OBSERVATION VS. IMAGINATION

Magnolia, abstract painting in blues and pinks by Brian Rutenberg, header image

Drawing, like all things in life, is not a choice of absolutes; various factions within the art community would have one believe the exact opposite. Their entire premise is that for something to be right, its counterpart must be evil. This stilted fundamentalist philosophy is not only unuseful; it is detrimental to the creative process. […]

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Gestural Expression

GESTURE – Gestural drawing is the ability to consolidate the observed and imagined visual characteristics of the subject matter and convey the most inFORMation as graphically as possible. Capturing the Gesture or gestalt is about the melding of perception and conception. Gestural drawing is about merging what we know about our subject with our comprehension […]

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Munich School_Alfred kowalski

This type of genre realism was greatly out of favor when we attended the Layton School of Art in the mid-60s. They are still not held in high regard by the art establishment. Their social-realism and folksy genre scenes tend toward Rockwellism and contain too much illustrative narrative to be taken very seriously. What can […]

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Advice From Charles Hawthorne

Do studies, not pictures. Know when you are licked — start another. Do not belabor defeat. Be alive, stop when your interest is lost. When your brain leaves the room you are done. Put off finish — make a lot of starts. The Art is in the start. It is so hard and so long before a student […]

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Chardin • Real Realism

Jean Siméon Chardin was born in 1699 and came to manhood a when the Rococo of Watteau, Fragonard, and Boucher was the style de jour.  Rococo rivaled in decadent frivolity, depicting erotic nudity, romantic trysts, and carnality. The reality we associate with painting how we see in the manner of Velasques, Vermeer, and Chardin was […]

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The Brotherhood of Zinc

According to the Zinc Zealots, all of the paintings of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood should have fallen off their supports long ago. Obviously that did not happen with the their painting and thousands upon thousands of other paintings done with Zinc White that hang in museums. The Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood used prepared canvases with layers of flake […]

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The Twilight of Contour

Let us begin with what is known as the Boston School of Painters. Key figures in the Boston School were Edmund C. Tarbell, Frank Weston Benson, and William McGregor Paxton, all of whom trained in Paris at the Academie Julian and later taught at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts. Other painters associated […]

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ACADEMIC XENOPHOBIA

Once upon a time, the French Academy dictated what was defined as Fine Art and what was not. If one did not follow the Academies rules, he was considered unskilled, untalented, and scorned by the Academy. We use ‘He’ here because the official Academy did not admit women. These regulated regurgitated governmental dictums held sway […]

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EACH TO THEIR OWN DEVICES

In his book ‘Secret Knowledge’ Hockney and Professor Martin Kemp, discuss known visual procedures of past Masters. This evidentiary material allows the reader to arrive at their conclusions. Their is more than enough scholarly evidence that Vermeer, and many others, used a form of ‘Camera Obscura’ or curved mirror as a visual aide in their […]

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AND APPLE A DAY

We are often asked the difference between Realist and Representational Art. The image to the left is, of course, a photograph. Photographs are what realist art is compared to. This illustration of an apple is an example of what one might find in a vintage seed catalog. It actually describes the apple in terms of […]

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