Monthly Archives: August 2015

The Doctor visits Vincent



Vincent-van-Gogh "The Church at Auvers"

“The Church at Auvers”


I rarely watch the “Dr Who” series but on a recent random channel flip, an episode popped up at the point where the Doctor was at the Musée d’Orsay in Paris, observing a Van Gogh painting. Seeing an ominous clue in “The Church at Auvers”, he was off on a rescue mission in his time warp “Tardis” to pay Vincent a visit in the Provence in 1890, to help him fight a threatening Krafayis creature.
Amongst the usual Dr Who wackiness, a dramatic story unfolds. Prior to this I hadn’t really studied Van Gogh’s life or paintings but it turned out to be a nice introduction full of insights. See video below.


Quotes from this episode – 


The Doctor: Between you and me, in a hundred words, where do you think Van Gogh rates in the history of art?

Curator: Well… um… big question, but, to me Van Gogh is the finest painter of them all. Certainly the most popular, great painter of all time. The most beloved, his command of colour most magnificent. He transformed the pain of his tormented life into ecstatic beauty. Pain is easy to portray, but to use your passion and pain to portray the ecstasy and joy and magnificence of our world, no one had ever done it before. Perhaps no one ever will again. To my mind, that strange, wild man who roamed the fields of Provence was not only the world’s greatest artist, but also one of the greatest men who ever lived.


Vincent Van Gogh: And you see how they roar their light. Everywhere we look, the complex magic of nature blazes before our eyes.

The Doctor: I remember watching Michelangelo painting the Sistine Chapel. Wow, what a whiner! I kept saying to him “Look, if you’re scared of heights, you shouldn’t have taken the job then”. And Picasso, what a ghastly old goat! I kept telling him, “Concentrate, Pablo. It’s one eye, either side of the face”.



 ‘A Girl Raking black chalk’  – Vincent Van Gogh

Watercolour, 1881




 ‘Woman Miners Carrying Coal’  –  Vincent Van Gogh

Watercolour & white on paper, 1882





 ‘Self-Portrait with Dark Felt Hat at the Easel ‘ – Vincent Van Gogh

Paris, Spring 1886

“To do good work one must eat well, be well housed, have one’s fling from time to time, smoke one’s pipe, and drink one’s coffee in peace.”


“Love many things, for therein lies true strength
And whosoever loves much performs much
and can accomplish much,
and what is done in love is done well” 

– Van Gogh



‘Avenue of Poplars at Sunset’ – Vincent Van Gogh

1884  Oil on canvas





 ‘Lane with Poplars near Nuenen’  –   Vincent Van Gogh

1885 – oil on canvas





‘The Potato Eaters’ – Vincent Van Gogh

1885  – oil on canvas 81.5 x 114.5 cm




 ‘In the Bois de Boulogne’ – Vincent Van Gogh

1886 – oil on canvas

“I experience a period of frightening clarity and in those moments when nature is so beautiful, I am no longer sure of myself, and the paintings appear as in a dream.” ….Van Gogh





‘Vase with Red Poppies’ – Vincent Van Gogh

1886 – oil on canvas




‘Four Cut Sunflowers’ – Vincent Van Gogh

1887 – oil on canvas

“….. even if it was absolutely true,
then I should like to show by my work
what such an eccentric nobody
has in his heart.

this is my ambition,
based less on resentment then on love
in spite of everything”  ….. Van Gogh





‘Wheat Field With Crows’ – Vincent Van Gogh





 ‘Frtillarias in a Copper Vase’ – Vincent Van Gogh

1887 oil on canvas 73.5 x 60.5 cm





‘Winter Garden’ –  Vincent Van Gogh




1888-Les-Alychamps-oil-on-canvas-Vincent Van Gogh-

 ‘Les Alychamps’  –  Vincent Van Gogh

1888   oil on canvas

92 x 73.5 cm




Van-Gogh Mulberry-Tree-

 ‘Mulberry Tree’  –  Vincent Van Gogh

1889 oil on canvas




 ‘The Prison Courtyard’ – Saint Remy – Vincent Van Gogh





Houses-in-Auvers-1890 Vincent Van Gogh

‘Houses in Auvers’ – Vincent Van Gogh





The-Red-Vineyard-Van-Gogh workers in a field of red flowers

‘The Red Vineyard’  – Vincent Van Gogh




‘Landscape from Saint Rémy’ – Vincent Van Gogh





 ‘Two Poplars on a Road Through the Hills’ – Vincent van Gogh





Olive-grove Vincent Van Gogh- Dutch

‘Olive Grove’ – Vincent Van Gogh



‘Thatched Roofs’ – Vincent Van Gogh





‘Avenue with Flowering Chestnut Trees’ – Vincent van Gogh

1889 — oil on canvas



Green-wheat-field-with-cypress-tree - Vincent Van Gogh

‘Green Wheat Field with Cypress Tree’  – Vincent van Gogh




Van_Gogh_Japonaiserie Flowering Plum Tree,-1887 (after_Hiroshige),

Japonaiserie –  Flowering Plum Tree – Vincent Van Gogh





Noi Volkov ceramic Van Gogh teapot

Van Gogh teapot – Noi Volkov





‘La Courtisane’  – The  Courtesan or Oiran – Vincent Van Gogh



Vincent and the Doctor : 

Vincent Van Gogh visits Musée d’Orsay to see his art in 2010

3.25 minutes,  BBC








Arles,  1888.

Extracts from correspondence from Vincent Van Gogh to his brother Theo.


My dear Theo,

I already wrote to you early this morning, then I went to continue working on a painting of a sunny garden. Then I brought it back — and went out again with a blank canvas and that’s done, too. And now I feel like writing to you again.

I’ve never had such good fortune; nature here is extraordinarily beautiful. Everything and everywhere. The dome of the sky is a wonderful blue, the sun has a pale sulphur radiance, and it’s soft and charming, like the combination of celestial blues and yellows in paintings by Vermeer of Delft. I can’t paint as beautifully as that, but it absorbs me so much that I let myself go without thinking about any rule. Today I worked from 7 o’clock in the morning to 6 o’clock in the evening without moving.
Because being surrounded by colour like this is quite new to me, it excites me, extraordinarily.

My colours, my canvas, my wallet are completely exhausted today. The last painting, done with the last tubes on the last canvas, is a naturally green garden, is painted without green as such, with nothing but Prussian blue and chrome yellow. I’m beginning to feel quite different from what I was when I came here, I have no more doubts, I no longer hesitate to tackle something, and that could increase still further.

I have such luck with the house — with work — that I even dare believe that blessings won’t come singly, but that you’ll share them for your part, and have good luck too. Some time ago I read an article on Dante, Petrarch, Boccaccio, Giotto, Botticelli; my God, what an impression that made on me, reading those people’s letters! Now Petrarch was just near here, in Avignon, and I see the same cypresses and oleanders.
I’ve tried to put something of that into one of the gardens, painted with thick impasto, lemon yellow and lemon green. Giotto touched me the most — always suffering and always full of kindness and ardour as if he were already living in a world other than this
Giotto is extraordinary, anyway, and I feel him more than the poets: Dante, Petrarch, Boccaccio.

Oh my dear brother, sometimes I know quite clearly what I want in life, and in painting too. I can easily do without the dear lord. But I can’t, suffering as I do, do without something greater then myself.Which is my life, the power to create. If you can’t see the beautiful days here, you will still see the paintings.
Forever yours









Balombini and Bollini mixed media arts


Over the last 20 years, two multi media artists have displayed a natural flair for interpreting a wide range of materials into captivating art. Juliana Bollini is currently located in San Paulo, Brazil, while Laura Balombini resides in North Carolina, USA. They both integrate wire into their colourful figure work and objects, Juliana favoring a combination with ceramics, papier-mâché, flowers, branches and leaves, while Laura uses polymer clays, earthenware, aged wood, fabrics and found objects.

Laura describes her art – “Artists are storytellers. In paint, song and word we tell the tale of who we are. Some narratives are born with grace and flow..some we uncover using tears and trowels. Dig, scratch, soften, pray…make art..tell it. I bring my favorite ingredients..imagery, color, longing and a desire for discovery to the studio.” Her free spirited sculpture figures carry an air of serenity, dignity and contemplation. She also paints on canvas.

For Juliana. in a similar fashion to Laura, whimsy is never far away. Her playful, sculptural narrative is revealed through a contemporary folk aesthetic, infused with botanical themes, rich colours and vibrant movement. She began using the basic technique of “Charter Pesta” (a technique used to make the Venetian masks) which she still employs. Inspiration for her art comes from her love of old circus, puppet theater, children’s stories, vintage toys and various masters of old along with contemporary artists.
She also illustrates children’s books, and not surprisingly, all her art figures look like they have stepped out of a story.


Laura Balombini


Born in Pittsburgh, Laura received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Ceramics from Edinboro University in Pennsylvania.





Laura Balombini mixed media art figure

Lady holding duck sculpture – Laura Balombini




Three ceramic busts - Laura Balombini

Laura Balombini




Laura Balombini canvas painting

Canvas acrylic painting – Laura Balombini



Bird-Folk by Laura Balombini - two earthenware birds with wire legs

”Bird Folk” – Laura Balombini




bunny-box--balombini - eramic box with a bunny head lid and carrots

‘Bunny Box’ – Laura Balombini




“Dancer in the Dark”  – Laura Balombini





Abstract wall painting – Laura Balombini




Just-Tea teapot by Laura Balombini

“Just Tea”  – Laura Balombini




Multi media figure sculptures – Laura Balombini





Ceramic bust figures – Laura Balombini




Laura-Balombini--ceramic and wire teapot with clown head lid

Laura Balombini teapot





Laura Balombini mixed media artist



might-mr-miser----Laura Balombini

“Might Mr Miser” – Laura Balombini





Purple teapot – Laura Balombini





Laura Balombini



laura-balombini-wire-ceramic sculpture

Laura Balombini





Laura-Balombini----3 mixed media figurines

Mixed media art – Laura Balombini




Laura Balombini





“Pueblo Beggar Dog” acrylic painting by Laura Balombini




Juliana Bollini


Argentinian Juliana Bollini studied Visual arts at the Faculty of Fine Arts in Buenos Aires before relocating to San Paulo.

Website –



Juliana-Bollini-mixed media sculpture 0 man driving car

Mixed media man drives car – Juliana Bollini



Juliana- Bollini-female-figurine-475x356

Female carrying small home figurine – Juliana Bollini




Juliana Bollini - Lady with ring of roses figurine

Lady with ring of roses – Juliana Bollini



Circus performer - Juliana Bollini

Juliana Bollini circus performer



Juliana Bollini flying space vehicle figurine

Flying atomic space vehicle – Juliana Bollini




Trapeze artists figurines - Juliana Bollini

Trapeze artists – Juliana Bollini




Colourful botellas by Juliana Bollini

Juliana Bollini




Handpainted figurines-Juliana Bollini from Brazil

Painted faces – Juliana Bollini




Long neck bust figures – Juliana Bollini



Juliana Bollini black and white portrait


Mixed media artist Juliana Bollini




Juliana Bollini



Flickriver--juliana-bollini Sculpture of women in window

Women in window – Juliana Bollini




Juliana Bollini figurine

Juliana Bollini




Juliana-Bollini-bottles with images of flowers and maidens

Handpainted bottles by Juliana Bollini




Jjuliana-bollini-s-king of hearts figurine

King of Hearts figurine – Juliana Bollini




Flickriver--juliana-bollini-flamenco dancer figurine

Juliana Bollini dancing figurine




Flickriver--juliana-bollini handpainted vases

Female motif vases – Juliana Bollini




garrafa---Vida---Juliana Bollini

Handpainted  female redhead motif bottle – Juliana Bollini





Princess head sculpture – Juliana Bollini



Juliana Bollini thre female head figures

Juliana Bollini



Vaso long neck with gold hair lady motif - Juliana Bollini

Juliana Bollini Vaso



Juliana Bollini--ceramic bust

Juliana Bollini




vaso-detalhe---red head lady with roses - Juliana Bollini

Red heads and roses vase – Juliana Bollini




Flickriver--juliana-bollini-bust figures

Female sculpture busts by Juliana Bollini




Juliana-Bollini-dancing figurine

Juliana Bollini figurine




Juliana Bollini lion mask

Juliana Bollini





A teapot charm offensive  


Those loyal vehicles of the captivating tea beveridge are under scrutiny again for their tendency to be audacious, bold and innovative products of the unbridled imagination.  Their bemusing evolution has led to forms flowing from the incongruitive to the sublimely harmonious, which showcase unconventional shapes, imagery and clever abstractions of the clay while fulfilling a need to command attention at the table. Teapots have morphed from being functional objects for the creation of a cuppa to charming utilitarian pieces of amusement and even serious sculptural statements  As they are the centre of attention several times a day and much loved for their role in tea making, its only logical they also get utilized for artistic expression. The tea leaves must be wondering what all this grandiose presentation is about. I say all power to the humble teapot.


Teapots of charming and zany sublimity



Loren-Lukens ceramic teapot with abstract glaze and form in olive, mustard and green

Loren Lukens ceramic teapot




Michael-Hosaluk-- tri legged teapot in rusty orange with black lid and handle

Michael Hosaluk– tri legged, zigzag handle teapot





Flexine, Contortionist Sideshow Girlesque Series teapot – Karen Porteleo

Photo Andy Titcomb-flickr




Yoshiro-Ikeda-teapot black/white crackle glaze over green glaze

Yoshiro Ikeda teapot




Natasha Dikareva teapot – ‘Between East and West’





Queen of hearts Teapot




Michael Hosaluk teapot with amusing face

Michael Hosaluk teaware




John Bauman stoneware teapot pumpkin shape with curly handled lid

Pumpkin style teapot – John Bauman






‘Brown Trout Teapot’ – Mark Chuck




Blackberry-Teapot by Kate Malone

Blackberry Teapot – Kate Malone






Teashop, Boston




Porcelain Teapot – Adrian Saxe, California

In this piece Adrian combined classic Chinese ceramics with a humorous twist

Brooklyn Museum





Dancing retro teapots in pastels

Lifeinmommatone – etsy




‘Bakst Foun’   – Earthenware teapot – Noi Volkov

Press molded earthenware, hand sculpted, hand painted, glazes, oxides, and under glazes






Louis Reilly Tea Pot

Crimson Laurel Gallery




Marylin Andrews




In-Love-with-Time Laura-Balombini mixed media teapot

‘In Love with Time’ – Laura Balombini




Bear Shaped Teapot – English Prattware Pottery

circa 1790-1800

sold on 1stDibs – John Howard




Found on large red, white and black teapot

Cybill Ceramics




Goro-Suzuki teapot with abstract decoration

Goro Suzuki





Yoshiro Ikeda





Teapot-by-Coreen-Abbott - large black and white striped handle red teapot with paisley decoration and chequered lid

Coreen Abbott




Jim-Budde---teapot with three faces

Jim Budde




The-reluctant-dragon-painting by Justin-Gerard

‘The Reluctant Dragon’ – Justin Gerard




Hope-Warmed-Over Laura-Balombini-----mixed media artist -red teapot with clown head lid

‘Hope Warmed Over’ – Laura Balombini, NY





‘Onion’ teapot – John Pripp, Denmark





Chris-Theiss-On-The-Bridge-Slab-and-hand-built teapot

Chris Theiss ‘On The Bridge’ multi perspective sgraffito teapot




Irina Zaytceva was born in Moscow, Russia. All of Irina's works are created using highfire porcelain, with overglaze as well as underglaze painting

Russian artist Irina Zaytceva

Created using highfire porcelain, with overglaze as well as underglaze painting





Jacques Blin, France





Helene Fielder




Jose-Sierra ceramic teapot in burnt orange and dark brown

Jose Sierra





Rooster Teapot  – Layl McDill – Polymer Clay



Josie Jurczenia contemporary teapot

Josie Jurczenia





Julia Kirillova tapot

Judith Heartsong on Flickr





Porcelain Spiral Teapot – Kaete Brittin Shaw





Barry-Gregg-Clayworks teapot with long dog leg handle

Barry Gregg Clayworks






Larry Spears




Laurie-Shaman crow teapot

Laurie Shaman




Nancy-Adams owl teapot

Nancy Adams owl teapot





Natalya Sots




Porcelain maker Jeroen Bechtold - modernist teapot

 Jeroen Bechtold, Denmark




Roberta-Polfus deep textured teapot

Roberta Polfus




Scott and Naomi Schoenherr-art-studio--Laguna Beach--California

Seated Elephant teapot – Scott and Naomi Schoenherr

 Laguna Beach, California




Sally Jaffee



Sandy-Terry teapot

Sandy Terry raku teapot




Stone Prancer Teapot by Susan Farrar Parrish-Seth-Tice-Lewis

‘Stone Prancer Teapot’ by Susan Farrar Parrish

Photo by Seth Tice Lewis



Susan-Thayer--- “You Give Me Butterflies: Appetite” 2012

“You Give Me Butterflies: Appetite” – Susan Thayer





‘Venus Revisted’ – Sandra Zeiset Richardson




‘Teapot–Red and Black’ by Thai artist Porntip Sangvanich now residing in California

Glazed porcelain




‘The Narghile Smoker’ tea drinking automaton by Lambert

circa 1915


Art-Deco-tea-pot cream and gold porelain

Art Deco automobile tea pot




Harris Deller teapot - geometric black lines on white

Harris Deller from Brooklyn likes to make vessels that are provocative contradictions. The porcelain clay is sturdy, the abstracted forms are whimsical and the third dimension is suppressed in varying degrees.



Cynthia Aldrich China tea tifjpg

Cynthia Aldrich



hanami_yoko-miyaji wooden teapot

Yoko Miyagi




joellyn rock_gulfware teapot

Joellyn Rock narrative teapot





Joellyn Rock





Richard Phethean, UK



ripped-stoneware-teapot Elaine Pinkernell with patchwork appearance

Ripped stoneware teapot –  Elaine Pinkernell





Swan with Leda by Roger Michell




Marsha-Silverman--elegant ceramic teapot in red and white

Marsha Silverman teapot

Cedar Creek Gallery, NC




Antique Japanese Porcelain Hirado Hotei Teapot

Circa 19th Century




Marthe-Huigens--teapo, leaves and fish painting

French artist Marthe Huigens likes to paint teapots




Teapot characters-(2)-of-Belle-Epoque.-Signed--Toulluc-1832.

Teapot with 2 characters of Belle Epoque -Signed Toulluc




handmade-green teapot-by-artist-Sandy-Terry

Green glaze teapot – Sandy Terry




Black Octopus seated on whiteteapot

Black octopus teapot




Jim-Connell-teapot with relief swirls

Jim Connell




Gail-Mackiewic teapot with many geometric patterns

‘Wide Free Form Tea Pot’  – Gail Mackiewic




'Spanish-Buccaneer' figurine teapot

‘Spanish Buccaneer’ figurine teapot




Dhokra tribal art



Dhokra-Nepal Brass figurine statue of dancing Krishna

I acquired this charming Dhokra statue of dancing Krishna from an artist selling his wares on the roadside in Kathmandu

height 12 inches



Dhokra Art


Dhokra is an ancient folk art tradition prevalent in India in the eastern states of West Bengal, Odisha, Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh. Dhokra craft objects are made through the process of non-ferrous metal casting using the lost-wax casting technique, which is one of the earliest and most advanced methods of metal casting known to human civilization. Its roots can be traced back 4500 years to the ancient city of Mohenjodaro in the Indus Valley Civilization.
The name Dokra or Dhokra was used to indicate a group of craftsmen of nomadic type from the Dhokra Damar tribe, scattered over the regions of Bengal, Orisa and Madhya Pradash, whose wares were identified by their beautifully shaped and decorated metal products. The enchanting Dhokra art objects have motifs inspired by indigenous folk culture and are characterized by a primitive, instinctive style. The main hallmark of the Dokra ornamental sculptures and goods is simplicity, charming folk motifs, a rustic beauty and imaginative, intricate designs and patterns.




Dokra goddess figure with sun wall plaque


The ancient Dhokra technique

Using inspiration from their mythology, environment and simple rituals, the Dhokra sculptor makes a core model of clay from fine riverbed soil mixed with coal dust and rice husks, as this mixture brilliantly takes on the textures and shapes of the later applications of wax, resulting in a perfect inner wall of the mold. After it has dried, it is decorated with strings of wax to create fine detailing and patterns. The Dhokra artisans use a mixture of bee’s wax, resins from the tree ‘Damara Orientallis’ and nut oil to make the dough soft and malleable.


Mixing clay for dhokra art sculptures Photo---Parul-Bajoria

Mixing fine river bed clay with coal dust and rice husk

Photo — Parul Bajoria




The black wax structure (right) is an exact replica of the final brass metal owl.


Next in the process is the application of small amounts of a fine clay paste over the wax replica which is then dried out in the shade. This is followed by applying a thicker outer layer of a red soil and rice husk mixture, which have holes on the top for adding the molten metals. The piece is sundried and then fired in the ‘Bhatti’ (traditional kiln), where the wax melts and exits the mould. The final stage is pouring molten brass through the same holes.



Fine wet mud is applied on top of the wax sculpture to create an outer mould.. This takes the impression of the wax model.



Dhokra creation by pouring molten brass into the wax loss moulds

Creating Dhokra forms by pouring molten brass/bronze into the wax loss moulds


This technique of casting revolves around replacement of wax loss crevices with molten metal by the traditional hollow casting method. After cooling, the cast is then removed to be given the finishing touches of cleaning and polishing.

Folk art objects such as men and women in their daily chores, elephants, musicians, dancers, horses, temple deities, peacocks, owls, religious images, measuring bowls, and lamp caskets are popular. Although no longer nomadic, there are still clusters of Dhokra artisans in Bengal, as can be found in a small village called Bikna, just outside of Bankura town.



breaking the outer Dhokra moulds - gaatha,com

Final Dhokra procedure of breaking the outer mould before finishing touches




Nandi Bull – Kushal Bhansali

Brass & bronze Dhokra sculpture – Kondagaon, Chhattisgarh , India

8 x 6 inches


Indian-Dhokra-wall-art from Brass, Nickel and Zinc

Indian Dhokra wall art




Ganesha riding an elephant




Antique Dhokra vessel with handle

Antique tri legged Dhokra pot

Priyanka Singh, Pinterest



Dhokra metal sculpture - man sitting on a peacock

Dhokra sculpture of a man seated on a peacock



Dhokra head busts from Basta

Dhokra head sculptures from Basta, Chattishgarh




Dhokra sculpture figurines

Bikna, India




Dhokra brass-lantern-Shreeya-Handicrafts

Dhokra brass lantern

Shreeya Handicrafts




Indian brass nutcracker horse

( bought in an antique store in Mumbai )



Tri legged lidded Dhokra vessel with peacock lid

Peacock lidded Dhokra vessel




Reclining female Dokra figurine

Tribal Art of Odisha



Dhokra-Art---Nandi the bull and a lion

Dhokra Art – Nandi bull and Lion




dhokra-jewelry twin fish Pices earrings

Dhokra Pisces earrings




Dhokra planter with succulants




Dhokra-head sculpture-–-Bastar-district

Dhokra head bust

Bastar district




Dokra elephant

Dhokra elephant



Dhokra-Tribal-Pen-Stand - bass-nickel -zinc

Tribal Pen Stand

Bastar Arts





Handcrafted Dhokra horse

Bastar Tribe, India



3 men riding a Dhokra horse

Dhokra Art – Three men riding a horse




Dhokra-Queen head bust

Dhokra Queen

Culture Art Group





Dhokra art sculptures Advaita

Dhokra tribal art




Lakshmi Saraswati and Ganesha-Dhokra statues

Saraswati, Ganesh and Lakshmi Dhokra statues





Pechak Pedi Owl Coffer  – Sithulia community of Orissa’s Dhenkanal district




Dhokra lantern and incense censer





Pedi---Oval Coffer---RoadsWellTraveled

Oval lidded vessel  – Pechak Pedi

Sithulia community of Orissa’s Dhenkanal district






Dhokra artisan pasting clay over wax model

Flickr—Pallab Seth





Three Men Rowing a Mayurpankhi Boat in Dhokra style




Tribal Lady - Sculpture Dhokra Art

Dhokra tribal mask




A seated brass Ganesha with mosaic stones



Dhokra Horse-with-Wings

Horse with Wings