Oil Painting Discussion
It is always refreshing to witness works of bright-eyed young artists who seem to put their heart and soul into their work. Graduating students from the National College of Arts Rawalpindi showcased their theses at the Pakistan National College of the Arts on Wednesday, with an excited crowd of college fellows in attendance who showed up in droves to offer moral support.
The works ranging from miniature, oil-on-canvas, printmaking and mixed media are all an interesting mesh of varied techniques and inspirations. As Xahra Hafeez explores her dreams and portrays her innermost desires in a mocking style with hanging suitcases that depict the weight of reality keeping her grounded.
Schezre Syed’s “Blind Print” series gives a take on her perception on writing a book and images. “I started writing diaries long ago. With time my writing became imagery,” she said. I was intrigued by the fact that so much information and fleeting images remain etched on our minds, she added. One piece consists of completely blank white pages which according to the artist is the “eloquence of the unspoken” where too many emotions and feelings swamp the mind and cannot be penned down.
The only artist to have used painting as her medium is Hera Shakoor. Her work is minimalistic. She paints self-images in which she is completely bald with no facial hair. Her only companion on the canvas is a yellow chick who curiously peers at the viewers from the canvas. Shakoor’s brushstrokes are very refined and her technique seems immaculate as she manages to create a smooth texture with each stroke.
“I’ve showed the relationship between fantasy and reality,” said Ayesha Hasan of her deconstruction of fairytales. “The real story and not the fairytale we are led to believe as children,” she said. With the so-called happily ever after princess slaving in the kitchen making chapattis and cleaning the house or the aging woman frantically trying on various creams to maintain her youth, Hasan’s work is full of humour.
The exhibition continues till April 3 and is a must-visit for those seeking art with a punch.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 21st, 2013.
ORANGE COUNTY, Calif. — It’s been 45 years since Art De Groot served in the U.S. Army in Vietnam. Despite the passage of time, the memories of what he experienced and witnessed there are still vivid.
After many years of debating the wisdom of doing so, Art wrote down those memories and recently published a book, “Bu Ku Kilo: One Vietnam Vet’s Reflections.”
Art’s intent was to write a no-holds-barred account that was different from others that he had read.
“I wanted to write this book to really tell about what I had seen happen in the war, my experiences,” he explained. “I haven’t found many people who are willing to tell you the crap that went on over there. I had in my mind to tell the story as I saw it happen or witnessed it happen, put it in writing, put it in a book and publish it, knowing I would get a little flak from people.”
Knowing that his account would strike a chord with many people, his introduction includes some apologies — to his fellow veterans, their spouses and other relatives, and even to Uncle Sam.
“Sorry, Uncle, I just have to tell the folks some of the crap you made us vets drudge through the last 40 years or so,” he writes. “I know that fighting a war is a damned difficult and horrible thing to do and am aware that us vets were your servants of execution of the Vietnamese people, but the folks should know about Uncle Sam’s responsibility to start, fight and disengage from Nam all those years ago. So sorry, Uncle, you are over 200 years old now, and by God, you are old enough to take it.”
Life before the draft notice
Art isn’t a Worthington native, but he considers the community his hometown, even after living the majority of his life in southern California.
“We moved to Worthington in 1952,” he detailed. “My father’s name was John, my mother was Viola. We moved from Hull, Iowa. My dad had a Dutch bakery in Hull, and he got burned out on being a baker. We lived on 11th Street. My mother was a housekeeper, and she ended up working in the cafeteria of the high school. My dad was always a carpenter, worked for construction companies.”
During his teen years, Art also worked in the construction trade.
“I started working for Orville Appel when I was 15,” he explained. “I had first asked him for a job, and he said he didn’t need anybody. Then, one day when I was cutting grass, he came wheeling up on my yard. ‘You still want that job?’ He told me where to meet him at the job site on the south side of the lake, Monday morning at 7 o’clock. He hired me to be the cleanup boy, but within a few days he made me put on a tool belt and gave me a hammer and put me to work with the crew. I worked for him during the summertime, after school, holidays and weekends. He had me doing just about everything you can imagine. He was honest and always paid you what he said he was going to do. He gave me lots of responsibility.”
After graduating from Worthington High School in 1960, Art moved with a friend to Chicago, where they both attended DeVry technical school.
“I was influenced by our electronics class in high school, so I got an associate’s degree in electronics,” Art said. “I worked with the Federal Reserve Bank while I was a student — used to haul money around in armored cars, sort coins in the coin department. When I graduated from technical school, I tried to get a job in Denver, but there weren’t any, so I got a job in Chicago. Joy and I were already engaged. She was a nurse — met her at a dance at her school, and we dated for a year or so. When I got out of school, she had another year to go before she graduated, and they wouldn’t let nurses get married until they graduated, so we waited until Nov. 2, 1963. We got an apartment on the north side of Chicago for $105 a month rent and bought a new ’64½ Ford Mustang. That was our first car.”
Uncle Sam comes knocking
The arrival of a draft notice put the De Groots’ plans for the future to a halt.
“Most of the guys who were sent to Nam were fresh out of high school, 18 to 19 years old, single with no kids,” writes Art in the beginning of the book. “Many fathers were WWII and Korean vets. I was older. I got my ‘Report for Physical’ when I was 24 years old. There was no doubt about it; I was A-1, and I was going to be drafted. The
Army didn’t care about the fact that I had gotten married when I was 21 years old and had been with my wife for almost three years. The war was escalating, and we tried very hard to avoid being drafted by getting my wife pregnant; but my plan didn’t work, and I was going in by draft.”
Hoping to avoid infantry duty, Art enlisted in the signal corps for three years. Joy moved with him to Georgia while he attended signal school there. He signed up for officer candidate school to forestall his deployment overseas for another year. Just before Art and his classmates were to receive their bars, the decision was made to not promote them after all.
“We never got commissioned,” he said. “That took the wind out of my sails. Our whole group of guys, about a dozen of us, got booted. I guess they took too many people in. That’s the way the Army works. They always buy too much food and have to throw it away. They train too many, have to dump them out.”
Art’s orders to go to Vietnam came just after his daughter, Tammy, was born.
“I was able to navigate a delay of orders and get my wife and baby situated in California with family members, and in September of 1967, I was sent to Vietnam,” he explains in the book. “My Vietnam experience was much influenced by the fact that I had received all the education to be a commissioned officer. I was older, married, had a baby, but was a PFC by rank. This now sets the stage for my story and makes it more comprehensible.”
Tales from Nam
The title of Art’s book is the nickname that was bestowed upon him during his time in Vietnam.
“Bu Ku Kilo — that was the name that the Vietnamese kids called me,” he said. “Wherever I went, they called me the same thing, and I didn’t tell them to call me that. It means ‘Big Fat Guy,’ ‘Big Tough Man.’ I wasn’t really that fat, but was big. You have to understand that they are small people. The average Vietnamese guy probably weighs 120 pounds, and these kids were probably 75 or 80 pounds who were filling our sandbags. I ran into a lot of Vietnamese soldiers, and there were the people who did our laundry, filled our sandbags, and they all called me the same thing. So when I decided to write the book, you have to come out with some kind of name and a reason for the name, and I figured that was as good as anything.”
Art is quick to tell anyone who wants to read his book that he doesn’t sugarcoat the experience or censor the language very much.
“I toned it down — it was probably worse in the real world,” he said. “If you don’t include some of that language, people who were there are just going to laugh at you. That’s just the way it was. You have to tell it the way it was. The description and language draws them into the story, and they can better envision what happened because of that. People should be mature enough to realize that when guys are fighting a war and dying, they’re not too worried about what they say.”
Stationed first at Pleiku, the terminus of a strategic supply corridor in Vietnam, Art realized he was lucky to not be part of a unit that had to go out and directly engage the enemy. He was relatively safe at his appointed post, and he was determined to keep it that way. He moved to Dak To Firebase, where some major offensives took place, before returning to Pleiku for the end of his service. Even though he wasn’t out in the trenches, his experiences weren’t without peril.
“Probably the most serious story in the book is the story of the kid at the dump, where I was unloading trash,” shared Art. “I thought the kid was going to throw a hand grenade at me, so I pointed a gun at him and fired a couple shots over his head. It was a split decision. I could have cut him down, but I had to think: Was I going to wipe this kid off the map or scare him away.” If I’d made the wrong one, I would have been dead. Those kind of things happen.”
Life after Nam
Art returned stateside in November 1968, returning to his wife and daughter, and with a son on the way — the result of R&R with Joy in Hawaii eight months earlier.
“I stayed one extra month so I could get out completely when I got home,” he said. “I wanted to get out.”
The De Groots rented an apartment, and Art got a job with National Cash Register. Eventually, he got into the real estate market, and they added another son to their family.
“That worked out good for me,” he said. “It more or less filled the excitement void. You can create a lot of excitement doing real estate sales.”
Now mostly retired, Art and Joy live in Orange County, about 10 miles east of Disneyland. They have four grandchildren.
The De Groots enjoy traveling and camping in their motorhome, including annual visits back to southwest Minnesota, where Art’s mother is still living in a nursing home.
Getting his Vietnam memories down on paper wasn’t an easy process, but Art is satisfied to have finely done it.
“I had gotten over it pretty much by the time I wrote the book,” he reflected. “I put it aside for so many years — should have written it 20 years earlier. I had to relive some of it write the book. It was not really that pleasant. My wife didn’t really enjoy typing it, but I didn’t have anyone else to go to. … Most of the people I’ve corresponded with have been positive about it. I was trying to write the story about the war, but not about me, but I had to include me in the story because people want to hear your involvement in the war. My intent was to write a story about the war as the character Bu Ku Kilo.”
The evolution of Vietnamese art is a relatively modern event in history. From its inception in 1925, and up till 1945, the epoch of the history of Vietnamese painting coincides with the history of the Fine Arts College of Indochina (FACI), which is the cradle of the huge wave of revolution in the field of Vietnamese art. It were the pioneering works of Victor Tardieu (1870-1937) and Josheph Inguimberty (1896-1971) that led to the flowering of the new tradition called the Vietnamese art.
A genius in oil paintings, Victor Tardieu had a keen knowledge of Oriental art. His paintings were simple yet tasteful, reflecting a sense of space. While some of the later Vietnam artists like Le Pho, Mai Trung Thu, Vu Cao Dam, Le Thi Luu were influenced by Tardieu; Ngoc Van, Nguyen Gia Tri, Tran Van Can, Luu Van Sin devoted themselves to Inguimberty. Prior to the establishment of he FACI, the Vietnamese art was not heading to any particular direction. It was the foundation of this institution that taught the future artists the conception of the Beautiful. Within a brief period of twenty years, Vietnamese painters were on the lookout for a model in ancient or modern times, in West or East. In no time were they familiar with all the growing trends in the history of modern art and literature. Be it fauvism, cubism, abstractionism, surrealism, expressionism, symbolism, or futurism, Vietnamese art began absorbing all the characteristics of these major modern trends.
The Vietnam Revolution contributed much to the growth of Vietnamese art. The contemporary Vietnam artists stood for the cause of the revolution (1945), and voiced their grievances through works of art. A movement among the artists to support the Viet Minh gained ground in Hanoi with uncommon speed. The national exhibition solemnly organized at the Municipal Theater of Hanoi in August 1946 gathered the works of various genres by the patriotic artists of Vietnam: oil painting, pumice lacquer, gouache, water color, wood cutting, most of them treating subjects relating to the struggle of Vietnam for a new life. In 1948, after three years of war, the second national exhibition of fine arts was organized in a forest of palm trees (Xuan Ang village, Phu Tho province) with about 100 pictures, including silks, wood engravings, and propaganda drawings. The Third Exhibition was organized in Chiem Hoa, on the occasion of the anniversary of the day of national resistance.
The Vietnamese painters offered their support whole-heartedly for nine years against their enemy. With revolutionary optimism and confidence as their spurs, the Vietnam artists flew high on their quest for freedom and were ultimately victorious in directing their art to the service of their fatherland.
With the success of the revolution in 1954, the 5th National Exhibition of Fine Arts was organized at the municipal theatre of Hanoi. This also provided an opportunity to review the artistic works of those who had expressed their feelings in canvas during the resistance war. The loss of To Ngoc Van, during the revolution, was too great for the Vietnamese painting to compensate. The Fine Arts College of Vietnam experienced a change in authority under Tran Van Can. After 1975, the National Fine Arts College of Saigon merged with the National Decorative Arts School of Gia Dinh to become the Fine Arts College of Ho Chi Minh City, now the Fine Arts University of Ho Chi Minh City.
After the phase of upheaval in the history of Vietnamese art, there have been some brilliant efforts of revival in recent times. A new breed of modern rel=nofollow [http://www.vietnamartist.com]Vietnam artists have started embracing new themes centered on man in different situations. A good amount of credit also goes to the French and Italian painters who have inspired these artists to draw inspiration from the daily humdrum of human life. Vietnamese art has thus marched forward towards a progressive realism and has allowed the spectators to identity the work of art with their lives.
If you are searching for an inexpensive, rustic decorating idea, try using the beautiful painted drums made by Native Americans Indians. I was recently looking for a cheap way to redecorate my living room and guest rooms and give them a rustic, southwestern flare, and started purchasing wonderful Native American accessories for rustic home decor. I ended up buying two beautiful painted drums that incorporated the perfect rustic look in my home and gave it the rustic feel that I was looking for. The thing I admire most about these painted drums is how they show a true reflection of Indigenous life and work through the paintings.
Perhaps you are like me and truly appreciate the authentic creativity of Native American art. As you study the origin of these paintings you will love how the artistic spirit of the American Indians can be seen in the painted drum. The beautiful hand painted drum heads serve as a gallery for the expressions and motives of Native life and spirituality. Because the Native American drum artists find their inspiration through the work of their ancestors, owning one of these rustic drums allows you the unique privilege of being part of many generations of Native American artists. Each new line of Native drum artists creates their work, mingled with the past, to bring forth a truly unique work of art.
As you learn about the history of painted drums, you will see that animal drums have always been the predominant Native American musical instruments of choice and hold a special meaning to these Native people. The medium, with which they choose to paint, is different among drum painters and is a matter of personal preference. Some Indian artists still use hand ground natural dyes, though paint has also become an acceptable choice as traditional drums give way to modern expressions of culture and creativity.
Just like the variations of mediums used to paint the drums, you will also see that drumming traditions differ between tribes. Some tribes use large drums while gathered in a circle around it, while the drums of other tribes are unique and personally decorated by the drummer. Now days it is very rare to find true ceremonial drums, but the Indian hand drums of the Tarahumara Indians are among the most authentic Native drums suitable for using in drumming circles or for southwestern home design.
Drum painting is truly a beautiful form of art and an important part of the rich heritage of the Native American people. The painted drum has come to signify both the drummer and the tribe, as well as preserve the Indian culture through paintings of nature and legend. If you are drawn to the true values of the American Indians, you will definitely enjoy giving rustic style to your home decor. You can easily find these Native drums online or in stores that sell rustic and western home decor, and bring Native American culture to life in your home with the beautiful art of painted drums.
If you are a beginner to the exciting world of fine art you need not feel intimidated by sheer variety of options available to you. Oil painting pictures are a high quality creative addition to any home and come in a stunning range of colors and themes. Paintings are also available from a variety of sources, making it fun and easy to search for and obtain that ideal painting.
You could find oil painting pictures by strolling through an art gallery on a Saturday morning. Auctions are great places to find interesting oil painting pictures that will appeal to your personal tastes. Visit an art show or gallery opening or visit a beach side craft market where you are sure to find artists displaying their most recent oil painting pictures.
The price of oil painting pictures does not necessarily dictate that they will have imagery or subject matter that you will be drawn to and want to have in your home. Art is subjective and the piece has to appeal to the owner. The popularity of the artists or the attached price tag should be less of a consideration than whether or not the oil painting appeals to your tastes.
Oil painting is a very interesting and diverse medium that lends itself to a wide variety of different artistic styles. Contemporary, modern, pointillist, abstract, Gothic, baroque, rococo, impressionism and many other styles are available. As you browse for oil painting pictures meant for a specific room, keep in mind the overall color and theme of the room and try to choose a painting that will complement your existing decor.
The size, color and general theme of the painting will aid in setting the mood in your home. If you have a home with a quaint country theme, a bold, modern piece may seem at odds with the surrounding decor. The same can be said for a minimalist home with clean, modern lines and plenty of concrete, stainless steel and marble finishes. A romantic art piece may seem totally out of place in such a setting.
Try to pick an artwork that is appropriate to the theme in your home with subject matter that is suited to the room. The wonderful thing about art is that it is so diverse that you will be able to find an example of an oil painting that appeals to you for color, content and theme. Remember that art is something to be enjoyed and appreciated by the observer.
The correct lighting can really complement an artwork and so some consideration should be given to what sort of lighting you might use to enhance the artwork. Colored lights can completely alter the colors and appearance of a painting, so you should carefully consider the effect it will create. Spotlights and fluorescent lighting will each have a different effect and you may want to experiment until you find the perfect lighting for your painting.
Oil painting pictures are often chosen to be focal points in certain rooms. Art can make a great conversation piece and its placement in the room is of some importance. A clever way to subtly complement the artwork is to echo similar colors by placing accessories around the room that reflect the same hues.
Canvas oil painting together with its fresh loveliness can’t be brushed aside. Canvas painting is simply called as an unique art which is to paint on canvas; which is what we’ll look at now. Earlier linen canvas was preferred to a great degree. Due to the fact it was quite costly mostly a small number of specialist leading artisans would have enough money for it. Next came the cotton fabric canvas, and considering that it was very inexpensive as well as highly affordable plus could get the task accomplished it became the preference of even the typical painter. The canvas is placed over the stretcher before you embark on painting.
Following that it’s important to apply some synthetic latex or gesso covering onto the canvas to make it solid as well as let the layers of the colors to stack up on top of it. Ideal way to oil paint on canvas? Apart from the fact, it ranges from one artist to another there’re a small number of prevalent procedure that you may use and get going with painting on canvas. In the early stages you need to add the layer on the canvas. A number of painters prepare the outline of the image having said that many immediately get started painting by working with gentle strokes of assorted brushes. Painting is routinely completed in layers in which the coating underneath will be colored by way of turpentine thinned paint. Immediately after the layer dries out the artist proceeds on the painting work. Soon after one more layer is put on after the previous coating gets dry.
Apart from becoming an adorable as well as distinctive present for that big event, canvas wall art can be decorative. Which means that it is easy for you to present her with an item she will love to take a glance at, together with an item of decoration for her home. There are lots of themes fantastic to have as an Anniversary gift, which includes paintings of several different flowers or even landmarks. If your wife wishes to have artwork of Buddha, it is as well possible for you to come across many Buddha paintings you could prefer from. If your wife is a music enthusiast, provide her an abstract music themed work of art. If your wife is interested in cutting-edge furniture, an abstract canvas might be fantastic.
You’ve countless choices to opt from. Having said that, earlier than you pick a specific canvas wall art, take care to contemplate the dimensions of the wall together with the color theme of the house where this work of art may be placed plus procure the ones that come with a pre-installed hanging device behind the canvas. Whether you prefer to paint one on your own or spend money on one, canvas oil painting might be the ideal anniversary gift for the loved ones.
Step 1: Sketching on canvas.
All great paintings start with a sketch. That’s why when we being a painting, we use charcoal or pencils to sketch the rough shapes and figures onto the canvas. This gives us an opportunity to focus on composition in the painting.
Step 2: Painting the background color.
Starting with the larger brushes, we begin to apply paint to the canvas. Following the charcoal outline, we paint the basic shapes and colors, keeping the edges soft. We’ll paint the background, fill in the main subjects and not worry about small details. If you saw the painting at this stage, you may not recognize it.
Step 3: Building the forms.
This is where we begin building forms of objects and play with color relationships. We paint in light and dark values of colors, building up or reducing the hue intensity to create depth. After each stage the paint needs to dry before we can move forward.
Step 4: Adding textures.
We'll focus on the techniques or effects that the original artist used. By using different brush sizes and types, by utilizing different painting techniques, or by just using more or less paint on the brush, we can add the textures, character and unique features of the original painting. By knowing how to recreate an artist’s signature style our own skills and creativity get a chance to shine.
Step 5: Adding details, cast, shadow and highlights.
By deftly adding color or shading to the painting, we can make sure that each object in the painting has the prominence that the original artist intended. We focus on color density, shadows, background and other elements of the painting.
Photography is based on a scientific principle, and provided the mechanism in a camera does not fail, excellent results are produced. The camera has been improved to a very great extent so that more life like pictures could be taken even by an amateur photographer. Photography saves time. In a matter of minutes pictures are taken. Nowadays colour pictures are taken. Fast films and powerful lenses make it easy to take pictures even in the darkness. The cine industry has added a momentum to the growth of photography. If the chemicals are properly treated on a film a photograph can be kept to the end of time. That is why great documents and books in the national archives are being photographed. Whereas paper spoils too soon, films do not.
With all its favorable points, photography cannot score over painting. The latter is something personal and in great masterpieces, we see the personality of the painter. The painter sets the tone in colour, creates moods and he is a student of emotions in that he could reproduce them in his paintings. In order to do that he must be a student of human nature. Every facial expression, every movement of the muscle, every twinkle in the eye or the contortion of the lips catches his trained eye. The expressions in the human face are kaleidoscopic, still once the painter catches an expression, he will never forget it and given the chance, he immortalizes it in his pictures.
In short the painter is a creative artist. He knows the value of his colors and he is master of every stroke of his brush. He is an actual creator. One or two examples would illustrate this point. In Mysore, India, there is a picture of a women with an oil lamp in her hand. The flame illumines her face. Unless you look at it twice you won't understand it. But if you look at it from a distance a whole world of art is before you. What a lovely expression. This painting has won the appreciation of the whole world. After all, this painting has no riot of colors. Still it can bring out a whole world of emotions.
The camera may do the same job but it is devoid of emotions. We get a feast of good photography in famous cinema pictures. A cameraman must wait to take particular scenes. The shots may come up or may not when developed. There are chances for mechanical failures. A photographer may spoil a picture which cannot be caught at that precise moment again. He may bring about distortions by taking at wrong angles.
Photography cannot displace the painting for a painted picture is a reflection of the personality of the painter and subject. The same can never be said of photography. That is why we speak of `schools' of painting and never schools of photography.
"Masterpiece" has its troublesome edge, though. Some contemporary scholars dismiss the term as an elitist designation, used to exclude whole categories of art or to lend an air of mystification to critical judgments. And the general public sometimes embraces certain works as "masterpieces" based mostly on their celebrity and fame. As every Louvre visitor knows, Da Vinci's "Mona Lisa" is the museum's primo masterpiece, a status the 1503 painting didn't acquire until after it was spectacularly stolen a century ago. Mona's well-armored case will prevent any such caper now, but it also keeps most people from seeing anything but the flash of their cameras against the glass.
"Masterpiece is the most overused word in the art world," said Minneapolis collector Dar Reedy, whose purchases range from medieval illuminated manuscripts, to African tribal art, to post-World War II sculpture and painting. Dubbing something a "masterpiece" helps justify higher prices and, in the case of the Louvre show, signals the quality of the art, he said. But Reedy cautioned that everything done by a master such as Picasso or Mark Rothko is not necessarily a masterpiece.
"To me, a masterpiece is something that stands the test of time and is viewed as a masterpiece from generation to generation," Reedy said. "Secondly, it must influence generations of artists and change the way that people look at the medium -- be it painting, sculpture, decorative art or whatever. It must be so original that once you've seen it, you're indelibly influenced by its power, and any artist who goes in that direction is accused of studying under or being in the shadow of the original."
The power of the masters inspires only admiration in Michael Kareken, a professor of painting and drawing at Minneapolis College of Art and Design.
"I'm really interested in traditional painting and art, so to me certain Vermeers or Rembrandts or Gericaults sum up what a masterpiece is," Kareken said. "They crystallize a whole set of artistic and cultural values and are technically brilliant above reproach. That's a pretty old-fashioned way of looking at things, but I'm such a romantic that I buy into the whole myth. I believe in the transformative power of art; I do believe that. And those paintings that move you so much words fail you -- those are the masterpieces."
Oil painting is a distinct genre of painting where drying oil is applied as paints. Timeless possessions of arts, oil paintings down the ages are visual documentations of the history culture and lifestyle of the yore. With the moving courses of time new styles and techniques have made way into the paintings making them more enriched and versatile. Oil Painting is also very popular in the modern times. The modern artists and connoisseurs admire them and innovate new ideas from them.
Various types of oil were used to create oil paintings. Linseed oil, poppy seed oil, sunflower oil and walnut oil were used commonly. The painters mixed the oils with the pigments with great dexterity and precision. Pine resins and frankincense were applied to bring a glossy effect on the paintings. Generally the paintings were carved on a canvas. But in some cases the paintings were framed out in paper sheets, cardboards, linoleum and wooden panels. Animal glue and gesso were used to coat the panel paintings. Modern gesso is a combination of calcium carbonate and polymer acrylic. It is used to increase the absorbency of the primer coat of an oil painting. Animal glue saves from the harmful acid effect of the paints.
In oil paintings the outline of the subject of a particular painting is first carved out on the canvas. Then pigments are mixed with oils to prepare shades of colors. Pigments having cobalt, manganese and lead were used in the early days to increase the drying process. The oil colors are then applied on the painting in the form of layers. With the advent of oil painting tubes the painters have been freed from the hazards of mixing oil with pigments.
Painting in layers is the conventional method of oil painting. This is done to enhance the effect of colors and bring perfection into the painting. First the "underpainting" is sketched out using thin coats of paints like the turpentine paint. The layer is let to dry up. After this several layers of oil paints are applied consecutively letting each layer to dry up completely before applying the next layer. It can take several weeks to months to dry an oil painting completely. After the work is sealed by the artist varnish is applied to bring the shining effect.
Oil paintings have been influenced by various styles of art namely renaissance art, figurative art, folk art, abstract art, contemporary art and modern art. The themes of the paintings were collected from various facets of nature, figures of animals and human beings, modern architectures and every day life. The inherent self of human beings and the various human moods and psychologies are also captured into bold lines and colors in the modern oil paintings. Raphael's 'La donna velata' (1516) Titian's 'The Rape of Europa'(1562), Leonardo da Vinci's 'Mona Lisa' (1503-1506), Van Gogh's 'The Starry Night'(1889), 'Sunflowers'(1889) and 'Wheat Field With the Crows' (1890), Claude Monet's 'Water Lilies', Salvador Dali's 'The Persistence of Memory' ( 1931) and 'The Metamorphosis of Narcissus' (1937) are legendary oeuvres of oil painting that inspire awe and veneration to the votaries of arts from time to time.
Oil Painting is one of the most praised skills in the art world today and people have really been high regards when it comes to oil painting masterpieces and work. If you are interested in the details of oil painting, I would suggest you to consult the several art galleries that house such as paintings.
Before you think of taking oil painting as your hobby, make sure that you are ready to spend some extra money on your hobby. You will have to make sure that you have all the necessary items with you before you try your hands on it. You will only do this, if you are deeply interested in the art. There are many people who take oil painting just as a hobby, and from there on you take it big as a good artist.
There are many things that you may be unwary about. Maybe you never notice the several auctions that take place around your home from time to time. On these auctions, a normal oil painting can fetch a large amount of cash, thus you can always have the option of selling your paintings to interested people, and thus getting another source of income for yourself.
You should try to make sure that you have made your investments in the best colors available on the market. Many times it has been found that fake colors are being sold by painting shops as oil paints. It therefore becomes important for the people to try to make sure that they are putting their money in the best place, and buying the best quality items for themselves. Quality products ensure quality paintings and at the same time a great deal of satisfaction.
It is good that oil painting is your hobby, but it would be better if you can make some money out of it. So, if you desire to make more out of your oil paintings, try to contact art dealers, who can use your paintings and put them to auction to interested parties for a large sum of money. You will find that an oil painting, on which you have spent at about 10 dollars, will help you to get a good income.
Many people also take oil painting as a hobby, and just use the paintings to decorate their home. Oil paintings, give them the chance to portray their creative thoughts to other people. An effective oil painting will help the people to reflect their thoughts to a greater number of public.
If you thought about taking a good hobby for long time, then you should definitely consider taking oil painting as a hobby so you could use your spare time more judiciously. Now, if you are wondering about the future of oil painting then be assured that the popularity graph would surely rise, as it has a bright future ahead.
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Forget the tie this Christmas; oil painting portraits of children is a Christmas gift that is sure to be unexpected. A custom-created oil painting can be commissioned from a professional using a photograph of your baby, which is especially helpful if youre child does not sit still for long. If you are truly adventurous and enjoy experimenting, you can even paint an oil painting on your own.
A Unique Gift Idea
A child portrait, especially a baby portrait, is not only a timeless and classical way to commemorate the privilege of fatherhood, but is also a Christmas gift that will likely be completely unexpected. Forget the chocolates, candies and toys this year; a Christmas gift should be a sign of thanks and appreciation for your special child. Furthermore, a baby portrait is truly a gift that he will cherish for the rest of his life and one that will probably also become a family heirloom.
An oil painting is a non-traditional and unique Christmas gift idea. While baby portraits, just like any other original oil paintings, can be expensive, it may be worth the cost to be able to convey a special message to the child who has been such a wonderful gift.
How its Done
Most babies are not willing to sit still for the long hours that are necessary to paint a traditional portrait; however there are many artists who will create an oil painting from your photo. Choose a photo that is clear and accurately portrays the expressions and personality of your baby. Giving a Christmas gift such as a commissioned baby portrait will forever preserve that particular moment in time for the child and will be a vision that it will surely carry with him always.
Select the Right Artist
When it comes to oil painters, not all artists are the same. Make sure to choose an artist that specializes in portraits, perhaps even one that works solely on baby portraits. Choosing an artist that works mostly with landscapes and still-life paintings or other non-human subject matter may not be the best choice for your baby portrait, though his or her work may be impressive. The artist that you commission should be able to capture facial expressions and the humanity of the child in the portrait. In order to select the artist that is best for you, ask your friends who they have heard of and spend some time looking through portfolio books.
Once you have your commissioned baby portrait, make sure that you wrap it well so that it does not get any scratches before Christmas. Select a location in your home that you can be proud to feature the work. As your child grows, you will likely want to place this baby portrait next to future portraits of him or her.
When the Met thought to acquire a major painting by Jasper Johns," says
Nan Rosenthal, consultant in the department of modern art at New York's
Metropolitan Museum of Art, "we went after White Flag
canonical masterpiece and the first Johns painting to enter our
collection." Procured in 1998, the 1955 painting now hangs in the
museum's 20th-century galleries, between a Willem de Kooning and a Cy
Twombly. "Much larger than his other paintings of this time, White Flag
has a superbly worked encaustic surface," Rosenthal says. "Its subtly
modulated monochromes range from translucent to opaque. The fast-setting
medium of encaustic makes each brushstroke distinct. It is both gesture
and object, lushness and reticence."
Though she thinks Johns has been "consistently
remarkable throughout all his stages," Rosenthal explains that "people
are especially attracted to the early work for the way it radically
reformulated pictorial syntax. It set the stage for Pop, Minimal, and,
to an extent, Conceptual art."
Rosenthal here offers a rare glimpse into the way she, and the Met,
evaluate a modern masterpiece. The classics generally come to us fully
validated, but who determines—and how—what makes a modern masterpiece?
To find out, ARTnews asked eight people, including art
historians, museum directors, curators, and an artist, to discuss what
they consider to be the greatest works of three pivotal artists of the
last 50 years: Jasper Johns
(b. 1930), Andy Warhol (1928-87), and Gerhard Richter (b. 1932). Each
focused on one of the artists while sometimes commenting on the others.
Like Rosenthal, Kirk Varnedoe, chief curator at New York's Museum of
Modern Art, discussed Johns, but he found it difficult to single out any
one piece. "The whole body of work is so interwoven," he says. "Johns
keeps returning to the same subjects, the same motifs." What he would
acknowledge, however, is "the standard wisdom," according to which "the
paintings Johns presented at his first show, in 1958—the flags, targets,
and numbers—are the most compelling, the most universally prized."
Unlike the Abstract Expressionists, with their spontaneous brushwork,
Johns rendered familiar imagery using the labor-intensive encaustic
process, dipping newsprint and other elements in hot wax and affixing it
all onto canvas. "He created a powerful combination of an immediately
apprehensible image and a slow, complicated surface," says Varnedoe. "It
had a decisive and revolutionary impact—it laid the groundwork for art
of the 1960s."
Michael Auping, chief curator at the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth,
says Johns is at his best when he's the least specific. This goes for
the early work, the single images of the late 1950s, but also for the
more recent ones. "The best ones for me have the fewest images, with a
simple catenary arc floating over this gray field," says Auping.
"Johns's best work exists in shadow. The gray field is a shadow and
there are shadows within the field—it's the only reason why you'd stand
and stare at a gray field. There's an element of concealment and
withholding to it, and it leaves so much room for our imaginations. When
he's specific in his imagery, he's painting a thing; when he's painting
a field, he's just painting."
What makes a great Warhol great, remarks Thomas Sokolowski, director of
the Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh, is the way it can capture the
tragic and sublime simultaneously, as in the Marilyn Monroe portraits.
Warhol achieved this not only by choosing a loaded subject—he began the
Marilyn series after the actress died, in 1962—but also through his
silk-screen process. "He was very purposefully off register in his
color," says Sokolowski. "Every time you put a screen down, colors
should hit exactly, not blend. But in his case, they blurred. This was
intentional. It gives his work a tension, and with Marilyn, it suggests
internal trauma. We see a mask of makeup and color that could be pulled
away to reveal
something else. There's a ferocity behind the beauty queen.
In Warhol's hands, there is more to Marilyn than a 1950s sex goddess.
There was the Marilyn with Joe DiMaggio, the Marilyn with Arthur Miller,
the Marilyn of the Kennedys, the Marilyn from Kansas, the Marilyn who
committed suicide. Warhol's portrait suggests all that."
"Andy Warhol's work is so deeply democratic, it's hard to do anything as
hierarchic as pick the best," maintains Deborah Kass, an artist who has
evoked Warhol often in her own work. "That said, I keep coming back to
the 'Electric Chairs' and Gold Marilyn. Both are images that
continue to haunt cultural consciousness. And both are about death. One
presents an image of the power of the state over the lives and deaths of
its citizens, be they the Rosenbergs [Warhol used a photograph of the
chair in which they were executed] or Gary Graham [executed in Texas
last June 22]. The other conveys the annihilation of the self through
the media, fame, and the stereotype. In a way, both of these images are
about the political nature of death. The work that tends to be
simultaneously the most familiar and horrifying is my idea of the
Auping, too, points out that what makes Warhol so great is that his
notion of tragedy continues to have currency. "A single work that is the
most affecting is the 1963 Lavender Disaster, a photographic
image of an electric chair duplicated many times," says Auping. "It's
such an amazing thing to conceive of. Who else would ask the question,
What color would you conjure right before you're put to death? When you
think of lavender, you think of a certain sweetness and gentleness, and
to combine it with the image of an electric chair is profoundly
disturbing and profoundly moving. But I'm talking at a time when the
death penalty has once again become very controversial. Maybe that shows
the importance of Warhol. In six months, whatever the new controversy
would be, I bet I could find a Warhol painting that would describe its
sublime and tragic aspects."
Offering a different perspective on Warhol, Robert Rosenblum, curator of
20th-century art at New York's Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and a
professor of fine arts at New York University, considers the artist's
abstractions, which he painted in the last decade of his life, as "among
his most important works—and vastly overlooked. He entered history with
such a bang in the 1960s that people have neglected his later work."
Here, Rosenblum explains, "Warhol took the ordinary, the unobserved,
such as a Polaroid of a tangle of yarn lying somewhere in the corner of
his studio, and blew it up to mural-size paintings." Also in this
category are series of what Rosenblum calls "found abstractions," the
"Eggs," "Shadows," "Camouflages," and "Rorschachs." "Warhol discovered
in the ordinary a quotation from the earlier history of
abstraction"—with the "Camouflages" resembling some MirÛs; the "Eggs,"
Ellsworth Kellys; the "Shadows," Franz Klines; and the "Yarns," Jackson
Pollocks. "Warhol was very knowledgeable of art history and aware of the
references," says Rosenblum. "He was consciously re-creating these
Richter, by contrast, emerged on the German Pop scene in the 1960s with
paintings based on enlarged copies of slightly out-of-focus
black-and-white photographs. He used amateur snapshots and images taken
from newspapers and magazines, projected them onto canvas, determined
their blurriness, outlined their form, and then painted without further
projection. With this process he attempted to empty painting of its
historic baggage and such conventional considerations as composition and
"These very early black-and-white paintings are highly valued," says
Dieter Schwarz, director of the Kunstmuseum Winterthur in Switzerland
and curator of a Richter drawings show (on view through October 8 at
Stichting De Pont in Tilburg, the Netherlands). "But I don't think you
can reduce Richter to that period. His later work has become very
important. It's really here where he's at his best, because the painting
becomes more personal," he explains. "When he was younger, the images
were at times more arbitrary, but now they're more loaded, even more
Schwarz singles out Richter's "October 18, 1977," a series of 15
paintings that the artist made in 1988 (now in the Modern's permanent
collection). They deal with the notorious Baader-Meinhof gang, which
launched a campaign of terrorism in West Germany in the late 1960s and
early '70s. On October 18, 1977, three imprisoned leaders of the group
were found dead in their jail cells, and though their deaths were
reported as suicides, murder was suspected.
The Modern's senior curator Robert Storr, who is organizing a Richter
retrospective for 2002, considers the "October 18, 1977" series a
masterpiece. "The works suggest history painting with their narrative
dimension, but they are highly disjunctive. There is no set order to
them, and their relationship to the events they describe is incomplete,"
he says. In one, a gang leader hangs in her cell; in another, a figure
lies dead, with gunshot wounds. "They are extremely economical, direct
paintings," says Storr, referring to the spare depictions in shades of
gray. "Richter distills things not to get to their essence, their
essential truth, but to get to their ambiguities, the essential question
For Auping, what makes a great Richter great is the distance the artist
establishes between himself and the viewer. "When you think of art and
artistic expression, you think of the artist trying to make direct
communication with the observer. Richter almost tries to create a
distance. I never feel like I'm looking at Richter directly."
Auping likes Richter's "Seascapes" of the late 1960s. "Their surfaces
seem to reject my gaze. The image of the seascape calls me forward in
the way Caspar David Friedrich's monk is drawn forward to the edge of
the sea—these are clearly references to Friedrich and German
Romanticism—but as I get closer to the sea, to Richter's painting, the
porcelainlike surface stops me. I find that interesting." Auping
continues, "If I wanted to go see Friedrich, I'd go see Friedrich. But
perhaps this is not the time for that kind of romanticism. This is a
time of doubt, and I think Richter epitomizes a certain kind of doubt.
Not doubt in a pessimistic way. It's doubt in the possibility for
personal expression and in the believability of the image."
As composer Leonard Bernstein summed it up: "Any great work of art
revives and readapts time and space, and the measure of its success is
the extent to which it makes you an inhabitant of that world."
Ho Chi Minh museum is the destination for tourists who would like to learn about history and culture of the city from the time when the land was explored to the very time. While Vietnam History Museum displays mainly ancient arts of some European countries, Fine Arts Museum give domestic and international tourists the introduction of fine art relievos, traditional handicraft items of Eo and Champa culture. Tourists would learn resounding victories of Vietnam People's Army in the war against America when visiting Ho Chi Minh Campaign Museum.
One of the most famous Ho Chi Minh attractions is the French architecture system of different styles of art. The special full exploration of Western architecture visitors can be carried out when visitors come to district 1, the city center. With Roman architecture, Notre Dame Cathedral own the romantic beauty of magnificent Paris. Embellishing the French architecture system, a construction own the harmony between Western and Asian style. It is Ho Chi Minh central post office on the opposite side of the cathedral where there are domestic and international services. Tourists can also explore the style of the French Third Republic by visiting the Ho Chi Minh City Theatre and the head office of the City People’s Committee.
Hong Viet Dung was born in 1962 in Hanoi and in 1984 graduated with a
degree in Painting from the Hanoi Industrial College of Fine Art. Dung
has exhibited in several countries including Russia, Germany, Singapore,
Japan, Hong Kong, Norway, USA, Australia and Great Britain. He has also
participated in the Europ'Art International Art Fair in Geneva,
Switzerland. He has also held a retrospective of work in the collection
of the Vietnam Fine Arts Museum.
His paintings normally depict
figures standing in solitude, sometimes holding a simple object. He uses
pale and distinctly-muted colours to bring to the foreground the
calmness and contemplation in his subjects. He conveys a meditative
spirit, no doubt inspired by his devotion to his Buddhist faith. His
works convey the essence of painting and their uncomplicated, zen style
invite the viewers to delve into them and contemplate their own imagery
Hong Viet Dung often only produces five to ten paintings a year and remains one of Vietnam's most renowned artists.
From Dao Duc, we have the oil "On the path of the resistance" showing soldiers marching in moon light. The moon had hardly appeared, only a little higher than the foliages of the areca trees; the winding path ran through a deserted hamlet, brilliant like a water stream and contrasting with the scenery lost in the dark. The soldiers' silhouettes, their rifles on their shoulders, walked rapidly and turned back their heads to get a glimpse of the huts, inside one of which a mother and her small daughter were watching the march of the soldiers. Dao Duc has masterly introduced impressionism in oil painting with purple brown, blue black colours intermingled with touches now hardly visible now seemingly wet to translate the reflection of moon light on the thatch roofs. Oil paintings on more combative subjects made a great echo: "The enemy burned my village" by Nguyen Sang and "On the path of the resistance" by Dao Duc produced different sentimental effects, although they were composed according to an impressionist tendency - suffering and hope - but all expressed the people's affection from the army in the revolutionary war. The touches impregnated with the emotions felt by the artists at the sight of the resistance scenes are still appreciated by spectators tens of years later.
Art is one of the most incredible aspects of human culture. Only we have the ability to capture our imaginations and perceptions of the world, and put that onto a permanent medium such as canvas. An oil painting can then be shared with others to love and enjoy as well. There are so many beautiful works of art in the world but most are housed in museums and galleries around the world where many people don’t have the chance to see them. Now, however, many talented artists are capturing the beauty of these masterpieces and the general public is being given the opportunity to buy these oil paintings at an affordable price. How? Through an exciting method called oil painting reproduction.
What is an Oil Painting Reproduction? An oil painting reproduction is basically a recreation of a masterpiece by a new artist. As the name suggests, these pieces are created using oil-based paints on a canvas. Because they are oil painting reproductions, they are considerably more affordable than the originals. Instead of millions of dollars, you could pay less than one hundred dollars. Perhaps the best part is that you are not purchasing a manufactured copy of the painting. You’re not ordering mass created art. Each oil painting reproduction is hand created by actual painters and artists who have been specially trained so they can carefully and accurately recreate the works of such revered artists as Vincent van Gogh, Claude Monet, and Pablo Picasso and others. Each piece may be a reproduction, but each is also unique with minor differences incorporated by the different artists.
Reasons to Choose an Oil Painting Reproduction? Another amazing thing about these oil painting reproductions is that they have great texture. The oil painting is crisp, clear, and alive on the canvas. The oil painting reproduction creates a breathtaking finished piece of art that will be a focal point or conversation starter in any room. There are a huge variety of oil painting reproductions to choose from. If you have a favorite artist, you’ll be able to purchase an oil painting reproduction of his or her art. Almost all of the classic masters’ work can be re-created. Even art that was massive in scale can be redone as a smaller oil painting for display in your home. You can have an artist create an oil painting from a photograph that you submit. Imagine hanging an oil painting reproduction of your family portrait over the mantel. No matter why you buy an oil painting reproduction, whether its because the painting reminds you of a special place, or because it makes your room come alive with color, personality and life, you’re going to love having your very own oil painting reproduction on display for you to enjoy 24/7. So...it's time to take down the velvet Elvis and the poker playing dogs, and replace them with fabulous oil painting reproductions! Get the expensive look and feel of original artwork without paying top dollar.
It can be said that the period of 1925-1945 is not only an early stage of Vietnam’s modern painting, but it is also a final one of French authority. Before a colony regime of French started, Vietnam nearly did not have any painting heritage.
Indochinese art school - born in 1925 in Hanoi – really opened a new way for the development of fine art of Vietnam, since then, sculptures and graphics; painting developed variably, inherited the national tradition and at the first time acquired the European art. The first headmaster of this school was Victor Tardieu- an artist, professor and Asian researcher. Its initial objective was training teachers of high schools in art and painting and teaching decorative industry, mainly technique of Western painting. However, Tardieu realized that the condition in colony destroyed the traditional fine arts, so he provided more artistic heritage into training program. This school itself born brilliant talents such as Bui Xuan Phai, Le Pho, Nguyen Phan Chanh… who created The Parisian school of Vietnam.
Painting on silk by Nguyen Phan Chanh
Oil-paint painting by Tran Van Can
In the pure aspect of painting, the first generation is considered to have been created real valuable works of art, whereas later on thanks to demand in struggling for independence, the art gave way to painting war, appealing to patriotism, hence the art followed socialist realistic line.
Refer to modern painting of Vietnam, we cannot forget reminding of painting on silk and lacquer painting, and the representative of painting on silk was the artist Nguyen Phan Chanh, who brought a series of famous paintings on silk into the world: “Choi o an quan” (1930), “Rua rau tren cau ao” (1931), “Em be cho chim an” (1931)… Painting on silk is a classical genre in the Orient, and its technique requires carefulness and meticulousness, hence it is suitable for the patient and careful artists only. Moreover, the materials as usual stipulates the topics, so it seems that silk can be suited only paintings of the nature, girl, mother, kid, vague scenery, warm family life,… and it is hard to suit topics of painting whose line of drawing expresses the contrast and the violent conflicts. This genre was also applied by Le Pho in the classical time, his style from 1934 to 1944 or 1945 was influenced by the painting style of The Tong dynasty, such as: “Nguoi thieu phu ngoi” (1934), “Chim ngoi” (1937) with a lissome light and flowing line of drawing, flat space, aplat, every having the same colors, sophisticated style of drawing. The paintings were both attractive due to a tender style of drawing and glacial because of using monochromatic color, creating unalloyed atmosphere, and it also reflected a solemn view of Vietnam’s society still mixing deeply the Khong Manh morality of the first century.
“Thieu phu” by Luong Xuan Nhi
“Thieu nu ben hoa hue” by To Ngoc Van
Lacquer painting of Nguyen Gia Tri
The paintings like “Me con” (1938), “Thieu nu va hoa lan” (1938)… later also brought in a refined style of drawing, harmonized both Oriental and Occidental art. Nguyen Phan Chanh, Le Pho together with another great names such as Le Van De: “Co dau” (1937), Luong Xuan Nhi: “Gia dinh thuyen chai” (1938), Mai Trung Thu: “Hoa nhac”, and some oil-paint paintings of Le Pho: “Chan dung thieu phu” (1935), To Ngoc Van: “Thuyen tren song Huong” (1935), Tran Van Can: “Em Thuy” (1944),… “Thieu nu ben Ho Guom” (1941), “Thieu nu ben cay phu dung” (1944) are lacquer paintings of the master Nguyen Gia Tri – an artist has full of passion of traditional materials, a “master” contributed to take lacquer of Vietnam to the position of artistic materials, and Joseph Inguimberty himself brought this material into training and studying program at Indochinese art school from 1927 – the French re-created this local tradition, gradually built up modern cultural characteristic of the Vietnamese. All brought about a tendency of creating of this time that was the reality mixing romantic tendency, Oriental philosophy harmonizing Occidental color, they did not reproduce Oriental- Occidental art estimatively but continued symphonic tradition of Impressionist, coordinated two styles, universe of human life. This made French painting and American later acknowledged the value of Vietnamese artists, they did not refuse the origin like modern Japanese artists: Nishimoura, Okamoto… were descended from the Parisian school at the same time, they acquired the European art based on inheriting national tradition.
The first stage of Vietnam’s modern painting is like the first precious style of drawing for the general view of fine arts of Vietnam, not only does it initiate the development of Vietnam’s painting but also containing the top of artistic value.
Le Thanh Son Hanoi, 1962-
Vietnamese contemporary artist, Le Thanh Son is best known for his Asian- Le Thanh Son was born in Hanoi in 1962 and graduated from the Hanoi College of Drama and Cinematography in 1986.
He prefers to fill the canvases with clear, bright colours in an impressionistic style and an intimate atmosphere that can be found in villages around Hanoi.
Thanh Son has participated in several shows in Vietnam and also in Singapore (1995), Hong Kong (1996, 1997), and Great Britain (2001).
Amongst his private collectors is Former US President, Bill Clinton, when he visited Hanoi in December 2000.
1954 – 1995
From socialist realism to after-war multiform tendency (source: Quang Phong)
Peace time started in 1954. At the moment of victory, only about 30 to 40 painters from all parts of the country returned to Hanoi. The Fine Arts College of Vietnam was set up to train new painters under the direction of Tran Van Can. This first batch of painters has continued to make up the framework of Vietnamese painting until today. They inherited, preserved and developed the fine traditions of Vietnamese realism.
In the meantime, on 31 December 1954, painter Le Van De set up the National Fine Arts College of Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City) with some of those graduated from the Fine Arts College of Indochina.
In 1957, under the instruction of the then Prime Minister, the Fine Arts College of Vietnam started to introduce degree courses to train artists in painting and sculptures. This College was set up under the auspices of the Ministry of Culture. On 29 January 1981, the Fine Arts College of Vietnam was transformed into the Fine Arts University of Hanoi.
From 1946 to 1975, Vietnamese paintings depict the characteristics of a country having undergone 30 years of struggle and experienced different stages: resistance, half-war half-peace, pervasive war country-wide and finally, total victory, unification and independence. It is noticeable that there had been no tranquility to paint nudes or still life, not even a romantic landscape.
Over the next 2 decades, in the 1970s and 1980s, many oil painters had chosen pumice lacquer or silk painting - this resulted in no significant breakthroughs in oil paintings from the first years after restoration of peace. In 1980, a review of the artistic values of the ancient painting made its appearance in Hanoi. In explaining the new trend in painting, external factors must be considered; the socio-economic development, the upheaval of global relations in the “open-doors” period, technological advancements, etc, exert a marked influence on the old customs. This, again, is not dissimilar to the modern tendencies of European art at the beginning of this century, in particular the group of Nabis which plead for a general tendency to a decorative mode with some rules: simplification, variation and going towards symbolization. Some are based on the conception of purely decorative aesthetics to make paintings according to the fundamental principals regarding the use of colours and composition.
1945 – 1954
Fighting for National Salvation (source: Quang Phong)
Awaken in the face of a new art, Vietnamese painters during 1925 – 1945 experimented and searched for a model in ancient or modern times, western or oriental. Beyond Classicism, they also explored the various Schools of European painting, fauvism, cubism, symbolism, expressionism, surrealism, futurism, abstractionism and many others. What was concluded was that those who could assimilate European painting and had the moral and material conditions would be capable of ensuring the continuation of the national art. To Ngoc Van, Nguyen Gia Tri, Tran Van Can, Nguyen Tien Chung, Luu Van Sin, etc, belong to this class of painters.
In 1945, The Revolution awakened the nationalistic and political consciousness among the Vietnamese painters, leading to a Movement to support Viet Minh in Hanoi. Hundreds of posters created by the artists filled the Municipal Theatre, attacking colonialists, imperialists, their henchmen, feudal mandarins, who exploited and oppressed the people.
A National Exhibition held in August 1946 gathered the works of various genres by the patriotic artists of Vietnam: oil paintings, pumice lacquer, water colours, wood cutting. The main theme was related to the struggle of Vietnam for a new life.
During the 9-year war of resistance against the French colonialism, Vietnamese artists ceaselessly manifested their sense of responsibility towards history. On 19 December 1946, the painters left Hanoi to go to Viet Bac, working in information and press organs, or joining brigades or mobile theatral ensembles to make coloured drawings and organizing exhibitions to appeal the nation to participate in the resistance, increase production and support the battle front.
In 1948, the 2nd National Exhibition was organized in a forest in Phu Tho Province, where about 100 pictures including silk paintings, wood engravings, propaganda drawings were displayed.
The 3rd National Exhibition was organized in 1951 in Chiem Hoa, in commemoration of the anniversary of the day of national resistance and to greet the 2nd National Congress of the Party. The exhibition was expectedly characterized by the exceptional place reserved for posters and political illustrations.
It is evident that most of the painters who had joined in the resistance were motivated by patriotism, not too different from France during the 2nd World War when all true painters such as Amblard, Raslitzky, Fougeron all stood among the “engaged”, living with the people, fighting together with the people until victory. By their works during the beginning of The Revolution and during the resistance, To Ngoc Van and Nguyen Sang will remain in the memory of the future generations.
1925 – 1945
The Fine Arts College of Indochina (source: Quang Phong, Quang Viet)
The first epoch of the history of Vietnamese paintings originated from the establishment of the Fine Arts College of Indochina in 1925. This College was created on 27th October 1924 with the approval of the then Governor General, Mr Merlin, on the suggestion of Mr Victor Tardieu to help Annamese artists recover the profound meaning and fundamental inspirations of their own tradition. Mr Tardieu, a famous French painter, subsequently became the Director (first Director) of the College. The College was parked directly under the Indochinese University.
On 5 October 1925, the College started to recruit students to create the conditions necessary to help promising students prepare for competitions and build their careers. By 1933, the College started its first Elementary Course; technical workshops for lacquer and chiseling were introduced in the following year.
In December 1943, the American Army bombed Hanoi during the 2nd World War; the College had to be evacuated into 3 localities – the Painting Faculty was relocated to Son Tay; the Handicrafts Faculty to Phy Ly and the Architecture/Sculpture Faculty to Dalat.
The Japanese coup to drive away the French on 9 March 1945 caused the eventual closure of the College.
Between 1925 and 1945, the College admitted 149 students, out of which there were 128 diploma graduates (118 in paintings and 10 in sculptures).
Vietnamese artists before 1925 had no clear idea of painting; they joined the College with a simple but earnest desire to paint beautiful things. Had it not for the infusion of the French arts and culture, Vietnamese paintings would have taken on the culture of another country. Whether it is a blessing, Vietnamese art was associated with the first ranking of the contemporary painting in the world.
The contents of the paintings from 1925 to 1945 were nature, human beings, landscapes, together with the life, customs and habits of the nation. Such moral and beauty of the Vietnamese contemporary society was visibly displayed by the painters’ soul and sentiments. They may come from a peasant meal, a working scene on the field, or the return to the farm. In a harmoniously structured composition, the images are arranged in a certain order. The walking movements are seen with the volumes of the human body, the palpitating life on the face, the light with its effects, all presented in different shapes and colours. This style was adopted by the first group of famous painters such as To Ngoc Van, Nguyen Gia Tri, Tran Van Can, Luu Van Sin.
For a nation with a history that goes back thousands of years, Vietnamese contemporary art is relatively young. It began a mere 75 years ago with a group of artists who were trained at the Indochina School of Fine Arts (Ecole des Baux Arts de l'Indochine) of Ha Noi. With their acquired training from French instructors, the artists of this inceptive period re-discovered the beauty of the native landscape saw through a Western lens. They romanticized life and the people and painted these subjects in an ambiance of innocence and dream. Many well knownworks from this period show a strong influence of the Impressionism and Realism school of Europe and are highly admired and sought for by art collectors.
In 1891, Le Van Mien (1873-1943), a young Vietnamese Confucian scholar, was considered as the gifted at the Ecole Nationale Superieure des Beaux Arts, Paris . "Binh Van" (Reciting Poem), was one of the first important oil painting created according to the neoclassical painting method of the French Painting School at the end of 19th century.
The Indochina School of Fine Arts was more than being the first institution provided art training to artists and artisans in Vietnam. The school trained the first generation of artist that later established the modern era of Vietnamese art. During its 20 years of existence, the Indochina School of Fine Arts graduated a total of 128 artists in various disciplines. Many of these graduates were prolific painters and premiere artists of their time such as Bui Xuan Phai, Le Pho, Mai Trung Thu, Nguyen Gia Tri, Nguyen Phan Chanh, Nguyen Tu Nghiem, Nguyen Sang, To Ngoc Van, and Tran Van Can. Their work impressed many critics who praised the artists as the "Paris School of Viet Nam". Victor Tardieu, a French painter and accomplished teacher founded the Indochina School of Fine Arts in 1925. Its mission was to train Vietnamese artists to apply western techniques to their traditional art. At its opening in 1925, the school had only two faculties, painting and sculpting. Later the school added other faculties such as architecture (1926), lacquer (1930), jewelry craft (1933), ceramics (1934) and woodworking (1938). In the early 30's, the school introduced Vietnamese modern painting to the western world through many international fairs and exhibitions such as Rome (1932), Milan (1934), Bruxelles (1935) and San Francisco (1937)
Artists in Vietnam have had more restricted opportunities for showing new aesthetic tendencies or socially critical art than in most other countries. Re-emerging after decades of turmoil, the country has been busy rebuilding the damage from decades of war, surviving on aid from foreign nations. The Renovation literary movement in Vietnam , which began in 1986, has reached its peak and has not concluded yet. Lacquer practice has held a major role throughout the history of Vietnamese Art and particularly so, in 20th Century Vietnam, when a new approach, through color and form, was employed to develop this ancestral technique in order to promote it as an aesthete that is unique to Vietnam
For Vietnamese artists active during the early twentieth century, the positive representation of their own rich traditional arts inspired sensitive treatments of the Vietnamese identity. The question of identity became paramount and allowed artists to reassess their own cultural values as well as the cultural shifts within Vietnamese society. And within this explosion of creativity, Vietnamese artists responded to both traditional academic art concepts and the cultural initiatives of their own craft heritage.
Artists started to blend formal European styles with Vietnamese sensibilities and experiences, giving rise to distinct forms of cultural expression and as a result redrawing the boundaries of fine art. In this manner, artists like Nguyen Phan Chanh (1892-1984) were among the first to paint on silk using new techniques and styles that were alien to the traditional silk paintings, which traditionally had been purely decorative. Other renowned artists found a correlation between modern art styles and the traditional art of lacquer painting, creating works that moved beyond the styles and hues of traditional lacquer ware. The art of woodblock printing was also revived within this newly realized framework. And the merits of this new humanism, which was strongly influenced by the European impressionist and post-impressionist masters, were largely attributed to the pioneering spirit of Victor Tardieu.