Monday, November 26

How Would You Describe Your Paintings?

I think you'll find the information in an article on useful and informative for painters, most of whom are more visual than verbal. The following link is to an Art Words List, part of an article by Marion Boddy-Evans on finding the right words to talk about your paintings:

The list is organized by art concepts and topics, which should be obvious for most painters after they see it. For example, the first topic is Color Words and, rather than just saying "yellow-green" for example, it lists some words you could be using, such as vivid, insipid, garish, and violent. Pretty neat, huh?

 A brief narrative on each topic is also provided to help you better understand how to use these words in context. Some of the other topics are Tone Words, Mood & Atmosphere Words, and Lighting Words, just to name a few. In addition, she provides a link to an A-to-Z Art Glossary on the site as well.

Excellent list and great words. Thank you, Ms. Boddy-Evans.

Monday, November 19

Support Your Local Art League

An acrylic of mine that was in the local
Art League's Member Show
(copyright 2011)
The point of today's blog is that you, I, and all artists, really, should support their local art leagues. Your own local league may, of course, go by another name, such as society, academy, association, guild, or other.

But the point is that it's the one place, or at least one of the places, in your community that supports local art and artists. As you know, there are not many organizations or people who do that.

So we should give them our support in dues or an endowment, if you can swing that, or if nothing else, volunteer time.

Here's a link to a story in the Houston Press by Meredith Deliso about a current show at the Art League Houston and how it is promoting the work of seven local artists who might have otherwise  gone unnoticed.

Support your art league and someday it may support you 

Wednesday, November 14

Happy Birthday to Claude Monet!

My Tribute to Impressionism
Copyright 2008
In honor of the great one, here's an encore to last year's blog on November 14, the birthday of Claude Monet.

Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday to you.

In honor of this occasion, here is a very brief chronology of the great painter’s life:

Oscar Claude Monet is born November 14, 1840, in Paris to Claude and Louise Monet.

The family moves to Le Havre and Claude studies art with a local artist in the 1850s, and as a teenager becomes somewhat known for his caricatures.

Monet learns to paint en plein air with Eugene Boudin in Le Havre.

Monet commits to becoming a painter and moves to Paris in 1859.

After a stint in the French military in Algiers, Monet enrolls in the Charles Gleyre art studio in 1862 and meets Frederic Bazille, August Renoir, and Alfred Sisley.

Monet paints Woman in A Green Dress in 1866, a painting of his girlfriend, Camille.

Monet’s outdoor paintings of pretty people and landscapes with shimmering light hint of things to come; his son Jean is born in 1867.

Even though Monet produces paintings, such as The Magpie andBathers at La Grenouillere, he goes through a period of rejection and paints at several towns along the Seine.

Claude and Camille are married in 1870 and honeymoon in Trouville where he paints beach and hotel scenes; they move to Argenteuil in 1871 and Monet continues painting landscapes and light.

In 1873 Monet paints Impression Sunrise at the port of LeHavre, which ultimately gives Impressionism its name.

Monet and several painters split from the conservative Salon and form their own painting society in 1874 with the First Impressionist Exhibition. Durand-Ruel becomes a business partner with his gallery and exhibitions.

The Second Impressionist Exhibition is held in 1876, including Monet’s The Bridge at Argenteuil; a third exhibition is held in 1877 and a fourth in 1879.

Michel, a second son, is born to Camille and Claude in 1878. Camille dies in 1879.

During this time Monet has befriended the Hoschede family in Vetheuil, and after Camille’s death the two families live together with Alice helping rear Monet’s children along with her own.

Monet and family move to Giverny in 1883.

Although Monet and Impressionism reach a level of success in the late 1870s and early 1880s, the group is strained, and Monet paints on his own at various locations in the French countryside and along the English Channel; by 1886, the original movement has matured, and whatever affiliation the group had has ended.
Claude and Alice marry in 1892 (she dies in 1911).

In the 1890s Monet continues his quest to paint the changing light by painting a series of now-famous paintings of different motifs: haystacks, poplar trees, a cathedral.

After the turn of the 19th century, Monet turns his attention to his garden at Giverny and spends the rest of his life painting it, including the famous bridge and many views of water lilies on the pond.

Beginning in 1918, Monet begins a series of water lily paintings on large panels that will eventually be installed in the oval galleries of the Orangerie.

Monet dies December 5, 1926.

Happy Birthday Dear Claude, Happy Birthday to You!

And Many More…because your work lives on in museums and collections all over the world and in books and online forever to be enjoyed.

Thursday, November 8

A Fine Art Exhibit of War Photography

Visiting the Vietnam Veterans Memorial
(copyright 2006)
The New York Times previewed an upcoming exhibit at the Museum of Fine Arts Houston that opens, not uncoincidentally, on November 11, which is Veteran's Day in the US.

The exhibition is WAR/PHOTOGRAPHY: Images of Armed Conflict and Its Aftermath.

The article by Carol Kino discusses how the exhibit came to fruition a decade after MFAH acquired what is believed to be the original print of the iconic World War II photo by Joe Rosenthal of American soldiers raising their flag.

I had already received notification of the upcoming exhibit, but reading about some of the photos and photographers in the Times  article makes me want to see it in person even more. I'll clear my calendar for an afternoon in the next few weeks.

Monday, November 5

A New Book on Cezanne

I wanted to pass along a link to a radio talk show on National Public Radio (NPR) today.

It's an interesting interview by Diane Rehm on her talk show of the same name with Alex Danchev, a professor and author of the new book, Cezanne.

In the interview Danchev discusses much of Paul Cezanne's background and life as an artist starting out in Aix-en-Provence as well as some interesting thoughts on why Cezanne produced so many self-portraits among other topics.

 If you are a fan of Cezanne (or Diane Rehm) or if you just like art history, I think you will like this discussion.

There are also some images of Cezannes' paintings throughout his career and an excerpt from the book as well.

Here's the link:

Thursday, November 1

Let There Be Art At Airports!

Finally! Someone else noticed. Besides me. I'm very glad, and you should be, too.

I'm talking about art at airports or actually the lack of art at airports. However, in a Google news crawler I saw this link to an article by Chris Owen of

Several years ago while traveling through Bush-IAH and LAX airports I couldn't help but notice how utilitarian they were and how they desperately needed some artistic enlightenment for us human travelers who are subjected to much, well, let's just say inconvenience (to be polite).

I blogged about it once, and then artwork was added at Bush (not because of my blog, of course), although much of that was architectural, but that's OK. So I blogged a second time.

Here are links to those blogs:

'There Is No Art In Airports'

'There Will Be Art In Houston Airports'
I am very happy to read this article about new art installations at Gatwick in London as well as other airports. So the next time I'm queued up at a terminal, I hope I am viewing a masterpiece or two.