Monday, January 30, 2012

Napoleon Bonaparte by Jacques-Louis David

'Bonaparte Crossing the Grand Saint-Bernard Pass' by Jacques-Louis David

It is a bold image, that bestows strength and power upon the subject. It shows a dynamic posture, which is enhanced by the flow of the cape. This is because the cape is completely parallel to the position of the horse. The composition contains three strong diagonal structures, the cape, the horse and the land. This enhances the height and posture of Bonaparte and is completed by his gesture that points upward. This image is a complete portrayal of power and victory. His men can be seen in the distance, they are small but not insignificant. Placed at the feet of the horse, this perspective enhances the power of Bonaparte by giving him the status of a giant. 

'Bonaparte Crossing the Grand Saint-Bernard Pass' (detail) by Jacques-Louis David

Both the eyes of Napoleon Bonaparte and the horse stare directly at the viewer. The expression on his face shows will and determination. This is then enhanced by the color red within the cloak, which we tend to associate with aggression. The influence of the color red is so strong that it can affect our judgment. it has been shown that referees, tend to subconsciously favor athletes who wear red. The video below explains.

click here to view the video on Youtube

'Bonaparte Crossing the Grand Saint-Bernard Pass' by Jacques-Louis David is an image of power and victory. If you wish to look at the image further on Google Art Project click here.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Day 18

'Day 18' by Jina Wallwork

I can feel the glow of a new day. It is not only the presence of the beautiful morning sun; I can also feel a new day dawning within myself. I can feel the change and it will be unseen in the outer world. This is a moment where I feel as though I am returning to myself. As my troubles depart I now understand, why it was necessary to experience those lessons. My understanding has expanded and I feel changed by the knowledge I have gained. I can feel this dawn and it only presented itself to me, once I had realized the true importance of the lessons I had faced. To smile with gratitude and know, that you are a wiser person because of all that you have overcome. As I remember my past difficulties as the perfect guides, I thank them and I know that I stand before a new beginning.

'27 Days' is a series of transient sculptures each representing a day. To find out more about the series click here

Monday, January 23, 2012

The Oak by Isaac Levitan

'The Oak' by Isaac Levitan

I often wonder why any artist, would tire of painting trees. They are a dream to paint. The trunk is a solid structure full of interesting compositional elements. The solid form exists in contrast to the clouds of leaves that scatter around the image. Trees are wonderfully aesthetically balanced, even before an artist picks up the brush. 'The Oak' by Isaac Levitan is a beautiful example of the natural beauty of the tree. A realistic image that captures everything we find beautiful. The black shadows on the tree enhance its solid structure, and is in sharp contrast to all the other shadows within the piece. Every other shadow is created through shades of green, not black. This gives the tree trunk, a strong central focus. The composition of the piece is basic, it could be viewed as a disrupted Y shape, because the tree is the key structure of the composition. This is still a complex image and its simplicity becomes lost. The paintings complexity is created through the high levels of detail. The composition does not require further complexity or the piece would lose all balance. It is stunning, filled with a level high contrast between light and shade. It creates the view of a warm summers day, where we could sit beneath the oak tree as time passes by.

Note: Around the web I have found different spellings of this artists name 'Isaac'. I think this is mainly due to translation errors. The original Russian according to Wikipedia is Исаак Ильич Левитан

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Papergirl Brisbane

'The Swimmer' by Jina Wallwork

'The Swimmer' by Jina Wallwork will be included in the 'Papergirl Brisbane' exhibition and action.The Papergirl concept originated in Berlin. It consists of an exhibition and then the work is distributed through U.S. style papergirls and paperboys.

3rd February 2012
'Papergirl Brisbane' at White Canvas Gallery, 26 Church Street, Fortitude Valley, QLD 4006, Australia.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012


'Divided' by Jina Wallwork

As you try to divide your character I attempt to see your complete nature. There are traits that you hide away. They do not see the light of day, as they are banished to the night. You have divided your personality in order to please others. You presume their requirements and behave accordingly. It makes me uncomfortable; I feel as though I interact with only a piece of you. I want to know who you really are. Do you have days where you dance around the house because you know that you cannot be seen? Do you have bad days where you kick equipment that does not work, or cry because the day has been overwhelming? I do not wish to see pretense and camouflage. There is no need to divide yourself into the pieces the world can see and what you desire to hide away. You are not under attack; you do not need to hide amongst the leaves.

There are times, when the space is available just to be who you are. Do not worry about my perception, it is broad and forgiving. Let go of the need to perform and just enjoy being you. Cease to place demands upon yourself. There is no need to divide your personality to fit every requirement. I'm sure that the different facets of your character are required,within a million different situations. I can see the needs of others being placed above your own. Stop, the person you require within this moment is amazing and that individual is you. Spend time with the complete you because you will be amazed of how special you are. This is what solitude asks of you. Solitude will observe the conversation you have with yourself. It will smile as it unfolds, and the energy of solitude will enjoy your process of self discovery. Spend time in solitude because you will discover your true voice within the silence.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Within the Belly of a Fish

'Within the Belly of a Fish' by Jina Wallwork

I am surrounded by flesh and bones. I imagine the outside world, yet I am consumed by fear. To escape would be a wonderful thing. To cut through the surrounding flesh and discover a new world. To stretch open the mouth of a fish and climb out of this prison. I sharpen my blade with every thought, and as I plan my escape I try to ignore my reflection within the waters. I imagine becoming a butterfly or a form that would allow me to walk upon the grass. I dream of many things, when I wake I know that I am trapped within the body of a fish.

I am a fish. Travelling through shallow waters, imaging what life would be if I did not think, feel and behave like a fish. For the moment, I have lost the joy of being who I am. I can see the world through the ripples of the water and it distorts my perception. The life of a butterfly looks so much easier than my own. Being a fish isn't easy. Perhaps I need to swim to the depths of who I am and discover what is special within the life that belongs to me. I need to rediscover the magic of being a fish. There are experiences that are only open to a fish. They consist of a range of joy and sorrow. If I accept who I am, maybe I will discover those experiences that bring me happiness and accept those that bring me sorrow. When times are hard I think it would be easier to be something other than a fish.

…. I am within the belly of a butterfly. Oh, to be a fish and swim through the ocean. Life must be so much easier and carefree.

The Art of John Roddam Spencer Stanhope

'Love and the Maiden' by John Roddam Spencer Stanhope

Such a beautiful image. The angel is framed by roses and the color pink moves diagonally across the image. Pink is a color that contains cultural associations with love. It is true that colors do not always contain the same associations. At a gallery talk on color, it was mentioned that pink used to be perceived as a masculine color, rather than the more feminine association within today's culture. It was perceived as the softer version of the aggressive red that was associated with masculine traits. I still wonder if pink could ever be seen as a color that has no associations with love. For me it seems a difficult association to change but not impossible. Although I have no desire for pink to be unconnected to love. It is paintings like the one above, that cement our understanding of pink as reflection of love. Without that association, perhaps we would be unable to perceive the beautifully romantic aspects of this painting. 

The woman's face contains little emotion, love is contained within the cultural references that we have come to understand. As a culture we associate the rose with romantic love. The image talks blatantly within a cultural specific language that we easily understand. The image may not depict passion and raw emotion but it does contain a beauty that is stunning. It is a masterpiece and my eyes would never tire of the view. 

Friday, January 13, 2012

Day 17

'Day 17' by Jina Wallwork

This day holds life together. It is a point of great significance. You can view the past and see aspects of the future. You cannot travel to any other point in time and perceive your life from another moment. You breathe within this day. Your heart thumps and you know the gift that you posses. This day is the center of what it means to be alive and it belongs to you. It contains unlimited potential. This is not an aspect of a moment; the potential is streaming from you and this day is your vehicle in which to express it. It is your chance to be yourself and nothing else. Who you are within this moment is what is needed in the world. Your true nature is valuable or this day would not require your heart to beat. Life needs your presence and it will not overwhelm you because you will travel through life, one day at a time.

'27 Days' is a series of transient sculptures each representing a day. To find out more about the series click here

Thursday, January 12, 2012

St Francis by Giovanni Bellini

'Saint Francis in the Desert' by Giovanni Bellini

It is necessary to view this painting in close proximity, in order to see the brushstrokes. It is a delicate image where the natural world is given a soft quality, through the creation of an untextured landscape. It is in-keeping with the subject matter, St Francis living in a spiritual world where nature is kind and beautiful. The expression on his face appears to capture awe. Perhaps a moment of prayer in which he feels amazed by the world around him, and can see god within that world. This soft uniform view of nature is beautifully depicted. There is a high degree of detail through the entire image and it adds greater significance to every leaf. St Francis is only a small aspect of the natural word depicted in the painting. It is a world depicted in a manner that resembles the stories associated with St Francis. The artists style correlates beautifully with the subject matter.

To view this painting close up using Google Art Project click here.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Natural Self

'Natural Self' by Jina Wallwork 

I can see your natural self and I will never ask you to behave in any other way. I will not ask you to adapt to what society asks of you. How can we accept our strengths and our failings, if we are constantly told we should conform to the requirements of others? We all have limitations. Show me the complete you and I will not divide your character traits into categories of good and bad. It would only be based on my own requirements, when I know that you are all that you need to be. You live and breathe and because of this I know that the world needs you. It does not require compromise. You are one of a kind; it would be a shame for the world to lose your true presence. Reveal your natural self and let me see all that is unique to you alone. I will not pick and choose from your behavior. I will view you as a whole and accept who you are.

Qrt Show at Twin Oaks Gallery

The Qrt Show at the Twin Oaks Gallery has just recently come to an end. I was one of the artists participating and was lucky enough to be included in their list of featured artists for the show. The exhibition was a conceptual exhibition of QR codes, each containing artists portfolios. Gallery visitors were invited to scan the codes to view the work, and the gallery provided smart phones for them to do so. It blurred the line between a brick and mortar exhibition and an online gallery. Through a mental lapse I failed to mention this exhibition sooner and I apologize immensely.

8th December 2011 – 7th January 2012
'Qrt show' at Twin Oaks Gallery Art & Frame,
757 North Twin Oaks Valley Road San Marcos,
CA 92069, United States

 'Tree Loop' by Jina Wallwork

 'The Core of a Tree' by Jina Wallwork

Sunday, January 8, 2012

The Art of Jose Villegas y Codero

'A Mystical Apparition' by Jose Villegas y Codero 

There is a wonderful contrast between the translucence of the apparition and the substance of the surroundings. The apparition is the focal point yet it is not a completely solid fixture. It is the composition of the image that leads the viewer to focus on the apparition. The stances and the positions of the people frame the focal point. As the viewer we follow the gaze of those within the image. This is something we do in our daily lives, if you look behind a person they will always turn to see what you are looking at. Within this painting this natural instinct is being utilized to control the viewers focus.

The apparition contains aspects of a figure and incorporates references that encourage the viewer to picture the sky. There is a hint of a rainbow and a solid sphere to remind us of the sun. We then connect the figure to the sky and this enhances our perception that it is a transparent intangible figure, even though it is only the surrounding area of the figure that actually contains any transparency.

It is obvious, this is a painting by someone who has never experienced any kind of mystical apparition or vision. Interestingly, this painting is by someone who has complete understanding of the visual perception of others and knows how to use that perception. It is a beautiful image, full of techniques that position the viewer where the artist desires. I always paint from my emotions so this approach feels alien to me. I can see what this artist is doing, and in many ways I feel as though I am watching a magician. It is a different kind of magic, for me art is an act of expression, whereas this image is an act of manipulation in which the viewer is guided to the desired perception. I can see the attempt and I understand how my gaze is being manipulated and still I allow my eyes to be fooled. The image is beautiful and because of this I embrace the deception. The piece is magnificent.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

I'm exhibiting with Kiki Smith, Ed Ruscha and John Waters

'Direction' by Jina Wallwork

6th January 2012 - 8th January 2012
'Postcards from the Edge' A Visual Aids benefit at  
Cheim & Read,
547 West 25th Street New York, NY 10001, United States.

'Direction' by Jina Wallwork is included in this exhibition. The exhibition also includes the work of Jeff Koons, Yoko Ono, John Waters, Donald Baechler, Marilyn Minter, Ed Ruscha, Adam Fuss, Kiki Smith, Louise Fishman, Ross Bleckner, Barry McGee, Mary Heilmann, Louise Lawler and many more excitiing artist. For further information and a full list of exhibitors visit

The event has also been mentioned in The New York Times

Ed Ruscha

click here to view the video on youtube

John Waters is a visual artist but he also created the original version of 'Hairspray'

click here to view the video on youtube