Monday, October 29

Tribute to Bob Ross

Like millions of others this morning, I moused over today's Google image to see who was being honored with one of their ubiquitous doodles.

It was for artist Bob Ross on what would have been his 70th birthday except for the sad fact that he passed away in 1995.

What artist doesn't know who Bob Ross is/was, at least in this part of the world?

You must remember his show on PBS in the 1980s where in each program he would show all of us how to draw and paint.

Anyway, I also saw on my Google news crawler a link to a blog by Michael Cavna in The Washington Post. It's a fine tribute to the painter who, for many, was probably the closest thing they ever got to an art lesson.

It was very popular. Here's the link:

Thursday, October 25

What Would Picasso Do?

Not at all to become a flashpoint between the current seemingly worldwide "discussion" of urban art vs. vandalism, I did want to share a link to this article in yesterday's Houston Chronicle by Anita Hassan and Molly Glentzer:

It's about the controversy over whether the defacing of a Picasso painting (Woman in a Red Armchair, 1929) at the Menil Collection in Houston by stenciling an image on it should warrant an exhibition of the perpetrator's urban art at a cross-town gallery.
Very interesing viewpoints on both sides of this modern-world art "discussion" I think.  
What do you think?

Sunday, October 21

Total Art Experience

Here's a link to an article I saw on Google News. It's by John Weeks in the San Bernardino Sun (California USA), and it talks about how art should engage all of our senses to truly be experienced (I summarize).

I like that idea.

In the article, he states that in addition to our eyes, we should be able to hear, touch, and even smell and taste the images, sculptures, and installations we call art.

What do you think about that?

As I painter, I initially agree with most museums "do not touch" policies since obviously  work on canvas or paper would deteriorate rather quickly.

But yet...I have to agree that if the artist considered that (hearing, feeling, smelling, tasting) in the creation of the work, then, yes, there could be a proper way to incorporate these other senses into the experience.

Thinking outside the box (or frame) to engage the viewer (taster, smeller, etc.) is a good idea especially in our technologically-advanced age.

Wednesday, October 17

What?! Another Art Heist?!

Yet another major art heist on Tuesday in Rotterdam. That's in the Netherlands or Holland--anyway Dutch.

What's going on? Why is security at these art museums so, shall we say, crap? Who's responsible? Who's in charge?

The seven paintings by Picasso, Monet, Matisse, Gauguin, et al were so valuable, couldn't the museum afford at least one armed guard to stay up all night and watch the place?

Charley Hill, the great art detective was quoted in the New York Times after yesterday's robbery (and I paraphrase)--this was so big,  whoever this bad guy is must owe someone big time.

 I recently read the book, The Rescue Artist, by Edward Dolnick, about how Charley Hill worked to solve the 1994 theft of Edvard Munch's The Scream in Norway. There is, however, the distinct possibility that some or all of these masterpieces will never be seen again. Ever.  

That's the real tragedy. 

Sunday, October 14

If the Impressionists Had Smartphones

My acrylic on paper,
Watching the French Open
 (copyright 2010)
Here's a link to an article by John Seewer of the Associated Press in the San Franciso Chronicle that I find very interesting and hope you will, too.

It ties the famous Impressionist to today's social media by discussing how Edouard Manet's portraits acted as 19th-century links to personalities, much as Facebook and Twitter do today on smartphones and tablets.

Now that may be a stretch for some, but if you like the work of the Impressionists (I do), then you'll probably agree or at least consider the notion. I will add that I think the portraits by John Singer Sargent could also be considered similarly.

The article is also about the current exhibit at the Toledo Museum of Art (Toledo, Ohio USA), which is composed entirely of portraits by Manet. 

So here's to the art of portrait painting, may it live long and prosper.

Thursday, October 11

Urban Street Art in the Mainstream

In the on-going discussion of the importance of street/wall/graffiti art to the art world, let me share this link to an LA Times article by David Ng on an upcoming auction by Bonhams on October 29.,0,788438.story?track=rss

Works by some of the biggest names in the "business" will be represented including Banksy, Fairey, and KAWS, among other notables.

And if there were still any doubts about the viability of the urban genre, just look at the estimated prices of the most prized pieces: $20 to $80K US. (Where's that can of aerosol paint?)

Sunday, October 7

Winslow Homer's Studio House

I thought you may find this piece on CBS's Sunday Morning program interesting.

It's about the opening of Winslow Homer's studio house in Prout's Neck, Maine USA (near Portland) to visitors. Homer, as you may know, is the quintessential American painter of land- and seascapes of the 19th century.

The studio space has been preserved pretty much as Homer left it upon his death in 1910. If I'm ever in Prout's Neck of the woods, it will be certainly on my must-see list.

Wednesday, October 3

A Prequel to Mona Lisa

This from Yahoo! News and James Keaten of the Associated Press in Geneva--the Mona Lisa Foundation (I did not know there was one) announced a new and improved, so to speak, painting of Mona Lisa. Claiming it was painted prior to the "famous one" now hanging in The Lourve, it's supposedly authentic even if unfinished.

Dubbed the Isleworth Mona Lisa, it will be under scrutiny to see if it's the real thing from Leo da Vinci or just another hijinks in the art world. If it is, it may be worth up to $325 million US, according to the article.

In this version it looks like Mona just returned from a week at the spa after a facial but still wearing that enigmatic smile

Is there as second Mona Lisa? Maybe or maybe not.