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Archive for the ‘Art’ Category

Maud (Sally Hawkins) is afflicted with rheumatoid arthritis and has been since she was a child. Her fingers are twisted, her legs misshapen, and she has a hunchback. When her parents died, her brother sold their home and put Maud up to live with her overbearing aunt. Nobody takes her seriously.

Everett Lewis (Ethan Hawke) is a local fish peddler in a village in Nova Scotia. He is a socially challenged, extremely reclusive, and verbally and physically abusive. When he puts up an ad for a housemaid, Maud sees it and applies for the job. She comes to live with him in his very small house out in the country.

Maud starts cleaning up around the place and decorating it with her own little paintings. By chance, one of Everett’s customers sees the artwork and starts commissioning works from her. Over time, Maud’s work gets the attention of the folk art scene in New York City.

Gradually the unlikely couple develops a bond of love.

Maudie is based on the life story of painter Maud Lewis, who lived in Nova Scotia with her husband Everett Lewis. They lived in poverty for most of their lives in a famously small house. You can google “Paintings by Maud Lewis” and find many of her paintings, her house, herself and her husband.

Maudie is a movie of unusual circumstances and deep emotions. It’s a story about life, its simplicity, and its cruel reality. Watching it made my eyes tear from time to time, and most of all, it made me go home and pick up my paint brushes again, which have been lying idle for too long lately.

Maudie is a celebration of the human spirit and life. In one of the scenes, when asked what painting means to her, she looks out the window and says:

The Whole of Life, Already Framed, Right There!

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the-path-for-linda-and-dick

My painting The Path just became a wedding gift for our friends (L&D). This was done after a motif by Masqua’s Art, who published a photograph that got my attention, and I challenged him to a “paint-off”. I was happy with the outcome.

Here is the painting at their house.

Here is a full digital image for reference.

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On Friday night I visited the MoMA, since they have extended opening hours until 8:00pm. To my surprise, they had free tickets for all on Friday. I just walked in. It was packed! Everyone in the world seems to come to New York for the MoMA. I am less interested in “modern art” per se, and particularly in “modern” furniture as produced in the 1920s. But their collection of some of the classics is amazing.

For instance, there are some beautiful works by Gaugin, Cezanne and Seurat. I am not usually a Chagall lover, but this is my absolute favorite Chagall. It’s huge, taller than I am.

my-favorite-chagall

And then, there was the absolute prize, one of my favorite paintings in the world – Van Gogh’s Starry Night. Just imagine, walking around a corner and there it is:

starry-night

What an amazing painting to see. People literally gasped as they spotted it. I stood there for a while, taking it in.

But then, there is a problem with taking it in with serenity. Because here is what it looked like stepping back a few feet:

starry-night-2

But just a few seconds of reflection, while I was in the front, was worth the entire visit.

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A good friend (PG) went on a safari in East Africa many years ago and brought back some photographs, one of which inspired this set of paintings I titled Waterbird.

It’s a diptych (two paintings in a series), each 18 by 36 inches. Here they are separate, and then together.

Waterbird 1

Waterbird 1

Waterbird 2

Waterbird 2

waterbird-combined

Waterbird – Combined

I found it a challenge to align the colors and compositions sufficiently, having to switch back and forth between two large paintings on an ongoing basis. My studio area isn’t big enough to put them side by side.

I might need to try this once more.

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Trees on Mt. Baldy

Trees on Mt. Baldy, oil on canvas, 24″ x 36″

Near the very top of Mt. Baldy in California, at over 10,000 feet elevation, rugged trees battle hard winds and blistering sun every day. In the winter, it’s bitter cold and icy. I took a photograph in the summer and made a painting, trying my hand at a loose brush.

It turned out so-so, but I am done with it.

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Much deserved by my favorite poet.

bob-dylan-1

See CNN article here.

Simple Twist of Fate – by Bob Dylan

They sat together in the park
As the evening sky grew dark
She looked at him and he felt a spark
Tingle to his bones
‘Twas then he felt alone
And wished that he’d gone straight
And watched out for a simple twist of fate

They walked along by the old canal
A little confused, I remember well
And stopped into a strange hotel
With a neon burnin’ bright
He felt the heat of the night
Hit him like a freight train
Moving with a simple twist of fate

A saxophone someplace far off played
As she was walkin’ by the arcade
As the light bust through a beat-up shade
Where he was wakin’ up
She dropped a coin into the cup
Of a blind man at the gate
And forgot about a simple twist of fate

He woke up, the room was bare
He didn’t see her anywhere
He told himself he didn’t care
Pushed the window open wide
Felt an emptiness inside
To which he just could not relate
Brought on by a simple twist of fate

He woke up, the room was bare
He didn’t see her anywhere
He told himself he didn’t care
Pushed the window open wide
Felt an emptiness inside
To which he just could not relate
Brought on by a simple twist of fate

He hears the ticking of the clocks
And walks along with a parrot that talks
Hunts her down by the waterfront docks
Where the sailers all come in
Maybe she’ll pick him out again
How long must he wait?
One more time for a simple twist of fate

People tell me it’s a sin
To know and feel too much within
I still believe she was my twin
But I lost the ring
She was born in spring
But I was born too late
Blame it on a simple twist of fate

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burning-man-from-iss

[click to enlarge]

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American Art Collector

After I recently moved, my subscription to American Art Collector Magazine stopped coming. When something no longer happens, you often don’t notice it right away. One day I looked at my last issue and noticed that it was months out of date.

American Art Collector is my favorite magazine. When I get it in the mail, I immediately open the plastic cover and start thumbing through it. It always makes my day, and it always inspires me to paint. Always.

So when I noticed the magazines were no longer coming, I tried to contact them through  the website. To get access, I needed to have my subscription number or ID, and since those are on the plastic mailing cover, I never retain those.

So I emailed them and told them what had happened. A week later the five most recent issues of the magazine came in the mail. It was like Christmas.

I commend American Art Collector Magazine for their awesome customer service.

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Today The Woman treated me to a surprise movie at the Angelika Theater – Art Bastard.

Art Bastard 1

Art Bastard is a portrait of New York artist Bob Cenedella.

I had never heard of Cenedella before. 76 years old now, he grew up always knowing that he’d be an artist. He suffered from a less than happy child hood and family life. Fiercely independent, not bending to censors and critics, he spent the decades on painting controversial and often social critical or political scenes. His pictures are always full of people. He portrays the world like he sees it, and he sees it differently than you and I.

Art Bastard

This movie tells the artist’s story, through his own words, and those of friends, critics, curators, and journalists who know him. Accompanied by an excellent classical sound track, we are treated to a feast of color and inspiration, and we literally feel the passion of the artist ooze out of him and his work.

When the credits rolled I sat there in reverie, and then I said:

I gotta go home and paint something!

Rating - Three Stars

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JarJar

Our friend Brad asked in an innocuous Facebook post to “Bring Back Jar Jar Binks.” So I did. Little did he know that he would be in the picture with Jar Jar. I thought a retro movie poster would do the trick. I transposed the first and last names of the characters. Petra is his wife. Tonight I gave him the finished and framed painting. Now it’s no longer a secret and I can publish it here.

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California Poppies

California Poppies, 36″ x 36″

California Poppies are the state flower of California. They are protected. When I hike pretty much anywhere in California in the spring, they grow like weeds.

Photo Cal Poppies

Here is a little stand right next to I-15 to the left of the fence, a freeway with 6 lanes in each direction.

I did the painting above to be a diptych to go with the previous painting of daisies. Both these paintings are quite large, three by three feet each, so they’ll fill a large wall when they are next to each other.

Daisies

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Devin 2006Devin in 2003, 36″ x 36″

Chelsea

Chelsea in 2008, 36″ x 36″

Both of these large paintings with identical frames are hanging in my office.

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My painting of 1980: Children

07/80 Oil 24x30

Children – July 1980 – Oil 30 x 24

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My painting of 2012: Old Man

Old Man - sm

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Elephant

Inspired by a photograph Trisha brought back from her Safari in Botswana in 2014.

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