January 20, 2011

One Day Off but still celebrating!

"Pommes vertes" c 1873, Musee d'Orsay
The 19th of January was the official day of  the artist Paul Cezanne's birthday. He was a master of making form solid. He did not use optical devices to create the illusion of form but rather attempted to create form by exaining all sides. This is an early painting of his that shows his love of form.
In a book entitled "A guide to Impressionist Landscapes" by Patty Lurie, a book designed to be used on a self designed walking tour, (Tours of sights artists painted long ago), I found sites Cezanne painted early in his career. When Cezanne was turning away from the use of black in his early Spanish influenced paintings he trailed around with Pisarro absorbing the use of lighter colors and painting out of the studio. He rented a place in Auvers, near Dr. Gatchet. Yes the Dr. Gatchet who later was to unsucessfully treat Van Gogh. Gatchet's house for 40years was a gathering place for artists; according to Ms. Lurie.

Ms. Lurie also points out the brighter colors Cezanne is allowing himself with which to paint and the fact that he is more interested in the forms of the structures rather than any wandering farmer or peasant the might be in the vicinity.

This painting was included in the first Impressionist Exhibit of 1874. To catch up on more of Cezannes' life and influence I include these 2 links. Enjoy and Celebrate! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paul_Cézanne http://voices.washingtonpost.com/blog-post/2011/01/paul_cezannes_birthday_celebra.html

January 19, 2011

What Plein Aire artists do in the Winter

They put on warm stuff and go outside. Check out Stapleton  Kearns blog, which I have been following as he bravely pushes into the coooooold elements. http://stapletonkearns.blogspot.com/.
Here in Denver until this past week we had luxuriously warm winter weather. So with some fellow artists, instead of staying inside painting a model, we went outside. One of our fellow artists discovered Belmar Lake and we put on our heavy boots and bundled up a little ( eat your heart out Stapleton!).
Heather and Shelby are setting up and looking around. Shelby was the artist who clued me into this site. I love it because we are in the city but it feels like we are
much more isolated. Geese of course were everywhere.  Horses could be seen being ridden on the other side of the lake, walkers were out and stopped by to note our progress.
Now that warm January day is but a memory. I am heading to a much more southern beach this coming weekend. Puerto Vallarta here I come! More beach pictures to come in the future!       

January 11, 2011


I've been thinking about the importance of repetition when a person makes resolutions.  In my visual way the art work of Wayne Thiebaud sprang to my mind. Then I watched a stalled snow storm steadily and consistently spit out small flakes which continued to fall all day, then all night. That repeated consistency added up to 5 or 8 inches. Not enough to cause a problem just enough to remind us that it is winter. I looked out past the repeated pattern of stacked bricks which make up the walls of my house and over the grey vertical repeated wood lines which create our fence. I saw the naked twisted limbs of the maple trees. Limbs which are not the same length and have been formed by their response to the elements. Limbs which looked stunningly beautiful to my eyes. I thought again about repetition, consistency  and resolutions. I know that repeating a good vow consistently can bring a successful resolution. I am thinking now about beauty. 

January 4, 2011

Art Saves Lives

Paintings, like poetry or music, are essential nutrients that help people sustain healthy lives. They’re not recreational pleasures or sidelines. They are tools that help us grasp the diversity of the world and its history, and explore the emotional capacities with which we navigate that world. They illuminate, they humble, they nurture, they inspire. They teach us to use our eyes and to know ourselves by knowing others.

 Roberta Smith wrote the above in an article for the The  New York Times, Friday 31 , 2010, Weekend edition entitled "A World of Paintings in One City"

My  sister-in-law sent me this quote and it especially resonated with me as I thought about the future, the past, and New Years resolutions, which have been rolling around in my mind, these past days. For years I used to wear a pin a mother of one of my students gave me, it read- "Art Saves Lives" That plus the statement of Ms. Smith's sums up my feeling of the need for art in our lives. When I do finalize my resolutions this year I will use Ms. Smith's words as my credo.

Bonne Annee


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