Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Will the Real Anne Boleyn Please Stand Up?

Warning...if you hate history and hate debating art attributions, this post will bore you. If you love history and trivia, read on!

Not Really Anne Boleyn

I have a recent blog comment from my Art and Soul friend Janet, in which she points out that my recent piece (see two posts previous) called "The Death of Anne Boleyn" does not in fact portray the ill-fated second wife of Henry VIII at all. I used the above picture which, as Janet rightly points out, shows a woman in early 17th century costume, much too late a style for Anne.

I do find the above face fascinating and wonder who really posed for this picture. One website says this is a romanticized portrait of Anne by 17th century painter Frans Porbus. Another site says it is not intended to be Anne at all and is attributed to Marcus Gheeraerts the Younger.

Regardless, that's not Anne in my little encaustic collage. (Though I still like the piece.) This got me curious about what portraits I could find that are more likely to be genuine.

Anne Boleyn's portrait appeared on the cover of Life magazine in October 1956. I remember this issue well and think that must have been the beginning of my interest in the six wives of Henry VIII. My impressionable eight year old brain was changed forever by this article by Winston Churchill on the fascinating Tudors.

Anne on Life Cover

The above is the most familiar portrait of Anne, said to be by Hans Holbein. The portrait below is similar, but with a softer face. You can see how different her clothing is from the not-Anne I used in my encaustic piece.

Anne Boleyn again

This drawing, by Holbein is supposed to be of Anne. Here she wears a gable headdress, rather than the French hood she usually sports.

This is supposed to be Anne as well, according to several sites. I do question the clothing, however.

Here's the genuine royal couple. Now compare them to the image below.

This is Not-Henry even more than it's Not-Anne. That's TV for you...

Yet another Anne portrait

My mixed media portrait of Anne from 2007. I copied her signature and created her French hood from a reproduction of a letter Henry sent her, proclaiming his undying love.

If you'd care to find out which wife of Henry VIII you are most like, go here and take this unscientific quiz. According to this, I am most like Catherine Parr, the sixth wife. This pleases me no end, because she survived Henry. She was also quite scholarly and wrote and published a book and edited others. Way to go, Catherine!

Robin's Travel Clock and Giveaway Reminder

I want to share these great photos I just received from Robin Colodzin of Massachusetts who attended my Wabi-Sabi Wonder class at Art and Soul Retreat. Click on the link above to see more of Robin's delightful work. I've put in a couple of pictures below to give you an idea.

Travel Clock Mixed Media on Cradled Wood Panel

Sides of Travel Clock

Dreaming Underwater

Flow: Columns Series # 2

Don't forget to comment on this blog so you can be entered in the giveaway contest! Just say hello, let me know what art you're doing, etc.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Mind Your Own Beeswax and a Giveaway

Ocean/Desert diptych sample

In preparation for today's encaustic workshop, I put together a few samples recently. Above I was fiddling around with glazes and layers.
Below, I took an older piece that I had really liked until something happened to damage it--I can't even remember what it was, but I couldn't repair it. So I just had some fun playing with reworking the wax--I must have been hungry!

The Egg and I

Here are some p
ictures from today's "Mind Your Own Beeswax" workshop at Village Gallery of Arts.

is was my first time teaching there and I was very pleased with the space. We had lots of room to move around. The students were all experienced artists and took to encaustic like bees to wax.

Corina and Jeanne begin to experiment

Cindy experiments with using some mesh as a stencil. It worked great.

This is the beginning of one of Cindy's pieces. She added the used teabag at the right to tone down the photograph. You can see the effect made by the stencil in the upper left.

Here's a picture of the finished piece. I'm afraid the photo is a little blurry.

Cindy's piece above was one of the first bits of serendipity today. I was immediately reminded of artist Jasper John's famous encaustic flags of the 50's. Johns was one of the first modern painters to bring encaustic techniques back from obscurity. Cindy said she was just thinking of Memorial Day--that works too!

A deceptively simple piece by Jennifer. There is a lot of shadow and depth in the background and there seems to be a mysterious story here.

Jeanne, an experienced oil painter, brought some unfinished work to transform with encaustic. This has the shimmering quality of an Impressionist painting.

A rich Italian-looking piece by Corina. She added transparent oil paint as a finishing touch.

Corina made this humorous and cheerful piece for her yellow bathroom. The Mermaid Soap label is a laser copy transfer (done with nail polish remover) on Claybord which is done before the encaustic is added.

Nefertiti Lives
This is a demo I did with a laser copy transfer, and collage elements. I borrowed Cindy's stencil for the top of of my piece. I added a vintage postage stamp and incised lines at the edges.

Jennifer's "Beach Coffee"

Encaustic can be difficult to photograph, especially in artificial light when you're in a hurry! Everyone was excited about the piece above, and I wish I had gotten a better photo. Jennifer achieved the great flowing effects by experimenting with the heat gun.

This piece by Jennifer evokes ancient Greece or Rome

Another incident of serendipity came when Jennifer chose the image of the woman for the above. She didn't know the image was of an early Greek grave portrait--one of the first known uses of encaustic paint.

Help--I can't remember who did this piece that reminds me of images on an Italian wall. If you are reading this, dear artist, let me know!

Jeanne transformed this glorious landscape with encaustic. It makes me think of the South of France at twilight--ahhhh.

Cindy achieved this dramatic ocean-like scene by experimentation. Adding the white at the top really popped out the rest of the scene and made a strong contrast.

The Death of Anne Boleyn

This is one of my class experiments. More serendipity occured when this collage image, which is purported to be Anne Boleyn was joined by the red paint, suggesting drops of blood. It wasn't my intention to add so much red, or to get this effect, but it fits!

Jennifer's evocative piece. She didn't know the image was of French 19th century sculptor, Camille Claudel when she chose the French text to accompany it.

Piero's Confusion

I used this "hodge-podge" experiment of mine to show how adding the white around the edges could save a piece. It's still a bit all over the place, but much improved.

I think Corina is the creator of this lovely tribute to Paris. The piece has a laser transfer on the first layer and then paint and collage elements added on top.

Lady of Venice

I finally finished an old experiment by adding oil paint on the left, the collage figure, and a small fragment of a photo at the top.

Cindy's spirals add unusual effects to the complex piece above. (Again, apologies for the blurry photo.) This piece has a haunting quality that draws the viewer in.

Cindy used fabric and a stencil for the spiral effects, drawn from a magic goody bag she brought with her.

Jeanne's flower painting

The vibrant painting above was actually the first completed. Jeanne's ambition is to do an entire painting of flowers in encaustic. I'm sure she'll succeed!

Thanks to today's students for a wonderful day!

And now--announcing a Giveaway!
Starting today, when you leave a comment on this blog your name will be entered into a giveaway contest. Two weeks from today, I'll put your names in a hat and draw out the name of the lucky winner. The winner will receive a copy of "True Vision" by L.K. Ludwig. (See link left.) If you already have a copy, I'll provide an alternative. What's not to like? So comment away and see what happens!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

From The Art of Life Group

Cindy's painting from my prompt

Some pictures from my weekly Art of Life group. Above is an acrylic painting by Cindy. Lately she has been working from prompts provided by an online Random Art Prompt site. I forgot to bring new prompts to the group last night, so I made some up, aided by L.K. Ludwig's wonderful book, True Visions. (See link at left.)

Here are my prompts--Can you guess which one Cindy used?

1. Create a visual joke involving the color pink and a midnight clothesline (Thanks to L.K. for the midnight clothesline.)

2. Consider an anxious heart in an abstract expressionist style with one three letter word included in the composition. (Thanks to L.K. for the anxious heart.)

3. Create a visual proof that you exist using a palette of three colors. (Thanks to L.K., whose prompt was "Prove you exist.")

4. A xenolith is a fragment of rock embedded in another rock. Create a xenolithic art work appropriate to today's economic climate, in the style of Matisse. (Thanks to L.K. for the word xenolith and its definition.)

That's right--#4! Here's a closeup.

Cindy's still energized by the prompts so she'll do more from the list next week.

Jodi's powerful collage

Jodi made a beautiful background a few weeks ago using acrylic paint and used teabags. Last night she created an intense collage over the background. Wish this was a better photo! She felt like she was just playing around and was somewhat surprised that the rest of us were blown away by this piece.

Closeup of the dog figure

Closeup of the man figure

Closeup of Sarah's piece

Sarah is working on a large piece for her three year old and newborn nephews. The background has a soft, homespun look created by ink and teabags. I'll post the finished piece soon!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Mt. Tabor Art Walk: Saturday and a Brief GASP Repor

Some pictures from today's Mt. Tabor Art Walk. We'll be doing it again tomorrow--11-5!

I'm fortunate to be hosted by a talented painter and delightful person: Helen Snyder-Dickson

Robin Brown is also showing at Helen's. Here she sets up a display of her hand-painted Ukrainian style eggs

One of Robin's displays

A few of Helen's oil paintings

This is one of my favorite paintings by Helen

Some of my pieces at the Art Walk

A still life by Helen

A giant egg (ostrich?) beautifully painted by Robin

Another gorgeous work by Helen

An abstract by Helen

A new piece of mine

Robin demonstrates starting to decorate an egg

I made some small ink and watercolor pieces during the Art Walk (You can pick up one of these Serena Barton Originals from 3 to 5 bucks!)

A visitor named Julia took a turn at an ink and watercolor drawing

Julia's completed art work

Robin demonstrates to a fascinated mother/son duo

Guests view an altered book for the first time

Hope you'll join us tomorrow for the Art Walk!

Garage Art Studio Project (GASP) update: I finally got the permit. Now we can really begin the transformation!

Steve holds permit

Contractor Steve and I emerged bleary eyed and dazed from the City Development Office after our recent visit of 2.5 hours--permit in hand. Even after we had negotiated several interviews and stood at the cashier's desk, there was some glitch. Never did know what it was, but at last we emerged victorious. Below, I hold the permit packet for dear life!