Mâ€™s Notes 3rd Quarter 2012
2012 OPA National Exhibition Evergreen Colorado Posted on July 9, 2012 by M Gallery of Fine Art SE
Jeff Legg, The Provision, Oil, 30"H x 30"W Gold Medal Award
I arrived at Denver International Airport amid temperatures of 100 degrees and fires raging in the distance. The heavy haze from the smoky horror was left behind as my rental car climbed up the lovely highway to Evergreen site of the Oil Painters of America National Exhibition. Evergreen Art Gallery hosted the show, which features some of the best work produced in North America this year, and did a lovely job hanging the hundreds of paintings. We had several M Gallery artists in the show and were exceptionally proud of their works.
The venue for the conference which features demonstrations and work shops was a funky Elks Club. The OPA organizers had to scramble apparently due to a last minute re-location caused by a gallery ownerâ€™s serious illness. Despite the awkwardness of the venue Quang Ho did a stellar job with his demonstration and the presentation on the Art Market by Joshua Rose was superb.
Charlie Bogusz (Fine Art Connoisseur VP Sales) and I shared a room at the Hidden Haven Lodge (complete with bears in the parking lot) and attended a fun reception at the show with Atlanta painter Bill Davidson, Minnesota painter Marc Hanson and friends followed by an outing to hear a great blues band Young Austin & No Difference http://youngaustinband.com/ at the Little Bear Saloon http://www.littlebearsaloon.com/. The band was so young I donâ€™t believe the keyboard player has started to shave, but it was the best blues I have ever heard (complete with Dad on the drums) Wow. The altitude almost killed me. Oh my, donâ€™t do the Little Bear the first day you leave sea level. Oof.
As a part of the conference, we had a lovely dinner at Keys on the Green watching Elk meander through the golf course. I was able to connect with some of my favorite painters: Jeff Legg, Bryce Cameron Liston, Deborah Elmquist, Robert Spooner.
Sunday was a pleasant lunch at the Winery on the Creek with Joshua Rose (Editor American Art Collector) and Amy Gause (American Art Collector Advertising and Marketing Director) Talking about ways to promote Charleston as an art destination. The local Viognier was simply wonderful and the conversation exciting. Bear Creek babbled under our deck and we enjoyed Colorado at its best. I managed to drive up Mount Evans (elevation 14,250 feet) and the road there is the highest paved road in North America. It goes all the way to the summit. I was shocked by the mountain bikers pedaling along, as I was so altitude sick I could hardly walk much less contemplate riding a bike! Egad! There were big horn and little prong sheep right near the road (very exciting!). You could see large fires burning in all four directions, horrific monsters visible from the mountain top. My friend Charlieâ€™s home is near Fort Collins where one of the big fires still rage and I am still not sure how her home has fared. The drought conditions throughout the region made me appreciate our rainy summers back home. After a quick tour of the Denver art scene (a vibrant bright spot) I headed back to sea level, ample rain + my beloved Charleston.
-Charleston courtesy of Google Image
Dragonâ€™s Eye Posted on July 12, 2012 by M Gallery of Fine Art SE
Nancy Bush, Breaking Through, Oil on Belgian Linen, 14"H x 14"W
When I was a child in Minnesota my Danish grandfather would tell me that this type of sky with a slit of crimson was a dragon's eye. He would whisper that the giant beast was just peering over the horizon, head sideways to pounce upon little children who hadn't returned home for supper and eat them up. I would of course scurry in whenever the dragon eye would appear, gobbling up cookies on my way through the kitchen well aware I had just brushed with death, that life was short
and one should eat desert first. My grandmother did not agree with this world view and generally I would get a bit of a sideways glance...a dragon eye as it were, and admonishment about not saving room for supper. It was always a laughable remark, as she was the best of cooks and there was never any problem fitting all of her great suppers into my lanky frame. And of course, my grandfather would be right behind me grinning ear to ear, happy to be in from the barns and greeted by the wonderful smells of her kitchen. Thank you Nancy for reminding me of their all encompassing love. And of the dangers + delights in lingering too long near the eye of the dragon sky. - Maggie Kruger
Painting demonstration Posted on July 30, 2012 by M Gallery of Fine Art SE
Watch Jeffrey Hayes make the magnifying glass come to life in his painting Kaleidoscope: "Magnifying Glass No. 1"
Interview with Thomas Reis Posted on August 3, 2012
Thomas Reis Interview Blog courtesy of JOHN POTOTSCHNIK FINE ART
"Each painting is a summation of the interests and influences of the artist"
Thomas Reis just won the top award in the annual Art Renewal Center Online International Salon Competition. It's no easy achievement being voted the best when there are 2100 entries, but then Reis is no stranger to achievement and winning. So far this year he has been named to the "Top 20" of 1600 entries in the International Portrait Competition, fourth place in the Portrait Society of America members only show, and has a feature article in the Feb/Mar issue of International Artist magazine.
Illustration for Time Magazine
He graduated from Stetson University with degrees in Spanish and Fine Art and went on to complete a MFA from the San Francisco Art Institute. He is super talented, smart and versatile. Except for a three-year stint as senior art director for JP Morgan Chase in New York overseeing the design of marketing materials and literature for Chase Vista Funds, he has managed to maintain two distinctly different career paths...one as illustrator and one as fine artist. Although this blog is about Tom, the fine artist, I just can't resist showing you a sample of his illustration work. He is a phenomenal illustrator. His work has appeared in many national publications, including: Sports Illustrated, Time, Business Week, Rolling Stone, and The Wall Street Journal. I worked in both fields for a while as I was transitioning from illustration to fine art, and it was not easy. In my mind, I had totally made the switch and commitment to fine art, so every illustration assignment became a chore as it required a totally different thought process. So, for Tom to be able to work in both fields at such a high level is quite remarkable. I think now however, he is spending more and more of his time producing what we call, fine art.
Amelie - 19"x 12" - Best of Show, ARC International Salon I am pleased that Tom agreed to this interview. You will appreciate his thoughtful answers. When I asked him why he enters art competitions and how he goes about selecting paintings for those competitions, he said, "I love being part of the art community. I feel honored and always humbled when I'm able to participate. The quality of the work produced today is absolutely breathtaking". What would be your definition of art? Marcel Duchamp's 1917 "Fountain" transformed the definition to include anything and everything. Art is what we call art, which, of course, necessitates human interaction. The trick may involve convincing the viewer. How would you define your role as an artist? Beyond technique, I'm interested in conveying the ephemeral nature of experience - a sense of atmosphere and narrative content. How does one find their individuality as an artist? Individuality may just be a synthesis of appropriated styles, though the great masters have had the ability to offer a truly original vision.
Recent study from sketch group Reis regularly attends 12"x 16" Most of your work is figurative, including many portraits, how did that come to pass? We are social creatures, so paintings of people probably top everyone's list. The ultimate results, regardless of subject, are always abstract - massed shapes, values and color organized on a flat surface. How do you typically select models and work with them? Models often select me. Inspiration, is the true model - whether the subject is a person, thing or landscape. Do you let the subject determine the concept of the work or is the concept determined before the model is selected? A jazz musician is given a melody which serves as a basis for a superadded structure of improvisation. The artist brings his/her interest and vision to a found scene or finds a scenario to suit the vision. Do you consider the process of painting more important than the result? The journey is often better than arriving.
Hannah - 16"x 12" - Oil What constitutes a classically trained painter? The term may have been too narrowly defined by the Modernists, who reacted against the rigorous, formal training of French Academy. The term carried pejorative implications. However, Modernism may have placed too much premium on the avant-garde and its reaction to mass-culture. It has had a hard time sustaining itself with fresh insight and its art schools ironically present a mass-marketed formalistic approach to art making. "Classically trained", in the best sense of the term, seems to connote training based upon past styles and techniques. Perhaps all artists are classically trained. Does photography play a part in your work? My paintings often rely on photographic reference, though I prefer working from life whenever possible. Such reference affords the artist unlimited working time at the expense of the subtle values, colors, and edges found only when working from a live model. The live session imposes a time restriction, which is actually an advantage - since all but the essentials are sacrificed.
Boat Watcher - 12"x 16" - Oil - Plein Air
Naples Farm - 12"x 16" - Oil What colors are most often found on your palette? Ultramarine blue, Viridian, Raw Umber, Transparent Oxide Red, Raw Sienna, Yellow Ochre, Terra Rosa, Dioxazine Violet, Alizarin Crimson, Cadmium Red, Cadmium Orange, Cadmium Yellow, Titanium White, Ivory Black.
Grapes - 12"x 9" - Oil Do you paint in layers? My work generally progresses in the same way: I add a quick imprimatura wash to kill the white of the canvas (usually a mix of raw umber and mineral spirits) wiping out the big shapes before the wash dries. I sketch out the big masses with vine charcoal, working hard to simplify the shapes, yet maintaining accuracy. Next, I use a small filbert with raw umber and medium to repaint and further refine the drawing. Once completed, I often give a light color/medium wash to each major shape which provides a rough colorized roadmap for the painting. I paint in the darks, beginning with the background. This helps me to establish the key of the painting. I squint throughout the painting process in order to see big shapes and color masses, keeping them as simple and clean as possible. I work through the middle tones to the lights, redrawing as I go. Once an area has been blocked in, it is often further refined via the addition of transition passages.
Hanok - 26"x 38" - Oil - Step-by-step demo of this painting is featured in Feb/Mar 2012 issue of International Artist Magazine
The Violinist - 30"x 40" - Oil
Moravian Bakers - 26"x 40" - Oil
Peonies - 16"x 12" - Oil
How much preliminary work do you do before tackling the final canvas? I've found through a lot of wasted effort that it's best to spend time working out the composition prior to beginning final art. I generally make a number of small sketches and color studies. Well begun is half done. What is your major consideration when composing a painting? The basic tenets of art -color, shape, line, value, and composition - continue to present endless challenges. Beyond technique, I try hard to communicate aspects of the ephemeral nature of experience via my work - a sense of atmosphere and narrative content.
The Reader - 30"x 34" - Oil - 'Top 20', 2012 International Portrait Competition How did your job as senior art director for JP Morgan Chase prepare you for a fine art career? My three years at Chase got me to New York City, which opened up a lot of doors for me. I learned a lot about marketing via the experience. What advice would you have for a young artist/painter? Follow your bliss and be honest with yourself. Don't worry about finding a style, it will find you. What advice would you have for a first-time collector? Whether the art is abstract or realismbased, purchase what you like.
Tangerines and Chopsticks - 16"x 12" - Oil
Emily - 10"x 8" - Oil If you could spend the day with any three artists, past or present, who would they be? Today - Sargent, Alma Tadema, Wyeth. If you were stranded on an island, which three books would you want with you? Besides "Idiot's Guide to Survival on an Island" or "How to Build a Raft" - Henri's "The Art Spirit". When you become discouraged and feel the well is dry, so to speak, what do you do? Constant growth is essential to me as an artist, and the dry spells can be very challenging. I have always worked my way past them.
Twilight Hour - 12"x 16" - Oil Thanks Tom for a much appreciated and very interesting interview. I'm confident we'll be seeing your paintings winning many more awards in the future. Thomas Reis Website He is represented by: The Greenhouse Gallery of Fine Art M Gallery of Fine Art Wendt Gallery
An Interview with David Gluck Posted on August 17, 2012
From John's Blog Posted Thursday, August 9, 2012
David Gluck Interview "There's always one in the crowd", as the saying goes...and Canadian artist David Gluck is the one.
David Gluck as Charles Bronson When I received his responses to my interview questions, I found myself laughing out loud. I also realized that when you encounter a guy like this...it's really important how you phrase the questions.
Is David Gluck a serious guy or a comedian? I guess that's for you to decide. Even if he doesn't take himself seriously, one thing is certain, that cannot be said when it comes to his work.
Preliminary head study for The Trapper When I saw that his painting, The Trapper, won the very prestigious William Bouguereau Award in the recent Art Renewal Center International Salon, I was totally on board...a phenomenal painting indeed, and an award well deserved. William Bouguereau (1825-1905) in his day was considered one of the world's greatest painters. Many consider his paintings to be absolute perfection. But, as modernist thought replaced the academic, Bouguereau went the way of so many great artists...as did the training that helped produce them. Today, some of that solid training is being resurrected and we're seeing the results. David Gluck's work is one such example.
The Trapper - 30"x 24" - Oil - (ARC International Salon, William Bouguereau Award) The Bouguereau award is given to a figurative piece that displays a strong sense of emotion and theme. Assessing whether The Trapper really met these stringent requirements, Gluck said, "The figure; clearly a man. The theme; manliness. Emotion; pfft, men don't feel emotions. The only emotions I feel are rage and hunger, which usually go hand in hand." How did he feel about receiving the award, "I was actually extremely honored to have received this award. I have been a long time follower of the ARC and they have continued to support my career." Wondering what he thought of the great William B..."As far as William Bouguereau goes, I know everyone is a huge fan of the guy, but frolicking wussy peasant children never appealed to me. I will say, his technical proficiency is one to be admired." And now, more from Mr. Gluck.
Medicine - 20"x 12" - Oil How would you define your role as an artist? I fill up inconvenient blank spaces on a wall. How does one find their individuality as an artist? It should come naturally. I found that living apart from most other artists and being primarily self-taught was helpful in finding my voice. Also, it helps to wear a hat. Do you consider the process of painting more important than the result? Not at all, the result is what stands the test of time. Focus on the process is simply post-modernist thought. What is the major thing you look for when selecting a subject? A fine balance between manliness and awesomeness. How much of your work is intellectual vs. emotional...and how would you define the difference? I am not really a man with either quality, so I am unsure how to answer that.
Still Life with Meat - 14"x 11" - Oil What colors are most often found on your palette? My flesh tone palette is Yellow Ochre Pale, Vermillion, Ivory Black, Lead White, and Raw Umber. There is also a yellow stain that might be mustard, but I can't be sure. How do you decide on the dominating color key for a painting, and how do you maintain it? Using a limited palette makes it quite simple to harmonize your colors. I feel the color key is often picked in accordance to the mood I am trying to portray. I love this one... Do you paint in layers? I typically only wear layers when painting in a cold climate, but otherwise I wear gym shorts with no shirt while painting. Does photography play a part in your work? Sometimes. I work from life whenever possible, photos when it simply isn't an option.
Vanitas - 20"x 24" - Oil How much preliminary work do you do before beginning the final work? I would say at least half of a piece is in the planning. I always do a series of studies starting with thumbnails and preliminary drawings for tone and composition. I end with color studies before beginning on the final canvas. I try to leave very little to chance. What is your major consideration when composing a painting? Composition of course is key. I try to work this out in the very early stages. How does your work reflect your personality? Not very well. Most people are surprised I am an artist. What constitutes classical painting and drawing, and why the resurgence at this time? Got me. Maybe it has to do with global warming or something. You have the ability to paint incredibly beautiful works while using objects that are pretty common and not necessarily considered beautiful. What is the thought process behind that? Pretty objects and things don't always make for a beautiful painting. It's like the old saying..."It doesn't matter what you say it's how you say it".
Hunters - 16"x 9" - Oil What advice do you have for a young artist/painter? Make your models bring their own towel to sit on. Otherwise you are stuck with a towel you have no idea what to do with. What advice would you give a first-time collector? Buy my stuff. If you could spend the day with any three artists, past or present, who would they be? My wife, Rembrandt, and Bob Ross. Actually, scratch Rembrandt, he doesn't even speak English. If you were stranded on an island, which three books would you want with you? One would be a choose your own adventure book to keep life interesting, Cooking with Beer, and maybe one super thick book to use as a seat. Who has had the greatest influence on your career, and why? Easy answer, my wife. She is my primary influence being a fellow realist and the main contributor in inspiring my work. When you become discouraged and feel the well is dry, so to speak, what do you do? I call my good buddy Jack Daniels for moral support. Why do you enter art competitions and how do you go about selecting paintings for them? I enter competitions to win sweet mullah. Apparently I enter the same painting in every competition.
Still Life with Seeder - 18"x 24" - Oil Thanks David for participating in this interview and allowing me to share your fabulous, beautifully executed works. I'm sure we'll be hearing more of you. I hope it's good. David Gluck website M Gallery
Star Studded Art Extravaganza, November 1st Hibernian Hall Posted on September 24, 2012
Lions + Tigers + Bears, Oh My! The whole thing started innocently enough: First my good friend + fabulous painter John Doyle suggests that I have Michelle Dunaway+ Lynn Sanguedolce come and do workshops, then another good friend and gallery patron, Johnathan Ishmael, suggests that I have Kevin Beilfuss and several other of our figurative painters paint paintings at the same time so he could understand their technique. Then other great friends Paul, Julie, Tobey and a whole collection of folks start to talking about how great champagne goes with painting. Duh. I make some phone calls to our figurative painters: Lynn Sanguedolce, Thomas Reis, Kevin Beilfuss, Michelle Dunaway, Bryce Cameron Liston. I ask would they come to demo for a little event in Charleston? Our painters are so amazing: This was a little like asking Rembrandt to fly over and paint for a â€œfew hundred of my closest friendsâ€?. Remarkably they agree to come and lecture, paint, demo for the event. I secure the top floor at the Hibernian Hall. Egad. The entire event has morphed into an Iron Chef meets Moulon Rouge. We add a count down clock, model stands, lighting, staging. My dear friend Cheryl Burke, renowned curator volunteers up her amazing antiques for props. My daughter Rosie adds her capable hands to the production. Olivia Pool, Publisher of the Art Mag in Charleston adds her glamorous presence as Emcee. We gather momentum like a giant snowball: Joshua Rose the Editor of American Art Collector says he will help with the event and join Olivia on stage as a co-host. We collect models that are over the top: Burlesque stars, sailors, gorgeous women, handsome men. I start to panic, feeling now that I am swept up in an avalanche. We expand the scope in Hibernian Hall adding the bottom floor for hors de oeuvres, bar, dancing. I secure housing for every one involved in the production in the Battery. Elizabeth Sher offers to document the event with her legendary photography. We get stage smoke, sound, set scrims, video cameras + monitors. We add Jamie Slater Jazz trio and combine them with a little dance floor. We
decide to go Black tie. We add national advertising. Now I am deep into menus, VIP seating for our collectors…Lions + Tigers + Bears! Oh My! I feel like that moment when Dorothy says to Toto “We’re not in Kansas anymore…” In any case the entire thing hopefully should come off as planned on the evening of November 1 …I am thinking this may be the most wonderful crazy thing I have ever done….I hope to see you there. Now where did I put that menu???? st
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M Gallery of Fine Art SE LLC 11 & 43 Broad Street Charleston SC 29401 843.727.4500 www.mgalleryoffineart.com