Archive for the Life of a Painter Category

Saving and Collecting Paintings as an Investment

Posted in Cool Ideas, Life of a Painter, Man Made Painting with tags , , , , on September 1, 2009 by

Collection painting

Since financial events of 2008 told us that keeping investments in the bank is no longer a safe option, so why not put a small amount of pension savings into painting. By doing this, you can create a balanced portfolio?

For as long as investors only spend as much as they can afford to lose, you will realize that they are trying up their money for the long haul and appreciating their art treasure may become unfashionable over time, buying and collecting paintings is surely to a fun and profitable endeavor.

Let me give you some tips to help you in art investment.

  • Buy original art works – Limited edition prints may be a less expensive entry into the art world, but the chances that you are simply buying a costly poster are high.
  • Buy only those paintings you Like – Since you will live with the art that you buy be sure that you only buy and own something you will be happy looking at.

  • Never buy cheap paintings – More likely, a cheap new painting will develop into a cheap old one. Unlike cheap one, a more expensive painting has a great chance to at least hold its value.

  • Purchase something that many people would definitely like – Make sure that the painting has a good quality and will stand out in a crowd. Buy something that is soothing and fairly traditional but don’t forget that it should also have a twist that will make it extra ordinary.
  • Don’t be too in a hurry – Pay some time to look around the galleries like for example in an abstract art gallery in your area. Looking around the gallery paintings, buy something that finally captured your eyes.
  • Take a visit on the artist’s web site – You can buy abstract art paintings, still life, landscapes and many more in a less amount than in galleries if you will buy them directly from the artist. You can visit galleries and art exhibits to find out the artists you like but don’t forget that galleries are surely have a large mark up on their prices.
  • Put your painting in a proper place – If you are keeping your painting to sell in the future or when the time comes for your retirement, be sure that you hang them all in a good place away from direct sunlight or heat because they can damage your paintings.

  • Remember to increase your household insurance – Itemize your painting too! It needn’t cost more than a few pounds or dollars each year to make sure that your treasure is safe from thieves or fire.

So, who says that paintings are not that valuable? Aside from collecting and enjoying its exquisite look, it can also be a good investment for anyone who is art enthusiasts.

The Life of Francisco de Goya

Posted in Life of a Painter with tags , , on April 16, 2009 by

Francisco Jose de Goya was born in Fuendetodos, Spain, on March 30th, 1746.  His family later relocated to Saragossa, where Goya came to be under the tutelage of local artist Jose Luzan.  A few years later, after a sojourn in Italy to study, Goya returned to Saragossa where he received his first commission, painting frescoes in the Cathedral of El Pilar.

Goya created designs for a tapestry factory in Madrid, painting scenes of everyday life in Spain. His worked were very sought after, and in 1780 he was elected to the Royal Academy of San Fernando.  Shortly thereafter, he was named painter to King Charles IV, who was perhaps the most educated of the Spanish Monarchs of the era, and ultimately appointed Goya to the post of court painter.  Goya painted portraits of the social elite, but he also continued making more tapestries.  This was the height of Goya’s artistic career, and he was at this point, considered the most successful, sought after and admired of all Spanish artists.

Alas, tragedy struck, and Goya was stricken with a mysterious illness that left him completely deaf.  Later, after the death of his friend and brother-in-law Francisco Bayeu, he took over his duties as Director of Painting in the Royal Academy from 1795 to 1797, when he resigned due to ill health.  Two years later, in 1799, he was given the title of First Spanish court painter.  Being only capable of communicating via sign language or handwriting, Goya became a silent observer of the world around him.  Surprisingly enough, his work took an unexpected twist, and he developed a more caricature-like style with which he created several satirical illustrations based on human weakness and his own whimsical imaginings.

Francisco Goya was the Father of Modern Art, his idea that the artist’s personal vision had more importance than his subject opened new ways of thinking which helped art break free from commissioned portraits and religious imagery.  Goya’s artistic career lasted over 60 years, and in that time he showed an incredible evolution from Baroque all the way through his own groundbreaking style.  Artists ranging from Manet to Pablo Picasso have cited his work as being influential in their development.  Goya painted for himself, his view of the world, and his candour gave his work resonance that would not only inspire, but also enlighten.

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The Life of Salvador Dali

Posted in Life of a Painter with tags , , , on March 16, 2009 by

Salvador Dali is perhaps the best known artist from the surrealist art scene, but he is not just a surrealist; his works have covered many different styles from impressionism to his own take on the classical style, and all reflect his mastery of the medium.

Dali was raised in the small farming community of Figueras, Catalogna, Spain, a place which inspired many of the landscapes found in his oeuvre.  Since he was the son of a wealthy notary, Dali also had the luxury of spending time at his family’s summer home, working in a studio his parents had built for him.  Later, he attended the prestigious San Fernando Academy of Fine Arts in Madrid, where he further honed his already impressive skills, albeit in a climate of conflict, brought on by creative differences with his teachers.

His first solo exhibition took place in Barcelona in 1925.  Three of his paintings were later shown in America, at the third annual Carnegie International Exhibition in Pittsburgh in 1928, bringing him international acclaim at the age of 24.

Perhaps the most important and influential figure in Salvador Dali’s life was Gala.  The pair had met in 1929, at Dali’s Cadaques residence, where she and her then husband, poet Paul Eluard were visiting the artist.  Gala soon became Dali’s mistress, and later, she became his wife, muse, and reason for living; she figures prominently in many of Dali’s most inspired works.

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The Life of Amedo Modigliani

Posted in Life of a Painter with tags , , on February 16, 2009 by

Amedeo Clemente Modigliani or Amedeo Modigliani was born on July 12, 1884 to a Jewish family, in Livorno, Italy. He is one of the most popular artists in the world. He moved to France in 1906 and practiced there for most part of his career. When he was a child, he suffered from different kinds of illnesses such as pleurisy (1895) and typhoid (1898). In 1898, considering his feeble physical health, he was dropped out of regular school to join the Art Academy in Livorno. After one year, he again suffered from pleurisy which then he developed tuberculosis. Unfortunately, this malady took his life.

In 1902, Modigliani joined the Free School of Nude Studies in Florence and a year later, he moved to Venice and enrolled in Istituto di Belle Arti. It was here that he took up to smoking hashish and visiting places, where no respectful man would go. He moved to Paris in 1906, where he studied about the Italian Renaissance painters, and was often compared to Botticelli. Modigliani though was influenced by Fauves and Cubists, and by the sculptor Brancusi; yet his compositions maintained his unique and distinct style. In 1907, he won his first patron, Dr. Paul Alexandre, who purchased a large collection of his works. Amedeo displayed his work at Salon d’Automne in the years 1907 and 1912, and at Salon des Indépendants in the years 1908, 1910, and 1911. The only solo show to his name was at the Galerie Berthe Weill in December 1917.

Modigliani’s famous paintings include the “Portrait of Maude (1907),” the “Head of a Woman with a Hat (1907),” the “Red Nude (1917),” the “Portrait of Jaques & Berthe Lipchitz (1916),” & the “Seated Nude (1918).” His sculptures include the “Head (1911)” and the “Rose Caryatid (1914).” Modigliani shifted to Paris in 1919, and continued to paint in spite of his deteriorating health and frequent blackouts. He finally breathed his last on January 24, 1920 at a young age of 35 due to tubercular meningitis. He was survived by his nine months pregnant wife, Jeanne Hebuterne, and his daughter Jeanne. Two days after Modigliani’s death, Hebuterne jumped from the window of her parents’ house, leaving behind her daughter Jeanne to be brought up by her maternal grandparents.

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The Life of Caravaggio

Posted in Life of a Painter with tags , , , on February 16, 2009 by

Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio or Michelangelo Caravaggio, or simply Caravaggio is an artist who was born on September 28, 1573 in Milan. His father is Fermo Merisi and his mother is Lucia Aratori. It was at age 11 when he became an orphan. Soon he was apprenticed to the painter, Simone

Peterzano for four years. This proved to be a blessing in disguise for Caravaggio. Peterzano was a poor painter who gave his students many opportunities to blossom on their own. This prompted Caravaggio to develop a style of painting that was unique to him. He excelled in Baroque Art, which was encouraged by the Roman Catholic Church.

In 1595, Michelangelo Caravaggio met Cardinal Francesco del Monte who commissioned the artist to paint for the church of San Luigi dei Francesci. Caravaggio had to paint three large paintings of scenes from the life of St. Matthew. They were, “St Matthew and the Angel (1600),” “The Calling of St. Matthew (1599-1600),” and “The Martyrdom of St. Matthew (1600).” Influenced by Naturalism and Chiaroscuro, these paintings were so realistic and dramatic that there was a public outrage at their depiction. Instead of proving a deterrent, these paintings drove Caravaggio to concentrate his efforts on religious themes, interpreting them in his own style. Though his paintings often had a brutal and harsh quality in them, Caravaggio’s reputation as an artist was at its peak by 1600.

The painter was also infamous for his unruly behavior. He was known to be a womanizer and a drinker. In one incident of extreme brawling in 1606, Caravaggio ended up killing his opponent and had to flee from Rome. He resurfaced at Zagarolo where he was under the protection of Duke Don Marzio Colonna. Caravaggio painted Christ at Emmaus and a portrait of Mary Magdalene for the Duke. By 1607, he moved to Malta where he painted “The Beheading of St. John the Baptist.” He had to leave Malta and seek refuge in Sicily because of his criminal background. Since he had become a famous artist, he had no dearth of clients. Here the artist painted “The Burial of St. Lucy,” “The Resurrection of Lazarus,” and “The Adoration of the Shepherds.” His escapades then led him to Naples in 1609, where he painted “The Madonna of the Rosary” and “The Seven Works of Mercury.” In contrast to his earlier paintings, which used light and shadow effectively to bring about clarity, these paintings were dark. Many believe that Caravaggio displayed his tumultuous life in his work.

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The Life of Claude Monet

Posted in Life of a Painter with tags , , , on February 16, 2009 by

A famous painter, Claude Monet or Oscar-Claude Monet or Claude Oscar Monet is known as the founder of French Impressionist painting. Born on November 14, 1840 in Paris, Monet was baptized into the Local church to Oscar Claude. Claude Monet’s father wanted him to help in the family grocery business. Claude however was always interested in art. In 1845 Monet’s family shifted base to Le Havre, Normandy.

He stayed in Paris for many years and he met several painters here, who went on to become his friends and fellow Impressionists. He joined the First Regiment of African Light Cavalry in Algeria in June 1861. However, during his term here, Claude was detected of Typhoid, owing to which, his aunt forced him to leave the Cavalry and join an art course. Disappointed by the traditional, mundane art taught at art universities, the artist became a student of Charles Gleyre in Paris, in the year 1862. Here he also met Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Frédéric Bazille, and Alfred Sisley, who explored new approaches to art. They painted the effects of light with the help of broken and quick brushstrokes. This expression of art eventually came to be known as Impressionism.

In May 1883, he rented a house in Upper Normandy, which was centrally situated, with local schools near-by and the surroundings offering endless array for his works. The family of Monet worked hard and built up gardens. Here Monet continued with his paintings. Soon, his financial state began to improve. His paintings registered an enormous increase in sales. The beginning of 1880s and 1890s, through the end of his life in 1926, he worked on many series of paintings wherein he depicted varying light and weather conditions.

In the year 1883 and 1908, Claude Monet visited Mediterranean where he painted landscapes, landmarks, and seascapes. “Bordighera” was also produced in this series only. Then in Venice, Italy, he painted another famous series of his, while in London he created the series, “Views of Parliament” and “Views of Charing Cross Bridge.” Monet started to develop cataract and despite two operations, his vision stayed affected. At the age of 86, he died due to lung cancer on December 5, 1926.

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The Life of Diego Velasquez

Posted in Life of a Painter with tags , , , on February 16, 2009 by

Diego Rodriguez de Silva y Velázquez or Diego Velázquez is a Spanish painter reputed for his unique and talented skills of integrating color, space, light, and mass in equal value. Born in Seville, Spain on June 06, 1599, Diego Velazquez is noted for his remarkably personal and ingenious style.

Diego learnt art for a year, under the capable guidance of the painter Francisco de Herrera. Velazquez served as an apprentice for five years to Francisco Pacheco, an artist at Seville at the young age of 12. It was in this period that the very youthful painter started painting the most banal of things such as earthenware pots, fruits, and fish in the marketplace. One of his famous quotes goes as, “I would rather be the first painter of common things than second in higher art.”

Velázquez went to learn more about Italian Art. It was during this time that there were some notable changes in his style of painting. During his voyage to Italy, Ambrogio Spinola, the conqueror of the Dutch city of Breda, accompanied Diego. This momentous siege of Breda was depicted in his painting, “La rendición de Breda.” Diego’s paintings mostly included the portraits, and the scenes of historical and cultural importance. The master of Impressionism and Realism, Diego Velázquez inspired many nineteenth century painters of very high repute. Edouard Manet, Pablo Picasso, Salvador Dali, and Francis Bacon, have all repainted Velazquez’s famous works. Owing to this recreation of his paintings, the artist is often credited as the “Painter’s Painter.”

It is predicted that 20 years later, Velázquez again visited Italy. This can be accepted as a fact because the royal archives specify the different dates of his paintings, even though most of his paintings resemble a common personal style. It was during this time that he bought paintings by Titian, Tintoretto, and Paolo Veronese. He then sent them for the King’s collection. While his stay in Spain, Diego painted the portraits of the King’s other family members also. One of the most notable paintings of Velázquez is, “Las Meninas (1656, English: The Maids of Honor),” which is also known to be his magnum opus. Here the philosophers of art seem divided on who the actual subject of the painting is. Is it Margarita the eldest infant daughter of the King or the painter Velázquez himself?

One of the most influential painters of the European era, Diego Velazquez died on August 16, 1660. Velázquez was a great Realist and it is often quoted that no one could capture genuine features and fixes them as uniquely on the canvas as he did. A noted art philosopher has said, “His men and women seem to breathe.”

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The Life of Edgar Degas

Posted in Life of a Painter with tags , , , , on February 16, 2009 by

Edgar Degas is a French artist that specialized in painting things in motion. He is known for being a master at drawing the human figure in motion. He had an extremely long career and is one of the most famous artists today.

Degas was born in Paris on July 19, 1834. His father was a very wealthy banker. At the age of only thirteen, his mother died. From the time that Degas was a young child, he had a very unpleasant attitude. He was restless, insecure and temperamental. His mother’s early death and the extremely strict school that he attended may have shaped this personality. Despite being ill tempered, Degas was extraordinarily talented at art.

Degas was especially interested in objects in motion, particularly the human figure. He observed people throughout his life to learn how all the muscles in the body work so that he could paint them better. He would attempt to catch his subjects in a moment in time, much like a photograph. Edgar’s paintings were usually put together asymmetrically and with very unusual angles. Many of his works appear to be cropped on the sides. All of his work has a photographic quality to it.

Before long, ballet dancers became Edgar’s favorite thing to paint. He had a live model in his studio that he would use to create his works of art. He painted many different ballet paintings, such as dancers at a performance, dancers on stage, dancers resting or waiting to perform and dancers entering a stage.

Degas was a very lonely man. He spent most of his time alone, working in his studio. He had no serious relationships with women and almost seemed to despise them, saying that women make men’s lives unbearable. This is very strange because he loved to paint women and paid very close attention to them, studying their every move.

Unfortunately, in the 1880s Degas’ eyesight started to fail. He began to use two new media’s which didn’t require so much visual acuity. The two Medias were pastels and sculptures. Even though he began to use new media’s, he still tried to capture moments in time and still painted things in motion. However, as he grew older his eyesight deteriorated more and more. When this happened, most of his new works were sculptures.

Degas died on September 27, 1917. He lived to be over 80 years old and worked as an artist for more than 60 years. He was not very well known while he was alive. This is because he didn’t show his works very much. After he died, people realized that he was an extraordinary artist.

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The Life of Vincent van Gogh

Posted in Life of a Painter with tags , , , on February 8, 2009 by

On the 30th day of March in 1853, a famous painter was born to parents Anna Cornelius Carbentus and Theodorus van Gogh. That artist is named Vincent van Gogh.

The first time that art became a part of Vincent’s life was when he was employed at The Hague Gallery. The French art dealers Goupil & Company, which was established by Vincent’s uncle, owns the gallery. Later, he became an assistant teacher and preacher.

Still wanting to be a clergyman, he went to Belgium and enrolled in a missionary school. This profession was short-lived however, so then the young man set forth to become an artist, which he perceived as the last resort to be closer to God.

Vincent’s younger brother Theo sent Vincent some money, due to the fact that he was still struggling to be an artist. He then returned to The Hague Gallery and asked his cousin Anton Mauve to teach him how to paint. His uncle commissioned him, hence his style of using bold colors were first brought to attention. The focus of his paintings was mostly the poor and the working class.

However, the market of his paintings was rather slow. Theo, his brother, has been trying to sell them. The slow sale of his work led to a clash between the brothers. Vincent van Gogh travelled, finally settling down in Antwerp, where he found the ideas, models and supplies that he needed to continue his chosen profession.

Later on, he moved in with his mother who lived in France (his father was already dead). There, he saw the works of Monet and other French artists. The artist was inclined to painting portraits. However, due to financial difficulties, he was unable to hire models. He opted to use himself as the model, utilizing a mirror during his painting sessions.

Through the years, Vincent perfected his craft and was earning well. As fate has it, the artist became ill with epilepsy, which forced him to have psychotic attacks from time to time. He continually grew worse. This was the same time when he cut off his ear and painted it. Another famous painting that he made during this time is the “Starry Night”, with which a popular song has been made in our generation.

He has been trying to commit suicide ever since. Once, he attempted to swallow some of his paints. He died on the 29th of July, in the year 1890, which was two days after he shot himself.

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The Life of Michelangelo Buonarroti

Posted in Life of a Painter with tags , , , , , , on February 1, 2009 by

When thinking of famous painters, one is sure to remember Michelangelo Buonarroti. His last name may not be heard as much, but the mere mention of Michelangelo, we automatically recognize it. Who wouldn’t? That is true especially if you have grown up watching a cartoon series of four turtles becoming ninja, each bearing a famous painter’s name.

But who is Michelangelo really? He was born in 1475, yet sadly didn’t grow in his parent’s care, but of surrogate parents. His mother, being sick, was not capable of bringing him up. Living with surrogate parents was a blessing since that is where he learned how to paint. Although his real father didn’t like the profession he wanted to pursue, he still continued his apprenticeship. His initial desire, and ending desire as well, is more of sculpting rather than painting.

It was Lorenzo de Medici, owner of the Medici Gardens where Michelangelo studied sculpture, who encouraged him and made the great renaissance thinkers known to Michelangelo. He later left for Bologna, and then went to Rome. It is in Rome that he witnessed marble statues which inspired him to create a famous sculpture of Mother Mary holding the lifeless body of Jesus Christ. This is the La Pieta.

The next significant piece that he was employed to create was the statue of David which represents the republic of Florence’s achievement of liberty. This made him known to Pope Julius II who commissioned him to paint the ceiling of the now famous Sistine Chapel, located in the Vatican. Originally, he was asked to create twelve paintings for the chapel, but he went beyond that and painted three hundred figures which covered the entire ceiling. The painting seemed like a story book of the bible, from the Adam and the Paradise up to Noah and the big flood. Curiously, the Pope wasn’t at all bothered by the nude bodies in the painting. Michelangelo’s painting of women put his sexuality in doubt. It has been observed that his paintings of women actually have masculine features.

It was later on decided that his paintings be censored, so draped cloths were painted over the figure’s genitals. He died in 1564.

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