Tag Archives: Vermeer

Puppy Love: Clair Hartmann

10 Oct

While Mr. Forager & I are on the road, making our way to California, we’re rerunning Artsy Forager’s most popular posts.  This post originally published on November 1, 2011.  Enjoy!

PS- since writing this post, Clair Hartmann has opened a wonderful little gallery in Wilmington, NC, Sun Gallery & Gifts.  Please make a visit if you’re in the area!

OK, yes I know “pet art” has been done to death.  It seems like every artist and their brother is doing it.  But I submit to you, dear Artsies, that Wilmington, NC artist Clair Hartmann does doggy art in a wonderfully whimsical and heartfelt, yet not at all cheesy way.

Shore Leave, oil on fabric on canvas, 40×30

Whether she is doing straight-on portraits against graphic fabric backgrounds, like the one above or masterpiece inspired depictions as in the ones below, Clair always captures her subjects inherent personality and unique expressions.

Pearl Earring, oil on canvas panel, 9×12

Frida Dog, oil on canvas, 16×20

There is a wonderfully graphic and modern quality to Clair’s animal work, which to me, elevate them beyond kitsch. Her paintings of her own Jack Russell Terrier, Chumley, are among my favorites.  She perfectly captures moments of rare moments quiet rest and inner reflection ( who hasn’t wondered what their dog was thinking?! ), filled with tenderness and love for her subject.

The Dream, oil on canvas, 36×24

Clair has a new exhibition now open in Wilmington at the WHQR Gallery Space– Faithful: A Series of Dog Paintings will be on display through January 13, 2012.  You can also visit her website to see more of her work and visit her Etsy shop to purchase!

Featured image is Wonky Bumbershoots by Clair Hartmann.  All images via the artist’s website and Etsy shop.

Fashion Forward Art

12 Sep

Kicking off artsyF A S H I O NWeek here at Artsy Forager!  Fashion and art have long been intertwined.  For centuries, artists have, perhaps at times unwittingly, been the recorders of the history of fashion and style.  It is in thanks to artwork that we can track what was worn by whom hundreds of years ago.  Paintings weren’t just art, but were the fashion magazines and blogs of their day.  For instance, thanks to Vermeer, we see a glimpse of the difference in the daily costume of the classes in a Mistress and Maid.

Mistress and Maid by Johannes Vermeer, c. 1666-1667

Today’s artists seem to have a bit more freedom to interpret instead of record.  Fashion is such an integral part of our modern culture, it is no surprise that it still holds a fascination for contemporary artists.  For some artists, the fashions themselves are worthy focal points.  Denver artist Roxanne Rossi elevates a simple dress’s silhouette into an artistic statement, a sculptural fashion plate, clean but heavy in texture, it seems like it could come to life at any moment.

Afternoon Delight by Roxanne Rossi, acrylic, 36x60

Sometimes the fashion media becomes a literal component to a piece of fashion-influenced art, such as in the collage work of Melbourne, Florida artist Derek Gores.  His imagery has the composition of a Vogue magazine spread and the collaged photos, magazine, labels, etc give each piece a painterly depth.

All Summer Long by Derek Gores, mixed media collage

Painter Kelly Reemtsen uses the constraints of mid-century era mindsets about fashion and juxtaposes them with garden tools and hardware, producing visual statements about the expectations placed on women, by themselves and the world at large.

Throwback by Kelly Reemtsen, oil on panel, 36x36

Celebrating the female form, both physically and spiritually, Leigh Pennebaker’s wire sculptures reveal designs that are sensuous and soft, despite their industrial materials.

Madeline by Leigh Pennebaker, wire sculpture

Like many fashion-forward artists, Megan Cosby began with an interest in fashion design, but decided she was more interested in the people themselves and what their style said about their personality, who they are, where they’ve been and where they are going.

Better by Megan Cosby, mixed media on canvas, 14x12

And then there’s the smart and cheeky work of Sarah Ashley Longshore, at once playing homage and poking fun to our culture’s obsession with fashion.  I’ve featured her Audrey Hepburn paintings several times on the blog, but she also has this fabulous series focused on fashion and pop culture.

Trophy Wife Junk Drawer by Sarah Ashley Longshore, acrylic and high gloss reisn on canvas, 48x72

More fashiony-artsy goodness to come this week!  Stay tuned.

Featured image is Major Poontang by Sarah Ashley Longshore.

Masterworks Monday: Vermeer

28 Mar

I love modern & contemporary art.   Artists who find a new way of translating our reality fascinate me.  But the Art History geek in me also loves to look back at what was groundbreaking eons ago.  We have so much to learn from those who came before us, so each Monday will be dedicated to a work by one of the “Masters”. 

First up, one of my favorite artists whose work I’ve seen in person when visiting the Frick Collection in New York.

Officer and Laughing Girl  by Johannes Vermeer, Dutch painter 1632-1675.

Most of us are familiar with what may be Vermeer’s best known work, Girl With a Pearl Earring, but for me, he is at his best in his “slice of life” compositions such as Officer and Laughing Girl.  In this captured moment, Vermeer gives us a glimpse into a private, shared conversation.  Is this a young girl being courted by a gallant officer?  What is their relationship?  Vermeer leaves us in wonder.

Vermeer’s paintings are usually much cooler in tone than those of his contemporaries and this one is no exception.  The light coming in through the leaded glass windows is clear, but feels frostly, especially in contrast to the warm tones of the officer and girl’s clothing and the looks being exchanged.

For more information on Vermeer, here are a few sources:

The Essential Vermeer

The Frick Collection, which houses several Vermeers, including the one above

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