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Ok, well not quite a blog,
but a collection of observations, factoids, and other tidbits
for your consideration.
 
 
Favorite Paintings and Influences – Impressionism
Lady with a Parasol - Monet

Picking a favorite painting for an artist like myself is like picking your favorite Beatles record. Seems like an impossible task with so many you love for different reasons. But if I had to pick one, then this is it. For me, its one of those paintings that has left such an indelible impression on me, that no matter how many times I return to it, I experience the same fascination as if I were seeing it for the first time. Everything I love about impressionism can be summed up in this one painting. Look at it long enough and you’re no longer looking at a painting, but soon find yourself somewhere else, remembering an exact moment you could swear you had experienced.

I can only describe it as the sensation I felt as a little boy rolling down a hill at the park, my head dizzy at the movement of the clouds while catching the watchful gaze of my mom out of the corner of my eye. Can clouds really dance? In this painting they can. A sublime moment filled with wind, sunshine and carefree joy, it is the quintesstial fleeting moment.

This was the genius of Claude Monet. Describing it’s beauty would take an army of poets to do justice to it.

Above: Woman with a Parasol - Madame Monet and Her Son,
by Claude Monet 1875, National Gallery of Art in Washington DC.
Below: Palazzo da Mula at Venice, 1908, National Gallery of Art
 

This next painting, also by Monet, is probably the first painting of his I have ever seen as a young boy. I’m pretty sure I remember seeing it on a puzzle box cover of all places, but I never forgot it nonetheless.

I really didn’t know what to make of it, but my reaction was like seeing in color for the first time. I didn’t know what impressionism was or who Claude Monet was, or that paintings could even look like this. I just new it had dazzling beauty. Amazed that such a simple subject could possess such colors, this was not just a Venetian building facade against the water, but

 
windows built with blue, purple and green fire – as if you're looking through a magic portal revealing what it REALLY looks like. Again, no turning back. If it sounds like I’m overdoing it, this is the stuff that stays in your unconscious for a lifetime and makes you want to be an artist.
 
Pointilism

Another huge influence for me. (also known as neo-impressionism) - a technique in which small dots or dabs of pure color are applied side by side on the canvas to create an image or achieve a perceived hue. The most famous practicioners of this technique being George Seurat and Paul Signac.

It can be said that this method was derived from Impressionism, which in a similar way often uses broken brushstrokes in applying colors, although usually much thicker than the smaller dots usually seen in the Pointilist method. With Pointilism, the viewer's eyes blend colors optically, rather than having the colors physically blended on the canvas.

With Pointalism, I’m most intrigued by the effect that this optical mixing of color has on a painting’s luminous quality. During it's heyday, there are many beautiful examples of this technique being used. It’s fascinating to see how differently this principle was applied (consciously or unconsciously) by different artists in varying degress, but in each case achieveing the same beautiful effects in their respective works.

The three paintings below are great examples of this, one by Seurat, one by Signac, the other by Birger Sandsen. The works by Seurat and Signac being the quintissential demonstration of Pointillism with Seurats painting using the smallest dots, Signac using larger and thicker ones, now resembling brushstrokes more than dots, and finally the other by Sandzen using instead, extremely thick and broad brushstrokes of solid color side by side. This work might not even be considered remotely Pointilist at first glance, but I think the principle behind its juxtapositioning of color is nonetheless the same. The resulting effect is stunning. His reductive use of color, taken almost to an extreme, succeeds in making this work incredibly vibrant.

 

   
 

Top Left:
George Seurat –The Seine and la Grande Jatte -
Springtime, 1888

Bottom Left:
Paul Signac –The Seine near Samois (from a series of 4 studies) - Paul Signac, 1899

Top Right:
Birger Sandzen – Riverbank, Smoky River, 1929

 
American Impressionism

When you think Impressionism, you usally think France, and justly so, since it was primarily where the birth of the movement started. Monet, Sisley, Renoir, VanGogh, Cezanne, all from Europe, all creating an artistic revolution. This revolution was not to escape the eye of artists on the other side of the Atlantic and soon many brilliant American painters followed in their footsteps. When I discovered these American Impressionists, it was like discovering a hundred new Monets, each with a trove of stunning works to their credit. Below are some favorites.

   
Paintings by Frederick Carl Frieseke
Above: The Bird Cage, 1910, Right: Lady in a Garden, 1912
 
 
   

Paintings by Childe Hassam
Above: Boston Common at Twilight, 1885-86
Right: Nocturne, Railway Crossing, Chicago, 1892-93

 
 
Graphic Design
Below are some beautiful examples of 20th Century graphic design. These represent a very small selection of favorites that have always stuck in my mind. All are remarkable combinations of color, illustration, and wonderful typography.

posters and stamps
These lovely little collectibles are postage stamps from the United Nations, American Christmas stamps from 1982, and Christmas Seals from 1963. Charming little works of art.

Art Deco and Modernism
There's something irresistable about vintage things, especially these superb examples of Art Deco and Modernism. Below are some items from that golden age. Colorful graphics and streamlined design appeared on everything from Catalin radios to powder tins and advertising.
Art Deco Radios and Tins
   

Below is a list of links for great websites and organizations who are friends of Padovano
Fine Art.
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New York Checker.com An offshoot of Filmcars.com, New York Checker.com offers a superb fleet of vintage NYC taxicabs available for weddings, film props, and special events.
newyorkchecker.com
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Noble Maritime Collection One of Staten Island's finest museums, the Noble Collection is home to a first class collection of maritime art and artifacts. Located at Snug Harbor Cultural Center.
noblemaritime.org
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Staten island Creative community

The Staten Island Creative Community is a coalition of artists whose goal is to support the arts on Staten Island and enhance community and economic growth through the arts.

sicreative.org
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Old Staten Island A great website containing a treasure trove of historical information about Staten Island. It contains a fantastic archive of photos, facts and detaills documenting Staten Island life, past and present.
statenislandhistory.com
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Sing for Hope A wonderful volunteer organization whose mission is to make the arts accessible to all. They are a great resource for artists to give back to people everywhere especially underserved communities.
singforhope.org
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Pepperjack Grill PepperJack Grill is a casual-cool bar & restaurant offering American Comfort food, featuring a wonderful vintage atmosphere, great music, and art.
pjgrill.com
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