Monday, August 3, 2015

Learning from the Masters: The Psychological Portraits of John Singer Sargent

portraits of john singer sargent #MetSargent @metmuseum http://schulmanart.blogspot.com/2015/08/learning-from-masters-psychological.html
As I was preparing this blog post, my husband leaned over my shoulder and asked "What do you mean by psychological portraits?" Well, I pointed out..."look at that girl's face and the tension in her fingers and toes, she looks like she just finished a tantrum. Contrast that to her brother, whose wrist is bent and limply perched on the rug. He peers at you with a know it all stare and disdain..you are not sure if the disdain is meant for you or his sister." 


Then I added, "Look at the way he painted the parents! The father's shirt isn't even tucked in... he could have easily have told his patron to tuck in the shirt but he painted him that way anyway. And look at his sourpuss wife," I continued, "he even left in the frown lines around the corners of her mouth and the tightly pursed lips."

"Great" my husband replied, "Now I won't have to read the blog post."


The hidden truth behind every successful portrait


The exhibition, "Sargent, Portraits of Artists and Friends" at the Metropolitan Museum of Art ( you can see it through October 4, 2015) truly knocked my socks off. Having painted dozens of portraits through the years, the choices made by this painter always speaks to me. What made this exhibition unique, however, is that many of the paintings included were not commissioned portraits which allowed the artist to freely express his vision without worrying about the wrath of the paying patron. Moreover, every successful portrait will include psychological clues to its sitter.

This was a large exhibit and I have a lot to say about it and I will not even attempt to do it all justice in one blog post, so this will be the first of a series of blog posts covering my interpretations of the art and how his art has influenced my art as many of these paintings I had seen before in other shows and in different contexts.

portraits of john singer sargent #MetSargent @metmuseum http://schulmanart.blogspot.com/2015/08/learning-from-masters-psychological.html

Portraits of John Singer Sargent:

1) Pailleron Children, 1880. This was not my first encounter with this mesmerizing portrait depicting these two. I first encountered them at the Brooklyn Museum in 2005. 

According to the Brooklyn Museum curators: Although children may not immediately come to mind when thinking about Sargent, they appear frequently in several types of paintings he did throughout his career—in commissioned and non-commissioned portraits and in genre (thematic) subjects. A survey of a selection of these works presents the idea that Sargent deliberately exhibited paintings of children at crucial points in his career to shape critical and public opinion of his art; that his art yielded the uncalculated result of elevating the theme of childhood above that of sentimentality; and that his alteration of the traditional iconography of childhood coincided with new attitudes about children that were forming in Europe and North America.

Tantrums


At both exhibits you learn that the artist had to endure over 80 sittings, and frequent tantrums from the girl about her outfit. Her eyes still brimming with tears as she tests her will against those of the adults around her and she perches ready to flee. The brother is positioned on the other side of the rug draped bench, seemingly not bothered by the societal constraints placed upon him. You notice his "knowing attitude", his slouch (contrasts to the erect tense posture of his sister), and most tellingly, his limp wrists.

Family Resemblance


2) Marie Pailleron 1879 & 3) Edourd Pailleron 1879
I was delighted that I could for the first time view the children next to their parents. Can you see the resemblance? You have a family of milk toast men and strong willed females. The girl strongly resembles her high maintenance mother and the boy, his disheveled and low key father. Do you notice the similar postures of the father and son? The mean stare of the mother with her formerly and stiffly folded hands? Also notice the contrast between the open collar of the father and the tightly collared wife. 


Every detail is intentional


Since we know the artist frequently collaborated with his sitters on the choice of their fashion, we know that nothing is an accident..this artist "sees" and "tells" us all we need to know about this family.


Other stories you might like




Hey, I'm Miriam Schulman and I create mixed media art to tell stories. I also teach other people how to craft their stories with art. I give them the techniques they need to get the results they desire which brings more joy to their lives.

My art has been published by Somerset Studio, Art of Man and the New York Times among others and collected by an international audience. When I'm not playing with paint in my studio, you'll find me in a museum spending time with friends or family. Explore my art at SchulmanArt.com where you can view my commissioned portraits or join the fun at TheInspirationPlace.net. You may be especially interested in my online class on portrait painting in watercolor.


For super fans only: You can stay connected to me through one of my newsletters where I curate my content for either artists or art collectors, but if you want to receive all of my blog posts the day after I write them, you can subscribe via by Email 
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Thursday, July 30, 2015

What do you put on the first page of your art journal?

art journal ideas http://schulmanart.blogspot.com/2015/07/what-do-you-put-on-first-page-of-your.html
A commonly asked question is "what do you put on the first page of your art journal?" I actually take the stress off of myself by always starting the first page the same way. 

art journal pages  http://schulmanart.blogspot.com/2015/07/what-do-you-put-on-first-page-of-your.html
The first page of every art journal says "art Journal by Miriam Schulman." Kind of goofy, right? But why stress yourself out over a process that is supposed to relax you?

art journal inspiration  http://schulmanart.blogspot.com/2015/07/what-do-you-put-on-first-page-of-your.html
This is my second completely finished journal. In my first finished journal, I printed my name and address on a label for the inside cover since I was submitting it to a magazine and that is part of their submission process. This time, I decided to use that requirement as a prompt for lettering. I put a patchwork of scrapbook papers down first, added my lettering and then filled in around the negative spaces with Faber-Castell India ink pens in different colors. 


For some reason,. although you could probably google my address and phone number I felt a bit queasy splashing those stats across a blog post. So, I censored this page a bit.

art journal inspiration   http://schulmanart.blogspot.com/2015/07/what-do-you-put-on-first-page-of-your.html
Here you can see how I coordinated the colors in the "address" page with the first page. Creating the address page as a mixed media detail gave me a sense of completion and closure with my journal.

Do you want more ideas for your art journal?

Here are some other blog posts you might like:

More About Me



Hey, I'm Miriam Schulman and I create mixed media art to tell stories. I also teach other people how to craft their stories with art. I give them the techniques they need to get the results they desire which brings more joy to their lives. 

My art has been published by Somerset StudioArt of Man and the New York Times among others and collected by an international audience. When I'm not playing with paint in my studio, you'll find me in a museum spending time with friends or family. Explore my art at SchulmanArt.com or join the fun at TheInspirationPlace.net I will be offering a mixed media class in the fall of 2015. join the wait list 

For super fans only: You can stay connected with me through one of my newsletters where I curate my content for either artists or art collectors, but if you want to receive everyone of my blog posts the day after I write them. you can subscribe to them via by Email I write about color trendsmuseum musingsmy artart journaling and watercolor techniques.


You can also download this FREE ART JOURNAL ebook for loads of prompts and techniques to keep you happy and busy!

art journal ideas | art journal pages | get art journal inspiration → https://schulmanart.leadpages.net/freeartjournalclass/

claim your FREE art journal ebook! →download now

 

 


What is on the first page of your art journal?

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Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Watercolor Wednesdays: How To Mix Green Paint

watercolor techniques: how to mix green paint http://schulmanart.blogspot.com/2015/07/watercolor-wednesdays-how-to-mix-green.html
Mixing green paint is one of the most challenging watercolor techniques to beginning students but once you learn some simple recipes, it can be easy. Every year, I show my students how to mix green and review the demo in class. The trick is to keep it simple and I will reuse the same recipes over and over again. In this blog post, I will show you how.

Pepsico Ducks by watercolor artist Miriam Schulman ©SchulmanArt collect duck paintings https://www.etsy.com/shop/SchulmanArts/search?search_query=ducks&order=date_desc&view_type=list&ref=shop_search
Pepsico Ducks, Watercolor by Mriiam Schulman ©SchulmanArt (→collect duck prints)\

Green is an indisputable and indispensable component of painting watercolor landscapes. Learning how to properly mix green paint will improve all your watercolor landscape paintings.

watercolor techniques: how to mix green paint http://schulmanart.blogspot.com/2015/07/watercolor-wednesdays-how-to-mix-green.html

Green Recipes


1) Although Phtalo Green ( also known as winsor green) looks artificial on its own, it makes a terrific base to use in mixing vibrant greens.
2) My favorite combination is to combine Winsor green with Burnt Sienna. 
3) The brownish sienna softens the bottle green to a natural olive green applicable to many watercolor landscape paintings
4) For more variety I sometimes substitute Quinacridone Gold instead of Burnt Sienna or use Viridian Green as the base instead of Winsor Green. As you see, all these greens are soft, vibrant and natural.


Are you interested in getting video lessons on exact mixing techniques? Check out my beginner class, Watercolor Secrets where I will show you step by step how to mix greens with natural vibrancy.



Dragonfly Dance by watercolor artist Miriam Schulman ©SchulmanArt collect dragonfly art  https://www.etsy.com/shop/SchulmanArts/search?search_query=dragonfly&order=date_desc&view_type=list&ref=shop_search
Dragonfly Dance, by Miriam Schulman ©SchulmanArt (→collect Dragonfly Art)

Another tip for using green is to not mix it completely and allow colors to vary in their  tones. Allow some areas to be straight gold, burnt sienna or drop in some yellows.

Other stories you might like

https://schulmanart.leadpages.net/watercolorsupplylist/

Download your FREE ultimate watercolor supply list to get the exact list of paints, brushes and paper I use everyday to create my watercolors!

What are your frustrations with watercolor painting? Ask me here and I will include my answer in a future blog post!

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Tuesday, July 28, 2015

May you never lose your sense of wonder

art for the child inside of us all... may you never lose  your sense of wonder http://schulmanart.blogspot.com/2015/07/may-you-never-lose-your-sense-of-wonder.html
Remember the joys of childhood? When rain meant a day at the movies and snow was a school holiday- not bad weather you complained about. Remember the days when the most important things in the world were your two wheeler bike, your best friend, and the ice cream truck? That is the sense of joy and wonder I try to preserve in my artwork and why I love to capture the innocence of animals who never seem to lose their sense of play.

Art that doesn't take itself so seriously


The reason I am obsessed with my current series of artwork that combines my love of representational watercolor with the abstraction of mixed media is that the collage elements keeps the art from getting too serious. For example, in this chick painting, I have the realistic watercolor baby chicks against a backdrop of polka dots, musical notes and words that peek through the violet keystone sky and lace in between their webbed toes.


Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up~Picasso (→click to tweet)


art for the child inside of us all... may you never lose  your sense of wonder http://schulmanart.blogspot.com/2015/07/may-you-never-lose-your-sense-of-wonder.html Cheerful Chicks by Miriam Schulman @schulmanArt collect the art at www.SchulmanArt.com

I spy a bit of lace


This artwork is intended to make you feel happy and you will notice something new each time you look at it. For example, look carefully at the left of the painting and you will notice a bit of aqua lace. → collect the art here
decorating ideas for childrens rooms or nursery wall art http://schulmanart.blogspot.com/2015/07/may-you-never-lose-your-sense-of-wonder.html

Sense of awe and wonder


Transform your child's room into something magical. These happy little yellow chicks were born in a kindergarten classroom so the kids could marvel at the miracle of life while learning science. You can bring that sense of awe and wonder into your little one's life with this cheery painting full of optimistic orange, soothing teal and patterned fantasy. 


If you secretly yearn for this painting yourself, of course big girls can enjoy it too and know that you will never out grow the wonder years of your imagination. → collect the art here


I hope you never lose your sense of wonder~Lee Ann Womack (→tweet this)


One thousand ideas and never boring


Gratitude to French artist Annick Augier who left this insightful comment on my facebook page:

More About Me



Hey, I'm Miriam Schulman and I create mixed media art to tell stories. I also teach other people how to craft their stories with art. I give them the techniques they need to get the results they desire which brings more joy to their lives. 

My art has been published by Somerset StudioArt of Man and the New York Times among others and collected by an international audience. When I'm not playing with paint in my studio, you'll find me in a museum spending time with friends or family. Explore my art at SchulmanArt.com or join the fun at TheInspirationPlace.net I will be offering a mixed media class in the fall of 2015. join the wait list 

For super fans only: You can stay connected with me through one of my newsletters where I curate my content for either artists or art collectors, but if you want to receive everyone of my blog posts the day after I write them. you can subscribe to them via by Email I write about color trends, museum musings, my art, art journaling and watercolor techniques.


The Art that Got Away

sunflower art by Miriam Schulman | disocver art like this on etsy→ https://www.etsy.com/shop/SchulmanArts/search?search_query=sunflower&order=date_desc&view_type=list&ref=shop_searchPS I was planning on writing about this sunflower painting today, but the art sold just 5 hours after I listed it on etsy after I had posted a link on facebook. Are you following me on facebook?

PSS You can get a exclusive subscriber coupon to save on any art you see on my blog...
(→save here)
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Monday, July 27, 2015

Eastern Culture Meets Western Fashion in Met's 2015 Costume exhibition

art review on chinese fashion @metmuseum #ChinaLookingGlass #AsianArt100 http://schulmanart.blogspot.com/2015/07/eastern-culture-meets-western-fashion.html
I admit I am a museum nerd, but nothing relaxes me or lifts my spirits more than visiting an art museum. Here is a virtual tour of the Metropolitan Museum of Art's 2015 costume exhibition entitled "China Through the Looking Glass" which explores the influence of Chinese culture on modern fashion designs. The exhibit is open through September 7, 2015.


Why "through the looking glass"?


You may be wondering, as we were, why the curators chose the title "Through the Looking Glass?" Did this have anything to do with the Lewis Carroll characters? The explanation is weak at best saying that it referenced when Alice entered her looking glass, a mirror, into another world. I wonder that they just thought it was a cool title and then looked for ways to justify and make a connection. True, they did artfully display the fashions in front of mirrors so you could see the back as well as the front of each manikin...and they also put "hats" on many of the manikins in the shape of Alice characters... like a rabbit. However, after the first room, the reference to the Alice's mirror lost its connection. Overall,  we ( my mother and I) both enjoyed the exhibit. 

Curating at its best


What I love about the Met's fashion exhibits is the way they elevate the shows to high theater. Think of this show as a visit to the Epcot theme park but for sophisticated world travelers and you will get a sense of the quality of the exhibit.


Moon in the Water


By far, one of our favorite rooms  had a moon like projection on the ceiling that was reflected into the pond beneath. The costume draped manikins stood on platforms through out the reflecting pond.


from the museum's website:
The exhibition's subtitle, "Through the Looking Glass," translates into Chinese as "Moon in the Water," a phrase that alludes to Buddhism. Like "Flower in the Mirror," it suggests something that cannot be grasped, and has both positive and negative connotations. When used to describe a beautiful object, "moon in the water" can refer to a quality of perfection that is either so elusive and mysterious that the item becomes transcendent or so illusory and deceptive that it becomes untrustworthy. The metaphor often expresses romantic longing, as the eleventh-century poet Huang Tingjian wrote: "Like picking a blossom in a mirror/Or grabbing at the moon in water/I stare at you but cannot get near you." It also conveys unrequited love, as in the song "Hope Betrayed" in Cao Xueqin's mid-eighteenth-century novel Dream of the Red Chamber: "In vain were all her sighs and tears/In vain were all his anxious fears:/As moonlight mirrored in the water/Or flowers reflected in a glass."
art review on chinese fashion @metmuseum #ChinaLookingGlass #AsianArt100 http://schulmanart.blogspot.com/2015/07/eastern-culture-meets-western-fashion.html
1) Daughter of the Dragon, film still from 1931
Throughout the exhibit, there are film clips from Chinese movies. My mother was excited by these clips as she had rented many of these movies which you can too. Seeing the clips made me yearn to watch them as they were filled with exotic and subtle eroticism. The curators definitely made their point that the figure flaunting fashions fanned the flames of these romantic film clips.

2) 
Ralph Lauren: Then, the curators further emphasized the relationship between the Chinese culture and Western modern fashion like the juxtaposition of this evening dress from Ralph Lauren's fall 2011 collection.

3) Every modern piece was positioned next to its ancient counterpart like this Chinese court robe that clearly influenced the 2013 Valentino dress next to it. (4)

5) Although it is easy to imagine how Tom Ford for Yves Saint Laurant (6) took inspiration from an ancient Chinese robe, I wondered out loud how Coco Chanel (her design and inspiration not shown here) was able to copy her designs without the convenience of the internet... Had she traveled across the globe to see them in person? "No," the elderly stranger next to me chided..."She went to the library."

7) Detail from this 19th century Chinese manuscript served as fodder for a Christian Dior 1951 cocktail dress (8). Yes, 1951-- I agree it looks like you could wear it now and look completely modern and on point.. but we have come to re-love this silhouette thanks to Mad Men.
So, that's your crib notes version of the costume exhibit at the Met. Do you like these types of blog posts? I enjoy writing them although they don't directly relate to my art but I am sure that the exposure will find its way into the creation of a future artwork

Here are some other stories I thought you'd might like:

For super fans only: You can stay connected to me through one of my newsletters where I curate my content for either artists or art collectors, but if you want to receive everyone of my blog posts the day after I write them. you can subscribe to them via by Email I write about color trends, museum musings, my art, art journaling and watercolor techniques.





Hey, I'm Miriam Schulman and I create mixed media art to tell stories. I also teach other people how to craft their stories with art. I give them the techniques they need to get the results they desire which brings more joy to their lives. 

My art has been published by Somerset Studio, Art of Man and the New York Times among others and collected by an international audience. When I'm not playing with paint in my studio, you'll find me in a museum spending time with friends or family. Explore my art at SchulmanArt.com or join the fun at TheInspirationPlace.net

What do you think of the Eastern influence on Western fashion?

Read More »

Thursday, July 23, 2015

black gesso proceso

art journal tutorial with black gesso http://schulmanart.blogspot.com/2015/07/black-gesso-proceso.html

Do you have the courage to try black gesso in your art journal?


Today, I'm going to give you a peek of my art journaling process. I'm going to use black gesso as the first layer and the entire time I am meditating on a mantra about commitment to my goals. you can watch the video of my art journal from start to finish.

The opposite of success is not failure


The opposite of success is not failure. The opposite of success is giving up, and I do not give up during this entire process. You'll see, if a layer doesn't work, I just keep layering on top, and layering, and layering, and layering, until I like the way it turns out. So, I'm sharing this with you, because I do know that it's going to work out really well in the end, and I wanted to share with you my entire process including the ugly parts

Ugly ducklings sometimes grow into beautiful swans (even with our art)


All the previous work is still there. It still forms different layers, peeking through the new layers.The whole point of doing an art journal is you get to experiment without worrying about creating a finished product that's for sale.

art journal inspiration and tutorial on http://schulmanart.blogspot.com/2015/07/black-gesso-proceso.html

I am 100% committed to becoming the artist I need to be... I believe I can


Here is the final art journal two page spread. The mantra I've been repeating throughout this entire art journal process, is "I am 100% committed to becoming the artist I need to be... I believe I can."




art journal tutorial with black gesso http://schulmanart.blogspot.com/2015/07/black-gesso-proceso.html
1. Golden Fluid Acrylics - Vat OrangeTealYellow Oxide
2. Letraset Neon Markers
3. Liquitex Black Gesso
4. Liquitex White Gesso

More essential supplies not in graphic
5. Black Pentel Pen
6. PITT Artist Pen - White Large Bullet Nib

Do you want more ideas for your art journal? 
Here are some other blog posts you might like:

art journal ideas | art journal pages | get art journal inspiration → https://schulmanart.leadpages.net/freeartjournalclass/
Glad you stopped by! I'm Miriam Schulman and I love sharing my inspiration with you!

 

You can also download this FREE ART JOURNAL ebook for loads of prompts and techniques to keep you happy and busy!

art journal ideas | art journal pages | get art journal inspiration → https://schulmanart.leadpages.net/freeartjournalclass/

claim your FREE art journal ebook! →download now

 

 

Do you have the courage to try black gesso in your art journal?

Read More »

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Are you making these 3 mistakes with your watercolor paintings?

watercolor techniques | how to paint with watercolor | red pigment advice http://schulmanart.blogspot.com/2015/07/are-you-making-these-3-mistakes-with.html
A common frustration I hear beginning watercolor students is confusion over the wide variety of pigments and paints. 











In my online watercolor course on painting the figure, I got this question from one of my students:

QUESTION: I have read a suggestion of picking one red, one blue and one yellow for a painting and for harmony, mixing all the colors from those three primaries. However, I notice you use more than one of each. Is this the option of the artist...to either bend the rules or not have any rules at all? How many colors do you typically use in a painting? Also, how do you determine when to use the Cad Red, the Rose and the Scarlet Lake? 

First of all, that is not a rule that really applies well to watercolor painting. Although you can create a successful painting using a single triad ( one red, blue, and yellow) you might struggle to create realistic looking flesh tones that evoke light and shade. I typically use around 8 colors when painting the figure and I do follow a set of rules which I teach in my classes.

Stick to one or two experts...ignore the rest (tweet this)

Here's the funny thing about rules and experts. If you listen to too many different experts, whether the subject is painting, love or marketing you will get confused and overwhelmed. Find one or two trusted mentors and stick with their advice and ignore the rest.


Guilty or innocent? 

Here are the most common misconceptions about painting with red paint, are you guilty or
innocent?  

1. Are you using only one shade of red?
2. Are you using an opaque red to glaze?
3. Do you understand the difference between warm and cool reds?


watercolor techniques | how to paint with watercolor | red pigment advice http://schulmanart.blogspot.com/2015/07/are-you-making-these-3-mistakes-with.html
I made this handy cheat sheet to help you understand the differences between the different watercolor pigments. 

Yasgur's Barn, watercolor by Miriam Schulman has a warm tone- how odd
would it be to have a pinkish barn? Might be okay, if that were your intention.

Warm versus Cool Reds

Oh my gosh, yes there is a difference. I put together a chart to help you "see" or reference the difference but the simplest explanation is that a warm red tends more towards orange since it has yellow undertones while a cool red will tend more towards pink as it has blue undertones. 

This matters when you are mixing colors so you don't end up with mud and this can also be helpful when depicting red objects in light and shadow. You may want to use a warm red in the sunlight and a cooler red in the shade.

 

Pretty Peonies by Miriam Schulman. No two ways about it. If
you want to paint pink flowers you better get a tube of rose.

You need "rose" for pink


Not shown in the chart are all the pigments that are "rose." Rose is truly a pink paint and very useful to watercolorists since you can't add white to mix pink. Therefore, you need to rely on pink paint to do that job. So if nothing else, you will need at least two shades of red if you plan on including red and pink in the same watercolor- and this would be critical for portrait and realistic figure paintings.




I Hear a Symphony, watercolor by Miriam Schulman
Don't even think about painting portraits without understanding
which reds are transparent and therefore appropriate for glazing
and which ones will make a muddy mess.

Opaque versus transparent


Although watercolor is mostly considered a transparent medium, as compared to acrylics or oil paints, you will find that there are some pigments that are more transparent than others. This is very important if you choose to apply a transparent glaze to tone a color. For example, let's say that you are painting a woman's face and you want to put a "blush" on her cheeks. You would need a transparent glaze or red in order for her not to look like a cosmetics clerk from a department store.


If you have any other question, please leave them in the comments below. I will answer them here or in a future blog post.

Other stories you might like

https://schulmanart.leadpages.net/watercolorsupplylist/

Download your FREE ultimate watercolor supply list to get the exact list of paints, brushes and paper I use everyday to create my watercolors!

 Which of these watercolor crimes were you guilty of?

Read More »