Tuesday, August 31, 2021

Ivan Markovic: Humble Paper Scuptures

Art made from paper has always intrigued me. I've featured artists who make outstanding works in quilling, cutouts, pop-ups,origami and now, sculptures. 



A really accomplished paper sculptor is Ivan Markovic (1970-) of Canada. His experiences with art are such that you might not think of him being interested in the subject of street people. After all, by age 15, he traveled to Paris to learn drawing & design. 



After returning to Canada and earning a BA, he moved to Spain and studied at the Prado by making copies of old masters' paintings. From there, it was on to the UK for his MFA and then back to Spain where he continued to make art and teach for some 13 years. About 11 years ago, he returned to Montreal, realizing that his greatest interest was in sculpture. 



The subject that most interested Markovic was the people living on the fringes. There's the old woman being helped by a nun, the buskers, the runaway, the ones with all their possessions on a bike or in a market basket, the companionship of a dog or dogs and the musicians. His collection is very large - even including a moment in time such as someone falling off their bike!

Using principally, paper and glue with copper tubing to hold shapes, Markovic re-creates a world of the downtrodden. Yet, although paper seems like a fragile medium for sculpture, it also has strength - as do the people he depicts.

Wednesday, August 25, 2021

Simeon Nijenhuis: Contemporary Impressionist

 In these times of so much turmoil in the world, it seemed fitting to present the paintings by an artist, whose works remind us of a less hurried time. It was a time when small bits of beauty created contemplation as in the paintings of Monet's gardens.  


Such an artist is Simeon Nijenhuis (1969-). His oil paints take us back in subject and technique to the Impressionists. His studied use of light is reminiscent of their paintings when they'd paint the same subject in all different seasons just to study natural light.


 Yet, in his paintings of interiors, there's an immediacy. It feels like a moment just before or after something has occurred. That sense of anticipation puts me in mind of more contemporary artists like Hopper. (One reviewer in referring to Nijenhuis' interiors used the phrase, "...tangible atmosphere.")



At the same time, there is a sense of textures, balance and beauty. This invites a calm waiting while the viewer's mind creates a story.


 As Nijenhuis said in an interview, "In the 20th Century, the painting became a concept, an illustration of an idea. What I want is a painting to become an experience again. A painting must 'live" to touch your senses." 




Wednesday, August 18, 2021

Tatyana: The Other Klevenskiy

 Last week's blog was an offset to the dog days of summer. It was about water and the sea. It was to take us away from inland misery to the coolness of ocean breezes and capturing the power of the ocean for tide and wave rides.

 This is why Vadim  Klevenskiy - a master painter of the ocean was chosen. It was while researching him, I realized that another artist painted a similar subject and had the same last name!



Further investigation proved that Tatyana Klevenskiy (1961-) is Vadim's wife and painting partner. Her style and choice of subjects made it difficult for attribution as to whether it was Vadim or Tatyana's works. The one thing I noticed was that while she could paint the sea in all its power, she also created many paintings of still waters. 



 What also set Tatyana apart was her interest in large paintings of seashells. Most of her hyperrealistic shell paintings are 3.5 feet to 4.5 feet in dimensions! Imagine finding a small shell on the beach and painting it in detail to such large size. 




In order to give you, dear reader, a sense of Tatyana Klevenskiy's depth  of work, I've included an ocean scene full of the turmoil that Vadim paints so often, her still water works and her own well-known seashell paintings.


(At some future date, there may be a blog of their combined floral paintings and see if you can figure out who the artist is.) Stay cool!

Thursday, August 12, 2021

Klevenskiy: One at a Time


With the hot weather we're experiencing these days, my thoughts turned to the joys of my childhood at the beach. Often, on unbearable August days with our house sizzling hot, we'd head for the cooling ocean breezes.


 Remembering those times set me to looking for a painter who captures the dynamics and beauty of the ocean. 

Such a talented artist is Vadim Klevenskiy (1964-). 

His paintings are photo-realistic in style, whatever the subject.  While he is best known for his paintings of the ocean, he also paints exceptional still life paintings - mainly floral. This presented me with a dilemma.


You see, his wife, Tatyana Klevenskiy, (1961-) is also an artist. Furthermore, she paints seascapes and still lives of floral!. 

It would be helpful if their painting styles were so distinctly different, but at least in the photos of their works, it's not noticeable - as it may be to see the works in person. Actual viewing might show the brushstrokes or the different palettes.

There were a couple of discernible differences available in their online paintings. While Tatyana paints the formidable power of the ocean, she also paints still waters. The other distinction is her choice of subjects.Beyond floral, she also creates still life paintings of beach shells and other flotsam,.

The final decision (drum roll, please!) This week is about Vadim  Klevenskiy and his ocean paintings. Imagine you're there... dipping your feet, playing in the water or riding your board out. (Next week is Tatyana Klevenskiy's turn.)


Wednesday, August 4, 2021

Yulia Hanansen



Summer is full of prideful celebrations of vegetable gardens, fruiting trees and unendingly stunning flowers. Thinking of an artist who might reflect some of that beauty in their works, Yulia Hanansen came to mind.


While Ms. Hanansen is a member of the university adjunct faculty for her printmaking, she creates in another equally proficient medium - mosaics. 



From her training in stained glass and painting, she expanded her mosaic techniques to build layers of colored stained-glass tiles so as to create depth and a sense of painterly brush strokes.

Along with the unique use of stained-glass, Hanansen also uses 3 different colors of grout and in her own blending technique to complete the mosaic.


She not only accepts commission for wall art even as large as a mural, but also design features such as a kitchen or bathroom backsplash and small projects.


Hanansen's subjects are many, but for this blog I've chosen her flowers, which I consider irresistible. 


(You can see more subjects at her website, see about attending a workshop or check out her instructions on You Tube)