Masterpieces with Single Tree Composition

Fundamentally, all landscape paintings have a focal point, which draws the viewer’s eye to the heart of the paintings composition. For instance (as shown below), the cypress trees serve as the focal point in Vincent van Gogh’s painting ‘Wheat Field and Cypress Trees’, the sun in Claude Monet’s painting ‘Impression’ and the central tree in the painting ‘Banks of the Marne’ by Paul Cezanne.

But what if the composition of the painting comprises of a single tree, the focal point diminishes and the central figure is the lone subject of the painting. Which genre would the artwork fall under – Landscape, subject study or symbolic art? The theme sounds vague, boring and bland but surprisingly this rare composition has been captured beautifully by many master artists. We explore few such masterpieces that aesthetically illustrate this atypical theme.

The Mulberry Tree by Vincent van Gogh-
The isolated tree shown against a rocky terrain has its branches spread out with a blast of fiery colors. Vincent managed to create a magical autumn experience by means of just a single tree.

 

 

Rose bushes under the Trees by Gustav Klimt-
The canvas is like a confetti explosion of various shades of greens and yellows. Klimt’s unique composition of a single tree with rich foliage, depicted with tiny specks of brush strokes is one of his most popular masterpieces.

 

 

The Tree Series by Piet Mondrian-
The solitary trees in the series are depicted in their most basic and simplistic form, true to Mordrian’s art movement ‘De Stijl’ / ’The Style’. Cleverly angled brush strokes, and limited palette void of greens are the unique characteristics of this series.

 

 

The Bonaventure Pine by Paul Signac-
Painted in pointillism style a huge Umbrella Pine tree stretches across the canvas. The subdued background highlights the majestic form and the interesting shape of the tree. Following the pointillism technique of small dots applied in patterns, pixels of lighter tone sprinkled around the tree, suggest sunlight filtering through the leaves, adding a dreamy feel to the painting.

 

 

Autumn trees by Egon Schiele-
The bare lone trees made by the expressionist artists are metamorphic, the series deal with the themes related to death and rebirth. Grey palette, twisted trunk, cloudy sky and entwined branches are a compelling portrayal of a stormy winter, allegorical of misery and loneliness.

 

 

Pine Tree near Aix by Paul Cezanne-
The composition of this artwork differs from the rest, it’s unique and abstract, much like the other artworks of the post impressionist artist. The central figure (i.e. the pine tree) gets cut from all sides and is used as a frame for the painting. The mesh of the branches connecting the sides, combine all the elements to the center of the composition.

 

 

The Oak by Edvard Munch-
The artwork has an interesting color scheme, cool sky tones gradually descend to warm earthy color, diagonally from top left to bottom right. Though the color gradient of the tree is reflected on the background, yet Munch successively managed to highlight the tree as the central figure.

 

 

The Pink Peach Tree by Vincent Van Gogh-
The painting depicts a peach tree in bloom during springtime, despite being painted with subtle and pastel shades the artwork looks vibrant and spirited. The perspective exaggerated by the tapering flow of the brush strokes helps in highlighting the tree as the main subject.

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Th.V. Doesburg, Drei Haeuser by Juan Gris-
The abstract treatment represents the tree as a three-dimensional form viewed from a single perspective. The cubist artist’s composition despite its simplified geometric forms retains the look and feel of a landscape.

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Tree in flower near Vetheuil by Claude Monet-
The father of impressionism’s technique of capturing light and its effect on the color of the object is at play in this painting. The light and shade on the solitary tree are represented brilliantly with precise dabs and dashes of varied tones.

 

 

Little Oak Tree by Franz Marc-
The simplicity of the painting is reminiscent of ‘The Mulberry Tree’ by Vincent van Gogh (first painting on the top), spirals of fresh green leaves are highlighted by the brilliant blue sky and animated strokes of the ground.

 

 

The Fig Tree by Paul Klee-
The lone trees’ composition, monochromatic tones and the arrangement of the colored shapes reflect the artists experience in stain glass.

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L’Arbre (The Tree) by Pablo Picasso-
Picasso’s neutral colored artwork illustrates a stylized tree, with array of bold strokes and distorted shapes, the composition is compact with interlinked forms.

 

 

A Great Tree by  J. W. Turner-
The Watercolor artwork projects a powerful and majestic tree, the composition partly cuts the tree from the sides, highlighting the sunlit part of the tree as the focal point.

 

 

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Art for Feng Shui

The basic theory of Feng Shui (meaning ‘wind ‘and ‘water’) is to create a positive setting for the circulation of the invisible energy flow present in our living environment. The course of the life force (Chi) around us influences our success, relationships and health. Obstructions to this flow can cause disharmony resulting to adverse repercussions. To achieve balance and accord, Feng Shui consultants guide us as to- ‘what’ and ‘how’ to arrange the matter around us. As per Feng Shui guidelines, synchronization and stability can be achieved by arranging personalized objects, in the right manner in our surroundings.

In Feng Shui, art plays a very important role in energizing the atmosphere. It is one of the easiest and most flexible elements that can be used to modify energies and attract positive vibrations. The artwork selected should candidly communicate the motive and secure the objective accurately.

Water signifies prosperity, success and wealth. Select a landscape with flowing water for the North segment of your house for abundance in cash inflow or career advancement. The course of the flowing water in the artwork should give the impression of moving in the direction of the viewer, in other words towards the house. Shown below are some of the artworks by Master’s suitable for the North sector of the house.

La Grenouillere by Claude Monet

Fishing boats at Sainte Marie by Vincent van Gogh

Rest along the Stream by Alfred Sisley

Artworks that exemplify love, togetherness and happiness needs to be placed in Southwest sector of the house, for energizing love, deepening family relationships and developing new associations. Shown below are some of the artworks by great Master’s apt for the Southwest subdivision of the house.

The Kiss by Gustav Klimt

The Luncheon of the Boating Party by Renoir

A painting that radiates potency and longevity is good for the Health sector of the house (East).
Wheat Field with Cypresses by Vincent van Gogh- The evergreen trees cypress in the painting signify longevity and strength. Scenic slush greenery and cultivated fields make the painting best suited for well being and liveliness. The wood element in the painting is also favorable for the East.

Irises by Vincent van Gogh Irises an ornamental flowering plant that survives in hard conditions like dried semi-desert and rocky mountains illustrates potency and dazzling energy. The solid long stems with blossoming flowers make it a powerful print for healing and fertility.

Artworks or prints that communicate movement and new opportunities should be placed in the ‘Fame and Reputation’ segment of the house (South). Select a print with vibrant colors, blazing with energy and packed with action.
Starry Night over the Rhone by Vincent van Gogh- The numerous spiral stars signify new opportunities and activities. The Water element in the painting adds positive energy for success. Activate your ‘Fame and Recognition’ sector with this energized painting.

Poppy field by Vincent van Gogh- The fiery red poppy flowers against the brilliant green fields painted with animated brushstrokes, if placed in a South region, it will be favorable for ‘Fame and Reputation. Trees and mountains in the background suggest growth and support.

Southeast region of the house, which is for ‘Prosperity and Abundance’, needs artworks that symbolize good fortune, ampleness and opulence.
Still Life with Quince Pears by Vincent van Gogh The painting screams abundance and prosperity. The gold-like yellow pears are most appropriate for dining hall or kitchen.

The Harvest by Vincent van Gogh Harvest the most productive season of the year symbolizes good fortune and rewarding results. A print most appropriate for acknowledgment and acclaim.

Creativity and Children’ division (South) of the house requires an artwork denoting expansion, a new beginning and prosperous growth.
Almond blossom by Vincent van Gogh- The budding almonds in the painting illustrates beginning of a new life and growth. Placing this print in the ‘Children and Creativity’ section would be fruitful.

Small Pear Tree in Blossom by Vincent van Gogh The painting represents prosperous expansion and profitable results, most appropriate for creative development and new foundations.

For ‘Knowledge and Skill’ zone (Northeast) a tranquil and composed artwork would be fitting. It should signify inner growth and spiritual expansion.
Rose bushes under the Trees by Gustav Klimt The rich foliage highlights the Earth energy of the Northeast sector. The tree adorned with multiple dabs of green indicates change of season which in Feng Shui denotes positive alteration and willingness to accept change. The flowers symbolize rewarding results. A potent print for the ‘Knowledge and Skill’ zone.

Heidelberg by E. Phillips Fox – This artwork also grounds the earth energy for Northeast. The green foliage and serene atmosphere awakens insightful and intuitive thoughts.

Finally, select artwork that communicate the most with you and expresses your intentions. Instead of deciding base on commercial ads selling Feng Shui products, rely on your instincts.

 

The Outlaws – Van Gogh, Gauguin and Cezanne

Van Gogh, Gauguin and Cezanne were considered the outlaws in many respects, in the art world because of their revolutionary art styles and in the social order because of their reputation as hostile and antisocial characters. The founders of the new avant-garde art movement- post impressionism, they were the rebellions of their time. They rejected the conventional rules of painting and created their own unique style, much to the annoyance of the traditionalist. However their bad boys status is not limited to the art scenario, all three were well known for their eccentric and unapproachable nature.

 Interior of a forest by Paul Cézanne

Paul Cezanne’s art was much ahead of his time, even his contemporaries ‘The Impressionists’, known to be the  revolutionaries of their time couldn’t cope with his radical style. His ultramodern technique was by far too advanced for the impressionist to categories him as one of their own. Eventually Cézanne broke away from the group and cut all ties with his other fellow artists. He shifted to a secluded base in a suburb of Aix-en-Provence and started leading a very reclusive life in complete isolation.  As per his biographer Lawrence Hanson-“ He became violently anti-social that poisoned every relationship in his life. With every year his detestation of his fellow men seemed to grow and his efforts to appear even passably civil dwindled to next to nothing.”

 The card players by Paul Cézanne

 The Pool at the Jas de Bouffan by Paul Cézanne

 Still Life with Jar, Cup, and Apples by Paul Cézanne

 Still Life with a Ginger Jar and Eggplants by Paul Cézanne

Vincent van Gogh like his artworks was volatile and unpredictable. His erratic brush strokes and intensely dazzling palette altered the face of art forever. His offbeat masterpieces have been an inspiration for future art movements like Cubism and Fauvism. Van Gogh became the poster child for the classic eccentric and unfriendly artist. His mood swings, alcoholism and mental illnesses like schizophrenia and bipolar disorder made him an outcast in the society. The artist himself confessed to his brother Theo that he felt like a misfit even amongst his own artist friends. After the infamous incident, when he cut his ear lobe with a razor, the locals in Arles signed a petition stating that van Gogh was dangerous and unreliable. Thereafter he confined himself within the Saint-Paul-de-Mausole asylum and painted within the hospitals property.

 Garden at Arles by Vincent van Gogh

Wheatfield with crows by Vincent van Gogh

Roses by Vincent van Gogh

Poplars near Nuenen by Vincent van Gogh

 Poppy field by Vincent van Gogh

Paul Gauguin became an outsider by choice, he abandoned his wife and five children and escaped to a small primitive island- Tahiti. Though it was an idealistic life for a lone artist but shifting away from civilization and selfishly running away from family responsibilities would qualify him as an oddball even in current times. Financial difficulties and his need to look for compositions and subjects unadulterated by the artificial western culture led him to visit Tahiti. Enamored by the exotic location and simplicity of the natives, he eventually decided to make the island his permanent home. His bright colored Tahiti paintings captured the innocence and ethnicity of the locals superbly. The usage of experimental colors and abstract shapes of the indigenous subjects in his tropical paradise-like masterpieces was fresh and original. Unfortunately, these new and untried techniques could not be comprehended and accepted by the art community of his time.

Three Tahitians by Paul Gauguin

Two Tahitians by Paul Gauguin

The Siesta by Paul Gauguin

Self Portrait by Paul Gauguin

Being ‘the outlaws’ wasn’t the only thing they had in common, the trio made groundbreaking progress in the art world which laid down the foundation for the modern art. Unlike other contemporary artists of their time, who composed what they saw in real life and copied it on their canvases, Gauguin along with Vincent and Cezanne were first of their kind who made from their imagination. Great artists like Picasso and Matisse were greatly influenced by these outlaws.

 

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Radha’s many Avatars

Radha’s divine love for Krishna has inspired and influenced Indian art in all forms. In spite of these copious creative manifestations, Her avatar as such has no precision, there are numerous version’s to Her character in Indian literature and art. The number of role’s assigned to Her are astonishing- a devotional milkmaid, personification of Kundalini shakti, Mother nature (Prakriti), Supreme Goddess (Devi), Krishna’s favorite gopi and more.

 

Gita Govinda, a devotional song composed by Jayadeva (12th century poet), illustrates Radha as the central character. The poet elaborates on how Her love has unmanageable control on Lord Krishna, who is miserable in Radha’s absence. Both of them are vulnerable victims of an irrepressible passion. Jayadeva highlights Radha’s jealousy over Krishna’s flirtatious nature, who goes astray very easily. Many experts believe that the mini-epic metaphorically describes how an individual soul separates from the Supreme soul but eventually they have a blissful union.

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Jayadeva worshiping Radha and Krishna

 

Sur Das the blind saint of 15th century, in his masterpiece Sur-Sagar personifies Radha as a human soul in love with the Creator. Her thoughts, affection and distress are described with elaborate details starting from childhood. However unlike Jayadeva, Radha’s love as expressed by Sur Das has more bhakti and devotion than passion.

Surdas OcherArtBlog

Tansen (left) watches as Sur Das (Center) and Haridas (right) sing their Devotional song.

 

Rupa Goswami a 16th century poet and philosopher, portrayed Radha as a married women who’s passionate and devotional love for Krishna is far more spiritual than the other gopi’s. For Rupa she is not just a devotee with exceeding affection, he projects Her as a celestial Shakti in form of a human being, who ought to be worshiped alongside Lord Krishna. In his writings he even compared Vishnu’s 10 incarnations to Radharani’s body parts.

Rupa-Goswami_OcherArtBlog2

Rupa Goswami (source: theharekrishnamovement.org)

 

Radha’s appearance is not just limited to literature, most extraordinary manifestation is Chaitanya Mahaprabhu himself, a notable saint from 16th century who is considered by his devotees as the reincarnation of Radha or by some as ‘Krishna in union with Radha’. The purity and intensity of Chaitanya’s love for Krishna is said to have been parallel to that of Radharani. His sudden divine experiences and blissful transformations were termed as- Mahaprabhu possessed by Radha’s moods.

mahaprabhu_caitanya in trance OcherArtBlog 2

Chaitanya Mahaprabhu in trance

 

Brahma Vaivarta Purana, (one of the eighteen Puranas), describes Her as the Goddess Shakti (Rasesvari) in the eternal abode and as Krishna’s wife in human form (Radha). As per the scripture, unification of the celestial couple created the universe. When they incarnated as Krishna and Radha, Lord Brahma performs a secret marriage for the pair. There are many other manifestations of Radhas in our ancient scriptures, epics, literature, and art, each has its own significance. Ultimately the only common factor in all the appearances has been Her limitless Love for Krishna which has been used as an expression for blissful devotional.

Turner: master of seascapes

J. W. Turner’s experimental seascapes were known for its drama and action. His art style was much ahead of his time, many art historians believe that his approach defined the bases for impressionism.

The Sun of Venice Going to Sea. Click to buy this Canvas Prints on our storefront on AMAZON.in or on our website OCHERART.com

The Sun of Venice- Going to Sea :- Click to buy TURNER’s Print’s on AMAZON.in

 

The artist’s obsession with seascapes was so great that it is said that he got himself tied to a ship mast in order to study and experience the stormy moods and turbulence of the sea. However art historians dismiss it as a story generated to justify the phenomenal experience the viewers felt seeing his paintings.

 

Turner’s artwork stood apart from his contemporaries because of his unconventional method in depicting the splendor and force of seascapes. His groundbreaking technique of glazing over impasto captured the volatile nature of the sea in the most magnificent manner.

Sheerness as seen from the Nore

Sheerness as seen from the Nore :- Click to buy TURNER’s Print’s on AMAZON.in

 

Although Turner’s style is said to have been an early step towards impressionism, his artworks’ theme like many of his contemporary romanticist artist was to depict and explore the relationship between God and mankind. Depicting nature in its most pure and raw form with dramatic play of sunlight, stormy sea and translucent fog was his signature style of depicting the might of the Higher power.  It is said that his last words uttered before he passed away were “The sun is God”.

The Fish Market at Hastings

The Fish Market at Hastings :- Click to buy TURNER’s Print’s on AMAZON.in

 

The uniqueness of his work was also the way he treated oil’s like water colors. The transparency, untamed application and brief brush strokes were considered very avant-garde and original in his time.

Scarborough town and castle- morning boys catching crabs

Scarborough town and castle- morning boys catching crabs :- Click to buy TURNER’s Print’s on AMAZON.in

 

In his later years, his approach became increasingly abstract, nonfigurative and expressionistic. Turner couldn’t care less to explain the meteorological accuracies of the weather and time depicted in his artworks, emphasis was to stage an action-packed enthralling act on the canvas.

Wreckers- Coast of Northumberland, with a Steam Boat Assisting a Ship off Shore

Wreckers- Coast of Northumberland, with a Steam Boat Assisting a Ship off Shore :- Click to buy TURNER’s Print’s on AMAZON.in

 

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Street Art- an open gallery

Street art unlike traditional Art is displayed in public urban locations with an attempt to capture larger audience. Mostly the artist’s motive is to either convey a strong socio-political message or to beautify a public space with their own trademark style. The law considers it an illicit activity which makes it even more thrilling and intriguing for the public. It’s a personal expression of an anonymous artist who has taken risk in making his rebellion artwork on a prohibited public space. It’s an open gallery with an invitation for everyone to speculate, discuss and admire.

Street artist Banksy depicts- Child Labour in UK.

Street artist Banksy depicts- Child Labour in UK.

There is a difference between street art and vandalism. Street art has a character, it is an artist’s statement with no intention of disfiguring or ruining the area. The art is created with sincerity and conviction which sets it apart from irrational scribbling and meaningless drawings done by vandals.

Fairey

Street artist Shepard Fairey illustrates women as mere observers of Israeli-Palestine conflict.

 

Some of the street artists have gained immense international popularity with major fan following. Banksy (real name and identity is unknown) being one of the most popular amongst them, his artworks have been sold in many auction house’s and some are even part of museum collection. Banksy’s art is clever, thought provoking, satirical and often controversial in nature. His identity still remains unknown for ongoing legal issues, since graffiti is illegal.

Below are some of the best and most popular artworks made by Banksy:-

Banksy-Soldiers

Above artwork highlights repression of free speech as well as anti-war protest.

‘Sweep it under the carpet’

‘Sweep it under the carpet’ depicts reluctance of the western world to deal with global issues such as the AIDS epidemic.

‘A woman washing zebra stripes’

‘A woman washing zebra stripes’ was painted in Mali by Banksy. The Irony being, it has been painted in a drought-ridden country highlighting the careless usage of water by the western world.

Sad-looking working class

A depressed worker has his dreams stamped Cancelled.

two dimensional graffiti art-

Banksy’s two dimensional graffiti art- telephone booth murdered with an axe, lying in a pool of blood represents the death of phone due to social media.

Anti Immigration.

A powerful artwork that depicts Anti Immigration.

 

Shepard Fairey best known for the iconic ‘Hope’ poster of Barak Obama has a exceptional style which is quite similar to pop art and commercial illustrations. The ‘Hope’ poster was extensively used for U.S. presidential election campaign in 2008, Obama himself had sent a personal thank you note to Fairey for his contribution to the campaign. Shepard’s being a graphic designer extensively uses flat colors mainly black, white, and red. His work is now seen in some of the most prominent contemporary art galleries, as well as in signature apparel.

Below are some of the artworks done by Shepard Fairey:-

tlonworld.weebly.com

creative-mag.ctrlshift.co.uk

background-kid.com

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Invader is another well-known street artist who uses a ghost name to hide his identity. His mosaic art is made in pixilated form, replicating the video games made in 1970’s. Invaders tiled mosaic’s so far have been installed in more than 60 cities in 30 countries and the ’invasion’ continues. He has been showcased in many renowned galleries around the world. Other than tiles he has also used Rubik’s Cubes for his artwork which has earned him much appreciation in the art world.

Below are images of some of Invader’s invasions in various countries around the globe:-

PARIS, FRANCE

PARIS, FRANCE

HONG KONG

HONG KONG

LOMDON

LONDON

TOKYO, JAPAN

TOKYO, JAPAN

VARANASI, INDIA

VARANASI, INDIA

NY

NEW YORK, USA

 

Illegality was once an obstacle that hindered street artists from entering the arena of formal art. Strangely enough, contemporary art collectors and art galleries have started to appreciate them. Many more street artists are fast collaborating with art auctioneers and monetizing their artworks.

Image’s of Exhibition’s held by Banksy:-

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Image’s of Exhibition’s held by Invader:-

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Image’s of Exhibition’s held by Shepard Fairey:-

rollingstone

 

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Image source- banksy.co.uk, tlonworld.weebly.com, rollingstone.com hypebeast.com, creative-mag.ctrlshift.co.uk, pmcadmissions.files.wordpress.com, designyoutrust.com, dailymail.co.uk, space-invaders.com

 

6 Reasons to why you should visit Art Exhibition’s

We can probably list out hundreds of reasons to visit an Art exhibition however let’s start with 6 points to spare you the torture of a long post.

To take pleasure of an artworks’ grandeur and enormity, one must view it physically. Times have changed, art lovers can now view paintings on online galleries but experiencing art the traditional way has a charm of its own.

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The benefit as a visitor for an art show is that you will always get to see the finest handpicked art works of the showcased artists. Curators and artist collectively filter out the best artworks to be displayed for an Art exhibition from their collection. There is a lot of thinking and planning done in short listing the pieces.

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Its FREE! What could be better than a free entry to a setting with a marvelous visual treat? Even restaurants bill you for enjoying their ambience. In an exhibition you get a chance to be surrounded with rich creativity of contemporary artworks which you can leisurely enjoy without any time limit.

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Experiencing art awakens compassion and empathy in us, it helps us identify with the world of another. Art in any form is a window to the thoughts of the creator, be it poetry, music, movies or novels. Understanding the underlying feelings and relating it with oneself is what forms an emotional connection with not just the creators’ mind-set but also with the depicted composition. A work of art also facilitates us to self explore.

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Exhibitions serve as stress busters –‘far from the maddening crowd’. If you are lucky enough to visit an Art Show with a wide variety of exquisite work of art which you can easily identify with, it would truly be a spiritual experience.

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There is an artist in all of us waiting to be explored, visiting an art show is one of the many ways of unlocking our creative side. Being surrounded with art and creativity automatically makes you look at things from a new perspective, generates original thoughts and inspirational ideas.

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So step out, visit exhibitions and attend opening receptions of art shows, be an enthusiastic experience-seeker. For all you know, you may even want to make a return visit.

Ocher Art takes this opportunity to thank all the visitors who came for the 3rd edition of our Annual Art Show.

 

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Image source- Media coverage of Ocher Art’s Annual Art Exhibition’s. Artworks are of eminent artists showcased on ocherart.com

Krishna- a perfect muse

Lord Krishna true to his name meaning- “he who attracts everyone” has been the ultimate source of inspiration for the creative art for centuries- Fashion, Paintings, Movies, Classical dance, Creative writing and more…  He’s arguably the most influential Indian mythological figure, no other character so far has been captured artistically in so many ways and means.

Radha imitates Krishna

For queries regarding the artwork shown above, kindly mail at- admin@ocherart.com

 

For queries regarding the artwork shown above, kindly mail at- admin@ocherart.com

The reason for this fixation for the eighth avatar of Lord Vishnu is that His persona and teachings relate very well to the everyday aspects of human life. He has never been depicted as an unrealistically perfect and flawless figure, His character has multiple fascinating layers making it easier for a regular person to relate to. He was a butter-thief, an impish flirt, political genius, sharp strategist, an ideal friend and a doting son. Krishna, the supreme avatar is a great embodiment of numerous personas.

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For queries regarding the artwork shown above, kindly mail at- admin@ocherart.com

 

Manoj Das,acrylic on canvas,LILAA-II,24''x48''.2013,Rs-42,000.

For queries regarding the artwork shown above, kindly mail at- admin@ocherart.com

His distinctive, one of a kind, physical appearance also adds to the fascination of the artist’s, making Him the favorite subject for arts of all kinds. As per the vedic scriptures each element of his bedecked physical form has a deeper meaning, mentioning a few- dark blue complexion depicts infinite sky, yellow attire represents the earth matter, flute symbolizes an individual with a hollow ego and so on. These profound manifestations have made him a powerful and inspiring muse.

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For queries regarding the artwork shown above, kindly mail at- admin@ocherart.com

 

For queries regarding the artworks shown above, kindly mail at- admin@ocherart.com

Are Grief and Suffering a prerequisite for Good Art?

The society in general has a stereotypical image of a tortured artist, who is inspired by the grief and sufferings of his life which further intensifies his creativity, leading him to create artworks that are marked as masterpieces. We have fine examples to prove this- Paul Gauguin made his finest piece after the death of his beloved daughter, Frida Kahlo’s paintings depicted her severe physical pain, Picassos’ ‘Blue Period’ paintings were made while he mourned the death of his closest friend and the list goes on. However it’s not fair to declare that pain and suffering are a precondition that one needs to experience in order to be a good artist.

where-do-we-come-from-what-are-we

Where Do We Come From? What Are We? Where Are We Going?- made by Gauguin in his most depressed moment. “I believe that this canvas surpasses all my previous work”- as quoted by the artist. Credits: gauguin.org

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(Left) Frida Kahlo’s Self-Portrait with thorns around her neck. The artist depicts the physical pain she had all her life due to a childhood accident. Credits: http://www.fridakahlo.org (Right) The Guitarist was painted just after the death of Picasso’s closest friend. During this time, the artist painted many canvases depicting the miseries of the downtrodden. Credits: pablopicasso.org

In essence, artists are more sensitive than the average person, elements of passionate experience of any sort is what deeply touches and stirs their artistic soul. However inspiration can be derived from not just a heartbreaking experience, blissful happiness and love could also be a strong reason for the same. Take Dali for example, it was the love for his wife and muse Gala that inspired him to make extraordinary masterpieces. In fact her death gradually killed the artist in him, unfortunately like many others he couldn’t use art to vent out his depression. M. F. Husain’s immense fascination for Madhuri reawakened the filmmaker in him. Monet’s passion for botany and landscaping led him to produce numerous unique artworks, made in his garden at Givery.

Galaofspheres

A exceptional portrait made by Dali of his muse and wife Gala. She was the most influential figure in his life. His love for her is evident in most of his artworks. Photo credits: dali.com

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M. F. Husain’s immense fascination for Madhuri reawakened the filmmaker in him. “Madhuri is a classical beauty and still fascinates me” – as quoted by the late master. Photo credits: artsoftheearthindia.in

We all have our own individual way of dealing with emotionally difficult situations, artists’ use their art as a coping mechanism. Whether their feelings are generated from tough times or happy moments, they chose to channel them out by objectifying their experience with complete sincerity. The honesty of this visual expression is what makes their artworks special.

In my experience as an artist and a curator, artists’ are most contented while painting, its an evolution process for their soul. Ultimately what matters is that an artist is in a happier place while creating an artwork, what has lead to the making of it, heartache or joyfulness is not as important. Potpourri of sensitivity, musing and observation is the right recipe for good art, experiencing pain and misery is no criteria for making a masterpiece.

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How Great Artists’ Decreasing Vision Increased their Artistic Vision

Even if we categorize great masters under different movements and era’s, each artist regardless of that has a style that is distinct from the rest. For instance, Monet and Degas were from the same movement- ‘Impressionism’, yet their methods and techniques were poles apart. This individualistic style is what we call an ‘artists vision’, seeing the world through the eyes of the master. However as these artists ocular vision decreased, surprisingly their artistic vision increased. With age, most of them struggling with  vision disorder causing eye power deterioration and so their art style’s also changed, unpredictably that lead to the creation of some of the most innovative and discrete artworks.

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Degas, Monet and Renoir were amongt many other great masters who had eye disorder, as their ocular vision decreased their artistic vision increased.

Monet had nuclear cataract, this caused blurred vision and loss of color sensitivity. The world for him now appeared foggier and yellow hued. His color palette shifted from bright blues and greens to subdued yellows, purples and reds. Some of the most distinguished Water lily paintings were created during this phase, the artworks had a unique neutral and muddy appeal. His blurred vision however added an interesting abstractness to his artworks.

Monet - The Water Lily Pond

‘The Water lily pond’ by Claude Monet. His paintings developed a muddy appeal after he contracted Cataract. CLICK TO BUY PRINTS OF IMPRESSIONIST ARTISTS ON AMAZON.in

Degas was another impressionist artist who was tormented by vision problem, he had eye retinal disease called ‘Retinopathy’. Unlike Monet who changed his color palette, Degas switched his media, in place of oil colors he started using pastels. The use of pastels added a dreamlike surreal feel to his ballerina paintings. Increasingly, his artworks developed an enigmatic unfinished look. This abrupt and fragmented feel added a very defining character to his paintings.

Degas - Dancers-

‘Dancers’ by Edgar Degas. Due to his eye disorder he switched his media, in place of oil colors he started using pastels. CLICK TO BUY PRINTS OF IMPRESSIONIST ARTISTS ON AMAZON.in

Van Gogh the most celebrated post impressionist artist’s artworks had two distinct characteristics- rich yellow and bright halos. The yellow dominance in his paintings during his ‘Yellow period’ can be attributed to the intake of ‘Digitalis’, a drug given to him for treating his epilepsy. It caused Van Gogh to develop a ‘yellow vision’, which further lead him to use the color in the most intense and ground-breaking manner. Van Gogh also suffered from lead poisoning (caused due to the toxic lead-based paints used by him), which contributed to the circular swirls in his paintings, as lead- poisoned patients often see halos around lights due to swelled retinas.

Van Gogh - The harvest

‘The Harvest’ by Vincent van Gogh. The yellow dominance in his paintings was due to the intake of ‘Digitalis’, a drug responsible for his ‘yellow vision’. CLICK TO BUY PRINTS OF IMPRESSIONIST ARTISTS ON AMAZON.in

Pissarro known as the tearful impressionist artist had a malfunctioning tear duct because of which he couldn’t paint outdoors. His eyes were to be shielded from wind and dust to avoid severe inflammation and swelling. However that didn’t stop him from painting landscapes, he painted indoors seated behind a glass window. Some of the finest Paris cityscape’s and still life were created by him from indoors.

Pissarro - Still Life

‘Still life’ by Camille Pissarro. Some of the finest still life were created by him from indoors. CLICK TO BUY PRINTS OF IMPRESSIONIST ARTISTS ON AMAZON.in

Cezanne and Renoir were myopic and coincidentally both the artists refused to wear glasses. They utilized the blurriness caused due to their shortsightedness to their advantage. Renoir used soft and gentle brush strokes while Cezanne added ambiguity and abstraction to his artworks with great dexterity.

Cezanne - RE

Still life’s by Cezanne and Renoir. They utilized the blurriness caused due to their shortsightedness to their advantage. CLICK TO BUY PRINTS OF IMPRESSIONIST ARTISTS ON AMAZON.in

Matisse, Rembrandt, Rodin and Cassatt are few among other noted masters who have been identified with eye disorder. In spite of the challenges they faced due to the diseases they didn’t give up painting instead their creativity touched new heights and they produced some of the finest masterpieces.

 

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