Jeanette Christjansen…how to look at paintings


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By Jeanette Christjansen  Mon, Denmark

I am looking forward to sharing views on art with you. Art is such a broad subject and such a big part of life that I cannot help it but to bring to you what I have learned. I am a professional artist from Denmark and studied at the National Academy Museum and school of fine art. I also studied privately with Samuel Adoquei at Mr. Adoquei’s studio on union square studio.

Henry Alexander_collection Metroplolitan MuseumI will be writing about my own experiences from my life as a painter and everything I have learned and know about painting. People has often asked me the question, How to look at paintings? Like what to look for? How do one recognize a good painting?

This Sunday morning In my weekly visits going to the Metropolitan Museum in New York City I decided to go to the American wing, with an open mind. As I was walking around i saw this painting [Photo nr.1. of Henry Alexander: 1860-1894 In the Laboratory Oil on canvas.

I was amazed at how well this painting was painted and surprised that I had never seen it before. Looking at it I came to think of another painter, the Spanish painter Joaquín Sorolla y Bastida who had painted a similar subject matter and when I came home and did some research I compare the two paintings. (Photo nr.2. of Joaquin Sorolla 1863- 1923 Doctors Laboratory, an investigation, Oil on canvas.)
joaquin-sorolla-bastida-009Both paintings were technically and beautifully done, but I thought Sorolla’s painting was more interesting in the way he simplified things, it was beautiful to look at and easy on the eyes and left out mysteries for our imagination. The other painting was as good as it is, but it was a little bit too illustrative, everything spelled out so what I am trying to say is that technical skill is not enough to make a great painting, it takes more to do a great painting.

It is always the spiritual first, the Thought- the idea The mind of the Artist. Interesting to think, what was the painter thinking? Why did he make certain decision?

Portrait_of_Dr_Simarro_at_the_microscopeHe has to think of the composition what he wants people to look at to put emotion into the picture harmonies in color, how colors work together. That is a big task and takes a great mind to do a great painting.

When we go to the museum and we like a painting, remember there is nothing accidental everything in the great work of art have been thought of.

Feel free to send me your questions at Sankofa Art:


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Jeanette Christjansen.

Mon, Denmark

_jeanette_Christjansen_charcoal worksJeanette Christjansen, Flowers and Apples, charcoal on watercolor paper

Jeanette Christjansen_Quinces

Jeanette Christjansen_Quinces

_Jeanette_Christjansen_ApplesJanette Christjansen, Apples and Roses, oil and linen


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