aesthetics

Review: Eyewitness Views

The Cleveland Museums of Art’s Eyewitness Views: Making History in Eighteenth-Century Europe is the best show I’ve seen at the museum since I started my near-weekly visits six years ago.  As good as the show is, however, the theme–artists as eyewitnesses to history–is a stretch.  The paintings are souvenirs of public events in (equally important)…

Destroy that painting!

At the Whitney Biennal last spring, protestors made headlines when they demanded that the museum destroy an artwork they found offensive.  The protesters didn’t want the painting removed from the Biennial, they wanted it destroyed.  The painting by Dana Schutz, Open Casket, is based on a well-known photograph of Emmett Till in his coffin. Till was an African American…

Turpentine diaries 10/1/2017

Terrible photo but it’s dark and I’m tired so it will have to do. Man With a Baby Carriage is in the final stage–the fun stage.  If the drawing is strong, it will take you to finish line.  Drawing, like writing, can fill up with useless details that don’t advance the project when you’re tired. …

Studio journal 2/21/17

I’ve always approached painting as a process of carving away and revealing, the way I imagine a sculptor approaches sculpting.  Not modeling but carving.  I bring this up because this unfinished painting, Sub Rosa, is a pretty good example of my approach.   There are many ways to talk about painting, of course.  I used to talk about…

In the studio 7/24/16

I’ve nearly finished the underpainting of Man Pushing a Baby Carriage.   I showed the initial drawing for this painting in a recent post.   By underpainting, I mean the first sessions during which I start modeling the dark tones and apply local colors.  I use the neutral ground for lights, as on the shoulders of…

In the studio 3/20/16

I made progress on Euclid Avenue I this morning.  Progress on the 48″ x 60″ painting has been slow at times.  This canvas is from a stock of ‘professional grade’ canvases I bought some time back.  The surfaces on these ‘professional grade’ canvases are very poor–execrable.  I’ve had to spend a lot of time correcting them and still the…

In the studio 3/6/16

The Break is 40″ x 50″. I stretched a lot of 40″ x 50″ canvases last year and The Break is one of them. Some of the background is done, but the painting still has a long way to go. My medium dries very quickly, as I’ve written before. Its only limitation is that its fast…

In the studio 2/21/16

Several busy days in the studio.  I worked on 10-12 paintings over the past few days, including Sunday Parade.  Sunday Parade is finally locked into a good place (even though I still haven’t settled on its name). It felt like I was pushing it uphill for a long time.  I’m on the downward side now. Artists…