Saturday, April 25, 2015

This past week, I attended the spring board meeting of the Society of Animal Artists just west of Chicago. Taking advantage of a late evening flight home, I stopped off at the Brookfield Zoo on my way east to Midway Airport and spent a delightful afternoon roaming the various venues, with special focus upon their Tropical World exhibit and their just-over-year-old baby gorilla. I also added to my file of reference photos of African Wild Dogs and many other African species. I foresee gorillas appearing on my drawing board in the not too distant future.

Friday, April 24, 2015

It is with great pleasure that I announce a feature article on my work in the forthcoming spring issue of Drawing Magazine. The issue will be available about May 12, from what I understand, to those who do not yet subscribe through your local news stand or bookstore or online. I am grateful to Michael Woodson, who took my jumble of answers to his questions and rolled it all into a very flattering article and also to Austin Williams, the senior editor of the magazine, for throwing a spotlight on my work.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

I am very pleased to announce that three of my works (from left, The Last Day of Summer, upper right, Cold Shoulder, and below, Eye on the Prize) have been selected as finalists in this year's edition of the annual David Shepherd Wildlife Artist of the Year competition in England. These three works will join a host of other fine pieces by artists from all corners of the globe this June during the exhibition at The Mall Galleries in London.

Saturday, April 04, 2015

It all began with the mention, by an artist friend, and suggestion to read Depths of Glory, the fictionalized biography of Camille Pissaro by Irving Stone, that eventually led me to find and read Dear Theo, the letters of Vincent van Gogh to his brother during the turbulent years of his short life. It was in the text of Vincent's letters that I found mention of Paul Durand-Ruel and another journey of discovery led me to find and read Durand-Ruel's wonderful memoir. Paul Durand-Ruel was, perhaps, the one individual who was most responsible for putting the Impressionist painters and their New Art on the map so to speak, and for bringing the attention of collectors and the public at large to their output. It was not an easy task, as paintings by Monet and Renoir and Degas and Pissaro and the others of that cadre of late 19th Century artists, were laughed at, left out of the yearly Salons, and not even noted by most collectors of the time. With persistence in the belief of their worth and ongoing financial support of the Impressionists, Durand-Ruel ultimately won the hearts and minds of of those influential collectors of the time in Europe as well as on this side of the Atlantic. The book is a marvelous read, packed with details and wonderful stories about Durand-Ruel's connections with many of the painters that we now adore and admire and treasure, but who were thought of as upstarts and nothings during those turbulent years in the art world of the later decades of the 19th Century; it is well worth the read. 

And, with the recent announcement of a major exhibition to open this summer in Philadelphia of Impressionist works (something like 80 pieces in total) based upon the established connection between Durand-Ruel and all those New painters, this summer could be the time for a visit to the Philadelphia Museum of Art to see some of the finest examples of the Impressionists at the only American venue for the tour (which comes to the US from London). Tickets for the exhibition go on sale to the public on April 14th and the show will open in June and hang through mid September. I plan on being there to drink in all that greatness that was once laughed at.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Completed yesterday, "Out of the Shadows" (image size 14" x 16 1/4") is the second of the two wild dog works I have been at work on this month. They will be framed this week and be off to be reviewed for possible purchase. Having included baobab trees in four of the last six works I have done so far this year, maybe I have finally gotten that texture out of my system? Doubtful, but maybe time to set that texture aside for a bit and consider some other interesting textures to try my hand at.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Anton Mauve

Having recently finished reading Irving Stone's Dear Theo: The Autobiography of Vincent Van Gogh, a wonderful read by the way and completely based upon Vincent's letters to his brother throughout his short life, I was intrigued with the mention of several artist's names with whom I was not completely familiar. One of those artists was Anton Mauve who was a cousin-in-law to Vincent. Mauve, born in 1838, lived till 1888, just two years before Vincent's tragic death. Vincent studied with his cousin-in-law for about a month in 1881 but their relationship came to a cold separation about a year later, after Mauve had been an encouraging influence the whole of that year, and they never really spoke much after that. 

I was anxious to 'discover' Mauve's work and make a connection with that of the earlier works of Van Gogh, as mentioned in the book, and spent some time this morning digging around on the Internet to find images of some of Mauve's works. The little montage above shows several of his works that really caught my eye and spoke to me as an artist as I was very drawn into them for their compositional ideas, obvious subject matter and their very atmospheric reading of the Dutch landscape and life of the times. More exploration into his body of work will follow for me, but for now, I just wanted to post this for those who, as I, may not have known the name or the work before as I think he has much to offer in the way of introducing aspects of what was yet to come in those who followed him toward the end of the 19th Century. 

As a little extra, the work below, Beach at Scheveningen an early watercolor by Van Gogh, was done during the time he was influenced by his cousin-in-law and several other Dutch landscape and genre artists who were popular and noted at the time, and before Vincent developed his truly iconic painting style.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Rather pleased to announce one of my works, "February Sun", will join 69 other works selected from something like 250 submissions for the International Guild of Realism's upcoming Masterworks Museum Tour which begins its travels in Louisiana in a couple months time. I'll update the tour schedule as the subsequent venues are established.