Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Vermilion Stripes

                                              An original oil painting, on canvas panel
                                              24x18", unframed
                                              $1,800.00, ( plus $25.00, pack and ship )

     Back in the late 1950's, abstract expressionism had conquered the New York
art scene and the art world in general.  Abstract expressionists were the artists that
the major, commercial galleries wanted to show, and they were artists that the
art critics wanted to talk about.  Many art students of the period, were so dedicated
to the "noble ideal" of art for art's sake, that they would sneer at any artwork which
was being painted in a representational manner, as being a sell-out and a cheapening
of one's talent for the sake of money.  It was a time of ultimate artistic freedom for
young painters, and although my own work didn't include a great many canvases
in which I deliberately avoided creating any recognizable imagery, that kind of
experimentation of just thinking about colors, gestures of the brushstroke, and the
balance of shapes and texture, was sometimes a useful practice for me.
     This painting dates from that period, and I see now that it combines some of
the abstract expressionist spirit with my ongoing admiration for the paintings of the
post-impressionists.  Much of the paint was applied directly to the canvas with a
palette knife, combining or blending the colors on the painting's surface, and
sometimes using the heightened color palette of paints straight from the tube,
such as the bold slash of the vermilion stripes of the fabric on the right side of the

     The still-life objects, consisting of an old, fireplace bellows with crumbling leather,
an old ceramic jug with the traditional brown glaze on top, and two, dried ears of
corn in a brass container, seem to be unrelated items in some ways.  However.
the overall manner in which they were painted gives them a unified relationship
beyond their original functions or purposes.  As with the abstract expressionists,
it's all about the love of paint.
                                                           ( click on image to enlarge)

Thursday, July 10, 2014

White Violets From The Strawberry Patch

                                                      An original acrylic painting on Masonite panel
                                                      8x6", unframed
                                                      $200.00, ( plus $10.00, pack and ship )

    All violets are not blue and all violas are not musical instruments.  The viola in this case
is one with white blossoms, which are a bit smaller than the flowers of its more colorful,
viola cousins.  The heart shaped leaves are also smaller, but the plant stands higher, and
it has a more extended, blooming period than the other violets which grow in this part
of the country.
     One of the eternal chores of having a garden is the job of weeding, and disciplined
gardeners tend to call  wild-flowers weeds, if the plants sprout and grow where they
are not wanted, such as in the well ordered and tidy rows of edible produce.  So, when
these unwanted migrants venture out of the fields and woodlands and into our gardens
and lawns, they are most often pulled up, mowed down or sprayed to death.  But
sometimes the wild-flowers can manage to win a reprieve and escape the gardener's
ill will, for a time at least, because they offer a bit of floral bribery, to try and keep their
places among the food bearing plants.  Such an immigrant plant is the violet, which,
contrary to the lyrics of the old, popular song, is not a bit shy, when it comes to
springing up in unwanted locations.

     For those who are long-time gardeners, gradually over the passing years, along with
the loss of youthful energy, comes the understanding that we never really owned the
garden; we only borrowed it for a time.  Mother Nature is the real owner, and she is
a much more tolerant steward of the land than we are.  She scatters her seeds with
equal opportunity for all.

                                                           ( click on image to enlarge)