The Port of La Rochelle, Low Tide

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The Port of La Rochelle, Low Tide (Albert Marquet, 1875 – 1947)The Port of La Rochelle, Low Tide (Albert Marquet, 1875 – 1947)

Albert Marquet was born into poverty in Bordeaux, France. He went to Paris where Henri Matisse befriended him and introduced him to members of the Fauvist movement. They were roommates while he studied at the School of Decorative Arts under symbolic artist Gustav Moreau. It must have been wonderful to share time with that great genius.

From early on, light and colour fascinated Marquet. He became an artistic tramp as he travelled across Africa and Europe in search of it. He stayed with painter friends he met, until he suddenly became bored and moved on as unexpectedly as he had arrived. He never married, he never had a steady job and he never accumulated wealth. Does this mean he was a failure?

After he died of cancer critics wrote him off as a minor, unimportant painter. I am inclined to think the opposite. The uncompromising simplicity of this picture is as remarkable as the panels of colour that are the sails of the two boats.  The English painter John McLean said of him ‘his feeling for colour, the lightness or darkness and saturation of it, its weight, is nothing less than astounding’. Albert Marquet was no failure, just a happy, carefree, creative prodigy.

Orange Shades

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Orange Family by Richard Anuszkiewicz

Orange Family by Richard Anuszkiewicz

A vertical orange ombre is depicted in the picture almost representative of a high noon’s sun’s rays or intense ombre of sunsets. The palette will always bring back nostalgic memories of late afternoons on the beach, holding hands while watching the waning sun, slowly but inevitably swallowed by the horizon.  A slight chest tightening feeling is intensified by the air’s salty tang.

What’s in the sunset viewed by the beach that’s different from the sunset viewed from your bedroom window. A sunset watched by you, alone and the sunset viewed with friends and a love one; scenery’s nostalgia should not be pandered by you alone, for it may only bring the poignancy to illusions one may never get away from.

Abstractedly the artist indulged the viewer by his presented concept, one that he allows his viewers their own interpretation, but mind you although the artist is permitting viewers’ freedom he always had his own thinking about his illustrations.

The Gulf Stream

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The Gulf Stream (Winslow Homer, 1836 – 1910)The Gulf Stream (Winslow Homer, 1836 – 1910)

Homer was the son of a hardware merchant in Boston, America, but was only really interested in fishing as a child. After he graduated from high school, his father – who was always chasing after gold rushes and get-rich-quick schemes – apprenticed him to a commercial lithographer in the hope of making money out of Winslow.

The boy found the work a drudge and turned to illustrating for popular magazines instead, where he proved successful. He later remarked ‘from the time I took my nose off that lithographic stone I have had no master, and never shall have any’. After he settled on the coast of the American State of Maine in 1882, he developed an obsession with depicting the might of ocean waves, and dramatic sea rescues.

Pictures like the one we illustrate caused him to be regarded as one of the foremost painters in 19th-century America, and a distinguished figure in American art. In it, he depicts a lonely man on a demasted, rudderless boat tossed by stormy waves, and surrounded by hungry sharks. He followed up with a sequel of the man washed up on a lonely shore unconscious but alive. They had no radio, television, movies or internet back in 1889. The artist was the great entertainer and Winslow Homer did that well.

Delineated Ambiguity

Delineated Ambiguity

An oil painting on paper of an abstract with sensual undertones so subtly suggests that innocence and awareness are delineated by the single dividing line.Ambiguity … read more

Summertime

Summertime

I breathe in the salty air and it fills my lungs with a sence of calmness. Everything is fine, I can smell it. I feel the hot sand beneath my feet. I leave footsteps in the … read more

Caught Unawares

Caught Unawares

Sleepless Nights, by TuHongtao A doll like figure of a girl leaning over an unmade bed, wistfully staring at nothing while a huge vista is offered to her by a fully opened glassed … read more

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