Friday, November 30, 2012

Thunder Wind by Marcia Baldwin

Thunder Wind- Marcia Baldwin

Baldwin has manged to give the horse emotion. The face is expressive revealing a slight melancholy or empathy, without compromising the realistic features. It gives the horse a complex inner world that we are incapable of fully understanding. It is difficult to comprehend the emotions associated with being a horse. Is sadness or joy different, when experienced by an animal? When I view this painting it makes me consider these questions.

The image is beautifully depicted, with such an amazing array of color. It is sometimes difficult to place blue and red within the same image. These colors can become harsh as they compete for dominance. However Baldwin's use of light has allowed them to harmonize. The light and dark within the image controls the color and creates a bold composition. The horse and the surrounding area are painted in the same manner, long elegant brushstrokes. The horse is realistic yet it extends to every corner of the image because the colors of the horse are extended into the sky. The name Thunder Wind seems very appropriate, for a horse that connects with the skies around him.

Marcia Baldwin's website:

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Advice For Artists and Other Creatives

"When you start out on a career in the arts, you have no idea what your doing. This is great. People who know what they are doing, know the rules. They know what is possible and what is impossible. You do not and you should not. Rules about what is possible and impossible in the arts were made by people who had not tested the bounds of the possible by going beyond them and you can. If you don't know its impossible, its easier to do and because nobody has done it before they haven't made up rules to stop anyone doing that particular thing again." 
-Neil Gaiman
People cannot tell you something is impossible without direct experience. How can they know? Have they made the attempt and failed? If that is so, I admire their bravery and courage in making the attempt. Although, this is not enough experience to declare that you can't do something. To know what you are capable of, it would help if I was you. However even this wouldn't be enough, because even you don't know what you can achieve. You know of your past, but it does not reveal everything. There is a beautiful grey area of not knowing your own limitations. This lack of knowledge can cause people to fear they may fail. Instead, it should be an opportunity to try everything. Sometimes you will fail and sometimes you will not. Why not do what you love? You may fail and people may laugh, but it's an opportunity to be true to yourself. Sometimes you need to do what feels right for you, because in doing so you give the world all that you are. If you compromise, then you never fully connect to the world around you, instead you give only what you believe the world wants. You don't know the world or yourself, well enough to make that judgment.

Neil Gaiman Speech 
click here to view the video on youtube

For more information on Neil Gaiman visit: Neil Gaiman is an excellent storyteller, I would recommend his books to anyone.

Saturday, November 24, 2012


Broken - Jina Wallwork

My new book, Broken is out now. 

When you journey through heartache and sadness, you will ask for the experience to change. You will ask for this love to be different. In time, you will accept the experience as an opportunity to view your own heart. It is a chance to increase your understanding of the love that is within you.

Friday, November 23, 2012

The Art of Alexandre Cabanel

angel, study for the painting the lost paradise - Alexandre Cabanel

This is such a beautiful image. It is enhanced by the limited colors and the eye is drawn in to the hand, due to the extreme use of light and shade, in contrast to the rest of the drawing. This piece is only a study, although it is a masterpiece as it stands. I struggle to see how it can be improved. I know it is within the skill of a great artist, to see future possibilities within a work that is already magnificent. It is glimpse of an amazing process, where the work is so beautiful I find myself asking the artist to cease because nothing further is needed. The piece was a study for the painting below, and if you look to the left of the image you can see how this angel was depicted in the final piece. Although the painting below is wonderful I feel a greater connection to the preliminary drawing. I feel that it contains something magical that becomes lost within The Expulsion of Adam and Eve from the Garden of Paradise. There is so much drama within the finished piece, I find the storytelling overpowers some of the details. I can see emotion within the drawing that has been subdued within the final image.  

 The Expulsion of Adam and Eve from the Garden of Paradise - Alexandre Cabanel

Adam, study for the Lost Paradise - Alexandre Cabanel

Within the study above I can see emotional discomfort and torment, yet when Adam appears in the painting he becomes less human, less emotional. He becomes overpowered by his small role in a biblical epic and because of this he becomes harder to relate to. We cease to consider his emotions and begin to view him in relation to cultural or religious symbolism. He ceases to speak to our emotions and begins to speak to any religious beliefs we may, or may not hold.

 God, Study for the Lost Paradise - Alexandre Cabanel

Cabanel's study for god is a combination of physical strength and age. There is a long tradition of the christian god being depicted in such a manner. However as an image of the figure it doesn't work, his body is youthful and muscular and then his face and hair reveal age. There is inconsistency within the image and because of this, it is hard to see the humanity within the figure. Cabanel seems to recognize this problem, because the position of the arm slightly obscures the white beard, and in The Expulsion of Adam and Eve from the Garden of Paradise he has darkened God's hair so it is consistent with the body. Painting a christian God must have been a very daunting task, balancing depictions of wisdom, strength, power. Any outcome isn't going to be fully satisfactory, when you are working within the confines of traditional depictions. When all these figures are placed next to God, they become harder to relate to. Struggling to see God's humanity, we also struggle to see it within the other figures. Whether God should be depicted as human is a large question. The concept of God is so large, a figurative depiction does not necessarily make it easier to relate to. Within the drawings I can imagine what each person is feeling, except for God. So the finished painting loses the emotional content that is within the drawings of the angel and Adam. Although The Expulsion of Adam and Eve from the Garden of Paradise is still a stunning and dramatic scene.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

21st Century Queer Artists Identify Themselves #4

The Project - Jina Wallwork

Art and writing by Jina Wallwork is included in the zine 21st Century Queer Artists Identify Themselves #4, which contains the artwork of gay and lesbian artists from LA and beyond. It has been put together by Suzanne Wright and Darin Klein & Friends. The zine is being released on 26th November and there is a release party 7:00pm -10pm at:

6020 Wilshire Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90036

Tuesday, November 20, 2012


Forgiven - Jina Wallwork 

My new book, Forgiven is out now. 

Forgiveness is inevitable. There exists a point where you can do nothing other than let go. It is never a question of whether you should or you shouldn't. It will simply happen when you are ready, even if it takes many lives.

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Thursday, November 15, 2012

Symbols and Signs

Pot Pourri - Herbert James Draper

Roses automatically symbolize love. Our culture is littered with these references and it makes it impossible to look at an image, without sensing a romantic undertone. Although Draper is fully aware of what the rose represents and the entire image speaks of romance. The figure is created using soft brushstrokes, which filters the image through a dreamlike haze. Her face is in shadow and this has a particular effect. Viewers find it easier to identify with figures whose face is not completely represented. Therefore we empathize more, with this woman in love because we see ourselves within her. 

Identifying with simplified images is something Scott McCloud talked about in the book, Understanding Comics. It may seem bizarre to talk about this painting in relation to comics, but McCloud highlighted how a viewer can more easily identify with a cartoon face rather than a realistic image.  This is because realism contains a large amount of detail, and this pushes the viewer to see the person as someone else. When they are faced with less detail, they find it easier to see themselves within the image. This is a concept that Nike took further in a series of commercials in which a cartoon stick man played sport, against some of the best sportsmen in the world. They recognized that the audience would find it easier to identify with the stick man, because the simplification of the image had created a symbol that would represent anyone. Herbert Draper cannot reduce the painting to a cartoon, because the image must hold true to the realism within his practice. However, Draper realizes that he can say more using less detail, minimizing the information present, and this is something that is common place within our culture. The video below talks of how we use symbols to convey a high level of information.

Icons & Signs - The Art of Rich Pictures - The Open University

Click here to watch the video on YouTube

Within signage we tell a large amount of information within a basic symbol. As I write these words, I know that written language is a series of visual symbols that depict certain sounds. Art speaks, imagery speaks, and yet when the information becomes succinct we cease to call it art. Although it is only through the artists understanding of a variety of symbols that they can create a language in which to speak. Draper's image speaks of romance and we empathize with the women in the image, because of how he has chosen to depict her. He is conveying information of an emotion so he does not reference symbols that are too blatant, because it would lead us to intellectualize what we are viewing, which is sometimes incompatible with the feeling of romance and Draper wants to conjure this emotion. Art allows for layers within your expression, pushing the artist to convey multiple types of information, while also evoking feeling. The artist can learn from the symbols and signs, which exist within fine art and comic books. They should view all symbols and icons they see through their daily lives, such as the symbols within road signs. Through this they can learn to deliver highly complex information within a single image.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Exhibiting at Kunstverein Bad Aibling, Germany

The Sun - Jina Wallwork

The Sun is exhibiting as part of the Today and Tomorrow exhibition. This is a group show of artwork from all over the world. The website for the project shows each piece of artwork and the country of origin. The entry by Jina Wallwork can be found on the following page

30th November- 16th December 2012
'Today and Tomorrow/Heute und Morgen' at Kunstverein Bad Aibling 
Galerie im Alten Feuerwehrgerätehaus Irlachstrasse 5, 83043 Bad Aibling, Germany. 

Thursday, November 8, 2012

The Death of the Grave Digger

The Death of the Grave Digger - Carlos Schwabe 

I am struck by the intense sense of drama, within this image. Schwabe has used the positions of the human body to tell the story. Each pose contains a great deal of information.The tension depicted in the hands of the grave digger reveal that he has been caught off guard by this angel of death. However his face expresses acceptance, rather than horror. The pose of the angel is statuesque and emotionless, creating a greater feeling of inevitability. Her delicate stance reveals movements that are not sudden, there is a calm, peaceful nature to her approach. She holds a green light within one hand, symbolizing power, yet her other hand is empty. His time has come. Her dark wings reveal her purpose, before an act takes place. He has reached the winter of his life, and is surrounded by the white snow. 

The beautiful poses of the figures create such an interesting composition, which is then enhanced by her wings. The dark feathers create an oval structure around the two figures holding them together. Some of the tree branches follow the shape of the wings, whereas others are more vertical. Those branches subdue the scenery, making sure the tombstones are not too dominant within the composition. The focus is placed within the relationship, between the two figures. The story is within this connection. The contrast between black and white, creates a higher level of sharpness. The angel is bold and dominant, without the need for aggression. The symbolism within the image is a joy to explore, Schwabe has created a masterpiece. 

Thursday, November 1, 2012

The Art of Jacob Maris

Fishing boat on the beach at Scheveningen - Jacob Maris

The ship within the image is placed in a manner, which compliments the sky. Its triangular structure is placed off center, focusing the detail within a small area of the canvas. It allows the clouds to take center stage and they contrast with the ships delicate structure. The birds soften the structure of the image by creating small pieces of detail, which break apart the bold composition. The structure is basic, consisting of a block of land, a block of sky and a triangular ship. The simplicity is enhanced by the detail, where these small wonders create a balance within the image. Maris has captured the harsh, cold weather and made it beautiful.