Thursday, July 20, 2017

"An Invitation"

6 x 8"
oil on panel


A young woman is seemingly being invited to play on the beach in Joaquin Sorolla's Two Sisters, Valencia in the Art Institute of Chicago.

Please click here to the auction page.  Auction ends July 30, 9 pm ET.


Sunday, July 16, 2017

"Express Yourself"

9 x 12"
oil on panel


Mark Rothko was a complex, educated man and it would be futile for me to even begin to analyze his paintings, especially the color fields in his abstract expressionism works.  I will include a quote from Rothko that does it for me - "The fact that people break down and cry when confronted with my pictures shows that I can communicate those basic human emotions.  The people who weep before my pictures are having the same religious experience I had when painting them.  And if you say you are moved only by their color relationships then you miss the point."

A young man stands before Mark Rothko's Untitled, (Purple, White and Red) in the Art Institute of Chicago.

Please click here for a larger view and purchase/contact information.


Monday, July 10, 2017

"From Their Perspective"

6 x 8"
oil on panel
sold


I enjoyed loosening up with this new painting - two young women resting on a bench in front of Mark Rothko's Untitled, (Purple, White and Red) in the Art Institute of Chicago.




"Puppy Zen"

12 x 12"
oil on panel


These are my darling pups, Zac and Joey, when they were about four months old.  

I know, it's out there for me.





Wednesday, July 5, 2017

"Get With The Program"

6 x 6"
oil on panel
sold


I love this painting.

From the Art Institute of Chicago, a couple rests on a marble bench in the Art Institute of Chicago.




Thursday, June 29, 2017

"Starstruck"

8 x 10"
oil on panel


This is how most people look at a painting by Joan Miro.  A bit puzzled maybe.

The Spanish painter, born in 1893, lived a long life until the age of 90 - which meant he lived as a painter and sculptor through many art movements of the 20th century - surrealism, dadaism, fauvism, magical realism, experimentalism and modernism.  Miro expressed contempt for conventional painting methods as a way of supporting bourgeois society, famously declaring an 'assassination of painting' in favor of upsetting the visual elements of established painting'.  Add Joan Miro to the long list of artists who were sent off to a private school and sooned decided they wanted to be a painter rather than what their father wanted them to be.

Miro's painting above is titled Personages with Star.  You might ask what is a personage.  According to Miro, after hunger-induced hallucinations, he began a series of 'dream paintings', exploring surrealism, including what he called enigmatic signs or personages - based on real things but in his own form.  The man was unique.

Like his mentor, Pablo Picasso, Miro was deeply involved in politics.  In a 1936 interview, with the Spanish civil war looming, he spoke of the need to 'resist all societies... if the aim is to impose their demands on us.  The word 'freedom' has meaning for me and I will defend it at any cost.'  When asked about the death of General Franco in 1975 and what he had done to promote opposition to the Spanish dictator who ruled for nearly 40 years, he answered 'free and violent things.'  

From the Art Institute of Chicago, a woman closely studying Joan Miro's Personages with Star.

Please click here for a larger view and purchasing/contact information.




Saturday, June 24, 2017

"The Light Of Day"

6 x 8"
oil on panel
sold


And a happy summer to you.

I've been busy going places but now I'm home and back to painting.  Yay.

Back in my frame shop days, I made it a point to have a framed Georgia O'Keeffe print on the wall - especially her New York skyscrapers.  I had a guy come in one day, swore I was mistaken that the painting you see above, The Shelton with Sunspots, N.Y. was NOT an O'Keeffe.  He insisted she only painted flowers and desert scenes.  Yep, that's what he said.

O'Keeffe created a series of New York skyscrapers between 1925 and 1929 after she and Alfred Stieglitz moved into the Shelton Hotel, on the 30th floor where she had a perfect view of the northern, eastern and southern cityscapes.  Her painting above depicts an optical illusion where there appeared to be "a bite out of one side of the tower made by the sun, with sunspots against the building and against the sky".

After 1929, O'Keeffe was unhappy with city life and marriage and moved to New Mexico, where she found new inspiration in the southwest landscapes, never to revisit the subject of skyscrapers again.

From the Art Institute of Chicago, a woman stands next to Georgia O'Keeffe's The Shelton with Sunspots, N.Y.




Sunday, June 11, 2017

"Lend Me Your Ear" (study)

6 x 6"
oil on panel
sold


I've written about Vincent van Gogh in past posts and still I can't get over the fact that this brilliant artist completed nearly 900 paintings, 1,100 drawings and countless etchings between the ages of 28 through 37 years old.  And the majority of paintings were done in the last two years of his life.  And.... he only sold one painting in his lifetime.  Remarkable.

Van Gogh painted 30 self-portraits during the last several years of his life - in large part to not being able to pay a model.  Each and every portrait gives the viewer great insight to his state at that time.  The self-portrait above was done in 1887 while he lived in France and largely due to being influenced by the young artist, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, van Gogh approached this painting with the play between the complimentary colors of blue-greens and the orange-reds.  He adopted elements of Pointillism, using small, colored strokes inside the background and clothing, something that can't be seen from a distance, but up close, is so very effective.  

From the Art Institute of Chicago,  a man closely views Vincent van Gogh's Self-Portrait.  This is a small study of a larger version I am currently working on - I wanted to make sure I could get the tilt of the man's head right before I tackled a larger painting.



Thursday, June 8, 2017

"Subtropical"

6 x 6"
oil on panel
sold


I've been in an experimental mode with this idea.  On several occasions, I've seen blown up wall murals - some in museums advertising exhibitions, some on sides of buildings, some on television during live concerts or speeches, etc.  It really captures my attention.  So I've been playing with scale and people and it's been great fun, resulting in a study of one I'd like to do a bit larger.

Feel free to tell me what you think.

The mural behind the woman on the bench is Paul Gauguin's Aha Oe Feii? or Are You Jealous?.  Painted in 1892 from his adventures in Tahiti, the title refers to a conversation between two sisters about love and conquests, causing one to say What? Are you jealous? after one claimed she got lucky the night before and the other did not.  

Gauguin went to Tahiti with expectations of paradise and Tahitian culture but discovered those preconceived notions were disappearing fast with Roman Catholic and Protestant missionaries moving in on the natives.  It was then his goal to spend the next twelve years recreating the idyllic world in paintings, engravings and sculptures.


Thursday, June 1, 2017

"Come Across"

5 x 7"
oil on panel
sold


I'm really late for dinner but I wanted to post this new painting that includes one of my personal favorites of Georgia O'Keeffe, Black Cross, New Mexico in the Art Institute of Chicago.  To her left is The Black Place.




Saturday, May 27, 2017

"Chick Music"

9 x 12"
oil on panel


Henri Matisse was born in 1869 in Northern France, the oldest son of a rich grain merchant.  His father sent him to law school in Paris, and after an attack of appendicitis, his kind mother brought him art supplies to occupy his days in recovery and Henri discovered "a kind of paradise"  - then deciding he was to become an artist rather than a lawyer.  Imagine that - an appendicitis attack gave us the great Henri Matisse.

Henri was serious about art - creating paintings, sculptures, cut-out collages and stained glass windows right up until his death at the age of 84.  What is recognizable in many painting is the repetition of colors and pattern and a general feeling of harmony.

The Music (La Musique) was painted in 1910, commissioned by a wealthy Russian who hung it with The Dance on the staircase of his Moscow mansion.  It is said Matisse created the painting without any preparation or sketches, like Dance, aiming to show a 'state of complete immersion in creativity'.  I love this quote from Matisse, saying his ultimate goal was to create "an art of balance, of purity and serenity, devoid of troubling or depressing subject matter, an art which could be for every menial worker, for the businessman as well as the man of letters, for example, a soothing, calming influence on the mind, something like a good armchair which provides relaxation from physical fatigue".

The art of Zen.  The Zen of art.

From the Albright-Knox Gallery in Buffalo, New York - women surrounding The Music by Henri Matisse.

Please click here for a larger view and purchase/contact information.





Monday, May 22, 2017

"Love Is In The Air"

6 x 6"
oil on panel
sold


The artist Marc Chagall called 'love' the primary color of his paintings.  They are rich with Russian culture.  You hear the music.  You feel the love.

Chagall's Birthday depicts the artist floating and swooping over his wife, Bella, to kiss her on her birthday.  Or his birthday - different accounts claim one or the other.  The couple met in their hometown of Vitebsk, Belarus in 1909 - he was twenty-two and she was fourteen.  Chagall was the son of a working-class Hasidic Jewish family - Bella was born to one of the town's richest Jewish families.  Despite her family's misgivings about the union, Marc and Bella married in 1915, had a daughter, moved to rural France, fled from the Nazi regime to Lisbon and then to the United States and remained happily married until Bella's death in 1944.

In her memoirs, Bella recounts how she worked at finding Marc's birth date and visited him on that day, carrying flowers as he began the paint.  "Spurts of red, white, black.  Suddenly you tear me from the earth, you yourself take off from one foot.  You rise, you stretch your limbs, you float up to the ceiling.  Your head turns about and you make mine turn.  You brush my ear and murmur."

How sweet is that?

From the Museum of Modern Art in New York City, a woman leans in to admire Chagall's Birthday.




Thursday, May 18, 2017

"Garden Variety"

6 x 6"
oil on panel
sold


In need of a moment of Zen?  Spend some time in an art museum.  Put your phone on silent.  Step into another time.  That's what painting can be like.  A removal from the present.  Imagine painting a huge canvas with your garden surrounding you.  Nice thought.

Claude Monet was 74 years old when he began painting Irises in 1914.  He had gained financial and critical success in the late 1800's, he and his second wife and their combined family were living in Giverny where he frequently painted outdoors in the gardens he helped create.  In 1911, his wife Alice passed away, he had developed cataracts in one eye - yet he took on a large commission by the Orangerie des Tuileries museum in Paris to complete twelve waterlily paintings.  He wanted his pieces to serve as a 'haven of peaceful meditation' to soothe the 'overworked nerves' of the visitors.

Irises stands out as more painterly, with almost a stucco surface of thick, broad brushstrokes capturing the light and color Monet struggled to see clearly.  Stand in front of it and you can see his progressions and strokes as he works on layers upon layers.  

From the Art Institute of Chicago, where you can find many extraordinary works by Monet.


Friday, May 12, 2017

Book Cover



I took the week to visit a good friend.  We spent our time painting together and eating wonderful dinners.  A most perfect week.

Wanted to show you a new book of poetry by Emily Blewitt, titled This Is Not A Rescue.  The publisher Seren Books is located in Wales - they contacted me asking if I would provide the artwork
for the cover and I gladly agreed.

Just a very cool thing.  Makes me proud.




You can order a copy here.

Back to painting tomorrow.

~ Happy Mother's Day ~

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

"Big Man"

6 x 6"
oil on panel
sold


I've been a bit stagnant lately with respect to painting.

It's normal.  Typically happens after a long stretch of painting for a show.  The well goes dry.  It's normal.  

To the surprise of many, I get inspiration from television.  An image will appear or colors will stand out that impress my brain.  Subjects come up and I make a mental note.  I watched a segment recently about the Osage Indians in Pawhuska, Oklahoma - I was born somewhat near the area - so I paid a little more attention to the story which was mainly about the horrible murders of many tribe members in the early 20th century.  

The photos of the Osage were stunning.  The faces, the bone structure... I am always consumed by the human face and form.  That was why I began the BUST-ED series and continue that curiousity.  So I've been pouring over photographs from over 100 years ago of various Native Americans, in awe of their beauty and dignity.

And it's something different for me - to paint with black and white.  It led me to this new painting - a portrait of Big Man.  He was of the Sicangu Oyate Tribe, a branch of the Lakota people who's home is South Dakota.  I don't know much about this gentleman, but Big Man in many tribes all over the world means the patriarch or a highly influential individual.  I found him to be an inspiration.



Wednesday, April 26, 2017

"Sun Protection"

8 x 8"
oil on panel


It's time to dream of sun and surf.

A woman and her dog ruling the beach on Hilton Head Island, South Carolina.

Please click here for a larger view and purchase/contact information.




Thursday, April 20, 2017

"Women's Wear"

6 x 8"
oil on panel
sold


I don't like all Picasso's works of art, but I like this one, Seated Woman in Chemise, especially placed on the warm,  red wall in Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art.   The casual, natural feel of the model with the blue background appeals to me.  The painting is currently on loan from the Tate Museum in London.



Monday, April 17, 2017

"Idol Worship"

9 x 12"
oil on panel
sold


In the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, people flock to John Trumball's iconic Portrait of Alexandar Hamilton.  Children pull their parents over to see him.  The broadway play must take credit for most of the enthusiasm of Hamilton.

The artist, John Trumbull had just as an interesting, historically important life as Hamilton - born in Lebanon, Connecticut in 1756, the son of Jonathan Trumbull, a colonial Royal Governor who embraced the partriot cause and Faith Robinson, a descendant of Pilgrim leader John Robinson.

Trumball entered Harvard at age 15, with the parents' wishes for him to be a lawyer or minister and he immediately became friends with John Singleton Copley, the leading portrait painter of the Colonies and began studying painting to the chagrin of his father.  

When the Revolution fired up, Trumbull joined the Connecticut Regiment, witnessed the Battle of Bunker Hill, which later was a subject of one of his historical paintings - caught the attention of General George Washington, and served until 1777.  Determined to study painting in England, he delivered a letter of recommendation from Benjamin Franklin to study with the Official Painter of Historical Subjects to George III.  Not too shabby.  There he met a student, another famous portraitist, Gilbert Stuart.  All was going well until his arrest and incarceration for allegedly being a British spy until several known artists convinced the king to set him free and leave London.

If you've been to the U.S. Capitol, you saw several historical paintings by Trumbull, notably The Declaration of Independence, a commission urged on by Thomas Jefferson and John Adams.   The man lived a Forrest Gumpesque life through his adult life, meeting the right people at the right time.  He died in 1843, interred on the Yale Campus under the building which contained many of Trumbull's important works of art.  The inscription over his tomb includes the words 'To his Country he gave his SWORD and his PENCIL.'

Please click here for a larger view.



Friday, April 7, 2017

A Show for Karen Hollingsworth


Karen Hollingsworth, my good friend and exceptional artist will be attending her solo show's opening night tonight at Principle Gallery in Charleston SC - go if you can.  There's plenty to delight you.


Voyagers
36 x 36"
by Karen Hollingsworth


Also opening, right down the street from Principle Gallery - at the Vendue Hotel - the group show Homage.  My painting is a homage to Edward Hopper's Early Sunday Morning and Summertime.


Early Saturday Morning
sold


Click here to see the paintings and photographs included in this show.

For a larger view of Early Saturday Morning  click here.



Wednesday, April 5, 2017

"Dancing With The Gilders"

6 x 8"
oil on panel
sold


The young lady seems to be connecting with the sisters, Dorothea and Francesca Gilder, in this portrait by Cecilia Beaux.   Beaux befriended the Gilder family while in Paris in 1896 and when after the artist moved to New York City, they became close friends.  Beaux painted the family members often, especially the sisters.  Her depiction is a tender, elegant portrait of a big sister teaching her little sister a dance step - something they often filled their days with.

Cecilia Beaux, an American, female painter was raised in both Philadelphia and New York City by relatives who nurtured her desire to become a painter - studying at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts and Paris.  She developed an earned reputation as one of the best portrait painters, rivaling those like John Singer Sargent.  After completing Dorothea and Francesca in 1898, she received important commissions, including portraits of Mrs. Theodore Roosevelt, Mrs. Andrew Carnegie to name a few.

Dorothea and Francesca, among a few others by Beaux, hang in the Art Institute of Chicago.


Thursday, March 30, 2017

"The Man Himself"



 6 x 8"
oil on panel
sold


What occurs to me when I study Self-Portrait by Rembrandt van Rijn is this is not only an exquisite oil painting but it's the man himself - notably one of the most famous artists of all time.

Rembrandt is known to have drawn, painted and etched many self-portraits during his lifetime and one can gauge his personal events and moods just by the differences in appearance in these portraits.  He painted this self-portrait in 1659 after he had suffered financial failure after many, many years of success.  He lost his mega-mansion and other possessions to pay back his creditors.  He was in a state of defeat, one can imagine.  Yet there is a sense of dignity in his older face and a deliberate portrayal of a learned painter.

From the National Gallery of Art in Washington DC.




Wednesday, March 29, 2017

"Tradition"

8 x 10"
oil on panel


Watching the skillful hands of the Gullah men and women weaving their baskets with sweetgrass and thin strands of palmetto leaves is quite awesome.

A little history - the unique culture called Gullah is a blend of African and European that lives today in Sea Islands along the coast of South Carolina and Georgia.  All around the city of Charleston SC, the Gullahs exhibit a long standing West African tradition of what they call 'sewing' baskets made of dried sweetgrass and thin strands of palmetto leaves - both resources that grow in the low country region.  Their technique is not the usual weaving - rather they bundle dried sweetgrass and coil it into baskets held together by sewing the coils with the strands of palmetto leaves.

It is said these sweetgrass baskets are durable and will last indefinitely if taken care of.  The declines in habitat for sweetgrass are threatened by coastal development and the Historical Society of Charleston has established reserves on nearby Sullivan's Island - recognizing the culture and history of the Gullah communities.

From a sunny sidewalk in Charleston, South Carolina.

Please click here for a larger view and purchase/contact information.




Monday, March 27, 2017

"I Hear an Echo"

6 x 8"
oil on panel
sold


From the opening night a few weeks back at Robert Lange Studios - a young woman viewing a woman viewing a painting by Franz Kline in one of my paintings titled I See a Pattern Here.  
Trippy huh?

Here's the painting she's looking at ...


12 x 12"
oil on panel


Interested in both? 

Click here to purchase or inquire about I See a Pattern Here.




Wednesday, March 22, 2017

"200 Faces, No. 150"

5 x 7"
oil on panel


I stretched a little further today with this new addition to my ongoing series BUST-ED.

Please click here to the auction page.  Auction ends April 1st, 9 pm ET.



Tuesday, March 21, 2017

"200 Faces, No. 149"

4 x 4"
oil on panel


A little stretching and exercising needed - adding to my ongoing series BUST-ED.

Please click here to the auction page.  Auction ends March 31st, 9 pm ET.