Monthly Archives: April 2016

Damien Hirst Inspired Butterflies

IMG_1769 IMG_1770

IMG_1766 IMG_1764

Great art – or good art – is when you look at it, experience it and it stays in your mind. I don’t think conceptual art and traditional art are all that different.”

-Damien Hirst

Damien Hirst, born June 7, 1965 is a British artist, entrepreneur, and art collector. He is the most prominent member of the group known as the Young British Artists (or YBAs), who dominated the art scene in the UK during the 1990s.

Damien Hirst was born in Bristol and grew up in Leeds. His mother encouraged his passion for drawing from a young age. Although he struggled with school throughout his education the one subject that kept him going was art. He worked for two years in construction in London before studying at Fine Art at Goldsmiths, University of London.

He is the winner of the 1995 Turner Prize, and, as of 2009, the wealthiest artist in history. He rose to fame after the success of two warehouse shows he organized featuring his friends and his own work; at his second show, advertising executive Charles Saatchi purchased his work and began a long mentoring relationship with Hirst.

Hirst’s work has generated enormous controversy for its subject matter. Some of his collections include: encased dead animals in various states of preservation, the incorporation of butterfly wings into stained glass-like images, cabinets filled with pharmaceuticals, and diamond-encrusted skulls. A team of assistants help Hirst carry out his projects; his spot paintings and spin paintings are almost entirely the work of others.

In September 2008, he bypassed his galleries and sold a complete show,  Beautiful Inside My Head Forever, at Sotheby’s by auction and earned $198 million, breaking the record for a one-artist auction.

Students used a scraping technique to create their colourful backgrounds and chalk pastels to colour in their butterflys.

Leave a Comment

Filed under Projects

Toulouse-Lautrec Inspired Chat Noir

IMG_1712 IMG_1717

IMG_1720 IMG_1723

 “I paint things as they are. I don’t comment. I record.”

-Toulouse Lautrec

Henri Marie Raymond de Toulouse-Lautrec-Monfa, was born on November 24, 1864 in Albi, France. He was an aristocrat, the son and heir of Comte Alphonse-Charles de Toulouse and last in line of a family that dated back a thousand years. Henri’s father was rich, handsome, and eccentric. His mother was very devoted to her only living child.

At age 13 he fractured his right leg and at 14 he fractured his left leg.  The bones did not set properly and ceased to grow any more. Toulouse-Lautrec immersed himself in art. He became an important Post-Impressionist painter, art nouveau illustrator, and lithographer, and, through his works, recorded many details of the late-19th-century bohemian lifestyle in Paris.

Toulouse-Lautrec’s skilled depiction of people relied on his painterly style, which is highly linear and emphasizes contour.  Many of his works may be best described as “drawings in coloured paint.”

Over his twenty year career, Toulouse-Lautrec created: 737 paintings on canvas, 275 watercolours, 363 prints and posters, 5,084 drawings as well as some ceramic and stained glass work.

1 Comment

Filed under Projects

Cherry Still Life – Inspired by Mary Pratt

IMG_1687 IMG_1688 IMG_1694 IMG_1695

“Sometimes I seem to be two people. One who does not paint and one who does. The one who does not paint assumes that the one who does can paint anything. The one who is the painter sometimes finds it difficult to live up to that faith.” – Mary Pratt

Mary Pratt was born on March 15, 1935 in Fredericton, New Brunswick. She is a Canadian painter specializing in still-life realist paintings. She attended Mount Allison University, studying Fine Arts under Alex Colville, Lawren Harris and others. In her second year, she met the artist Christopher Pratt and they married in 1957.

The focus of her work is the ordinary household things one finds around the house: jars of jelly, apples, aluminum foil, brown paper bags. The style is bold and flamboyant, rendering the subject vivid and realistic.

Mary Pratt’s paintings have been exhibited in most major galleries in Canada, reproduced in magazines such as Saturday NightChatelaine, and Canadian Art. Her work is found in many prominent public, corporate, and private collections, including those of the National Gallery of Canada, Art Gallery of Nova Scotia, the New Brunswick Museum, Beaverbrook Art Gallery, Vancouver Art Gallery, Art Gallery of Ontario, and Canada House in England.

She lives in St. John’s, Newfoundland where she continues to paint and write.

Students worked with pencils to sketch out their composition. Chalk pastels and acrylic paint filled their paper with colour and energy.

Leave a Comment

Filed under Projects

Turner Inspired Sunsets

“Light is therefore colour.”

– J.M.W. Turner 

IMG_1650 IMG_1651 IMG_1652 IMG_1659

Joseph Mallord William Turner was born in England on April 23, 1775.  His family lived above his father’s barber shop and young Joseph began to sketch pictures at a young age. By the time he was 13, some of his drawings were sold from his father’s shop. At the age of 15 he became a student at the Royal Academy of Art in London. He continued to sketch and work with watercolours. While he mostly sketched buildings and architecture, he  started to draw some pictures of the sea.

Turner painted his first oil painting in 1796. It was called Fishermen at Sea. Critics loved the painting and Turner gained a national reputation as a talented artist. He was known for being solitary, silent and totally devoted to drawing with a reputation for eccentricity.

In 1807, Turner accepted a position as professor at the Royal Academy, where he lectured until 1828. He grew increasingly eccentric and secretive, avoiding contact with virtually everyone except for his father who lived with him for 30 years.  Turner continued to hold exhibitions but begrudgingly sold his paintings. And later in life became so fond of his paintings he called them “family” and refused to sell them.  In his will, Turner asked for all his paintings to be displayed in a public gallery – as they are today- at the Tate Exhibition.

Known as the “Painter of Light,” he was fascinated by the power of nature, especially the ocean and the sun. In the painting Snow Storm which critics called “soap-suds and whitewash,” Turner claimed to a friend that he had actually been tied to the mast of a ship in order to experience the drama of a storm at sea firsthand.

Students used many different techniques to create their Turner inspired sunsets. They painted watercolours wet into wet and used tissues to blend the colours. The sea had an under painting of watercolours and was finished off with layered acrylic paint.

Leave a Comment

Filed under Projects

Magnolia Blooms – Inspired by Mary Delaney

IMG_1619 IMG_1620

IMG_1623 IMG_1624

“People who seem to spring into artistic action were in fact, quietly preparing for years.” – Mary Delaney

Mary Delaney was born in Coulston, Wiltshire, England in the year 1700. Her family was well established and during her youth she studied history, music, needlework and dancing.

At the age of 72 she began her life’s work creating 985 life-size, three-dimensional, scientifically-correct botanical prints now held by the British Museum. She was the first artist to utilize the art of collage.

By placing one piece of paper upon another she sometimes built up several layers and in a complete picture there might be hundreds of pieces to form one plant. It is thought she first dissected each plant so that she might examine it carefully for accurate portrayal. Mary’s works used background paper washed with india ink, then treated with size to make them shiny. She dyed the collage bits herself or found wallpaper remnants and created her mosaics.

We were inspired by spring and the beauty of magnolia’s to create our pieces this week. Students used old gift cards to scrape paint across the watercolour paper to create their backgrounds. Next they drew their branch and used blending techniques with acrylic paint to create their blooms.

Leave a Comment

Filed under Projects, Uncategorized