Orenco Originals for the Artful Needleworker !

Henri Rousseau -The Painter of Lush Tropical Scenes Who Never Visited a Tropical Jungle

The Flamingos by Henri Rousseau 1907

Henri Rousseau, (1844-1910) was a very interesting and complex artist. He is best known for his richly colored and meticulously detailed pictures of lush jungles, wild beasts, and exotic people. Henri became a full-time artist at the age of forty-nine, after retiring from his post at the Paris customs office. The self-taught Rousseau became known as the naïve artist. His techniques, unusual compositions and style resulted in disdain by contemporary critics. Simultaneously, Rousseau was earning the respect and admiration of...

Ohara Hōson Shōson The Japanese Painter of Nature

Lotus Flower and a Dragonfly by Ohara Hōson Shōson


Ohara Hōson Shōson The Japanese Painter of Nature

Ohara Koson, also known as Ohara Hōson or Ohara Shōson, was a Japanese painter and woodblock print designer of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, part of the shin-hanga ("new prints") movement.


Photograph of Koson around the age of 53

If you’ve read some of my earlier blogs about other Asian artists,...

John Gould - The Bird Man

John Gould

The Bird Man

Gouldian Finches as Illustrated by Elizabeth Gould


John Gould (1804-1881) is the most famous British Ornithologist, having created and published over 3000 Studies and Paintings of Birds! 


Sketch of John Gould by Marion Walker

John Gould was born in Lyme Regis, Dorset, England.  He was the oldest son of a gardener who worked his way from gardener at a rural home, to...

The Cat Man Louis Wain - The Victorian Artist that Celebrated Cats

Benedict Cumberbatch stars alongside Claire Foy in The Electrical Life of Louis Wain Movie 2021.

“The experience of being Louis Wain and seeing the world through his eyes was a joy. I adored him and felt bereft when I had to leave him behind. He was such an acute observer, a skill that made him a master illustrator.” Benedict Cumberbatch


An early Louis Wain portrait of Peter. (Courtesy Chris Beetles Gallery, St....

August Macke The Light Filled Artist Whose Life Was Cut Short by World War One

“Landschaft mit Kirche und Weg” (Landscape with church and lane) by August Macke-1911

” The most important thing for me is the direct observation of nature in its light-filled existence.” August Macke

German expressionist painter August Macke was born August Robert Ludwig Macke on January 3, 1887. His father, August Friedrich, was a...

Katsushita Hokusai “The Old Man Mad With Painting”

Katsushita Hokusai...

“The Old Man Mad With Painting”


Maybe you can relate to this – since getting my first computer with internet access (Windows 95, anyone?) many times when I go online and start reading about something, it’s never a quick thing.  It usually starts with me looking up something specific, but before I know it, countless links and clicks later I’m down a rabbit hole and nowhere near where I started.

Read more

Edvard Munch and The Dance of Life

Edvard Munch and The Dance of Life

 The Scream on Display At Sotheby's Auction House 2012

Admit it – you’ve seen this painting before, and you probably know what it’s called, but you know nothing about who painted it.  You might know his name, but you couldn’t identify another one of his paintings if your life depended on it!  And that’s sad, because Edvard Munch was not only...


The Vegetable Gardener, Giuseppe Arcimboldo, circa 1587

Think about it – you’re sitting in your kitchen, and you say to yourself, “Now that’s a beautiful basket of fruit – I’m going to paint that!”.  You might find that the way the sun is reflecting through a window is casting an interesting glow on the apples that you try to capture.  Or you’re struck by the subtle shading of apricots and plums.  And if you’re an artist like Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Edouard Manet,...

Henri-Edmond Cross- The French Artist Who Played a Crucial and Vital Role in the Development of Modern Painting


Henri-Edmond Cross- The French Artist Who Played a Crucial and Vital Role in the Development of Modern Painting

Vivid Cypresses at Cagne by Henri Edmond Cross - Painted 1908
"Oh! What I saw in a split second while riding my bike tonight! I just had to jot down these fleeting things ... a rapid notation in watercolor and pencil: an informal daubing of contrasting colors, tones, and hues, all packed with information to make a lovely watercolor the next...