Abend Inner Visions Contemporary Imaginative Realism Show Catalog

by

Armand Cabrera
The reception for the Abend  Inner Visions Contemporary Imaginative Realism Show is this coming Saturday, October 8th.

There is a full-color catalog that accompanies the show that can be purchased from the gallery; here is a link to the online preview of the catalog
http://www.illuxcon.com/inner-visions-catalog/

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Battlefield Bluebells Demo

By

Armand Cabrera

Every Spring I make a point of painting the bluebells when they come out and bloom. They never last more than a few days once they peak and so depending on the weather you can miss them completely if you don’t check on them. I know every April I need to make a trip to my bluebell spots and see what kind of a year it will be.

This year they weren’t as thick as in years past but they were still good enough to paint. I set up at my favorite spot at the Manassas Battlefield, the path along the stone Bridge at Bull Run.

The afternoon light is my favorite for this spot because I’m looking into the sun and everything is backlit on a sunny day. I found a place not too far off the trail and got to work.

The first thing I did was to establish the tree line.

 Next I blocked in a medium tone for the bare trees in the distance.

Then I blocked in the ground plain keying it to my tree color.

Now using the scene I design the trunks of the trees in my middle and foreground. I want to vary their placement angle and individual widths so they aren’t too static.

I move to the background again and start designing my sky holes in the background tree color already on the board. Once I have that in I carefully move forward in the picture plane marking key elements like the color of the bushes in the understory and the trail through the flowers.

With my big shapes locked in I start modelling the areas building a sense of light and form to the individual elements without obliterating my groundwork for the structure of the painting.

I spend the last 45 minutes unifying the whole picture adding details where it enhances the mood simplifying areas that distract from the feel.

The finished painting, ‘Battlefield Bluebells,’ 12 x 16, oil on board. The total working time was 2 hours from start to finish.

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Black Friday Deals!

It’s that time of the year and to kick it off I am having a sale of paintings. Check out the deals here

http://armandcabreraartoutlet.com/

Also, my print stores at Fine Art America and InPrnt are offering free shipping worldwide.

Fine Art America the free worldwide shipping is today only.

http://fineartamerica.com/profiles/armand-cabrera.html?tab=artworkgalleries

The free worldwide shipping for  InPrnt is through Monday

https://www.inprnt.com/gallery/dpaint/

On all three sites, you will find a mix of traditional paintings and imaginative realism.

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Book Review: Adolph Menzel: Drawings and Paintings

by
Armand Cabrera
Adolph Menzel: Drawings and Paintings

Edited by James Gurney and Christian Schlierkamp

Dover Publications 8.5 x 11 Softcover

116 pages with 130 images including 32 in color 
$27.95

This book of drawings and color sketches showcases Menzel’s talent to record the world around him. His realism is honest and straightforward and transcends the timeframe it is created in because of Menzel’s prodigious abilities with the media he uses, pencil, ink, etchings, lithographs, pastel, watercolor, and gouache. The book is put together by James Gurney and Christian Schlierkamp and you can tell from the quality it was a labor of love for both of them.

 His personal motto was “Nulla dies sine linea” (“not a day without a line”) and you can well believe he lived by those words. Over his lifetime Menzel Produced some 15,000 drawings which are now part of the Berlin Museum collection.

The book’s information is well researched and most of the images are printed full page.The reproductions are crisp and clean allowing the viewer to see Menzel’s virtuosity in detail. If you are a fan of sketching and drawing this book is a must have. 
The book is available from James Gurney’s website and Amazon.




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Constructive Criticism

By
Armand Cabrera
 I was involved in a discussion about constructive criticism online. The original post made the point that unless you can accomplish the thing you are criticizing it’s not constructive criticism and is basically a useless form of sharing an uninformed opinion.
I actually agree with this idea and I have long been a proponent of artists working problems out on their own first. When that fails, I recommend finding a professional with greater skill to give you constructive advice on how to improve.
I know in today’s world this attitude may seem elitist but it actually is the fastest path to success. Some people are better at things than other people. If you can’t do the math, you can’t constructively critique Einstein’s theory of relativity. Too often people decide their uninformed opinions are valid and helpful, when they’re not. Those people in your profession that share similar traits with your own work and creative vision are the ones you want to talk to when you get stuck. Group critiques like group hugs are pretty useless. Other than making everyone feel important, they offer little help towards improving your work.

 

 

Asking for advice should always be thoughtful and targeted. Isolate problems first before asking for help. If the advice strays make sure to ask how it ties into your request. It’s very easy to get sidetracked even when someone knows what they are talking about and get too much feedback to effectively digest.
Art should be individual. Too many opinions and ideas from disparate sources will not improve most people’s abilities; just weaken them as their work becomes a hodgepodge of conflicting opinions. In my opinion diligence and hard work, combined with personal interpretations of information and discoveries have better outcomes for creativity in the long run.
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