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