Friday, March 29, 2019

"Stand Beside"

6 x 8"
oil on panel
sold


I felt it was a must to paint a possible companion to Stand Aside - showing the left half of Henri Matisse's Bathers by a River.

Here is how the two look together...



Matisse's painting hangs in the Modern Wing at the Art Institute of Chicago.




Sunday, March 24, 2019

"Stand Aside"

6 x 8"
oil on panel
sold


I really appreciate taking a break from painting larger pieces for a show, a show taking place four months from now, and painting these smaller ones - working out some ideas rolling around in my head.  It also helps me earn a living while I'm working on paintings no one will see until August.  So thank you for considering a bid or two on these smaller pieces.

You see the right half of a large painting by Henri Matisse, Bathers by a River.  I love this Matisse.  It hangs in the Modern Wing of the Art Institute of Chicago.  Matisse considered Bathers by a River "one of five most pivotal works of his career."  You may remember my past post regarding Dance and a Russian art collector commissioning Matisse to do three large pieces for his mansion - this was one of three presented to the man and also the one that was rejected.  The collector settled for Dance and Music.

So Matisse held onto this painting for about four years - a time when he was really getting into Cubism.  With renewed ambition, he made changes in composition, the faceless, oval heads of the figures, divided the canvas into four panels of color and loved the results.   He essentially simplified four nude figures besides a river (the blue panel) and positioned in the tall grass (the left half you don't see here) with a snake appearing as a threat - reflecting Matisse's concerns about the climate of war going on around him.

Next, I am going to paint a companion to this one - including the left half of Matisse's wondering painting.



Saturday, March 23, 2019

"Rush Hour"

12 x 9"
oil on panel
sold


Robert Lange Studios is hosting a group show, opening May 3rd, titled Perfectionists - inviting 25-30 artists "based on their intensive, realistic approaches to their work".  I'm psyched to see the paintings in this show.

My contribution is Rush Hour - the above-view of the main floor in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, with the hustle and bustle and staying-put of museum visitors.  The tough perspective alone was the biggest challenge, something I had to get just right.

Here's a few close-ups....






Please click here for a larger view. 





Sunday, March 17, 2019

"See and Be Seen"

6 x 8"
oil on panel
sold


There is a dual result in Rene Magritte's The False Mirror.  The viewer looks through the iris of this large eye, passed the black pupil and into a blue sky with floating clouds - and yet, this eye is looking at the viewer.  How totally surreal.

Part of me, as an artist, generally loves surrealism in art for its representation/realistic quality and the other part of me feels like I'm always asked 'the meaning'.  Frankly, that annoys me.  I'm more inclined to relish the vision in front of me that a painter found interesting or particularly beautiful and had to paint it.  Magritte thought the opposite.  Surrealism as an art form was what he most enjoyed.

Rene Magritte was in his 50's before he realized fame and recognition.  Born in Belgium at the end of the 19th century, not a whole lot is known about his youth.  Magritte worked in an advertising agency for a time then involved himself in several exhibitions with like-minded artists such as Salvador Dali, Juan Miro, Picasso - all stunning the art world with Cubism and Surrealism.  When his gallery closed, he returned to advertising for a stable income - the influence is more than evident in his paintings, notably This Is Not a Pipe which could easily have been an ad for a tobacco shop.

The False Mirror hangs in the Museum of Modern Art in New York City.


Thursday, March 14, 2019

"Going Dutch"

9 x 12"
oil on panel


So right after I finished the smaller study Go Dutch, I started on a more-realized composition along the same lines - featuring Rembrandt's Self-Portrait, in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City.

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


Sunday, March 10, 2019

"Go Dutch"

6 x 8"
oil on panel
sold


I know I've been quiet on this blog but I've finished two larger paintings during my absence - one for a group show coming up titled Perfectionists - a painting that took me 5 days to complete.  Yikes.  That rarely happens.  The other for a show of mine coming up.

So... I needed to get small.  Loosen up.  And I had just read about the famous Dutch artist, Rembrandt, who's work is on exhibit "like never seen before" and thought of his Self-Portrait at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.  Rembrandt did roughly forty self-portraits during his lifetime - this done in 1660 at the age of fifty-four.  This self-portrait admits his age with a furrowed brow, double chin, wrinkles and pouches under his eyes - it's beautiful and honest.