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You get through loads of kitchen role with acrylic, and then just squeeze it at the end and you see how if I put that on there, nothing comes out. Okay, so now with the filbert brush. Okay as simple as that. You might have to use a couple of layers. You might also like: 1. Part 2. Blocking in the sky — Acrylic landscape painting 2.

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How to choose a brush for acrylic painting 3. How your hairdresser can teach you to mix colour. I am so happy to stumble across your site. I am determined to learn proper techniques in painting. I went to college and came away with a degree in Nursing- a decision made more for others than myself, but my heart always longed for the fine arts department. Hey Will, I am a watercolor artist and just a couple weeks ago decided to play around with acrylics. Any ways, just wanted to jot you a note to say thanks! Thanks for the dedication. Let me know if you have any questions about experimenting with acrylics, thanks again, Will.

Of course, the more of the normal acrylics you add Liquitex Basics , the quicker the drying time. What I would recommend using is a gel because it will help to keep the thickness of the paint and slightly increase drying time. The main benefits of the OPEN thinner are to be able to thin out acrylics for more watercolour type techniques that still have a longer working time, The thinner can also be added to the Liquidex Basics I would mix it in directly with the paint and will act the same as a slow drying medium acrylic retarder just have a thinner consistency.

So really, thinner is designed for thinner use of paints, gels are designed for thicker use. I also show you what mediums I use, so that might interest you with your paintings. Great instruction. Thank you.

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I am so happy to come across your website yesterday and since then I am watching all your acrylic painting videos. You are an amazing painter and teacher.


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I can really follow your instructions very easily. I am currently taking an acrylic beginners art class and I am totally lost and cannot follow the instructor. I am determined to learn proper techniques in painting with following your website. Please let me know on the proper start for an acrylic painting for a beginner like me who has no clue on painting or mixing colors.

I really want to do this landscape painting following the instructions given. Appreciate your response. Hi Lakshmi, Thanks for your kind message, so pleased to hear you have been learning from the painting videos. To start with this landscape painting tutorial or the Cherry painting tutorial are a great starting point.

Thanks for your encouraging words. If I were to use canvas paper for painting does it still require a coating of ground paint? Hi Lakshmi, I always prefer to work on a coloured ground as it becomes easier to judge tones and establish the darkest darks and lightest lights to your painting. Thanks, Will. Is it permissible to mail you a cashiers check instead? So many know their craft totally, some profs I had in college but were purely inadequate at conveying that knowledge to anyone but a fellow academician.

Kudos to you my man! Your approach suggests hints to your life philosophy, if I may…. Cornwall is so beautiful, a real inspiration. Really pleased the videos communicate the techniques clearly, I do believe that keeping it simple provides the greatest progress in the shortest amount of time. Click this link to watch my how to pay with a debit card video without a paypal account. Also, the Art of Acrylics course is run on a separate website to my art school — which needs a username and password. The answer is Yes in about 1 weeks time! I am going to offer this course as a download which might be of interest to you?

Thanks for the comment. You can paint on paper, canvas, board. Hope you find the articles helpful,. Hi Will, thank you for this.. I painted this landscape using soft pastels. You have a great website. Anyway, last night I tried my hand at this one. Last night I was convinced it was complete crap and in no way looked like anything. This morning I am happier.

Thanks for these tutorials and the information in this website. I truly appreciate it and am enjoying myself. I especially found the color mixing sections very helpful and need to go back and watch those videos again. Now I know what a palette knife is for! Thanks so much for your message, so pleased you are finding time for your paintng.


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  6. And the best thing to hear is you are enjoying yourself! I was planning to try colored pencils next, but my mother let me play with her oils awhile back and gave me a set of acrylics for Christmas. I just completed the steps in this video and so far so good. My first attempt at creating the yellow ochre background turned out much too dark. The second go turned out great. I also started out with the filbert brush and then realized you were using the round one.

    Will, I am getting so much from just watching you work! I never seem to have enough of JUST the right color. Once I get the right mix, am I just supposed to repeat the ratio of colors in a larger amount for more to work with on the canvas? Thanks for any help! Regarding mixing colours, your approach can vary depending on the subject matter, however, when first starting it can be very helpful to mix a larger amount that you think you need I often keep these mixes in a stay-wet palette.

    So it might take a bit longer to mix the colours but your actual painting time will be much quicker. It is often handy for more neutral softer colours as to achieve a bright vivid colour is very easy straight from the tube. However, getting it together, slowly. I still marvel at your ability, but even moreso the concise quality of your unique instructional approach!! Awhile ago I took a two hour class on composition, and while none of my work has ever been criticized from that aspect, I still felt weak there.

    He was difficult to follow, and I did rather miserably about it when it was done. Should you have a class on this I would like to be tipped. Again, many kudos on your approach and method of instruction. You are super. Warm regards, rod. Composition can tricky sometimes, one of the simplest things to do is vary the shapes and spaces between objects and never keep any two things the same. The secret of good composition. Are you unwittingly committing a compositional cardinal sin?

    How to draw perspective for beginners. Thank you, Jeff. It did help. Thank you Will for getting back to me so quick. I was able to save it. Have a good day! I was wondering if you had any videos that would help me understand how to do an Impressionist still life painting? I saw that you had a landscape and seascape video option, but are there any ways of incorporating impressionist techniques into a simple still life?

    Hi Laura, you can combine the techniques of the impressionistic landscape with the approach to the cherry still life and get some great results. I will def be coming back for more instruction! Several questions, Do you recommend doing the mixing on the stay wet palette or a hard one and then transfer to the stay wet. I paint along with the video and by the time I apply the clouds and try to blend into the sky, the sky has dried, how do I keep the paints wet long enough. Are you using an extender or open paints? Do you recommend doing the mixing on the stay wet palette or a hard one and then transfer to the stay wet?

    Because of the nature of a stay-wet palette the water is always slowly seeping through into the paints so will water them down slightly. If you are using student quality paints they will be thinner in consistency so will water down quicker than the artist quality heavy body paints I demonstrate with. How do I keep the paints wet long enough. You can extend the drying times slightly with mediums, but not a great deal. Thanks for the very quick response. It makes a little more sense now. Will be signing up for some of your online course early summer. Need to get the hang of acrylics first.

    If you have the ground colour with Acrylics, then you can use Oils on top and it will work really well. What would I need to buy to start landscape painting? Im kind of confused like where would I get a canvas and that yellow paper you were drawing on? Hi Jason, all the materials for this painting are at the start of the article.

    The yellow paper, is yellow ochre paint that has been applied to create a coloured ground onto the canvas. A 3B pencil is just a artist pencil that has a medium soft graphite. Hello there, I absolutly love your website, i have never painted ever before and am well only 15 so i am new to all these techniques and am frankly a little overwelmed. Also i live in Germany so i cant buy the exact paint you use plus i have a small budget. But i have time of so i decided why not try it. But i am having serious problems with my paint drying on the canvas before i can blend it into m other colors.

    For example on my first try i did the clouds and then the sky and i wanted them to blend more but my clouds were already completely dry… Any tips? Thanks for charing your knowledge to all of us… Your site is much easier to understand than any school art class. If you do premix your colours, blending on the canvas does become easier as everything is wet at the same time. Sometimes paintings have many layers before they achieve the perfect finish you are after, so have patience and no need to start from scratch, have another go by adding to your painting with fresh paint. As you mention in your other video you are preparing the colors on stay-wet pallet first, but later as I noticed on the landscape lesson video, you are keeping the prepared colors at the side of the canvas.

    Can you tell me what background is that where you keep your current pallet? Is it just a paper or something else? On the landscape video I paint onto a tear-off palette. Hello Will I notice on your video that you seem to be able to blend the paint easily on the canvas when you go back to it. Acrylics dry so fast. Just wondering if you are using open acrylics?

    The fast drying time is a big problem for me with painting with acrylics. Thanks Elinor. Hi Elinor, on all the demonstrations I use standard heavy body acrylics, I just add a touch of water to the mix to improve flow but do tend to work quickly. What can I do? Can I start afresh? Just try mixing the 3 main colours I use, matching to the reference photo, and then build the painting from there. Just take things one step at a time — remember, it is estimated Picasso produced between a total of 20, and 50, works in his lifetime, so the odd repaint is all part of the learning process.

    Cheers, Will. I just came across this site today. I love painting but I never had any formal lessons. I am learning a lot from watching the video. Thank you so much for sharing. Hi Marietta, really pleased you stumbled upon the site and are enjoying the tutorials. Hi Krittaya, great to hear from you. Love your site. Thankyou I find your site very helpful. I painted a lot in my younger years …. Your instructions and tips have helped me regain confidence….

    Thank you! Hi Will, Absolutely love your website, and how you teach. I have 2 questions re the landscape: 1. Can i substitute permanent rose for permanent alizarin crimson? Can you suggest another colour? I feel Burnt umber will be too dark for such large mountains. Can i mix another colour like a purple-brown, or something else? Tell me how please? Thanks Will. Are you sure the burnt umber is too dark?

    I like to start with the dark of the umber to insure there is a good tonal range in the painting. Thanks for writing back Will. Also, can i substitute lemon yellow for cadmium yellow light? Best, Avan. Hi, Great to see your website. I am an intermediate artist and was exploring ways to teach beginners how to paint! Would like it if you could suggest how to engage beginners in the first 5 classes! Try the cherry tutorial , it gets some fab results for absolute beginners to painting. Blend it on your palette and then use the chisel of the brush to create the trunk.

    Clean the brush and blot it. Place the corner of the brush down at the tip to create the top of the tree. Now drop the clean side of the brush down and apply the paint horizontally from side to side. Re-load the brush with paint as needed. Being able to sideload your brush properly is key to doing this properly. Here is the progression of steps as your tree comes to life. This is a very simple technique that delivers great results. I know you can learn how to do this.

    It's time to apply finishing touches to suggest snow. This is a technique that is really worth getting right. It's time for a change and a new lesson. Let's learn how to paint trees with the Angle Bristle Brush. This brush is also known as a Foliage Brush. The Angle Bristle brush creates wonderful texture when used in an up and down pouncing motion.

    Let's start by drawing a pyramid shape with a straight line down the middle. The line in the middle represents the trunk of the tree. Your first step is to put the brush in water to plump up the bristles of the brush. A 10 minute soak will do the trick. Blot it well. Getting the exact right amount of moisture is important. And here are the finishing touches that bring it all together.

    I know you can do this. This folk art tree is made up of comma strokes. You'll need a line drawing for this tree. I have supplied one below so you can trace out the design. To get the best effect with this tree, you have to paint the brush strokes in a specific order. I show you the exact order in the Line Drawing. So, if you haven't already done so Click here to get your Line Drawing. Load a round brush with dark green. Then remove the paint from the tip using the edge of your palette.

    In Appolinaire , commenting about Matisse in an article published in La Falange, said, "We are not here in the presence of an extravagant or an extremist undertaking: Matisse's art is eminently reasonable. During the years between and the end of World War I and after the heyday of cubism , several movements emerged in Paris. Through his brother he met Pierre Laprade a member of the jury at the Salon d'Automne, where he exhibited three of his dreamlike works: Enigma of the Oracle , Enigma of an Afternoon and Self-Portrait.

    His compelling and mysterious paintings are considered instrumental to the early beginnings of Surrealism. Henri Matisse, , Woman with a Hat , Fauvism. Jean Metzinger , c. Gustav Klimt , expressionism , — Pablo Picasso , , Dryad , Proto-Cubism. Marc Chagall , expressionism and surrealism. Marcel Duchamp , —, Cubism and Dada.

    Franz Marc , Der Blaue Reiter. Robert Delaunay , , Orphism. Wassily Kandinsky , birth of abstract art. Amedeo Modigliani , Portrait of Soutine , example of Expressionism. Modern painting influenced all the visual arts, from Modernist architecture and design, to avant-garde film, theatre and modern dance and became an experimental laboratory for the expression of visual experience, from photography and concrete poetry to advertising art and fashion. Wassily Kandinsky a Russian painter, printmaker and art theorist, one of the most famous 20th-century artists is generally considered the first important painter of modern abstract art.

    As an early Modernist, in search of new modes of visual expression, and spiritual expression, he theorized as did contemporary occultists and theosophists , that pure visual abstraction had corollary vibrations with sound and music. They posited that pure abstraction could express pure spirituality. His earliest abstractions were generally titled as the example in the above gallery Composition VII , making connection to the work of the composers of music. Kandinsky included many of his theories about abstract art in his book Concerning the Spiritual in Art.

    Robert Delaunay was a French artist who is associated with Orphism , reminiscent of a link between pure abstraction and cubism. His later works were more abstract, reminiscent of Paul Klee. His key contributions to abstract painting refer to his bold use of color, and a clear love of experimentation of both depth and tone. At the invitation of Wassily Kandinsky , Delaunay and his wife the artist Sonia Delaunay , joined The Blue Rider Der Blaue Reiter , a Munich -based group of abstract artists, in , and his art took a turn to the abstract.

    Other major pioneers of early abstraction include Russian painter Kasimir Malevich , who after the Russian Revolution in , and after pressure from the Stalinist regime in returned to painting imagery and Peasants and Workers in the field , and Swiss painter Paul Klee whose masterful color experiments made him an important pioneer of abstract painting at the Bauhaus. Expressionism and Symbolism are broad rubrics that involve several important and related movements in 20th-century painting that dominated much of the avant-garde art being made in Western, Eastern and Northern Europe.

    Expressionist artists are related to both Surrealism and Symbolism and are each uniquely and somewhat eccentrically personal. Artists as interesting and diverse as Marc Chagall , whose painting I and the Village , above tells an autobiographical story that examines the relationship between the artist and his origins, with a lexicon of artistic Symbolism.

    Although Alberto Giacometti is primarily thought of as an intense Surrealist sculptor, he made intense expressionist paintings as well.

    Piet Mondrian , , early De Stijl. Kasimir Malevich , Suprematism. Stanton MacDonald-Wright , Synchromism. Piet Mondrian 's art was also related to his spiritual and philosophical studies. In he became interested in the theosophical movement launched by Helena Petrovna Blavatsky in the late 19th century. Blavatsky believed that it was possible to attain a knowledge of nature more profound than that provided by empirical means, and much of Mondrian's work for the rest of his life was inspired by his search for that spiritual knowledge.

    De Stijl also known as neoplasticism , was a Dutch artistic movement founded in The term De Stijl is used to refer to a body of work from to founded in the Netherlands. De Stijl is also the name of a journal that was published by the Dutch painter, designer, writer, and critic Theo van Doesburg propagating the group's theories. The artistic philosophy that formed a basis for the group's work is known as neoplasticism — the new plastic art or Nieuwe Beelding in Dutch.

    Proponents of De Stijl sought to express a new utopian ideal of spiritual harmony and order. They advocated pure abstraction and universality by a reduction to the essentials of form and colour; they simplified visual compositions to the vertical and horizontal directions, and used only primary colors along with black and white. Indeed, according to the Tate Gallery 's online article on neoplasticism, Mondrian himself sets forth these delimitations in his essay "Neo-Plasticism in Pictorial Art".

    He writes, " On the contrary, it should find its expression in the abstraction of form and colour, that is to say, in the straight line and the clearly defined primary colour. De Stijl movement was influenced by Cubist painting as well as by the mysticism and the ideas about "ideal" geometric forms such as the "perfect straight line" in the neoplatonic philosophy of mathematician M. The works of De Stijl would influence the Bauhaus style and the international style of architecture as well as clothing and interior design.

    However, it did not follow the general guidelines of an "ism" Cubism, Futurism, Surrealism , nor did it adhere to the principles of art schools like Bauhaus; it was a collective project, a joint enterprise. Kurt Schwitters , , painted collage , Dada. Marcel Duchamp , came to international prominence in the wake of his notorious success at the New York City Armory Show in , soon after he denounced artmaking for chess. The Large Glass pushed the art of painting to radical new limits being part painting, part collage, part construction.

    Duchamp became closely associated with the Dada movement that began in neutral Zurich , Switzerland, during World War I and peaked from to The movement primarily involved visual arts, literature poetry, art manifestoes, art theory , theatre, and graphic design, and concentrated its anti war politic through a rejection of the prevailing standards in art through anti-art cultural works. Duchamp and several Dadaists are also associated with Surrealism, the movement that dominated European painting in the s and s.

    The Surrealist movement in painting became synonymous with the avant-garde and which featured artists whose works varied from the abstract to the super-realist. With works on paper like Machine Turn Quickly , above Francis Picabia continued his involvement in the Dada movement through in Zurich and Paris, before breaking away from it after developing an interest in Surrealist art. Throughout the s, Surrealism continued to become more visible to the public at large. A Surrealist group developed in Britain and, according to Breton, their London International Surrealist Exhibition was a high water mark of the period and became the model for international exhibitions.

    Surrealist groups in Japan, and especially in Latin America, the Caribbean and in Mexico produced innovative and original works. Surrealism as a visual movement had found a method: to expose psychological truth by stripping ordinary objects of their normal significance, in order to create a compelling image that was beyond ordinary formal organization, and perception, sometimes evoking empathy from the viewer, sometimes laughter and sometimes outrage and bewilderment.

    Evocations of time and its compelling mystery and absurdity. The characteristics of this style — a combination of the depictive, the abstract, and the psychological — came to stand for the alienation which many people felt in the modernist period, combined with the sense of reaching more deeply into the psyche, to be "made whole with one's individuality.

    Max Ernst whose painting Murdering Airplane , studied philosophy and psychology in Bonn and was interested in the alternative realities experienced by the insane. His paintings may have been inspired by the psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud 's study of the delusions of a paranoiac, Daniel Paul Schreber. Freud identified Schreber's fantasy of becoming a woman as a castration complex. The central image of two pairs of legs refers to Schreber's hermaphroditic desires.

    Ernst's inscription on the back of the painting reads: The picture is curious because of its symmetry. The two sexes balance one another. Egon Schiele , Symbolism and Expressionism Amedeo Modigliani Symbolism and Expressionism Georgia O'Keeffe , American Modernism , Stuart Davis , American Modernism Chaim Soutine , Expressionism , c.

    Later members included Max Pechstein , Otto Mueller and others. The group was one of the seminal ones, which in due course had a major impact on the evolution of modern art in the 20th century and created the style of Expressionism. Wassily Kandinsky , Franz Marc , August Macke , Alexej von Jawlensky , whose psychically expressive painting of the Russian dancer Portrait of Alexander Sakharoff , is in the gallery above, Marianne von Werefkin , Lyonel Feininger and others founded the Der Blaue Reiter group in response to the rejection of Kandinsky's painting Last Judgement from an exhibition.

    Der Blaue Reiter lacked a central artistic manifesto, but was centered around Kandinsky and Marc. The name of the movement comes from a painting by Kandinsky created in It is also claimed that the name could have derived from Marc's enthusiasm for horses and Kandinsky's love of the colour blue. For Kandinsky, blue is the colour of spirituality: the darker the blue, the more it awakens human desire for the eternal.

    George Grosz , , Neue Sachlichkeit. Thomas Hart Benton , Regionalism. George Bellows , , American realism. While in America American Scene painting and the social realism and regionalism movements that contained both political and social commentary dominated the art world. Frida Kahlo 's Symbolist works also relate strongly to Surrealism and to the Magic Realism movement in literature. The psychological drama in many of Kahlo's self portraits above underscore the vitality and relevance of her paintings to artists in the 21st century.

    American Gothic is a painting by Grant Wood from Portraying a pitchfork -holding farmer and a younger woman in front of a house of Carpenter Gothic style, it is one of the most familiar images in 20th-century American art. Art critics had favorable opinions about the painting, like Gertrude Stein and Christopher Morley , they assumed the painting was meant to be a satire of rural small-town life.

    When his patron Nelson Rockefeller discovered that the mural included a portrait of Vladimir Lenin and other communist imagery, he fired Rivera, and the unfinished work was eventually destroyed by Rockefeller's staff. The film Cradle Will Rock includes a dramatization of the controversy. Frida Kahlo Rivera's wife's works are often characterized by their stark portrayals of pain.

    Acrylic painting techniques: Expert tips for artists

    Of her paintings 55 are self-portraits , which frequently incorporate symbolic portrayals of her physical and psychological wounds. Kahlo was deeply influenced by indigenous Mexican culture, which is apparent in her paintings' bright colors and dramatic symbolism. Christian and Jewish themes are often depicted in her work as well; she combined elements of the classic religious Mexican tradition—which were often bloody and violent—with surrealist renderings.

    While her paintings are not overtly Christian — she was, after all, an avowed communist — they certainly contain elements of the macabre Mexican Christian style of religious paintings. Political activism was an important piece of David Siqueiros ' life, and frequently inspired him to set aside his artistic career. His art was deeply rooted in the Mexican Revolution , a violent and chaotic period in Mexican history in which various social and political factions fought for recognition and power.

    The period from the s to the s is known as the Mexican Renaissance, and Siqueiros was active in the attempt to create an art that was at once Mexican and universal. He briefly gave up painting to focus on organizing miners in Jalisco. Ernst Ludwig Kirchner , —, German Expressionism. Wassily Kandinsky Composition X , Geometric abstraction. During the s radical leftist politics characterized many of the artists connected to Surrealism , including Pablo Picasso. The Germans were attacking to support the efforts of Francisco Franco to overthrow the Basque Government and the Spanish Republican government.

    The town was devastated, though the Biscayan assembly and the Oak of Gernika survived. Pablo Picasso painted his mural sized Guernica to commemorate the horrors of the bombing. In its final form, Guernica is an immense black and white, 3. The mural presents a scene of death, violence, brutality, suffering, and helplessness without portraying their immediate causes. The choice to paint in black and white contrasts with the intensity of the scene depicted and invokes the immediacy of a newspaper photograph. The painting was first exhibited in Paris in , then Scandinavia , then London in and finally in at Picasso's request the painting was sent to the United States in an extended loan for safekeeping at MoMA.

    The painting went on a tour of museums throughout the USA until its final return to the Museum of Modern Art in New York City where it was exhibited for nearly thirty years. Finally in accord with Pablo Picasso 's wish to give the painting to the people of Spain as a gift, it was sent to Spain in Nighthawks is a painting by Edward Hopper that portrays people sitting in a downtown diner late at night. It is not only Hopper's most famous painting, but one of the most recognizable in American art.

    It is currently in the collection of the Art Institute of Chicago. The scene was inspired by a diner since demolished in Greenwich Village , Hopper's home neighborhood in Manhattan. Hopper began painting it immediately after the attack on Pearl Harbor. After this event there was a large feeling of gloominess over the country, a feeling that is portrayed in the painting. The urban street is empty outside the diner, and inside none of the three patrons is apparently looking or talking to the others but instead is lost in their own thoughts.

    This portrayal of modern urban life as empty or lonely is a common theme throughout Hopper's work. The Dynamic for artists in Europe during the s deteriorated rapidly as the Nazi's power in Germany and across Eastern Europe increased. The climate became so hostile for artists and art associated with Modernism and abstraction that many left for the Americas. Degenerate art was a term adopted by the Nazi regime in Germany for virtually all modern art.

    Such art was banned on the grounds that it was un-German or Jewish Bolshevist in nature, and those identified as degenerate artists were subjected to sanctions. These included being dismissed from teaching positions, being forbidden to exhibit or to sell their art, and in some cases being forbidden to produce art entirely. Degenerate Art was also the title of an exhibition, mounted by the Nazis in Munich in , consisting of modernist artworks chaotically hung and accompanied by text labels deriding the art. Designed to inflame public opinion against modernism, the exhibition subsequently traveled to several other cities in Germany and Austria.

    In New York City a new generation of young and exciting Modernist painters led by Arshile Gorky , Willem de Kooning , and others were just beginning to come of age. Arshile Gorky 's portrait of someone who might be Willem de Kooning above is an example of the evolution of abstract expressionism from the context of figure painting, cubism and surrealism. Along with his friends de Kooning and John D. Graham Gorky created bio-morphically shaped and abstracted figurative compositions that by the s evolved into totally abstract paintings.

    Gorky's work seems to be a careful analysis of memory, emotion and shape, using line and color to express feeling and nature. American Abstract expressionism got its name in from the art critic Robert Coates. It is seen as combining the emotional intensity and self-denial of the German Expressionists with the anti-figurative aesthetic of the European abstract schools such as futurism , the Bauhaus and synthetic cubism.

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    Abstract expressionism, action painting , and Color Field painting are synonymous with the New York School. Technically Surrealism was an important predecessor for abstract expressionism with its emphasis on spontaneous, automatic or subconscious creation. Another important early manifestation of what came to be abstract expressionism is the work of American Northwest artist Mark Tobey , especially his "white writing" canvases, which, though generally not large in scale, anticipate the "all over" look of Pollock's drip paintings.

    Additionally, Abstract expressionism has an image of being rebellious, anarchic, highly idiosyncratic and, some feel, rather nihilistic. In practice, the term is applied to any number of artists working mostly in New York who had quite different styles, and even applied to work which is not especially abstract nor expressionist.

    Pollock's energetic " action paintings ", with their "busy" feel, are different both technically and aesthetically, to the violent and grotesque Women series of Willem de Kooning. As seen above in the gallery Woman V is one of a series of six paintings made by de Kooning between and that depict a three-quarter-length female figure. He began the first of these paintings, Woman I collection: The Museum of Modern Art , New York City, in June , repeatedly changing and painting out the image until January or February , when the painting was abandoned unfinished.

    The art historian Meyer Schapiro saw the painting in de Kooning's studio soon afterwards and encouraged the artist to persist. During the summer of , spent at East Hampton , de Kooning further explored the theme through drawings and pastels. He may have finished work on Woman I by the end of June, or possibly as late as November , and probably the other three women pictures were concluded at much the same time. Another important artist is Franz Kline , as demonstrated by his painting High Street , as with Jackson Pollock and other Abstract Expressionists, was labelled an "action painter" because of his seemingly spontaneous and intense style, focusing less, or not at all, on figures or imagery, but on the actual brush strokes and use of canvas.

    Clyfford Still , Barnett Newman , Adolph Gottlieb , and the serenely shimmering blocks of color in Mark Rothko 's work which is not what would usually be called expressionist and which Rothko denied was abstract , are classified as abstract expressionists, albeit from what Clement Greenberg termed the Color Field direction of abstract expressionism.

    Both Hans Hofmann and Robert Motherwell gallery can be comfortably described as practitioners of action painting and Color Field painting. Abstract expressionism has many stylistic similarities to the Russian artists of the early 20th century such as Wassily Kandinsky. Although it is true that spontaneity or of the impression of spontaneity characterized many of the abstract expressionists works, most of these paintings involved careful planning, especially since their large size demanded it.

    An exception might be the drip paintings of Pollock. Why this style gained mainstream acceptance in the s is a matter of debate. American Social realism had been the mainstream in the s. The political climate after World War II did not long tolerate the social protests of those painters.

    The late s through the mids ushered in the McCarthy era. Some people have conjectured that since the subject matter was often totally abstract, Abstract expressionism became a safe strategy for artists to pursue this style. Abstract art could be seen as apolitical. Or if the art was political, the message was largely for the insiders.

    However, those theorists are in the minority. As the first truly original school of painting in America, Abstract expressionism demonstrated the vitality and creativity of the country in the post-war years, as well as its ability or need to develop an aesthetic sense that was not constrained by the European standards of beauty. Abstract expressionist paintings share certain characteristics, including the use of large canvases, an "all-over" approach, in which the whole canvas is treated with equal importance as opposed to the center being of more interest than the edges.

    The canvas as the arena became a credo of action painting, while the integrity of the picture plane became a credo of the Color Field painters. It essentially involved abstract paintings with large, flat expanses of color that expressed the sensual, and visual feelings and properties of large areas of nuanced surface. Art critic Clement Greenberg perceived Color Field painting as related to but different from Action painting. The overall expanse and gestalt of the work of the early color field painters speaks of an almost religious experience, awestruck in the face of an expanding universe of sensuality, color and surface.

    During the early-to-mids, Color Field painting came to refer to the styles of artists like Jules Olitski , Kenneth Noland , and Helen Frankenthaler , whose works were related to second-generation abstract expressionism, and to younger artists like Larry Zox , and Frank Stella , — all moving in a new direction. In general these artists eliminated recognizable imagery.

    In Mountains and Sea , from , a seminal work of Color Field painting by Helen Frankenthaler the artist used the stain technique for the first time. Also in Europe, Tachisme the European equivalent to Abstract expressionism took hold of the newest generation. Eventually abstract painting in America evolved into movements such as Neo-Dada , Color Field painting, Post painterly abstraction , Op art , hard-edge painting , Minimal art , shaped canvas painting, Lyrical Abstraction , Neo-expressionism and the continuation of Abstract expressionism.

    As a response to the tendency toward abstraction imagery emerged through various new movements, notably Pop art. This movement rejected abstract expressionism and its focus on the hermeneutic and psychological interior, in favor of art which depicted, and often celebrated material consumer culture, advertising, and iconography of the mass production age. Although the paintings of Gerald Murphy , Stuart Davis and Charles Demuth during the s and s set the table for pop art in America.

    In New York City during the mids Robert Rauschenberg and Jasper Johns created works of art that at first seemed to be continuations of Abstract expressionist painting. Actually their works and the work of Larry Rivers , were radical departures from abstract expressionism especially in the use of banal and literal imagery and the inclusion and the combining of mundane materials into their work.

    The innovations of Johns' specific use of various images and objects like chairs, numbers, targets, beer cans and the American flag; Rivers paintings of subjects drawn from popular culture such as George Washington crossing the Delaware , and his inclusions of images from advertisements like the camel from Camel cigarettes , and Rauschenberg's surprising constructions using inclusions of objects and pictures taken from popular culture, hardware stores, junkyards, the city streets, and taxidermy gave rise to a radical new movement in American art.

    Eventually by the movement came to be known worldwide as pop art. Lichtenstein's most important work is arguably Whaam! The cartoon style is heightened by the use of the onomatopoeic lettering " Whaam! Sidney Janis mounted the exhibition in a 57th Street storefront near his gallery at 15 E. The show sent shockwaves through the New York School and reverberated worldwide. Earlier in the fall of an historically important and ground-breaking New Painting of Common Objects exhibition of pop art, curated by Walter Hopps at the Pasadena Art Museum sent shock waves across the Western United States.

    Later Leo Castelli exhibited other American artists including the bulk of the careers of Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein and his use of Benday dots, a technique used in commercial reproduction. There is a connection between the radical works of Duchamp, and Man Ray , the rebellious Dadaists — with a sense of humor; and pop artists like Alex Katz who became known for his parodies of portrait photography and suburban life , Claes Oldenburg, Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein and the others.

    While throughout the 20th century many painters continued to practice landscape and figurative painting with contemporary subjects and solid technique, like Milton Avery , John D. During the s through the s abstract painting in America and Europe evolved into movements such as abstract expressionism , Color Field painting, Post painterly abstraction , Op art , hard-edge painting , Minimal art , shaped canvas painting, and Lyrical Abstraction.

    Other artists reacted as a response to the tendency toward abstraction, allowing figurative imagery to continue through various new contexts like the Bay Area Figurative Movement in the s and new forms of expressionism from the s through the s. In Italy during this time, Giorgio Morandi was the foremost still life painter, exploring a wide variety of approaches to depicting everyday bottles and kitchen implements. In particular Milton Avery through his use of color and his interest in seascape and landscape paintings connected with the Color field aspect of Abstract expressionism as manifested by Adolph Gottlieb and Mark Rothko as well as the lessons American painters took from the work of Henri Matisse.

    Born in Bologna, Italy in , throughout his career, Morandi concentrated almost exclusively on still lives and landscapes, except for a few self-portraits. With great sensitivity to tone, color, and compositional balance, he would depict the same familiar bottles and vases again and again in paintings notable for their simplicity of execution. Morandi executed etchings, a significant body of work in its own right, and his drawings and watercolors often approach abstraction in their economy of means. Through his simple and repetitive motifs and economical use of color, value and surface, Morandi became a prescient and important forerunner of Minimalism.

    He died in Bologna in His return to representation seascapes, footballers, jazz musicians, seagulls during the early s can be seen as an influential precedent for the American Bay Area Figurative Movement , as many of those abstract painters like Richard Diebenkorn , David Park , Elmer Bischoff , Wayne Thiebaud , Nathan Oliveira , Joan Brown and others made a similar move; returning to imagery during the mids.

    John Baeder , Photorealism. During the s and s as abstract painting in America and Europe evolved into movements such as Color Field painting, post-painterly abstraction , op art , hard-edge painting , minimal art , shaped canvas painting, Lyrical Abstraction , and the continuation of Abstract expressionism. Other artists reacted as a response to the tendency toward abstraction with art brut , [75] as seen in Court les rues, , by Jean Dubuffet , fluxus , neo-Dada , New Realism , allowing imagery to re-emerge through various new contexts like pop art , the Bay Area Figurative Movement a prime example is Diebenkorn's Cityscape I, Landscape No.

    Although throughout the 20th century painters continued to practice Realism and use imagery, practicing landscape and figurative painting with contemporary subjects and solid technique, and unique expressivity like Milton Avery , Edward Hopper , Jean Dubuffet , Francis Bacon , Frank Auerbach , Lucian Freud , Philip Pearlstein , and others. Younger painters practiced the use of imagery in new and radical ways. Fairfield Porter was largely self-taught, and produced representational work in the midst of the Abstract Expressionist movement. His subjects were primarily landscapes, domestic interiors and portraits of family, friends and fellow artists, many of them affiliated with the New York School of writers, including John Ashbery , Frank O'Hara , and James Schuyler.

    Many of his paintings were set in or around the family summer house on Great Spruce Head Island, Maine. Also during the s and s, there was a reaction against painting. Critics like Douglas Crimp viewed the work of artists like Ad Reinhardt , and declared the "death of painting". Artists began to practice new ways of making art. New movements gained prominence some of which are: Fluxus , Happening , Video art , Installation art Mail art , the situationists , Conceptual art , Postminimalism , Earth art , arte povera , performance art and body art among others.

    Neo-Dada is also a movement that started 1n the s and s and was related to Abstract expressionism only with imagery. Featuring the emergence of combined manufactured items, with artist materials, moving away from previous conventions of painting. This trend in art is exemplified by the work of Jasper Johns and Robert Rauschenberg , whose "combines" in the s were forerunners of Pop Art and Installation art , and made use of the assemblage of large physical objects, including stuffed animals, birds and commercial photography.

    Robert Rauschenberg , Jasper Johns , Larry Rivers , John Chamberlain , Claes Oldenburg , George Segal , Jim Dine , and Edward Kienholz among others were important pioneers of both abstraction and Pop Art; creating new conventions of art-making; they made acceptable in serious contemporary art circles the radical inclusion of unlikely materials as parts of their works of art. Yves Klein , , Monochrome painting. Color Field painting clearly pointed toward a new direction in American painting, away from abstract expressionism. Color Field painting is related to post-painterly abstraction , suprematism , abstract expressionism , hard-edge painting and Lyrical Abstraction.

    During the s and s abstract painting continued to develop in America through varied styles. Geometric abstraction , Op art, hard-edge painting , Color Field painting and minimal painting, were some interrelated directions for advanced abstract painting as well as some other new movements. Morris Louis was an important pioneer in advanced Color Field painting, his work can serve as a bridge between abstract expressionism , Color Field painting, and minimal art. Two influential teachers Josef Albers and Hans Hofmann introduced a new generation of American artists to their advanced theories of color and space.

    Josef Albers is best remembered for his work as a Geometric abstractionist painter and theorist. Most famous of all are the hundreds of paintings and prints that make up the series Homage to the Square. In this rigorous series, begun in , Albers explored chromatic interactions with flat colored squares arranged concentrically on the canvas. Albers' theories on art and education were formative for the next generation of artists.

    His own paintings form the foundation of both hard-edge painting and Op art. The exhibition focused on the perceptual aspects of art, which result both from the illusion of movement and the interaction of color relationships. Op art, also known as optical art, is a style present in some paintings and other works of art that use optical illusions.

    Op art is also closely akin to geometric abstraction and hard-edge painting. Although sometimes the term used for it is perceptual abstraction. Op art is a method of painting concerning the interaction between illusion and picture plane, between understanding and seeing. When the viewer looks at them, the impression is given of movement, hidden images, flashing and vibration, patterns, or alternatively, of swelling or warping.

    Color Field painting sought to rid art of superfluous rhetoric. Certain artists quoted references to past or present art, but in general color field painting presents abstraction as an end in itself. In pursuing this direction of modern art , artists wanted to present each painting as one unified, cohesive, monolithic image. Many Geometric abstract artists , minimalists , and Hard-edge painters elected to use the edges of the image to define the shape of the painting rather than accepting the rectangular format. In fact, the use of the shaped canvas is primarily associated with paintings of the s and s that are coolly abstract , formalistic, geometrical, objective, rationalistic, clean-lined, brashly sharp-edged, or minimalist in character.

    There is a connection with post-painterly abstraction , which reacted against abstract expressionisms ' mysticism, hyper-subjectivity, and emphasis on making the act of painting itself dramatically visible — as well as the solemn acceptance of the flat rectangle as an almost ritual prerequisite for serious painting. During the s Color Field painting and Minimal art were often closely associated with each other. In actuality by the early s both movements became decidedly diverse.

    Ronald Davis , Abstract Illusionism. Ronnie Landfield , , Lyrical Abstraction. Another related movement of the late s, Lyrical Abstraction the term being coined by Larry Aldrich, the founder of the Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum , Ridgefield Connecticut , encompassed what Aldrich said he saw in the studios of many artists at that time. Lyrical Abstraction in the late s is characterized by the paintings of Dan Christensen , Ronnie Landfield , Peter Young and others, and along with the fluxus movement and postminimalism a term first coined by Robert Pincus-Witten in the pages of Artforum in [83] sought to expand the boundaries of abstract painting and minimalism by focusing on process, new materials and new ways of expression.

    Postminimalism often incorporating industrial materials, raw materials, fabrications, found objects, installation, serial repetition, and often with references to Dada and Surrealism is best exemplified in the sculptures of Eva Hesse. Lyrical Abstraction shares similarities with color field painting and abstract expressionism, Lyrical Abstraction as exemplified by the Ronnie Landfield painting For William Blake , above especially in the freewheeling usage of paint — texture and surface.

    Direct drawing, calligraphic use of line, the effects of brushed, splattered, stained, squeegeed, poured, and splashed paint superficially resemble the effects seen in abstract expressionism and color field painting. However, the styles are markedly different. Setting it apart from abstract expressionism and action painting of the s and s is the approach to composition and drama. As seen in action painting there is an emphasis on brushstrokes, high compositional drama, dynamic compositional tension. While in Lyrical Abstraction there is a sense of compositional randomness, all over composition, low key and relaxed compositional drama and an emphasis on process, repetition, and an all over sensibility.

    Many Geometric abstract artists , minimalists, and hard-edge painters elected to use the edges of the image to define the shape of the painting rather than accepting the rectangular format. In fact, the use of the shaped canvas is primarily associated with paintings of the s and s that are coolly abstract, formalistic, geometrical, objective, rationalistic, clean-lined, brashly sharp-edged, or minimalist in character. During the s and s, there was a reaction against abstract painting. Some critics viewed the work of artists like Ad Reinhardt , and declared the 'death of painting'.

    New movements gained prominence some of which are: postminimalism , Earth art , video art , installation art , arte povera , performance art , body art , fluxus , happening , mail art , the situationists and conceptual art among others. However still other important innovations in abstract painting took place during the s and the s characterized by monochrome painting and hard-edge painting inspired by Ad Reinhardt, Barnett Newman , Milton Resnick , and Ellsworth Kelly. The convergence of Color Field painting, minimal art , hard-edge painting, Lyrical Abstraction , and postminimalism blurred the distinction between movements that became more apparent in the s and s.

    The neo-expressionism movement is related to earlier developments in abstract expressionism , neo-Dada , Lyrical Abstraction and postminimal painting. In the late s the abstract expressionist painter Philip Guston helped to lead a transition from abstract expressionism to Neo-expressionism in painting, abandoning the so-called "pure abstraction" of abstract expressionism in favor of more cartoonish renderings of various personal symbols and objects.

    These works were inspirational to a new generation of painters interested in a revival of expressive imagery. His painting Painting, Smoking, Eating , seen above in the gallery is an example of Guston's final and conclusive return to representation. In the late s and early s, there was also a return to painting that occurred almost simultaneously in Italy, Germany, France and Britain. These movements were called Transavantguardia , Neue Wilde , Figuration Libre , [88] Neo-expressionism , the school of London, and in the late s the Stuckists respectively.

    These painting were characterized by large formats, free expressive mark making, figuration, myth and imagination. All work in this genre came to be labeled neo-expressionism. Critical reaction was divided. Some critics regarded it as driven by profit motivations by large commercial galleries. This type of art continues in popularity into the 21st century, even after the art crash of the late s. Anselm Kiefer is a leading figure in European Neo-expressionism by the s, Kiefer's themes widened from a focus on Germany's role in civilization to the fate of art and culture in general.

    His work became more sculptural and involves not only national identity and collective memory, but also occult symbolism , theology and mysticism. The theme of all the work is the trauma experienced by entire societies, and the continual rebirth and renewal in life. During the late s in the United States painters who began working with invigorated surfaces and who returned to imagery like Susan Rothenberg gained in popularity, especially as seen above in paintings like Horse 2 , Neo-expressionism was a style of modern painting that became popular in the late s and dominated the art market until the mids.

    It developed in Europe as a reaction against the conceptual and minimalistic art of the s and s. Neo-expressionists returned to portraying recognizable objects, such as the human body although sometimes in a virtually abstract manner , in a rough and violently emotional way using vivid colours and banal colour harmonies.


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    8. Painting still holds a respected position in contemporary art. Art is an open field no longer divided by the objective versus non-objective dichotomy. Artists can achieve critical success whether their images are representational or abstract. What has currency is content, exploring the boundaries of the medium, and a refusal to recapitulate the works of the past as an end goal. At the beginning of the 21st century Contemporary painting and Contemporary art in general continues in several contiguous modes, characterized by the idea of pluralism.

      The "crisis" in painting and current art and current art criticism today is brought about by pluralism. There is no consensus, nor need there be, as to a representative style of the age. There is an anything goes attitude that prevails; an "everything going on", and consequently "nothing going on" syndrome; this creates an aesthetic traffic jam with no firm and clear direction and with every lane on the artistic superhighway filled to capacity.

      Consequently magnificent and important works of art continue to be made albeit in a wide variety of styles and aesthetic temperaments, the marketplace being left to judge merit. Hard-edge painting , geometric abstraction , appropriation , hyperrealism , photorealism , expressionism , minimalism , Lyrical Abstraction , pop art , op art , abstract expressionism , Color Field painting, monochrome painting , neo-expressionism , collage , intermedia painting, assemblage painting, digital painting , postmodern painting, neo-Dada painting, shaped canvas painting, environmental mural painting , traditional figure painting, landscape painting , portrait painting , are a few continuing and current directions in painting at the beginning of the 21st century.

      During the period before and after European exploration and settlement of the Americas, including North America, Central America, South America and the Islands of the Caribbean, the Antilles , the Lesser Antilles and other island groups, indigenous native cultures produced creative works including architecture, pottery , ceramics , weaving , carving , sculpture, painting and murals as well as other religious and utilitarian objects.