Tuesday, May 29, 2018

"Hearing Aid"

9 x 12"
oil on panel

A Rembrandt painting is always recognizable.  Often a portrait, often dark, warm tones and dramatic light cast on the face - and in the case of his 1631 portrait Old Man with a Gold Chain, a repeated, favorite sitter.  The unidentified man, often mistaken for Rembrandt's father, is ennobled in an outfit of all the trappings of the wealthy - a steel gorget around his neck, a dark-purple robe, a plumed hat with peacock feathers and a gold chain and medallion over his cloak.  This is what he did. He simply wanted to portray a straggly, old man appearing more interesting and colorful.

Old Man with a Gold Chain hangs in the Art Institute of Chicago.

Please click here for a larger view.

Saturday, May 19, 2018

"It's That Way"

8 x 6"
oil on panel

The woman here is seemingly taking a cue from Pointing Man by Alberto Giacometti in the Museum of Modern Art.  My mom, who was a painter, printmaker and occasional sculptor,  L-O-V-E-D Giacometti.  I was introduced to this artist at a very young age, by my mom, who taped up dozens of his works on the wall of her studio.

Giacometti was born in Switzerland in 1901, took on formal training in the arts during the era of Cubism and the craze of tribal art - much like Pablo Picasso.  He dabbled in Surrealism for a while, broke off from that to the emergence of Existentialism.  He created small, thin figurative sculptures which took off because of the overall dismal, suffering atmosphere from World War II, and he became quite the popular artist of that time.

His works evolved all through the 50's and 60's, during which time he painted numerous portraits, which my mom was crazy over.  I am too.

Thursday, May 17, 2018

"Matching Set"

6 x 8"
oil on panel

This new painting is a smaller study of one I'm thinking of doing larger.  I wanted to test out the woman's skirt.  I like her skirt.

She stands in front of a crowd-pleasure in the Art Institute of Chicago - Pierre-Auguste Renoir's Two Sisters (On the Terrace) which hangs in the French Impressionism gallery.  Renoir named the painting Two Sisters, the first owner of the painting titled it On the Terrace.

Like Renoir's famous Luncheon of the Boating Party, the setting for Two Sisters was at a restaurant with outdoor seating.  In 1925, it was sold to a woman from Chicago for $100,000.  She requested the Renoir be donated to the Art Institute after her death where it has hung since 1932.

You may remember Donald Trump had a reproduction hung in his jet, before he ran for President.  The New York Times reporter Timothy O'Brien interviewing Trump was told it was the real thing.  O'Brien replied "Donald, it's not.  I grew up in Chicago, that Renoir is called Two Sisters (on the Terrace) and it's hanging on a wall at the Art Institute of Chicago. That's not an original."

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

"Sitting By"

Yes!  I have my Mac back in my studio.  Turned out I had to replace 'the body' with a refurbished iMac and put my old hard drive, 'the heart', into the new body.  Thanks to Ben at Onyx.  You saved my sanity and my career.  Lesson today, ALWAYS BACK UP YOUR STUFF.

I painted this new piece with my little, old laptop helping out.

 9 x 12"
oil on panel

My new painting features one of my favorite Edward Hopper's, Hotel Room.  I saw it at an exhibition of Hoppers at the Art Institute of Chicago a few years ago.  It, like many others, expresses solitude, in a hotel setting which was the first in a long series of paintings set in different hotels.

Hotel Room depicts a woman lost in her own thoughts, too tired to unpack, checking the time of her train the next day.  I particularly love the stark vertical, horizontal and diagonal shapes surrounding her.  And it's a scene we can all relate to - pooped out from traveling, plopping ourselves on the bed surrounded by luggage, wondering what the next day brings.

My painting will be part of the grand opening of the Red Piano Art Gallery in their new home in Bluffton SC, a quaint little area filled with galleries, restaurants and markets.  

They have moved from Hilton Head Island, just a few miles away.  The expected date is June 1st - stop in if you're in the area.

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

Saturday, May 12, 2018


I'm on a forced break from painting - my studio Mac is in the hospital.  So I'm gardening....

~ Happy Mother's Day to all the great moms out there.


Thursday, May 3, 2018

"Rain Delay"

8 x 10"
oil on panel

Anyone who has been in the Art Institute of Chicago knows when you walk through the lobby and up the marble stairs, you walk straight into the large, open French Impressionism gallery and see the huge painting by Gustave Caillebotte Paris Street, Rainy Day front and center.  Most likely, there's already a dozen people standing in front of it.  It's one of the museum's prized possessions.

Gustave Caillebotte was a French painter and member of the Impressionists, distinctly different from the others with his more realistic manner of painting.  He was also known for having an early interest in photography as an art form.  Notably, he was a generous contributor of his fellow artists and friends - paying their rent if they needed and purchasing their work in support, largely due to his large inheritance after his father and mother's death when he was in his 20's.  Caillebotte also used his wealth to pay for various hobbies - stamp collecting, growing orchids, yacht building and textile design.