“ GO TO THE COUNTRY - THE MUSE IS IN THE WOODS “  Camille Corot

“ GO TO THE COUNTRY - THE MUSE IS IN THE WOODS “    Camille Corot

I was just going through some photos and realized what a nice time I had teaching the Plein-air Essentials workshop in June. It was a fun group and over the weekend we painted at Powell Butte and Mock’s Crest Viewpoint. The Butte has nice open vistas and Mock's Crest has a bowl-like depression that offers interesting topography and views of downtown and the Willamette. Everybody worked hard and had fun. We finished the weekend off in a really nice way with artist and musician Tara Kemp playing some original tunes for us. Bravo!

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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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