Friday, April 26, 2019

"Birth Day"

8 x 10"
oil on panel


I completed another for my upcoming show The Ladies - featuring Birth of Venus by Sandro Botticelli, painted in 1485.

The painting depicts Venus, the goddess of love and beauty, arriving on the island of Cyprus - born of the sea spray and blown in by the winds (Zephyr and Aura on the upper left).  She stands on a giant scallop shell, symbolizing purity and perfection like a pearl.  The woman on the right side welcoming Venus is thought to be one of the Graces, the Hora of spring.

Botticelli's painting was most likely commissioned by the Medici family, hung in their Villa of Castello back in the 15th century.  It currently hangs in The Uffizi Gallery in Florence, Italy.

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


Wednesday, April 17, 2019

"Ancestry"

6 x 8"
oil on panel
sold


The first thing Brett said when he saw this finished painting was "they have the same slumped shoulders".  I didn't even notice that until he said so.  As if the portrait was of a distant relative of the woman viewing her, hence the title.

A little background of the woman in the painting, Madame Moitessier.  Marie-Clotilde-Ines de Foucauld, at the age of 21, married a super-rich banker and lace merchant twice her age.  Life was comfortable for the couple in French high-society and soon Marie began looking for an artist to paint her and her daughter's formal portrait.

Ingres was approached by an artist friend who passed on Madame Moitessier's request for a portrait and he was so smitten with her "terrible and beautiful head", he eagerly accepted the commission.  Portrait of Madame Moitessier was one of two paintings Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres did of the French woman - one seated and this one standing.  Why is Marie's daughter is not in the portrait?  Ingres found her "impossible" and eliminated her from the composition.

The Portrait of Madame Moitessier hangs in the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC.


Saturday, April 13, 2019

"Looming Large"

9 x 12"
oil on panel


For an upcoming Figurative group show in May, at the Shain Gallery, I chose one of my personal favorite portraits of a man larger than life - the Tuscan general, Alessandro dal Borro, painted by Charles Mellin.  

Alessandro was well known for his obesity, which in his time, was considered a status symbol.  Born in 1600, he studied math, joined the military, was victorious in the battlefield during the Thirty Years' War, fought against the Turks and fought for Spain and Venice.  His demise was an injury received fighting Barbary pirates.

Charles Mellin was a French painter who spent his artistic career in Italy in the first half of the 1600's as the official painter of the ruling family, completing religious scenes with an exception of a few commissioned portraits.

Portrait of a Gentleman hangs in the Staatliche Museen in Berlin.

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


Thursday, April 11, 2019

"Rosie"

9 x 12"
oil on panel
sold


I'm working on paintings for my upcoming show The Ladies - after all, we're living in a time where women feel more empowered in this country.  Each painting will feature iconic women in different eras, different purposes, different ages and different sizes.  You may recognize some of the women and you may enjoy learning something new about these ladies. 

I'll start with Rosie the Riveter, an iconic working woman portrayed by the illustrator Norman Rockwell, painted in 1943 for the cover of the Saturday Evening Post.  The magazine was distributed on Memorial Day, May 29th, featuring Rosie taking her lunch break with her rivet gun on her lap and her lunch pail under her arm, with a copy of Hitler's manifesto, Mein Kampf beneath her feet.

The purpose of Rosie the Riveter was to recruit female workers for defense industries during WWII.  The aviation industry had the greatest increase in female workers, previously closed to them.  Before the war, just 1% made up the workforce and in 1943, that rose to 65%, so the Rosie campaign was a huge success.  

Rockwell's Rosie the Riveter is in the collection of the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, in Bentonville, Arkansas.

Please click here for a larger view. 



Monday, April 1, 2019

"Time For Church"

6 x 8"
oil on panel
sold


I was lucky to have seen an exhibit last year - at the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art - featuring many of Georgia O'Keeffe's works.  Yes, several close-up flowers that are so familiar were there to please the masses but I'm more enamored with her buildings in New Mexico and New York City, including Cebolla Church.

O'Keeffe lived in the same county in New Mexico and often passed through the small village of Cebolla.  Her painting is of the Church of Santo Nino, a stark, simplistic adobe building - but with a pitched roof unlike the typical flat-roofed adobe structures mainly because Cebolla gets more snow in the winter than the lower areas of the state.