Tuesday, November 29, 2016

"Light Waves"

8 x 10"
oil on panel

Today is Giving Tuesday and I am participating in my own way - donating 75% of the final sale of this painting to Our Lady of Perpetual Help Home here in Atlanta.  This hospice operates solely on private donations and cared for my dad.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

"Ode To Autumn"

6 x 8"
oil on panel

One of the many masterpieces in our National Gallery of Art in DC is Winslow Homer's Autumn.  It will take your breath away.  It's casual and approachable.  Homer's rich reds, bronzes, greys, greens and golds are as stunning as the fall leaves that surround us during these few weeks. Ode to autumn.

Winslow Homer is an American treasure, born 1836 in Boston - a printmaker, painter, illustrator.  A little-known fact - at the age of 25 he was sent to the front lines of the Civil War to sketch battle scenes, camp life, commanders - all of which were published in Harper's magazine. Those sketches were later formed into realized paintings when Homer returned home.

Homer then turned his attenton to more nostalgic scenes of childhood and family - then to postwar subjects of Reconstruction and depictions of African American life after emancipation.   The most familiar paintings of Winslow Homer are his landscapes and seascapes - done is his later years when he moved to Prouts Neck, Maine.  It has been said Homer led an isolated life as an old man but continued to paint vigorously, hinting a turn to more abstract and expressive art.  He died at the young age of 74.

Speaking of American treasures....

I watched President Obama's ceremony today, awarding 21 Medal of Freedom recipients who all are truly outstanding humanitarians who've made positive, progressive, compassionate, brilliant contributions of our country.  I will miss President Obama for his grace and thoughtfulness and reminding me what's important and good about us.  Take some time and watch the ceremony in its full version here.

~ Happy Thanksgiving

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

"The Hill"

6 x 8"
oil on panel

There is so much I'd like to express.

But this is my painting blog. 

Art does soothe the soul when it's needed most.

I've just returned from a trip to visit family and spent an afternoon soothing my soul in the National Gallery of Art in Washington DC.  As I crossed Constitution Avenue on my walk back to the car from the museum, I stopped to admire our newly-renovated, unscaffolded Capitol Building.  

Sunday, November 6, 2016

"I See a Pattern Here"

12 x 12"
oil on panel

I usually don't talk to anyone in the museums but I told this woman I loved her shirt.  I said it was a work of art itself.  She seemed delighted to hear that.

I've also mentioned in prior posts that I'm not a great fan of abstract expressionism, a movement that came along in the 1940-1950's.  But there is something that stops me in my tracks when I see a Franz Kline or Robert Motherwell painting - I suppose it's the patterns.  Like this woman's shirt.  

Franz Kline was born in 1910 in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania - a town we hear a lot of during this Presidential campaign.  It was a small, coal-mining community, now the state's 13th largest city.  I've been there - as a little girl, my dad would take my family for a Saturday drive seeking out one of several authentic Italian delis for lunch in Wilkes-Barre.

Back to Kline ...  as a young man, he was sent to an academy in Philadelphia, studied at Boston University then a school of fine art in London, returned to the U.S. working as a designer in New York City.  It was there he developed as an artist, gaining recognition.

His style came about using simplified forms based on locomotives, landscapes, large mechanical shapes from his coal-mining hometown.  You can see that.  His friendships with like-minded artists such as Willem de Kooning and Jackson Pollock influenced his direction of abstract expressionism - direct and spontaneous brushstrokes which defined him as both an action painter and a minimalist.

Kline tended to avoid defining his art or offering explanations of what his 'message' was, which shows in his titles like his painting you see in my painting - Painting, 1952 which hangs in the Art Institute of Chicago.

Please click here for a larger view.

Friday, November 4, 2016

"Woman To Woman"

6 x 8"
oil on panel

Ahhhh.  Nothing quite as exquisite as a Vermeer painting.  The artist Jan Vermeer was born in the Netherlands in 1632, one of the most highly regarded Dutch artists of his time and all time.

There are scant records of Vermeer's start as an artist, but experts draw a straight line of influence to Rembrandt and Caravaggio.  Many of his masterpieces are about domestic scenes, depictions of women doing chores around the house - the notable and famous painting Girl with a Pearl Earring portrayed a young woman who worked in his household.

Jan Vermeer suffered financially in his old age, due to the Dutch economy tanking after being invaded by France in 1672.  He was deeply indebted by the time of his death in 1675, only then becoming more world-renowned and leaving approximately 36 paintings that are hung in prominent museums around the world including the gem you see in my painting titled Young Woman with a Water Pitcher, which hangs in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City.