22 February 2013

Fabric and flesh

Girl Arranging Flowers (1921)

Be pleased to meet some beautiful and bright paintings from this American Impressionist painter, born in Baltimore: William McGregor Paxton (1869 – 1941).

William McGregor Paxton is well known for his extraordinary attention to the effects of light and detail in fabric and flesh. His compositions were most often idealized young women in beautiful interiors.

Like many of his art colleagues, he found inspiration in the work of the 17th century Dutch painter Johannes Vermeer.

Johannes Vermeer: The Milkmaid (circa 1657-58)

William McGregor Paxton was fascinated not only with Vermeer's imagery, but also with the system of optics he employed.

He studied Vermeer's works closely, and discovered that only one area in his compositions was entirely in focus, while the rest were somewhat blurred.

William McGregor Paxton ascribed this peculiarity to binocular vision, crediting Vermeer with recording the slightly different point of view of each individual eye that combine in human sight.

The New Necklace

Paxton began to employ this system in his own work, including The New Necklace, where only the gold beads are sharply defined while the rest of the objects in the composition have softer, blurrier edges.


This effect is even more noticeable in his 1915 painting entitled Nude, which shows a young woman seated on a blue dress that is spread across the seat of a backless divan.

The woman is shown leaning slightly to the right, reaching for a pink undergarment. The figure is viewed from an angle that is midway between a back view and a right side view.

All objects in the painting are slightly blurred with the exception of the woman's one visible breast (the right one) and parts of her right arm.

 Dejeuner Venice (1910)

 Girl Sweeping (1912)

 Girl Combing Her Hair (1909)

 Glow of Gold, Gleam of Pearl (1906)

 Interior with Two Nude Models

 The Blue Cup (1909)

 The Figurine (1921) 

 The Escape

 Morning Light

The Housemaid (1910)


William McGregor Paxton crafted his elaborate compositions with models in his studio. And the props he used appear in several different paintings.

He was working on his last painting (a view of his living room, with his wife posing for him) when he was stricken with a heart attack and died at the age of 72.

15 February 2013

J'ai trouvé un peintre de requin.

Richard Ellis is currently recognized as a foremost artist of marine and natural history subjects.

Whale Shark

« From his youth spent on the beaches of Long Island USA, Richard Ellis, born in 1938, has been deeply involved with the sea and the animals that live in it.

As a marine biologist, he brings to his art a unique respect and understanding for the ocean.

In order to portray the fishes, whales and sharks that he does well, he has studied them from every vantage point.

Trained as a scuba diver [oh yeah] and an underwater photographer, Richard Ellis has spent hundreds of hours in, on, and under the ocean, in search of his subjects and the accurate representation of their environment.

 Hours of painstaking research go into each painting, so that his work is not only scientifically accurate, but strikingly beautiful as well.

For him there is no distinction between art and illustration. [Interesting.]

A painting done to illustrate a magazine article will often end up in a prestigious private collection or in a museum.

Because his work is so precise, it has been used to fulfill the demanding requirements of scientific papers, but his sense of the quality of luminescent underwater light and composition are so dramatic that his paintings transcend illustration and become art in its purest sense.

In 1974, Richard Ellis spent one year researching the ten paintings of the great whales that would win him world-wide recognition. These paintings, done for Audubon magazine, are considered the most moving and accurate pictures of whales ever done.

Richard Ellis is an author as well as an artist. He has written dozens of scientific and popular magazines. He is also the author and illustrator of The Book of Sharks.»

Info source: ro gallery

 Bull Shark (1977)

 Great White Shark (1991)

 Carcharias taurus

 Greenland Shark (Somniosus microcephalus)

 Porbeagle Shark (Lamna nasus)

 Chain Dogfish Small Shark

 Great White Shark Portrait

 Tiger Shark

I've never had the fantasy to go underwater to see sharks. But if the mood took me, I would dress like this:

 An old dive suit: Coolest submarines showcase

14 February 2013

Spirit of progress

The Spirit of Progress was the premier express train passenger service on the Victorian Railways in Australia. It was launched on 17 November 1937.

 Spirit of Progress at the beginning of its inaugural run, November 1937

VR S 301 (locomotive), North Melbourne, 1937

Victorian Railways engineers famously road-tested the new train's smoothness on curves by studying a full bowl of soup in the dining car as the train took curves at full speed; if the soup splashed over the side of the bowl, a decision would be taken whether to modify the curve for higher speeds or reduce the speed limit for the curve.

When introduced, the train featured many innovations new to Australian railway practice, such as streamlining (a streamliner is a vehicle incorporating streamlining in a shape providing reduced air resistance; the term is applied to high-speed railway trainsets of the 1930s to 1950s), full air-conditioning and all-steel carriage construction.

VR Spirit of Progress ad

VR Spirit of Progress ad altered

Its overall exterior and interior design reflected the latest Art Deco style, and interior fittings used materials such as stainless steel and native Australian blackwood veneers.

 Spirit of Progress kitchen

 Spirit of Progress parlor car

 Spirit of Progress parlor car

 Spirit of Progress parlor car

09 February 2013

French from Chinese: chinoiserie

Alibaba wallpaper

Definition of chinoiserie
A style in art (as in decoration) reflecting Chinese qualities or motifs; also: an object or decoration in this style.
Origin of chinoiserie
French, from chinois (Chinese), from Chine (China)

Chinoiserie noun (concise encyclopedia) 
Fanciful European interpretations of Chinese styles in the design of interiors, furniture, pottery, textiles and gardens.

The expansion of trade with East Asia produced a lively vogue for Chinese fashions in the 17th–18th centuries.

The most outstanding chinoiserie interior was the Trianon de Porcelaine (1670–71), built for Louis XIV at Versailles.

The style featured lavish gilding and lacquering, the use of blue and white (as in delftware), asymmetrical forms, unorthodox perspective and Asian motifs.

Enjoy my collection of chinoiserie wallpapers.

 Fowler le Maison wallcovering

 Griffin and Wong collection

 Fromental catalogue

 Jiang Nan Garden collection (This Handcrafted Life)

 Jean-Baptiste Pillement (1728–1808): A Chinoiserie Procession of Figures Riding on Elephants with Temples Beyond

Jean-Baptiste Pillement was a French painter and designer, known for his exquisite and delicate landscapes, but whose importance lies primarily in the engravings done after his drawings, and their influence in spreading the Rococo style and particularly the taste for chinoiserie throughout Europe.

 Made in China: chinoiserie silk wallpaper

 Nsr Handcrafts: hand painted paper

 Paul Montgomery studio

 Moon Bounce portfolio

 Scalamandre wallpaper

 Decorative Imaging: hand-painted chinoiserie panel

Zoe Design