art classes, collection inside Edsel/Eleanor Ford’s house, Cologne Contemporary

Art Academy: Atelier review – step-by-step guide to drawing and painting

Another intriguing direction for the Wii U here, with Art Academy: Atelier offering a good basic toolkit for learning to paint and draw. It does so through rather charming lessons that communicate the fundamentals of visual art in a laid-back, step-by-step format. Each stage features detailed explanations and animations that do an admirable job of explaining concepts such as the rule of thirds or colour theory.

The Wii U gamepad, it has to be said, is slightly awkward for accurate drawing, but with practice it is possible to create good-looking work. However, finished pieces can create large files that will eat up storage space, so it may be worth investing in SD cards for back-up.

The package includes tools and an inbuilt community-sharing feature and its relatively low price provides value as a jack-of-all-trades package.

But it comes up unfavourably against more specialist competition. It’s undoubtedly a great place, then, for a young beginner to start, but experienced artists are likely to find it less rewarding.


See inside historic Edsel and Eleanor Ford House filled with fine art and European furnishings

Grosse Pointe Shores– The Edsel and Eleanor Ford House and estate sits on nearly 87-acres of lake shore property in Grosse Pointe Shores. The Ford’s legacy estate, once a private residence, is now a historical gem open to the public.

The home built on Gaukler Pointe along Lake St. Clair was that of Henry and Clara Ford’s only child, Edsel, his wife Eleanor and their children: Henry II, Benson, Josephine and William Clay.

Originally the Ford estate spanned 125 acres. In 1946 43-acres were sold by Eleanor Clay Ford to the city of Grosse Pointe Woods to build a park.

The 30,000 square feet Cotswold style home was completed between 1926-1929 by famed-Detroit architect Albert Kahn.

Kahn had work with Ford Motor Company since the early 1900s designing the Highland Park plant, where Ford produced the Ford Model T and implemented the first automotive assembly line.

Antiques and masterpiece artwork

The 60-room home was perfectly preserved by Eleanor Clay Ford with antiques and furnishing dating back to the late 16th century and artwork from Europe and Great Britain.

Edsel and Eleanor Ford HouseA reproduction of Vincent Van Gogh’s “Portrait of Postman Roulin.” The original painting hung here in the ‘Morning Room’ before it was donated to the collection at the Detroit Institute of Arts. (Tanya Moutzalias | MLive Detroit)

Many of the original masterpieces were donated to the Detroit Institute of Arts and are now some of the most popular pieces at the museum like Vincent Van Gogh’s “Portrait of Postman Roulin.”

Many original paintings can still be seen in the home like French Post-Impressionist artist Paul Cézanne’s masterpiece, “Bouilloire et Fruits.”

Also inside the Edsel and Eleanor Ford House: “Anemones,” by Henri Matisse, “Cactus on the Plains,” by Diego Rivera, “Flowers in a Blue Vase,” by Odilon Redon, “A Youth in Feathered Hat,” by Frans Hals, and a portrait of “Guiliano de Medici,” attributed to Italian 16th century painter Raphael.

According to Detroit Free Press reporter Mark Stryker the Edsel and Eleanor Ford House sold Paul Cézanne’s “La Montagne Ste. Victoire” in 2013 to a private buyer for $100 million, “likely making the piece one of the 15 most expensive works of art ever sold.”

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The estate’s grounds were designed by Jen Jensen, one of America’s prominent landscape designers. He was known as the master of the naturalist approach and designed the property to look as it man had never actually touched it.

Edsel and Eleanor Ford HouseThe romantic rose garden of the Edsel & Eleanor Ford House estate. (Tanya Moutzalias | MLive Detroit)

The sprawling grounds include the meadow, maple lane, flower lane, a swimming pool with a waterfall that flows into a lagoon, as well as the romantic rose garden and Bird Island

Bird Island, as it has always been called, was never really an island but a peninsula built up around a naturally formed sand bar in the lake.

This spring crews removed a small land mass and for the first time ever Bird Island became an actual island. The water that was once algae-filled and stagnate now flows freely through Ford Cove attracting boaters looking for a nice spot to fish and kayakers exploring the coastline of the island.

Related: Edsel and Eleanor Ford House undergoes $2 million in green restoration projects

Open to the public

After Eleanor’s death in 1976 she left the house to be preserved and opened to the public so that others could experience the Ford’s history and grand estate

Year-round tours, special exhibitions and community events are offered. Visit for tour and event information.


Cologne Fine Art Fair Launches Contemporary Branch—Is Art Cologne Getting a Competitor

Changes are coming to Germany’s Rhineland. In an attempt to revitalize the region’s aging art fair, Cologne Fine Art (COFA), organizers have announced a new sister-fair called “COFA Contemporary.”

According to COFA director Cornelia Zinken, the contemporary branch of the fair will run as a one-time pilot event from November 19-22, 2015, on the second floor of COFA’s traditional venue at Kölnmesse.