Thursday, January 14, 2010

Copying the Most Popular Paintings of the Last Decade

Wichita, Kansas is the home, the Internet leader in handmade reproductions of famous oil paintings. As it does every 10 years, the company has again released a Top 10 list of their most popular oil paintings from the past decade. Vincent van Gogh’s “Starry Night” tops OverstockArt‘s list of best sellers.
  1. "Starry Night" – Vincent van Gogh
  2. "Café Terrace at Night" – Vincent van Gogh
  3. "The Kiss" – Gustav Klimt
  4. "Poppy Field at Argenteuil" – Claude Monet
  5. "The Mona Lisa" – Da Vinci
  6. "Le Rêve" (The Dream in French) – Pablo Picasso
  7. "Luncheon of the Boating Party" – Pierre August Renoir
  8. "The Scream" – Edvard Munch
  9. "Red Cannas" – Georgia O’Keeffe
  10. "Persistence of Memory" – Salvador Dali
As our readers know, BINDERS Art Blog was created to keep you in the know, so read on.

OverstockArt claims that soaring art auction prices for paintings at Christie’s and Sotheby’s have made hand painted reproductions an affordable alternative. The company says over the past decade, it has become a portal for art lovers who want to enjoy the hand painted art of the great masters in their homes, even if the paintings it sells aren’t the originals.

It is not our purpose here to comment on the artistic value of such paintings, nor their prices and origins, nor to reveal who painted them. You can learn all that through Google or Yahoo.

Instead, let’s just discuss “copying” as a tool for teaching. We are mindful that just about every painter we know has their own favorite artist, a master whose work opened his or her eyes to art as a profession or avocations. And indeed probably many of us have probably tried to replicate at least one painting by the artists we love.

Historically, the practice of copying another’s work is actually a venerable tradition that goes back to Michelangelo and da Vinci. According to Smithsonian magazine, copying another artist’s work is a time-honored way for artists to sharpen their own painting skills.

At the Louvre in Paris, or instance, copyists, as they are known, have been allowed, even encouraged, to hone their skills by copying the masterpieces in its collections ever since the museum opened its treasures to public view in 1793.

Thousands have done so, including great classical painters from Turner to Ingres, Impressionists from Manet to Degas, and modernists like Chagall and Giacometti. “You have to copy and recopy the masters,” Degas insisted, “and it’s only after having proved oneself as a good copyist that you can reasonably try to do a still life of a radish.”

Today, fewer and fewer leading American museums permit copyists to paint in their galleries. The Smithsonian still allows it; but the High Museum does not. Which means, if you want to copy another artist’s work you’ll likely have to rely on photos or prints.

You be the judge. For better or worse, in the past decade OverstockArt sold more than a million hand painted copies of famous oil paintings.

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Monday, January 11, 2010

A Looong Coffee Break with Mona Lisa

It measures 20 feet high by 13 feet wide and took a team of eight artful collaborators three hours to complete. The Mona Lisa, one of the world's most famous paintings, has been recreated in Australia with 3,604 cups of coffee.

The java-based image was created for The Rocks Aroma Festival in Sydney, and seen by 130,000 people who attended the one-day coffee- lovers event.

Artists will surely note that only five values were used. Each coffee cup was filled with either straight black coffee with no milk or a little or lots of milk to create the different sepia shades of the painting.

“The Mona Lisa has been reproduced so many times in so many different mediums but, as far as we know, never out of coffee,” said one of the over-caffeinated baristas. “The result was fantastic,” she added with a jumpy jitter.

Mona Lisa, also known as La Gioconda, is the 16th century portrait painted in oil by Leonardo Da Vinci during the Italian Renaissance.

For the record, this 3,604-cup homage to the Mona Lisa masterpiece required more than six barrels of coffee (55- gallons per)! At Starbucks, 3,604 coffees (at $1.50 for a 12-oz. tall) would set you back about $5,406.

Take yourself a coffee break now to watch a two-minute You Tube video of how this giant Mona Lisa was brewed and served.

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Sunday, January 10, 2010

This Week @ BINDERS - January 11-17


One of the best New Year’s Resolutions for Artists is a two-parter. Part 1: Set aside just 5 minutes a day to draw or paint or do something creative or inspiring. That’s right, just 5 minutes. Anyone can spare 5 minutes, right? Well, this Resolution really works because even when that time is up, you probably won’t want to stop! Part 2: Visit BINDERS more often, for the art supplies and support you need to be the artist you want to be. This week The ART School at BINDERS is in full session.

Monday, January 11:
Guided Open Studio with Kay Powell
10:30am-2pm • Every Monday
Fee: $15/session. No sign up needed. Please pay the instructor.

Calligraphy 2 with Anne Elser
6-8:30pm • Mondays, 6 sessions, Jan. 4-Feb.8 •
Fee: $140
Advanced level for those who have taken Anne’s Copperplate or Italic class

Guided Open Studio with Kay Powell
6:30-8:30pm • see details above.

Tuesday, January 12:

Painting - Design and Technique with Charles Y. Walls
1-4pm • 6 sessions, Jan. 5-Feb. 9 • Open to all levels. • Fee: $140

Painting - Design and Technique with Charles Y. Walls
6-8:30pm • see details above

Bookmaking with Anne Elser
6-8:30pm, Tuesdays, 6 sessions, Jan. 5-Feb. 9 • Fee: $140

Wednesday, January 13:
Copperplate Calligraphy with Anne Elser
6-8:30pm, Wednesdays, 6 sessions, Jan. 6-Feb. 10 • Fee: $140

Thursday, January 14:
No special art events today.

Friday, January 15:
No special art events today.

Saturday, January 16:
No special art events today.

Sunday, January 17:
No special art events today.

Please note: Classes on this schedule are in our Atlanta store unless otherwise indicated. For more information please email or call Eli Pelizza at 404.237.6331 ext. 203.

Check out the full list of our upcoming art classes and art workshops!


New exhibition coming soon!

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