All those objects, you, I, we, have at home... How often do we realise their existence? They are objects that offer us their usefulness, their beauty. Especially, those old, hand-made ones. When you think of it, it's a human being that, some time, somewhere, put their craftsmanship into them. They put their effort into making them, their love, their experience, their knowledge. It's what they left to the future.
It's the coffee pot, the teapot, the vase... beautiful everyday objects... Each one of them has got its own history and its own personality, which, nevertheless, are not evident, as they stand on a shelf, all placed closely together.
Yet, when you take one of these, bring it down from the shelf, place it before you and observe it, then, suddenly, it comes alive. Then, its own personality stands out and you think it's ready to start relating to you its own story and its own journey in time.
Through the appeal of the intensity that chiaroscuro expresses, I want to bring forth this special individuality of these beautiful objects, as well as the warmth they attribute to our habitat with their presence.
I want to create still life paintings that will not reveal everything, that will have the eye seek the rest. To have the eye plunge into the mystery and try to see what cannot be made out, although it's there, through the least bit of light.
I want to give voice to these everyday objects and to their own beauty.
I want to leave out all the extraneous and keep only the essential.
This is a video on how to paint a still life in oil.
Starting from blank canvas, all the way to my finished artwork, you can see the progress of the painting, stage by stage.
I chose to paint lemons, because I love lemons! How about you, guys?
They are of the most precious gifts God has given Man! It's their dazzling colour, their intoxicating flowers, their immense value in our nutrition, their lovely aroma, their impeccable beauty, ... everything about them.
You will, often, see me paint lemons, so, this is the first complete video I am posting on lemons and still life, in general.
Check it out and let me know what you think in the comments below.
I'd love to hear from you!
Want to watch my new videos? Keep track of them on my YouTube channel here.
You know it...
It's that old, tireless wood, whose creaking voice speaks of all the adventures and travels of times that are gone and of times yet to come...
It's that characteristic, piercing smell of wood varnish that has been soaked by those waves a million times...,
It's that sea brine that's soaked that old, tireless wood with History and given it its most venerable title: Time-Honoured.
It's the brine of human perseverance that corrodes all obstacles and takes them out of the way... the symbol of the triumph of Man over all adversities in life...
You know it... It's the Sea... the Ship... the Seascape.
For the oil painting on the left, I chose to depict the feeling of light, calmness, and silence.
I, also, used an unconventional idea of mine, (compositionally), to reinforce the sense of the movement of the ship. Added to this, I painted its background in such a way, so that it will give the impression of an oil painting on weather-worn wood, material inextricably linked to the sea...
This ship glides softly and peacefully in the stillness of the sea waters.
Either because it is carrying thoughts, or dreams, either because its view alone clears the mind, your soul travels with it... and its soul travels with yours...
The painting is titled Ship with No Name and is available for purchase in my Shop.
Click here to view details and purchase.
- Melpomeni -
It was a great honour, joy and privilege for me to participate in the Art Exhibition "Constantinople's Touches", at the Culture Center "Flisvos" in Athens, a short while ago. (I've been meaning to write this post for some time.)
Thank you, all, very much, for your kind words about my artworks. I was really touched by your warm praises, so, I wish to thank you, all, for the great honour and for the immense joy your response to my art offered me.
What a rewarding feeling it was to see my name featured in it:
Full newspaper article #1 on the Art Exhibition "Constantinople's Touches", I had the honour to participate in!
Newspaper article #2 on the Art Exhibition "Constantinople's Touches" I had the honour to participate in.
Thank you, all, for honouring us with your presence!
Such tremendous attendance!
I wish to thank Mrs. Zoe Pappas - the organiser & heart and soul of this event -here on the left, with me, in front of my artworks at the Exhibition- and Mr. John Rose for inviting me to take part in this Art Exhibition.
Thank you, all, very much!
You know what makes a highly successful businessman or businesswoman.
Successful businessmen are people of determination with clearly-defined goals and solidity. They know what they want and what steps to take in order to succeed. They inspire motivation and accomplishment. They are unstoppable and have the power to impress! It is the subconscious respect they arouse that literally hypnotises people! They stand out of the crowds!
Why is it that these great achievers love art so much?
Here are the top 3 reasons why:
Conquering success can be a challenging experience. Maintaining success can be even more challenging. The demands of this process are enormous: physical, emotional, psychological.
Successful businessmen live up to these demands by using - among other things - certain mechanisms of art that have proven to spike their performance. And that of the people around them. The result is increased productivity.
The purpose of this post is not the trigger mechanisms of art, but, for now, it is enough to say that these trigger mechanisms of art are one of the major tools accomplished business people use to reach the top and remain at the top.
Art is a multi-million business. Successful business people are the first to know that. It's one of the most sought-after forms of investment for them, after their business field investments, for one major reason: Art never loses its value.
On the contrary, the more time passes, the more art increases in value, because it is never affected by recessions. Humanity has been through wars, ordeals and adversities that have compromised even the most secure forms of investment: shares, bonds, stocks, etc., but, works of art have always surfaced through all this unaffected.
People know that when all else crumbles, art is a sure investment that rescues their money. According to the 19/7/16 article Why Invest In Art Now? of The Huffington Post individuals who invested in art were not so greatly affected by the recent recession. (www.huffingtonpost.com/madelaine-dangelo/why-invest-in-art-now_b_10948984.html) From the Medici to the Nazis, there is not one group of people that have not amassed works of art throughout the years.
Art is a very lucrative investment for one more key reason: It is scarce. The more scarce something is, the more people desire it. Scarce things offer people the satisfaction of feeling exclusive. Of owning something that other people don't. And for that, they feel special. Successful businessmen are no exception to that.
Highly successful people adopt art, fund art, sponsor art, endorse art, promote art. Why?
Because they are great influencers and inspirers and they love prestige. Whatever they do molds people's opinions. They set social standards. One choice of theirs is enough to induce millions of others to do the same.
Successful business people know the critical role of art in human progress very well. They know the all-mighty power of art in shaping people's psychology. They know better than anyone that people are quick to adopt the beliefs and actions of a person they like or trust. They know that art predisposes people to make certain choices and to have certain feelings and mood.
With art successful businessmen exercise power, they exert influence, without imposing their opinion on anyone. What better way to showcase and instill their values, their principles and culture than to associate themselves with noble things? People love them for it, admire them for it, they want to be like them, to follow their example, buy their products.
That is what influence is all about: The act/power of producing an effect without apparent exertion of force or direct exercise of command.
They know that art blows up the obstacles in communication and opens the way to constructive and essential relationships. They use art to step into their greatness, to elevate themselves and to bring out the greatness in others, as well.
Successful businessmen know that art is the collective warehouse where the noblest achievements of man are deposited. It's the precious vault where the bullion of human intellect are channelled and kept. And highly successful people love being the "guardians" and champions of this treasure.
I am often asked how I manage to keep going as an entrepreneur-artist; how I deal with negative thoughts.
Everyone has faced negative challenges in their life at one time or another. You, me, all of us. How we deal with them or respond to them comes down to our personal defenses, our "shields".
Here is how I have eradicated negative thinking; here's my list of "shields", if you like, which can work greatly for you, too:
1. Keep "toxic" people away and keep away from "toxic" people.
In my experience, "toxic" people invariably fall into 3 categories: the Envious, the Takers and the Incompetent. Whether they belong to any of the 3, "toxic" people enjoy weighing you down immensely, because this way is the only way they can feel superior to you. Being around such people is frustrating, it can make you very sad and halt your productivity.
So, the problem is that you, simply, attribute value to the wrong people. By doing this, you expect "cheap" people to behave in an "expensive" way or to appreciate your expensive traits. No good! Walk away from them! Redirect your attention to people who are worth it, who uplift you, who love you as you are, with your perfections and imperfections; above all, people who will approach you for who you are and not because they will want something from you or of you.
You will feel a truly amazing sense of release in doing this. And an immensely satisfying feeling of renewed self-esteem. Are there people you should disconnect yourself from? If so, do it! Yesterday, today, right now! Not tomorrow! They will hate you for it, because they will lose the "audience" they want, that somebody they exploit. So what? Let their poison revert back to them. Why should you take it in?
"Toxic" people suck out your energy, disorient and distract you from your goals. The more you allow yourself to be exposed to their toxicity, the more it sinks in inside you. Shake them off!
2. Keep your dream in sight.
Keeping your dream in sight renews your motivation and incentive every single moment. This is your all-powerful ammunition if you feel the arsenal of your courage run empty at times. This is what keeps you focused, oriented, on course.
Thoughts create reality. So, to remain on course, don't lose sight of your dream or the happiness of seeing it come true. Remember, what you enjoy today, is what you were only hoping for yesterday.
3. Stop fretting over everything.
Let go! You cannot do everything perfectly at the same time! Fretting over and worrying about everything is a sure recipe for disaster. All you will ever achieve this way is a good nervous breakdown or panic attacks. Let go!
Doing your best is the best way to approach things. If things don't work out, it means they weren't the right things for you, that they weren't good enough for you to work out. Regard obstacles as "protectors" that work to your advantage, because that's exactly what they are for you. Take it as a sign to change direction and engage yourself in something new and different.
When things don't work out it's because they mustn't, because something infinitely better is waiting for you further down the path of your life. If you engage in the mediocre that only appears to be good now, how will you be available for the really good further down?
4. Set priorities.
What prevents your thoughts from "derailing", is setting priorities. With priorities you get rid of all the junk in life and keep only the useful and inspiring, whether people or things. Priorities act like a filter that will help you give vent to immense pressure and, also, help you save enormous amounts of energy and time only for the people and things that really matter.
Most people remember prayer only when they want to ask for something. Which is why their prayers never go any higher than the ceiling. In reality, prayer is a lot more than the selfish, egocentric act of "asking for" things. It is a "pour-out" of your soul, a mighty source of energy and a huge need of the inner man inside us.
When I pray, I don't just "ask for" things. I communicate with the Lord. I tell Him my thoughts, my dreams. He doesn't need me to tell Him, He knows beforehand thanks to His Providence, nevertheless, I do it because it makes me feel safe to know He is listening and working for my welfare, as He is of all His creatures.
Above all, I thank Him and glorify Him in prayer. Any time during the day is suitable for this. In your car, after lunch, as you drink your coffee, pray. Prayer and faith can do miracles for you. They have for me.
6. Write down your ideas immediately.
It's so stimulating to have a good idea and to long to put it to the test, right? It makes you feel excited, productive, it boosts your self-confidence and creativity.
Your brain works incessantly, to sort out, filter, evaluate, clear up and tidy up the stimuli of the day. The moment when it comes up with the best possible ideas and furnishes them to you, is in your sleep, since that is when you're most receptive because you're relaxed.
The thing with good ideas is that they come and go when they want, as quickly as a lightning. If you don't write them down right away, they vanish. And then, in the morning, you regret not having written them down, you try to remember what they were about, but you can't.
Whenever a good idea comes to my mind, at 3 a.m., or 4 a.m., or 5 a.m., I don't care about the time; I get up immediately and write it down in a notepad I always keep beside me. It's during those hours that the brain produces ideas it will not produce during the day. And these ideas are always the best. It's a pity to let such a treasure go wasted.
7. Shift your focus from negative to positive thinking.
Remember that the brain can magnify its own negative thoughts if you let it in no time. When negative thoughts flood your brain, they start inflating until they become as big as mountains.
"Fuel" your brain with positive thoughts and you will see that things will revert to their real dimensions. You will see that what you considered overwhelming until a few minutes before, in reality, is only the size of peanuts.
8. Interact with nature.
Take a stroll in the woods or by the sea. After a while, you will feel an invisible hand lift the pressure off your mind and body. Time is forgotten and the soothing effect of nature begins to sink in.
Nature allows you to release yourself from the subjective view you have of things and sharpens your focus. Your attention will gravitate towards the important things in your life. Your energies will relocate and you will retrace the best you. You will re-evaluate your feelings and sort out the valuable from the useless.
When you interact with nature you block out negative messages, so, you consolidate your resolve.
Make interaction with nature a habit. A habit of a lifetime.
9. Expose yourself to art.
Many people think that art is a creation for those few, elite, arrogant individuals, who walk in life with millions in their bank accounts and tons of haughtiness in their hearts.
This is one of the most common misconceptions about art. Do you have paintings hung on your house walls? Do you listen to music in your hours of relaxation? Do you enjoy a good concert with your family or friends? There, if you do, you are exposed to art. That is, to the aesthetic stimuli that, no matter what many people believe, are absolutely indispensable in our lives.
Art can do you a world of good if you let it or embrace it. You might want to take a look at my blog post here for more details about what this "world of good" is all about.
By emulating a person you admire, you replenish your determination, you are inspired by their courage, you learn from their experience. Things become clearer and, suddenly, you know how "to do it" and what steps to take in order "to do it". The motivation you get from the example of the person you emulate, drives you to keep moving forward.
"If he can do it, I can, too!" Think of this next time you feel daunted. Self-doubt is the first step to resignation. Think of it this way: Since some people are bound to succeed in this world, why shouldn't you be one of them?
Harness your passion to your dreams, throw self-doubt in the garbage can and go for it. If you don't, noone else will for you.
Negative thoughts exist only within the boundaries of our physical entity. Step out of yourself and things become clear immediately.
Gradually, the idea that things always work out for the best, will turn into a belief inside you. There will be no space for negative thoughts or negative feelings anymore.
This way you will discover your real potential and you will be astonished at what you can achieve. Things you never thought possible.
Which of these "shields" would you like to try? What are your "shields" against negative thinking? I'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments.
The warmth of a sincere wish..., the cozy presence of candlelight..., the heart-warming feeling of affection..., the lovely festive images..., the sound of our steps on the pure, white snow..., on this new path of our life!
It's the 2017th path of our lives, with all these everyday joys that most people call "small" and which are anything but "small"; these are the grandest joys of our lives.
And not just joys, they are gifts.
Thoughts like these ran through my mind, as I was observing Gainsborough's Self - Portrait (1754), just recently and I realised even more - as I do every moment - that art is one of those grand gifts of our life.
I couldn't help thinking that, this grand master had thoughts, feelings, ideas, desires, joys and sorrows, of his own, that his life in 1754 did not have any similarity to ours in appearance, and yet it did in essence: Because this man was a human being, just like you and me, and that is precious of its own! And neither you, nor I, would have known of him or of his talent if it hadn't been for the timeless presence of Art!
Indeed, how precious a gift Art is!
ART drives away the feeling of loneliness, because it stimulates the pleasure areas in our brain and stirs up positive thinking. This way it reinforces the feeling that we are not alone in this world and that difficult things are not at all as difficult as we tend to believe, after all.
ART has an everlasting presence, in the past, the present and the future, it has the much-desired power to freeze time. In other words, it has permanence. This way it helps us restore the balance between ourselves and our environment, thanks to this permanence, so it makes us feel safe and secure.
ART is as old as Humanity! It expresses desires, ideas, hopes, dreams, feelings, the inalterable truth that Man needs love, affection, kindness, peace, genuine things to flourish. That is, it addresses the human being in its essence, which is why we are so attached to it.
ART helps us explore and interpret colours, shapes and forms, so it helps us put our impressions, feelings and thoughts in order, resulting in much better handling of feelings and situations.
You and I, like all people, want to be more that what we are, (definitely not in terms of denouncing our personality), but in terms of the sense of completion, of getting involved with the essential, of connecting with something that elevates, that elates, and that is Art.
Man needs to identify with something eternal, that is why he sees himself in the everlasting presence of Art.
ART gives us the feeling of a more universal existence, free from the boundaries of the everyday routine. Art is not restricted by the limits of time!
ART is a paradox. Its nature is both conscious and rational, unconscious and instinctive. Art is the embodiment of contrast. In other words, it is the reflection of the structure of the human being: Both Logic and Feeling.
That is why it is so easy, through Art observation to find quicker and better solutions to problems, because Art checks the tendency of the human brain to be overwhelmed by negative thoughts! As a result, it solidifies our health and well-being, self-esteem and confidence.
So, don't be afraid to identify yourself with a painting, let it whisper to you, listen to it, let it pour out its balmy influence for you.
Remember that Art captures that fleeting moment in time for ever, filtered through the eyes and temperament of the artist.
Allow that unique moment to become yours, too, share it with the artist, embrace it...
That is why the artist captured it... to express it... to share it with you...
MAY YOU FIND ALL THESE GIFTS OF ART ON THIS 2017th PATH OF YOUR LIFE!
MAY EVERY STEP OF YOURS ON THIS 2017th PATH NOT BE JUST A PROMISE FOR YOU!
MAY IT BE A WISH COME TRUE!
AND A CELEBRATION OF LIFE, OF JOY AND FULFILLMENT!
So, from me to you,
HAPPY NEW YEAR!
GOD BLESS YOU!
- Melpomeni -
Have you ever been told things, in your entrepreneurial life, that were absolutely original? Things that made you wonder, that sounded funny, weird, that surprised you? Or things that put a smile on your face or even touched your heart?
HERE ARE THE 10 MOST ORIGINAL THINGS I HAVE HEARD AS AN ARTIST:
To view the paintings that provoked these original comments, click here.
Which comment did you find the most original?
What are the most original things you have heard in your entrepreneurial life?
Drop me a line. I'd love to hear from you.
- Melpomeni -
It was the 10th of May, 1508, that looked upon the genesis of the Cappella Sistina vault frescoes.
It was the 13th of September, 1501, that witnessed the start of the birth of the David.
It was the 26th of August, 1498, that beheld the beginning of the creation of the Pietà.
It was the 6th of March, 1475, that saw the birth of a child that would grow up to become one of the grandest artists of all time.
The artist, who would change the course of Art and whose name would become the synonym of High Renaissance:
Michelangelo created his masterpieces with the fierce, internal struggle of the agonizing realization that Man has limited capabilities.
His own works reflect that struggle, that conflict themselves:
Michelangelo praises the Ideal physical beauty of the human body, and yet, he is sorry such beauty is doomed to perish.
The realisation of the limits imposed on Man by Time pains him deeply. He never reconciled himself with them.
It is this pain of his for the limited capabilities of Man that was the root of the intensity that characterises his works.
In Michelangelo's eyes, it is the spirit that struggles to reach or regain its former state, to reach the Ideal.
This is the urge that fuelled his idea of releasing the living figures from the stone.
I cannot help feeling that stone represented the earthly prison for him, and his sculptures represented the human spirit in need of release.
That in releasing the figure from the stone, perhaps, he felt that he had the ability to free the human being from its material restraint, although he knew this was an illusion.
His own temperament, his entire inner world reflect this conflict: gifted, sensitive, tense, full of creative frenzy, vigorous, philosophical, poetic, versatile, overwhelming, deeply emotional.
Tremendously optimistic and yet melancholic. Gentle and yet suspicious. Friendly and demanding. Distant and cordial. Confident and timid. Quick-tempered and patient. Withdrawn and generous. Affectionate and private.
The contrast of his personality was even reflected in his physical appearance. With his horn-coloured eyes, speckled with bluish yellow stains and his black hair and beard, it seems that, even Nature, conforming to the Creator's will, depicted the fierce intensity of his character in his physical features.
When I first saw his works, I felt as if I were hit by an electric current.
Perhaps, this is the word that best summarises all his work: Electric.
His works are so alive that they act to cause reaction. Response.
His works seize. Dominate. Enslave. Command. Effortlessly. Timelessly.
In the end, he did manage what he longed for. To break the limits of Time, by leaving behind him imperishable works of art.
It was the Divine Michelangelo who did not merely seek to depict the Ideal.
It was the Divine Michelangelo who belonged to the Ideal.
Il Divino Michelangelo.
- Melpomeni -
It is one of those cases, when God, - before sending a spirit to Earth, - first, He endows it with superior talent, with phenomenal artistic capacity and then, He sends it down to Earth.
And while on Earth, only one word can describe such a spirit: Gifted.
It is Thomas Gainsborough.
Thomas Gainsborough who painted with the touch of Music at his fingers.
He "composed" paintings. Literally and metaphorically.
Besides, it is a well-known fact that T. Gainsborough was a great lover of music. He played the violin himself and he always cherished and enjoyed the friendship and company of musicians, both amateur and professionals.
One of his fellow players, on various occasions, was Johann Christian Bach, the youngest son of the great composer.
More than any other painter in the History of Art, T. Gainsborough felt and understood the affinity between Music and Painting.
To put it in his own words: "One part of a Picture ought to be like the first part of a Tune; that you can guess what follows and that makes the second part of the Tune".
The self-taught Thomas Gainsborough was original and individual. Respectful and sensitive. Brilliant and acute. Highly emotional and unspoilt. Genuine and intuitive.
Keenly aware of reality, yet the reality he created with his superb skills, was equally "real".
He was a master of imaginary reality. He did not depict it. He "arranged" reality, almost, dictated it.
This ability of Thomas Gainsborough to depict his subjects through the filter of Music, was one of the many extraordinary gifts he possessed, that made him unique in the History of Art.
Perhaps, Thomas Gainsborough was the ultimate Artist, Kandinsky alluded to, when he said:
"Colour is the keyboard, the eyes are the harmonies, the soul is the piano with many strings. The artist is the hand that plays, touching one key or another, to cause vibrations in the soul".
- Melpomeni -
I have been meaning to write this post for quite some time now.
I owe a debt of gratitude to a very important person in the art industry and I feel I need to express this debt in public.
When I first started out as a professional artist, I didn't know where to stand, nor whom to trust in the art industry. Ideas were scattered in my brain and I didn't have any reliable source of professional information or feedback in art marketing.
All this changed, when I found Mr. Gary Bolyer's website and art blog. (www.garybolyer.com)
Connecting to Mr. Bolyer's site was one of the best things I have done in my professional capacity.
His contribution to Art and art marketing is indispensable in the art industry, because, among other things, he has got the relieving ability to respect and understand artists' needs to the essence.
One of the many things that set Mr. Bolyer apart is that he always delivers top quality, highly valuable content that never fails to make the difference.
Therefore, I feel I should say it in public:
Thank you, Mr. Bolyer for all your precious help.
I owe you a lot.
- Melpomeni -
In your entrepreneurial life, - artistic or not - have you ever had an experience that put your standards and your professional sensors to the test?
I, myself, had such an experience, recently:
Two individuals approached me, claiming to be art experts with high praises of my artworks, striking connections in the art industry and dazzling promises of prospects for me and my artworks.
You know what I did? I gave them the boot!
Want to know why I threw away all these "dazzling promises of prospects"? Because, very soon after these individuals approached me, - after checking them - I discovered that they were crooked, deceitful people, with dishonest interests, who had defrauded many artists in the past and tried to - and managed to - appropriate these artists' artworks for themselves, cheating them out of their legal rights and price money.
LESSON #1 THAT CAN SAVE YOUR CAREER: GIVE THE BOOT!
Don't be afraid to give the boot! It's healthy to do it! Not just healthy! It is absolutely necessary for you and your career, at times!
It shows that your quality criteria are alert, that you respect yourself and that you're serious about what you do, your career and your reputation.
Seriousness reflects on other people. They feel it. It sends them the message that you're reliable. Nobody will ever take you seriously if your quality standards are low.
People don't like wasting their money, time or attention on low quality things. You don't, either.
Anyone who might approach you with a supposed interest in your work, is not necessarily a reliable person, who means well, whether a potential client, expert, associate, etc.
Don't buy anything anyone tells you.
If I had, I would have lost my paintings, probably with no hope of ever getting them back again, I would have severely damaged my name and my reputation and I would have sent, to all the people that trust and do business with me, or like my art, the message that I'm not a reliable person.
In cases like this, people you give the boot, will be furious with you.
It's perfectly OK! Ignore them!
You cannot believe what a boost it is to your self-respect when you stay true to your high standards and professional principles. It, also, increases people's esteem in you, which is invaluable in business and life, in general.
I hope you have learned something useful from my experience.
So, give dangerous or toxic people the boot yesterday, today, now!
Don't be afraid to say: "NO!"
It's your name and career we're talking about!
- Melpomeni -
Ask any real artist and they will tell you that inspiration comes from the most unlikely sources, like a lightning. And you have to be there, artistically and mentally present, to capture it and put it on canvas; otherwise, it goes away as quickly as it came and you cannot bring it back at will. It comes and goes whenever it likes.
As an artist, when I look at any subject and, more specifically, at any human face, I analyze it, study it and break it down in its components. I, involuntarily, pass it through artistic filters, so to speak.
One of the tests of these 'filters', is, - for me, at least, - the criterion of originality.
It is this expressive originality of the features of Benedict Cumberbatch, that acted as inspiration and as an artistic challenge for me:
Capturing and depicting the wide forehead with the almond - shaped eyes, which command attention, despite being relatively small.
The straight nose with its solid forehead base and the clear distance it has from the expressive lips.
The striking cheek bones, which, along with the eyes, dominate the face.
In short, the unconventional symmetry of a face, in which all the features are so unexpectedly incompatible with each other and yet bind so well together.
The dramatic effect of chiaroscuro added to the challenge, since painting the eyes, in particular, required me to use double nuances to depict that part of the eyes that is in light and that part of the eyes that is in shadow.
I have been told that it turned out to be a very faithful, expressive likeness, with eyes that are particularly piercing.
If this portrait is pleasant for you to look at, then I am glad.
And I am glad I have shared it with you.
- Melpomeni -
Great loves - weaknesses - never abandon you. On the contrary. They become deeper and stronger with time.
I will not analyze Velázquez. I don't want to defile him. What I shall do is open up a part of my soul for you and let you in on those innermost depths where I keep my love and thoughts for his art and share them with you.
His Art! I was riveted by it! Stunned! It stirred my soul down to its very foundations! Then, it took its place quietly in my soul and settled itself in it, forever.
His Art! I stood and found myself listening to it! Listening to its piercing silence! (Who says painting cannot be heard?) I found myself listening to its intensity! Intensity heightens reality!
Velázquez conceived and embodied the paradox that Art is, deeper than anyone else.
He never bared his soul in his artworks and, yet, it is his soul and his presence that permeates everywhere and everything in his paintings. He was emotionally uninvolved in what he depicted and kept himself to himself. Quiet and serene. Superbly simple and noble. Decent and generous. Flawless and effortless. Dignified and self-effacing. Elegantly austere.
I can't help feeling that he painted with dispassion, so much that he had a phlegmatic approach to his paintings. And yet...
I feel in his paintings a restrained tension, a reserved energy. His painting is forceful! Incisive.
His penetrating eye and insight are acid.
They go beneath the surface of things. There is nothing ostentatious or superfluous in his art and, yet, there are no understatements in it.
His pervasive silence is booming.
It breathes of human dignity, of a moving compassion. And a deep sense of honour. Honour as a whole way of being.
Subjects do not become art in his hands. Subjects reveal their art in his hands.
During those first seconds, when I first saw the Old Woman Frying Eggs (1618), and, later, The Waterseller (1619-1620), my body had a strange, spontaneous reaction I didn't expect and didn't control :
I found myself reaching out to touch them. They are so impeccably natural, they seem to come out of the canvas.
I felt, almost, as if I could touch them. Touch the Old Woman's or the Waterseller's hand, take it and hold it in my hand in a transcendental union.
With his acute observation and incomparable brush, Velázquez did something - especially in these two artworks - not many people realize or have observed:
He painted the light - that reflects off the surface of the clay vessels, jugs, bronze container, the mortar and pestle, the pitchers, bowls, etc.,- in such a way that one can tell, under the light, what material it is that light is reflected upon. Not only did he accurately depict the light on these objects, but, he also captured the different texture of the light on each material. It is the same light, but because of the different materials it falls upon, it looks different, though as it should be. Parts of these objects are covered with light, yet, underneath, one can still tell it is bronze, clay, glass, etc.
Only one with the inimitable talent of Velázquez could achieve this technically in such perfection.
I could say a million more things about the phenomenon of Velázquez's art.
Perhaps I should stop here...
Velázquez adorned Art with his art and his poise, which never stoops to arrogance.
This, too, is one of the many reasons I fell in love with his art from the first moment I laid my eyes on it and why he is one of the grandest of the Old Masters in the History of Art.
He did not only conceive and paint the simplicity of grandeur.
He conceived and painted the grandeur of simplicity.
The Man who was the Artist. The Artist who was the Man.
- Melpomeni -
How many thoughts of yours has your favourite coffee cup, with the aromatic, steaming hot coffee, witnessed day after day? And that decorative oil lamp of grandma's, how many stories would it say if it could speak... And those wonderfully round oranges, so orange-golden, one could, almost, say they've been painted with sunlight...
I'm talking about those beloved, beautiful, meaningful, everyday objects: the hot, freshly-baked loaf of bread, the sparkling, crystal decanter, the elegant, ceramic fruit-bowl...
I'm talking about "Still Life" art.
Why is that particular coffee cup your favourite one?
Because you like it, because something inside you whispered, to make you distinguish it from among many others, because it is a gift from a person you love, because you love its colour and shape, because it's been there for you all these years...
Why is grandma's oil lamp so irresistibly special to you?
Because you know it's a gift from her to you, with all her love, because, when you were a child, and she took you in her lap, to relate to you her enchanting stories, that lamp was there by her side, because that lamp was there in your childhood years, to see you grow up...
And those, delightful, golden, rich, oranges? Why them?
Because it is that warm, revitalizing, caressing light they carry, because they are of the most precious "ornaments" to be found in your kitchen, because they are of the many gifts Nature has so generously offered Man, because when you take one in your hand, it feels as if you are holding all the sunlight of the Mediterranean in your hands...
"Still Life" paintings are more than a depiction of objects. They also show how deeply Man's life is attached to these lovely, everyday objects. And it is this, eternal value that "Still Life" art has glorified throughout the centuries. Objects that are anything but "inanimate".
"Inanimate"? Take grandma's oil lamp, for example. It even smells of her touch! How "inanimate" is that? Is there anything more insensibly "blind" than this characterization?
"Still Life" art, among other things, is a form of gratitude for all those, "simple" and yet, immensely, precious joys in our everyday life and surroundings, most people take for granted, although they are not. They take them for granted because they do not even care to pause for a second and take a look at the orange, the oil lamp, the loaf of bread, the coffee cup, the teapot, and appreciate the beauty of their presence and existence.
But, you and I, pause to admire beauty around us...
You and I can "see"...
The oil-painting on the left uses various nuances of porcelain grey to sparkling white harmoniously combined with hues of brown for an extra sense of warmth.
Its alternating highlights and shadows offer an added sense of texture and balance the whole composition.
The painting is titled Precious Pleasures and is available for purchase in my Shop.
Click here to view details and purchase.
- Melpomeni -
The oil-painting on the left uses various nuances of red, ranging from deep burgundy to flame red harmoniously combined with black for an extra sense of mystery.
Its white sparkles offer an added sense of Venetian elegance and balance to the whole composition.
The painting is titled The Eyes of Seduction and is available for purchase in my Shop.
Click here to view details and purchase.
Red is irresistible!
Just like you!
- Melpomeni -
Kindness, sincerity, integrity, optimism, trust, hope... Light!
Harmony, security, might, grandeur, eternity, power... Light!
Art adores Light as a subject and has done so since time immemorial.
However, have you ever thought of how many things you can do with light as your home decoration tool?
You can, actually, do such things with light, you could never believe, because they are things Man normally cannot control. Seemingly.
Have you ever wondered why, regardless of type of surroundings, aesthetic objects are lit with spotlights from different angles & positions, from different distances, of different colour & intensity?
Because light, used in certain ways, can renew you & your surroundings, in a way that has been described as "transcendental".
Light actually has the ability to change the established elements in your surroundings, (which is very cost-effective) thus creating a most welcome, invigorating freshness and exhilaration.
- Melpomeni -
Has it ever happened to you to be looking at a painting at a friend's or a relative's house and feel that something just does or doesn't look right about it?
Have you ever found yourself irresistibly drawn to a specific corner of some room, somewhere, without being able to tell what it is that draws you to it?
What made you feel like this? Why did your steps keep leading you back to that same spot?
The answer is "Colour Coordination".
Colour Coordination is not just what your eyes see.
It is how the colours of your surroundings are coordinated & how you are affected by this coordination.
Colour Coordination is not how colours "combine", that is how they "join or mix together to form a whole". (Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary, 4th edition)
Anyone can combine colours, but, not anyone can coordinate colours.
Colour Coordination is causing different colours to "function together efficiently".
It means to have colours to bind well together like pieces of a jigsaw puzzle, so as to create a sense of harmony and balance.
When your subconscious is affected by colour, it responds to it.
If the factor affecting your feelings is positive, your subconscious responds to it & records it as a pleasant stimulus - memory.
If the factor is negative, your subconscious reacts to it, but records it in the brain, all the same, as an unpleasant stimulus-memory.
By coordinating colours, you create a sense of balance that is immediately recorded & stored in your brain, so it is directly transmitted to your psychological world. Within seconds, it floods your feelings and stimulates the "pleasure areas" in your brain, making you feel more serene and confident.
In simple words,
COORDINATION OF COLOURS = COORDINATION OF YOUR INNER SELF
The oil-painting on the left uses various nuances of warm, earth browns, harmoniously coordinated with intense teal for a striking sense of contrast.
Its dark green leaves offer an added sense of Italian atmosphere and balance the whole composition.
The painting is titled Teal Roses and is available for purchase in my Shop.
Click here to view details and purchase.
- Melpomeni -
You may not believe this, but your bathroom is a very crucial part of your house. Because it's where your body & mind are revitalized and let go the most, thanks to the immensely relaxing power of water, whose sound & feel have been ranked as the most soothing ones in the world.
However, do you, sometimes, feel that your bathroom has become boring, dull & routine-like and you want to make a change, but you're not sure where to start?
Coordinating colours is the key to your success. (Learn more about colour coordination here).
#1. Use towels & bathmats in tropical colours.
Dig in your drawers & storerooms to check for towels & bathmats you already have, if you don't want to buy new ones. Choose the ones in light blue, turquoise, tropical blue, emerald green, teal, lime green, which are ideal for this tip and replace your existing towels & bathmats with the ones in these colours. You'll amazed at the result!
#2. Add decorative, coloured-sand compositions.
By placing coloured-sand compositions in bottles, or decorative plates, in cerulean blue, cobalt blue, tropical green, cream, or light browns, you instantly get the feeling of being in a warm, sun-lit beach.
#3. Use seashells for decoration.
Seashells are the absolute, boosting "must" when you want the "sea feeling". Use big or small shells, in various colours and place them strategically in your bathroom, where you can see them repeatedly. They'll give you the feeling of your own beach.
#4. Experiment with wall colour.
If you have tiles everywhere in your bathroom, coordinate their colours accordingly, but if you have bare wall areas, that's perfect! You can DIY paint them in any colour of light blue, turquoise, tropical blue, emerald green, teal, lime green, cobalt blue, tropical green, and you'll immediately get the rejuvenating feel of a long, revitalizing swim in the sea!
#5. Use floating tealights.
Tealights are great for creating atmosphere. Use tealights in sea blue, light green, tropical green, azure, lime green, and light them when you take a bath. It is a perfect way to create your own, private "spa"!
#6. Use pebbles for decoration.
Pebbles have become a "must" in bathroom decoration. Use plain pebbles, if you want a natural feel. However, if you want something more, use coloured-ones for that extra variety feel. And if you are looking for something more sophisticated, use carved pebbles.
#7. Use the "2-Colour" Rule.
Coordinate your existing colours in pairs of 2, (not 3 or more), because the human brain responds better to the harmony they create & this way, colours will look tastefully chosen, instead of randomly thrown around.
#8. Add decorative baskets, boxes, etc.
Use baskets, boxes & other container types in sea colours. This way you will add the sea feel in the most unexpected details & you will, also, have the practical benefit of increasing your bathroom storing space.
#9. Hang "sea decorations" from the ceiling.
For this refreshingly unusual & original idea, you can hang small seashells, ceramic lighthouses, tiny boats, ship wheels, etc., with a transparent fishing line from the ceiling. You can even hang small crystals for a more luxurious feel. They will sparkle & diffuse light, so, every time, you have a bath, they will, literally, make you feel immersed in a dream-like world.
#10. Add an artistic touch.
Everybody thinks of practicality when they think of a bathroom. But, adding a painting to your bathroom can contribute a lot towards creating an original impression that will also stimulate the pleasure areas in your brain & lift your spirits.
The oil painting on the left uses various nuances of brown, ranging from light beige to fiery brown, harmoniously combined with light blue for a striking sense of contrast.
Its coordinated colours and relief texture add an extra sense of movement and offer a feeling of release to the whole composition.
The painting is titled Ship with No Name and is available for purchase in my Shop.
Click here to view and purchase.
Try any of these & tell me what you think in the comments below.
I'd love to hear from you.
- Melpomeni -
"It's red! Pure red!" "No, it's orange red!" "What are you talking about? It's pinkish red!" "Not a chance! it's dark red!"
How many times have you heard this in your everyday life? Quite a few, I'm sure. I bet you've said any of these yourself pretty often!
So, why does this happen?
Why do colours look so different to people?
The reason is "COLOUR VISION".
What, exactly is "Colour Vision" and how does it work? What is "Colour" in the first place?
"the appearance that things have that results from the way in which they reflect light."
COLOUR VISION =
"perception of and ability to distinguish colours".
It is very simple.
The human eye receives light and it converts it into an electric current, which is transmitted to the brain, as a nerve impulse, along the optic nerve.
Your brain receives the impulse, checks it & analyzes it.
Up to here, it's all anatomy.
After that, comes psychology.
After receiving, checking & analyzing, the brain interprets, evaluates and finally decides whether to accept the impulse-stimulus as positive or reject it as negative.
In other words, Colour Vision is a twofold process:
Both feelings & ideas.
Both perception & ability.
What's the answer?
People see colours differently, because they filter them through their own imagination & psychological world, which are unique in every person. Therefore, their perception of colours and consequently of art, is a result not only of what they see in a painting, but, mainly, of how they interpret what they see in a painting.
- Melpomeni -
You could ask : “Why art?” “What is it about ‘art’ that attracts so much?
Whatever one could say about the majestic nature of art would never be enough, but, for now, I shall concentrate only on some of the benefits that art can offer you, which, of course, are NOT available or attainable any other way, than through art :
and much more.
- Melpomeni -