Beyond Bob Ross- Relax with How to Paint Videos

So... I look up more about him, and sure enough, he was an art forger before he hosted his TV how-to show. I should have known. I have a "thing" for British art forgers, artists, and gardeners I guess. The accent, the paints, copying old masters, the flowers... ah... all so peaceful. And there's always Bob Ross:)

Love Story, Love Art

Love, love, love.

In addition to painting, I love reading and growing plants.  I used to read

a lot

when I was young.  My backup career ideas as a teen were Library Science and English Literature.  Like some of you may have, I quit reading fiction when I got BUSY.  A few years ago, my mom gave me a hardcover copy of “I Capture the Castle” by Dodie Smith (who also wrote the original 101 Dalmatians story and hit plays for the

London

stage), and I got re-hooked!

I like romantic stories and classics and some poetry, and that overflows into my painting life and always has.  One important piece of being an artist is BEING an artist; that is living life as a story.  The things I can control-doing my best to make them beautiful- and the things I can’t control- doing my best to make the most good out of them.

I’ve always loved reading artist’s biographies and journals.  I’m fascinated by the connections between what they painted with how they lived.  The more I know of their lives, the more emotion I pull from the work.  If I have a real life encounter with an exhibition of paintings by Manet or Cezanne, for example, I am powerfully moved-even if their work hadn't been of noted interest to me before.  There is something about connecting the story of their lives with their original work that I find so moving.  

I do a lot of thinking about "why buy art?  Why watch art?  Why make it?"

There is much I could say about this topic and I’m interested in what

you

have to say about it, and today I’ll just share this thought: Art and the making of it and the living of it is part of a story, the story of the maker

and

the story of the person who collects it.  At that point our stories meet and mingle.  The art expresses something of the buyer’s taste and experience that the painter shares with them.  The artist’s accomplishments become part of the collector’s personal story.  I LOVE this tapestry.  Story is so beautifully human.

Still Life Inspiration from Sir William Nicholson (1872-1949)

Still Life Inspiration from Sir William Nicholson (1872-1949)

 I almost have the feeling that he would set about to paint something and honestly not know how he was going to pull it off. I don’t think he had any doubt in his ability to pull it off, it’s more that he was unafraid of different techniques and even rather unconventional points of view- odd angles, even including rather odd items or compositional elements. His unique perspective makes his work feel fresh to me.

ON MY TRIP TO AN ANTIQUES SHOW IN BALTIMORE AND WYETH COUNTRY

 August 2015

I got home a few days ago from a road trip with my husband, Joseph, to visit a big antique, art, and jewelry show in Baltimore. I wanted to see if there were a lot of potential Thimgan collectors there, and I think there were. I may tweak my plans a bit, but I think I got some excellent feedback and met some really interesting art and antique dealers form all over the world.

Inside three days, I whisked through hundreds of booths of amazing art, saw some favorite pieces in the Cleveland Museum of Art, and visited the Brandywine River Museum, as well as an a tour of Andrew Wyeth’s studio which he used until his death in 2009, if I understood correctly. The Brandywine River setting alone was breathtaking…some pastorals will come out of what I saw there.

I’ve never been a huge fan of Andrew Wyeth’s exactly. I’ve read biographies on him and his dad, N.C. (Nowell Convers) and don’t deny the incredible force they possessed. I’m partial to N.C. and Andrew’s son, Jamie Wyeth’s work as I mentioned in a blog entry a few years ago. Again, Andrew’s work is utter genius, some of it is just darker than I…enjoy.. for lack of a better word. I saw the Helga exhibit in Maine when I was about 20 years old and I remember the emotional force of it today.

Cleveland Museum of Art, a stunner by one of may favorite painters, Henri Fantin-Latour

I went to the Cleveland Art Museum to see works by Chardin like this one, and Fantin-Latour.

I can never see too many Corot's!

A booth at the Antique Show in Baltimore

The N.C.Wyeth room at the Wyeth Museum in PA

Taking in last moments outside Andrew Wyeth's studio

The lovely Brandywine River from a window in the Wyeth Museum

High Cliff, Coast of MainebyWinslow Homer/ American Art

High Cliff, Coast of MainebyWinslow Homer/ American Art

(above link to image at the Smithsonian American Art Museum website)



I read a good article in the October 2012 issue of "The Artist's Magazine" written by Jerry N. Weiss, titled, "I cannot Do Better Than That".

The title quote is in reference to the oil painting, High Cliff, Coast of Maine,by Winslow Homer.  Apparently, he had showed this painting a lot for 9 years before it found a buyer.  It contributed to his frequent questioning of himself in his mid-life sales slump.  In his frustration he asked his gallery in Chicago, "Why do you not sell that "High Cliff" picture?  I cannot do better than that.  Why should I paint?"

The painting is very forceful and naturalistic, but beautiful.  Perhaps it wasn't a relaxing living room piece.



At any rate, I found the article interesting and can relate to Homer's struggle to equate sales of pieces that he felt were among his best with his sense of self worth.

Sharing Models

Sharing Models

My second day in Florence, I was stumbling about my new surroundings with jet lag in my head and surprisingly, I saw a familiar face.

Living Above The Clouds In Montefiascone

1st painting of the trip, the view from the window

I am really late in blog posting....I am going to start where I left off and add a few more as I get to it.  This summer was a whirlwind of travel, house buying, Chicken Pox, and dachshund woes.  There was a lot of change in a small space of time- a lot of "living".  

My family and I went to Montefiascone in May for me to learn and enjoy a residency with Artegiro Contemporary Fine Art.  Our hosts and friends, Damien and Renata Summo-O'Connell and their dear children, were gracious to help with settling us in and supporting the project.  

Montefiascone is on a hill, a mountain.  The weather changes often and quickly.  Sometimes the clouds were far above you, and sometimes below you.  The people of Montefiascone are justifiably proud of their town.  We stayed right next to the Cathedral-the Cattedrale di Santa Margherita ( which has the 3rd largest dome in Italy) and just below the breathtaking view from the Rock of The Popes.  This tiny town had Slow Food member eateries and a wonderful enoteca called "Volo di Vino". 

Returning to Italy after a few years absence was exciting.  I'm always surprised that my Italian (such as it is) hasn't shriveled completely in the meantime.  I'm also surprised at how much pleasure I get from working on the language. I feel actually exhilarated when I am able to communicate successfully and build relationships- to understand and be understood!  I was happy to trade the initial shock of being in a different country for the slower, comfortable feeling of returning "home" in a way.  After living in Italy- part of me changed forever and not a day goes by that I don't think about it.  I think everyone who has spent a decent amount of time in another country has that same feeling.

This little painting is just under 8x10in. and is painted near the  center of town.

Outside Regula's stone studio

 One of the definite highlights of the trip were all the wonderful people I met.  The studio was out of a dream-complete with artists in and out and a talented sculptor owner-Adrianna.  She gave me roses from her garden which I painted one rainy day.

 Angelo, a photographer, 

www.artegiro.com

, took me on more than 1 memorable excursion, patiently hearing me out in Italian.  Simone and Gabriele are the owners of Volo di Vino and a talented duo of taste and writing.  Quinto gave us a book he's written about figures in a fresco in one of the ancient churches and enriched our experience.  Not to mention sculptor, Regula Zwicky,  who inspired me, Rosanna, who invited me to her home and took me landscape painting in a nut tree grove, and  Renata, my dear host, who is always an inspiration and herself an aesthete and cultural artist.

Painting Yindi in the studio

The night view from my window