6 x 8"
oil on panel
I'll tell you a couple of things you don't know about me.
I love major league baseball. We watch nearly every Braves game and we're bummed the season is ending this weekend. We often watch late night LA Dodgers games for the pleasure of listening to Vin Scully announce the play-by-plays. And sadly, that simple pleasure is coming to an end. So a salute to Vin Scully, who's retiring after 67 seasons as the Voice of the Dodgers. You'll be so missed. On a happy note, the Chicago Cubs may very well be in the World Series and I'm rooting for them to go all the way. Truth is, no other sports do a thing for me. Just baseball.
Another thing you don't know about me - I failed Art History in college. Two different classes as a matter of fact. So now, I'm not only atoning for that, I'm avid about it. The older I get, the more I grasp history and how art connects to it, to us. You're never too old to learn.
Which brings me to my new project. I'm mapping out the work for an upcoming solo show in the spring. My recent visit to Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art got me thinking about our American history - how art reflected the times, the movements, the struggles, the politics, everyday life.
That notion evolved along with the summer of this Presidential election. What's happened to me is I'm feeling defensive more and more about what kind of country we want, what we aspire to. Do we embrace the past lessons and have we learned from them? Do we want to move forward, progress as people, as a nation? Do we accept our differences and find a way to live in harmony? Are we proud of how we got here, our ancestors who many were immigrants? Don't we want to be proud of our melting pot? Do we want to be respected and show respect to one another?
That has brought me to an idea, a theme - something in the vein of American Pride or Spirit. When I think in those terms, the best artworks I know come to mind. I have a true passion for American art - you may have picked up on that. Hopper, Rockwell, Thomas H Benton, Wyeth to name a few - depictions of who we are as Americans. What we've accomplished thru thick and thin.
So that's where I'm heading with my idea and I'd like you to be involved. Be my focus group. Offer ideas of iconic works of art that convey that American spirit. I'll be working on small studies as I go - give me feedback. Poopoo it if you want, give me a thumb's up if you want. It all means something to me.
Now - a little bit about my new painting, which features Portrait of Alexander Hamilton by John Trumball, which hangs in Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art. John Trumbull was an artist during the American Revolutionary War, famous for his historical paintings - his Declaration of Independence is on the back side of the 2-dollar bill.
Trumball painted Hamilton's portrait in 1792, one of many made of Hamilton and considered the 'greatest known portrait' of one of our Founding Fathers.
And a Happy October to you ~