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Art

Monumentally Detailed Pen Drawings That Combine Real and Imagined Landscapes by Olivia Kemp

October 20, 2017

Kate Sierzputowski

British artist Olivia Kemp creates large-scale drawings that combine observational studies made in Norway, Italy, and Scotland with fantastical places that exist only in her imagination. Her pen and ink works contain dense villages of twisting tree houses within forests and log cabins sprinkled through out private islands, each appearing isolated from modern civilization.

“I draw in order to make sense of landscape but also to construct and remodel it,” explains Kemp in her artist statement. “I build worlds and imaginary places that grow out of a need to interpret the sites that I have known, expanding and developing them across a page. This encompasses everything, from the visions of a grand landscape right down to the details of the land, the plants and creatures that may inhabit it.”

When creating her meticulous works Kemp notes that she often falls into a trance-like state, the final result surprising even herself. New works, including the 6-foot-long Archipelago, are currently on view in her solo exhibition at Browse&Darby in London through November 3, 2017. You can see more of the artist’s work on her website and Instagram. (via Hi Fructose)

 

 



Illustration

New Pen & Ink Depictions of Trees Sprouting into Animals by Alfred Basha

July 10, 2017

Christopher Jobson

Italian illustrator Alfred Basha (previously) continues his ongoing project of fusing animal forms with the branches of trees. The popular illustrations have recently been turned into both shirts and prints and you can see more of his recent work on Instagram.

 

 



Art

Fragmented Ink Paintings on Arrays of Vintage Books by Ekaterina Panikanova

June 12, 2017

Christopher Jobson

Spread across the opened pages of books pinned against the wall like insect specimens, artist Ekaterina Panikanova (previously) creates ink paintings that appear like fragments of memory. As with the content of old books, the subjects of each work appear from a different era, engaged in mysterious activities or moments while accompanied by recurring images of lace, layer cakes, animals, and explosions of ink. Occasionally an image is permitted to span several book spreads, but is often interrupted by a new idea that appears to be inserted like a misplaced puzzle piece.

Panikova was born in Russia and now lives and works between between St. Petersburg and Rome. You can see more of her recent work at Z2O Galleria.

 

 



Art

Rebirth: Artist Manabu Ikeda Unveils a Monumental Pen & Ink Drawing Nearly 3.5 Years in the Making

November 28, 2016

Christopher Jobson

Rebirth, 2016. Pen & ink, 13 x 10' (300 x 100cm). Courtesy the Chazen Museum of Art.

Rebirth, 2016. Pen & ink, 13 x 10′ (300 x 100cm). Courtesy the Chazen Museum of Art.

The 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami in Japan was one of the most devastating environmental events of our time, with its overall impact rippling across the globe for years to come. But just as stated in Newton’s third law—for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction—so too did the people of Japan respond to the magnitude of the destruction in an effort to rebuild their country anew as captured in this staggering new artwork by Manabu Ikeda titled Rebirth. Starting in July of 2013, Ikeda toiled away on the 13 x 10 foot piece for 10 hours a day inside a basement studio at the Chazen Museum of Art in Madison, Wisconsin. He finished work just last week.

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Manabu Ikeda at work.

A video posted by Colossal (@colossal) on

At its core, Rebirth depicts a tree rising from the debris of the tsunami as enormous waves crash nearby, but a closer inspection reveals thousands of tiny details, the individual stories of anonymous people, plants, and animals as they fight for survival and try to return their world to a semblance of order. Ikeda says that in his work he seeks to replicate the beautiful chaos of life that rarely fits a simple linear narrative. Instead, everything crashes together and interacts in unknown and unexpected ways, an idea that applies directly to his process as he often doesn’t know what each day will bring as he works inch by inch on the near endless canvas before him.

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Rebirth, detail.

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Rebirth, detail.

While Ikeda sketches broad details in pencil on the canvas beforehand, he primarily works with pen and acrylic ink using various forms of cross-hatching and brushwork to fill areas so dense with details, the true nature of the artwork isn’t revealed until staring at it from only a few inches away. Mountains of vehicles, gnarled tree branches, and train tracks sit tangled at the base of a tree, and flower blooms comprised of umbrellas and emergency tents fill the sky above. Everywhere a collision of humankind and nature, for better or worse.

“My goal is to faithfully express my view of the world in my composition, but I don’t intentionally depict detailed images,” he tells the Chazen. “Because I see details when I observe things, rather than the whole, I find pen and ink to be the best tools to express how I see them.”

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Rebirth, detail.

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Rebirth, detail.

Rebirth, detail.

Rebirth, detail.

Rebirth in progress.

Rebirth in progress.

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Rebirth in progress.

Ikeda’s time spent in Madison wasn’t without its own adversity. The artist dislocated a shoulder in a downhill skiing accident which rendered his dominant hand temporarily useless. Unable to stop work for very long, Ikeda began practicing with his other hand and after 3-4 practice drawings continued work on Rebirth unfazed.

Rebirth will be on view only briefly at the Chazen Museum of Art through December 11, 2016. If you’re anywhere near the midwest, this is well worth a trip and I strongly encourage you to stop by. You can explore it for over 30 minutes and still not see everything. You can also read more about it on Wisconsin Life.

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Manabu Ikeda at work, still from Clayton Adams.

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Manabu Ikeda at work, still from Clayton Adams.

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Ikeda Manabu’s first attempt at drawing with his non-dominant hand after a skiing accident.

Film and stills courtesy Clayton Adams.

 

 



Art

Inside the Well-Traveled Sketchbooks of Artist Dina Brodsky

October 6, 2016

Kate Sierzputowski

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Artist Dina Brodsky has many focuses to her practice, painting in miniature on canvas and paper, and recently turning to her family, friends, and Instagram community to submit trees for her to reproduce in a drawn project titled “The Secret Life of Trees.” Throughout both of these processes she remains extremely attentive to her sketchbook, filling its pages with detailed drawings of architecture, wildlife, and scattered portraits of strangers that accompany her looped handwriting. The drawings are often finished with touches of watercolor, gouache, gold leaf, and found objects from her travels, like in one where she pastes a rupee note from India.

An exhibition of her series, “The Secret Life of Trees,” was recently shown at Bernarducci Meisel Gallery in NYC. Brodsky sells recently produced paintings and drawings on Etsy, and you can see more of her sketchbook works and miniatures on her Instagram.

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Illustration

Pen & Ink Depictions of Trees Sprouting into Animals by Alfred Basha

July 15, 2016

Christopher Jobson

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In his latest series of illustrations, Alfred Basha depicts a series of images where animals merge with the natural world: trees sprout into the silhouettes of foxes or squirrels, and a forest landscape rests atop a lumbering bear. Basha shares most of his sketches and completed drawings on Facebook. (via Fubiz)

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Art

Dreamy New Ink Paintings of Ghostly Felines and Chickens by Endre Penovac

July 7, 2016

Christopher Jobson

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Artist Endre Penovác (previously here and here) depicts mysterious cats and ethereal roosters with a carefully perfected watercolor technique using diluted inks. Instead of trying to control his brushstrokes, Penovac seems to let the medium run amok across the canvas as it bleeds in every direction, and yet even these happy accidents result in precisely rendered paintings. Seen here is a collection of paintings from the last year or so, but you can see more originals and prints on Saatchi Art.

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