Thursday, 16 May 2013

The Evolution of Art

It cannot be denied that art has come a very long way! In every Century there has been some change in the way that artists make their work, the biggest changes being in the Renaissance. The earliest paintings found date back to the Paleolithic Age. But I won't go that far! Let's start at the 14th Century which is right before the Renaissance.

14th Century Art

Many of the most famous 14th Century artists are Italian,  becuase of course all the money was there at that time! At that time paintings were had a religious theme to them.

Lorenzo Di Bicci

Lorenzo was Italian, and his earliest ever documented work was in 1380, 'Saint Martin Enthroned' (above). You can really tell that this painting is pre- Renaissance. The lack of perspective is very evident and the faces are un-human-like. The people in the painting are very disproportional, certain part of their bodies longer than others. However this was all before a new the discovery of a new form of painting. So really you cannot blame the artists, but I still don't particularly like it.

15th Century Art

Now as we all know, the Renaissance wasn't an event, it wasn't one huge thing, but rather many things. New art evolved during three centuries. Artists learned a better way of painting, sculpting, drawing, etc. 

Leonardo Da Vinci

'The Last Supper' is a mural, and was completed in 1498. Although it is worn out, you can still see the immense detail that Da Vinci put in the mural. The people are very lifelike and he used perspective in the painting- he used a vanishing point in this, making it clear to us which part of the painting is closer to us. The painting is also based on religion, however the way of painting is very different from the one above.

Boticelli- 1485.

16th Century Art.

16th Century artists delved deeper into the understanding of the human body, and therefore better and more realistic paintings of people were made.

Titian- Bacchus and Ariadne- 1520/3
You can see in this one that the artist focused on the bodies of the people.I think it is easy to see that the artist was trying to portray all parts of the body and the beauty of them. The work is very detailed, there is no doubt why it took three years to make.

'The Mona Lisa' - 1503/1519- one of the most famous paintings in the world, by Leonardo Da Vinci.

17th Century.


When I think of 17th Century art I think of Carvaggio. I love his work! His use of lights and darks in his paintings result in very dramatic looking paintings.

'Vision of St.Jerome'- 1609.
'The Taking of Christ' - 1602.
Again, very dramatic with the tones of the painting, reflecting what is happening in the painting.

'A Lady writing a Letter, with her Maid'- Johannes Vermeer.

18th Century

Goerge Stubbs.

'Green Pastures'

Artists like George Stubbs, started to paint animals, moving from the religious theme. They started painting things in Nature, and making portraits. Less and less artists painted religious paintings.

19th to early 20th.

Artists moved more and more from religious themes.

Turner- 'The Fighting Temeraire', 1839.

'A Concent Garden, Brittany' 1913, by William John Leech.

'The Artist's Studio: Lady Hazel Lavery with her Daughter Alice and Stepdaughter Eileen'
John Lavery, 1909/03

You can see that artists focused on more day to day themes, and used more bright colours. I particularly love the William John Leech one.

21st Century.

My favourite century for art! Why? Because so many different forms of art are being discovered and it is an exciting time for art!

A new style of painting which I particularly like is finger painting. And the artist who is certainly one of the most talented finger painters in the world- Iris Scott.

These paintings are done literally by hand! It is certainly a style of painting that we still have more to see from.

Elizabeth Winnel

Elizabeth Winnels paintings are very different from the other centuries, a lot more abstract than the others, yet not too abstract. Her paintings ooze emotion.

Well there you have it. A brief description of the evolution of art! I hope it has been informative! The most exciting part is that the evolution will still continue......


Monday, 6 May 2013

Translating Real-Life Experiences into Art

You always hear people - be it your English teacher or an artist - talk about the importance expressing your real-life emotions and experiences. And it's one of those things that goes over our heads because we've heard it so much but seen little evidence.

Whilst browsing the internet yesterday, I came across these pictures and I was immediately blown away.

I couldn't get over the beauty and elegance behind these images. The photographs were taken by Kirsty Mitchell, an english photographer. The pictures shown above are from her collection entitled, 'Wonderland' inspired by the life and death of her mother. 
"Real life became a difficult place to deal with, and I found myself retreating further into an alternative existence through the portal of my camera. This escapism grew into the concept of creating an unexplained storybook without words, dedicated to her, that would echo the fragments of the fairytales she read to me constantly as a child." -Kirsty Mitchell

The artist would spend months trying to get the perfect shot to accurately represent her mother. Passion and emotion are two key factors behind any work of art - Mitchell's work clearly embodies both. Just looking at her photography can transport you into a beautiful fantasy land.

All forms of art - be it writing, painting or photography - are at their best when they have been inspired by real-life experiences and real emotions. Art can be the most fantastic form of escape. "Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time." (Thomas Merton)


For more of Kirsty Mitchell's Work visit her website .

Sunday, 5 May 2013

Poster Making- easy to follow steps!

I find that I am always making posters, for various things- in and out of school. If you are making a lot of posters it is impossible to come up with different things all the time.Also I cannot afford photoshop programmes that Graphic designers use! So here are some tips to making posters- they will work for anything and are guaranteed to make them look good.

  1. What I always start with is a small draft- just a sketch of where everything will be put.Play around with a few ideas first.

          2. Lettering is very important for any poster, so start with that, and work around it.
                                   -The type of lettering chosen is essential to the poster. If you want to do some really fancy lettering, I suggest doing a the fancy work on just the first letter of each word and do the rest normally. Otherwise make all the letters medium fancy, so as the poster is not too much in your face.

                                   -Lettering also looks much nicer when it is incorporated into an image, like this here,
the image must be related to the message of the poster.


    3. When finished with lettering, it's important to add a few images into the poster. If the lettering is quite fancy, like in the one above, you do not need to add too much to it. Remember the poster has to convey a message so the message must be easy to see!

You can see here that I put in some water droplets, just to animate the poster. Little things like this can really add a little personality to posters.

   5. One thing that I have recently discovered that helps with posters is borders!!! Borders give lovely finishes to posters, and prevent the contents of the poster from looking all over the place!

you can make a simple border

Or add a little pizzazz to it!

 I hope you found this helpful and if you have any questions or need help with a poster just ask us in the comments! We'd be happy to ask. Making posters can be fun if you know what you are doing!



Wednesday, 1 May 2013


Ok, it has to be admitted that one of the funniest forms of art are caricatures! Especially ones of famous people. Now, I personally would love to have a caricature of myself, I don't know why, but I think they are really cool. I would like to learn how to do them as well.

The basis of caricatures is easy. You take a person and you exaggerate their most prominent facial or body features- eyes, ears, nose, mouth, stomach etc... The hardest part I think is making sure that the person is still recognisable as a caricature, otherwise it doesn't work.

Ok so you see them but how to do them??

Well it's not that hard.

1. Choose the person you are going to draw.
2. Draw a small body- wearing what the person would normally wear.
3. Draw a huge head on the Body- about at big as the body. Make the head the shape of the persons head- except exaggerate it all- very high cheekbones, very prominent jaws etc
4.Do the hair next, again exaggerate. If the person has long hair make it really long- down to the floor even!
5.Next the eyes- if they have long eyelashes do really long ones, if they have large eyes do gigantic eyes.

and so on.............

Really it is just about noticing a persons features and exaggerating them, but not to the extent that they cannot be recognised! If you do make any caricatures send us some pictures and we'll post them on the blog!!

Making caricatures of people are actually good presents for people! Just frame it and it will look great as a present!


Saturday, 27 April 2013

Young Artists


Today we had our first exhibition. It was absolutely brilliant! We loved the whole atmosphere and of course the art work. The talent in this town is amazing. All the artists are aged between 12 and 20, and it is unbelievable. For some artists it was their first exhibition- when they are famous for their art, everyone will know that Teen Art Exhibitions was the starting point for them! Anyway enough talking, take a look for yourself. look at a slideshow of the artwork as well!

Sarah Prendergast.

No, you are not imagining things, this really is a drawing.

Liam O'Leary.

Amanda Goldberga.

Her talent makes me cry.

Geena Godley.

This was made when Geena was 7........

Helen Dowling.

Jane Carmody.

Fatima Tariq.

Grainne McCarthy- Photography.

Grainne is great at taking photos and is open for business- email her at

Caoimhe Dowling- headpieces.

Caoimhe Dowling also is open for business, selling kits to make your own headpieces!

Jane Carmody with her paintings.

Helen Dowling with her work!