Archive for January 22nd, 2009

Arnold Bocklin

arnold-bocklin-the-isle-of-the-dead-1880This is Isle of the Dead from artist Arnold Bocklin, a Symbolist painter of the late 19th century.  This was a painting that Bocklin painted in several versions and is the painting for which he is best known.

I’m showing it because it’s a piece I’ve always been drawn to and to illustrate how an artist gets inspiration from work that is wild divergent from his own.  

Obviously, I don’t paint in a style that resembles Bocklin in any manner but the way he uses great contrasts of light and dark struck me immediately.  When you look at great pieces throughout history, one of the common elements is invariably great contrast.  It creates tension and mood within the piece and draws the eye in.  It heightens the visual impact of any piece.

So when you see a piece of mine with high contrast you can bet I was thinking of Bocklin and many others when I was at work even if there isn’t smidgen of their work visible in mine.

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