Image courtesy of Chris Cosnowski

This oil on panel from 2014 by Chris Cosnowski represents an American Football trophy.  It is a theme very recurrent in Cosnowski’s work, which focuses a lot on American culture and the meritocracy. His reflection goes into the symbolic of the trophy, how it aims to be grand and metallic but is in fact only a small plastic figurine; so basically an illusion. I think the idea of the illusion works well because his paintings are also very good at creating this sensation thanks to his great technical skills in depicting metal (or in fact, gilded plastic).

If you’d like to check out some more of his work, this is his website.

Orchids and Hummingbird

Image courtesy of the Museum of Fine arts

This stunning oil on canvas by Martin Johnson Heade is on view at the Museum of Fine Arts (Boston). It was executed between 1875 and 1883, and is part of a series of paintings pairing hummingbirds and orchids or passion flowers. The hummingbird was one of Heade’s preferred subjects, and they are almost part f his artistic signature. This style of realistic exotic landscapes allowed  him to stand out among his contemporaries and are what make of Heade such a unique artist. I discovered him while visiting the MFA, but his works are distributed among several museums around the world, and I will definitely post some more as he is one of my favorite painters.

Raspberry Pudding

Image courtesy of My Life in Art

Yes, you’re still in the painting gallery. This super realistic oil on panel by Arnout van Albada is part of a series of 2013 paintings featuring puddings and jelly. They are exhibited at My Life in Art gallery in London and Galerie Mokum in Amsterdam (which is great cause it means you can buy them provided you can afford it).

The Dutch artists achieves this realistic effect using a very specific technique that involves oil painting over a base monochrome layer of egg tempera, a mixture made from egg yolk, water, and pigments. It’s the overlap of the thin oil paint layers that give the impression of transparency and depth.