gwendolyngrey: (northanger abbey possibilities)
 I've spent the last week utterly buried in research about portrait miniatures.

(blog post about my plans and immediate aims... sort of)

Books are strewn around my room (in fact, there are five just at my feet right now... two of them are open to specific pages), my desktop is covered in images, and I'm reeling with information.

I still have SO MUCH to read on the topic, and I desperately want to get more period appropriate materials, but I think it's time for me to think a little less and do a little more.  No, I don't have handmade ultramarine blue ground from lapis lazuli or handmade madder red or any handmade paints at all, but I do have modern equivalents of the most common colors used in the 18th and early 19th centuries (although I've found a source that sells pigments made from historic recipes and instructions... they're quite expensive, but hopefully I'll be able to make my own paint some day).  And while my current brushes might not be squirrel hair, that's an easy fix.  As for painting on ivory, that's not even a possibility anyway, but I'm looking into various imitations and I've been experimenting with different colors of polymer clay.

Also, why is no one else doing this at the moment?  There are plenty of current artists working with historic subjects and selling prints etc. at events, but I've yet to see anyone work with authentic materials on appropriate surfaces and do it in public.  Wouldn't that be an awesome sort of demo at an event?  To have someone portraying an artist of the time and actually doing real work to talk about, display, and sell.

Painting and portraiture was a real and lively trade... it ought to have some sort of presence in the reenacting world.
gwendolyngrey: (Default)
This post of Katherine's, about Koons' giant, pink balloon dog being on display at Versailles, made me laugh, but many of the comments posted also brought up one of my big pet peeves.

Modern art is NOT the same thing as contemporary art.

The era of Modern art had its roots in the 19th century, really started to take off at the turn of the 20th century, and had its heyday in the 1950's and early 60's when abstract expressionism was The Thing.  Modern art was all about finding the true essence of a medium, and creating art solely for art's sake.  Jackson Pollock is probably the prime example of a modern artist, as his painting were literally about nothing BUT painting.

The problem with modern art, however, was that art for art's sake wasn't sustainable.  How many times can you splatter paint across a huge canvas before an audience is completely bored?  Modern art was replaced with Post-modernism, and by 1980 the world was solidly post-modern.  As for what post-modernism actually IS, well, that's a whole 'nother discussion. 

Contemporary (ie. current) artists are post-modern.

Any artist that has emerged since 1970 is post-modern.

Jeff Koons is very much a contemporary artist, and as such, is NOT modern.

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