April 10, 2012

Blog Moved!

My blog moved to a new place.

Visit www.daricknritter.blogspot.com to follow all of my new work on my updated blog.

Thank You!

July 17, 2011

Château de la Hulpe & the Fondation Folon

On the 10th we had a friend who lives in Brussels suggest that we visit the Château de la Hulpe where the Fondation Folon existed. This is something that was not in the guidebook we had, so we were excited about the tip.

Jean-Michel Folon was a watercolorist, sculptor, engraver,  and illustrator. I had never heard of him, so it was a treat to see how well done the museum set up in the farm of the castle of La Hulpe (see the castle below). The day was perfect, so we had a great time to wonder the grounds of the château, which was full of lush fields, gardens, forest, while dotted by sculptures by Folon (if you're partial to plein air painting - GO, GO, GO). Unfortunately, you can't take any photos inside of the museum (I only snapped a few outside, like the fountain seen below).

July 14, 2011

Go to Ghent

On the 8th we took a train west to Ghent, a beautiful, medieval town with old churches, art, and architecture. It's biggest drawing power is St. Bavo, seen below, where it houses the Ghent Altarpiece, or the Adoration of the Mystic Lamb. This is the sole reason why we took the trip because I was taken aback by The Annunciation when I visited Washington D.C. and I felt it was important to see this masterwork.

It didn't disappoint. We were so glad we went, because this polyptic (the one above was a replica held within the church for tourists who didn't want to pay the 4 € to see the original) was gorgeous and ripe for devouring, despite having been completed in 1432 by Jan and Hubert van Eyck.

The Conversion of St. Bavo, by Rubens was also displayed there.

There was a lot of construction going on all over the town, so there was a bit of noise added to the din and chatter of the townies and tourists, but it didn't damper our strolls to any extent.
St. Nicholas Church

The churches were beautiful, to say the least; though St. Bavo took the cake. The window above was taken at St. Nicholas Church, where you were allowed to take photos. St. Bavo clearly had rules posted photography of any kind was forbidden, but as far as I could see, pictures were being snapped everywhere with no ramification. So I slyly snapped off few (many) myself from under my arm doing my best to get as many reference images as I could.
The Guild Houses

Castle Gravensteen

Castle Gravensteen (8€ a person) was worth seeing for "torture rooms", dungeons, collections of ancient weaponry and the view of the entire city of Ghent when the tour reached the top of the walls. 

De Man van Smarten
by Maarten Van Heemskerck


The Museum of Fine Arts was the final attraction of the day. Although the collection was not the most exciting I had ever seen, it did provide some good hunting grounds for artists of second tier value that you would otherwise not get to see. The medieval section was very good. And I thought there were some good finds in the expressionist to modernist rooms (though my photos might not be the best representatives - not a fan of my cheap 8 megapixel Olympus FE-310). The main attractions at this museum are the two Heironymus Bosch works Christ Carrying the Cross and St. Jerome at Prayer, which were wonderful. I'm downplaying how excited I was to see these works (top: always, always take more than one photo of works, such as these).

Jong meisje op een rood tapijt
by Felice Casorati


title: I apologize, my photo of the plate is too blurry to be able to tell you
by Frits Van Den Berghe

De val der heiligen
by Frits Van Den Berghe

July 12, 2011

Current Artwork (# 522, 528)

I am definitely still working while here in Belgium. In our unusually large apartment (for Europe), we have a patio with a quiet, bubbling koi pond that's very peaceful to work beside and I try to take advantage of it whenever I can. I prepared myself for the trip by making sure that whatever art supplies I brought could fit along with my other necessaries in my travel backpack. This meant that all of my surfaces had to be quite small. This was a major reason why after the "The Other Folk" show, in May, I immediately began working on smaller Ampersand surfaces, because I knew this trip was coming up [see Untitled (516), Untitled (520), & Untitled (519)].

earlier version of #522

As in #s 516, 520, and 519, the reference photos I was and am now using have all come from the Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum in Alabama (if you're paying attention, you'll note how mentioning this small fact is in slight contradiction of values discussed earlier on June 25th). The reason for this is a very classical one: the effect of creating my earlier work was not totally about replicating what I saw in my mind, per se, so using a reference from life (like my photos from the museum) fills in so many details that takes sooo much time to draw - more like tear - from my mind. The earlier process was making my work a bit unwieldy to instill a believable sense of pneuma, or breath of life, without, well.... life. So the dedication to a type of non-objectivity wasn't making my job easier. I found that it was keeping me from fulfilling larger and more immediate goals (like creating lots of work to help my learning curve). I knew the simple addition of using references could help speed up my creativity if I could find a similar type of relief-like spacing in the image that is rampant in a lot of my earlier pieces (like #498, or Samhain). It would also breed a vein of familiarity (technically, I'm supposed to say I'm  a "classically trained" artist, so this is something I'm much more used to) without interfering with my hopes of discovering "the new" in my process(es).

But below you can see the two new pieces that I've taken to about 90-95% of completion.

ink on clayboard
6 x 6"
© Lumi 9

ink on clayboard
5 x 5"
© Lumi 9

I still have no idea which side is up or down for #522, 528... so don't get attatched. Actually don't ever get attached to any image I show you of my work. I'm always likely to go back and change (ruin, fix, improve, throw out my window, break over my leg, use as a coaster) it.

There is a reason why I say 90-95%. It's because I expect a certain amount of damage to be incurred on the way back to the states, and expecting to be finished touching work, only to find that you have to mend corners in the end seems to add time to the process. But if you have to do some touch-ups anyway, it makes the mending fold into the workflow a lot better.

I'll do what I can to avoid damage by wrapping everything in plastic (like above) and put the finished work into pre-made boxes fit for every size of surface (I brought over about 35 pieces).