Remember to Play by Cheryl Whitestone

Philip Morsberger in his studio, August 18, 2010

Recently I visited The Morris Museum of Southern Art in Augusta Georgia with a group of fellow artists and art enthusiasts. The curator generously arranged a studio visit for us with Philip Morsberger . 

Philip’s warehouse studio was large and well lit with flourescants, no windows. There was artwork everywhere, we all wandered around like little children getting into all of his things, and asking a zillion questions like; why is there a turtle on that mans head? What is the significance of this and that. And he patiently explained what the images popping in and out of the colorful brushstrokes meant to him. The turtle was the only pet he and his brother were allowed to have growing up, by the way.

His process is to attack the canvas with paint, no form at first only what he feel is asthetically pleasing to him. Then he steps back to sit and look at the piece. Studying it to see where the painting leads him. He said, like a child who could see animals in clouds, the process he works in is similar.
My reaction to Philip. I need to paint more freely again. There was a time I unleashed my inner crazy child and brushed, smeared, splattered paint with no care for any reality except the feel and vibration of colors and patterns. In fact I wrote a poem explaining why I had come to this conclusion.

Sail Away by Cheryl Whitestone

So sensual abstract
Colors vibrating waves of light.
Deep impulses the senses and soul interprets.
Wonderful because it is nothing yet everything.
Reminiscent and vague.
No boundaries of  mundane.
Sail me canvas, sail us
Let us wander, wonder at the sight of you.
Lost in saturated color.
The formless dance that was the artists joy.

Edible art created a few days after my field trip to Augusta
The Philip Morsberger cake, yes it was delicious too!

By the way Philip can paint realistically and had done several traditional portraits. We discussed this as he showed us some of his older work. He had classical training and was also an educator for many years. We both agreed a strong foundation in how to build and create 3 dimensions in paint was crucial to creating very dynamic artwork whether it is abstracts or impressionism. All that classical training pays off when one decides to veer off into a looser style of painting.




Defining Urban Derivatives by TMNK

The streets are talking, and a NOBODY like me  is not only listening but is adding to the conversation with a unique and compelling style of art I call "URBAN DERIVATIVES." Not content with simply "getting up" on walls and having my work seen and appreciated by the masses. And, while many find inspiration from their urban surroundings, I have begun to create art that is literally derived from the world around me. Much like his hip-hop predecessors, I'm sampling the visual poetry of urban street art, creating collaged imagery based not on magazine cut-outs, but cutouts from the streets. These new works that I call Urban Derivatives, documents and preserves urban contemporary  hieroglyphics, while adding my own unique and distinctive voice to this ongoing dialogue.

Perhaps, like impressionism, It will be come a movement that other artists will follow. Or not. I'm just happy to be leading, instead of following. Urban Derivatives for me is reinterpreting while preserving an exploding culture. It's about creating art that connects, confronts, and interacts with the audience. I'll be sharing some of my new works in this style in an exhibition that opens in Norway next week, but wanted to share it with all of you as well. Let me know what you think.



Tom's Message

Hello to all my artist friends.  We just returned home from a great workshop and trade show in Houston and it is time to get some painting in while getting ready for up coming workshops, the next being a one day painting demonstrations followed by a one day workshop at the Jerry's Artarama store in Nashville TN. Maybe I'll see you there.

We all need to refresh and stay excited about our painting experience.  I have several things I do to stay excited.  Something as simple as trying a new paint color and seeing how it mixes with other colors in my palette, then using it in a painting gets me charged.  I just found one, I use Rembrandt's Artist Watercolors Naples Yellow Red and mixed it with Lemon Yellow, then Permanent Red Light, then Quinacridone Rose. WOW such beautiful warm colors.
Other ways to stay excited are trying a new surface. If you are used to painting on Archescold press watercolor sheets try a different surface such as rough or hot press or try watercolor blocks or arches new watercolor boards, which comes in all you favorite sizes and surfaces. With this product you do not need a backing when you frame the painting.  You save money on backing, and the surfaces are less expensive than buying sheets.
Another way I stay excited is to call an artist friend often and talk about art.  While it is not always possible to paint on location, try to go out with an artist friend once a week to photograph new references or paint a small painting on location, 5 x 7 inches or just sketch.

Watch your favorite artist DVDs, look at books or surround yourself with your art work or the art work of your favorite artist. If you go to my website and click on free art lessons you will find a number of short specific lessons in painting and from there you can go to Jerry's Artarama site for over 550 free art lessons.  Free is good.
Also, check out my Workshop Adventures on my website and have fun painting in some of the most beautiful locations imaginable.
Remember life is precious, so take time for yourself. Join me in beautiful Sedona, AZ for a week of not stop fun and painting adventure, guaranteed to get you excited.
In closing let me remind you that you are always a better painter than you think you are.
Best Regards,





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