Articles By: Renee Bolinger

Renee graduated Summa Cum Laude from Biola University in December 2009, earning a B.S. in Studio Arts and a B.A. in Philosophy. While at the school, she was awarded the ‘Outstanding Thesis Presentation’ by the Philosophy department, and the ‘Order of Peter & Paul’ by the Torrey Honors Institute. At present she is a practicing artist, working towards a Masters degree in philosophy at Northern Illinois University. Renee is passionate about making art and helping people understand it.

When Pop Art Gets Critical: Andy Warhol

I used to dismiss Andy Warhol as “shallow”–that is, until I dug a little deeper and discovered the underlying coherence of his work. Warhol’s two most famous pieces, the Marilyns and the Campbell’s Soup Cans, highlight the persistent theme of his body of work: the dehumanizing...
September 22nd, 2010 | Art & Literature, Media | Read More

Minimalist Contemplation

“I once taught art to adults in a night course. I had a woman who painted her back yard, and she said it was the first time she had ever really looked at it. I think everyone sees beauty. Art is a way to respond.” —Agnes Martin As a painter, I understand a number of paintings more readily than...
May 27th, 2010 | Art & Literature, Culture, Media | Read More

Thief! Top 10 Art Heists

By now you’ve doubtless heard about the brazen art heist in France.  The security system at the Museum of Modern Art, Paris, had been broken since March 30 this year.  On May 20, a lone burglar wearing a face mask cut a padlock and broke a window to gain entry to the museum.  He stole five paintings...
May 23rd, 2010 | Art & Literature, Media | Read More

Paint & Portraiture: John Singer Sargent

John Singer Sargent may rightly be considered the king of portrait painting. He worked in a style that loosely filled in figures’ backgrounds, while carefully depicting their faces. Most of his portraits were commissions, made either for the person pictured or else someone who loved them. “Portrait...
May 9th, 2010 | Art & Literature, Media | Read More

Paint & Portraiture: Pierre Bonnard

So far we’ve talked a lot about narrative paintings, compositions which are based on or tell a specific story.  For the next couple of weeks, we’ll focus more on portraiture.  Today, we’ll spend the day with Pierre Bonnard’s “Portrait of Leila Claude Anet”.  Painted...
May 3rd, 2010 | Art & Literature, Media, Other | Read More

Art and Perception: Degas

Though it is popular to view art as the self-expression of the artist, a great deal of it is in fact dedicated to problems of perception: the process of recording observed forms presents the opportunity to correct perceptual errors. Most drawing instructors will assure you that the first and most foundational...
April 26th, 2010 | Art & Literature, Culture, Media | Read More

Real Heroism: Rodin’s Burghers of Calais

I pass by Rodin’s sculpture of the Burghers of Calais every morning on my way to work.  It’s a difficult sculpture for a modern viewer to access.  Who were the Burghers of Calais, anyway?  And why do these men look haggard and miserable? The story is as old as the Hundred Years’...
April 19th, 2010 | Art & Literature, Culture, Media | Read More

Suffering with Christ: Grunewald

Today we commemorate Christ’s crucifixion. I have found myself meditating this week on an old altarpiece from a chapel in Isenheim, Germany, painted in 1512 by Matthias Grünewald. Of the thousands of extant paintings of the crucifixion, this one most powerfully depicts suffering and death as...
April 2nd, 2010 | Art & Literature, Culture, Media | Read More

Painting Darkness to Reveal Light: El Greco

This Thursday we celebrate the Annunciation to Mary, so it seems right to look at at least one of the hundreds of paintings treating the subject. My personal favorite is by El Greco and hangs in the Museo del Prado, Madrid. ‘El Greco’ is actually just the nickname the Spanish gave the artist;...
March 23rd, 2010 | Art & Literature, Culture, Media, Other | Read More

Predatory Loneliness: Nighthawks

Edward Hopper’s Nighthawks maybe the most famous painting of urban isolation. Don’t buy it?  Let me try to help. When you’re attempting to understand a piece, the first step is to see it well. Look at the formal elements: color, shapes, and focal points. Once you can see what you’re...
March 16th, 2010 | Art & Literature, Media | Read More