Sunday, January 16, 2011

A Bold Return

...or a return, at least, to incorporating people into my work as the principle subject.

A Cloudy Day at the Beach - 22 x 28 inches - acrylic on canvas

Originally, I started this piece as one of my Color-Panel paintings: at that time, the foremost figure, from a photo of a friend a friend of mine made when she was teaching in Japan (image not posted here), was more closely cropped by the sides of a smaller canvas; and if I remember correctly, I did not start it then because I was unable to decide on a background.

At some point, I was inspired by this image I saw in the April 2005 issue of House and Garden magazine, to include a figure in a similar pose, but reading, behind.

However, when I came back to this painting more recently, I thought I would paint one of the whippets (the skinny, white dogs in such works as my, "Winter Coats") sitting behind the front figure. The canvas, at this point, was going to be a taller, narrow canvas the same width as the originally planned size, though of course without the bars on the sides. Then I went back to the reader idea, combining several additional images for the model.

"A Cloudy Day at the Beach," is also a good example of my incorporation, collaging, of various sources. The pattern on the nearest swim suit and reader's towel are both adapted from Elizabeth Peyton's painting, "Ben Drawing,"

...the first of her paintings I saw - reproduced in the reviews section of Art in America or ARTnews. I was able, at that time, to find a few additional images of her work online. At any rate, enjoyed the look of her work, the drawing, use of color, and fluid application of paint, often dripping and running. I've yet to see her paintings except in reproduction, but do enjoy the images, so a bit of homage.

Though it doesn't appear as prominently in, "Beach," as in other works, I frequently use elements from scenic wallpapers such as this one from Griffin and Wong, for bits of foliage or to separate spaces.
The background finally presented itself this past Autumn when I visited an exhibition of paintings from the Walter's Museum (Baltimore) that was on view at the Blanton (here in Austin) in the form of Constant Troyon's, "Coast Near Villers.

A bit less foreboding, weather-wise, in my adaptation with a little change in topography. Originally, I was going to use another beach-scape by one, Ludovic Lepic, that was in the catalog to another exhibit, "Sargent and the Sea," which I saw this past summer at the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston. One of the paintings in that exhibition, "Neapolitan Children Bathing," from the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute in Massachusetts,

also ended up in my painting when I decided I needed some figures on the beach (also presenting an opportunity to pay tribute to Sargent, another long time favorite).

The little fellow with the floating devices pretty much demanded an update with bright orange water wings...

Sunday, January 9, 2011

CD Release!

The new CD from Nancy Green, concert cellist, which features my painting, "Spanish Early Evening Painting," (seen below in the non-album edit) is out now! Check out the track samples on her website,, and hop over to Cello Classics to order a copy of the CD. The company is U.K. so the price will ring up in pounds, but with shipping, it comes out to just under $20... when last I checked on the rate of exchange.

Even without my work on the cover, the album is worth owning: the music is a pleasure to listen to and Ms. Green has a style and sound I particularly like. Of course the performance is great.

A few of you, of course, know that I played cello in the past and am particularly sensitive to how the instrument sounds. dilitante! Though hardly a precise comparison, in describing her sound (after listening to her Tovey and Kodaly recordings) to a friend, I imagined her playing as being a Cabernet as opposed to a Pinot Noir, which I likened to the sound of Yo-Yo Ma (although Mr. Ma is one of those good Pinot Noirs one - who doesn't like that varietal - comes across and actually enjoys). On this most recent album, I think Ms. Green leans appropriately towards Tempranillo: nicely bodied but with a pleasing crispness.

I also have copies of her Brahms sonatas for cello and piano and the Tovey/Kodaly recordings, both of which I recommend. The Kodaly sonata for unaccompanied cello is a favorite: you should definitely get that one... you must have it!

The painting, if you are wondering, is not available. It is a favorite from the 2nd phase of my Flower-Pattern paintings from 2007 and sold some time before Ms. Green contacted me about using the image for her CD. In truth, she first contacted my gallerist, Dawn Chapman of Libertine Gallery after she'd seen the painting on the gallery's website, so special thanks to Dawn for having the image there and representing my work.

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