Henri Emile Benoît Matisse (1869-1954) was quite the prolific artist. He painted all types of things, but was mostly noted for his use of bright colors and his stylistic representation of different forms. He was a leader of the Fauve movement, of which the literal translation is, wild beasts, and which became famous for usage of color and loose painting techniques. This painting I emulated is in Matisse’s mature style, and was originally painted in 1937. The woman is Matisse’s assistant Lydia Delectorskaya dressed in Moroccan garb, sitting next to a vase of flowers and some citrus fruits. I swapped the three fruits for a beer pint (thinking of a citrusy IPA). I have always respected the work of Matisse and I chose to paint this one because a beer-loving friend in PA passed on the idea to me from one of his buddies. Reproducing Matisse’s work made me respect the artist more. It has so much more eye-popping quality in paint than a reproduction on a screen or on a printed page. When I was painting this copy, my eyes were strained from the reverberations caused by the contrasting bright color. As one steps back from the painting, the reverberations calm and the cohesive work stands out amongst other paintings. Thanks Henri for giving me something so wonderful to study and to incorporate into my Thirsty Thursday paintings series.
Starry, starry night. I know I already used this image a few months ago, but I felt I wanted to do it again. Last time I painted it into the foam on top of the glass, and that painting found a good home (hi Christine and Peter), but I was wondering to myself how it would have turned out if I had done it this way. So, rather than try to figure out what obscure artist I was going to emulate today, I figured, let’s just see what would happen if I painted the Starry Night with pints instead of stars. I could call it the Starry Pint, but that’s what I called the first one. This one must be Beer Night, before I was seeing art in the beer. This painting shows what happens when beer is truly on your mind; you will see it in the stars at night. I have always loved this piece by Van Gogh, and now, after emulating the colors and brush strokes, I want to go back and look at the original to study it a bit more. Looks like I’ll have to make a trip back to MoMA in New York City some time soon.
The original painting sold. You can purchase limited-edition prints, or order a custom beer painting at my Etsy shop.
Click on the pictures in this gallery to see a larger version of each image.
This week I decided to make an abstract painting of a pint using the stylistic lines and forms that would be common in a Kandinsky painting. Wassily Kandinsky was born in Russia in 1866 and died in France at the ripe old age of 78. He studied law and economics at the University of Moscow, but is ultimately credited with the first completely non-objective, abstract modern art. Ironically, this beer painting is objective. Kandinsky started painting when he was 30, and studied art in Germany. He returned to Russia in 1914, when World War I broke out, but didn’t jive with Communist Moscow’s approach to art, and moved back to Germany in 1921. He taught at the Bauhaus, an avant-garde school of art and design, until the Nazis shut it down. So he moved to France in 1933 where he lived for the rest of his life, and produced his best paintings. This beer painting was inspired by composition VIII, painted in 1923 when Kandinsky was a professor at the Bauhaus. I call this painting Pint Composition. I find the paintings by Kandinsky to be both inspirational and beautiful, and I hope you enjoy my beer-themed version. I wonder if Kandinsky drank beer at the Hofbräuhaus when he lived in Munich.
The original oil painting sold. You can purchase a limited-edition print, or commission a custom beer painting at my Etsy shop RealArtIsBetter.
The Scream, or as Edvard Munch (1863-1944) called it, Der Schrei Der Natur (The Scream of Nature) is one of the most famous paintings in history. Art critic Arthur Ludlow even describes it as “the Mona Lisa of modern art.” In 1893 Munch created four pieces of the same composition; one with pastels, and three in oil paint. The pastel version sold in 2012 for over $119 million. Ironically, Munch lived on a tiny stipend from his father for much of his early career, and was subjected to a large amount of negative criticism by art authorities, as well as his family members. Munch’s iconic masterpiece is the “study of the soul, that is to say the study of my own self,” as stated by Munch himself. It was painted to represent a day when the artist was out for a walk, and dropped back from his friends when he felt tired and ill. As the sun set, he says he leaned against the fence, and saw and felt the scream of nature, which he describes as tongues of fire and blood reaching over the black and bluish fjord.
Subject to bouts of anxiety and mental illness, Munch was institutionalized in 1908 for anxiety and hallucinations from his rough and tumble life for most of a whole year. Munch lived out his last two decades in Oslo on a self-sufficient estate, in relative comfort, having created a following for his artwork, and produced many paintings of nudes from a steady group of female models. When Munch was 76 he was worried about the Nazis confiscating his “degenerate art” and he hid his strongest pieces, including The Scream. When Munch died at 80, his paintings were bequeathed to the city of Oslo. In 1963 the Edvard Munch Museum opened with over 1,000 original paintings, 4,000 sketches, and 18,000 prints.
I painted this version of The Scream to show the anxiety one may feel because of an empty pint. I cannot take credit for this idea, as my friend, and fellow beer-enthusiast Rich Morgan came up with this concept. I thought it was brilliant when he told me about it, and I had to execute it. I call this painting The Scream over an Empty Pint.
The original painting sold. You can purchase a limited-edition print, or order a custom beer painting at my Etsy shop.
I hope you can guess which artist I am emulating in this painting. I was hesitant to attempt this piece due to the differences in styles that he and I utilize. My palette is different – I don’t include black, instead using dark purples, reds and blues to shadow dark objects. I also use more texture, making high levels of detail a bit more difficult, however I tried to raise the bar on this one due to popular demand.
In case I have left you in the dark, the artist I am emulating is Salvador Dali (1904-1989). His Catalan name is Salvador Domingo Felipe Jacinto Dalí i Domènech, 1st Marqués de Dalí de Pubol. Quite a mouthful. I’m glad to report that this painter didn’t die tragically early in life, like so many famous artists. Dali, the most famous Surrealist artist, known for his exacting, but strange and unique paintings, also created many other forms of artwork including sculptures, films, and photography. He was also known to collaborate with many notable artists.
The symbolism in a Dali painting is important. Each item in the painting is included for a reason. The melting pocket watches that are morphing into clocks represent time. Since these clocks are melting, they are without time, representing eternity. In this beer-themed painting, the melting clocks are saying that it’s always beer-thirty somewhere. The crutch symbolizes human weaknesses, but also superhuman abilities brought on by art and intelligence (and beer). The elephant with the long spindly legs (look closely inside the cutout of the pint) represents human frailty. The elephants are shackled to earth by gravity, yet they are reaching for more than what is available. So Dali gave them elongated legs forever stretching to the sky, but still connected to the earth. The egg represents luck, fertility, love and hope.
I have entitled this painting The Supernatural Pint of Everlasting Effervescence. I included the symbols that I found in Dali paintings to fit with what is subconsciously happening when I think about a pint of beer. I hope you enjoy this piece, and come back next week for another Thirsty Thursday Project entry.
The original oil painting sold. You can order a limited-edition print, or a custom oil painting at my Etsy shop.
Cubism and Futurism are huge contributing Art Movements from the beginning of the 20th Century leading up to what we consider to be “Art” today. This painting is inspired by Marcel Duchamp’s Nude Descending a Staircase. Cubism is fractured images attempting to show more than one facet of an image, concerned with showing more in painting than was possible through photography. Cubism was a direct response to the earlier development of Modern Art and was a step along the way on the route to what is considered contemporary art of today. Futurism is similar to Cubism, but attempts to show movement in a still image. It was the next progressive step after Cubism, and was produced by a group of artists who coined themselves Futurists from 1910-1915. I hope you enjoy this painting entitled Man Consuming Pint.
This painting sold. You can purchase a limited-edition print, or order a custom painting at my Etsy shop.
Here we go, the last month of the Year of Beer Paintings! Only 30 more paintings to go. Thank you to all of you who have been following along. Don’t worry, next year I will post a new beer painting each week on Thirsty Thursday.
The featured beer painting for today is of Blueberry Berliner Weisse by White Birch Brewing in Hooksett, New Hampshire. A couple weeks ago, we were driving from Vermont to Maine, and drove through Hooksett, NH on the way. One of my customers reminded me that White Birch Brewing is in New Hampshire, and since I painted Hooksett Ale on day 221, I had to stop at the brewery to taste the beer fresh at the source. I was very pleased with the quality of beer at White Birch Brewing, and bought this bottle of Blueberry Berliner Weisse because it sounded good, and was not available on draft at the tasting room. My wife and I had decided to stop buying bottles to take home, because we were worried about getting them all to Alaska safely, but we broke that promise when we bought this bottle. This beer is a German style sour wheat ale fermented with blueberries. I should have waited a year to open this one to let the sour flavors build, but I couldn’t wait, and I wasn’t let down. This beer was perfectly delicious, and worthy of the space in our luggage. It was aged with real blueberries, and the berry flavor was very evident. The beer is sour at first followed by distinct blueberry flavor. Only a small batch was brewed and hand bottled of this delicious brew, so if you see it, grab a few bottles.
Cheers to the Berliner Weisse, or as Napoleon’s troops called it, “Champagne of the North”! This is a spectacular sour ale with fruit to boot! I highly recommend this small brewery in New Hampshire!
You can purchase this painting, or a limited-edition print at my Etsy shop.
The featured beer painting of the day is of the Rare Vos Amber Ale by Brewery Ommegang in Cooperstown, New York. Rare Vos was the first Ommegang beer I had ever tasted several years ago, and I was hooked from the beginning, so I chose to paint this one. Ommegang opened in 1997 just when craft beer was still in the infancy stage in America. All craft breweries should look to this one as an example of how the business side should be handled. Steve Body just reamed 10 Barrel Brewing in Bend, Oregon for selling out to InBev, the world’s largest beer producer. Ommegang, on the other hand, was more discreet in choosing a larger investor. The brewery was purchased by Duvel Moortgat, the leading producer of Belgian beer worldwide, and also one of the best large craft breweries. Most people didn’t seem to notice the change in ownership. Here is an example of how to expand without losing creative control. This brewery uses its facilities to host some of the best events such as a cyclocross race, and an amazing music fest, pairing two fun things to make memories that last!
Let me tell you how awesome it is to arrive to Brewery Ommegang. First, you will see beautifully crafted signs guiding you for the last few miles of rolling hills in a rural section of beautiful upstate New York. Then, you come upon a wonderful arched farmstead crafted after Belgian farmhouse breweries, and you feel like you are entering into a beer wonderland. The tanks glisten, and the rampant lion and diamond crest identifies the place as distinctly Ommegang. When you walk into the gift shop you have two options, to enter the tasting room, or the café. Yes, that’s right, you can get amazing food at this brewery. Allison Capozza, the Publicity Manager, was very welcoming and made my visit and live painting session pleasant! I painted for about two hours while munching on complementary French fries, beef wellington bites, and cookies, and savoring tasters of every beer available in the tasting room. Thank you for making me feel so welcome!
Rare Vos is a perfect Belgian amber ale. It has an overall rating of 91 on Beer Advocate, but rates a 98 by the bros. I suggest buying a bottle of the Rare Vos to check it out for yourself. The pop of the cork, and the aroma of this sweet, malty beer will have you from the beginning. Go ahead and buy a case, as this beer ages well, mellowing over the years.
Cheers to Brewery Ommegang! I always buy your beer for a celebration! Thanks again for being such wonderful hosts, and for distributing your beer all the way to Alaska. I will always remember my visit whenever I pop the cork from one of your bottles!
You can purchase this painting, or a limited-edition print at my Etsy shop.
The featured beer painting of the day is of Das Naturtrübe Unfiltered Pils by Dinkelacker-Schwaben Bräu. This beer is from Stuttgart, Germany. My question is, why do we call it Germany here in America when it is actually Deutschland? Same with most German cities: Munich is actually München, Cologne is Köln. Why do we try to confuse ourselves by misnaming places? At least Stuttgart is Stuttgart in English and German (Deutsch). Okay, back to the beer. Das Naturtrübe is a pretty easy-drinking, good craft beer. When I opened the bottle, I noticed the best aroma, full of citrus fruit and bread. The beer was slightly cloudy, and perfectly carbonated. It poured with a thick foam that didn’t dissipate too rapidly. I shared it with Maria (my wife and beer accomplice), so I only had a quarter of a liter. I love the swing arm bottle, which reminded me of opening a bottle of homebrew. The flavor was unmistakably of German pilsner, but on steroids. This is a full-flavored beer for sure, thicker than other German pilsners. I read a review about this beer saying it was a hefe. I don’t think so. I believe it was lagered like a pilsner should be. I also don’t think there is any wheat in the beer. I assume it was made like a traditional pilsner, using the 100-200 year-old recipe, or like the way a pilsner is made in a home brewery, without pasteurization, or carbonation tanks. This was made the natural way, which leaves it slightly hazy and loaded with more flavor!
Ein Prost! Nach dem Naturtrübe! Great beer from a great country! I hope to visit Stuttgart some time soon.
You can purchase this painting, or a limited-edition print at my Etsy shop.
The featured beer painting of the day is of All Funked Up Saison by Against the Grain Brewery. This is an artisan style sour brew made in Louisville, Kentucky. This particular bottle was originally brought to Anchorage for the Culmination Beer Fest organized by Gabe Fletcher of the Anchorage Brewing Company. Culmination allows beer enthusiasts to sample a variety of rare beer, mostly sours, and some barleywines and IPAs. All of them are hand selected by Gabe. Left over beer is sold at La Bodega, and Brooks, a friend of Keith, who invited me over for a beer tasting at his BBQ opened this bottle, so I could include it in this series, since I didn’t have a beer from Kentucky, yet.
When I put the glass to my lips, the taste of the Culmination Beer Fest came tearing into my palate. This is a “Funky” Saison brewed with melon and finished with Brettanomyces. I thought that maybe the melon would be more apparent, but it was very faint, if noticeable at all. Overall the beer tasted fruity, with just the right amount of sour flavor to be refreshing on a sunny day. The funk made me think of a fender telecaster, and a groovy beat rolled through my bloodstream. I had to drop my chicken and stand up and dance for a second! This beer just got me grooving, and channeling a Kentucky-style party!
Cheers to funky Brett beer! A new style that is actually a very old country style!