A Year of Creating Dangerously, Day 271: Album Art + Fine Art =

Cyndi Lauper and Vincent Van Gogh might seem like an odd couple… in a number of ways one could describe “odd”… but the truth is that many contemporary music stars have drawn cover art inspiration from the world of fine arts. It can be a slight reference or a straight-forward rip-off or used for comic effect. But it is amazing how well it seems to work.

On my blog today I share a few examples of cover art that connects with famous fine art. Some are as obvious as, well, “Starry Night” and other are not so much. Enjoy…


Jack and Meg draw a direct connection to the De Stijl art movement and its most famous contributor, Piet Mondrian (“Composition II with Red, Blue and Yellow”)


Heart goes for the surrealistic treatment and the same bird-in-a-cage torso motif as Rene Magritte’s “The Therapist”


Those lovable Irish roques the Poques cast themselves as the hopeless crew upon “The Raft of Medusa” (Theodore Gericault)


Those lovable Canadian Crash Test Dummies pull a Poques with Titian’s “Bacchus and Ariadne”


While more of a reference, there is no denying the connection of the-entrails-becoming-the-extrails between Florence and Frida (“The Two Kahlo’s”)


Joni Mitchell’s album cover comprises a few Van Gogh self-portrait elements but most noticeably the “Self-Portrait with a Bandaged Ear”


New Order’s album cover designer wasn’t shy in nearly ripping off the old order of design by Fortunato Depero and his “Futurist Poster”


It’s more than a rumour that Fleetwood Mac’s album cover for “Tango in the Night” borrows heavily from the work of Henri Rousseau (“Charmeuse De Serpent”)


A Year of Creating Dangerously, Day 87: Women, Artistically Speaking


Henri Matisse, Portrait of Lydia Delectorska

I’ve been thinking about women a lot lately. Nothing to worry about, that’s fairly normal for me. Plus, the month of March includes International Women’s Day. We also saw the “Day Without Women” protest transpire this month. It got me thinking about Art Without Women. Frankly (and ironically), that’s almost unthinkable. Women have been the muse and subject matter of so many artists throughout the centuries that it would be impossible to consider the history of art without them.

Of course, in art, as in all other areas of society women have been objectified. But I believe art, for the most part, has helped to give a profound and significant image of women, one that reaches far beyond the superficial. There are countless examples of works that show women in so many facets: tender, strong, intelligent, fierce, graceful, vulnerable, soft, resilient, powerful, beautiful, compassionate and creative. All in all, art has served to present a true representation of the feminine spirit. As a man, I know art in its many forms has helped me to gain a greater appreciation for women in a society that still has a long way to go to reach full equality.

So, in praise and honor of women, I give you a gallery of images of women in art, some famous, some not-so-much. These are all simply of my choosing. I am sure there are better and more comprehensive lists and galleries than this.  But I offer them as a part of my perspective.

A world without women would be a pathetic place. Art without women? Well, it would be even more pathetic still.


Leonardo da Vinci, Mona Lisa


Frida Kahlo, Self Portrait with Necklace


Edouard Manet, Berthe Morisot with a Bouquet of Violets

Mother And Child 7

Mary Cassatt, Woman with Child


Claude Monet, Madame Monet and Child


Edgar Degas, Dancers at the Barre

Albert Marquet

Albert Marquet, Standing Nude


Mary Cassatt, The Long Gloves


Edouard Manet, A Bar at the Folies-Bergere


Pablo Picasso, The Dream

Women harvesting paul klee

Paul Klee, Women Harvesting

young peasant girl in straw hat 1890

Vincent Van Gogh, Young Peasant Woman in Straw Hat


Edgar Degas, After the Bath


Albert Marquet, Portrait of Marcelle Marquet


Paul Gauguin, Tahitian Women on the Beach


Johannes Vermeer, Woman in Blue Reading a Letter


Edgar Degas, Women Ironing


Henri Matisse, Women with Hat

andy-warhol-ingrid-bergman-with-hat-f&s-ii.315 (1)

Andy Warhol, Ingrid Bergman with Hat


Henri de Toulouse-Latrec, Portrait of Suzanne Valadon


Claude Monet, Woman with Parasol

Young woman at table henri de toulouse latrec

Henri de Toulouse-Latrec, Young Woman at the Table


Johannes Vermeer, Girl with the Pearl Earring

A Year of Creating Dangerously, Day 18: Sincere Flattery Gallery

The saying goes: “Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery”. It also happens to be a dynamite way to re-educate yourself in art!

About 25 years elapsed between the time I graduated from Calvin College with a Fine Arts Degree to when I began to seriously make art again. I had dabbled in things, of course. I drew cartoons, did the occasional artwork for some church event, whipped out a drawing for my kids to color, etc. but to actually sit down and draw for drawing sake… it had been a loooooong time. So I set about putting myself through some basics of art education. One of my favorite things to do was look up famous portraits by the masters and attempt to copy them. Now “copy” sounds like I was sharpening my forgery skills. No – I was looking at the Greats in order to teach myself more about color and form, the use of line and shade, and all those things that flow so much better when you haven’t been NOT doing art for a loooooong time! I wasn’t trying for exact replicas and  was using cheap oil pastels and pencil crayons on lousy paper. Basically they were ramshackle sketches of masterpieces. But I enjoyed the process and the results gave me confidence to create again.

Here is a gallery of of my Sincere Flattery and my sincere attempt to get my Art-Jones back again! It probably goes without saying but the original is on the left! And if you want to know the artist and artwork, the caption is supposed to pop up when you put the cursor on the portrait (at least it did for me – sorry if it doesn’t work for you). All of my copies are done in oil pastels with some pencil crayon touches. The one just below was done with a $2 set of pastels from a teacher’s supply store! Enjoy.