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August 5th, 2014

Thomas the Brave

Mixed Media artist Dion Dior posted this moving tribute to her five year old son Thomas. This is an excerpt: “This is a very special month for me. Five years ago this month, my son Thomas was born 16 weeks premature. He weighed only 1lb 3oz at birth. He was so tiny that his eyes […]

June 27th, 2014

Transforming Caillebotte’s “Paris Street; Rainy Day”

This is a link to a short, fascinating video about how conservators cleaned one of the Art Institute’s most renowned treasures. An awesome inside view to cleaning this huge painting. “When conservator Faye Wrubel examined Gustave Caillebotte’s masterpiece “Paris Street; Rainy Day” in the Art Institute’s conservation studio, she discovered, among other things, that the […]

June 12th, 2014

Technology and the Lost Art of Drawing

On the left, a drawing of the Eiffel Tower by Argentinian architect and urban sketcher Norberto Dorantes, demonstrating his “dynamic ink” technique. On the right, a newly graduated architect draws the Eiffel Tower digitally using new BIM (Building Information Modeling) technology. In this article architect Russell Curtis questions: “do these technologies allow us to design […]

May 28th, 2014

R.I.P. Massimo Vignelli, One of the Greatest 20th Century Designers

“Italian design legend Massimo Vignelli, best known for designing an iconic-yet-controversial version of the New York City subway map in the 1970s, died in his New York City home Tuesday morning at age 83. Working firmly within the modernist tradition, Vignelli aimed for design that was “visually powerful, intellectually elegant, and above all timeless”–a slogan […]

May 25th, 2014

Fire at Glasgow School of Art

Firefighters battled a massive blaze at the Glasgow School of Art’s illustrious Charles Rennie Mackintosh building. Although fortunately most of the building’s structure and contents have been saved, what has been destroyed is devastating: numerous students lost art projects on which they have been working for years; the iconic Mackintosh Library was completely destroyed. A […]

May 7th, 2014

Pantone Prototype

In 1692, long before Pantone invented the color matching system, a Dutch artist known only as ‘A. Boogert’ wrote an extraordinary book about mixing watercolors. Titled “Traité des couleurs servant à la peinture à l’eau”, it was recently discovered by a book historian. The book has been described as “probably the most comprehensive guide to […]

April 23rd, 2014

How this Renoir Used to Look

HOW THIS RENOIR USED TO LOOK A study by the Chicago Art Institute reveals a huge color shift in Renoir’s painting “Madame Leon Clapisson” resulting from exposure to light. The investigation showed that the picture we see today has lost the impact of Renoir’s use of the carmine lake, or cochineal, pigment. The study has […]

April 12th, 2014

Urban Sketching: The Complete Guide to Technqiues

Thomas Thorspecksen’s acclaimed new book about Urban Sketching is a great resource for the technical aspects of the urban sketching genre. Some of the topics covered include composition, perspective, line work, value and color and action and movement. But the topic that distinguishes Thorspecken’s urban art and this book is his focus on populating sketches. […]

April 8th, 2014

Art Supplies from Heaven

Congratulations to New York Central Art Supplies for receiving this tribute that appeared in the New York Times today. Founded in 1905, New York Central is an institution in the art material world. Kudos to owner Steve Steinberg, paper department manager David Aldera and the rest of the New York Central team on being so […]

February 10th, 2014

The Watercolor Illustrations of The Little Prince

“French writer Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s ‘The Little Prince’ is among the most beloved children’s books of all time. Few know the story behind the book:  Saint-Exupéry, a commercial pilot who never mastered English and created his masterwork in French, wrote ‘The Little Prince’ in New York City, where he arrived in 1940 after the Nazi […]

February 1st, 2014

SCAD Students Help Design Super Bowl Graphics

Austin Shaw is a professor of motion media design professor at Savannah College of Art and Design. In this fascinating article and short video, Shaw describes how his Motion Media Class 408 worked with FOX Sports to design the graphics for the Super Bowl open:  http://bit.ly/MnSbBr

Shown below: NFL Super Bowl XLVIII opening sequence graphic […]

November 30th, 2013

Don’t Foil My Plans

Notebook Stories recently reposted the New York Times article about Justin Canha, a young autistic artist. http://nyti.ms/ne7WKf  The article, written while Justin was still in high school, describes Justin’s dream to become an animator and to live independently. The Times article inspired us to find an update on Justin’s story and we discovered that Justin is […]

November 24th, 2013

Fritz Kahn: Pioneer of Infographics

A new book catalogues the achievements of German physician and artist, Fritz Kahn (1888-1968), considered the godfather of infographics.  Kahn developed “innovative visual metaphors for understanding science and the human body, seeking to engage a popular audience with those essential tenets of how life works. Best-known today for his iconic 1926 poster ‘Der Mensch als Industrielpalast’ […]

October 26th, 2013

Line King: Al Hirschfeld Retrospective at NYC Public Library

“The Line King’s Library”, the largest exhibition ever of drawings by the legendary theatrical caricaturist, Al Hirschfeld, is now at the New York Public Library through January 4: http://bit.ly/1al3zX5 . Hirschfeld, who died in 2003 at age 99, worked in the theater for eighty years and left at lasting influence on the art of illustration. A […]

September 22nd, 2013

Morgan Library Drawings Online

New York’s Morgan Library announced this week that it is digitizing its entire collection of drawings and will make them available free online to everyone.  The initiative will result in a digital library of more than 10,000 images, representing drawings from the 14th to 21st centuries. An important part of the project:  the verso side (reverse […]

September 7th, 2013

The Lost van Gogh Sunflower Paintings

When the models van Gogh had hired to pose for a series of paintings failed to show up, he improvised using bunches of local sunflowers. He started work on Monday morning and by Saturday he had created four sunflower paintings. Two of the four paintings disappeared. But a print of one of the lost paintings, […]

July 23rd, 2013

Sargent Watercolors at Brooklyn Museum

There are only a few days left to see the Brooklyn Museum’s landmark exhibition of John Singer Sargent watercolors. We saw it yesterday and it is everything that watercolorists have been saying: the exhibit is sensational!  Canadian artist Marc Taro Holmes recently published a wonderful write up of the show; here is the link to […]

July 1st, 2013

Five Facts About Artists in the U.S.

A Washington Post article http://wapo.st/18nateX  (which came to us via Raw Materials Art Supplies in Downtown Los Angeles) is based on a report by the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA). The Washington Post summarized these five key facts from the report: 1.  California continues to have the largest percentage of artists in the U.S.  Artists comprise  apx. 4.6 […]

May 30th, 2013

When Art Danced with Music

The National Gallery in Washington D.C. is presenting an exhibition, “When Art Danced with Music” to display work of the great modern artists that designed the sets and costumes for the Ballet Russe. This was a Russian ballet company from 1909-1921 based in Paris, headed by the producer, Serge Diaghilev. “Diaghilev’s success depended primarily on […]

May 26th, 2013

On Memorial Day: “Saving Italy”

When Hitler’s armies occupied Italy in 1943, they also seized control of mankind’s greatest cultural treasures. “As they had done throughout Europe, the Nazis could now plunder the great masterpieces of Italy. On the eve of the Allied invasion, General Dwight Eisenhower empowered a new kind of soldier to protect these historic riches. In May […]