since this year is an Olympian Year – this blog and my other blogs will not be updated from today July 24 until August 13 2012. instead, visit my friends’ blogs – links are on the left.




favorite artist – 2

old palette1

i still remember the very first time i saw a painting by Rembrandt – i was 9 years old and my father had decided to introduce me to the art of painting with oils. he gave me my very own artist’s case, all included, and a small canvas then he told me to go get the Ra-Ri volume of the family’s scruffy old encyclopedia. he opened it at a four-page fold out – showing Rembrandt’s perhaps most famous painting:

Rembrandt_The Night Watch 1642

<–The Night Watch – 1642

it was in black and white of course, but the LIGHT was still visible as some sort of extra on the scene. just as i later fell in love with Bach’s music, i fell in love with Rembrandt’s light. it doesn’t matter if it’s landscape, a self portrait or a sneaky peak at his bathing wife (common-law wife) – it is always present, as both a part of the painting and as an observer of the motif:

Rembrandt_Portrait of a Man in Military Dress 1650

Portrait of a Man in Military Dress – 1650 –>

Rembrandt_The Conspiration of the Bataves1661

The Conspiration of the Bataves 1661-1662

what fascinates me most about this light is that 9 times out of 10 it is impossible locate the SOURCE of the light. there are no lampposts or torches present, and still the light is there.

Rembrandt_Hendrickje Bathing in a River 1654 <– Hendrickje Bathing in a River – 1654

if i could paint only one picture of my wife, the way Rembrandt portrays his bathing Hendrickje in this painting – seemingly glowing from within – i would die a very happy man.

Rembrandt_A Girl at a Window 1645

A Girl at a Window 1645 —>

i have no idea who this girl is, but i want to think it is his daughter – by her features it very well could be.

i’ll finish this post with one of Rembrandts many, many, many self-portraits – it some times seems he thought of himself as the prime subject of his art:

Portrait Of The Artist In A Flat Cap 1642

favorite artist – 1


i was brought up reading about artists, looking at their art in books. we didn’t have the money or the location to go to museums and such, but i remember my father showing me pictures of Rembrandts paintings when i was just a wee lad.

one artist i discovered on my own as an adult was Marc Chagall. i was blown away by his compositions and color-schemes. and his mixture of exuberant joy and contemplative melancholy.

Peasant Life – 1925 Marc Chagall - Peasant Life 

“Chagall’s relationship to the Surrealists was torn, whatever their theoretician-in-chief might say. Long before them, impelled by the elemental power of his homeland’s folk art, he had discovered the significance of dreams, visions and the nonrational for his own work.” (from History of Art)

Marc Chagall - Solitude

Solitude – 1933-1934

“In ‘Solitude’, Chagall was still using motifs that were very much his own to indicate dangers that were menacing himself, his people, and all of Europe.” (from History of Art)

most of all i was fascinated by the love with which he portrayed his own people. his paintings, to my eye and mind are extremely honest and spiritual.

chagall81  Rabbi of Vitebsk – 1914

Marc Chagall_The Wedding

The Wedding – 1944

there’s 30 years between the two paintings – and two wars as well, yet it is hard not to FEEL Chagall’s fierce understanding of not just what makes his people tick, but what sustains them under threat.

patience is not a virtue–it is a vice i do not have


so, here’s this art blog i insisted i wanted, right. ok, on to the blogging then. as the post title says, patience is not a virtue – it is a vice i do not have. that was one reason i was so reluctant to take up painting with oils – they take for ever to dry. the good thing with oils is that if i am dissatisfied with some part of or a whole painting, i can just refurbish the canvas with white regular indoor wall paint and have a new fresh canvas in a couple of hours. but – about the drying time. let’s say i am waiting for a painting in progress to dry out enough for me to add another layer of paint/details…? i just grab another canvas and start on a new painting. that way i can work on several paintings simultaneously. and satisfy my need to paint.

here is one i finished yesterday:


On the way Home – oil on wood, scratched with a knife. at first it was a board on which i had painted something in red, black and yellow, which i didn’t like, so i blended the colors, blotted out the brush strokes with tissue and let it dry. once it was dry i realized that i could use like a copper engraving plate. i like the effect. the technical skill might not be the best, and i sure need a better tool than a Stanley knife to do the scratching if i ever do something similar :D

here is a work in progress:


Shabbat – oil on canvased board. i worked from a photo-motif that i had set up intentionally for the purpose of painting it. with the use of old-fashioned carbon paper i transferred the outlines of the pertinent objects and details to the canvas. i filled in the background (the entire canvas) with a thin wash (lots of thinner :D) of burnt sienna, medium yellow and titanium white. i let it dry out and then i filled in the objects with a thicker (less thinner) coat of titanium white. i let it dry out. next i added outlines in a mix of ultramarine, phtalo blue and purple. i still have outlines to add, as you can see, but it gives me pleasure to move from painting to painting, adding layers, colors, details and just try out the materials and tools.


Artworki decided i want an art-blog – dedicated to my art, and to my favorite artists.

see, i used to claim that i cannot draw to save my life. so for the last 12 years i have created my art using the computer. basic photo manipulation, adding filters, layers and whatnot in Paint shop Pro 5-8. and i am good at it. really good. take a look for yourselves. then about two months ago i had the urge to try out painting irl, not on the computer. so i bought some oil-paints, canvases, brushes and an easel. now what?

how could i apply what i had learned from doing digital art to doing traditional art. how could i overcome my lack of technical skill in drawing?

i could use photos, tracing paper and carbon paper to transfer whatever picture, picture-element, shape and form on to canvas! so what if i cannot draw, i can trace!

the rest is not hard for me. except waiting for layers of oil-paint to dry enough to ad another layer!

i have a solution to that too – but that is for another post.