May
12
2010

Looking at art in Person by Valerie (Valry) Drake

 

Have you ever seen a Picasso in person? WOW! I saw one recently and was absolutely mesmerized. There is so much about it that you just do not see from books or online representations. For one thing there was SO MUCH texture! Some areas were almost smooth and others had a LOT of impasto. It gave a whole new aspect of depth to the painting. Another thing I noticed was that there were areas of canvas that had NO paint. Now I don't know about you, but I just do not have anywhere near that much confidence. If I have a piece of bare canvas showing through I figure I just have not done it right and I dive right back in there with my brush and muck around and, first thing I know, I have muddy edges. Not Picasso, he just left that little blank spot and didn't mess with it.

Then there was The Goldsmith by Rembrandt that I saw in Chicago. I had seen this work in a book or online or something so I recognized it but it absolutely stunned me. This thing is only a couple of inches tall! And it is absolutely exquisite - the detail, the expression, the pose – intimate and loving and a total story. I have done some miniatures, but I will NEVER achieve such perfection. It was humbling.

I sat in front of a Monet for who knows how long trying to absorb those colors and the shading. It is just totally impossible for any reproduction to accurately reproduce the richness of the original.

O'Keefe is amazing. Did you know that she did not mix her colors on the canvas? She planned it all out ahead of time, what colors and where and then she pre-mixed every shade before she started painting! The Georgia O'Keefe museum in Santa Fe has some of her preliminary drawings and I realized how much planning and care she put into her work before she ever got near the canvas. Such discipline!

If you are like me you do not have large, unoccupied chunks of time to visit the museums. A lot of my studying the old masters is done on-line in the middle of sleepless nights. But every time I go to a museum I learn so much about art, so much that I do not think could be learned in any other way.

p.s. - My museum kit now includes: a folding stool that is easy for me to carry (there is not always a seat in front of the painting that I want to spend time absorbing), my camera (with a no-flash option) and a tripod (without a flash there is no way I can hold it steady enough to get the shot), and a sketch pad and pencil for notes and quick sketches - or take-my-time sketches.
May
12
2010

March Artist of the Month - Babatola Oguntoyinbo

 

About Tola Jerry's Artist of the month for March 2010

Tola currently lives in Chapel Hill, NC. He grew up in Beaufort, South Carolina the son of Nigerian parents. He attended boarding school in the northeast, returning to the south to attend college at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1991. In 2006 he graduated again from UNC Chapel Hill with a Master's degree from the School of Journalism and Mass Communication as a Roy H. Park Fellow. He currently works as a social media consultant and software developer through his start-up, Sonecast.



Artist Statement

I love painting and the more I explore it, the more I've learned that art imitates life and life imitates art. The process of painting to me is fascinating. I've been learning that painting is as much about navigating my own internal dynamics as it is about any artistic ability I might have. One of the greatest challenges I encounter when painting is getting out of my own way and setting aside my own early expectations of what a piece needs to be. Time and time again I find that letting go is the key to successfully finishing a painting. It's the feeling of surprise and understanding that I get when a painting finally comes together that keeps me coming back and excited to continue working. The more I paint, the more I learn. I'm incredibly thankful for the lessons in conflict, fear, perseverance, growth, understanding, joy, happiness, strength, and confidence that have been part of the fabric of my experience as a painter. One of the most interesting things I've found as an artist is that no matter how ugly a piece gets as I'm working on it, with a little bit of faith (ok, sometimes a giant sea tanker full) and a willingness to keep going, it always ends up working out – almost without exception.

I hope you enjoy the work here as much as I have enjoyed creating it, painting is truly a labor of love for me in every sense of the word.











http://www.facebook.com/babatola.oguntoyinbo
Babatola on Facebook

See more of Tola's paintings and information online in Jerry's Art Community Section
May
12
2010

Painting Inspiration by Wilson Bickford

 


I'm very often asked, "How do you get the inspiration or ideas for all of your paintings?"

The truth is that I'm not really sure. Inspiration is one of those things that you don't always see coming and can be triggered by just about anything.
Every artist has subjects which are of particular interest and appeal.
For Monet, it was his water lilies. Van Gogh had a penchant for hay fields.
That's not to say that these subjects were all they painted, but they appear to have held a certain fascination for them, as they rendered them so frequently.

For me, I'd have to say that my favorite subjects are birds and old barns.
I don't know why exactly, but I never tire of those themes.

Now having said that, I also love doing landscapes, still life and florals.
I have found that as the years went by, the scope of my artistic focus has broadened. There are very few things that I don't enjoy painting. Each and every subject has its own challenges, which is an invitation to test yourself and your skills. As an artist, the only way to improve is to keep going a little farther each time you pick up a brush. I've heard the phrase, "You have to go out on the limb, because that's where the fruit is." That is the truest statement I've ever heard, whether in regards to art or just life in general.
As for true inspiration, it's all around us. Keep your eyes open and you'll know when something grabs you. Inspiration simply means that something has struck a chord within you and you feel "connected" to it to the point that you want to capture it on paper or canvas. (Or perhaps with clay, for you sculptors.)

It can be something as dramatic as a spectacular sunset, or as simple as the soft shadows on flower petals. As I've already said, you won't always see it coming, but you'll feel it when it does arrive.
It can knock on your door at any time and that is what makes art such an unpredictable pleasure.

www.wilsonbickford.com

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