How to Read Chinese Paintings

Maxwell K. Hearn’s How to Read Chinese Paintings (2008, Yale University Press) uses numerous paintings from the Metropolitan Museum of Art to share the genre of scholar-official painting that many Westerners have enjoyed viewing without always knowing their symbolism. Subjects such as horses, bamboo, pine trees, and landscape paintings are familiar subjects yet their symbolism can invoke correct treatment of scholar-officials, resilience, loyalty and Taoism among others. Hearn writes that the Chinese words du hua, meaning “to read a painting,” typify the Chinese approach to unraveling the work of scholar-official painters. Continue reading “How to Read Chinese Paintings”

Nicolas Poussin – 350 Year Old Painting Shows Realities of War Today

A 350 year old painting of a soldier about to slaughter an innocent child while a helpless Mother claws futilely at him to stop rings true today just as it did back when the painting was done. The painting depicts a European reality at the time of the Thirty Year’s War. This was a particularly gruesome time to be a civilian or soldier, and it is oddly very similar to today’s existence in many places. Continue reading “Nicolas Poussin – 350 Year Old Painting Shows Realities of War Today”

Painting by Learning the Basics

Are all artists born with this talent? The answer is no, some people can pick it up. I’ve seen wonderful artwork created by people who claimed that”they couldn’t draw a straight line”. This is interesting because unless you want to become an architect, you’ll hardly draw a straight line in a normal artwork. I’ve also seen terrible art, created by people who have all sorts of qualifications from art-schools! If you’ve never held a paintbrush in your life, you will probably better at painting than people “in the know”, so keep on reading.
All you need at this stage is a willingness and some determination. Continue reading “Painting by Learning the Basics”

Modern Art Paintings

Modern art can be defined as the response or reaction of the creative world to the rationalist way of living and ideas proposed by the industrial age and technological revolution. This pushed the creative artists to pursue their interests towards the modern world through their paintings. Artists only know to express their feelings through painting and modern art was born. Even though modern art is a generic term that can be applied to various artistic genres, in general, it is the artist’s intent to depict a subject he sees in the real world according to his perception. Continue reading “Modern Art Paintings”

La Familia Unida – Duvian Montoya Brings Us into His Family for a Glimpse of What Created the Artist

I do not understand jazz music. What seems to be a jumble of drunken notes hides a deeper math that my brain is not sensitive enough to contain. The instruments seem to quarrel with each other and out of this comes music.
Duvian Montoya is an artist. His art is like jazz. I don’t understand it and it probably has been used in more analogous forms that a good writer wouldn’t dare abuse the privilege of using it again. Continue reading “La Familia Unida – Duvian Montoya Brings Us into His Family for a Glimpse of What Created the Artist”

Turning William Shakespeare’s Sonnet 127 Into a Painting by Description

William Shakespeare’s Sonnet 127 commences the beginning of the so-called Dark Lady cycle. While the description of physical attributes and the imagery related to the Dark Lady certain indicate that these poems are intended to be read as being addressed to an actual figure, it is also clear from the ambivalence that the author feels towards her that the Dark Lady should also be considered a metaphor for something larger. The Dark Lady can quite readily be considered a symbol of sexual lust that is meant to stand in direct contrast to the beautiful love expressed in the earlier sonnets. Because Shakespeare often expresses regret at the feeling passion for the Dark Lady and because he sometimes even denigrates her beauty, it is easy to see how this cycle can be read as a contemplation on the often hypocritical emotions attached to raw sexual passion. Continue reading “Turning William Shakespeare’s Sonnet 127 Into a Painting by Description”

Oil Painting for the Beginner

If you are looking for a new hobby, perhaps oil painting is for you. There are many pluses involved, including hours of pleasure and perhaps some beautiful new pictures to hang in your home. It takes a few supplies to get started, but oil paints and brushes last a long time, and as you improve your painting skills, you will just need to add a few more colors and some new specialty brushes to your supplies.
Here is my suggested list of supplies for the beginning oil painter: Continue reading “Oil Painting for the Beginner”