Tag Archives: Painting



Johannes (Jan) Vermeer (1632-1675) was one of the foremost Dutch artists of the 17th century.

Girl with a Pearl Earring
My favorite Vermeer, Girl with a Pearl Earring, which also inspired the 1999 novel of the same name by Tracy Chevalier, and the subsequent movie.

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.

The Milkmaid
The Milkmaid by Jan Vermeer

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.

Lady Writing a Letter with her Maid
Lady Writing a Letter with her Maid by Jan Vermeer

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.

The Astronomer
The Astronomer by Jan Vermeer
The Art of Painting
The Art of Painting by Jan Vermeer
Mistress and Maid
Mistress and Maid by Jan Vermeer. Oh, the light!
Girl Reading a Letter by an Open Window by Jan Vermeer. This painting was recently restored, revealing a painting of Cupid on the wall behind the girl.

Images and information for this article came from Wikipedia and the Metropolitan Museum of Art website. If you’d like to go down a Vermeer rabbit hole, check out the Essential Vermeer website.

Creative Juice #259

Creative Juice #259

Pretty things and practical advice.

Creative Juice #258

Creative Juice #258

All sorts of info to inspire your artistic brain.

  • I know the common green mantises; I didn’t know they have diverse cousins.
  • Flip through Nathalie’s art journal.
  • How things get done in Mozambique.
  • Lovely photographs of ordinary objects.
  • Funny and amazing animal videos.
  • Natural poses to suggest when you’re taking photographs of groups of people.
  • Teeny tiny paintings.
  • 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.)
  • For the writers: mining memories for your memoir.
  • Incredible photographs of endangered species.
  • For the artists: open calls, grants, residencies, and fellowships.
  • The Presto from the Summer concerto from Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons played on a big honkin’ organ.

One Last Card


Drawing (and painting) a person (or part of a person) almost every day in July for the Index-Card-a-Day Challenge and World Watercolor Month.

Day 61; Day 31

Click here to see the rest of my cards for these challenges.

Culmination of Index-Card-a-Day and World Watercolor Month Challenges


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.

Almost done

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:

Day 13

Day 20

Day 24

Day 25

Day 35; Day 5

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:

Day 37; Day 7

It’s funny how subjective our preferences are. On Instagram, this is my drawing that got the most likes:

Day 6

I’m guessing he looks like a lot of people’s best friend.

#dyicad2021 Day 60/ #WorldWatercolorMonth Day 30

Day 60/ Day 20

#dyicad2021 Day 59/ #WorldWatercolorMonth Day 29


Drawing (and painting) a person (or part of a person) every day in July for the Index-Card-a-Day Challenge and World Watercolor Month.

Day 59/ Day 29

#dyicad2021 Day 58/ #WorldWatercolorMonth Day 28


Drawing (and painting) a person (or part of a person) every day in July for the Index-Card-a-Day Challenge and World Watercolor Month.

Day 58/ Day 28

#dyicad2021 Day 57/ #WorldWatercolorMonth Day 27


Of course, you knew I couldn’t do a two-month art challenge without including a unicorn:

Day 57/ Day 27

#dyicad2021 Day 55/ #WorldWatercolorMonth Day 25


Drawing (and painting) a person (or part of a person) most days in July for the Index-Card-a-Day Challenge and World Watercolor Month.

Day 55/ Day 25