by Nina Baldwin

cloud catcher*dream maker*artist

"Art touches the soul...art is communication...it reaches out from the canvas and passes through the eyes of the viewer right into his heart where it can leave an imprint of beauty that can make the spirit sing."
Nina Baldwin ...

Welcome to Artscapes!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Art is Power

"Art is power. It can influence perception, opinion and values. And the artist who creates uses his paintbrush to focus on a moment in time...recording those things that touch the heart." Nina Baldwin

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Art Touches the Soul

"Art touches the soul...art is communication...it reaches out from the canvas and passes through the eyes of the viewer right into his heart where it can leave an imprint of beauty that can make the spirit sing." Nina Baldwin

Saturday, December 18, 2010

MY GIFT TO YOU...AND ME...IN THE NEW YEAR

It's no use...I can't wait to do this...I have been thinking about this for a while now...I must give it away!!...a gift at the New Year for you...and me...

The New Year...a time of contemplation, prioritizing, planning and giving ourselves permission to have the most exciting, fun-filled, growing in the spirit experience in the new year...permission also to do, perhaps, something we haven't done before...
"And as we let our own light shine we unconsciously give other people the permission to do the same." Marianne Williamson, from the Painter's Keys Resource of Art Quotations. http://www.painterskeys.com/

PERMISSION SLIP

name: __________________ has permission

to allow his/her light to shine to the nth degree

from this date, Saturday, January 1, 2011, forward

...at all times...and in all circumstances...

forevermore...

Make your New Year really meaningful!!

"The New Year is like a blanc canvas waiting for us to put colours on it."

Happy New Year!!

Nina Baldwin

Friday, December 10, 2010

ART QUOTE - Monet and Fear

"I haven't yet managed to capture the color of this landscape; there are moments when I am apalled at the colors I am having to use, I am afraid what I am doing is just dreadful and yet I really am understating it; the light is simply terrifying."
Claude Monet

What an interesting quote...Monet, an artist who is held in such high esteem, sharing his fears that he is not capturing the colors and light in a particular landscape...a huge thing to admit for an artist of his prestige...I thought that only happened to artists like me!!

Do artists experience fear while painting? Have you? Please comment if you wish! I think this could be an interesting conversation...thanks for reading my blog too!

Nina Baldwin

Monet on Color

"Color is my day-long obsession, joy and torment."
Claude Monet

Thursday, December 9, 2010

MONET - His Paintings

I have read a few biographies of Claude Monet now and I can truthfully say that they all read pretty much the same...and so if you are interested I encourage you to do the same as I...
It was his artwork that needs to be talked about...he was a prolific painter, in my estimation...over the years you can see changes in his techniques, in usage of the brush to create different effects. He used colors also to define atmosphere and/or time of day...it appears he couldn't get enough of those pigments in his color-filled, textural paintings...he was in love with the richness of his vision which he painted with relish...I didn't see many still-lifes, but landscapes, water-scapes, architectural, people...he painted them all...not just once, but over and over again...a different time of day would mean different colors and so he would do a series of the same landscape with each painting telling a different story... atmosphere would justify painting the sky of the "Tuileries Garden" with wistful softness while the "Women in the Garden" he painted under a clear noonday sun.
In his painting, he was brazen. He did the unexpected. He was rebellious. He was courageous. He painted as he liked...and we inherited it all...if you don't get a good book of his images to devour, it is your loss.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

The Artist - Reality vs. Impression

"The artist gazes upon a reality and creates his own impression. The viewer gazes upon the impression and creates his own reality." Robert Brault

A wonderful truth...Robert is a poet, philosopher and an artist painting a piece of his heart! Click on the title to read his post for October 25, 2010...Paris!

Monday, November 15, 2010

MUST-NOT-MISS PLACES TO SPEND TIME AND MONEY!!!

You can see some of my art at:

Galeria de Corrales, Corrales NM, wonderful gallery full of great artwork, perfect gifts for Christmas, Christmas ornaments...and lots of fabulous artists!!

Chamisa Hills Country Club, Rio Rancho, NM (2 pieces, one hanging next to a fluorescent green bear painting!! :)) be sure not to miss it!!)

KISS Cafe on Patio Escondido, Old Town, Albuquerque, NM (where you can get wonderful New Mexico Hot Chocolate and Mocha Oles! ...its a fun place!! lots of fun art!)

and for the months of November and December...

Unitarian Universalist Church, Rio Rancho, NM...wonderful group of people! ...they are especially open on Sunday mornings...believe it or not!!...but also probably most weekday afternoons, but be sure to call ahead!!

Monday, November 8, 2010

WEEMS INTERNATIONAL ARTFEST

The Weems International Artfest is right around the corner. It is a major event and an Albuquerque tradition...great fun and the best in fine art...and I always run into old friends while visiting there! Check it out!
Nov. 12-14...check for times.

Impressionism: the Academie, the Salon

The Academie was the upholder of traditional standards in French painting at the time. The Salon was established as the sole acceptable market place for the work of the Academy-trained artists...therefore, the Academie and the Salon had great power and monopolized the artist's world, determining the teaching, the subject matter, the techniques used, the paints, even the method of "retailing" the artwork...ugh!!!!!!!!! Thank God for the painters of the Impressionistic period who struck out on their own, making their own rules and paving the way for the artists to come...I am reminded of the quote..."Freedom is a bigger game than power...Power is about what you can control...Freedom is about what you can unleash"...Harriet Rubin

In 1863 a Salon des Refuses, was organized since so many of the works that year had been refused by the establishment Salon. Of course, this resulted in much hostility from the public toward the artists and their work. However, the Salon des Refuses did eventually open the door for other salons to take place such as those of the Impressionists from 1874 and the Independents in 1884. These salons were well attended, strangely enough, although the young artists often received much ridicule from the public...eventually though, art which was not favored by the Academie was more accepted by the public.

Impressionist Techniques

MANZANO MOUNTAINS by Nina Baldwin
10" x 10" on canvas - private collection
  • short, thick strokes of paint are used to quickly capture the essence of the subject rather than its details. the paint is often applied impasto.
  • colors are applied side-by-side with as little mixing as possible, creating a vibrant surface. The optical mixing of colors occurs in the eye of the viewer.
  • grays and dark tones are produced by mixing complimentary colors. In pure Impressionism the use of black paint is avoided.
  • wet paint is placed into wet paint without waiting for successive applications to dry, producing softer edges and an intermingling of color.
  • painting in the evening to get effets de soir - the shadowy effects of the light in the evening or twilight.
  • Impressionist paintings do not exploit the transparency of thin paint films (glazes) which earlier artists built up carefully to produce effects. The surface of an Impressionist painting is typically opaque.
  • The play of natural light is emphasized. Close attention is paid to the reflection of colors from object to object.
  • In paintings made en plein air (outdoors), shadows are boldly painted with the blue of the sky as it is reflected onto surfaces, giving a sense of freshness and openness that was not captured in painting previously. (Blue shadows on snow inspired the technique.)
The above is borrowed from Wikipedia...it is concise...thanks Wikipedia!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

A Little Bit More About Pigments, Oils, Wax and Techniques

It was the paints that allowed for the Impressionists to make the changes in techniques that they did...

It was about the 1870's...the younger artists were rejecting the techniques of the Academie...the dark, transparent shadows, subtle tonal modeling, somber hues and earth colors of chiaroscuro. Mechanical grinding of pigments was considered too coarse by the masters, but actually the larger particles lent themselves to the loading of the paint so favored by the Impressionists.

While oil binders such as linseed oil were best suited to thin layers and glazes, poppy seed oil was more "buttery" when combined with ground pigments, thus retaining the mark of the paint brush...and providing a raised textural effect. It was slow-drying which was particularly useful for the wet into wet technique employed by Monet in his paintings.

The addition of paraffin wax improved the consistency of the paint, but overuse lead to sticky, dark colors prone to cracking. The wax did make it possible for the stiffer paints to be used with a palette knife...something Cezanne and Pissarro took advantage of...

Before starting to paint artists attempted to remove as much oil by placing blobs of paint on blotting paper to soak out the oil. So at this time, artists needed to manipulate their paints in order to achieve the effects and use the techniques that they preferred...more later....

Friday, November 5, 2010

NEW MEXICO MOUNTAIN SERIES -Gallup, NM plus California Dreamin''

PART OF MY NEW MEXICO MOUNTAIN SERIES...the painting on the left is of the mesas on the way to Gallup, New Mexico...a sight I fell in love with on my many trips to Arizona! The one on the right is called "California Dreamin" and was painted in my studio after my husband and I returned from a trip to that state...the colors are lovely in both!!  Both paintings are done with a palette knife making for interesting texture and wonderful energy!! 
"On The Way to Gallup" & "California Dreamin'"
by Nina Baldwin
These are small (5" x 7") landscapes. They look very attractive sitting on small easels, but they can also be hung on a wall! They are impressionistic in technique..$95.USD each...shipping and handling in the USA is free!!) These would make great gifts!
both have been sold...thank you!!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

IMPRESSIONISM - a Time of Transition for more than just Art

1860 to 1870...the time of Monet, Degas, Cezanne, Renoir...Art was not the only thing transitioning in France at this time. Great changes were taking place in Paris, for instance, with the razing of the narrow cobblestoned streets which were replaced with grand boulevards lined with shops and cafes..."light-filled sunny promenades" where the elite could stroll, lunching and enjoying some of the finer things in life.
Society was changing. Life no longer centered around agriculture (a favorite subject matter for the realist painters in Paris). Modern city life brought with it cafes, racetracks, parks, concerts, balls, the opera and the ballet. It also brought grand changes in the appearance of the city...on the outside...but behind the great facade of opulence lay the "underworld", the world of the common folk who serviced the sophisticates of the Second Empire...
This is what Manet and Degas painted...not the traditional historical scenes, or scenes on the farm that the realist artists painted...they wanted to paint life...reality...everyday people living their ordinary lives...landscapes and still lifes also, both unacceptable according to the status quo. Monet and the other young artists were greatly influenced by this.
While preference for subject matter was changing, artists were finding new techniques more suited to their tastes. Glazes of transparent paints were in less favor, while "loading" the canvas with more opaque, brighter paints became the favorite of the Impressionists. Paints were going through their own evolution as more and more artists found the convenience of the first tin tubes of paint easily usable for plein aire painting. Previously, pigments had to be crushed, ground to a fine powder, then mixed with linseed oil and perhaps wax, then stored in an animal bladder. The colors provided in the tube paints were brighter more "modern" shades than the traditional more somber colors...thus the beautiful, vibrating colors of Monet's garden and the haystacks...
...to be continued...

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

MONET and IMPRESSIONISM

I know that I invited you to come along with me on this journey in the last post...I guess it would be good if I actually showed up!! ahh, life!! is anyone else busy??!!!

My intention is not to do a book report, but only to gleen from different sources snipets of observations and impressions about Impressionism and its artists...

I am enjoying reading a little from "Techniques of the Impressionists" by Anthea Callen...I have stopped to take in the title page which has a close up of a painting by Monet. First impressions....so much movement in the water, I am guessing from the technique Monet employed in painting it...a background of medium blue with what appears to be a wet on wet addition of different colors of blue, green, yellow and an off-white, producing a "glistening" of sunlight effect on the water. He even painted over the tops of the trees with this white effect giving the appearance of water sparkling through the tree branches...

I love the passion and freedom displayed in the way Monet dragged colors across the foreground...terra cotta, greens, purple, white...He must have been working very quickly...gestural, painterly strokes of colors...creating shadows, texture and highlights. These energetic flashes of pigment communicate roughly the time of day and the atmospheric conditions among other things.

Our own eyes see like this...they flit around the subject matter, focusing at certain areas taking in pieces of the whole...and our brains do the rest. They fill in what's not there...they connect the pieces to make a whole. Some artists train very hard to be able to take in the subject matter more quickly...but it takes a lot of time to develop this skill...

more next time...

Friday, September 24, 2010

IMPRESSIONISM...a Spirit of Independence and Rebellion

"The "Impressionists"... were a diverse group of artists in style and temperament, unified primarily by their spirit of independence and rebellion." (wiki)


I am forever searching for the right term...abstract?...contemporary?...modern? What correctly describes my artwork? Perhaps I am an Impressionist...afterall, independence and rebellion seem to be stepping stones in my process, even if my artwork doesn't betray it...which surprises me no end since I seek peace daily! I was a good little girl all of my life! Really!! I attended Catholic schools for 13 years of my life...very controlled...might be considered rigid compared to today's standards...could this be why in my art I determine to put inhibitions aside when I start a painting?...could this be why I am trying new techniques with each new work?...could this be why I must express myself, my emotions on my canvas?...because I can?!! ...because I want to leave an Impression?


I will delve into the subject of Impressionism and it's painters in the next few weeks...join me...


How about you??? Do you paint? If so, what style do you paint in? ...and most important...WHY?

Friday, May 28, 2010

LOVE SEES WITH A PAINTER'S EYE

"It is not that love is blind. It is that love sees with a painter's eye, finding the essence that renders all else background." Robert Brault
Gorgeous words! from a friend, Robert Brault...if you haven't read his blog yet, do so...soon! He'll be your friend also, before you know it...his words are so easy to relate to...
(his blog is linked to the title of this post...go click!)