Makie Otono-Tachibana

Blade of the Immortal – Makie Otono Tachibana has got to be one of the most depressing, female characters there are. She’s very strong and resilient but suffers a lot from self-defeat. In terms of her swordsmanship, Anotsu Kagehisa has admitted that she could probably best him, which makes me believe, aside from Manji, she’s the strongest character in this story. But she will never be completely strong, since she has a tendency to hesitate in battle before she delivers a killing blow. In a lot of ways, I feel I understand her position very well because she’s got that bit of humanity left in her. But I almost feel like she is perpetually frowning….

I started off the  painting not knowing who I was painting. I wanted to do something with eyes, and so I was scouring my memory for a good female to paint, when it crossed me I hadn’t done much BotI artwork at all! I am a huge fan, and I stopped reading since the translations had stopped in 2010. I was also really busy with school, so I never had time to really catch up until now. And I am trying to get into it again. I’m finding my memory needs a good refresher. But its all around one of my most favorite comics, although, I have tons of recommendable stories for different reasons. I was equally into Shounen and Shoujo, Seinen and Josei types of manga. I would consider BotI to be Seinen.

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Filed under Art, Painting

“Forest Rabbit” – with progress pictures!

Here’s a snapshot of how I kind of work. Someday, I’ll get around to posting up a video… but sometimes, it’s hard when I work in small increments at a time.

I like to work with a pencil sketch and then fill in colors with a painting program such as Photoshop. I all ready had a general idea of the colors that I wanted, but what you don’t see me doing, I guess, is how I play around with the colors too. I started with a base yellow, as I would do on a traditional painting, and worked my way on into greens, and slowly added more colors. The reds and warm tones against the greens make her pop more.

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Actually here is my reference photo:

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Sometimes what you sketch out doesn’t get included into the sketch, in this case, I when I painted her eyes in, I sort of lost that “innocent” bunny-eye look from the sketch, but I think it still turned out the way I wanted to because I wanted to give her eyes a “glass-orb” look.

This “rabbit” is a small shoutout to viera’s like Fran from FFXII.

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Saturday 8 March 2014 · 18:09

Shoot! Then Aim.

I don’t seem to have a penchant for blogging as much anymore… although it seems to have come back full swing! There are so many social media things that take away my attention and time. As well as hunting for work. I slept a lot back in November. But the other problem was that I kept waking myself up in the middle of the night, and took forever to fall back asleep again. A lot was and still is on my mind… and it just doesn’t seem to end because my life feels as though there are continuous hurdles I have to jump over. That makes me feel weak and tired sometimes.

But not today. Today, I woke up feeling good. Of course I wonder if the tiredness is because I’ve hit my mid-twenties (and very much like every other young fresh graduate who’s forced to live at home with Mom and Dad even though I really want independence). I want to complain, but I know I really can’t. Well, this is slight complaining, isn’t it? By sharing my disgruntled self. I think with the whole fiasco of some people abusing the use of social networking to find bad seed employees has very much scared off public displays of discontent! (And also, silly people who party and do drugs and post their rendezvous online. Ouch. Don’t do that. The Internet is FOREVER. Just like this post will be!)

Quite frankly, that is a doctrine that is important for when we are working in an office with other people. Nobody wants to work in an a place with angry and none-responsible people left and right. If I was a War General, I would boot these people out of my camp, and not let them anywhere near the other soldiers because it kills morale. Can’t commandeer an acute attack on emotionally high strung people who are going to blow up as soon as their nerves are frazzled. That’s how I see it. A few months ago, I was just interning at a company, and not to be naming names, but the supervisor was a scary and strange person who sent out angry emails to everybody in the office. The scare tactics were, imho, shameful in trying to shame the person who screwed up. This addresses many things, but I’ll be going on a tangent if I do delve into this topic. The main thing is that, some people are not very good at keeping it inside and so others suffer from it. And when they start to feel like they’re being treated like shit, they’re gonna work less productively and want to leave.

I’m going to be honest and say, the reason I’m blogging a lot less is not only is my attention split, but I’m afraid to make a bad impression on my person. I don’t want to be viewed as highly emotional and unprofessional in demeanor — read: WEAK. In either my work life or my personal life.

This is what I imagine other people seeing me on the outside:

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Yeah, you know what? I’m not really all that pissed off. And I’m really not a mean person either. When I smile at strangers, the meanest looking people smile back as warmly. Just putting that out there. There is a crease in the middle of my forehead that makes me worried because it seems to deepen, and make me look even more angry… And the more I worry, the more I am outwardly worrying….

But I suppose I shouldn’t shy away from expressing some part of myself, if it means helping with someone else who is as much of a worry wort as me. People make mistakes all the time and I make so many I’ve stopped worrying about them and I move on so much more easily now.

Which brings me to one of my most favorite slogans:

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What does this phrase mean? Hasn’t it always been that you aim first and then shoot? Well, I first came upon this phrase on Steve Pavlina’s blog, which at first opened up a lot of new doors for me for self-improvement and living life the way you want it to. However, as I began to grow up, I moved out of that self-improvement phase, and I’m now just living in the way that is Me. One goes through life absorbing information. But you can absorb all the information and still not get it. In any case, you should do something with that information you absorb right? This phrase is used for people who are not afraid of risks and crave ambition and success. It’s not for everyone. This phrase means taking a chance and risking a lot of things. It only makes sense if you’ve ever taken archery or gone to a shooting range, which I’ve done both. Lots of people aim and then shoot because they care about getting it right the first time. But this approach to me is very slow…. too slow. However, shooting first, you have almost 50/50 chance of hitting something, and probably an even smaller chance of hitting your target. Yet as you keep shooting, you learn from your mistake and you become better and faster, and more precise with each mistake. It gives faster results, but more consequences and experience. I’m not one who is afraid to make mistakes, until someone else’s mistake seems to catch up with me. That’s a risk. Always. Because of other people. When more parties are involved, it just gets complicated. So, taking risks should also mean being guarded and prepared for terrible outcomes and taking responsibility for the decisions you make and then from others.

This is almost the premise of thumbnailing and idea sketching. You barf up as much ideas as you can, and then you pick the best ones to flesh out.

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Some time ago, I went out with friends for a party and haven’t had the ability to post this up until now… This post is actually a draft that I wrote but never published in November 2013. Well, its not that I haven’t been out and about, I’ve gone down the O.C. to see family 3 weeks in a row, every Sunday until the beginning of November. So lots of family visits in September/October. My friend Samantha’s birthday was on friday, November 1st and decided to meet in a restaurant instead of a house party. Well, a lot of people came rather late and a lot of us were hungry, so I decided to sketch that…. And also, my friend Kathy drew a bunny and I drew a turtle next to her drawing for me. And Gir for Samantha. :)

In any case, blogging is therapy. If you want to know what I’m doing nowadays, I’m just trying to work on personal projects and would actually like to start drawing my comics. Which I keep saying, but since I’m pretty down, I think this year is going to change. I mean there’s gonna be a Black Moon Rising on January 30th! I say even if there was a comet coming our way, humans change for the better after going through something big, right?

On January 30th we will have a rare event. The moon will be the 2nd new moon in the same month and it also will be a super moon, (tides higher than normal), which is known as a black moon. This moon can be seen during the day only.

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Monday 27 January 2014 · 09:17

My Comprehensive List of Movies I Wish to See

I know I’ve been rather neglectful of my blog, but here is to re-energizing it by posting something that’s more of a hobby of mine: Watching movies.

I watch movies whenever I’m feeling happy, sad, angry; I am one of those people who can easily submerge myself into another place if the storytelling has been done correctly! I’ve seen quite a bit of movies all ready, but I try to squeeze in more when I get the chance or when my moods change sporadically. Yet I don’t watch them everyday…. I think movies are more for me than watching a drama series simply because it ends quickly. Dramas are wonderful too! But you must commit a good amount of time to them to finish the story. And sometimes, I feel like my life doesn’t have the time for that unless the series is well worth it. I’m also very likely to binge-watch something too… so dramas are sort of negative on me at the same time.

Movies are like good quick snacks, which I prefer to have.  I also think movies are great universal languages, there’s nothing more universal than cinematic language now!! But every country has its own cultural influences, which is why I love to switch between Asian movies and Western movies because there’s certain jokes you would never see in Western movies that would be in Eastern movies. Different tastes, but I appreciate them all!

This is really in no particular order.

  1. 2001: A Space Odyssey (Need to see more scifi things)
  2. Eternal Sunshine in the Spotless Mind (Need to see how awesome Kate Winslet is)
  3. Lost in Translation (May as well watch more mind-f*cking?)
  4. Enter the Dragon (Need to see more Bruce Lee awesomeness)
  5. Singin’ in the Rain (‘Cause I really like the song alone anyway)
  6. The Red Shoes (The dancer was raved for her very emotional performance)
  7. When Harry Met Sally (Because of the notorious fake orgasm scene by Meg Ryan)
  8. Casablanca (Trying to understand love and how other people see it)
  9. A Clockwork Orange (Mind-f*ck!)
  10. The Breakfast Club (I like watching people with differing personalities and psychologies)
  11. Citizen Kane
  12. Soylent Green (Because its post-apocalyptic.)
  13. Taxi Driver (Need to expand my horizons and classics)
  14. Pulp Fiction (Quentin Tarantino classic I’m missing out on)
  15. Memento
  16. Requiem for a Dream
  17. Revolutionary Road
  18. Gimme Shelter (For once, Vanessa Hudgens has caught my interest… )
  19. This is the End (Many people told me it was hilarious, plus, Emma Watson is in it. I’m sorry I missed out on it in 2013)
  20. Kill Your Darlings
  21. It’s a Wonderful Life (I should watch this next; I’m pretty sad as of this posting. Heartbreak is so painful to get over.)
  22. Hellraiser (I need to know what’s going on behind the mind Kentarou Miura and the inspiration to Berserk.)
  23. The Departed (Although, I’ve all ready seen the Hong Kong version! I did hear this one is also good too, despite being an adaptation.)
  24. Prometheus (Should probably finish the Alien series before I even get to this one?)
  25. The Grandmaster
  26. Battle: LA (Explosions and VFX, why not?)
  27. Aliens 2 and 3 (HR Giger….)

List of movies anticpated for 2014:

  1. X-Men – Days of Future Past
  2. Avengers 2
  3. Sin City 2
  4. The Monkey King (With Donnie Yen)
  5. Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon II: The Green Destiny

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Filed under Personal

42nd World Wide Sketchcrawl

Ultimately, I had a pretty great time! It was the first time I went into Olde Town Temecula. Main Street is incredible tight and busy. There is only one narrow street, a lot of street parking, and a ton of shops. It had a very old western feel to it. There was a lot of construction going on however. They are apparently building some town homes around the area.

I decided to finally whip out my Canson Watercolor booklet that I hadn’t used yet. It’s a 140lbs and it’s not a block, but there wasn’t too much warping. I also finally got around to using my water-filled brushes and watercolor pencils outside. But now, I realized that the pencils aren’t good for covering large areas quickly, so I may be looking for a mini, travel palette/tray to carry around in the future.
I wasn’t planning on buying anything, but I happened to stop by a crystal and meditation shop. I couldn’t help but purchase some stones. I would have loved to have found this place earlier I think. I would have bought some smudge sticks too, but I feel like nowadays, I don’t feel any negative energy around me, so there isn’t really a use for them anymore. In any case, I didn’t want to go shopping for too long, although there was a lot of gift shops and little knick knack stores all around including a few American places to eat. There was restaurant and lounge area that I came across with a man singing some classic songs from the 50s (I think) – He sounded like Frank Sinatra! I thought it would be interesting to sketch him. He kept saying to people outside, “Yes, I’m really singing!” Although, I must say, some people are pretty dense. There was an old man who kept standing in front of me even after I moved spots…. ._. I don’t get it.

I started off painting in watercolor, but for the 2 vertical images, I went with marker because it was much faster and easier.

I think one thing I found incredibly annoying were the cars revving up and down the street. It was so very loud and distracting… I think I’ll keep that in mind for the future. The noise was disorienting whilst I was happily sketching and painting. There’s a ton of bikers who come down here with their cohorts and such. Lots of families as too. I really wanted to get a scorpion lollipop, but maybe next time… :P
Eventually, I wasn’t prepared for the windy weather, it got too cold for me to continue drawing… so I’m a bit sorry the last sketch came out a little half-assed! But it would have been a great shot too if the sun hadn’t gone down so quickly also. I blame that on my friend who kept texting me… >_> Momentary distractions. I really can’t help my attention span sometimes. But overall, I’m glad I decided to go outside today, the weather was mostly awesome in the morning and afternoon time.

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Saturday 25 January 2014 · 20:00

Welcome to the 2014

Time does not seem to change all that much. Or at least sometimes, it really does not feel that way at all. My family is planning to move homes again. It is an ordeal that I thought would not happen again, and yet it is. We’ll have to pack up everything and load it up and take it out… Just thinking about it makes me feel exhausted. hahaha…

My body is a strange thing though. It’s been a torment to me the last year in 2013. I never felt like health would be such a big issue for me, but it suddenly has become so. Yesterday night, I suffered a horrible spell of the chills and shivered until my meds took over until 3AM, in which I was finally able to stop shivering and actually fall asleep. I had a heated blanket over me set on ‘high,’ and I also had some really nice wool socks on. My hands at first would not seem to get warm at all, they remained corpse cold. I did drank a couple cups of water, which may have been why my body had trouble warming up at first. Room temp was probably 50 degrees F… It got pretty cold last night or maybe it was because I had a fit of chills. Least to say I am pretty darn robust and healthy, except for my complicated health issues. I retired to bed early at 10pm because I knew I couldn’t focus on working. I had meant to work on my side projects last night as well as create new postings; I was planning on launching online venues using Squareup.com and Etsy to sell some of my talents and artwork… It is really hard to work when you’re in pain… It’s not excruciating, but it’s that ‘impending doom’ feeling you get when you know that if you let something fester, it’s just gonna get worse and worse. I’ve never learned how to care for myself this intensely before. My general health has now become a 24/7 maintenance, and I’m so tired of this constant battle. I’m really sleepy all the time, and I just want to have a normal sleep schedule again, which I haven’t for the past year. I wake up in the middle of the night or 2 hours too early in the morning for so many reasons, I just want to sleep through for 8 long and good hours. I love those days when I do…

With moving in the horizon, I would really like to dust off some paintings and actually get them into some fine homes so they don’t get cluttered or put away again. I did paint a couple on top of mason and gesso boards, so they are rather heavy to lift when gathered together. It makes moving hard. I try to keep most of my possessions easy to handle. I know I’m actually pretty physically weak, so when I pack, I have easy to carry boxes for all my art supplies and books to be carried. A side note, one of my friends broke his back during the fall last year, he must have been doing some intensive heavy lifting with computer equipment. Personally, found that extremely hilarious (secretly or not so secretly, I kinda hope he’s too busy to notice this blog post, which he is anyway!). I don’t really know why, I of course expressed my extreme displeasure to be the good friend that I am! People, however, really need to have some sort of prior training in lifting. Maybe they should teach that in PE class in public schools? I would recommend.  >_> Books though… Books are bitches to carry. And yet I need them in my life.

In all honesty, I’m sort of scared of this move. For many reasons, insecurity and hope that this is gonna be the last time. Insecure about employment prospects for all of us…. I’ve been wanting to leave Murrieta for a long time… in fact, since I stepped foot into this house, but now I am scared to leave it because I don’t want my parents to lose something they like? But none of us are all that happy actually… so it is a good thing to leave. The best choice would be to build a time machine and to shake my parents awake so they didn’t make this silly mistake at all. The best case scenario of course would be to leave home and fly off on my own, but because I am like so many other college graduate, 20-somethings stuck in an unpredictable economy, that it’s not likely to happen for a long while. The funny thing is, my parents think that when I get married, I’m going to move out. But what if I never get married? I’ll just have to strive to be like Jane Austen.

There’s nothing quite like moving though. I’m pretty sure that it affects a child psychologically. Nothing seems stable in my life. I feel like I will always be on the move. That my relationships are shallow. I don’t have friends I know from 1st, 2nd, or 3rd grade. I sort of feel jealous of the people who do. It’s strange. So very strange… When I reach a 10 year anniversary with friends, I get really excited.

In the mean time, I’ve been indulging in my own art therapy to help me with own existential issues by doing a ton of art. Some of them look like Rorschach tests…. 2013 was a year in which many things happened, and because those things happened, I began to retreat into myself to cope.

Heaven Canon

This wasn’t posted on my facebook page, but this is the texture I used for “[Don't] Cover Your Eyes.”

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And I cope by turning on specific music and drawing the hell outta my feelings. How does one draw feelings? I dunno, I can’t really say… It just happens… D: I also found a way to integrate my personal expression with my technical expression better.

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Does anyone ever feel that saying “last year” even though it’s only been 2 weeks sounds weird? Just like saying good morning to someone at 1am in the morning makes you wonder if its better to say goodnight?

Despite everything, I think 2014 started off really well and that the good vibes will surely continue on.

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Filed under Random Talk

Pen and Ink – reviews

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Written with Pilot Parallel Pen

I think it has been quite a while since I have done any art supply reviews. The last time was the Palomino pencils, and that was quite interesting to do. I always learn new things too when I test out my supplies. I had been planning to do this review for a very long time, but never got around to do it. Well, I recently bought a new fountain pen, and decided now was a good time since I wanted to test it out with a new ink I just bought also.

What I love about fountain pens is that you can refill it up again and with good ink. It writes well, and most of the time, it does not dry out when you least expect it. It saves money in the long run, and leaves less of a carbon footprint. It is also becoming more and more affordable to collect. I wish I could buy a $100 fountain  pen, but I am scared to for many reasons – my main reason because I tend to lose things easily and that’s not cool when its $100. And the other thing is because I need to stop buying crap I don’t need.

INKS

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The only fountain pen inks that I have is actually Noodler’s Bulletproof Black Ink (the bottle with the fish on the left), which is supposed to be great for fountain pens because it does not clog like it would with black India Ink. On the plus side, Noodler’s is an American company and is made in the U.S.A, which of course, I try to support. I bought it in 2008, along with my very first fountain pen the Lamy Safari. They have a great selection of stationery, pens, ink, and other craft things. They did stop selling the Noodler’s ink, so if you are interested in it, you’ll have to look elsewhere. Jetpens now stock other types of ink as well, and in multi-color. I’ve had this 3 oz. bottle for about 5 years, and I’ve only gone through half the bottle. I write and draw with this ink on a mostly regular basis — I have a lot of personal diaries, this ink has seen me through at least 3 journals all ready, and of course, my sketchbooks, letters to friends, and my dear pen pal. I’ve never had to buy a cheap ball point pen ever again, which thankfully, isn’t long-lasting and archival. I think at the time, I wanted to experiment more with permanent sketching because I wanted to be more confident in my lines — so I ditched the pencil for awhile (but I came back). The “bulletproof” name is because the ink is supposed to be resistant to UV lights and chemicals such as bleach, alcohol, and cleaners, and supposedly waterproof once dried on cellulose paper (which is considered paper, paperboards, and cardstock). The Lamy fountain pen was also so that I would write more. I’ve now become a pen snob because I cannot write with a crappy pen; it would make me angry.

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Sunday 8 September 2013 · 10:00

Starcraft 2: Wings of Liberty Artbook

Artbook review time!

I don’t remember if I have ever made a post about the Starcraft 2 art book I had before, but now I am because I just beat the first expansion of the Starcraft 2 game series. Honestly, I did not appreciate it as much as I do now. I bought it because I found it on Ebay for a really good deal. And I always thought the artwork Blizzard produces has been some of my most inspirational and contemporary influences. I even have a very old Warcraft artbook from the first games, and you can see how much Blizzard has improved since.

There is a lot of irony in all this simply because back last November when I had gone to CTN Expo, I met a really cool artist there and he told me NOT to play games. Like, I’ve been told this countless of times, but actually, I didn’t listen. It’s not because I don’t value their opinions. I really didn’t plan to play. They told me that there are videos online that you could watch on youtube that has other people playing. However, sometimes, I get these urges that don’t go away till they are satisfied. I blame it on my genes because I think that my family may have addiction problems? And these are my addictions…? hahaha… I actually did stop playing a lot of games, and I only began to play again after graduating from college. I didn’t own any of the new game consoles, and I almost feel ridiculous saying this to a gamer as much as I hate telling bacon lovers or anyone that I hate bacon. (I know, I can hear the gasps from all around even through space.) Can’t really be called a gamer anymore if one stops playing??  There was one occasion a good friend of mine lent me his DS to play The World Ends With You, which is an all around fun and very interesting fun game to play! The mechanics on that is pretty neat not to mention good music. And I love good music!

But overall, I feel like I should start understanding games again, because I am too out-of-touch with the current games now. Like, what does a gamer actually look for when they play a game anyway? Maybe this is a bad thing that I think too much. I analyze too much. But actually, I would rather work for a company that thinks about its consumers a little more instead of creating stupid games that are just all design and no content. This is almost all too apparent. I appreciate good design, but I’d rather it have some quality in other areas too. But it also goes a lot to say, that at least companies know how to market and so they invest in good designers.

Also, a side note. I finally got a taste of Far Cry 3 and its really interesting..!

In essence, though, as I flipped through the book, I had a revelation, that although this book may have a lot of artwork — it is completely filled, front and back with art, this is probably only a quarter of the art they had to produce. Why? Well, as I played this game, there were so  many units to memorize, so many building constructions to remember to build (not to mention, you need to remember what comes out of those constructions), and there are upgrades for almost a lot of those units and constructs. Plenty of characters, we all know Jim Raynor and Sarah Kerrigan, and new additions like Tychus — who is helping me develop a southern accent, Arcturus, etc. Concept art for those guys!

The comments inside the book did say that the main focus of this first expansion was the Terrans. So there was more Terran art than there was Protoss or Zerg. I have yet to play the second expansion of this game, but I can only imagine the main focus of the next two games are going to be about each of the other two races. I’m guessing, but I need to play the next ones, ey?

My appreciation comes from the fact that since I now know these units better, such as what their role in the game is, the artwork makes more sense to me. The book itself has very little captions for all the pieces in here, in fact, it only gets wordy at the very beginning with the ‘foreword’ and introduction. Concept art is not about pretty art like regular fine art. Concept art is a solution to a question. What is this thing’s purpose? How does it function, and how does it serve the story? One should always ask this when one decides to create concept art. It’s just not all about the pretty little gadgets that you think makes it look cool. It’s aesthetic and its good design at the same time.

Anyway, here’s some pretty photos from the book to look at.

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Filed under Art, Artists, Concept Art, Games, Reviews

Velazquez

This is just a very brief intro for Diego Velazquez. I summarized a lot of his life, and if you wanted to learn more about the paintings, then you should take an Art History class!

Diego Rodríguez de Silva y Velázquez (Spanish pronunciation: [ˈdjeɣo roˈðriɣeθ de ˈsilba i βeˈlaθkeθ]; baptised June 6, 1599 – August 6, 1660) was a Spanish painter who was the leading artist in the court of King Philip IV. He was an individualistic artist of the contemporary Baroque period, important as a portrait artist. In addition to numerous renditions of scenes of historical and cultural significance, he painted scores of portraits of the Spanish royal family, other notable European figures, and commoners, culminating in the production of his masterpiece Las Meninas (1656). – Wikipedia

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/8/8b/DiegoVelazquez_MeninasDetail.jpg

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Bookcover: Infanta Maria Teresa, 1651/52

The 16th Century had quite a few prevalent and famous master artists at the time. One of which was Peter Paul Rubens, who was famous all throughout Europe, this was a time when the Netherlands was flourishing as a primarily a merchant country. On the other hand is Diego Velazquez, was not nearly as famous as outside of his country like Rubens was. He was much more calm in his paintings and painted more about realism and a straightforward style.

"Mars" c. 1639-1641 Oil on Canvas

“Mars” c. 1639-1641
Oil on Canvas

Edouard Monet called him the “painter of painters,” meaning he appealed to the eye more than to the literary mind.

The Impressionists elevated him to an “artistic pantheon” and the pioneer of modernity.

Old Woman Frying Eggs, 1618

Old Woman Frying Eggs, 1618

He was born in Seville to lesser noble parents. He began studying at 12, but left his first teacher probably due to his hot-temper and began studying with Francisco Pacheco. Pacheco wasn’t particularly good at painting, but he was very well-versed in art theory and had many connections. Which does go to show that networking was also an important thing to do even as it is now — that is, other than skill! Skill and sociability gets you far in this world.

Spain was also greatly influenced by the art of Caravaggio, who painted plenty of Christian themed, and salvation scenes; he allowed the lower class, with their course hands and ragged clothing to be a part of those scenes (he used the people around him as models for his paintings). He painted wrinkles and signs of age on the saints, which created much outrage from his Christian/Church patrons who commissioned these pieces.

In a sense, Velazquez started off painting the lower class as his subject matter. Another of his more famous paintings on this is The Waterseller, which I didn’t scan in, but its easy to find on the web. Much mastery is shown in this particular painting from the details of the old man and the glass chalice he is holding.

When he was appointed court painter in 1623 in Madrid, his main duty was to paint portraits of Philip IV, which he of course did awesomely

Philip IV in Armour, 1628

Philip IV in Armour, 1628

The Surrender of Breda (Las Lanzas) 1634-35

Another quite famous painting is The Surrender of Breda, which helped to depicted the negotiation of the end of the Thirty Years War. Apparently, it was considered an “honorable surender” for Justinus of Nassou and his soldiers (dude on the left, who’s caption should be like, ‘oh, I’m so embarassed for being such a loser, here’s the key to my house and treasures’), and a settlement was conducted between them, that was supposedly generous during the time. This picture is more like propaganda, bringing to light just how generous Spain is! He also included a self-portrait of himself on the very far right of the painting.

Surrender of Breda closeup

Surrender of Breda closeup

If you look closely, you can actually see some of the transparency of his paint, and his stroke-work.

He later painted the Pope Innocent X in 1650. At first the Pope did not like it, because it looked too real, but it later grew on him.

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Pope Innocent X, 1650

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The Dwarf Francisco Lezcano, 1643-1645

Apparently, the court jesters/buffoons (in Spanish: truhanes) are very high-salaried. Velazquez, who first entered as a court painter, was classified with the royal servants. The dwarfs who acted as living toys for the young prince and princesses were classified with ‘normal stature.’

 

Quieen Mariana, 1652/53

Queen Mariana, closeup

Queen Mariana, closeup

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Juan de Pareja, 1649-50

I specifically remember this picture because in high school, I’d read a book called Juan de Pareja about a young, black painter who wanted to aspire to be like his master. We go through his life from pre-slavery, and is later bought by Velazquez, who treats him as an equal. In the ending, Pareja goes through some anxiety because he paints an African-American skinned-toned Madonna depiction, but Velazquez praises his painting and says its okay to interpret Christian themes however way you want. It was an interesting book. There were many times where it put me to sleep though.

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Coronation of the Virgin, 1645

An altarpiece painting for the queen for her oratory in Alcazar, Madrid.

Las Meninas (The Royal Family) is one of Velazquez’s greatest masterpieces. The painting was created in 1656-1657 and depicts the entire court family, with the Infanta Margarita and her servants at the foreground, the court marshall is the man on the stairs. At this point, Velazquez is pretty well established as a part of the Royal family, being honorable portraying himself in the same painting. You can spot the pictures of the king and queen in a small frame by the door. Some historians wonder what is on the other side of the canvas that Velazquez paints…. It’s almost like we are looking through a mirror, which is interesting because almost everyone is looking back at the viewer and makes the painting quite engaging. Impressionists say that the picture is only a moment in time, a scene from ordinary palace-life.

Las Meninas

Las Meninas

Apparently, Velazquez had only one wife, one friend — King Philip IV, and one studio, the palace. He had a secret passageway that he and his assistants used that connected him from his home to the inside of the palace. That is pretty cool.

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Velazquez is later knighted and admitted into the Order of Santiago, the red cross emblem was not added to the painting until 1659. He dies in court in 1660. Unfortunately, the royal palace in Madrid is destroyed by fire and much of his works are badly damaged or destroyed in 1734… :\

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A Dream in a Dream in a Dream in a Dream…..

Something I did at work:

 

A Dream in a Dream in a Dream in a Dream.....

 

I absolutely adore fractals and fractal art.

What is a fractal you ask??

Fractal:  (frktl)

n.

A geometric pattern that is repeated at ever smaller scales to produce irregular shapes and surfaces that cannot be represented by classical geometry. Fractals are used especially in computer modeling of irregular patterns and structures in nature.

Fractals in Nature

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Friday 12 April 2013 · 00:32