The next step

I have worked from the live nude periodically since the early 1970's. This blog started in my second year of working almost exclusively from the figure.

In the fall of 2015 I reintroduced still lifes and an occasional cityscape into my painting repertoire. Rather than abandon this figure blog or start a new one I decided to add them to the conservation.

All drawings and paintings posted on this blog were done entirely from live models or on location.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Oh the Romance

Perhaps it didn't start with van Gogh and the impressionists but certainly since that time the general public has had a tendency to romanticize the lives of painters. The hungry artist working in a garret studio engaged in the heroic pursuit of some idealized vision. The more suffering and torment the more romantic the endeavor.

Nude study, oil on linen, 9 1/2" X 7 1/2", 2015

All art is to some extent a product of its creators environment. Throughout the ages, except for a select few, artists must have worked under difficult conditions. But in the end paintings are fantasies. The real world circumstances behind their creation are rarely known. For some reason working under and overcoming adversity does romanticize the process and enrich ones art.


The picture above is of a room in my current studio as I first found it two years ago. This image doesn't begin to capture the worst of the problems. Who but a lowly painter could possibly see this as anything short of appalling? In spite of the condition I was immediately drawn to the place - where better to begin a romantic adventure.


Friday, January 15, 2016

Validation

Everyone wants validation that what they do matters. Artists are probably more desirous of this than most. After all art is a direct expression of self. An absence of praise or recognition can be felt as personal rejection. In our culture selling ones art is the clearest expression that it is of value. The more sales and the higher the prices the more important your art and therefore you must be.

Sleeping Model, oil on canvas, 12" X 10", 2006

I sold the above painting some years ago. Happening upon the image recently I was struck with a mild sense of regret. I would gladly return the purchase price to have the painting back. It marks a time and place that were special to me. That's all the validation I am seeking.


Thursday, January 7, 2016

Staying Power

How have certain visual art forms managed to survive and even thrive in our modern era? Since the invention of the earliest photo processes painting has faced extinction. Smart phones have upped the ante with their gushing stream of digital images. Why would anyone need or even want a hand painted picture when a more accurate one can be had with the touch of a finger?

Oil sketch on canvas, 9" X 11", 2006

Painting survives, at least in part, because the medium possesses and can project a unique power. The sensations emitting form an art work can remain tactile and alive indefinitely. When I stand in front of certain art objects, even ones centuries old, I can still feel the creators energy. All that is needed to extract that energy is an open and receptive viewer.