Sunday, July 24, 2016

"Bear In Mind" (study)

6 x 6"
oil on panel


One of the star attractions in Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art is Arthur Fitzwilliam Tait's 1856 painting 'A Tight Fix - Bear Hunting, Early Winter'.  The scene brings to mind the movie The Revenant - a true story of frontiersman Hugh Glass, who's mauled by a grizzly and abandoned by his group of fur trappers.  Interesting is, although there's no direct evidence this scene is based on Hugh Glass, it is strikingly similar to scenes in the movie.  The Museum of Native American History, not far from Crystal Bridges in Bentonville, Arkansas has one of the only rifles known to belong to Jim Bridger, one of the fur trappers in Hugh Glass's hunting group.

The summary of Tait's painting, in the museum, describes it as 'an icon of American cultural mythology and masculinity'.  When it was first shown, art critics said Tait 'botched the representation of the second hunter, making it unclear whether he's aiming at the bear - neither bear nor man is winning - so a bullet is the only solution to the 'tight fix'.  

More interesting, the summary goes on describing 'critics were particularly sensitive to an impasse between white and black fighters.'   Keep in mind, Tait painted this during the deadlocked war over slavery in the Kansas Territory.  The books of this time were Uncle Tom's Cabin and stories of Davy Crockett where hunting animals and runaway slaves were talked about in similar terms.  

Arthur Tait was born British, and moved to New York City at the age of 31.  He established a hunting camp in the Adirondack Mountains - completely immersed in the frontier life and sport hunting - he produced many paintings and lithographs of related scenes that were wildly popular during his career.

Please click here to the auction page.  This link will engage at 9 pm ET this evening.




Thursday, July 21, 2016

"Walk A Mile" (study)

6 x 6"
oil on panel


Norman Rockwell's profound 1964 painting 'The Problem We All Live With' is on the top of my Rockwell list.  It depicts 6-year-old Ruby Bridges, an African-American girl, being escorted to an all-white public school in New Orleans, by four deputy U.S. marshalls.  What is so very effective is the viewer is seeing the point of view from the angry crowd, the hint being the racial slurs on the wall and the tomato splattered in between the figures.  

The image was published in a 1964 issue of Look magazine - Rockwell's contract with the Saturday Evening Post ended in 1963 due to Rockwell's continued frustration with the magazine's limitations on his expressions of progressive social interests, including his personal views on civil rights and racial integration.

Norman Rockwell's granddaughter, Abigail, recently wrote a compelling article in the Huffington Post titled Would There Be Norman Rockwell Without The Saturday Evening Post?  Rockwell undoubtedly evolved as an illustrator between 1916 and 1963 - becoming a storyteller with his images like no other.  His career with the Post yielded 322 covers before he ended his contract.

Ruby Bridges, at the age of 56, visited the painting in the White House in 2011 - at the request of President Obama.




The CNN writer, Bob Greene, wrote about that event in this article.  Within that article, these words struck me "..the message of the painting is so powerful that it goes well beyond the incident it portrays. The message transcends our usual Democrats-vs.-Republicans, conservatives-vs.-liberals, left-vs.-right squabbling.  Rockwell was a genius not just because of the technical skill of his artistry, but because of his eye for the telling detail. And in "The Problem We All Live With," the key detail is how he framed the four U.S. marshals who are accompanying that child to school. We do not see their faces; in the painting, the men are cropped at their shoulders.

That is the power and the story of the painting: Four men were accompanying Bridges to school, yes, but the point was, the United States of America was accompanying her. We see the men's "Deputy U.S. Marshal" armbands, and that is what matters. The painting tells us: This country may have its flaws, but when right and wrong are on the line, the nation, in the end, usually chooses to stand for right."

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



Wednesday, July 20, 2016

"Riveted"

8 x 10"
oil on panel


Norman Rockwell's iconic 'Rosie the Riveter' is a big draw at the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art.  Rockwell's image made the cover of the Saturday Evening Post on Memorial Day, 1943 - featuring a muscular woman taking her lunch break, a rivet gun on her lap, her lunchbox with Rosie on the lid by her side and, what people love the most, Hitler's manifesto Mein Kampf under her foot.  The U.S. Department of Treasury used the image on war bonds that generated millions for the war effort.

Rockwell's inspiration for Rosie's pose was from Michelangelo's Sistine Chapel ceiling image of the prophet Isaiah.




Norman Rockwell is one of my inspirations for wanting to be an illustrator - and Rosie the Riveter would be many a woman's inspiration for feminism.

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



Friday, July 15, 2016

"By The Book"

9 x 12"
oil on panel


From the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, a couple admiring Mary Cassatt's 'The Reader' with James McNeill Whistler's 'The Chelsea Girl' to their right.

Interesting facts to mention - Whistler was so happy with his painting 'The Chelsea Girl' he gave it to Mary Cassatt's brother, Alexander, a well-known, important man who was president of the
Pennsylvania Railroad.  The artist, Robert Henri, was their distant cousin - here's my recent painting of Henri's hung in the museum as well.

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


Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Charleston Auction This Saturday

The Annual Small Works Art Auction was Saturday - held at the Sylvan Gallery in Charleston, South Carolina.

I had seven pieces in the auction and there were 250+ total.  All seven paintings of mine sold.



Salty Dog
6 x 8"
sold


Tee Off
6 x 8"
sold


Honing In
5 x 5"
sold


Xemplary
6 x 9"
sold


Patience
8 x 8"
sold


Beach Boys
5 x 5"
sold


Paw Prints
5 x 5"
sold


Thank you for participating and thank you for your bids.



Monday, July 11, 2016

"Coast Guard"

10 x 9"
oil on panel


Hoping this basset hound puts a smile on your face.

From the beach on Hilton Head Island, South Carolina.

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



Thursday, July 7, 2016

"Ziegfeld's Girl"

6 x 8"
oil on panel
sold


Jessica Penn, the sultry woman in Robert Henri's painting, was an actress and dancer in the famous Ziegfeld Follies.  I love Robert Henri's work - he introduced a new way of portraiture by painting on a mostly black background where the model's face is the main focus, emerging out of the dark surroundings. 

Robert Henri has an interesting bio - his last name was Cozad, his middle name was Henry.  His father founded the town of Cozaddale, Ohio. In 1882, Mr. Cozad was in a dispute with a rancher over the right to pasture cattle on the Cozad family's land - he ended up shooting and killing the rancher, cleared of wrongdoing, but the town turned against him and his family.  Mr. Cozad fled to Colorado with his family, changed their names to erase the incident and his sons posed as adopted children under the surname Henri.

As a young man, Robert was a student at the famed Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, went back and forth to Paris, taught at the New York School of Art - students were famous painters like Rockwell Kent, Edward Hopper, George Bellows to name a few.  Also to note, Mary Cassatt was his distant cousin.  

Robert Henri led a successful, celebrated life as a painter and died at the age of 64.

From the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, a woman admires Robert Henri's portrait of 'Jessica Penn in Black with White Plumes'.




Sunday, July 3, 2016

"Easy Breezy"

8 x 10"
oil on panel


From the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, I've featured one of my personal favorites by Andrew Wyeth, titled 'Airborne'.

Taken from the museum's summary, 'The painting depicts Wyeth's home on Benner Island, Maine - painted in a contrasting palette of bright greens and dull greys conveying the site's weather, tides and seasonal rhythms.  The floating feathers add an element of surprise, suggesting that something is taking place just beyond the frame.  Wyeth invites the viewer to speculate what is happening to the ducks and geese who summer on the pond next to his house - perhaps an attack by one of the resident eagles or simply the molting of seagulls?  More likely Wyeth indicated unexpected, sudden violence here - in his world, reality is always mysterious and illusory: like feathers on a breeze, only momentary.'

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


Wednesday, June 29, 2016

"Sunroom"

5 x 7"
oil on panel
sold


A visitor resting in the sunlit passageway in the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Arkansas.




Monday, June 27, 2016

"Lean In"

9 x 12"
oil on panel
sold


I've been hard at work on this new painting that took a good part of a week to complete.  And that, my friends, is why I frequently veer off and paint small, quicker piecess.  It keeps me sane.

My painting depicts a museum visitor leaning in on Pablo Picasso's iconic 'Guernica'.

Please click here for a larger view.


Speaking of icons,  Bill Cunningham, a fixture in New York City, passed away at the age of 87.  If you don't know, Bill was a legendary fashion photographer for the New York Times for over 40 years.




He was easy to spot, on his bicycle, wearing his signature blue jacket and always with a camera - spotting and capturing fashion trends up and down the sidewalks of NYC.  He inspired me to see the great diversity of humans and having the guts to get out there with my camera.

A really charming and interesting documentary to watch is Bill Cunningham New York  (available on Netflix) - you'll love it.



Wednesday, June 22, 2016

"Enlightened"

6 x 8"
oil on panel
sold


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.




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.



Salty Dog
6 x 8"
sold


Tee Off
6 x 8"
sold


Honing In
5 x 5"
sold


Xemplary
6 x 9"
sold


Patience
8 x 8"
sold


Beach Boys
5 x 5"
sold


Paw Prints
5 x 5"
sold



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.