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Johan Christian Dahl

Johan Christian Claussen Dahl known as J. C. Dahl or I. C. Dahl, was a Norwegian artist, considered the first great romantic painter in Norway, the founder of the "golden age" of Norwegian painting, and, by some, one of the greatest European artists of all time, he is described as "the father of Norwegian landscape painting" and is regarded as the first Norwegian painter to reach a level of artistic accomplishment comparable to that attained by the greatest European artists of his day. He was the first to acquire genuine fame and cultural renown abroad; as one critic has put it, "J. C. Dahl occupies a central position in Norwegian artistic life of the first half of the 19th century. Although Dahl spent much of his life outside of Norway, his love for his country is clear in the motifs he chose for his paintings and in his extraordinary efforts on behalf of Norwegian culture generally. Indeed, if one sets aside his own monumental artistic creations, his other activities on behalf of art and culture would still have guaranteed him a place at the heart of the artistic and cultural history of Norway.

He was, for example, a key figure in the founding of the Norwegian National Gallery and of several other major art institutions in Norway, as well as in the preservation of Norwegian stave churches and the restoration of the Nidaros Cathedral in Trondheim and Bergenhus Fortress in Bergen. Dahl came from a simple background – his father was a modest fisherman in Bergen, Norway – and he would look back at his youth with bitterness, he regretted that he never had a "real teacher" in his childhood and, despite all his spectacular success, he believed that if he had been more fortunate in his birth, he would have achieved more than he had. As a boy, Dahl was educated by a sympathetic mentor at the Bergen Cathedral who at first thought that this bright student would make a good priest, but recognizing his remarkably precocious artistic ability, arranged for him to be trained as an artist. From 1803 to 1809 Dahl studied with the painter Johan Georg Müller, whose workshop was the most important one in Bergen at the time.

Still, Dahl looked back on his teacher as having kept him in ignorance in order to exploit him, putting him to work painting theatrical sets and views of Bergen and its surroundings. Another mentor, Lyder Sagen, showed the aspiring artist books about art and awakened his interest in historical and patriotic subjects, it was Sagen who took up a collection that made it possible for Dahl to go to Copenhagen in 1811 to complete his education at the academy there. As important as Dahl's studies at the academy in Copenhagen were his experiences in the surrounding countryside and in the city's art collections. In 1812 he wrote to Sagen that the landscape artists he most wished to emulate were Ruisdahl and Everdingen, for that reason he was studying “nature above all,” Dahl's artistic program was already in place: he would become a part of the great landscape tradition, but he would be as faithful as possible to nature itself. Dahl held that a landscape painting should not just depict a specific view, but should say something about the land's nature and character – the greatness of its past and the life and work of its current inhabitants.

The mood was idyllic melancholy. When he added snow to a landscape he painted in the summer, it was not to show the light and colors of snow; as one critic has put it, “Unlike the radically Romantic works appearing at the time, Dahl softens his landscape, introducing elements of genre painting by imbuing it with anecdotal materials: In the background a wisp of smoke rises from a cabin the home of the hunter on the snow-covered field.” Thanks to Sagen's recommendations and to his own personal charm, Dahl soon gained access to the leading social circles in Copenhagen. Dahl took part in annual art exhibitions in Copenhagen beginning in 1812, but his real breakthrough came in 1815, when he exhibited no fewer than 13 paintings. Prince Christian Frederik of Denmark, who developed an early interest in Dahl's artistic genius and saw to it that his works were purchased for the royal collection, became a lifelong friend and patron of the artist. In 1816 C. W. Eckersberg returned from abroad with his paintings of Roman settings.

Dahl's 1817 painting “Den Store Kro i Fredensborg” marked the real beginning of his lifelong production of oil paintings depicting natural subjects. After his success in Copenhagen, Dahl realized that he wanted to live as an independent, self-supporting artist. One challenge facing him was that the academic preference of the day was for historical paintings with moral messages. Landscapes were considered the lowest kind of art, even not as art at all, but as a purely mechanical imitation of nature; the only landscapes that could be considered art, according to the academy, were ideal, imaginary landscapes in pastoral or heroic styles. In accordance with this reigning taste, Dahl attempted to give his Danish themes a certain atmospheric character in order to lift them up above what was considered a commercial level, but at the same time it was his deepest wish to provide a more faithful picture of Norwegian nature than were offered by the old-fashioned, dry paintings of Haas and Lorentzen. This desire was motivated by homesickness and patriotism, but it was suited to the public taste of the day for “picturesque” works.

Dahl traveled to Dresden in September 1818. He arrived with introductions to the city's leading citizens and to major artists such as Caspar David Friedrich, who helped him establish himself there and beca

Lee Sheppard (cartoonist)

Lee Sheppard is an Australian cartoonist and animator. He resides in Sydney, Australia and is developing and writing projects for animated film & television. Sheppard was born in Paddington, New South Wales to Barry Ernest Sheppard and Margaret Crichton-Reid. Sheppard spent 2 years studying Fine Arts at Paddington Art School under tuition by Stephen Wesley Gorton in 1993 Classical Advanced Animation studies at Enmore Design Centre in 1995, on Screenwriting for Children's Animated Television Series at the Australian Film Television Radio School in 2007. Sheppard's early career began while drawing political comics for Fairfax community newspapers in his late teens, he worked as an animator on numerous animated children's TV series such as Wicked! Gloria's Crocadoo, he was the comic strip artist for political cartoon, Cactus Island, a strip based on the multi-award-winning radio show "How Green was my Cactus". Sheppard used the pseudonym D. Denko instead of his real name in this comic strip. Cactus Island was syndicated through Auspac Media, published in regional newspapers across Australia between 1999 and 2006.

In 1994 he was nominated as a member by Jim Russell to join the Australian Cartoonists' Association. Lee was on the committee for 5 years, where he has held the positions of Secretary, NSW State Vice President and Deputy President, and in 1998 he was again nominated by Jim Russell to the ranks of the National Cartoonists Society in the United States. Sheppard is a member of the Australian Film Institute and Australian Writer's Guild. In 2003, Sheppard won the Stanley Award's Best Cartoon in Ettalong. Http://www.cartoonists.org.au/stanleys.htm http://www.nma.gov.au/exhibitions/past_exhibitions/behind_the_lines/about_the_artists/ http://www.cartoonists.org.au/downloads/Inkspot41.pdf LeeSheppard.com Lee Sheppard's Blog Toon Studio Lee Sheppard on IMDB.com "How Green was my Cactus" Art of Wacom interview with Lee Sheppard

Mazda Ryuga

The Mazda Ryuga is a concept car introduced by Mazda and partner Ford at the 2007 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, Michigan. The car, along with the Mazda Nagare, introduced at the Greater Los Angeles Auto Show, is an exploratory design study intended to illustrate future styling directions for future Mazda passenger vehicles; the Ryuga moniker is Japanese for "gracious flow". The large 21" wheels are placed at the far corners for a stable, balanced stance; the body features two gull-wing doors, is shorter and lower than the four-passenger Mazda RX-8 sports car. The Ryuga accommodates four passengers in typical 2+2 seating, with front bucket seats and a lounge-like rear passenger area. A "floating" center cluster with elongated pods includes a multi-function touch panel for controls and displays. A set of charge-coupled device cameras are installed for monitoring the rearward view and blind-spot; the steering wheel is an open top style. The Ryuga is powered with an E85 / gasoline flex fuel engine.

Engine: MZR 2.5 L E85/gasoline Flex Fuel Transmission: 6 -speed automatic Drive: front-wheel drive Wheels: 21" Tires 245/35 R21 Toyo Proxes Mazda Ryuga introduction from Media. Ford.com * Dead Link Mazda Ryuga specifications from Media. Ford.com *Dead Link