Saturday, July 28, 2007

Penninsula Art School Paintout, Fish Cr., WI

The Penninsula Art School Paintout was a great success. Over $60,000 of pleinair paintings were sold at the Gala Reception. 36 artists spent the week painting in and around Fish Creek, WI which is a resort location of the tip of WI above Green Bay on Lake Michigan. This picture shows the auction of the featured artists that did the quick draw. Everyone was alloted 2 hrs to do a painting in the area. The public enjoyed watching and asking questions as the artists worked. The paintings were then auctioned. I believe an average of $800 per painting was made and atleast 15 paintings were sold. All together the PAS did well. I congratulate the volunteers that did a fine job putting on a stellar show for the artists and public.

I didn't get into the "Featured Artists" show but will try to jury in next year. I may get in this year if the quick draw painting I did, merits an award. The jury will decide who, from those that participated in the quick draw will warrant an invitation into the show next year. I've got my fingers crossed but I'm not too happy with the painting I did. Oh well, I gave it a shot and will try to jury in next year.
I did this painting yesterday. I also met the owners Dennis and Mary Bley. They had just purchased a Belgian mare and Dennis was seeing how she went. I noticed them working and stopped to visit and had a long talk about horses, horse logging and farming. Like most places logging and farming is disappearing in this area as it gets developed by tourism. Since S. Dakota It has been intriguing to compare the farms back east to those back home. Not very many

farmers out west do silage whereas out east everyone does it hence the fields and fields of corn and soybeans.
Many of the artists complain of all the green but I have been finding the colors delightful. Everything seems to be suffused with Cerulean .

Friday, July 27, 2007

The adventure to Maine continues.........

Time out for pictures of the grandkids. This little impadoodle is my grandson. Must be Kaiden but I can't really tell as the twins are identical to me. Couple of real Jokers. As you can see they're well taken care of. The adventure continues. We got to the Pennensula in N. Wisconsin and checked into our adobe only to wake up at 2a.m. to the annoying sound of a fire alarm in our room. Long story short, the humidity set of the fire alarm. Good way to meet the locals even if it is the local fire department.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Museum Adventures

My first opportunity on the trip was to stop at the Wild Bill Cody Museum to see a mural by John Clymer. Never did find the Clymer but enjoyed the collection of western art. I was especially glad to find Remington's plein air work, studies done on location in the west, far better than the studio work he did. The Plein air work of an artist is an opportunity to see the artist at work. How he interpreted the moment. The skill with which he applied the knowledge of technique he has, bereft of message ,yet containing the essence of the artist's character.

Stopping in Waterton, SD, to see my grandkids, I discovered the local art hero, Terry Redlin. WOW! Gotta be impressed with the level of commercial success an artist can have. A temple to Redlin's art, there is the Redlin Art Center, a 30,000 sq' marble mansion housing Redlin's paintings and prints, as well everything imaginable you can print his work on, from shower curtains to coffe mugs. It is easy for me to dislike the work of Terry Redlin. It suffers from what I call the 'log cabin syndrome', where an artist finds success at a particular thing, then never moves beyond that success. I do appreciate what he does say, in-as-much-as he opened my eyes to the horizontal light of the prairie. His drawings are exceptional, again, raw, spontaneous studies of the world around him in which his eye, technique and personality shine through.

Part of what has been so fun about this trip is discovering the art that lies hidden in the bowels of america. I had no idea what was to be found in Minneapolis, MN. Google found the Minneapolis Art Institute for me and an exhibit of Nordic work from 1700 to 1900. What else would you expect from the land of the Lutherens? Sponsor? Sons of Norway! Go figure! An exceptional show taking me from the classic style of Romantics in the vein of Bierstadt, heavy glazes and detailed brushwork to that of Edvard Muench, a.k.a. 'The Scream'. Here is a sample of an exceptional masterwork, probably 5'x8', by Carl Larson, may be the most reknown of the Scandanavian artists. Evidently this big painting was done outside on location. As you can see, you have to be one dedicated S.O.B. to paint in the land of the North. If you look closely he is wearing a pair of shaggy boots that would make a pair of Sorrel's look lightweight. This painting was shown at the Paris Salon. I'll bet is was the only snow scene in the show.
One of the things I have come to understand is my attachment to Realism. I have come to learn that Realism is a very relative term. Artists are shackled to the muse and that muse is nature, from which we derive our knowledge, whether that knowledge leads us down the path of abstraction or a literal interpretation of what we see. What is important is to be engaged and devoted to the process. To be the filter by which nature flows through the brush to the canvas, work that becomes frozen in time to be discovered by future aspirants. It reminds me quite a bit of the fossil footprints I saw in the desert of the Badlands or Borlund's Mt. Rushmore. That effort sure should be around for a while!

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Wildlife of Wyoming

Sanpoil to South Dakota, painting my way to Maine

We discovered our first camp was a teepee on Rock Creek just west of Missoula, Mt. A pleasant way to start our adventure of painting my way across America.
Although it looks rough, we had a wonderful meal at the Stagecoach Inn that has been serving travelers four generations. We brought our own Cabernet from Sandpoint Winery that went well with both my Prime Rib and Bett's Dumpling Stew.

Saturday morning took us east to Yellowstone NP. I look forward to viewing sights painted by Bierstadt and Moran that I have always admired. I'm standing in front of Yellowstone Falls as seen from Inspiration Point. Unfortunately Moran painted from Artist's Point which was closed at the time due to construction. I could see the spot directily across the canyon from here. I have to say that his painting hanging in the National Gallery was an honest and true rendering of this marvelous landscape. I'm not sure of the exact demensions of his painting but it is grand, atleast 10'x 16' perhaps bigger. He did many watercolors of this sight that captured the extraordinairily complex colors that make up the canyon walls. His effort helped convince congress to make Yellowstone into one of the first National Parks.

Alfred Bierstadt of the Hudson River School, c. 1850, also painted in Yellowstone. Bierstadt also ventured out west to return to New York where he sold tickets to view his huge landscapes as if they were movie matinees. Although photography was in its infancy, artists such as these, using the skill of their hands and the magic of their imagination made a legend of the phenomenal beauty of our world, so much so, we have set such landscapes aside for future generations to appreciate. The artist makes the ordinary, extra ordinary and makes the extrordinary, timeless.

In such a fashion have Americans come to inheret such timelessness by the hand of Guston Borglund who dovoted his life to the sculpting of Mt. Rushmore. It is interesting to compare the efforts of those that have recorded nature as Moran and Bierstadt have done, to the altering of the landscape to memorialize man's place in time. Moran and Bierstadt memorialized nature using Art, Borglund memorialized Art by using Nature.

I captured the Absaroka's at sunrise from the east side of Yellowstone. 8"x24" oil

A sketch of Lamar River and Elk Mt in Yellowstone. 6"x18" oil