Erica Rose Levine – Photorealism meets fantasy

Erica Rose LevinYesterday, I stumbled on Erica Rose Levine‘s stunning work. She appears to work in pencil on paper and has high quality prints for sale on her website. Erica’s paintings are rendered in gorgeous detail and take a wonderful left turn into imagination and creativity. It’s her solid photorealistic side that gives the fantasy such credibility. Thank you, Erica for sharing your lovely work! View All of Erica’s work by clicking here <—-

The Kiss

Painting Romance part #1:  In honor of Valentine’s Day, I plan to highlight a few romantic paintings this week and give you some juicy details. 

The Kiss

by Gustov Klimt

“Wearing extravagant, multicolored robes that seem to merge into each other, the lovers embrace on a small patch of grass, carpeted with an improbable profusion of flowers.
The setting is pure fantasy. “

the Kiss Gustav_Klimt_016

The Kiss, Gustav Klimt

Created at the height of Klimt’s career and influenced by the then present Art Nouveau movement, The Kiss is an example of Klimt’s fascination with the human embrace.

The embrace: The mysterious pose looks almost painful and unnatural, but may be influenced by Symbolist art which made the “severed head” fashionable. (I might have to look into this strange art movement next Halloween).

The Setting:The Kiss remains an ambivalent picture. The embrace appears to take place beside an abyss, with the woman’s feet dangling over the edge. Is Klimt hinting that both love and passion are precarious, and perhaps even dangerous?” It does appear that the woman’s (out of proportion) toes are clinging to the edge of the abyss.

The Gold: Something that caused this painting (along with the Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer I) to really appeal to me was the beautiful use of gold leaf. Just a gorgeous array of colors and a gaudy treat for the eyes. During this high point in his “golden period”, his interest in mosaics looks to have influenced the creation of “wildly extravagant, patterned clothing, so that they almost seemed to disappear into their voluminous robes.”

The more I look at this painting, the more I love it. It just feels nice, doesn’t it?

More romantic art coming soon . . . 


All quotations are from:
Great Paintings: the world’s masterpieces explored and explained
Karen Hosack Janes


Why So Famous?

I’ve often wondered why some paintings rise to international fame and become an icon of sorts in the art world. What is that secret recipe? So I thought I’d aim that question at the most famous and recognizable painting in all of history, the Mona Lisa.

After doing some reading (mind you, I have not become an expert on the subject) and watching some documentaries, I’ve decided on four factors that seems to have thrust the Mona Lisa into the fame she has now secured for all of time.

mona lisa louvre Continue reading

What is it about Van Gogh?

“I cannot help that my pictures do not sell. Nevertheless the time will come when people will see
that they are worth more than the price of the paints and my own living.” ~ Vincent Van Gogh


Out of Vincent Van Gogh’s 900+ paintings, “Red Vineyard” (pictured here) is the only painting that sold in his lifetime. Here is a man who painted because he was compelled to do so. Not for money, fame or even the respect of his peers. He painted for the sheer joy and drive of the act of painting itself. That is what is so intriguing to me about Van Gogh. I recently visited the Met, and I surprised myself by wanting to locate Van Gogh’s work before any other artist. Not because I think he was an amazing artist, but I think he had the heart of an artist. I felt a connection the  more I read about his life and work. 

He went against the accepted techniques and subjects of his day. He shamefully didn’t hide his brushstrokes when it was expected that the most skilled artists create as smooth a painting as possible. He painted ordinary objects when his fellow artists only painted what was beautiful. He painted the way he thought he should paint not based on his sales or the opinions of others. His work was shocking and undesirable but he kept on painting. Perhaps this is why his work is sought after, today.

He was a radical with a brush.

What’s With the Weird Hats?

Monet Sporting a Beret

Monet Sporting a Beret

Rembrandt in a Beret

Rembrandt in a Beret

Help me rescue the poor stereotyped artist from the beret.  Last week I asked on my Facebook Page, “When you meet an artist or see their work, what would you most like to know, but perhaps find yourself not asking?”. An unexpected but very good question came from one of my friends: “What’s with all the weird hats?”  I realized that I had no idea, but that it would be a good topic to research. So, here we go into a light history of the beret.  Continue reading

Unusual Medium*

surrounding my hands in the stain of warmth sinking

surrounding my hands in the stain of warmth sinking - acrylic, pencil, found foam, lichen, lily seed, moss, mylar, photo transfer, pine, plasti, sage, sedum, sponge, wood, wire

It’s always interesting when a work of art’s medium* is a long list of random objects. For Gregory Euclide’s works, there is a small paragraph sharing things that were used to create his relief * pieces. In the lists you will find, bark, hair, wheat, wire, fern, pine cone. . .and the list of objects continue. How unusual. How beautiful!

optical delusions and small realities

optical delusions and small realities - Museum Installation

Gregory’s pieces are beautifully assembled landscapes created by many of the same objects that make up a real landscape. Enjoy these beautiful multi-dimensional scenes.

what bounded my routine unknowingly fell clear over the foundation

what bounded my routine unknowingly fell clear over the foundation - acrylic, canvas, found foam, fungi, leaves, lichen, moss, mylar, paper, pencil, petg, sedum, waxed thread, wood

Capture #9

capture #9 - acrylic, buckthorn root, cedar needles, foam, grass, paint can, sedum, sponge variable

* Medium – here refers to the materials used to create the art. For example an oil painting’s medium is oil.
* Relief – a projection of parts in a painting, drawing, that gives the appearance of the third dimension. 

Want more?

Visit Gregory’s Website
Visit Gregory’s Blog
Purchase Gregory’s book 

James Gurney’s Dinotopia

When I see a beautifully illustrated book, I feel like a kid again
and I’m filled with seemingly opposing feelings of calm and excitement.
Dinotopia Books ©James Gurney

The set of Dinotopia books by illustrator and author James Gurney make me want to curl up in a blanket with a mug of hot chocolate while having my sketchbook and paints within reach. What a wonderful new world of aged architecture, beautiful waterfalls, exciting pencil work, informative sketches and diagrams, and a solidly created foreign culture. 

Waterfall City

Waterfall City ©James Gurney

James’ work is stunning with a range of styles throughout – all of which I love. Some pages are filled with sketchy pencil drawings that look like he was standing there quickly sketching the houses, machines and dinosaurs in action knowing he needed to rush away to the next adventure. Other pages are fine art paintings that feel as though they were painted on location with the use of a french easel.

Continue reading