While driving my car last week I happened upon an interview with Stephen Sondheim on the radio. At some point he began to talk about his childhood. He grew up on the upper west side of Manhattan and apparently had a rather unhappy childhood. When his parents divorced he was sent away to the New York Military Academy, a college preparatory school with a military structure. The interviewer suggested that must have been difficult for him. No, Sondheim replied, it was a very good experience. The education was good and the military aspect of the school brought order and discipline to his unstructured life. Learning order was a very valuable lesson which has served him well in life, he said, because after all that's what art is, bringing order to chaos.....
Wednesday, April 14, 2010
Oil on Linen
Image 16 x 19 - Framed 21 x 24
William Merritt Chase and Robert Henri were two of the finest American painters of the early 20th century. Chase was known as a fairly progressive painter. He embraced the ideas of the impressionists which he incorporated into his classical training. Henri agreed with this artistic philosophy and was invited to teach at Chase's New York School of Art. Soon Henri, 25 years younger, began to experiment with some of the radical new thoughts floating about the art world at that time. Gradually the two friends became rival instructors. Chase wanted to hang on to certain principles he thought were important to good painting, Henri was willing to let things go to look more modern. His compositions became more daring, his colors bolder, his effects intense. My paintings generally tend more to Chase's way of thinking but in The Red and the Black I allowed my palette to play in Henri's ashcan school.....
The Painting of the Month is a special offer to my blog readers (click on the image for a larger view). This month The Red and The Black, which retails for $3200, is being made available for $1800 (includes shipping, VT residents add 6% sales tax). To purchase this piece contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Payment is by check only please, no credit cards. If you prefer you may make 3 monthly payments. This offer is available for 30 days from the date of this post.
Thursday, April 8, 2010
Artists say the strangest things.
I have a friend, an artist, who is a devout Mormon. He considers work on Sunday sinful, it is supposed to be a day of rest. So when I saw him painting by the side of the road one Sunday I stopped and asked what he was doing. "I'm doing a watercolor" he said. "Isn't that against your religion?" I asked. "Oh, no" he said "oil painting would be wrong, that's my serious work, watercolors are just a hobby."
A friend who was once married to an artist asked me if I painted every day. "Of course" I said "why do you ask?" "Well, I would often come home from work and find that my husband had done no work all day. Once he went four days without doing anything." She was working to support his art so she finally asked him why he hadn't painted. "I wasn't inspired" he replied "you can't expect me to just paint."
When I was a student the League asked me to deliver something to the studio of one of the instructors. I was a big fan of his work so I was anxious to meet him. When he answered the door he was holding a broom. "I hope I'm not disturbing your work" I said. "Oh no, I was just sweeping up" he replied. Then he added "nothing makes me happier than painting yet I do everything I can think of to avoid getting started".....