Thursday, March 23, 2023

Snow Field Afternoon

Snow Field Afternoon

painted plein air in a field behind my home in Shapleigh, Maine, March 12, 2023, 7" x 5" (w x h), Daniel Smith, Schmincke Horadam, and Winsor & Newton watercolors, selected for light fastness and permanence, and Uniball waterproof fade proof ink on 140 lb. Fabriano Artistico cold press rough 100% cotton extra white watercolor paper, framed.

The plein air setup...

Wednesday, March 22, 2023

Late Winter Opening

Late Winter Opening

in a back field behind my home painted plein air March 12, 2023, 7" x 5" (w x h), Daniel Smith, Schmincke Horadam, and Winsor & Newton watercolors, selected for light fastness and permanence, and Uniball waterproof fade proof ink on 140 lb. Fabriano Artistico cold press rough 100% cotton extra white watercolor paper, framed.

Painted plein air March 12, 2023

Monday, March 20, 2023

Snow Pear Minneola Bank

Snow Pear Minneola Bank

Comice pear and Minneola on a snow bank behind my home March 6, 2023, painted March 10, 2023, 10" x 8" (w x h), Daniel Smith, Schmincke Horadam, and Winsor & Newton watercolors, selected for light fastness and permanence, and Uniball waterproof fade proof ink on 140 lb. Fabriano Artistico cold press rough 100% cotton extra white watercolor paper, framed.

The Art of Green and Orange

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
The Art of
Green and Orange

Pears / Poires
Pierre-Auguste Renoir (1841-1919), French
Oil on canvas, 12" x 9" (w x h), circa 1890
Barnes Foundation, Philadelphia, PA

Source: Still Life in Painting from Antiquity to the Present Time by C. Sterling
"Nurtured on the traditions of eighteenth-century French painting, Renoir ... carried on the serene simplicity of Chardin (a great French painter). Pale shadows, light as a breath of air, faintly ripple across the perishable jewel of a ripe fruit. Renoir reconciles extreme discretion with extreme richness, and his full-bodied density is made up, it would seem, of colored air. This is a lyrical idiom hitherto unknown in still life, even in those of Chardin. Between these objects and us there floats a luminous haze through which we distinguish them, tenderly united in a subdued shimmer of light."

Source: Wiki, edited
In 1890, likely the year Renoir painted this, Renoir married Aline Victorine Charigot, a dressmaker twenty years his junior, who, along with a number of the artist's friends, had served as a model for Luncheon of the Boating Party in 1881. In 1885 they had their first of three sons. After marrying Renoir painted many scenes of his wife and daily family life including their children and their nurse, his wife's cousin Gabrielle Renard.

Child with Lamp
Pierre Bonnard (1867-1947), French
Lithograph printed in pink, green, brick red,
blue, and orange on light gray chine,
18" x 13" (w x h), 1897, 1897

Source: AIC Museum notes edited
Bonnard was sometimes called the Japanese Nabi, because he used the asymmetrical composition, elevated viewpoint, and bold colors of Japanese prints in his own work. Like Vuillard, Bonnard used children and his own family as favorite models for his early interiors. Attention centers on the lamp, Bonnard's symbolist interest in ordinary objects.

Orange Green
Ellsworth Kelly (1923-2015), American
One from a series of ten lithographs,
30" x 42" (w x h), 1970
MoMA, Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY

Source: Wiki edited
Kelly's background in the military has been suggested as a source of the seriousness of his works. While serving time in the army, Kelly was exposed to and influenced by the camouflage with which his specific battalion worked. This taught him about the use of form and shadow, as well as the construction and deconstruction of the visible. It was fundamental to his early education as an artist. Ralph Coburn, a friend of Kelly's from Boston, introduced him to the technique of automatic drawing while visiting in Paris. Kelly embraced this technique of making an image without looking at the sheet of paper. These techniques helped Kelly in loosening his drawing style and broadened his acceptance of what he believed to be art. His introduction to Surrealism and Neo-Plasticism (Dutch origin "Nieuwe Beelding" /new image, abstract art that had been purified by applying the most elementary principles through plainly rational means, and practiced by Piet Mondrian) caused him to test the abstraction of geometric forms.

Halsingborg Suede (Swedish) Poster
Gunnar Christenson (1895-1997). Swedish
Painting for poster, 25" x 29" (w x h), circa 1930
The town of Halsingborg was renamed to
Helsingbord in the 1970s.

Source: Come to Sweden Publishing edited
Gunnar Christenson studied at the Technical School in Stockholm 1914-1919 and at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts 1920-1921. During the 1920s Christenson traveled on study trips around Europe, and in the late 1920s he worked as a drawing teacher at the school Helsingborgs Läroverk. From the buildings top floor you have a nice view of Kärnan, a medieval tower that once was part of a larger fortress, its ancient, burnt-orange brick structure looming imposingly over the rest of the seaside village. This was probably where he drew this poster over Kärnan and the landscape up towards Mölle.

Christenson later on combined his teaching with a successful artistic career. He had several exhibitions and is represented in museums.

Oranges on a Branch
Donald Sultan, (1951- ), American
Tar, spackle, and oil on tile over Masonite,
97" x 98" (w x h), 1992
Detroit Institute of Arts, Detroit, MI

Source: DIA museum notes
The boldly silhouetted oranges bursting with vivid color are in direct contrast to the thick black surface. The sense of drama in Sultan's works comes from his early interest in the theater, which he combines with his inspiration from other art movements, such as Abstract Expressionism, Color Field painting, and minimalism. Sultan abstracts, simplifies, and stylizes this representation of painted oranges against a background made of tar and oil. His unorthodox use of these industrial materials symbolizes American industry, reinforced by his incorporation of vinyl tiles taken from office and factory floors. Looking at art from the past for inspiration, Sultan struck upon the traditional still life for his subject matter, with his choice of oranges as a twist on his trademark lemons, originally inspired by a painting by Édouard Manet that he saw in a retrospective at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Life already Prevailed Yesterday /
Elämä voitti jo eilen

Olli Lyytikäinen (1949-1987), Finnish
Crayon, 16" x 10" (w x h), 1973
Finnish National Gallery

Source: Kiasma Magazine and Ateneum in Helsinki
Olli Lyytikäinen (1949-1987) was a Finnish artist. In 1967 at 18 years old Olli and a friend took a boat to London. "We didn't have a penny when we arrived in London." Olli did some drawings which h sold to make ends meet." He went on to illustrate and paint in Finland. Many key Finnish galleries and museums, such as Ateneum art museum in Helsinki featured his work. In 1979 a devastating fire in his studio destroyed 500-4000 works (depending on the method of counting). In 1986 He was one of three Finnish representatives at the XLII Venice Biennale. He died the next year at home at 38-years-old. The record price for this artist at auction is $56,185 USD for Venetsialainen Variaatio, sold at Stockholms Auction House in 2012.

Green/2 Orange X Painting
Robert Mangold (1937- ), American
Acrylic and black pencil on canvas,
100" x 96" (w x h), 1983
Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL

Source: AIC Museum Notes
Robert Mangold is an American Minimalist painter best known for painted canvases that incorporate drawn line, exalting simplified means and structure. Over the course of the last 50 years, he has employed a variety of geometric forms—circles, ellipses, squares, rectangles, trapezoids—as the support for his pared-down compositions. From 1980 to 1986, the artist created a series of paintings based on the letter X and the plus sign. Green/2 Orange X Painting is composed of three conjoined canvases of unequal size and three distinct colors—two oranges and a green. Drawn lines of unequal length mark the axis of the cross, replicating the overall shape within the plane and unifying the composition. Here the physical presence of the canvas edge becomes the central formal motif; the structural skeleton of painting becomes the subject of the work.

Untitled (Head with Orange and Green)
Sideo Fromboluti (1920-2014), American
Pastel and charcoal on paper, 21" x 16", 1990
MoMA, Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY

Source: NY Times Obituary and A Shared Life in art, Provincetown Gallery Catalogue edited:
Sideo Fromboluti was born in Hershey, PA of Italian immigrants in 1920. He was the first of his family to attend college having won the only scholarship offered by his high school to the Tyler College of Art. He earned a BFA and Masters degree.

Sideo and Nora Speyer met as art students at the Tyler School of Art, Temple University, Philadelphia. They were married in 1945. From the beginning of their lifetime married life, Nora and Sideo painted in the same studio and influenced each other's aesthetics. The couple moved to New York City in the late 1940s and they built a summer home and studio on Higgins Pond in Wellfleet, MA. In winter Sideo worked in an urban environment, his paintings and drawings leaning towards the figurative and capturing a subtle psychological dimension in his sitters.

He counted as his friends the artists who were major figures of the Abstract Expressionist movement. He had numerous solo shows, one at the Carnegie Museum of Art in 1998. He was represented by the Darthea Speyer Gallery in Paris, France for many years. He was a founding member of the Landmark Gallery in NYC and the Longpoint Gallery in Provincetown, MA.

Friday, March 10, 2023

Lemons Snow Shadowed Vortex

Lemons Snow Shadowed Vortex

with Meyer lemons dropped into a snow field next to a snowbank behind my home painted March 9, 2023, 14" x 11" (w x h), Daniel Smith, Schmincke Horadam, and Winsor & Newton watercolors, selected for light fastness and permanence, on 140 lb. Fabriano Artistico cold press rough 100% cotton extra white watercolor paper, framed.

Tuesday, March 7, 2023

Granny Smith's Blues

Granny Smith's Blues

set on fresh snow behind my home in the late afternoon for long shadows on March 5, 2023, painted March 5, 2023, 10" x 8" (w x h), Daniel Smith, Schmincke Horadam, and Winsor & Newton watercolors, selected for light fastness and permanence on 140 lb. Fabriano Artistico cold press rough 100% cotton extra white watercolor paper, framed.

The Art of Blue and Green Essay

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
The Art of Blue and Green
An Essay on How 8 Artists Paint It

Two Islands, Sunny Day
Stephen Pace (1919-2010), American
Oil on canvas, 36" x 30" (w x h), 2004
Dowling Walsh Art Gallery, Rockland, Maine
For sale: $30,000 USD

Source: Wiki
Stephen Pace was resident of Manhattan and Stonington, Maine During the course of his long and productive career, he made important contributions to Abstract Expressionism. Pace began his formal training at the 17-years-old. He continued to hone his skills while serving abroad in England and France during World War II by painting views of local landscapes. Upon his return, he studied with Hans Hofmann, who had an influence on Pace's work in the 1950s. In 1960 Pace returned to painting in a style characterized by simplified forms and imaginative colors; he most often painted his immediate surroundings, depicting outdoor scenes, such as lobstermen and of his wife while she was gardening, as well as interiors and nudes done in his studio.

Blue Green
Ellsworth Kelly (1923-2015), American
Lithograph, one from a series of ten,
edition of 75, 38" x 37" (w x h), 1970
MoMA, Museum of Modern Art, New York, New York

Source: Wiki edited
In 1947, while Ellsworth Kelly was studying at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, down the street I was born. In the mid-1960s he took up printmaking in and focused on it. From 1970 on he collaborated primarily with Gemini G.E.L. His initial series of 28 transfer lithographs, entitled Suite of Plant Lithographs, marked the beginning of a body of work that would grow to 72 prints and countless drawings of foliage. Before his Lithography period his focus was painting and after it sculpture. The highest price for a work of his, the nine foot high Red Curve VII, is $9,800,000 USD. See it at Christies HERE.

The Silver Veil and the Golden Gate
Childe Hassam (1859-1935), American
Oil on canvas, 32" x 30" (w x h), 1914
Brauer Museum of Art,
Valparaiso University, Valparaiso, Indiana
Brauer Museum of Art

Source: Wiki
Hassam was especially prolific and energetic in the period from 1910 to 1920, causing one critic to comment, "Think of the appalling number of Hassam pictures there will be in the world by the time the man is seventy years old!" Hassam truly produced thousands of works in nearly every medium during his life. His friend, Weir, might paint six canvases in a season, Hassam would paint forty.

Source: ArtNet News
In February 2023 the Brauer Museum of Art was challenged for its plan to sell three art works valued at $20,000,000 USD, including this Childe Hassam (valued at $3,500,000 USD), to fund freshman dormitories improvements.

Sea Movement–Green and Blue /
No 2 Mark Island / Light House

John Marin (1870-1953), American
Watercolor with wiping, and fabricated charcoal,
over graphite, on thick, slightly textured,
off-white wove paper, hinged to wood-pulp board,
faced with cream paper, gilt with silver leaf,
21" x 17" (w x h), 1923
The Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois

Source: John Marin, Part 1 a Stylistic Analysis, Sheldon Reich, University of Arizona Press, 1970
Marin wrote to Alfred Stieglitz from Stonington, Maine on August 14, 1923. "He asserted his link to reality by insisting that no matter how far an artist changes the surface appearance of his picture from its ostensible subject, it has to be rooted in that subject in some deep, meaningful way. Marin was reassuring himself that no matter what anyone else could say or write, he was basically a realist, a man who looked to nature for the source and meaning of his art."

One my personal paintings, coincidentally also using green and blue, was of the same view as John Marin's, but seventy-five years later is online on my blog HERE.

Blue and Green
Victor de Vasarely (1908-1997), Hungarian French
Color serigraph on heavy white wove paper,
22" x 24" (w x h)
The Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois

Source: Wiki
Victor Vasarely, born in Hungary in 1908, was a Hungarian-French artist, who is widely accepted as a grandfather and leader of the Op art movement. Over the three decades, 1930s to 1960s, Vasarely developed his style of geometric abstract art, working in various materials but using a minimal number of forms and colors. There are two museums in Hungary devoted to his art.

James Edward Davis (1901-1974), American
Graphite and pastel, 9" x 5" (w x h), 1944
Gift of the artist, Class of 1923
Princeton University Art Museum

Source: Princeton and various

James Edward Davis, born in born Clarksburg, West Virginia, was a painter, photographer, and filmmaker, focused on abstract art. He was noted for his experimental abstract films involving color, light, and movement. He graduated from Princeton University in 1923, and studied with Andre Lhote in Paris.
In 1974 he died in Princeton, New Jersey. West Virginia University holds much of his archives, including his writings about his fellow artists and friends Frank Lloyd Wright and John Marin, and Davis's collaboration with Leo Merker while filming "Pertaining to Chicago", among others. His art can be seen online at Princeton HERE or at the American Art Collaborative HERE. The West Virginia archives are HERE.

Homage to the Square, P2, F33, I1
Josef Albers (1888-1976) German American
Screenprint, edition of 1000, 12" x 12" (w x h), 1972
$3,500 at 1stDibs

Source: 1stDibs
"Homage to the Square - Portfolio 2, Folder 33, Image 1" from the portfolio "Formulation: Articulation" was created by Josef Albers in 1972. This series consists of 127 original silkscreens that are a definitive survey of the artist's most important color and shape theories.

Source: Wiki edited
Albers is considered to be one of the most influential teachers of visual art in the twentieth century. "Every perception of color is an illusion...we do not see colors as they really are. In our perception they alter one another." Josef Albers, circa 1949, when he started his first Homage to the Square paintings.

In 1933 when he arrived at Black Mountain College when a student asked him what he was going to teach, Albers said: "To open eyes."

It Was Blue and Green
Georgia O'Keeffe (1887-1986), American
Oil on linen, 40" x 30" (w x h), 1960
Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, New York

Source: Wiki edited
The year Georgia O'Keeffe painted the art above, 1960, the Worcester Art Museum held a retrospective of the 73-year-old's work. In 1972, O'Keeffe lost much of her eyesight due to macular degeneration, leaving her with only peripheral vision. She stopped oil painting without assistance in 1972. But in the 1970s she made a series of works in watercolor.