Wednesday, April 18, 2018

"Quiet Please"

10 x 10"
oil on panel

When you think of the French artist Henri Rousseau, you envision paintings of imaginery jungle settings and various animals.  My new painting features his deviation from the norm - The Sleeping Gypsy - described by Rousseau this way: 'A wandering Negress, a mandolin player, lies with her jar beside her (a vase of drinking water), overcome by fatigue in a deep sleep. A lion chances to pass by, picks up her scent yet does not devour her.  There is a moonlight effect, very poetic."

Rousseau was a self-taught artist, an artist before his time in many ways.  In The Sleeping Gypsy he incorporates key items from different countries - the African woman wearing an Oriental frock, the Italian mandolin - items customary to their respective cultures.  That was different in the world of painting.  

Stand next to this painting in the Museum of Modern Art and no doubt you'll eavesdrop on someone who points out the symbolisms - the lion representing power, the sleeping gypsy representing peace, the moonlight representing calm and possible unity.  Interestly, Rousseau had a difficult time selling this painting.  It changes hands several times - first to a French charcoal merchant, then to an art dealer until a controversary arose whether the painting was a forgery.  I mentioned it was a deviation from the normal paintings Rousseau was known for - that was the basis of the claim, albeit a stupid one.  It was finally purchased by the art historian Alfred Barr Jr. for the MOMA.

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

Saturday, April 7, 2018

"Color My World"

8 x 10"
oil on panel

We are the fortunate ones here in the United States.  We can see Vincent van Gogh's iconic The Starry Night in person in the Museum of Modern Art in New York City.  We're lucky that way.

In 1888, Vincent van Gogh was hospitalized at Saint-Paul-de-Mausole, an asylum for the mentally ill, after a breakdown. During his stay, he was encouraged to paint - and although he rarely ventured far from the building, he painted landscapes from his view through a window in his private room.  The Starry Night was an amalgamation of church spires and cypress trees and small villages and night sky constellations he drew from his memory of paintings done in the past.

His brother Theo thought the painting to be too stylized, too exaggerated but it has become one of the most recognized van Gogh masterpieces for decades.  Seeing a van Gogh in person is special - the colors are vivid and saturated, the thickness of the paint, the swirls and movement of pigments all give it motion and life.  There's nothing like it.

Please click here for a larger view.

Friday, April 6, 2018

Karen Hollingsworth Solo Show

A shout-out to my good friend, Karen Hollingsworth, who has an opening tonight at the Principle Gallery in Charleston SC.  Go by the gallery this month if you're in the neighborhood.

Here's one of my favorites....

'Slow Ride Home'
40 x 40"
oil on canvas

Good luck Karen!

Sunday, April 1, 2018

"Da Vinci Bestowed"

6 x 8"
oil on panel

Happy Easter.

A good day to paint a woman viewing Savior of the World by Leonardo da Vinci.

Da Vinci painted Salvator Mundi (Latin for Savior of the World) around 1500, depicting Jesus giving a benediction with his right hand while holding a crystal orb in his other hand - said to convey his role as savior and master of the cosmos.  Da Vinci painted another 20 or so versions of this work.

Thought to be the original, it was restored and exhibited in London in 2012. Although its authenticity was disputed by some, it was sold at auction by Christie's in New York for - wait for it - $450.3 million. The purchaser was Prince Badr bin Abdullah bin Mohammed Al Farhan and will be displayed in the new Louvre Abu Dhabi Museum.

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

"Matinee Idolizers"

9 x 12"
oil on panel

My new painting features Edward Hopper's New York Movie which I last saw at the Art Institute of Chicago, on loan from the Museum of Modern Art in an exhibition titled America after the Fall: Painting in the 1930's.  The exhibition included my very favorite painters - Hopper, O'Keeffe, Grant Wood to name a few - depicting scenes during the Great Depression.  It was unforgettable.

The Art Institute has several fun facts about New York Movie:

- Hopper painted the work in 1938 after a long dry spell of not painting anything.

- The location is the Palace Theater, now the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre, chosen after scouting out the Strand and others.

- The woman on the right was modeled after Hopper's wife, Jo.  He had her stand under a hallway light in his building for sketching and studies.

- The outfit Jo is wearing was based on the wide-legged jumpsuits actually worn by the Palace Theater's staff.

- The theme on the movie screen was thought to be from a 1937 movie Lost Horizon by Frank Capra.

- The poet Joseph Stanton wrote an ode to the painting. 

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

Monday, March 12, 2018

"A Breath of Fresh Air"

12 x 12"
oil on panel

I once stepped into a gallery in the Smithsonian American Art Museum that had four or five or six, I can't remember how many, grandious landscapes by Albert Bierstadt.  It was crowded with patrons and you could hear a pin drop.

That is exactly what Albert Bierstadt strived for - the awe and amazement from the viewer.  Bierstadt was a showman.  A self-promotor.  He held theatrical events, sold tickets and presented his newest masterpiece by unveiling it from behind a curtain - with dramatic lighting - followed with a tall tale of his explorations in the West and how he came upon this very scene.  One critic described him as the 'vast machinery of advertisement and puffery'.

Bierstadt's paintings were wildly popular and commanded high prices during the time of 1860's - 70's.  People had a thirst for images of the frontier - especially people who lived abroad and had never seen anything like it.

In 1862, Bierstadt's studio was destroyed by a fire, including many of his paintings.  He struggled financially, as the demand for these massive landscape paintings waned - replaced during the Gilded Age with portraits of prominent tycoons and their family members.  Interest in his work was reborn in the 1960's and thanks to his prolific life as an artist, there are hundreds of paintings held by museums around the world.

Please click here for a larger view.

Sunday, February 25, 2018


6 x 8"
oil on panel

Now I know it's not nice to stare but I have this thing about fabrics.  Especially patterned, colorful fabrics.  I followed this woman around the galleries - enamored by her sari and layers of different jewel-toned wraps.  She reminded me of how elegant Georgia O'Keeffe was in her later years.

From the Art Institute of Chicago, a woman stands besides O'Keeffe's Church Steeple, 1930.  The painting belongs to the Georgia O'Keeffe Museum in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Friday, February 23, 2018

American Art Collector Magazine Article

I'm very proud of this article in the March issue of American Art Collector Magazine featuring my upcoming solo show Sargentology  at Robert Lange Studios in Charleston SC.


Please click here for a larger and readable view.

Saturday, February 17, 2018


9 x 12"
oil on panel

Speaking of Presidential portraits.... my painting features John Singer Sargent's Theodore Roosevelt.

In February 1903, at the invitation of the first family, Sargent was a White House guest for a week - there to complete Teddy Roosevelt's official Presidential portrait. It apparently wasn't easy - Sargent had trouble choosing a suitable place to paint, with good lighting and wanted to check out the second floor's options.  As the President and the artist climbed the stairs, Roosevelt told Sargent he didn't think the artist knew what he wanted. Sargent replied that Roosevelt didn't realize what was involved in posing for a portrait. At the top of the stairs, Roosevelt swung his body around, placing his hand on the newel and bellowed 'Don't I!'.  At that moment, Sargent told the President not to move, that would be the pose and the location for the sittings.

Despite a frustrating week for Sargent, in the end, Roosevelt considered the portrait a complete success. 

This painting will be included in my solo show Sargentology, opening March 2nd at Robert Lange Studios in Charleston.

Please click here for a larger view.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

"Dress Envy"

8 x 10"
oil on panel

Included in my upcoming solo show Sargentology,  featuring a portrait of Lady Agnew of Lochnaw by John Singer Sargent.  

Andrew Noel Agnew, a lawyer who had inherited the title of Baron and the estates of Lochnaw, commissioned the portrait of his wife, Gertrude.  In 1893, the painting was exhibited at the Royal Academy and made Sargent a big name for himself, soon becoming the most sought-after portrait artist in high society. 

It took only six sittings for Sargent to complete Gertrude's portrait.  Interestingly, she was in poor health at the time, recovering from a severe bout of influenza, which may explain the slight paleness of her skin in the painting.  It really is her silk dress and purple sash that stand out - and the portrait elevated Gertrude in high society circles, as a beauty and a fashionista.  

Here's the kicker - Andrew and Gertrude spent so much on lavish parties that they ended up in debt, having to sell off many works of art, including this portrait.  The Scottish National Gallery purchased the painting in 1925, thankfully.

Please click here for a larger view.

Monday, February 12, 2018


18 x 8" 
oil on panels

Included in my upcoming solo show Sargentology - a triptych featuring John Singer Sargent's large-scale painting Gassed, painted in 1919 - a commission by the British government, one of many propoganda works of art depicting the realities and suffering of the Great War.

Sargent was 62 years old when, after months of procrastinating, traveled to the Western front, in the midst of WWI to gather images for his commission.  There he witnessed this scene with his own eyes, the aftermath of a terrible mustard gas attack - soldiers leading each other with their hands on the shoulder of the man in front of him, blinded by the gas.  The atmosphere of the mustard/grey toned sky and ironically, the football game being played in the far distance, as if nothing happened - reminds me of the scene in Apolcalypse Now of the agent orange bombs in the background while soldiers surfed in the sea.

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

Sunday, February 4, 2018

"Drama Queen"

8 x 24"
oil on panel

Of all the paintings by John Singer Sargent, this one, which I got to see in person, blew me away like no other - depicting the famous Shakespearean actress Dame Ellen Terry as Lady Macbeth. 

Sargent attended the production of Macbeth at the London Lyceum and immediately wanted to paint the actress and convinced her to sit for him.  His pose of Terry holding a crown on her head, after the murder of Duncan, the Scottish king, didn't happen in the play, but he wanted a dramatic pose, concentrating on her intense gaze and that spectacular costume of green and blue embroidered silk.

Ellen Terry as Lady Macbeth hangs in the Tate Britian.

My new painting will be included in the upcoming solo show Sargentology  opening March 2nd at the Robert Lange Studios.

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

Monday, January 29, 2018


8 x 8"
oil on panel

My newest painting for the upcoming solo show Sargentology - featuring John Singer Sargent's portrait Lord Ribblesdale, painted in 1902.

Thomas Lister, 4th Baron Ribblesdale was a British Liberal politician and was the quintessential Edwardian aristocrat - soldier, sportman, courtier and landowner.  He belonged to the House of Lords in the 1880's, Master of the Buckhounds and later, a Captain in the Rifle Bridgade.  A man of many titles.  He became a Trustee of the National Gallery in London and served from 1909 through 1925.

Lord Ribblesdale commissioned Sargent for this portrait to present to the National Gallery in memory of Lady Ribbledale and his sons, one a Captain and the other a Lieutenant.

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

Thursday, January 25, 2018


9 x 12"
oil on panel

I'm still working on paintings for my show Sargentology, but it's high time I posted those that I've completed, starting with the newest one.

Featured in this setting are three gentlemen - the viewer taking a rest on the gallery bench, Dr. Samuel Jean Pozzi on the left and the artist, John Singer Sargent to the right.

Sargent painted Dr. Pozzi at Home in 1881.  Dr. Pozzi was a good friend of Sargent's, he was a Parisian gynecologist and renowned dandy - described by a contemporary as 'himself a kind of beautiful work of art'.  Sargent painted his friend relaxed at home, wearing a plush, red robe with a puffy shirt underneath, with a peek of an embroidered slipper.  Notably, Pozzi's hands are a focus, elegant, one grasping the collar, the other pulling on the tie around his hip.  The attention to his hands suggests a reminder of Pozzi's method of examination in his profession as a gynecologist.  Dr. Pozzi at Home belongs to the Hammer Museum in LA.

Sargent painted his self-portrait in 1906 and belongs to the Uffizi Gallery in Florence, Italy.

Please click here for a larger view.

All of my paintings for the show, opening March 2nd at Robert Lange Studios, can be seen here.

Monday, January 15, 2018

"Sargentology" Show

For those who want to get a peek at my paintings for the upcoming show Sargentology, please click here.  On my page, you can click on each image for a larger view and purchase/contact information.
You can also go on Robert Lange Studio's page and mouse over the images for prices.

As soon as I finish my summaries, I'll post each painting to give you a little background on the featured work by the great artist John Singer Sargent.  Keep in mind, I'm still working on new pieces and any finished painting can be purchased before the show opens on March 2nd at Robert Lange Studios in Charleston SC.

Monday, January 1, 2018

Happy New Year!

Thank you for visiting my blog and keeping up
with my paintings.

Wishing all a very happy, healthy, creative and sweet new year.  ~ Karin J

Friday, December 29, 2017

"Red Alert"

6 x 8"
oil on panel

I took a break from painting larger pieces and loosened up with this flirty moment - a woman seemingly being eyed by the Portrait of a Member of the Haarlem Civic Guard by Frans Hals.

Frans Hals (the Elder) was a Dutch Golden Age painter during the time of Rembrandt, a portrait artist much like his contemporaries.  I found it amusing that Hals insisted he stay in Haarlem and his clients needed to come to him to sit for a portrait, and it apparently worked for years because he did achieve success until he went out of style.  He was also an art restorer, dealer and art tax expert for the city.  Turned out the city and creditors sued him numerous times for debt and seized several pieces of furniture and paintings to settle. Left destitute, he was afforded a city pension but left nothing of note for his family when he died.

His portraits are hung in museums around the world.  There is a Frans Hals Museum in Haarlem, Amsterdam, Antwerp, the Louvre in Paris, the Frick and Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City to name a few.

The Portrait of a Member of the Haarlem Civic Guard hangs in the National Gallery of Art DC.

Sunday, December 24, 2017

'And to All a Good Night'

"And to All a Good Night"
by Norman Rockwell

Mentioned today in Charley Parker's artblog Lines & Colors.

~  Wishing you and yours a lovely Christmas holiday.

Thursday, December 14, 2017



Sunday, December 10, 2017

"Woman To Woman"

6 x 8"
oil on panel

A woman viewing My Daughter by Frank W. Benson in the National Gallery of Art in DC.

I just wanted to add I'm working on paintings for a solo show held in early March - so if you don't see more frequent posts and smaller studies on auction, that's why.  Don't give up on me. - Karin J

Monday, December 4, 2017

The Swamp

I'm making progress.

Just to catch you up....

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

"Cake Walk"

12 x 12"
oil on panel

This new painting, for obvious reasons, was a great pleasure to paint. 

From the National Gallery of Art in DC, a woman smitten with Cakes by Wayne Thiebaud.

Please click here for a larger view.

Friday, November 24, 2017

"Swept Away"

6 x 8"
oil on panel

Like many a Rembrandt painting,  A Girl With a Broom, painted in 1651, is one of the most-copied or faked paintings of all times.  In fact, the fakes have been produced since the mid-1700's.  Numerous people through the years have claimed they have the original, but alas, the original hangs in the National Gallery of Art in Washington DC.

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Happy Thanksgiving to You and Yours

Wishing you a wonderful Thanksgiving Holiday.

Saturday, November 18, 2017



 9 x 12"
oil on panel

I just completed another painting for the group exhibit
titled Cats vs. Dogs 

This exhibit is currently being held at The Vendue in Charleston SC.  A portion of all sales from the exhibit will be donated to the Charleston Animal Society and The Vendue will match the donation dollar for dollar.

My new painting Doggy features a little boy pointing out a dog hanging in the National Gallery of Art DC.  To the left is A King Charles Spaniel, to the right Tama, the Japanese Dog, both by Edouard Manet.

Please click here for a larger view.

To view all the artworks in the show, click here.

Special thanks to Lauren B. for the original photo.