Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Martin Lechowicz - ICEBOUND

¤ ICEBOUND is a graphic work by Martin Lechosicz paradoxchild displayed on deviantART.

¤ ICEBOUND is an interesting piece of graphic art which evokes memories of other images or ideas in me.

One of the first is that of soaring — as strange as that might seem. I think it is because of the angle of the image and the way it seems she has arms spread like a skydivers.

Another image evoked in me is that of a spider — or more to the point, a black widow spider — waiting to pounce after having her way with an unsuspecting mate. Of course after having her way with him. But there is a coldness... On the other hand is it the maker or the victim of the web? I guess with the almost cross-like composition as seen from an oblique angle I get the impression of the web.

Another evoked image is that of a cybernetic nature. Is this a machine putting on the facade of humanity or femininity? — a being cold as ice in effect still, and slightly Frankensteinish with the interfaced patchwork of man and machine — or a person integrating fully with the machine?

Or perhaps... considering web, face, and machine, is this an impression of a person as a node of communication from a network as seen from a distance — seeing the person emerging from the machine at the node?

Still, the title of the work — "ICEBOUND" — tells perhaps a story with the face on shattering shards of crystalline ice? Is this the Ice Queen like from "Narnia" finally shattered? Or is she tethered to the ice and breaking free?

If you look at the picture there is much to see... it makes you wonder what the artist was intending... or was the artist just trying something interesting? It can always be difficult to know without hearing the artist's own views.

~ Darrell

¤ The phrase "she is as cold as ice" trickles through my veins at 2000 miles-per-hour. Words like calculating, razer sharp, and emotionally splintered spring to mind when gorging myself on this perplexing but delightful appetizer. Can't quite bring myself to settle is she robotic, human, or the two merged as one. I supposed one could be forgiven with themes like annihilation, fragmentation, and world domination as the artist's catalyst for this piece. If it wasn't for the deliberate genteel composition of the face, you could conclude that this artist lives 24:7 in his own Fantasy World.

~ Mags

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Donato Giancola - Traveler

¤ "Traveler"¹ is an illustration done by Donato Giancola in 2005 and included on his site, "Donato Arts" It is 20" x 30" and in Oil on Paper on Panel and part of a private collection.

¤ Within the "Traveler" each segment lends itself to the other so you can't look at one portion in isolation to the rest. If you did so it would loose its collective meaning.

When I first became enchanted with this piece I mistakenly thought she was staring out into the limitless realms of space, but on further inspection I find myself let down by the potential of this piece. If she was staring into space we would wonder, does she want to leave this world behind in search of a lost love or uncharted territory. But as she is not glancing into space, one might assume that she is not all there.

Is she just allowing herself to be a possession 'til the artist is ready to discard her? At first inspection I found her gown quite exquisite and low cut but now I find it quite distasteful and it makes her look vulnerable. What kind of message is the artist trying to portray in this piece? Is he trying to convince us that there is only one perception of beauty and one way of looking at things. Over all I would not be rushing back to look at this artist's work again as it does not make my heart sing.

~ Mags

¤ This is a crisp piece of science fiction artwork which I might call science fiction fantasy work. I'm not using any sort of technical term, but referring to the combination of the beautiful painting of the spiral galaxy and the glowing nebula in the background with the organic shapes of the foreground. I am not sure whether the title "Traveler" refers to the person being a traveler or if, perhaps, it refers to the Science Fiction Role Playing Game "Traveler". I have no real reason to suspect the later, but it is a suspicion.

I wonder if the composition is balanced for a title or text to be placed over the galaxy on that section of the image because while the galaxy is nicely framed, so too would be any text or title placed there. If a book cover, it would place the woman on the back cover however, and likely be covered by text. The figure seems to be formally posed rather than caught in thought. Perhaps I get this impression because she is facing away from the view and not toward the viewer or toward anything in the composition. She also has her eyes closed and so doesn't seem to be looking at something off the set. She seems to merely be there to be seen and somewhat pleased at that.

I like the way the colours work in the space art in it and the contrast of that with the "interior" and with the reflection of the lighting playing off the parts of the foreground-interior.

Donato does do interesting artwork and I am sure that you will find at least some of his illustrations familiar if you read fantasy, science fiction, graphic novels, or play role playing games or collectible cards games. His art graces many covers and cards and illustrates many books. His work and bio speak for themself.

~ Darrell

¹ The American spelling "Traveler" is the spelling used on the website as opposed to "Traveller".

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Andy Everson - Watchmen

¤ This is Andy Everson's "Watchmen". His online gallery can be found on his site "Artwork by Andy Everson". We decided to do a second Andy Everson print right away because they tied together well. His piece "Farewell" (image to right) also features a figure looking across the water at the Full Moon. You can find our other review on our "Andy Everson - Farewell" page. Additionally we are including an additional image of one of his Full Moon pieces called "Full Moon".

¤ "Watchmen" captures a bright moonlit night and shows the village watchmen watching for attackers who might come to prey on their village while the villagers lay sleeping, sure in the security of the watchmen's watchful eyes. Everson's people -- the K'omoks -- lived in a coveted location -- the "Land of Plenty" -- which was coveted by two other major groups that might send raiding parties in the night. The watchmen would upon seeing the telltale sign of enemy war canoes, send runners to the village so the people could leave their long houses and head to the defensive palisade on the overlooking hill. You can read more on his page "Watchmen".

This image captures a modern stylistic image of the watchmen with the traditional styled K'omoks full moon. I think that there are a number of ways that this stylized full moon might be done, though I imagine there are some base rules to it. I do like the composition. I think it compliments nicely with his other print "Farewell" and would love to have the two of them hanging from my wall.

~ Darrell

¤ The "Watchmen" by Andy Everson

The seasoned warriors are crouched like tigers, ready to strike for war. The gold coloured moon in the "Watchmen" makes the composition more visually complex for those of us who don't have perfect eyesight. Sometimes artwork can be difficult for the visually impaired.

~ Mags

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Andy Everson - Farewell

¤ Andy Everson has gone to his roots to create very interesting artwork like "Farewell" which he highlights on his website "Artwork by Andy Everson".

¤ The most striking part of Andey Everson's piece entitled "Farewell" is the indigenous style engraved on the Moon. It has very similar characteristics as some other cultures I have learnt about. In saying that however, the materials used to both draw or carve the image could be vastly different. I am facinated by the way this artist has caused the Moon to fade ever so slightly into the background of the painting.

From first glance I wasn't going to comment on the rest of the painting, but after having a closer look I have revised my decision. On first assessment I thought it was rather dull and plain, but after close inspection I find the hat and wig to be quite exquisite, because it adds a bit of colour to what otherwise might be seen as a two toned painting.

~ Mags

¤ The artist gives some reference to this piece on his page on "Farewell". The figure is that of Captain George Vancouver who explored the West Coast of North America. He was  looking for a western entrance to a northwest passage for British Imperial trade between Asia and Europe. He didn't find the Northwest Passage, but did explore a large part of the coast of what is now known as "The Pacific Northwest". He left his mark in ink, naming many features and places after members of his crew, which replaced the names already given them by the native population.

The image shows the Captain on his last voyage leaving the area and realizing he would likely never see these lands again. It tries to capture the sense of loss that might accompany this sort of moment and shows the full moon in a traditional Kwakwaka’wakw style.

I find the muted tones of the image to make a powerful emotional statement -- melding the formal British Naval uniform with the formal Native styled moon -- all set on a dead calm sea. Remember to click on the image on Andy Everson's site to get the larger view so that you can truly appreciate the image.

~ Darrell

Thursday, September 11, 2008

John McColgan - Bitterroot Fire

¤ You can see this incredible photograph by John McColgan many places on the Internet but I think that the E.M.S. Gallery is one of the best places probably to view it at for information on the picture. Note that there are direct links to a 406 KB-1756x1084 sized version of this image and an 84 KB-720x444 sized version of this picture on the gallery page.

I suggest going to this page, the bio page with information on the image and photographer and clicking on the links for the larger images rather than using the Gallery's page and using the links there. I found them a bit difficult for getting to the interesting information.

¤ I saw this picture first many years ago, when BC was having a lot of severe forest fires -- including some that were threatening cities of the interior of the province. At that time the photo was attributed -- in the posting I received -- to a fire in BC that Summer. However the actual photo was taken by John McColgan " the late afternoon of Sunday, August 6, from a bridge over the East Fork of the Bitterroot River just north of Sula, Montana."¹ The year, not given on the Public Safety Art Gallery quoted most on the net, is 2000. I do want to mention that the copyright date on the Public Safety Art Gallery page is 1996 -- however I suspect that is the copyright date for the whole site and not the content.

This image is a departure from what we have done for a couple of reasons. It is a photographic image and we do not do many of those, though we do consider photography to be a visual art. It also is not one image of a collection by an artist -- where we normally try to give one image in a collection so that our readers might go on to explore further the works of that artist. This image because it is posted so many places and is so powerful seemed to be one that fits in with our reviews. I want to mention that in smaller versions of the image and perhaps if the colour is not so good, what appears to be the shadow of a thumb on the right is merely darker vegetation. It only seems like a thumb shadow on some of the images online that I have seen.

I feel the picture is impressive for a number of reasons. One alone is the impressive shot of a wildfire from such an intimate point of view. The colours are like gold in some impossible gem of crystallized metallic gold. It also shows how entirely the fire can consume with it eating all that is within -- perhaps a bit at a time -- but nearly completely if given the chance. Considering the photo was taken late afternoon, it shows how the fire can turn day into night and provide its own illumination in place of the Sun's. All of this contrasts with the green vegetation still there by the river, and the elk seeking shelter in its waters. There is a contrast of power and peace. I find this image very powerful.

~ Darrell

¤  Words that come to mind when I look at the Bitterroot Fire are "beautiful destruction" "beautiful but deadly" and "psychopathic". It is hard to believe that fire can be both stunning and responsible for total annihilation at the same time, but this is exactly what this picture or photograph encapsulates. Is one supposed to be in awe of such a destructive force or does one find that totally abhorrent. I am in two minds -- my eyes are torn to two elk, stranded in this fiery path -- how did two delicate creatures find the fire's Achilles heal and survive. If they could talk they could have such a powerful story to tell about conquering over adversity.

~ Mags.

¹ "E.M.S. Gallerie: John McCogan" John McColgan BLM Alaska Fire Service

Monday, September 8, 2008

Lydrae - The Transponder

¤ Lyridae created "The Transponder" and includes it in his Gallery on deviantART. Lyridae is a young man from German who creates computer graphic images.

¤ A new wave of information technology -- space communicating with the Earth via a bluey-green plasma -- a one way portal. This communication device has one drawback however, it has to be careful not to singe the Earth's surface. The way it communicates with the planet is by etching small codes into our fingertips. Unfortunately none of us has been able to decipher these messages from space -- but that is okay, because it just adds to the mystery.

~ Mags

Everything mentioned in the above review is not factual, it is purely fiction.


¤ There is a lot going on in this interesting cosmic image by Lydrae. Taken in quickly it reminded me a lot of images of a sword in front of a shield -- a blazing blade pointed up toward the sky. Looked at closely you can see... well I don't want to describe too much of the detail -- leaving it to the gallery to see for themselves.

It is another beautiful use of a limited pallet. I know that some would look at this as an advantage for decorating, or for a choice of gift for someone when you know their favourite colours -- but I also know it can add power to a composition. This one has interesting flow -- your eye is drawn to the cosmic bodies and then upwards with the plasma-like torch. It reaches up to the dark void where the eye rests a moment in the dark and then flows down the sides to pick up the image of the spheres once more for another ride up the image. That is the flow for the image as a whole before looking at the details that abound in it. Looking at the details is like taking side trips on a vacation.

I wonder... "transponder" refers to a device that receives a signal and then rebroadcasts it immediately. Is this what the artist intends -- is this a signal being rebroadcast? What was the source of the signal and to who is it being broadcast too. Questions to ponder, I guess... though you might want to look at the details in the piece and perhaps find your own answers.

~ Darrell

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Andrew Annenberg - Portal of Hunab Ku

¤ Andrew Annenberg's "Portal of Hunab Ku" is shown on his site: Annenberg Masterworks visionary fine art & posters. It is part of his "Lost Words Suite".

¤ "Portal of Hunab Ku" is an interesting painting in Andrew Annenberg's series of lost worlds. This one shows a sunken Aztec or Mayan temple complex now visited only by sealife like sea turtles, dolphins and whales. There is a peacefulness that the water brings along with the streamlined grace of the sea life.

I like the crisp style of Annenberg's work -- an illustrative style. It brings the right touch where you want to highlight the detail of the archaeological structures in the piece. He uses shades of violet to draw the eye to the entrance of the foreground pyramid. The emitted light might make you wonder just what lies within.

Dolphins and Whales are creatures of intelligence so it is fitting that they are explorers in this painting.

This is another image where you can look and find new details on further inspection -- some that might be obvious once you find them, might not have been noticed at first.

~ Darrell

¤ When one looks at "Portal of Hunab Ku" one automatically starts to look for similarities between the human race and the underwater world. The only similarity I could come up with is that these historical structures of the deep are the dolphins equivalent to children's building blocks. The shape and size of structure remains the same and one wonders whether they are content to use these cement blocks of the deep as their dwelling place or whether they would much rather be exploring the larger landscape of the ocean. One can only speculate as mankind have not been able to fully converse with these playful creatures of the deep. I look forward to the day when we can converse as one because they have a lot to teach us about living in harmony.

~ Mags