Sunday, February 28, 2010

The paintings of Mike Jeffries.

Regular readers of this blog will know that from time to time I like to feature an artist that has captured something special on canvas. Such an artist is Mike Jeffries. Quite often my posts feature old vehicles, and other objects of the past shown in a ruinous state, in other words in a state of decay brought about by years of abandonment.
This post is different in that it features Mikes paintings, and they are able to show us those old vehicles back in their heyday, almost like peering through a window in time. Those of us old enough to remember back when what are now called 'classic' vehicles were on our streets in their thousands, or when a train ride meant the experience of lots of steam, pervaded with the smell of hot oil and grease, or, for those who can still remember the haunting sound of that high pitched steam whistle from the engine, will love Mike's work as I do.

Known as 'The transport artist', Mike's subject matter covers (as would be expected) many areas of bygone transport. From these beautifully nostalgic depictions of steam engines, which are truly masterful in their use of fine detail and perspective, to subjects that once upon a time would have been considered the everyday, but to today's eyes reveal a treat, a veritable feast of nostalgia!

What is truly astounding about these paintings is not only the amount of true to life detail that is incorporated in them, but the unseen amount of research behind each one that ensures for example, that the correct type of beacons, road signs and road marking are incorporated in the scene.

The paintings vary from the panoramic view of a workplace in full swing as shown above, to a more intimate portrayal of a particular type of vehicle in use as in the scene below. Whatever the subject matter however, you can be sure that the incidental elements of the painting will be well thought out also, so there will be period advertising hoardings, and of course men wearing hats or carrying overcoats just as they did back then!

Another thing that sets these paintings apart from others is the feeling of seeing a vehicle in use. These are not merely 'portraits' of a certain type of vehicle, but living snapshots. we are given a glimpse at a certain moment in the daily life of that vehicle, and we see it totally unprepared for our attention, so wearing the dust, dirt, and oil stains that would have been there in actual use.

There are some that may have though a haulage lorry less than ideal as subject matter for a beautiful painting, but here again Mike shows them in such a way as to make them appear almost heroic, and as always depicts them in the most visually appealing settings.

For those who would like to see more of Mike's art please visit the following links.

Mike jeffries art

Monday, February 01, 2010

Hi Definition vs Pre-Raphaelites.

While searching the web for new examples of 'rust-art' I'm increasingly finding photographs that have been manipulated by imaging software. These high definition images give extra sharpness to the image which is in some ways unrealistic, but in other ways better. This manipulation gives them a strange look, at first there doesn't appear to be much difference, but the more one looks the more one sees.

In 19th Century England there was a group of artists that called themselves the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood. Their paintings were distinct because of their depiction in a painting of each and every tiny detail, details which the naked eye would normally dismiss. The finished effect of this attention to detail in their paintings was similar to today's Hi definition photographs, the paintings look to be somehow 'frozen' in time.

I find that HD images have that same quality, so maybe we should call this Pre-Raphaelite photography?