free should be out of conviction and not borne out of ignorance. Many people are doing things for free because they don’t really know the value of the service they are rendering. Some people are getting paid for services that they are not rendering well – I call this fraud! Many are being paid handsomely for services that are far inferior to yours. If you can offer this service well and get legitimately paid, why not?

On February 20, 2019, a Kaduna based young hyperrealism pencil artist, Eli Waduba, took to Twitter to share his latest art piece, a hyper-realistic painting of his favourite comedian, Kevin Hart. The young Nigerian artist who has gone unnoticed till then took it a step further to mention Kevin Hart in a tweet on February 22 hoping that it might be his breakthrough one way or the other. It did not take long for the popular comedian, actor and producer to take notice of the several mentions his name was getting for the amazing talent of the Nigerian man. With genuine interest and excitement, Kevin Hart took time to reply several tweets including that of Eli Waduba praising him for his great work. However, it did not end in praise, the impressed comedian took it a step further. He offered to purchase the piece and make a payment for 3 similar works of his friends. The tweet from Kevin Hart goes thus: “I see it and I want to purchase it...I also want to support you and your amazing talent by giving you a fee to do a pencil drawing of 3 of my celebrity friends that I can gift it to. DM your info and let’s get to work!”

The pertinent question I want to ask youths out there is this: Do you have anything that you are so good at that you can do for a fee? If you have, then that is your goldmine! Just like Eli Waduba, you must have something that you are so good at to open doors for you. Prepare for your breakthrough because when opportunity comes, it might be too late to prepare. Most of us have a hobby, a passion, or something that we love to do outside of our regular job. Very few of us ever thought we could turn this passion into a source of income. You may not want to give up your job, but the idea of sharing your passion can make for an extremely rewarding spare time activity, as well as give you some extra money on the side.

Your ability to exchange and leverage on what you love doing for money is the core essence of entrepreneurship. When you are constantly adding value to others without financial returns, then you are defrauding yourself! Many are simply poor because they are ignorant of how most of the things they do for free is linked to their wealth and financial freedom.

Many people are living in a manner that is unsustainable. When you give too much of yourself away for free, you deplete your ability to earn a sustainable income. The principle of wealth is simply exchanging ‘values’ for money. We are being paid simply because of the values we are adding to others. You deserve to be paid as long as you are adding values to others. Stop offering yourself for free, and except you are doing a volunteer work or humanitarian service, make sure you get paid whenever you add value to others! Stop letting your emotions or ‘excessive’ generosity gets in the way of living a sustainable and decent living.

The truth is that when too much of what you offer is for free, you make your service unsustainable. Transiting from the “Free Zone” to the “Fee Zone” is one of the core of sustainable entrepreneurship. Don’t stay in the “Free Zone” forever; monetize your service. It is not selfishness. One of the major reasons why people are so poor is simply because they give too much of themselves away for free! There is tremendous joy in earning income from doing something that you might happily do for free. Blogging was a hobby for Linda Ikeji, but today, she earns a fortune from it. Hobbies like photography, writing, cooking, baking, home or office organizing, interior decoration and event planning, graphic and web design, drawing and painting can be metamorphosed into money-spinning ventures. Walt Disney’s love for sketching and drawing created one of the most vast entertainment company now known as the Walt Disney Company. KFC (Kentucky Fried Chicken) was born out of someone’s hobby of cooking!

Whether as a full-fledged passion or a retirement plan, monetizing your hobby is the most sustainable way of living. Look inward and repackage what you love doing to make money. Making money from your hobby is not just only sustainable, it brings you deep satisfaction and excitation. Stop giving too much of yourself away for free; monetize the services you are very good at offering to others.

“If you do what you love, you’ll never work a day in your life”- Marc Anthony

Original article: Here

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Friday, October 4, 2019

Craig Banks discovers charcoal magic on canvas!

My experience with charcoal on canvas.

I'm one of those artists who hates to try new things as I foolishly and unrealistically expect any new attempt to instantly be on the same level as a medium I've spent 20 years to perfect. (pencil on paper is my all time one true love) The frustration of creating an artwork in a different medium and realising its way below my standard made me almost go crazy!

Then I decided to give charcoal on canvas a go.
Bottom line... It works!

With pencil on paper, my portraits are neat and tidy, soft and subtle but with charcoal on high quality canvas, my work ends up gritty yet intricate, smooth yet full of stark contrast and most importantly I am happy with the result and in time will be equal to my pencil offerings.

I am still learning. I still struggle... Especially with the finer details that pencil work is best suited for and being self taught for my entire art career I prefer to develop my own methods that fit with my unique style. Earbuds for example.. Smooths out any charcoal smudge like a dream!

Big thanks to my dealer Art Canvas Factory for supplying my canvas needs... You have made the struggle awesome!

Craig Banks FaceBook