Author name: Geoff Collins

Rene Magritte

Born Nov 21 1898 in Lessines, Belgium, Magritte is well known as a thought-provoking surrealist, and in particular for his pipe that is not a pipe. This 1962 work is appropriate for our modern world and is entitled: “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” – George Santayana, The Life of Reason, 1905. …

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Charles Demuth

Born Nov 8 1883 in Lancaster PA, Demuth worked with fellow American artists to develop the concept of Precisionism in his mainly watercolour-centric style of painting. His works often show a range of forms in a quasi-Cubist, sharply-defined manner. Frequently occurring scenes include urban and rural landscapes, often consisting of industrial features such as bridges, …

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Robert Birmelin

Born Nov 7 1933 in Newark NJ, Birmelin is best known for his paintings and drawings capturing urban crowds; particularly the drama, movement and tension of close physical involvement in the city environment. Still active, he believes in drawing from life, memory and imagination as he feels it provides a more vigorous and personal visual …

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Boris Margo

Born 2 Nov 1902 in Ukraine, Margo was a painter of surrealist imagery. In 1919 he enrolled at the Polytechnik of Art at Odessa, and in 1924 received a grant to study at the Workshop for the Art of the Future in Moscow. He then studied the work of the old masters in the Hermitage. …

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Johannes Vermeer

Born 31 Oct 1632 in Delft – Vermeer. Girl in the pearl earring, and all those other famous highly-detailed interior studies. But how did he paint them? Were they traced using a camera obscura? Does it matter? Vermeer mainly painted indoors, but he also painted this: View of Delft. For further reading on the cheat …

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Hokusai

Born October 31 1760 in Edo, Japan, Katsushika Hokusai, known simply as Hokusai, was a Japanese painter and printmaker. He is best known for the woodblock print series – Thirty-Six Views of Mount Fuji, including the iconic print: The Great Wave off Kanagawa. Undoubtedly one of the greatest artists of all time. This is: Fine …

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Alfred Sisley

Born 30 October 1839 in Paris, Sisley counts as one of THE great impressionsists. Although he was born and spent most of his life in France, he still retained British citizenship. He was possibly the most consistent of the Impressionists in his dedication to painting landscape “en plein air”. He deviated into figure painting only …

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Francis Hopkinson Smith

Born Oct 23 1838 in Baltimore, Smith is mainly known as the engineer that built the foundation for the Statue of Liberty. But he was also an accomplished artist producing many fine watercolours, including many of Venice or Istanbul.

James Brooks

Born 18 Oct 1906 in St Louis, Brooks was a contemporary and friend of Jackson Pollock, working as an abstract expressionist after serving in the military as an artist in northern Africa. He was among the first artists to use staining, creating “painterly accidents” with buried personal meanings.

Harold Krisel

Born Oct 6 1920 in Brooklyn, Krisel drew weather maps for the allied forces in WW2. From there he progressed to architecture and abstract art. A prolific painter and sculptor, he also produced silkscreens and lithographs such as: Prisme