“Amrita Sher-Gil (Punjabi: ਅੰਮ੍ਰਿਤਾ ਸ਼ੇਰਗਿੱਲ; 30 January 1913 – 5 December 1941) was an eminent Indian painter. She has been called “one of the greatest avant-garde women artists of the early 20th century” and a “pioneer” in modern Indian art. Drawn to painting at a young age, Sher-Gil started getting formal lessons in the art, at the age of eight. Sher-Gil first gained recognition at the age of 19, for her oil painting entitled Young Girls (1932).

Sher-Gil traveled throughout her life, to countries including Europe, Turkey, France and India, deriving heavily from their art styles and cultures. Sher-Gil is considered an important woman painter of 20th-century India, whose legacy stands on a par with that of the pioneers of Bengal Renaissance.She was also an avid reader and a pianist.” (x)

Group of Three Girls, 1935


Artist: Loïs Mailou Jones


Lois Mailou Jones was an African American painter best known for her considerable influence during the Harlem Renaissance

Her parents encouraged her art from an early age, urging her to draw and paint whenever possible

She was an incredibly educated woman, attending the High School of Practical Arts in Boston before going on to study at The Boston Museum of Fine Arts and The Boston Normal Art School, as well as taking graduate classes at Harvard University and Columbia University. She received her bachelor’s from Howard University, graduating Magna Cum Laude. She also received a fellowship to study in Paris at the Acadèmie Julian.

She founded the art department of the Palmer Memorial Institute in North Carolina, and was recruited one year later to join Howard University’s art department as a watercolor professor

Her main inspiration was Celine Marie Tabard, a painter whom Jones cultivated an artistic friendship and alliance with. Tabard would often submit Jones’ works for jury prizes because of the prejudice against African Americans. They traveled to many countries together and painted each other as well.

She has won 13 prominent awards for her art, which is recognized by its bright colors, distinct style, and influence of Cubism and Haitian art.

Jackson Pollock, Untitled, Ink on paper, c. 1950

Here’s to the ones who dream
Foolish, as they may seem
Here’s to the hearts that ache
Here’s to the mess we make
—  Audition( The Fools Who Dream), La La Land
new tv show idea

a sitcom about the Renaissance painters but as would live like today. and I don’t mean like crusty old men, I mean like mid-twenties art students living together just struggling to get through their classes and trying to deal with each other. Michelangelo getting caught for vandalism and being forced to do community service for a church and him angrily live tweeting the whole thing like, “ugh, my arms are killing me, but hey at least I’m high enough, no one can tell I painted all these guys with their dicks out lol” and Leonardo fighting with him because THAT’S NOT HOW MUSCLES WORK P L E A S E JUST LOOK AT MY SKETCHBOOK, I’M IN SCIENTIFIC ILLUSTRATION FOR THE LOVE OF- and Raphael producing these amazing paintings for these high class clients and hiding himself and his friends somewhere within them because that’s the kind of troll he is

feel free to add your own

Animation & Inspiration

In honor of Henri Rousseau’s birthday (today!), we wanted to share how his work influenced the animation for one of our very own lessons.

When designing the rainforest scenes in our lesson on Biodiversity, we couldn’t help but thinking of Henri Rousseau’s The Dream. Our color palette was inspired by the richness and depth of greens in his forest scenes. And we love the way the blue & ivory flowers pop out against the many shades of green.

The Dream, by Henri Rousseau (1910)

Rousseau’s color choice for the Sun in many of his paintings is fairly difficult to replicate digitally. It took a lot of layers of brushstrokes and color washes to try to mimic his skies - which offer a perfectly soft contrast to the detailed leaves and fronds in the foreground foliage.

Three apes in The Orange Grove, by Henri Rousseau (1907)

We love the placement of wildlife in Rousseau’s paintings - as if the leaves parted momentarily to allow us to peer in on the secret lives of the lions and monkeys going about their business. While designing the Biodiversity lesson, we wanted to similarly highlight the variety of species in the rainforest, while also allowing the audience to imagine that much, much more lurks behind the leaves.

The Repast of the Lion, by Henri Rousseau (1907)

Animated GIFs from the TED-Ed lesson Why is biodiversity so important? - Kim Preshoff

Animation by TED-Ed