Monday, February 20, 2017

The Art of Protest

 Every so often I take a day off.
























~ Happy President's Day



Tuesday, February 14, 2017

"I Cannot Tell a Lie"

8 x 10"
oil on panel


What a timely post for today.

Our first President of the United States never said those words although it is still, to this day, a quote credited to George Washington.  This iconic story about the value of honesty was invented by a Washington biographer after the President's death - he wanted to please the masses who wanted to know more about this great man.  So he made it up - when Washington was a young lad, he received a hatchet as a gift and damaged his father's cherry tree.  When dad confronted his son, George bravely said, 'I cannot tell a lie.. I did cut it with my hatchet.'  Never happened.

This biographer, Mason Weems, was also a minister who thought the best way to improve the moral fiber of society was to educate children - even if it was fake news.  

Gilbert Stuart was the go-to-guy for portraits in Federal America.  His George Washinton (The Constable-Hamilton Portrait) was commissioned as a gift for Alexander Hamilton.  It was painted in Philadelphia in 1797 during Washington's final year in office.  It hangs in the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, Arkansas.

Please click here for a larger view and purchase information.

~ Happy Valentine's Day


Sunday, February 12, 2017

"Aromatherapy"

6-3/4 x 16"
oil on panel


If there is ever a reason to visit an art museum to beeline to one of the most perfect paintings ever created, John Singer Sargent's Fumee d'Amber Gris (Smoke of Ambergris) is it.  This prime example of Orientalism hangs in the Clark Museum in Boston - painted in 1880 and inspired by Sargent's trip to North Africa.

The painting depicts a woman creating a tent with her veil, catching the smoke and fumes from the smoldering ambergris in the silver censer.  Known and used for its unique aroma, ambergris was used in some religious rituals, also thought to have aphrodisiac qualities and be a safeguard from evil spirits.  Sargent's painting is a combination of Moroccan objects and customs he observed while in Tangier and Terouan.

In 1887, in Harper's New Monthly Magazine, Henry James wrote, 'I know not who this stately Mohammedan may be, nor in what mysterious domestic or religious rite she may be engaged; but in her plastered arcade, which shines in the Eastern light, she is beautiful and memorable.  The picture is exquisite, a radiant effect of white upon white, of similar but discriminated tones.'

I've had the framed print in my home since the first day I saw it, about 30 years ago.  It is a perfect painting.  My painting will be included in my upcoming solo show opening March 3rd at Robert Lange Studios in Charleston.

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



Tuesday, February 7, 2017

"Front Seats"

9 x 14"
oil on panel



A new painting for the upcoming show at Robert Lange Studios - a woman viewing Mary Cassatt's Little Girl in a Blue Armchair in the National Gallery of Art in Washington DC.  I framed the print of this painting many, many times in my years as a framer and I can attest that seeing it in person is so much more impressive - largely due to the vivid blue-aquas of the overstuffed chairs.  Most don't even notice the little dog napping on the chair on the left seat until they see it in the museum.

Mary Cassatt painted Little Girl in a Blue Armchair in 1878 - it was said to be a radically new image of childhood.  The girl was a daughter of a friend of Edgar Degas, who was a major influence on Cassatt.  Both artists were similar in their upbringing, both had strong ties to America and both painted strikingly similar works of art.

Cassatt was born in Allegheny City, Pennsylvania in 1844.  She studied early on at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, grew tired of the male dominance of instructors and students and moved to Paris at the age of 22.  She studied under Jean-Leon Gerome, returned to the U. S. for a short time, went back to Europe and blossomed as an artist in the years to come.

In 1879, Cassatt showed eleven works in the highly-seen Impressionist exhibit and finally experienced recognition and success.  The 1890's were her most prolific time, becoming a role model for young American artists, especially women artists.

In 1914, health issues and near-blindness forced her to stop painting.  She then took up the cause of women's suffrage and in 1915, showed eighteen works in an exhibition, raising money to support the women's movement.

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




Sunday, February 5, 2017

"Not Always Black and White"

16 x 16"
oil on panel


My show at Robert Lange Studios is less than a month away - I'm hoping you'll take a long weekend and stay in Charleston and join me on March 3rd.  This is one of the paintings included in the show, let me tell you a little bit about the art.

John Singer Sargent made a lucrative living as a portrait artist for the wealthy in both America and abroad, including the two featured in my painting - Madame X and Mr. and Mrs. I. N. Phelps Stokes.

Madame X debuted in Paris in 1884, critics deemed it scandalous, immoral and erotic based on society's tastes and standards of etiquette at the time.  The model, Virginie Gautreau"s family was outraged because one of her straps slipped off her shoulder.  Sargent appeased and repainted the strap, kept the painting three years before it was sold to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York in 1916.

Edith and Isaac Newton Phelps Stokes were banking and shipping heirs.  Known as New York liberals, Edith insisted she be painted in street clothes (the kind she rode her bike in, etc.)  - she wanted to represent the New Woman Movement.  She flouted the upper-crust norms, marrying at 28, adopting a child openly and bringing kindergarten to the U.S., a then-radical idea.  Newton was something of a dandy, studied architecture during thier extended honeymoon, joined a New York firm and helped design buildings that stand today, like St. Paul's Chapel at Columbia U.  His advocacy led to the Tenement House Act of 1901, reforming low-income housing in Manhattan.

Both paintings hang in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City.

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


Friday, February 3, 2017

"Hang On To Your Hat"

6 x 8"
oil on panel
sold


In between painting the show pieces, I painted this study thinking I'd do a trio of women viewing women - but then I got caught up in a John Singer Sargent piece that is one of my absolutely favorite works of art titled Smoke of Ambergris.  For now, I thought I'd put this small one on auction and revisit the idea in the future.

Featured is Edmund Tarbell's Preparing for the Matinee - one of those mouthwatering portraits done in the early 20th century.  The woman is Charlotte Barton of Boston, dressing up to go to the theater, with the most elegant tones and beautiful, subtle details to make one stop and study.

Tarbell was born in Massachusetts, interested in painting the lives of women in both interior and outdoor settings.  Tarbell was one of the Ten American Painters, a group formed in 1898, including the artists Childe Hassam, Frank Benson, Thomas Dewing, William Merritt Chase to name a few.  They exhibited as a group in New York, Boston, Philadelphia and beyond.




Monday, January 30, 2017

"Good Weed"

9 x 12"
oil on panel


Georgia O'Keeffe completed only a few large-scale paintings during her lifetime - Sky above Clouds IV, which hangs prominently in the stairwell in the Art Institute of Chicago - and Jimson Weed which hangs in the Indianapolis Museum of Art.  It measures approximately 8 feet wide by 7 feet tall and easily prompts visitors to say WOW when they walk into the room.  It is spectacular.

In 1936, the cosmetic giant Elizabeth Arden commissioned O'Keeffe to paint Jimson Weed to hang in the exercise room of her salon in New York.  She paid an astonishing $10,000 for the painting - in 1987 Eli Lily purchased the Arden company and acquired the painting and lent it to the Indianapolis Museum of Art and ultimately donated it to the museum in 1997.

Georgia O'Keeffe is and will always be an inspiration to women - born in 1887 on a wheat farm in Wisconsin and one of seven children.  Art appreciation was nurtured in her family, her two grandmothers and two of her sisters also painted.  She studied at the Art Students League in New York and the Art Institute of Chicago, had her first gallery show in 1916 set up by the photographer and art dealer Alfred Stieglitz, who she married in 1924. 

O'Keeffe concentrated on her flower studies in those early years in New York, but don't miss looking up her skyscraper paintings done during this period.  She rocked the art world despite it being male-dominant.  In 1929, she visited northern New Mexico, was inspired by a whole new world of landscapes and architecture, in the following twenty years traveled back and forth to a place she most felt at home.  After Stieglitz's death in 1949, she permantly moved to New Mexico where she lived and worked until her death in 1986. 

Here are a few of my favorite O'Keeffe quotes ~

"I wish people were all trees and I think I could enjoy them then."
"It's not enough to be nice in life. You've got to have nerve."
"If you take a flower in your hand and really look at it, it's your world for a moment."

This painting will be included in my show opening March 3rd at the Robert Lange Studios.

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



Saturday, January 28, 2017

The Golden Rule

The Golden Rule
by Norman Rockwell 1961


A little art history today for you.

Norman Rockwell's drawing was done in 1953, inspired by the United Nation's humanitarian mission, his idea was to portray the UN as the world's hope for the future, including 65 people representing the world's nations, "waiting for the delegates to straighten out the world, so that they might live in peace and without fear."

Rockwell was a compassionate and liberal man and the simple phrase 'Do Unto Others as You Would Have Them Do Unto You" reflected his philosophy.  He traveled all of his life and felt welcomed wherever he went and considered himself a citizen of the world.  Rockwell said, "I'd been reading up on comparative religion.  The thing is that all major religions have the Golden Rule in Common.  'Do unto others as you would have them do unto you'.  Not always the same words but the same meaning."

In 2014, the UN rededicated a large mosaic of Rockwell's 1961 illustration, which hangs in their New York City headquarters.  The mosaic was originally presented to the UN in 1985 as a gift on behalf of the United States by then First Lady Nancy Reagan.


Monday, January 23, 2017

"Wayne's World"

20 x 11"
oil on panel


Women Rock.  Especially Wayne Thiebaud's women.  Big, bold, colorful and direct.

This new painting for the upcoming show features two of Wayne Thiebaud's women - I'll start with the one on the left, Supine Woman - in the permanant collection of Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art.  The definition of supine can mean 'lying on one's back' or 'mentally or morally lethargic'.  Thiebaud's painted her, modeled by his daughter Twinka, in 1963 so the 'lying down' posture with open legs and a white dress, brown dress shoes and a clinched fist does make a profound statement if you consider the year 1963 given the oppression of women in society and the workplace.
The same can be said of Girl With Ice Cream Cone, also painted in 1963 - which includes the often painted subject of an ice cream cone.  This fabulous piece hangs in the Hirshhorn at the Smithsonian in Washington, DC.

I read if Edward Hopper can be called the painter of the East coast certainly Wayne Thiebaud can be considered the painter of the West coast.  If you count the artbooks I've collected through the years, both Hopper and Thiebaud dominate.  They're both hugely influential to what I love about painting.  Thiebaud's range of subject matter goes from the most-recognized dessert compositions to stunning, aerial views of California landscapes and cityscapes to bold portraits to etchings and drawings.  His attention to edges and his love of shadows have formed a likewise style in how I paint.  I really do gush when I start talking about Thiebaud, an American treasure.

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





Friday, January 20, 2017

"Folksy"

9 x 12"
oil on panel


On this day our country transfers power in our government, I reveal one of my paintings for an upcoming show that is a quintessential, iconic painting of America.  Come to think of it, the couple viewing Grant Wood's American Gothic is very quintessential American.

Grant Wood, a native Iowan, painted this widely recognized piece in 1930 after visiting the small town of Eldon, where he found the little farmhouse with its special window done in a style called Carpenter Gothic.  His models for the farmer and his daughter were his dentist and his sister, rendering them 'as if they were tintypes from my old family album.'

Wood said he intented the painting to be 'a positive statement about rural American values, an image of reassurance at a time of great dislocaton and disillusionment.'

How fitting for this day.

Please click here for a larger view and pre-show purchase and contact information.


Saturday, January 14, 2017

"Here Comes The Sun"

6 x 8"
oil on panel
sold


Before I started on my 11th painting for the upcoming show, I knew I needed a warm up - choosing one of my personal favorites in the Art Institute of Chicago, Jules Breton's The Song of the Lark.

Breton was a French realist painter, born in 1827.  During his childhood, his father tended land for a rich landowner and this subject matter of his native region was prevalent throughout his painting career. 

The Song of the Lark made news a couple of years ago, in an interview by Bill Murray in the Huffington Post, where he recounted his first experience on a stage, which did not go well.  Murray headed towards Lake Michigan thinking 'If I'm going to die, I might as well go over toward the lake and float a bit."  Before he made it to the lake, he stopped in at the Art Institute of Chicago and saw Breton's painting and he thought "Well there's a girl who doesn't have a whole lot of prospects, but the sun's coming up anyway and she's got another chance at it.  So I think that gave me some sort of feeling that I too am a person and I get another chance everyday the sun comes up."

'Any form of art is a form of power. It has impact, it can affect change - it can not only move us, it makes us move.'   ~  Ossie Davis





Thursday, January 5, 2017

An Honor



A little while back I was asked, by Dr. Gary Schallert, a Professor of Music and Director of Bands at Western Kentucky University Wind Ensemble, if I would be willing to contribute one of my painting images for the cover of their CD Of Our New Day Begun.  I painted Emanuel AME at Dawn in June of 2015, a few days after the tragic shootings occurred in Charleston, a way to mend a broken heart I suppose. 

Mr. Schallert explained the title song was written by Omar Thomas "to honor nine beautiful souls who lost their lives to a callous act of hatred and domestic terrorism on the evening of June 17, 2015 while worshipping in their beloved sanctuary, the historic Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston."  Mr. Thomas goes on to say "My greatest challenge in creating this work was walking the line between reverence for the victims and their families, and honoring my strong, bitter feelings towards bothe the perpetrator and the segments of our society that continue to create people like him. I realized the the most powerful musical expression I could offer incorporated elements from both sides of the line - embracing my pain and anger while being moved by the displays of grace and forgiveness demonstrated by the victims' families."

I am honored to be a part of this project and thank Dr. Schallert for including me.

Music and art do soothe the soul.






Saturday, December 31, 2016

"High Over Pennsylvania"

6 x 6"
oil on panel
sold


I was quite hypnotized last night watching one of my favorite TV programs - Aerial America, on the Smithsonian Channel.  I saw hundreds of paintings in my head - patterns and patchworks of colors and shapes - I just wish I could cruise over land like a bird.  With a camera.  Aerials get me so excited for someone afraid of heights.

Between the hours-long paintings I'm working on for an upcoming show, I am in need of letting loose, with no worries of details, no sketching, just swirling the oils around.  So with great inspiration from my favorite program, I hope to continue this series for a while and hope you enjoy the view.

This bird's-eye perspective is over the farmlands of Pennsylvania.  

This painting will be my last of 2016 - my 89th painting this year. 

~ and a Happy New Year to you.


Saturday, December 24, 2016

Happy Holidays


Wishing you and yours
Peace & Love


Saturday, December 17, 2016

2017 Mini Wall Calendars!

SOLD OUT




Tuesday, December 13, 2016

"Flower Girls"

6 x 6"
oil on panel
sold


I've imposed some much-needed, happy, cheerful acts on myself lately.  Baking cookies, Crock-Pot stew, the Muppets Christmas Carol and painting this colorful, soul-enriching piece featuring Diego Rivera's Flower Festival: Feast of Santa Anita

A couple of things I need to mention here - you don't see much progress on my blog because I'm working on paintings for a solo show held in early March.  It kills me not to reveal them as I go.

And... for those who've asked?  I have a calendar not quite ready, I know it's late in the year, but it's coming and I'll shout from the mountain top when it is.

Now for the artist Diego Rivera.  Born in 1886 in Guanajuato, Mexico - a large, colorful, overbearing, talented painter best known for his depictions of the working class and native Mexicans.  At the age of 35, through a government program, he painted a series of murals in public buildings about the country's people and its history, some controversial and all very powerful.

Rivera was a lady's man, married twice before marrying the artist Frida Kahlo who was 20 years younger - both known for their interest in radical politics and Marxism.  They fought often and divorced and remarried in 1940 - Kahlo died in 1954 and Rivera married again, to his art dealer.  He died several years later from cancer and heart failure in 1957.

Rivera's Flower Festival was painted in 1931 depicting a flower festival held on Good Friday in Santa Anita, included in a solo exhibition at MoMA the same year.  





Friday, December 2, 2016

"Positives and Negatives"

6 x 8"
oil on panel
sold


From inside the National Gallery of Art in DC, a woman viewing one of Franz Kline's powerful abstracts.


Tuesday, November 29, 2016

"Light Waves"

8 x 10"
oil on panel
sold


Today is Giving Tuesday and I am participating in my own way - donating 75% of the final sale of this painting to Our Lady of Perpetual Help Home here in Atlanta.  This hospice operates solely on private donations and cared for my dad.





Tuesday, November 22, 2016

"Ode To Autumn"

6 x 8"
oil on panel
sold


One of the many masterpieces in our National Gallery of Art in DC is Winslow Homer's Autumn.  It will take your breath away.  It's casual and approachable.  Homer's rich reds, bronzes, greys, greens and golds are as stunning as the fall leaves that surround us during these few weeks. Ode to autumn.

Winslow Homer is an American treasure, born 1836 in Boston - a printmaker, painter, illustrator.  A little-known fact - at the age of 25 he was sent to the front lines of the Civil War to sketch battle scenes, camp life, commanders - all of which were published in Harper's magazine. Those sketches were later formed into realized paintings when Homer returned home.

Homer then turned his attenton to more nostalgic scenes of childhood and family - then to postwar subjects of Reconstruction and depictions of African American life after emancipation.   The most familiar paintings of Winslow Homer are his landscapes and seascapes - done is his later years when he moved to Prouts Neck, Maine.  It has been said Homer led an isolated life as an old man but continued to paint vigorously, hinting a turn to more abstract and expressive art.  He died at the young age of 74.

Speaking of American treasures....

I watched President Obama's ceremony today, awarding 21 Medal of Freedom recipients who all are truly outstanding humanitarians who've made positive, progressive, compassionate, brilliant contributions of our country.  I will miss President Obama for his grace and thoughtfulness and reminding me what's important and good about us.  Take some time and watch the ceremony in its full version here.

~ Happy Thanksgiving


Wednesday, November 16, 2016

"The Hill"

6 x 8"
oil on panel
sold


There is so much I'd like to express.

But this is my painting blog. 

Art does soothe the soul when it's needed most.

I've just returned from a trip to visit family and spent an afternoon soothing my soul in the National Gallery of Art in Washington DC.  As I crossed Constitution Avenue on my walk back to the car from the museum, I stopped to admire our newly-renovated, unscaffolded Capitol Building.  


Sunday, November 6, 2016

"I See a Pattern Here"

12 x 12"
oil on panel


I usually don't talk to anyone in the museums but I told this woman I loved her shirt.  I said it was a work of art itself.  She seemed delighted to hear that.

I've also mentioned in prior posts that I'm not a great fan of abstract expressionism, a movement that came along in the 1940-1950's.  But there is something that stops me in my tracks when I see a Franz Kline or Robert Motherwell painting - I suppose it's the patterns.  Like this woman's shirt.  

Franz Kline was born in 1910 in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania - a town we hear a lot of during this Presidential campaign.  It was a small, coal-mining community, now the state's 13th largest city.  I've been there - as a little girl, my dad would take my family for a Saturday drive seeking out one of several authentic Italian delis for lunch in Wilkes-Barre.

Back to Kline ...  as a young man, he was sent to an academy in Philadelphia, studied at Boston University then a school of fine art in London, returned to the U.S. working as a designer in New York City.  It was there he developed as an artist, gaining recognition.

His style came about using simplified forms based on locomotives, landscapes, large mechanical shapes from his coal-mining hometown.  You can see that.  His friendships with like-minded artists such as Willem de Kooning and Jackson Pollock influenced his direction of abstract expressionism - direct and spontaneous brushstrokes which defined him as both an action painter and a minimalist.

Kline tended to avoid defining his art or offering explanations of what his 'message' was, which shows in his titles like his painting you see in my painting - Painting, 1952 which hangs in the Art Institute of Chicago.

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




Friday, November 4, 2016

"Woman To Woman"

6 x 8"
oil on panel
sold


Ahhhh.  Nothing quite as exquisite as a Vermeer painting.  The artist Jan Vermeer was born in the Netherlands in 1632, one of the most highly regarded Dutch artists of his time and all time.

There are scant records of Vermeer's start as an artist, but experts draw a straight line of influence to Rembrandt and Caravaggio.  Many of his masterpieces are about domestic scenes, depictions of women doing chores around the house - the notable and famous painting Girl with a Pearl Earring portrayed a young woman who worked in his household.

Jan Vermeer suffered financially in his old age, due to the Dutch economy tanking after being invaded by France in 1672.  He was deeply indebted by the time of his death in 1675, only then becoming more world-renowned and leaving approximately 36 paintings that are hung in prominent museums around the world including the gem you see in my painting titled Young Woman with a Water Pitcher, which hangs in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City.


Monday, October 31, 2016

"Day Game"

10 x 8"
oil on panel
sold


A happy dog with her toys on the beach of Hilton Head Island.

Please click here for a larger view.


Thursday, October 27, 2016

"Give Me a W"

6 x 6"
oil on panel
sold


My homage to Rockwell and our World Series - a young Chicago Cubs fan viewing Norman Rockwell's The Dugout.

GO CUBS!



Tuesday, October 25, 2016

"Cleared For Takeoff"

8 x 6"
oil on panel
sold


Speaking of the beach...

A friendly gull I met last week.