Michelangelo. The Creation of Adam. 1512. Fresco painting. 570 cm x 280 cm. Sistine Chapel, Vatican Museum, Vatican City.
Saved the best for last, I suppose. I was mostly trying to avoid using highly famous art works, but I had to include it as it was something that I saw in person and it inspired me quite a bit. Before seeing it in person, I had no idea that it was surrounded by many other works of art on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. It is pretty easily identifiable, though, even being surrounded by other masterpieces. The amazing attention to detail and skill involved in creating something like this is absolutely beautiful.
van Gogh, Vincent. Cafe Terrace, Place du Forum, Arles. 1888. Oil on canvas. 81 x 65.5 cm. Rijksmuseum Kroller-Muller, Otterlo, Netherlands.
I like this painting by van Gogh better than Starry Night, even though they are both obviously famous and wonderful. I think I like it better because it incorporates his style while still remaining identifiable. With Starry Night you understand what is going on but it seems like it could be something that came out of his mind, which is totally fine, but I like this painting better because it is clearly a real place that he painted from.
Dandy Gunner Fox & Vision by Kit Seaton. 2013 & 2011.
Like I have in the past, I included a couple different works from this illustrator to show range. I worked with Kit a few years back while she was going to school originally before she did these drawings and even back then I knew she was a wonderful artist. Just how skilled she is and committed to her work as I observed is inspirational to me, as well as her unique style.
Blake, William. The Great Red Dragon and the Beast from the Sea. 1805. Watercolor. 40.1 x 35.6 cm. National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C..
I was actually not aware until posting this and doing research on it that William Blake was commissioned to do the series of Red Dragon paintings as illustrations for the Bible. As with a lot of my previous postings, I love this one because it blends natural and realistic elements with imaginative works. I also chose it because it astounded me that it was in watercolor, which I also did not know until I looked it up. The many different faces on the Great Red Dragon are interesting to inspect as they each have a different expression and emotion they convey and ultimately evoke.
Hopper, Edward. Nighthawks. 1942. Oil on canvas. 84.1 x 152.4 cm. Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago.
I love this painting because it is quite influential. It is a fairly simple painting, it is calm and serene, yet it has inspired many others to imitate and mimic it while including pop culture references as with Boulevard of Broken Dreams. It has been appropriated many times. I love that it evokes a specific feeling of late nights in a diner just contemplating life.
(Top to bottom) Grindylow, The Weaver, & Lust by Nicholas Kole.
I decided to include three pictures for this artist to show range outside of only black and white sketches, but I love both of the black and white sketches for different reasons. The top one, Grindylow, I love because it is an original illustration of creature in the novel, Perdido Street Station. While it does hold true to the description in the book, he does flesh out the creature a bit more. The middle one, the “Weaver” is one of my favorite characters in the book and he renders him perfectly in my opinion. Lastly, I included “Lust” because of his great coloration as well as it being an awesome creature and great “personified” version of lust. This is the kind of artist that I aspire to be, both being able to accurately illustrate a character described as well as coming up with something out of my head.
Raphael. St. Michael. 1503-1505. Oil on panel. 29.5 x 25.5 cm. Louvre Museum, Paris.
As with other previous postings, I chose this because it illustrates Biblical lore well. The great use of colors to separate St. Michael and the demon he is slaying really stands out to me. The skill is of an incredibly high level. I remember seeing this in the Louvre as well as there is a statue recreation in Munich (and many other places, for that matter) of this work. It has become synonymous with good triumphing over evil. It always interests me when an artist renders lore in such a realistic manner.
Batman by Bruce Timm.
The definitive Batman cartoon rendering, or at least in my mind. Bruce Timm does an amazing job here of being very economical with his strokes but still capturing the essence of the character and the environment. He makes it look so easy and keeps it simple, but this is probably my favorite version of Batman. I hope to one day be able to skillfully choose my pen strokes while still giving them so much (line) character to define such a wonderful charater.
Lichtenstein, Roy. Forget it! Forget me!. 1962. Oil on cavas. 203.2 x 172.2 cm. Rose Art Museum, Brandeis University Waltham, Massachusetts.
The primary color scheme is interesting and is indicative to early comics, which this is appropriating. I enjoy pop art being considered fine art, which is the main reason I chose this piece because it reveals an irony in the art world. I enjoy comics but there is a definite shaming in that in our culture. It also kind of reminds me of my next submission with Batman with the jaw line and facial structure.
Ximeng, Wang. A Thousand Li of Rivers and Mountains. 1113. Ink and paint on silk. 11.91 meters x 55.8 cm. Palace Museum, Beijing.
I can’t get enough of the blues. This piece is amazing and clearly a masterpiece. It is incredibly hard to believe that it was done by an 18 year old, but he was a prodigy. It’s depressing that this is the only work of his left and that I will probably never achieve this level of skill. It’s also incredible how large it is, I had no idea that it was nearly 12 meters. The amazing detail in the mountains and valleys keeps my eyes on the artwork as well.
Thorvaldsen, Bertel & Lukas Ahorn. Lion of Lucerne. 1820-21. Sculpture. 10 x 6 meters. Lucerne.
There are quite a few lion sculptures all over Europe and across time in art history for that matter. However, none of them are anywhere near as expressive as the Lion of Lucerne. I had the pleasure of seeing it when I visited in 2004 but when I went back again recently in 2012 I did not get to see it again. Even from the pictures, though, it conveys more emotion than any other lion I’ve seen in art, and many human subject sculpture as well. It’s no wonder Mark Twain called it “the most mournful and moving piece of stone in the world.”
Pestilential Advent by Keith Thompson.
Keith Thompson does a wonderful job of creating some of the most grotesque illustrations I have ever seen. Here, he depicts one of the Four Horsemen from the Bible, Pestilence. This piece inspires me quite a bit to be able to create something so unsettling and incorporating subtle nuances that many illustrations lack but are present here. He also uses a great color palette and character of line.
Waterhouse, John William. Saint Eulalia. 1885. Oil on canvas. 188.6 cm x 117.5 cm. Tate Britain, London.
Another painting from Waterhouse, This piece inspires me because of the impressive use of foreshortening and angles as well as the contrast in colors between the woman’s skin and the white of the snow as well as the many different angles and positions of the birds. To me, it seems like there is a clash of old and new represented with this art. The woman seems out of place in the time period for some reason, not to mention foreshortening did not show up during the time period that this is seemingly set.
Polykleitos. Spear-Bearer. 440 BCE. Marble (copy). 2.12 meters. Naples National Archaeological Museum, Naples.
I chose this because it is supposed to be designed with perfect human proportions. It inspires me to learn to portray these perfect human proportions in my art work. I need to learn them! While this is a Roman marble copy, the original would have been bronze in Greek. It looks so amazingly realistic, it’s hard to believe that it was done over 2000 years ago.
Call of Cthulhu by Florian Bertmer.
This is an art print that I own of Florian Bertmer. He is a wonderful artist and illustrator, one of my favorites. His artwork is so intricate and well designed that I aspire to be able to incorporate such small details in my own work. I love that he used a Nouveau style in this interpretation of the Call of Cthulhu book cover not only in the border but also the character of lines used to construct the creature. I also am a big fan of Cthulhu mythos.