Wednesday, June 22, 2016

"Enlightened"

6 x 8"
oil on panel


On my recent trip to the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, I spotted this young lady - she really impressed me with her genuine interest in the art.  I suspect she was taking personal notes of the pieces she really liked.

The painting she is studying is 'Landscape' by Robert Seldon Duncanson.  The artist, at 20 years of age, decided he'd rather paint canvases than houses, which he'd been doing up until then.  He was largely self-taught, had a long career as an artist until his death at age 51.

Shortly after the Civil War broke out, Duncanson exiled to Canada,  seeking out a place where racism would not get in the way of his profession as an artist.  There he studied the landscape paintings of Canadian artists, moved to the UK and toured with his artworks - he was well received and the prestigious London Art Journal declared him a master of landscape painting.

Duncanson had an important impact on American art.  His father was Scottish-Canadian, his mother was African-American and it was said Duncanson had infused his paintings with an African-American sensibility although he once wrote 'I have no color on the brain; all I have on the brain is paint.'

Duncanson's 'Landscape' depicts, very small, loggers floating rafts of timber down the Saint Lawrence River near Montreal with the glow of the sunset, a signature subject of the artist's, of a mundane workday activity in a beautiful setting.

Please click here to the auction page.  Auction ends July 2nd, 9 pm ET.


Monday, June 20, 2016

Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art



Listen Up




I wanted to start this first week of summer with a highly-recommended trip you must take - to the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art.  I've wanted to go for a while and just packed a bag and took a long road trip to the small town of Bentonville in Arkansas.  The red star shows you where Bentonville is....




Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art was founded by the Walton Family Foundation - the Walmart Family as we know it.  The philanthropist and arts patron and collector, Alice Walton, is to thank for this amazing museum.




On arrival, I parked my car right in front of this banner - featuring one of my very favorite American painters, Wayne Thiebaud.  I was soooo excited.

The museum is part of a 120-acre park, with nature trails and sculpture gardens throughout.




Did I mention it was free?  And parking is free too.




I am very partial to American Art and this museum takes you in a timeline of our country, from colonial times to contemporary - just outstanding.  A few of my favorites were....


 Alexander Hamilton by Giuseppe Ceracchi


Ward by George Tooker


Provincetown by Richard Estes


Haystacks by Martin Johnson Heade


Ambulance Call by Jacob Lawrence


About the town of Bentonville, Arkansas - 




It is a charming, middle-America, safe and friendly place to visit.  I recommend staying at the 21c Museum Hotel in downtown, a block from the town square and very near Crystal Bridges.  I loved my stay and wanted to spread the good word.

~ Happy Summer




Sunday, June 12, 2016

"A Paper Trail"

5 x 7"
oil on panel
sold


In times of sorrow and grief, I paint.

A young lady enthusiastically sketches on the floor in the Legion of Honor Museum in San Francisco.




Friday, June 10, 2016

"Floored"

6 x 6"
oil on panel
sold


From the Museum of Fine Arts Boston, a young woman sketches on the floor in front of John Singer Sargent's 'The Daughters of Edward Darley Boit'.




Thursday, June 9, 2016

"A Voice"

8 x 12"
oil on panel


This new painting is a more revealing view of the two young men in front of Jean-Michel Basquait's Untitled, (Cadmium) - referring to the study I painted a couple of weeks ago.  The shadows are so very wonderful, I couldn't wait to paint this piece.

A good friend of mine captured this moment, meaning to photograph the painting, when the two young men walked up and it suddenly became, she said, 'a Karin Jurick painting'.  I love that.

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


Sunday, June 5, 2016

"A Tradition"

12 x 9"
oil on panel
sold


My homage to one of my all-time favorite movies Ferris Bueller's Day Off, on its 30th anniversary.  At the time it came out in 1986,  I was still missing my life in Chicago as a teenager just a few years back.  There's a scene in the movie when Ferris, his girlfriend Sloane and his best friend Cameron go through the Art Institute of Chicago - something I'd done dozens of times and even cut school to do so.  The three friends stop and stand in front of the three Picassos - here's a snapshot from the movie....




Well since then, many people have mimicked the pose - it became a tradition.  And their visit to an art museum proved to be an inspiration for young people to do the same.  That's a good thing.

I read a good article this week How Ferris Bueller's Day Off Perfectly Illustrates the Power of Art Museums - and a portion of the article, referring to Cameron's fixation on Seurat's A Sunday on La Grande Jatte,  I really like this quote from the curator at the Smithsonian American Art Museum - "I think that absorption of diving into a picture is as though you have seen yourself looking back at you and you have dived in so deeply you cease to exist," she says about life changing art. "What I tell people when they go through art museums is there will be a moment where you are dumbstruck in front of something and it changes your life forever."

About the Picassos - from left to right is The Red Armchair, Portrait of Sylvette David and Femme Assise, 1949, which was sold on auction.

Please click here for a larger view.



Monday, May 30, 2016

"Go With The Flow II"


Here is the companion to Go With The Flow I  -


Go With The Flow II
5 x 5"
oil on panel
sold



Saturday, May 28, 2016

"Go With The Flow I"

Go With The Flow I
5 x 5"
oil on panel
sold
 

I've been playing around with my photos - looking for possible diptychs and triptychs - and tried it out with a small group of women sitting on the beach, watching the ocean tide flow.  It's tricky, and takes time matching up the colors and composition and the goal is that each painting could stand alone as well as together. 


And here are the two paintings together -






Thursday, May 26, 2016

"A Voice" (study)

6 x 8"
oil on panel
sold


Jean-Michel Basquiat is probably the most recognized Neo-Expressionism artist of the 20th Century, born in Brooklyn, NY in 1960, his father was Haitian-American, his mother was Puerto Rican.  I would describe him as brilliant (he could read and write at the age of 4, fluent in French, English and Spanish at age 11) self-sufficient (at 15, he ran away from home, living in a park in New York City for a week, later supporting himself by selling paintings on postcards and T-shirts) creative (became a well-known graffiti artist under the pseudonym SAMO) musical (formed a rock band Gray and played all over New York) all before he found fame in the elite art world at the age of 20.  

Basquiat then rolled with the famous - David Bowie, Madonna, Julian Schnabel and collaborated with Andy Warhol - was on the cover of magazines - his paintings were selling for as much as $50,000 - all the while loosing his grip with a heroin addiction.  After his good friend, Warhol died in 1987, he sank into a more isolated existence and died of a herion overdose at the age of 27.

It's tragic, I know.  The man had a lot to say and express about race, love, beauty, culture, pain, success, snobbery (I could go on).  

One of my top-10 favorite movies is Basquiat - Jean-Michel played brilliantly by Jeffrey Wright, directed by Julian Schnabel who knew Jean-Michel well, David Bowie as Warhol - man, it is a great movie.  Watch it.

A big thank-you to my good friend for the reference photo - two young, African-American men soaking in Basquiat's Untitled (Cadmium), in the High Museum of Art in Atlanta.




Wednesday, May 25, 2016

"Sister Act"

10 x 10"
oil on panel
sold


This new painting took a good part of a week.  There's something that happens to me when I'm painting a John Singer Sargent piece - call it an overwhelming respect for accuracy.  His colors and brush strokes are complex.  That's what made him a master at his craft.

From the Museum of Fine Arts Boston - one of their prized possessions, John Singer Sargent's 'The Daughters of Edward Darley Boit'.

Please click here for a larger view.


Sunday, May 22, 2016

Small Works Art Auction

I've got all of my paintings done that will be included in the Small Works Art Auction held in July.
I'll have seven pieces in the auction and there will be around 250+ total - great deals to be had.   More details at the end of this post, for now, here are my seven, including the Lot # for reference purposes.



Salty Dog
6 x 8"
Lot # 77


Tee Off
6 x 8"
Lot # 104


Honing In
5 x 5"
Lot # 107


Xemplary
6 x 9"
Lot # 117


Patience
8 x 8"
Lot # 171


Beach Boys
5 x 5"
Lot # 173


Paw Prints
5 x 5"
Lot # 174

 The details -

~  The Small Works Art Auction will be held on Saturday,  July 16th at 1 pm.
~  The auction will be held at the Sylvan Gallery in Charleston, SC.
~  If you cannot attend the live auction, you can place your absentee bids by either calling Ben or Lyn Whiteside at the Red Piano Art Gallery at 843-842-4433 or fill out an absentee bidding form that you can find here.

I'll remind everyone as the day gets closer.






Friday, May 13, 2016

"Wait Up"

4 x 4"
oil on panel
sold


This was fun to paint.

From the sunny beach on Hilton Head Island, a little sidekick trying to keep up.




Wednesday, May 11, 2016

"At Ease"

4 x 4"
oil on panel
sold


After working pretty hard on a lot of detailed paintings, I was in need of letting loose with a few small, painterly pieces - no sketching out, just jumping right in.

And because the beach is on my brain ...  you'll see more coming up.




Tuesday, May 10, 2016

"Gentleman Farmer"

6 x 8"
oil on panel
sold


Everyone knows this iconic painting.  People from all over the world recognize the farming couple. If you observe people in the Art Institute of Chicago, when they see Grant Wood's American Gothic, they immediately stop to look closely. 

Truth be told, the man and woman were models for Grant Wood's vision of 'the kind of people I fancied should live in that house'.  The woman was Wood's sister and the man, their dentist.  The house still stands in Eldon, Iowa - I've seen it myself.  We took a road trip along the Grant Wood Scenic Byway several years ago - a most splendid drive through rolling hills, all too familiar in Wood's paintings.

Grant Wood is in my top-10 favorites list of artists.  I have books of his work dating back to the 70's.  I have a love affair with the Regionalism artists - referred to as American Scene painting done from the 20's thru the 50's.  Thomas Hart Benton, John Curry, Grant Wood are the most recognizable of that art movement.  It is said that their depictions of rural life in the American heartland made people feel better during the Great Depression - specifically American Gothic came to be seen as a depiction of steadfast American pioneer spirit.

Wood entered his painting in a competition at the Art Institute of Chicago and although the judges poo-pooed it, a patron convinced them to award it with a medal, a cash prize and persuaded the museum to buy the painting, where it is today.




Friday, May 6, 2016

"Catching Waves"

6 x 8"
oil on panel
sold


Geezaloo - I wanted to tell you about J.M.W. Turner, the painter of Fishing Boats with Hucksters Bargaining for Fish the day after I posted this painting, but, when an A/C guy came to my house to check on a simple thing, he ended up breaking my A/C.  No sorry ma'am, just said he'd order the broken parts and he'd call Monday.  I promptly told the jerk never to return and someone else find the parts.  I was kinda in a snit most of the weekend.  I still have no word on the parts.  And no A/C.  In Atlanta.

About Turner - an Englishman born in 1775, he was a talented, budding artist at age 13 selling his drawings and at 17, the Royal Society of Arts gave him the top award for landscape drawing and he was off and running.  He sold his drawing designs to engravers and gave private lessons at that young age.  He exhibited his works up until 1850, sold approximately 2,000 paintings, 19,000 drawings and close to 300 finished and unfinished paintings were still in his studio by his death.

Turner was known as the 'painter of light'.  Not to be mistaken for the hack artist, Thomas Kinkade. (is that too personal?)  There was a great movie that came out a couple of years ago, Mr. Turner, and if you've seen it, you know as an older man, he became an eccentric.  He was a recluse, had few friends except his father, who lived with him for 30 years.  He never married but had two profound relationships with two women, the second one, Sophia Booth, became a widow and Turner took his place in her home as Mr. Booth for 18 years until his death in 1851.

Turner died and left a small fortune that was grabbed up by his first cousins, who contested his will and won a portion.  The remainder went to the Royal Academy of Arts, which named an award given to accomplished students the Turner Medal.  His paintings were scattered around, into museums in Europe and beyond and some selling for millions in auctions in the last two decades.  Stephen Wynn, the casino magnate, bought one in 2006 for $35.8 million.

So if someone ever asks you who the most famous landscape painter was, it's J.M.W. Turner, hands down.

From the Art Institute of Chicago, a woman viewing Turner's dramatic seascape.


Wednesday, May 4, 2016

"Eden"

6 x 8"
oil on panel
sold


So I don't dwell on the possibility of a maniac being our President - I paint.  A perfect escape.

From the Art Institute of Chicago, a woman rests on a bench in front of Adam and Eve, painted by Lucas Cranach the Elder.




Saturday, April 30, 2016

"For Your Viewing Pleasure"

6 x 8"
oil on panel
sold


Pardon my absence - I've been working on several paintings for a Small Works Auction taking place in July.  I've got one more to go and I'll post all of them.

This new painting is of a woman viewing Pablo Picasso's Les Demoiselles d'Avignon which hangs in the Museum of Modern Art in New York City.  It's HUGE - 96" x 92", which effectively feels like the women in the painting are life-size and on display for all eyes to see.  

The painting portrays five prostitutes from a brother in Barcelona - it has a distinctive primitive style and is really the beginning of cubism and Modern Art.  First exhibited in 1916, it was quickly deemed as immoral.  Years later, exhibited in a gallery in New York City, MOMA bought the painting for a mere $24,000.
Crazy cheap.





Wednesday, April 20, 2016

"Arm In Arm"

9 x 12"
oil on panel
sold


After painting 'Party Crasher', I had no intention of working on another one that would take me days to complete.  But Gustave Caillebotte, the painter of Paris Street; Rainy Day featured in this new painting, was one of the chaps in Renoir's painting Luncheon of the Boating Party and it got me thinking about his most beloved painting in the Art Institute of Chicago.  I fell in love with it back when I was in high school in Chicago - I'd spent countless hours studying every little detail as I sketched the figures.  It blew my mind how anyone could paint something so perfect and so large.

In the past 10 years, I've painted Paris Street; Rainy Day almost a dozen times, including the patrons who marvel at it's perfection - although I never dove into the details until now.  And yes, I got out my small brush.  


detail


Gustave Caillebotte was a French neo-Impressionistic artist, meaning the neos generally painted with more realism and detail rather than broad brush strokes.   He was born into a well-to-do family, earned a law degree, was an engineer, fought in the Franco-Prussian war then after the deaths of his parents, he inherited a fortune which meant he painted without the stress of selling his work.  Also to note, Gustave was one of the first painters to use his photography for his process of painting.  He was a good friend to other fellow artists - Monet, Pisarro, Renoir, to name a few - and was a great support of all of them, collecting their work, paying rent, etc.  A good, good friend.

At the age of 34, Gustave stopped painting and took up gardening, building and racing yachts - living a full and comfortable life.  He never married and died young at the age of 45.

Please click here for a larger view.




Friday, April 15, 2016

"Party Crasher"

10 x 10"
oil on panel


The span of days you didn't hear from me recently was largely due to my working on this new painting.  It tires me to drag out a piece for days - I suffer from a short span of attention, paint for a few hours and seek out other things to do around the house.  I truly love starting a painting in the morning and finishing in the evening.  

But Renoir's masterpiece Luncheon of the Boating Party is complex - you have a landscape, still life and fifteen figures and a dog all in one.  Sixteen figures including the my viewer.  

The famed painting is in the Phillips Collection, one of the off-the-mall museums in Washington DC - and a must-go-to place.  Especially to soak in Renoir's painting.

The Boating Party is a very interesting anatomy of Renoir's friends -

- the woman on the bottom left, holding a dog, is Aline, who married Renoir and together they had three sons.

- the man on the bottom left wearing the boater's hat is Gustave Caillebotte, an accomplished artist who painted Paris Street, Rainy Day - a crowd favorite which hangs in the Art Institute of Chicago.  Gustave was also an avid boatman.

- in the threesome in the upper right corner is the actress Jeanne Samary with two of Renoir's closest friends flirting with her.

- the man with the boating hat in the upper left and the woman in the boating hat leaning on the rail are brother and sister and children of the proprietor of the restaurant Maison Fournaise, where the scene takes place.

- the remainder are poets and critics and a wealthy art historian, collector and editor of the Gazette des Beaux-Arts.

Clearly the in-crowd.

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




Wednesday, April 13, 2016

"Figured Out"

6 x 8"
oil on panel
sold


When I posted this new painting last night, I said I wanted to add a bit more interesting facts but I was late for my evening walk with the dogs.  I was in such a rush, I mistakenly wrote Picasso was the artist, which is why my eBay listing says so.  It was Henri Matisse.  Yikes.  That'll teach me.

Anyhoo.... back to 'Bathers By A River'.  It has a prominent spot in The Modern Wing of the Art Institute of Chicago - on a huge wall as you enter the gallery.  The painting is enormous, so much so, most stand way back for a view.  I'm so drawn to this painting, I beeline right to it when I'm at the Tute.

Back in 2007,  the experts at the Art Institute studied this painting in depth, knowing Matisse was known to work on paintings in stages and piecing together separate panels - and knowing The Bathers took over eight years to complete, they went into more of an examination of his technique.

The Bathers and two other paintings were commissioned by a Russian collector, originally planned as three panels to fit in the man's residence - and after seeing a watercolor study, he rejected it.  But Matisse kept working on it during the next eight years, changing colors - really the whole design.  This was evident when the conservators removed the varnish and used infrared technology and X-rays - seeing a completely different palette.  That discovery morphed into an exhibition at the Art Institute of Chicago, then MoMA, titled 'Matisse: Radical Invention, 1913-1917' - which examined more of Matisse's works and techniques.

As for Matisse, it is a fantastic biography of his life and career - I find the most interesting personal tidbit being that his wife Amelie, whom he was married to for 41 years, suspected infidelity and ended the marriage.  The woman he was having the affair with attempted suicide by shooting herself in the chest BUT she survived and returned to a now-single Matisse and was his loyal assistant for the rest of his life.

Around the age of 71, Matisse was diagnosed with abdominal cancer and after surgery that left him bedridden, he was physically unable to paint and he turned to a new medium, creating cut paper collages for another decade and produced some of the most extraordinary works you're probably familiar with.




Friday, April 1, 2016

"Loners"

6 x 8"
oil on panel
sold


The Delaware Art Museum in Wilmington houses a few paintings by one of it's native sons, Howard Pyle.  Pyle is referred to as 'the father of illustration'.   He was why, as a little budding artist, I wanted to be an illustrator.  He founded the Howard Pyle School of Illustration Art in the early 1900's, later named the Brandywine School.  If Brandywine sounds familiar, it is where the artists of the Wyeth family lived and painted.  N.C. Wyeth was a student of Pyle's - becoming one of the most extraordinary book illustrators of his time.

If you were a student of Howard Pyle, you and other fellow students and painters would set off to historical sites - often taking along costumes and playing out the scenes - reaching into their imaginations of maybe what the life of a pirate was or how the Pilgrims dealt with their new land in Plymouth.  It had to be a wonderful, unique experience for those artists.

The painting I feature is one of my personal favorites titled Marooned.  The painting is quite simple in composition but it really tells the story.  Marooning was a punishment for a member of the crew who violated the pirate's code.  It was first mentioned in Treasure Island and it was a real practice where they would banish the poor guy to a deserted, bleak island with a little water, food and a pistol to commit suicide.  Historically, a few survived their punishments and lived to tell.

I learn something new every day.




Wednesday, March 30, 2016

"Bird Sighting"

6 x 8"
oil on panel
sold


I saw this exquisite painting at the Delaware Art Museum a few years back.  I felt .... lucky.  There haven't been many chances in my life to see those Pre-Raphaelite portraits of women in their luxurious clothes and settings.  They're so yummy.

The painting in my painting is 'Veronica Veronese' by Dante Gabriel Rosetti, done in 1872 - first sold to a frequent collector, a rich shipping magnate Frederick Leyland, changed hands a few times then it was donated to the Delaware Art Museum in 1935.

Rossetti's painting is filled with symbolism - the uncaged bird, the daffodils, the camomile in the cage.  Rossetti was English, a co-founder of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood of artists and poets, which evolved through the years.




Friday, March 25, 2016

Out to Lunch

On this Easter holiday weekend, I want to say I've completely lost my mind.

I've had a long time desire to paint Renoir's Luncheon of the Boating Party since the day I saw it in person about seven years ago.  I tackled it once.  It was much looser.  And there was a crowd in the way.  I was saner back then.




Now I'm zeroing in on Renoir's incredible attention to detail, seeing things I've never noticed before.  Here's my slow progress...




I really should go dye some eggs.

I also wanted to mention Senator John McCain wrote an article in the New York Times today - about a recent obituary, the death of a U.S. soldier Delmer Berg.  He was 100 years old.  

The reason I bring this up?  Picasso's painting Guernica, which I recently featured in my painting War Paint.  

Mr. Berg was the last known veteran of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade.  One of about 3,000 mostly-American volunteers who fought in the Spanish Civil War, in defense of the leftist government of Spain, against the Nationalists, led by Franco.  I never knew about the Abraham Lincoln Brigade.  It was part of the International Brigade, which included tens of thousands of foreign volunteers that fought against the bombings and destruction of many little hamlets in Spain.  Guernica being one of them.

So coming to the aid of a foreign land and people, people that these volunteers never knew - is quite profound.  

~  Happy Easter



Sunday, March 20, 2016

"Mystic" (study)

6 x 8"
oil on panel
sold

And now for peace....

The National Gallery of Art in Washington DC is home to this beautiful, wooden sculpture 'Saint John of the Cross (San Juan de la Cruz)' - commissioned in 1675 by a convent near Seville, Spain to a 21-year-old artist named Francisco Antonio Gijon.  The contract survived all these years, stating the work was to be made of cypress supplied by the monks and be finished in less than two months time.
Yikes.

Saint John of the Cross was a 16th century Spanish mystic, imprisoned for pushing reform of his Carmelite order - his imprisonment inspired some of the most admired poetry and spiritual verses ever written in Spanish.  The mystic figure holds a quill on one hand and a book with a model of a mountain surmounted by a cross in the other - referring to his 'The Ascent of Mount Carmel'.

This 6-1/2' sculpture will bring you to your knees.

~ Happy Spring


Friday, March 18, 2016

"War Paint"

28 x 8"
oil on panel
sold


When I started this painting, I thought I must be out of my mind.  I rarely tackle something I know will take days.  And it did.  

My main drive was to submit this painting to an upcoming museum exhibition, but I couldn't meet the deadline - but I just kept plugging away.  It was challenging - mostly deciphering the many grey tones and values of Picasso's painting - I must have mixed 50+ different blacks and greys and tans.  I was obsessed with getting just the right combinations for days.  

Last night, after I completed the painting,  I took the dogs for a walk in a nearby cemetery and as I was walking on the asphalt, I was determining what colors to mix to get the color under my feet.  My brain couldn't shut it off - I thought that was amusing.

The more I dove into the history of Picasso's Guernica, the more his painting seemed so timely - a small town of innocent people driven out of their home by total destruction, much like Syria.  War.  What is it good for?

Here are several close-ups of this piece, starting from the left....













 Please click here for a larger view.