ᗯISᕼIᑎG EᐯEᖇYOᑎE TᕼE ᗷEST TᕼIS SEᗩSOᑎ ᕼᗩS TO OᖴᖴEᖇ, ᗩᑎᗪ ᗩ ᑭEᗩᑕEᖴᑌᒪ ᗩᑎᗪ ᕼᗩᑭᑭY ᑎEᗯ YEᗩᖇ!
This year's e-card was created by Jim Rehlin, using his pen and ink drawing, Carolers.
Joan M. Rehlin
A holiday mini art history post...
Thomas Nast (9/27/1840–12/7/1902) was born in Germany and immigrated with his family to the United States when he was a young child. Although he did poorly overall in school, he excelled in drawing. At 15 Nast enrolled at the National Academy of Design in NYC, and at 17 his drawings first appeared in Harper’s Weekly magazine.
Nast became a staff illustrator with Harper’s beginning in 1862, and was associated with the magazine until 1886. Considered the father of the American cartoon, Nast reportedly exerted more political power than any other 19th century artist. He created political caricatures (e.g., Boss Tweed / Tammany Hall) and symbols (e.g., Republican elephant), plus refined others (e.g., Democratic donkey, Uncle Sam).
Of importance to our holiday mini art history post is the fact that Nast also created the modern-day depiction of Santa Claus, as a jolly man delivering presents to children. Nast based his Santa drawings on older, traditional German figures — from his fond childhood memories of a bearded Sankt Nikolaus, who distributed treats at Christmastime — and on the description of Santa by Clement Moore in the well-known poem, A Visit from St. Nicholas.
Merry Old Santa Claus, illustration, 1881, Thomas Nast
Congratulations to the Midwest America Artists group's Winter Logo Contest winners! As administrator of this FAA/Pixels group, I’m sharing the winning artwork, all of which were chosen by a jury consisting of MAA group members. The First Place Logo winner will be added to MAA's homepage on December 21st, the beginning of the Winter season. To view these four winning creations in a larger format, and to congratulate the winning artists, click on the images, below. Please consider sharing these contest winners on your social media. In addition, to view the contest's Other Top Finishers, click on this Winners page link.
FIRST PLACE / Logo Winner
Winter Country Walk, acrylic by Bill Dunkley
December Beauty, watercolor by Carolyn Rosenberger
THIRD PLACE TIE (alphabetical order)
Snow Blown, acrylic by Sonja Jones
Moonlit Snowy Scene on the Farm, watercolor by Conni Schaftenaar
by Joan M. Rehlin
One of our mini art history posts...
N. (Newell) C. (Convers) Wyeth (10/22/1882–10/19/1945) was a renowned American artist and patriarch of a family of famous artists, notably son Andrew and grandson Jamie. Wyeth began creating watercolors at age 12, and his artistic interests were inspired and encouraged by his mother who was acquainted with Thoreau and Longfellow. He studied at the Howard Pyle School of Art in Delaware with Pyle, himself, where Wyeth refined his craft as a painter and illustrator.
Wyeth created over 3,000 paintings and illustrated 112 books during his lifetime, earning particular acclaim for the art he provided for Charles Scribner’s Sons. Among his book illustrations were creations for Treasure Island in the 1910s. Wyeth also expanded Scribner’s Illustrated Classics, a line of children’s books that included The Yearling, Kidnapped, and The Last of the Mohicans, and his illustrations gave children’s stories a realism seldom seen before then. In addition, Wyeth created posters, calendars, and other ads for clients such as Coca-Cola and Lucky Strike, and painted murals for various banks, hotels, and other public and private buildings. His non-illustrative landscape and portrait paintings changed in style from impressionism in the 1910s to realism in the 1930s. In 1941 N.C. Wyeth was elected to the National Academy.
Wyeth wed Carolyn Bockius in 1908, and the couple settled in the village of Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania where they raised five children and resided for the remainder of his life. The painting shown here depicts the beautiful countryside surrounding Wyeth’s home.
Chadds Ford Hills, oil on canvas, c. 1931, N.C. Wyeth
As administrator of the Midwest America Artists (MAA) group on FAA/Pixels, I'm announcing the Top-3 Winners from among our MAA members who submitted artwork to our group’s recent Fun with Fall Colors Contest. For a closer view of their outstanding fall season artwork and to learn more about each artist, please click on the images, below. These winning creations are also highlighted on MAA group’s homepage. Congratulations to these artists (listed in alphabetical order):
• Sunflowers on the Rise, watercolor and ink by Kathy Braud
• Along the Creek, acrylic on canvas by Dave Farrow
• Fall Bonnet, acrylic on canvas by Sonja Jones
by Joan M. Rehlin
A mini art history post...
Born in England, Margaret MacDonald (1864–1933) moved with her family to Scotland when she was 26. She and her sister, Frances, attended the Glasgow School of Art and, in the 1890s, opened the MacDonald Sisters Studio in downtown Glasgow. While at the School of Art, MacDonald met Charles Rennie Mackintosh, whom she married on August 22, 1900, and the two of them formed an artistic collaboration that lasted throughout their lives.
MacDonald’s well-known works are gesso panels, designed with Mackintosh, which were made for interiors in tearooms and private residences. Although Mackintosh is recognized as Scotland's most famous architect, with his wife being marginalized by comparison, MacDonald was nonetheless celebrated by many of her peers, including her husband. Mackintosh wrote to her, “Remember, you are half if not three-quarters in all my architectural work... .” He further stated that “Margaret has genius. I have only talent.”
Between 1895 and 1924, MacDonald contributed to over 40 European and American exhibits including the 1900 Vienna Secession, where she was an influence on Gustav Klimt and other artists. Declining loyalty to any specific movement, she designed pieces which demonstrate an originality that distinguished MacDonald from her contemporaries. In 2008, MacDonald’s White Rose and Red Rose (shown here) was auctioned for 1.7 million UK pounds or $3.3 million.
White Rose and Red Rose, gesso on hessian on glass, 1902, Margaret MacDonald
by Joan M. Rehlin
Another of our mini art history posts...
Henri Marie Raymond de Toulouse-Lautrec-Monfa, better known as Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, was a French artist who, along with Cézanne, Van Gogh, and Gauguin, is considered a prominent Post-Impressionist. Although he lived only 36 years, Toulouse-Lautrec (1864–1901) created a prodigious collection of elegant, avant-garde images — 700+ canvas paintings, 350+ prints and posters, 5,000+ drawings, and 250+ watercolors — depicting life during the theatrical and decadent fin de siècle in Paris.
Born into an aristocratic family, Toulouse-Lautrec suffered from health issues that were attributed to his parents also being first cousins. When his physical issues limited other activities, he turned his focus almost entirely to creating art and, at 8 years old, began drawing sketches and caricatures. He later received art training from several respected artists / instructors and, beginning in 1887, exhibited his works in a variety of venues both in and outside of Paris. When the Moulin Rouge opened in 1889, he was commissioned to create a series of posters and also had a seat reserved for him in the famous cabaret. In the mid-1890s, he contributed illustrations to the satirical Le Rire magazine. Toulouse-Lautrec shared a common label of social misfit with marginalized populations, and is attributed with instilling humanity in his realistic art that portrays them. He is quoted as stating, “Everywhere and always ugliness has its beautiful aspects; it is thrilling to discover them where nobody else has noticed them.”
Wanting to escape his physical and emotional pain, Toulouse-Lautrec reportedly filled his hollowed-out cane with liquor, never to be without something strong to drink. Unfortunately, his prolific artistic life ended prematurely due to alcoholism and syphilis. Included among his famous works is At the Moulin Rouge, The Dance (shown here) which is currently displayed at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
At the Moulin Rouge, The Dance, oil on canvas, 1890, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec
Congratulations to the artists who created the top-3 winning images in Midwest America Artists Group's Fall Logo Contest! As administrator of this FAA/Pixels group, I’m sharing these contest winners which were chosen by a jury consisting of MAA group members. The Logo winner will be posted on MAA's homepage on September 22nd, the beginning of the Fall season. To view the artwork in a larger format, and to congratulate the winning artists, click on the images, below. Please consider sharing these contest winners on your own social media, too. In addition, to view the contest's Other Top Finishers, click on this Winners page link.
FIRST PLACE / Logo Winner
Changes, Colored Pencil by Pamela Clements
SECOND & THIRD PLACE / Tie (alphabetical order)
Fall Bonnet, Acrylic on Canvas by Sonja Jones
Quiet Reflections, Watercolor by Carolyn Rosenberger
by Joan M. Rehlin
One of our mini art history posts...
French artist Rosa Bonheur (1822–99) is best known for her artistic realism. As an animalière, or painter of animals, she gained international recognition during her lifetime for her monumental Horse Fair oil-on-canvas painting, which was completed in 1855 and measured 8 ft high x 16 ft wide.
Bonheur was born into a family of artists, and as a child who had difficulty learning to read and write, she was taught by her mother to sketch a different creature for each letter of the alphabet. This led to her love of drawing animals, and when her disruptive behavior in school resulted in several expulsions, Bonheur was encouraged by her father—a landscape and portrait painter—to study painting in traditional art school and then animal anatomy at the National Veterinary Institute in Paris.
Bonheur is considered the most famous female painter of the 19th century. Among her many credits: paintings on display in prominent exhibitions including the Paris Salon of 1848, being decorated with the French Legion of Honour by the Empress Eugénie in 1865, and being promoted to Officer of the Order in 1894. Nonetheless, Bonheur became more popular in England than in her native France after she met Queen Victoria, who admired her work. During a time when most women were reluctantly educated as artists, Bonheur's success helped to open doors for the women artists who followed her. Currently, her paintings are in the collections of important institutions, worldwide, including New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art.
The Monarch of the Herd / Le Monarque de la Meute, oil on canvas, 1868, Rosa Bonheur
by Joan M. Rehlin
Highlighting Rothko in this mini art history post…
Mark Rothko, né Markus Yakovlevich Rothkowitz (9/25/03–2/25/70), emigrated from Russia to the USA in 1913. At 17, he graduated with honors from secondary school and became adept at political discussions, promoting issues such as workers’ and women's rights. After attending Yale for two years, Rothko watched students sketch models in 1923 while he worked in New York’s garment district, and decided to turn to art. He took classes at several New York City art and design schools but considered himself mostly a self-taught artist.
Refusing to embrace any specific movement, Rothko was nonetheless credited with introducing Abstract Expressionism into the art world. His later works, especially, emphasize an emotional aspect, which is a component of Abstract Expressionism. Beginning in 1946, he created paintings that others labeled “multiforms,” which would eventually evolve into his signature style that displays horizontal blocks of contrasting color on immense vertical canvases. An example, shared here, is his Untitled (Yellow Red and Blue) oil on canvas. Several critics thought the size of his paintings was an attempt to hide a lack of substance. However, Rothko felt his large creations, with no human figures or landscape, possessed their own life force and allowed the viewer to feel “enveloped within” the painting.
Untitled (Yellow Red and Blue), oil on canvas, c. 1953, Mark Rothko
Congratulations to the winners in the Midwest America Artists Group's Active Members Contest! As administrator of this FAA/Pixels group, I’m sharing these contest-winning works, which were voted on by the entire FAA/Pixels membership. Visit these creations in a larger format and congratulate the artists by clicking on their images, below. Please consider sharing these contest winners on your own social media, too. In addition, to view the contest's other top finishers, click this Winners page link.
Boston, Acrylic on Canvas by Jeffrey Bess
It's Gonna' Be A Bright Sunshiny Day, Digital Composition by Ellen Cannon
Bucking Bronco, Acrylic on Canvas by Bill Dunkley
by Joan M. Rehlin
A mini art history tribute to Mildred Miller Weber (1886–1958), who was born, lived her life, and died in Pittsburgh, PA. Both an artist and an English teacher, she received a degree to teach English in the public schools, but she also found time to pursue her love of art. She painted in oil and watercolor, and as was the custom for young women during the late 1800s and early 1900s, she painted floral designs on ceramics, too. Along with those activities, Mildred Weber raised four children, the third oldest being Jim Rehlin’s mother, Martha.
Jim recalls his grandmother encouraging him to learn many useful life skills when young, including how to tie his shoelaces. Most importantly, Jim credits Grandma Weber with being the first artistic influence in his life. When he was an 8-year-old, she noticed Jim’s talent and gave him a box of oil paints, which he eagerly put to good use. This eventually led to his taking extracurricular painting classes at Carnegie Institute during his elementary school years (for more on Jim’s artistic education, please visit Jim’s Artist’s Statement webpage).
Grandma Weber was a loving, positive influence on her children and grandchildren, and encouraged Jim’s emerging artistic talent. Although she didn’t achieve artistic fame, many of us, especially Jim, believe that she has more than earned this mini art history tribute. Thank you, Mildred Miller Weber!
Untitled, oil on canvas, c. 1954, Mildred Miller Weber
Composite photo, clockwise: 1) Painting depicts the artist’s son’s back yard, which is shown in next photo; 2) Labor Day 1952, with Mildred (middle) and her children Emily, Martha, Harriet, and Dave; and 3) Mildred, in her college cap and gown.
by Joan M. Rehlin
Highlighting Manet in one of our mini art history posts...
Édouard Manet (1/23/1832–4/30/1883) was a French painter who was born, lived most of his life, and died in Paris. Rejecting the future originally envisioned for him by his father, who expected Édouard to pursue a career in law, Manet was encouraged by his uncle, Edmond Fournier, to pursue painting. Becoming engrossed in the world of painting, Manet opened a studio in 1856, and his early masterworks, Le déjeuner sur l'herbe and Olympia (both, 1863) are considered paintings that mark the start of modern art. Eventually, he developed his own style that would be acclaimed as innovative and would serve as a major influence for future painters.
As one of the first 19th-century artists to paint modern-life subjects, Manet was pivotal in the transition from Realism to Impressionism. He elaborated, “there are no lines in nature, only areas of colour, one against another.” He often sat at Père Lathuille's restaurant on the Avenue de Clichy, which had a garden in addition to the dining area, where he would observe 19th-century Parisian social life. Many of his paintings of café scenes were based on sketches executed on the spot, including Chez le père Lathuille, shown here, which is currently located in the Musée des Beaux-Arts Tournai.
Chez le père Lathuille, oil on canvas, 1879, Édouard Manet
Congratulations to the Summer Logo Contest Winners for the Midwest America Artists (MAA) Group! As administrator of this group on FAA/Pixels, I’m sharing their contest-winning creative work, which was chosen by a jury of MAA group-member artists who participated in the contest. The First Place winning image will be posted in our MAA Group’s logo position at the beginning of the summer season. To visit these wonderful logo-winning creations in a larger format and congratulate the winning artists, click on their images, below. Please share this winning artwork on your own social media, too. In addition, you may view the contest's other top finishers by clicking this Winners page link.
Summer's Beauty, oil on canvas by Eric Renner
Left Standing, oil on canvas by Lynne Wright
10828 Swing Time, mixed media by Pamela Williams
by Joan M. Rehlin
ᗩ ᐯᗩᖇIᗩTIOᑎ Oᑎ ᗩ TᕼEᗰE…
Rehlin Graphics / Fine Art is presenting a slightly different kind of mini art history post, highlighting our own Jim Rehlin. Although not as famous an artist as his influences — including Van Gogh, Seurat, Cézanne — Jim has developed a significant following over the past few years since turning to the fine art field full time.
As a child, Jim began creating paintings when his grandmother, also an artist, noticed his talent and gave him a box of oil paints. During grade school, he took extracurricular painting classes at Pittsburgh’s Carnegie Institute and then all the available art classes throughout school, culminating with his earning a BFA degree from Wittenberg University. As time allowed, Jim painted, sketched, and sold some of his artwork while pursuing his career as a graphic designer and illustrator. After refocusing his attention in 2014 to creating art on a full-time basis, he has been honored to have his work selected to be in a variety of venues, including in the Ann Arbor Art Center’s downstairs 117 Gallery Shop and in some of their upstairs exhibitions, as well as in a number of other local and state-wide exhibitions. And Jim is fortunate to find success selling his art both locally and nationally.
For more on Jim, please browse this website to read his Artist's Statement and view his ever-growing catalog of paintings and drawings in this website's Galleries. If you have questions, contact us via our email icon, above right.
Sunflowers / White Tail Jumping, 2017, acrylic on canvas, Jim Rehlin
Welcome to our Art Blog where we'll be presenting topics of interest in the fine art world, including featuring artists other than Jim Rehlin. Some of the artwork has been created by long-departed but well-known greats; some, by compelling contemporary artists. All will be pieces we find worthwhile to share with you. If you like any of these, consider sharing the posts forward to your own blogs and other social media.