EUAN UGLOW - Form, Color and Space

EUAN UGLOW - Form, Color and Space

One of my favorite British painters is Euan Uglow ( 1932 - 2000 ). His work is painterly, precise and visually compelling. He worked from life almost exclusively and focused mostly on still-life, interiors and the figure. Uglow studied with William Coldstream at the Slade School of Art and is considered a contemporary of Lucien Freud.

There are many reasons I’m drawn to his work so l’ll start with the idea of color spot painting, an approach to seeing color by Charles Hawthorne. I find similarities in the way these two artists thought about color from…

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DRAWING HIDEAWAYS

DRAWING HIDEAWAYS

Did you know there’s a Natural History Museum in Portland? Much to my surprise there is, at Portland State University!  Fellow artist Patrick Dolan told me about it, so off I went with students in the Mentored Drawing Studio on a field trip! 

What I find neat about drawing animals is that you not only learn about anatomy, they’re challenging to draw too!  Organizing the complexity of a skeleton into it’s most basic forms and drawing it in a way that’s…

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PHOTO-SURREALISM IN PORTLAND?

A modest yet impressive exhibit of photo-surrealism is on display at Blue Sky Gallery this month. 

Artist J Swofford’s work is featured in a corner of the gallery reserved for up and coming Pacific Northwest artists called the Viewing Drawer. His prints are small, intimate and evoke another era.

I like the imagery, their hand-made feel and ambiguity going on in the process. Is it old-school collage? Of the digital realm or other photo/print process?  Out of curiosity I looked up several meanings of surrealism and found:

a 20th-century avant-garde movement in art and literature that sought to release the creative potential of the unconscious mind, for example by the irrational juxtaposition of images.

Yes… well done J Swofford. To view more of this artist’s work visit: www.abnormalimage.com.

My People: The Portraits of Robert Henri

My People: The Portraits of Robert Henri

I've decided to adopt a master and study their work this year. My choice for 2018 is Robert Henri! The reason I think this is a good idea, and one you should consider too, is because I want to look beyond the surface and understand what makes another artist's work so compelling. 

For example, Robert Henri ( pronounced Hen-rye. ) made a shift from a dark, somber palette influenced by the style of painters like Goya and Velasquez to paintings filled with color and light. That's a big transition, how and when did it happen? 

I also love Henri’s lively brushwork and fresh, simple approach to the figure that is rich and painterly. Below is an example from his excellent series of children’s portraits. 

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In Retrospective: Andrew Wyeth

In Retrospective: Andrew Wyeth

Seattle and Portland recently hosted two excellent Wyeth exhibits. There is much to say about both but I’d like to focus on the Seattle Art Museum’s impressive In Retrospect - Andrew Wyeth, Oct 19th - Jan 15th.  There was not just quantity but also great variety of work in terms of media and subject matter. 

There’s a mystical quality to AW’s work I find very compelling. I think he had a wonderful cinematic eye that tells a story of silence and space, of passing time, and of life and death itself. 

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Imagination Station: Anatomy

Imagination Station: Anatomy

I really enjoy teaching artistic anatomy and one reason I'm such a big fan is because of invention. Anatomy is a rich source for ideas and it's quite fun to sit down with a pencil and let your imagination run free.

Anatomy forms, especially structural ones, inspire me to invent new ones based on existing ones. And that builds my drawings or creative process in an organic way.

Artistic anatomy is not only a great vehicle for learning artistic principles, it improves your drawing ability. It also develops 3-D visualization skills and working from memory. All three factors: strong drawing, visualization and memory greatly aid invention.

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Travels, Workshops and More...

I just returned from a three week trip to the east coast. Highlights included visits with family and friends, the Barnes Museum in Philadelphia, the Met in NYC, a quick stop in Boston and a week in Maine with visits to Mohegan Island and Portland.  I'm lucky too! My good friend Peter gave me a beautiful travel guitar and Miles Orvell, husband of my dear cousin Gabriella, gave me two autographed copies of his books on photography. Welcome additions for my soul and my library! : - )

The Barnes Museum is very impressive. Despite the controversies surrounding their move I think they kept true to the vision and spirit of Albert Barnes in how he wanted to exhibit the collection.  If you're a fan of modern art the Barnes is truly a must-see. It has a an extensive world class collection of Post-Impressionist and early Modern paintings by artists like Matisse, DeChirico, Cezanne, Demuth, and many others.

What is most interesting and delightful is the idiosyncratic way Barnes chose to display his collection alongside all manner of decorative iron and tin work, folk art, drawings, religious paintings, iconography and furniture from different eras as well as sculpture. The museum itself is an architectural gem and I loved the aesthetic of combining different textures of granite, wood and other natural materials along with " naturescapes " throughout the building. 

Next on my journey was a family reunion and a little people-watching and sight-seeing in New York. I  made my way over to the Met where I spent an evening unexpectedly lingering in the greco-roman sculpture hall. I gained a new appreciation for Roman portraiture, they're stunning in their realism and life force. Paintings and other artworks that caught  my eye this time around include A Man Holding a Jug by Michael Sweerts, a drawing of a horse by Sargent, mosaics and the simplicity of Puvis de Chavannes. Such a great museum, gems to discover and rediscover each time you go!

Maine is a beautiful state and I'd like to go back again. I've never been to a place with such an abundance of waterways! Towns like Wiscasset have that great New England look and feel. And cities like Lewiston, with its converted and abandoned old brick factory buildings, remind us of New England's industrial might and past. I liked Portland and Mohegan Island best but hiking in places like Blue Mountain and touring the countryside is hard to beat too. Monhegan Island became famous as an artist colony hosting the likes of Edward Hopper, Wyeth and many others. It's small, easy to hike and picturesque. It seems a painting was  waiting to be painted at every bend. I didn't get to paint but I hiked, sketched and explored along Mohegan's craggy shores. Here's a few quick sketches including the lighthouse ( I think Hopper did a few of these ).  : - )


There's still time to sign up for for upcoming workshops this summer. I'm teaching drawing, painting and monotype! Below are links for more info.


Portland Art Museum: Drawing from the Masters ( July 16, 18, 25 and August 1st ). An opportunity to draw and learn directly from masterworks in the Gods and Heroes exhibit this summer! 

PNCA: Big Brush Portrait Workshop ( July 14 - 18 ). Four day portrait intensive with a focus on finishing a convincing portrait study in 3 hours, direct painting and study of the methods used by masters such as 

Multnomah Art Center: The Portrait in Monotype  ( August 22nd ). Try something new and learn the basics of monotype printmaking at MAC's, known as the painterly print, to create rich expressive 

Multnomah Art Center: Landscape Painting Workshop ( August 25 -29 ). 

Portland Art Museum: Painting Demo ( July 18 & 25th from 2 - 5 pm ). I will be working onsite the Portland Art Museum creating a mastercopy painting from one of the masterworks in the exhibit Gods & Heroes. Stop by and say hello, talk shop and see a great exhibit. 

If you're interested in studying privately with me please contact me about Mentored Drawing Studio.

Have a great summer!