Dotwork

Standard

Dotwork art is an art most of the time executed by tattoo artists. The stippling  has a great effect; the drawings are more soft than linework, and if you draw animals with only dots, the fur appears more alive. Another reason why dotwork is popular in the tattoo art world: the skin is less likely to get overworked and the ink will ‘hold’ better.
Since I’m no tattoo artist (yet), I do my dotwork with drawingpen on paper.

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

Wall art

Standard

I promised myself to get more creative and try new art techniques, and I hope I slightly got to this, when I created wall art this weekend.
I usually paint with oil paint, but for a wall painting this would be inconvenient: it is too expensive and dries too slow. So I bought the most cheap-ass acrylic paint I could find along with the most inexpensive plastic brushes, and gave it a try. Turned out that the paint wasn’t that bad and the brushes actually were quite good (for the Dutch readers: I got the brushes at the Hema and the paint at the action). It was just very strange to use a paint wich is quick-drying, I had to get used to that. I also am not used to trying to finish a big painting in one day, so I didn’t succeed in that, but a few hours work the other day made me do the job. Here are some pictures! 

image

image

image

image

Do you like it? 😁

The history of Amsterdam in paintings

Standard

Because my son will be free from school next Thursday, I decided to take him to a museum. Not because he likes it; it’s just because I like it and because he needs to be entertained in one way or the other.

That’s why I used the website of the Dutch museum card to see whether it was able to recommend me a museum which is suitable for kids AND has paintings. The website advised me to go to the Rijksmuseum or to the Amsterdam Museum. I know the Rijksmuseum, I love the Rijksmuseum and I would love to go there, but it is not suitable for kids. Or at least; not for my son. So I think I will visit the Amsterdam Museum, and because I don’t have anything fun to do this evening, (just writing some papers) I decided to check the website of the museum to see what the museum is like, for I never visited it before.

The museum used to be called; Amsterdam Historisch Museum. Historisch; meaning: historical. I guess they changed the name because no tourist was be able to pronounce it. Amsterdam Museum is more clever, because it is both English and Dutch. I guess they expected a huge increase in visitors after changing the name. Nevertheless, it still is a museum about the history of Amsterdam. And it has paintings. These paintings probably serve to illustrate the history of Amsterdam. And I was happy to find out that the website of the museum shows all of these paintings, so I was able to see what paintings represent the history of Amsterdam.

ImageThis painting of Rembrandt is curious. It is an anatomical lesson, painted in 1656. Why did they choose to display this painting in a museum on the history of Amsterdam? Well,.. I think it’s quite simple: Rembrandt IS Amsterdam. OK,.. I have to admit; he did live in Leiden as well. But this painting was created in Amsterdam and the painting itself has a history which represents Amsterdam. In the 17th century, Amsterdam was very fortunate, and took part in the growing world of science. Both the fortune and the science is shown in the painting, for only wealthy doctors are able to pay for a painting. Albeit the doctor on this painting did not pay for it all by himself. The painting used to be a group portrait. But Amsterdam, like many other cities in the 18th century (and before), was not safe from big fires. One of them destroyed a huge part of the painting. Luckily; the core was saved from the fire.

Other paintings in the museum are, of course, views of Amsterdam. The canals are typical Dutch and the canals are Amsterdam’s grace; people know that for centuries. No wonder a lot of painters painted Amsterdam’s canals and streets. I was cornelis gerardus 't hooftsearching the online collection for Amsterdam painted by famous painters (like Rembrandt), but most of the paintings in the Amsterdam Museum were produced by names like Jacobus Storck, Willem Koekkoek, Hendrik Pothoven and Cornelis Gerardus ‘t Hooft. Even though they are all in the collection of the Rijksmuseum as well, little people know these painters. (or at least; I am not very familiar with them) I can only recall seeing a painting from ‘t Hooft, and that’s why I added his painting of the Keizersgracht in Amsterdam to this post. I’m looking forward to see this painting next Thursday. I like it. It’s dark. It has a certain ethos over it; which can easily remain unnoticed, just because it is so dark, warm and easing. At least that’s my opinion.

Some other paintings in the Amsterdam Museum are about slavery. An interesting and gruesome topic. It’s a black page in Dutch history; people tend to forget it ever happened at all. And we (the Dutch) seldom give it a moment’s thought that we made good money at the expense of many, many African lives. So it is more than fair the museum has some paintings on this subject. Unfortunately they apparently were unable to find any paintings that show the real deal of slavery, for most of the paintings in this category are of colonies in Suriname and portraits of investors of the West Indian Company (a chartered company of Dutch merchants who traded slaves). But the intention (not to hide this black page in our history) is a good one.

So, I’m very interested to see the paintings in real life. I probably will dedicate my next post on my visit.

Ugly women in paintings

Standard

ImageUgly women in paintings. Why would I dedicate a blog post on ugly women? Well,… the last days the subject has gotten my attention, for I spent my Christmas attempting to avoid camera’s (and people). The reason? Nasty cold sores were trying to ruin my holidays. Really, really, nasty cold sores,…

And these cold sores made me wonder; would there be a painting of a woman with cold sores? Would it exist? It probably would be an ugly painting, and the sitter would not be pleased with the painter for neglecting to do some embellishment on her. (I sure wouldn’t!) For, especially in the baroque period, it was the painters job to adorn. But, since the painter himself is an artist, and artists not always follow rules; I found two paintings of very ugly women. And both paintings have a tale to tell.

The first is a very famous painting, painted by Quinten Matsys, although some people attributed it to Leonardo da Vinci. I unfortunately never saw the painting in real life, for it is in the collection of the National Gallery in London, and I’ve never been in London. (I know; such a shame!) This painting raised some questions. For example: who was the lady? Is the painting satirical, or did the painting resemble the truth?

In 2008, the Guardian finally revealed the answer, the mystery was solved: the woman must have been real and suffered from Paget’s disease. This disease enlarges the jaw, extends the upper lip and pushes up the nose. It was, however, a rare form of Paget’s, for it usually isn’t this bad. But nevertheless real; because, they said, the painting is given much love and attention by the painter. He sure would not have done this if he wasn’t assigned to do so. Therefore the lady should not only be real, she also should have had offered Matsys a lot of money to copy her image.

So; the mystery is solved? Not really, if you ask me,… for why would an artist only give love and attention to the painting if he’s payed to do so? Weird way of thinking,…

The other painting is one I haven’t seen either. But then again; not a lot of people have seen the painting in real life, and it isn’t worth a lot of money.  The lady on this painting does not have cold sores either. She is ugly though, but I think this is mostly due to her grumpy look. She really looks like a tart old woman.

The painting was sent to an old couple by post. No letter, just a painting of a very ugly lady. Well, how often does that happen to you? I rarely experience stuff like that. And how would you feel if you opened up the package? The woman of the house actually was horrified. She did not want the painting in her house, so it was given a place in the garage. This doesn’t feel strange to me. I think, I too would be shocked. I would think it would be some kind of sick joke. But it probably wasn’t, for the old couple appealed the media for an answer to their questions. They wanted to know who sent them the painting. And as an answer, they found out that the lady in the painting turned out to be the great, great grandmother of the old man. Whoever sent the painting still remains a big question, however.

Source:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-hampshire-24419383

http://www.theguardian.com/culture/2008/oct/11/art-painting