Artist Challenge

Thats how the light gets in

So… this facebook thing is going around. If I get it correctly, an artist is “challenged” by another artist to post 5 days of paintings on said social media outlet and then to pass along this throw down, as it were, to 5 more artists.

Phyllis Disher Fredericks has called me out. Here is her FB page link, click here
along with her Pinterest link for those who don’t have all that time to waste on FB,
click here. Looks like I’m going to have to talk her into a website for the rest of you to see her wonderful world of still lifes and landscapes.

I’m stealing one of my faves to show here but I can’t find the title…Phyllis ?

I’m going to try and do this through the blog here since it posts to FB and that way we can get a twofer out of this. Things are rolling at the easel and, with a week of snow storms rolling in, I want to do nothing but paint paint paint.

I’ll take time out each day to post the three obligatory paintings, and selecting one from each of the fifteen years I’ve been at this, that should fulfill the task.

Here then, are the first three…

Rhapsody in Bluebird  – 2000

Rhapsody in Bluebird

A link to the Painter’s Notes – click here

The Alchemist’s Daughter – 2001


Painter’s Notes – click here

Remains of the Day – 2002


Painter’s Notes – click here

I’m going to challenge five artists, and remember that they have to have a FB presence or it won’t quite work. Dear Phyllis took a lot of care consulting her artist selections ahead of time to make sure they would like to play along. I do not have her patience, or her kindness of spirit so I’m just going to throw the dice.

My first choice is…Betsy Harrington.



I was going to continue with the Apple Series for the unveiling of today’s painting but …there’s an outrageous assault on artistic expression raging on Facebook as I write so I’m switching gears a bit.

Last night John O’Hern posted this photo on Facebook which is the announcement for his latest Re-Presenting the Nude show at Evoke Gallery in Santa Fe.Re-Presenting the Nude ll

Within minutes of his posting… facebook removed the image from his page. Yes, that’s right…censored. A few of us were able to repost it on our FB pages and the Evoke Gallery responded by posting the individual images of the paintings up on their website starting last night. I just got word from John that the Evoke Gallery has now been blocked from posting for 24 hrs.
Below is John’s posted response to the initial censoring on his page…
It amazes me that an organization like Facebook, begun by people of obvious intelligence and sophistication, should hire creatures who have only recently slithered onto the shore to control its department of censorship. I’m grateful for the many “Likes” and good wishes posted in support of the artists in my exhibition “Re-presenting the Nude II” before the announcement (with pictures!) was removed… from my profile page. The Roman poet Juvenal wrote in his Satires: “Quis Custodiet ipsos custodies?” (“Who will guard the guards themselves?”) It’s a question that is as true today as it was then. Who knows what Neanderthal censors might have ordered their artist kin to scrape off the wall? When more secure people occupied the ranks of those directing our society, the historian Henry Steele Commager wrote: “Censorship always defeats it own purpose, for it creates in the end the kind of society that is incapable of exercising real discretion.” Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart wrote: “Censorship reflects a society’s lack of confidence in itself. It is a hallmark of an authoritarian regime.” More chillingly, the African American scholar Henry Louis Gates wrote: “Censorship is to art as lynching is to justice.” I’ll give the last word to someone who knew the subject well, the buxom bombshell Mae West, who said: “I believe in censorship. I made a fortune out of it.” May all Facebook-censored artists do so as well. (And the curators.)
The original reason I signed up for Facebook was to keep track of the fast paced thoughts and lives of our grandchildren. It has become a valuable resource for connecting me to friends, family, and ideas and is an integral part in promoting my artwork and keeping in touch with patrons and introducing me to new artists and their work. Frankly I’m shocked that their “censors” have decided that any of these artistic representations of the human figure are too risky for us to lay eyes upon…when they so freely allow the children to post obscene and offensive language defining the explicit parts and usage of those parts of that same human figure.

So… my response to the environment of repression, discrimination and censorship in this year of political discord… is this…

#3 – The Tea Party   24 x 36

Chained to the easel…

that’s where I’ve been for weeks now. It’s super crunch time as I see the deadline for the July show coming closer….and closer. Every waking minute needs to be spent with brush in hand in order to meet the ambitious goals I have for producing more and better work this year.

You will have noticed that writing blog entries, which can sometimes take hours, have been shelved along with dinner invitations and all other social interactions, except for PT which is keeping my knees and back from seizing up all together.

I do monitor the incoming channels via email, internet and facebook so the outside world does get in… in short controlled bursts.

This morning one of those playful but interesting FB threads came through from a friend…World Book Day. Grab the book closet to you right now. Open to page 56, and choose the 5th sentence. Publish it as your status and write these rules as a comment. Don’t choose. PICK UP the CLOSET book.

I am a book lover so… I reached behind my easel chair and grabbed the closest book…it turned out to be Mechanical Drawing for High Schools by French and Svensen, used by students at the George Washington High School in Manhattan, N.Y.City between 1936-39…interestingly enough one of the students who signed it out in ’37 was George O’Neill…almost a relative ?

I use this book as a prop and it has appeared in several paintings…here’s one called Book Mark…

and a recent one, By Design…currently available at the Granary Gallery

So I opened to page 56…

and the 5th sentence reads…”When a pictorial sketch is dimensioned, the only additional consideration is to use care to see that all extension lines are either in or perpendicular to the plane on which the distance is being given.”

Which was a much needed reminder that the muses are here…just over my shoulder as it were…helping me struggle through the long hours of trying to get those extension lines just right…

Here is a shot of what I was painting when that facebook comment came through on the iphone beside me…complete with T-square in place to make sure those carefully considered doors are perpendicular !

So what book is beside YOU ?