Sunday, June 26, 2016
Following on from the last blog - I forgot to give the actual name of the the political cartoonist who took his pseudonym from the Russian word- karandash- for pencil. Emmanuel Poire' was born in Moscow and became a Paris illustrator. The Swiss pencil company Caran d'Ache is named after him and the logo is a stylized version of his signature.
Now that we are into better painting weather, Men in Hats are back outdoors painting. There is a different challenge in painting on the spot - apart from the weather which can be challenge enough.It can be difficult to focus on what seems to capture the mood of the location. Then the light changes, boats, cars and people move. Yet, for all the difficulties , there are a lot of benefits - learning to find the focus, trying to capture the mood, compensate for light changes- and get something fresh. There is certainly an intensity felt in the paintings that is just not there in a photograph. We often take a reference photo in case we want the small outdoor painting to also become a larger studio piece. It is only by looking at the painting that I get a real feel for what interested me. Too often the photo is "ho-hum". So then the new challenge starts - how to translate the "hey this was a neat place!" feeling into a larger piece done over a longer period of time. Nobody said it was easy - that's why it is called artWORK.
Monday, June 13, 2016
As you know from previous blogs, I've been looking into the history of pencils and drawing materials so I researched the Caran d'Ache line. This line has over 100 years of history as the factory was set up in Geneva in 1915 using graphite found in the Swiss mountains. Around the same time, there was an illustrator in Paris who became very famous. He took the pen name (or should we say "pencil name"?) of Caran d'Ache from the Russian word for pencil. And, just to make this even more of an international mix-up, the Russia word comes from a Turkish root "kanco tash" which refers to black stone. Nine years after starting, the Swiss company took the name of the illustrator and used a stylized version of his signature as their logo. I'm assuming the illustrator was paid for this.
Caran d'Ache makes a full line of pencils, pens and drawing materials. Their pens are renowned for being especially beautiful. For the 100year anniversary, Caran d'Ache created a clever design of a ballpoint pen that looks like a pencil. Unfortunately, I don't have one but I do enjoy the Caran d'Ache
materials that I do have.