It was a wonderful opening at the Granary Gallery last week and, though we are home, and I’m already back at work starting on the next year’s worth of paintings, the show will hang for the rest of the summer and the gallery staff reports that visitors are spending a lot of time studying those details…
After a stressful and busy month I am sooooo looking forward to this weekend. Some of my most favorite living artists are being featured in a show at the Brandywine River Museum which opens on friday night for members and saturday for the public.
Bob Jackson has been working tirelessly to help pull the show and the artists to the forefront and the museum is hosting a panel discussion with the artists on saturday. His painting Target the Artist, 2009 Oil on Linen, seen below, is just one of his works that will be shown. The list of other artists is a who’s who of the top realists working today in this country. I encourage everyone to try and get to see the show and my congratulations go out to the museum and curator Audrey Lewis for bringing these works together in such a fine venue.
Congrats Bob, we can’t wait to raise a toast to your success tomorrow night !
23 march 09
We took the weekend off … almost unheard of… traveled to Baltimore and were royally hosted by our friends Doug and Scott. Treated first to a cozy feast in their home and the luxury of an unhurried visit with their art collection…then a day of brunching and art hopping from museum to museum. Their generousity and genuine good natures and love of art is inspiring and always a much welcomed breath of fresh air…and the gift of time spent with them AND being able to study the paintings of 17th century masters …priceless.
Now, back again in the studio, I’m bouyed by the images still fresh in my mind and ready to kick my game up another couple of notches. One of the things that impressed me were the many miniatures in the collection at the Walters Art Musuem. Even though the current panel on my easel is almost 8 feet long, there are dozens of “miniature” paintings within this composition.
The windows in the primary fishing shack are two such sections that I began to work on last week. In real life they are only about 2 x 3 inches but they provide some much needed depth in a 2-D world and some middle distance interest in the overall design. Now I can seen the need to go back in and tighten up the initial work in there. I want to give the viewer as much pleasure as I got from taking my glasses off and leaning all the way into the tiny portraits at the museum to see what those patiently applied brushstrokes had to reveal.
So today…I get out the OOOOO brushes !
6 February 09
The mid-winter sunshine is melting away some of the sadness in the studio and work and life continues to push me forward.
We had a wonderfully healing visit from my pal Peter Follansbee this week on his way to and from giving a lecture at a furniture conference in Colonial Williamsburg. Many of you know that Peter is THE world renowned expert in 17thCentury Joinery and I got to tag along with him on tuesday as he went to the nearby Winterthur Museum to take a look at a painted wooden box made in 1698. It was a blast to be his lackey and get a rare behind- the -scenes look at the museum and meet their curator and top scientist. Peter has been hired by the MFA, Boston to reproduce the missing top half of a cabinet which is in their collection. The details to which his assembled team is investigating how the original might have been produced and decorated…and the microscopic analysis of the paint samples from the four existing examples of this furniture…are beyond amazing. If you’re at all interested in woodworking you will find his blog entries to be a remarkable wealth of information both historical and practical. www.pfollansbee.wordpress.com
This week also saw the launching of Laurie R. King’s Fifteen Weeks of Bees project. Regular readers of this blog will know that LRK is one of my favorite authors and that listening to her books in the studio has inspired many a painting. So, when she wrote to me a few months ago to invite me to participate in a fun project to help launch the newest installment in the Mary Russell Series…I couldn’t reply fast enough.
The idea is an old one … in the authors words…” Russellscape is an ‘endless landscape’ or myriorama—a series of panels with precisely the same colors at precisely the same places along their left and right edges. If all those edges match, then the individual panels, when laid side by side, form a continuous image…”
In this case she was looking for the illustrations to relate in some way to the MR series characters, story lines or geographic locations in the books. My first thought was of the painting that I had finished last year… The Beecharmer. The idea for which had blossomed many years ago while I was reading the very first book in the series, The Beekeeper’s Apprentice. It took a few years of incubation and a larger studio to bring my composition to the panel … and it has taken the same number of years for LRK to return to the hive, so to speak, with her latest novel’s title…The Language of Bees which hits the bookstores on 22 May 09.
So, with a little bit of help from Photoshop… and a lot of artistic license and latitude… here is the image I came up with …
and here’s where you can see how they integrated it into the Russellscape… (Scroll down to the bottom of her home page to see the slide show ) http://www.laurierking.com/ .
It was a lot of fun and a huge honor for this humble artist to be included, so many thanks Laurie.
You too can participate as she is encouraging other artists to add their own panels… so follow the links on her site to find the details. There will be a contest coming up to pick the favorite panel…so get to the library and bone up on your Mary Russell stories and have fun. ” The Games A-foot !”
And Now… I weave my way from Ye Olde Cabinet Shoppes of the 17th century … through the back alleys of 19th century London… across the moors and back across the pond…to the dune swept seascapes of Martha’s Vineyard…and straight onto a movie set ?
Next up on the easel… a painting commissioned for a movie currently wrapping up production by producer/director Tappan Heher … “Mistover”.
Much more to come on this exciting project soon… but, for now, the muses are calling.
Be well, HN
This coming Saturday, 13 September 2008, the Ft. Wayne Museum of Art will preview their Biennial Realism Show. I was honored to have two paintings chosen to be included, Where There’s Smoke, and Just A Spoon Full.
Below is the invitation and a link to their website. They will be publishing a catalogue of the show which is available there, as well as information on a Symposium: American Realism Explored, on Saturday October 11, 2008 at the museum.