landscapes

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Art

Impasto Marks and Thick Dabs of Paint Render Dreamy Landscapes in Rich Layers of Color

July 20, 2021

Grace Ebert

All images © Anastasia Trusova, shared with permission

To capture the depth of an enchanting river alcove or bucolic landscape, Russian artist Anastasia Trusova works in what she calls “textured graphic impressionism,” a unique style that expresses emotion through detail and volume. She uses a combination of palette knives and brushes to deftly layer acrylic paints into dreamy scenes: heavy impasto forms lush foliage, coiled lines shape thick clouds, and an array of smaller dabs become fields of wildflowers. “I don’t think about the rules. I paint as I feel. I add volume to highlight and emphasize something or to show something that is closer,” she says.

Trusova’s use of color is bold and often bright, and she tends to reach for a kaleidoscopic palette that makes sunsets or a river’s reflection appear fantastical. These aesthetic choices are a direct result of her studies at both the Moscow Artscool and later Moscow State Textile University, where she learned about the physics of color and how certain applications and contexts affect perceptions. “For example, the same red shade will look differently when surrounded by light green or dark blue. There we broadened our horizons, helped us fall in love with the most incredible combinations,” the Belgium-based artist says.

You can see much more of Trusova’s impressionistic paintings and dive into her process on Instagram, and shop prints and originals on her site.

 

 

 

 



Art History

'Fantastic Landscapes' Surveys the Vivid Use of Color in Hokusai and Hiroshige's Woodblock Prints

July 16, 2021

Grace Ebert

Utagawa Hiroshige, “Yamashiro Province: The Togetsu Bridge in Mount Arashi (Yamashiro, Arashiyama Togetsukyo),” from the series Famous Places in the Sixty-Odd Provinces (Rokujuyoshu meisho zue), 1853

An exhibition opening this weekend at the Art Institute of Chicago plunges into the vast archives of renowned Japanese ukiyo-e artists Katsushika Hokusai (previously) and Utagawa Hiroshige (previously). Fantastic Landscapes brings together the vivid scenes created by the prolific printmakers through the first half of the 19th Century with a particular focus on their innovative uses of color. Peach skies, grassy bluffs in chartreuse, and their extensive applications of Prussian blue—Hokusai’s “The Great Wave off Kanagawa” famously layers the chemical pigment—mark a broader shift in the artform. Today, the pair are largely attributed with sparking a worldwide fascination with Japanese prints.

Explore some of the woodblock works on view as part of Fantastic Landscapes below, and see them in person between July 17 and October 11. You also might enjoy this monumental book compiling Hokusai’s Thirty-Six Views of Mount Fuji and Hiroshige’s delightful shadow puppets.

 

Katsushika Hokusai, “The Back of Mount Fuji Seen from Minobu River (Minobugawa Urafuji),” from the series Thirty-Six Views of Mount Fuji (Fugaku sanjūrokkei), about 1830/33

Katsushika Hokusai, “Amida Falls in the Far Reaches of the Kisokaido (Kisoji no oku Amidagataki),” from the series A Tour of Waterfalls in Various Provinces (Shokoku taki meguri)

Utagawa Hiroshige, “Plum Garden at Kameido (Kameido Umeyashiki),” from the series One Hundred Famous Views of Edo (Meisho Edo hyakkei)

Utagawa Hiroshige, “Awa Province: Naruto Whirlpools (Awa, Naruto no fuha),” from the series Famous Places in the Sixty-odd Provinces (Rokujuyoshu meisho zue), 1855

Katsushika Hokusai, “A Mild Breeze on a Fine Day (Gaifu kaisei),” from the series Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji (Fugaku sanjurokkei), c. 1830/33

Katsushika Hokusai, “Kirifuri Falls at Mount Kurokami in Shimotsuke Province (Shimotsuke Kurokamiyama Kirifuri no taki),” from the series A Tour of Waterfalls in Various Provinces (Shokoku taki meguri), c. 1833

 

 



Animation Photography

An Otherworldly Animation Adventures Across Galactic Landscapes Recreated in Miniature

July 13, 2021

Grace Ebert

In the first two parts of his Miniature Landscape series, director and animator Clemens Wirth (previously) celebrates the vast, awe-inspiring terrain of the earth by adventuring through snowy caverns, across pebbled beaches, and to the green glow of the Northern Lights. With a focus on color and textured elements like rocks and bubbling liquids, Wirth’s short films traverse tiny models built in his studio that mimic real-life landscapes with an uncanny twist. The final piece of the animated trilogy travels beyond Earth to explore outer space, journeying through fields of meteorites, across sand pocked with craters, and toward a volcano spewing lava.

Wirth tacked a short making-of segment onto the end of the galactic short film, which you can watch along with the first two episodes, on his Vimeo.

 

 

 



Craft

Embroidered Landscapes Capture the Stillness of Pastoral Life through Dense Knots and Stitches

July 9, 2021

Grace Ebert

All images © Katrin Vates, shared with permission

French knots, chain stitches, and straight lines become peaceful countrysides and abandoned shacks overrun by moss and vines in Katrin Vates’s embroideries. Using bleached canvas as a base, Vates works with thread in natural color palettes of greens or autumnal hues that she lays in variable lengths and thicknesses: she conveys a glistening ocean through flat, even stitches in blues and white, while tufts of neutral tones become cropped fields and dried bushes. Vates rarely sketches a preliminary design and never attaches a hoop, which allows more freedom to adjust both the image and the ways weather and sunlight impact the scenes.

The Rockville, Maryland-based artist plans to release some of her pieces on Etsy in the coming months, and you can follow that launch, in addition to her forays into three-dimensional embroideries, on Instagram. (via Kottke)

 

 

 



Art Music

Sound Waves from Contemporary Music Become Traditional Chinese Landscapes in Du Kun's Scroll Paintings

July 7, 2021

Grace Ebert

Detail of “登楼 / Going Upstairs” (2021), scroll, ink and color on silk, 50 × 600 centimeters (painting), 51 × 836 centimeters (scroll), 62 × 11 × 12 centimeters (camphor wood box)

“Playing music is my only hobby,” says artist Du Kun, who pairs his longtime passion for the auditory art form with the traditional Chinese landscapes his father taught him to paint as a child. This compilation takes shape in his sprawling, layered scenes that follow lush groves and steep rock formations across silk scrolls stretching nearly nine meters. Each one of the natural features is the artist’s translation of a sound wave, which turns an eccentric array of tracks into wide, serene landscapes.

In a short video detailing his multi-faceted process, Du (previously) strums an acoustic guitar and taps percussive beats that he then digitally manipulates to form arched bridges or a whimsically rendered cloud that blows the length of the scroll. He combines multiple instruments and tracks for greater perspective and depth than a single recording would provide, rendering rich works that transform sung melodies into birds and clouds or the repetitive rhythms of electronic music into segmented architecture.

 

“电音云龙图 (Cloud Dragon in Electronic Noise)” (2020), scroll, ink, and color on silk, 70 × 860 centimeters (painting), 75 × 1172 centimeters (scroll), 82 × 11 × 12 centimeters (camphor wood box)

There’s an implied conversation between the visual and audio elements, Du says, describing how he uses “the mood of the painting as an initial guiding foundation to break away from the conventional routines of music arrangement.” Painting styles typically associated with the Song Dynasty and contemporary audio converge in the works in a seamless mix of time and sensory experiences, which he explains:

By using painting to influence music, the elements of music are transformed into these landscape paintings, becoming a new kind of music score. This series of works bring traditional Chinese paintings and modern music together, where ‘static’ and ‘noise’ are simultaneously present in the works—causing mutual influence, interdependency, and translation with one another. Just like two people who speak different languages but find a special way to communicate with each other.

The works shown here are part of Du’s solo exhibition titled Scores of Landscapes, which is on view in-person and virtually at Mizuma Gallery in Singapore through July 18.

 

Detail of “登楼 / Going Upstairs” (2021), scroll, ink and color on silk, 50 × 600 centimeters (painting), 51 × 836 centimeters (scroll), 62 × 11 × 12 centimeters (camphor wood box)

“临江听筝 (Listening to the Guzheng While Overlooking a River)” (2021), ink and color on silk, 27 × 150 centimeters (painting), 33 × 180 centimeters (silk), 39 × 186 × 5 centimeters (framed)

Details of “三远即兴 (Sanyuan Improvisation)” (2021), ink and color on silk, 19 × 136 centimeters (painting), 25 × 180 centimeters (silk), 30 × 186 × 3 centimeters (framed)

“三远即兴 (Sanyuan Improvisation)” (2021), ink and color on silk, 19 × 136 centimeters (painting), 25 × 180 centimeters (silk), 30 × 186 × 3 centimeters (framed)

Detail of “登楼 / Going Upstairs” (2021), scroll, ink and color on silk, 50 × 600 centimeters (painting), 51 × 836 centimeters (scroll), 62 × 11 × 12 centimeters (camphor wood box)

Detail of “临江听筝 (Listening to the Guzheng While Overlooking a River)” (2021), ink and color on silk, 27 × 150 centimeters (painting), 33 × 180 centimeters (silk), 39 × 186 × 5 centimeters (framed)

“登楼 / Going Upstairs” (2021), scroll, ink and color on silk, 50 × 600 centimeters (painting), 51 × 836 centimeters (scroll), 62 × 11 × 12 centimeters (camphor wood box)

 

 



Photography

Menacing Storms Rip Across Remote Landscapes in Black-and-White Photos by Mitch Dobrowner

June 22, 2021

Grace Ebert

Hendrum, Minnesota. All images © Mitch Dobrowner, shared with permission

Photographer Mitch Dobrowner (previously) captures some of nature’s most dramatic and overpowering shows of force in his black-and-white images of storm cells. Living between Los Angeles and Lone Pine, California, Dobrowner often travels throughout the Midwest and Southwest documenting major systems that rage across rural regions. He frames lightning strikes, enormous spiraling clouds, and dense sheets of rain through wide angles or panoramic views to contrast the extreme weather with the vast, remote landscapes. Dobrowner will be visiting the Northern Plains in the next few weeks to catch the area’s storm season, which you can follow on Instagram.

 

Peckham, Oklahoma

 

 

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