Friday, October 29, 2010

Another day with Richard and Nancy

Yesterday, I had the amazing privelage of spending the day at Richard Schmid and Nancy Guzik's house. My friend Taaron and I met up with Daniel Keys and Michelle Dunnaway and painted a figure in Nancy's studio.

The painting time was fantastic and a lot more intimate and focused than the Putney Painter days that I have been to. Both Richard and Nancy's studio have great north daylight windows that are about ten feet in the air and 20 or more feet wide. This was the first time that I had painted in pure north daylight . . . most of the time I use 5000k lights that have a similar effect. The light was much softer and diffused than my bulbs, and the shadows were a little brighter and smoother (especially in the morning hours).

During a break, Richard took us into his studio and showed off some recent stuff. We also got to pick through some of the hundreds of paintings he has stacked up. After we finished painting, we persuaded him that we all needed to look through more paintings, and he pulled out two stacks that had about 75 studies that were done over the years at the Putney barn, and at the Palette and Chisel.

If that wasn't enough, we watched a performance by Nancy and her cat Zorro, and spent the rest of the evening talking over dinner at a local restaurant. This kinda stuff gets me so excited about being an artist, about learning and painting in this time period, and about the real value that it holds in our society.

My painting:

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Couple paintings

I just ran across these two paintings that align nicely with some previous posts of mine. I enjoyed them, so I thought you might like them as well.

Gustave Klimt: Two Girls with Oleander 

Little side note: I used to work in landscaping during art school, and Oleander is an incredibly poisonous plant. If we were trimming the plant, we had to make sure we didn't touch our let any of the plant touch our mouths. Oleander gradually slows your heart down till you eventually die. Another landscape worker was trimming the bushes after a rain, and some of the dew and drops from the leaves landed in his mouth, he was found an hour later almost unconscious and was rushed to the hospital.

I wonder if there is some message in this painting . . . having two young girls looking and playing with such a poisonous plant.

Thomas Dewing: The Piano

Monday, October 25, 2010

Edmund Tarbell

In a previous post, I spoke of Thomas Dewing and highlighted some of his extraordinary paintings. Dewing was a member of a small group of elite painters in the New York/Boston area known as the Ten American Painters (referred to mostly as "The Ten").

Seated (left to right): Edward Simmons, Willard L. Metcalf, Childe Hassam, J. Alden Weir, Robert Reid
Standing (left to right): William Merritt Chase, Frank W. Benson, Edmund C. Tarbell, Thomas Dewing, Joseph De Camp

Another member of this group was Edmund Tarbell. He was born near Boston and graduated from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, along with two other artists that would also became members of The Ten, Robert Reid and Frank Benson. After continuing his studies and traveling in France and throughout Europe, he returned to Boston and soon after held the position of his former teacher, Otto Grundmann (Edmund was 26!).

Tarbell also co-founded The Guild of Boston Artists in 1914, and in 1919 became the principal of the art school at the Corcoran Gallery of Art in D.C.

Most of the examples here are of his interior figures which he painted later in his life. I can see some similarities to the work of Dewing, and I wonder if that was the composition and subject style of the time, or if "The Ten" influenced each others works and subject matter. In either event, I absolutely love these paintings.

More on Edmund Tarbell:
Art Renewal Center

More on "The Ten"
Antiques and Fine Art Article

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Modeling for the Putney Painters

I got to spend another day with the Putney Painters -- but no painting for me, today I was the model.

Below is Richard Schmid's start. He probably painted for 30 minutes total today, he was bouncing around between all the other artists, helping and instructing.

The best of the day was Nancy Guzik. Below is her start and finish. I really love those drawing lines . . .

Here is Katie Swatland and her final painting.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Macintosh still life - 12 x 16

Just finished another still life. I think I'll move on to a figure or head study.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Finished fall still life

Last night I was able to make some final adjustments to the still life I painted last weekend. I think I'm going to paint one more still life while the things I've seen and heard from Nancy Guzik and Richard Schmid are still fresh in my mind. I find that I don't have to worry as much about drawing and other things while painting still lifes (figures and heads need to be much more exact) and I can focus in on developing color and brushwork. Richard and Nancy both take a slightly different approach to still life painting, but both are very concerned with getting notes of color in right away, and then judging all other decisions off of that. Richard will directly paint the shapes in the exact color, while Nancy creates an initial drawing using the local color of that object for the lines, and then puts a stroke of the exact color into the shape. I have always done notes of the lightest light and darkest dark for the sake of my value judgements, but never all the major color notes. I think this new approach will help me create more colorful and life-like paintings.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Painting with the Putney Painters!

If life had a check box for "Painting with today's living Master," then tonight I would be cheking it off my list.  I honestly never thought I would have the privilege to paint with Richard Schmid, Nancy Guzik, and the Putney Painters -- to be a part of that vibrant painting environment is just as much an encouragement as it is a learning experience.

To top off the day, the Putney Painters threw Richard a mini birthday party with 3 cakes, a pie, great conversation and apparently Richard's favorite present, jokes.

Here are a few pictures from the day:

Nancy Guzik Painting:

Kathy Anderson:

Richard's Birthday Bash:

My Painting: (Still a little work to do, but not to shabby for having Richard and Nancy across the room!)