Archive for May, 2013

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by Bill Stoneham, 1972

Not long ago I saw a photograph of this painting on one of the forums, people were calling this painting the “scariest” painting they have ever seen. I must say that intrigued me, and as to what people saw on it that i do not find “scary” or “creepy”… So i decided to look into it.

The name of the painting is “the hands resist him”. It was painted by Bill Stoneham in 1972. On the picture is a young boy and female doll standing in front of a glass paneled door against which many hands are pressed. According to the artist, “the boy is based on the photograph of himself at age five, the doorway is a representation of the dividing line between the walking world and the world of fantasy and impossibilities, while the doll is a guide that will escort the boy through it. The titular hands represent alternative lives or possibilities”

The painting was first displayed at the Feingarten Gallery in Beverly Hills, CA during the early 1970s. A one-man Stoneham show at the gallery, which included the piece, was reviewed by the art critic at the Los Angeles Times. During the show, the painting was purchased by actor John Marley, notable for his role as Jack Woltz in The Godfather.

At some point in time after Marley’s death, the painting was reported to have come into the possession os a California couple, after being found on the site of an old brewery, as stated in their original eBay listing in 2000. According to the seller, the painting carries some sort of curse. Eventually the painting got sold.  The buyer, Perception Gallery in Grands, Michigan contacted Bill Stoneham and related the unusual story of its auction and people’s interpretation, which surprised the artist.

An individual who saw the story about original painting contacted Stoneham about commissioning a sequel to the painting.  Stoneham accepted and painted a sequel called Resistance at the Threshold. The sequel depicts the same characters 40+ years later in the same style as original. A second sequel, Threshold of Revelation, was completed in 2012 and can be seen on Stoneham’s website. http://www.stonehamstudios.com/haunted.html

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Resistance at the Threshold

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Threshold of Revelation

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Today I will continue with my Salvador Dali fascination. 

Divine Comedy by Dante Alighieri is an epic poem, that is accepted world wide as one of the greatest masterpieces of art. It comes as no surprise that  in 1950 another great artist, Salvador Dali, would have been asked by the Italian government to produce a series of illustrations for a full-text, deluxe edition of the Divine Comedy. Ultimately, the illustrations were not well received by the Italians, as it was deemed inappropriate for a Spanish painter (rather than Italian painter) to have illustrated the masterpiece of Italy’s greatest poet. 

Even though the project was dropped in Italy, Dali and French publisher Joseph Foret continued to pursue publication of The Divine Comedy. Mr. Foret acted as a broker between salvador Dali and Les Heures Claires, a French editing and publishing house that ultimately took full charge of the project. Jean Estrade, the Artistic Director, worked closely with expert engravers to create the works under Dali’s supervision. Wood engraving was the medium chosen due to its ability to recreate subtle washes and delicate lines.

The Divine Comedy suite consists of 100 color wood engravings created between 1960 and 1964 after 100 watercolors painted between 1951 and 1960. Mr. Raymond Jacquet and his assistant Mr. Tarrico created the engravings with the participation and final approval by Dali. More than 3 000 blocks were necessary to complete the engraving process. 

Once the project was complete, all the Divine Comedy blocks were distorted. the engraving process required the block to be cut, a single color applied, than printed to the substrate (e.g. paper, silk, etc.). The block was then cleaned and cut away for the next color. As the engravings were made, the image was progressively “printed”, and the block was progressively distorted. The process required great skill and resulted in works of spectacular beauty which can not be reproduced in a manner that is not detectable as a reproduction, even to the casual observer.

So here is the actual illustrations of the engravings grouped in 3 chapters: Inferno – Purgatory – Paradise

Inferno:

 

Purgatory:

 

Paradise:

Source of illustrations: http://www.rogallery.com/Dali_Salvador/divine_comedy/sdalihm-hell.htm

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Here is my other attempt at the mixed medium painting.

The girl was painted with acrylic paints

The top part of the painting has a french quote written on it. It says: “La Douleur Exquise…”, which means “exquisite pain; (n.) the heart-wrenching pain of wanting the affection of someone unattainable.”

On the bottom, the quote says ( i will translate into english) “In my life, I lived, I lost, I hurt, I thought, I’ve made mistakes, but especially … I learned”. I apologize if translation is not very accurate, i used a french translator on my MacBook.

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I have been really sick this week so i had some time on my hands to experiment, read, roam the app store and internet. One of my other favorite art pieces is Philosophy by Gustav Klimt.

Philosophy was one of the paintings out of series of paintings made by Gustav Klimt for the ceiling of the University of Vienna’s Great Hall between the years of 1899-1907. The original series contained paintings: Philosophy, Medicine and Jurisprudence. Upon presenting his paintings Klimt came under attack for ‘pornography’ and ‘perverted excess’ in the paintings. None of the paintings went on display in the University. In May 1945 all three paintings were destroyed by retreating SS forces.

In my opinion all three paintings were amazing, but my favorite always will be Philosophy.

“Philosophy had been awarded a gold medal at the World Exhibition in Paris, but was attacked by those in his own country. Klimt described the painting as follows: ‘On the left of the group of figures, the beginning of life, fruition, decay. On the right, the globe as mystery. Emerging below, figure of light; knowledge’. Critics were disturbed by its depiction of men and women drifting in an aimless trance. The original proposal for the theme of the painting was ‘The Victory of Light over Darkness’, but what Klimt presented instead was a dreamlike mass of humanity, referring neither to optimism nor rationalism, but to a ‘viscous void’”

Since i am in a feverish state of mind, i was “playing” with this painting on my Mac, and here is what came out of it:

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Table setting today has become such an art it has sprawled a new name “Tablescaping”. Elaborate decorative elements are incorporated into formal settings that reflect the theme of the occasion and the type of food. It is a practice that has been developing for more than a thousand years — the history of table setting goes back before the medieval era.

The Saltcellar.

Before there were Place settings, flower arrangements and  candelabras, there was the saltcellar — the small container that held the salt for the meal. So important was the salt that the placement of the saltcellar on the table determined seating arrangements. Sitting “above the salt” was to seat in the place of honor. And while guests mostly ate with their hands and threw bones and scraps to the floor, how clean the tablecloth, or “Nappe”, was extremely important.

The Utensils

Forks were introduced in the XVII century and helped contribute to the development of the table settings by encouraging a standard arrangement of the items needed for a meal. Elaborate napkin folding became popular and metalworkers began creating a variety of plates, platters and bowls for use on the table. As silversmiths and woodworkers honed their crafts, table setting became extremely elaborate, especially for royalty and the rich.

Service Styles

The XVIIII century saw the arrival of dining according to rigid rules of “service”. French service was an impractical process of serving each dish as a separate course. English service was more practical, with all the similar food belongings to course placed on the table at the same time for the host to serve. Service in the Russian style soon became popular, emphasis on presentation both food and the table setting. Guests arrived at the table before the food was served, and found place cards to indicate their setting arrangement. A printed menu was often provided, and each person’s place was laid out with dishes, plates, glasses and utensils needed. So many rules were developed for the large variety of flatware, glasses and plates; the first etiquette books began to appear.

The Victorian table

Color, mirrors, figurines and flowers adorned the Victorian table. Especially popular were colored wine glasses. Maids were trained in the placements of the items, with such exacting standards as knives needed to be 1/2 inch from the edge of the table. The Edwardian table eliminated some of the Victorian decor, ushering in the era of candelabras. The Russian style of service also brought with it the idea of wines for each course, meant to enhance the flavor. This increased the number and kind of wine glasses needed at each place.

Table settings today

Today we can find the formal setting in any number of etiquette or home entertaining books. The art of “tablescaping” now lets you choose designs ranging from the elaborate to the minimalistic.

I found this picture that displays the setting for people that never sure which fork is for what and how to set the table without being embarrassed 🙂

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Today i discover a new cool app for Mac users that love to paint but don’t  necessary have such skills. I am a regular mac user that sometimes get bored with usual photo effects and like to explore my options in app store.

Apps name is: Psykopaint

Basically you can take any image, drawing, photograph, and make it into a piece of art painting!

What i like about this app, is that you are actually involved in creating your art! It is not like the apps i tried before where you pick an image and then just push a button and it changes your image automatically, no. In this app you actually pick your brush (Monet brush strokes, Van Gogh brush strokes, etc.) and your style (impressionism, etc.) and than you “paint” your image piece by piece.

So here are some images i did:

The first image i took from Pinterest, created by Jennifer Healy, the second one was created by me in Psykopaint app.

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Eyes. When we meet new people the first think we do is look in their eyes.

People have been fascinated with eyes for centuries! The drawings of the eyes in the Egyptian culture, The Wadjet – “Eye of Horus” (“all seeing eye”), “Eye of Ra”

Here are some interesting facts about human eye:
The human eye blinks an average of 4,200,000 times a year.
It’s impossible to sneeze with your eyes open.
Our eyes are always the same size from birth, but our nose and ears never stop growing.
Blinking helps to wash tears over our eyeballs. That keeps them clean and moist. Also, if something is about to hit our eye, we will blink automatically.
Our body has some natural protection for our eyes. Our eyelashes help to keep dirt out of our eyes. Our eyebrows are made to keep sweat from running into our eyes.
The shark cornea has been used in eye surgery, since its cornea is similar to a human cornea.
The number one cause of blindness in adults is diabetes.
The eyeball of a human weighs approximately 28 grams.
The eye of a human can distinguish 500 shades of the gray.
The cornea is the only living tissue in the human body that does not contain any blood vessels.
Sailors once thought that wearing a gold earring would improve their eyesight.
Research has indicated that a tie that is on too tight cam increase the risk of glaucoma in men.
People generally read 25% slower from a computer screen compared to paper.
Men are able to read fine print better than women can.
All babies are color blind when they are born.
Babies’ eyes do not produce tears until the baby is approximately six to eight weeks old.
The reason why your nose gets runny when you are crying is because the tears from the eyes drain into the nose.
The most common injury caused by cosmetics is to the eye by a mascara wand.
Some people start to sneeze if they are exposed to sunlight or have a light shined into their eye.
Around the pupil is a colored muscle called the “iris.” Our eyes may be BLUE, BROWN, GREEN, GRAY OR BLACK, because that is the color of the iris.
* Our eyes have many parts. The black part on the front of our eye is called the “pupil.” It is really a little hole that opens into the back part of our eyes.

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Genetics of eye color:

The color of eyes is an interesting topic. In years past a brown eyed child seemed like an unlikely outcome from two blue eyed parents, but as we learn more about genetics we learn that eye color isn’t as simple as blue + blue = blue. Let’s learn more about the genetics of eye color.
Caucasian children are usually born with unpigmented, blue eyes. As the child develops, the cells begin to produce melanin which eventually determines the final color of the eyes as well as the skin and hair. Eye colors range from brown, which is the most common, to green, the most rare, with shades of blue, amber, hazel and gray somewhere in between. Eye color is generally determined by the amount of pigment in the eye and this is decided by our genetic makeup long before we are born!!
here are several genes which influence the color of a person’s eyes. As a general rule brown eyed genes are often dominant and blue eyed genes tend to be recessive. These factors of genetic dominance are added to the complex genetic equation that our bodies use to determine our eye color
Our genes are made up of two alleles. We receive one allele from our mother and a second from our father. Dominant alleles are typically shown as an uppercase letter and recessive are shown as a lowercase letter.
Let’s say there was a gene that determined eye color. A B allele would confer brown eyes and a b allele would result in blue eyes. Someone with BB would have brown eyes while another person with Bb would also have brown eyes, although possibly lighter. Finally a person with bb would have blue eyes.
But, eye color isn’t that simple. Multiple genes play a role in determining eye color. While the B gene we just talked about might play one role, there may be a second or even third gene involved in the process.
n a second eye color gene let’s say that G confers green or hazel eyes and g results in lighter eyes. In simple terms in one gene the B allele confers brown eye color, and the recessive b allele gives blue eyes. In another gene G confers green or hazel eyes and g would confer lighter eyes. In this instance B would be dominant over all the other alleles and the eyes would be brown. If you are homozygous (with identical genes) to the B alleles, the eyes would be darker brown than if you are heterozygous (with dissimilar pairs of genes). If you are homozygous for the G allele in the absence of B, your eyes would be darker, or more hazel, than if you had just one G allele.
If one BG or a Bg allele crosses with any other BG, Bg, bG or bg allele then the result will be brown eyes, but in varying shades. BBGG would create the darkest brown eyes. bbGG would result in very green/hazel eyes. Green eyes need a bG allele to cross with a bG or a bg and the darkest green would be created with a bG bG cross. True blue eyes can only be produced from a genotype bbgg.
Returning to the first example of two blue eyed parents producing a brown eyed child, probably the parents were bbGg with a shift to the lighter side of hazel influencing the shade of blue. The child is bbGG and the presence of two G alleles confers a brown color in this instance.
To further complicate the issue, both genetic and environmental influences also affect the eye color to a degree too. Pregnancy, puberty and trauma can also see a change in the color of a person’s eyes. Eye color is complicated.
Blue eyesBlue eyes have become increasingly rare in American children in just the last few decades. As blue eyes are recessive, it needed parents of English, Irish and North European descent to pass on these traits. Increasingly, immigration has brought a wider pool of genes which are more dominant, with the resulting decline in blue eyes. Thirty years ago about 30% of American babies had blue eyes; now that statistic has changed to about 1 in 6.
Researchers believe that all blue eyed people share one common ancestor. It is believed that the mutation that caused blue eyes occurred sometime between 6,000-10,000 years ago. Isn’t it strange to think that all blue eyed people are somehow related?
Brown eyesBrown eyes are predominant in humans and in many populations it is the only iris color. More than half the world’s population has brown eyes and 90% of the world has brown, hazel or amber eyes which are all variants of brown eyes. Dark brown eyes are prominent in East Asia and contain large amounts of melanin within the iris.
Although brown eyes are predominant and are the main eye color worldwide, in some parts of the world they are very rare. In Iceland 80% of the population has green or blue eyes.
Gray eyes
Gray eyes are darker than true blue eyes and have less melanin than blue eyes. Gray eyes are predominant in Russia, Finland , Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. The gray eye color is determined by the density of proteins and the amount of melanin in the iris. Gray eyes are influenced by the light and may appear to change color in different lighting, or to reflect makeup and clothing colors.
Green eyesGreen eyes have moderate or low amounts of melanin and are often associated with red hair. Only 2% of the world has green eyes and strangely they are more prevalent in women. They are common in the Icelandic population and those with Celtic and German ancestors.
Hazel eyesHazel eyes are defined as being the color midway between the lightest blue and the darkest brown eyes. Hazel eyes have a large amount of melanin in the anterior border of the iris. In different lights they may appear to change from light brown to medium gold or even dark green. Sometimes they have a multicolored iris, lightest in the center of the iris and dark brown or green on the outer part.
Why are my baby’s eyes two different colors?
Most babies, especially those born to Caucasian parents, are born with varying shades of blue eyes. The eyes may stay blue for as long as three years, until the melanin pigment develops in the eye (if it is going to). By the time the child is five years old their eye color will be pretty well defined. However, there are also times when babies are born with two distinctly different colored eyes. This may occur for a number of reasons including:
• Local trauma either while the baby was still in the womb or shortly after birth
• Faulty developmental pigment transport
• A genetic disorder (benign)
• Inflammation
• Diffuse nevus of the iris (this is technically a freckle)
• Horner’s syndrome, a potentially serious condition
Why do our eyes change color?
In babies, the change in eye color is a result of the development of pigmentation. For adults the change in eye color could be a warning sign of some serious medical conditions. As many as 15% of Caucasian adults have some change in their eye color as they age, typically from darker to lighter, but if an adult’s eyes change color dramatically, suddenly or the change is noted in only one eye, he or she should seek immediate medical attention. It could be the result of conditions such as:
• Fuch’s heterochromic iridocyclitis
• Horner’s syndrome
• Pigmentary glaucoma
Throughout our lifetime, the human eye may appear to change colors, even if the effect is only slight, because of lighting, mood and to some extent, what we are wearing. The iris, which is the colored part of the eye, is a muscle which in part controls the size and shape of the pupil. The pupil is wider in times of low light and is narrower in times of bright light. When the iris expands or contracts around the pupil, the pigments of its surface are either spread out or compressed together affecting the color that we perceive. In addition, certain emotions may cause the pupils to dilate and thus change the color of our eyes. What we wear doesn’t actually cause a physical change in the color of our eyes; however the perception of our eye color can be affected by the clothing, makeup or jewelry that we are wearing.
The future of eye color genetics
Researchers are working on interesting ways to use DNA to determine a person’s eye color. This information could be particularly useful during criminal investigations. There may even come a time when science can tell you what color your baby’s eyes will be while he or she is still in the womb.
New technologies are also being developed to change eye color, without changing genetics. One eye doctor believes that he can permanently change brown eyes to blue by using a special laser to remove the pigment from the eye.
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