Johannes (Jan) Vermeer (1632-1675) was one of the foremost Dutch artists of the 17th century.
He remained relatively obscure during his lifetime and until the end of the nineteenth century, mainly because he produced only about forty-five paintings (of which thirty-six are known today) during his brief lifetime, primarily for a small circle of patrons in Delft. Most Dutch painters turned out hundreds of pictures for a much broader market.
Vermeer’s father trained as a weaver but eventually became an innkeeper and art dealer. The art business exposed Jan to the formal conventions of past and current masters. Due to his father’s debts and death in 1652, Vermeer had to essentially train himself rather than study with a master. During most of his short career, his paintings earned high commissions and he was able to support his large family (he and his wife had eleven children), but the dismal Dutch economy of the early 1670s made his last few years challenging.
Vermeer’s paintings often feature a domestic world occupied mostly by women, whose postures, behavior, and expressions invite close study and sympathy. His works often hint at some connection between a figure and the viewer, making one feel like a voyeur.
Don’t you hate it when you know you have the perfect art tool for a project, but you just can’t find it? Or when you come across a special pen or marker or paint that you bought years ago, but it’s now dried out because you forgot you even had it? This article on organizing your art supplies can help you store your stuff so that you can easily find it.
This artist’s quilted portraits celebrate Black life. Be sure to click on the link at the end of the article to see more. (Actually, you have to click on the little box that appears when you click the link.)
I love challenges. They motivate me to do the things I wish I was doing all year long, such as drawing or making art if not every day, at least every other day.
This was my sixth year participating in these two challenges. As of yesterday, I’d completed 51 out of 61 cards for ICAD and 24 out of 31 little paintings for World Watercolor Month.
If I manage to do one today, I will post it later.
Instead of following the suggested prompts for each day, I chose to work through the first few chapters of The Complete Book of Drawing People by Barrington Barber. My goal for the month was to systematically get better at drawing people. I don’t know that I actually did that, but I tried. I confess there were a couple of sketches that were so unsatisfactory I threw them away without photographing them. All the rest, the good, the bad, and the ugly, I posted on ARHtistic License and on Instagram, not because I’m so delusional that I thought they were all good, but because all our efforts are significant, even when we fail miserably. I have nothing to lose by showing you my less successful endeavors, and I might even entice you to try what you’re dreaming of creating if you know that it’s okay to have a learning curve.
I’d like to share again the ones I like the best:
And this next one is my #1 favorite this year. You can see by the lines that didn’t get totally erased that this is a proportion study:
It’s funny how subjective our preferences are. On Instagram, this is my drawing that got the most likes:
I’m guessing he looks like a lot of people’s best friend.
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