Monday, 22 May 2017
This is my painting of part of a painting called Judith with the Head of Holofernes. I’ve left out the head she’s holding but you can see it in the original which was done by Gustave Klimt in 1901. This was a very popular subject in the Renaissance and Baroque periods. Judith was a biblical character who tricked her lover and adversary into getting drunk so she could behead him. Klimt used a lot of actual gold foil - I’ve used gold acrylic pigment.
This work is sold, but if you’d like a quote on a similar copy, please send me some brief details in an email: firstname.lastname@example.org. (A price guide is 300 Euros for acrylic on canvas size 50 x 60 cms.)
If you’d like to see some more of my works, please have a look at my portfolio at Saatchi Online.
Posted by Ray Johnstone at 21:12
Sunday, 21 May 2017
I’ve been painting nudes all my life, and I’ve now gone back to this traditional subject with some enthusiasm.
You can see various of my nude works at Saatchi Online here.
But please don’t go there if the subject offends you.
Posted by Ray Johnstone at 14:04
Sunday, 14 May 2017
But why the accent?
Because she was painted in France.
So I’m back to painting nudes, and, as Adam and Ève have been a popular subject for artists since the middle ages, here’s my version.
But where’s Adam?
He’s still in my head. He’ll join Ève later, as soon as he’s finished.
Watch this space.
You can see Ève in detail in a close up version at Saatchi Online by clicking here.
If you don’t like nudes, don’t go there.
Posted by Ray Johnstone at 08:53
Friday, 5 May 2017
SAINT SEBASTIEN IN FRENCH—ST SEBASTIAN IN ENGLISH
I chose the French title because, as some of you may remember, I live in France.
Saint Sebastien’s martyrdom has been a popular subject in art and literature since the middle ages. Before that, in Greek and Roman times, he was usually painted as Eros or Cupid. The subject was especially popular in the Renaissance when the rise of humanism, and a ‘rediscovery’ of classicism, saw the human body become increasingly central in paintings and sculpture.
So, why did I paint him?
Well, I’ve always painted the nude (many, many years ago I came close to getting into lots of trouble for a nude female I exhibited in Pretoria—it was based on Courbet’s L'Origine du monde.)
Anyway, I’ve gone back to the nude, and intend to paint several contemporary interpretations of traditional subjects over the next few months.
The above pic shows a work in progress. If you’d like to see the finished painting, and, as long as you are not offended by nudity, you can see it here:
Posted by Ray Johnstone at 14:51
Tuesday, 25 April 2017
But this was not always so—a thousand years ago it was struggling to attract visitors. The monks had tried everything to attract pilgrims—without much success. Located in the middle of inaccessible, remote, and difficult country for travellers, something special was required.
Eventually their eyes turned to Agen Cathedral. It was lucky enough to have the relics of St Foy. She’d been making miracles and attracting hoards of visitors for years. Her statue could—amongst other pretty impressive feats—restore sight even when the victim’s eyes had been physically gouged out.
So a heist was planned. And, although it took an imposter monk 10 years to pull off, he eventually nicked it from Agen and took it to Conques.
Don’t miss her - she's on show in the trésor. Her statue, which contains her actual skull, is covered in gold foil and smothered in a profusion of precious stones. She is a seriously impressive sight.
Then there’s the stupendous tympanum—a marvel of medieval story telling. Christ in Glory is showing all the naughty people the way to hell. And he points the great and the good towards Paradise.
But wait! Isn’t that Charlemagne amongst the nice guys? Yes, there he is being led towards Christ by the Abbot. What? Has the sculptor just somehow forgotten his massacre of 4,500 people at Verden?
Or is it something to do with Charlemagne’s gift to Pope Leo III in return for being crowned Holy Roman Emperor? Nothing less than Christ’s foreskin. Or one of his foreskins anyway. Because, according to David Farley, a respected expert, there were between 8 and 18 of them.But hang on! This could be leading us all astray. It’s meant to be an article about Conques. But Christ’s private bits seem to have hijacked the conversation. So perhaps it would be safer to stop right here.
Posted by Ray Johnstone at 09:21
Friday, 14 April 2017
Below is a French press release that explains all.
And here’s a sentence that does the same in English.
Over the past 10 years a group of English Speaking ladies in Mézin has organised a twice yearly sale of second hand books and second hand clothes which has resulted in over 31,000 Euros being collected for the charity Medcins Sans Frontieres.
The photo shows the mayor, Monseur Jacques Lambert, and some of those involved marking the event with a poster outside the Marie in Mézin.
A ce jour en 10 ans plus de 31.000 Euros on ete collectes a Mézin pour Medecins Sans Frontieres.
Mr Jacques Lambert, Maire de Mézin, rencontre quelques un des benevoles du canton de Mezin qui ont collecté plus de 31.000 Euros pour Medecins Sans Frontieres en faisant les Bourses aux livres anglais et les Bourses aux vetements d’occasion
Les ventes sont a l’Espace Associatif Claude Albinet en face de la piscine a Mézin et la salle est offert gratuitement par la Mairie de Mézin.
Tous les benefices sont reverses a Medecins Sans Frontieres.
Tous les vetements non vendus sont donnes a la Croix Rouge a Nerac.
La somme globale montre la generosite des gens a Mézin et ses alentours pendant 10 ans
C’est surtout les dames anglaises avec quelques francaises anglophones, mais il ne faut pas oublier les hommes anglais, nos maris et autres costauds qui nous aident en portant les livres, etc. a la salle et au stockage.
La prochaine Bourse aux vetements d’occasion a Mézin est le weekend 20 et 21 mai 2017 (samedi 10-17h/dimanche 10-16h) Venez nombreux….
Posted by Ray Johnstone at 16:54
This nude couple is essentially my version of a very traditional subject, Adam and Eve (sometimes called The Expulsion) that’s been a very popular theme for artists since the middleages. It probably reached its peak during the Renaissance. I’ve always found it a socially acceptable way—or a good excuse—to paint naked people—often with mildly erotic overtones.
When I was living in Melbourne, one of my exhibitions, Adam and Eve and Other Nudes did quite well in sales as well as press publicity.
Anyway, this is my latest Adam and Eve.
You can also see it, and lots more of my paintings on Saatchi Online.
I have some ideas for a few variations on this theme which I’ll be working on over the next few weeks.
Here are some technical details.
It’s painted on heavyweight paper (300gsm) specially manufactured to take acrylic paint. The painting is signed, dated and embossed with my monogram.
The sheet size is 50 x 64 cms and the actual image size is 43 x 56 cms. (19.5 x 25 ins and 16.5 x 22 ins)
It will be packaged and shipped in a very sturdy, large diameter (10 cms) cardboard tube.
Please don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any questions of if you’d like to give you a quote on an affordable original painting.
And don’t forget my challenge: “Everyone, yes everyone, can learn to paint and draw.”
For more information on art holidays in France for families and friends, please click here. http://makeartholidays.blogspot.fr
Posted by Ray Johnstone at 16:39