Thumbs Down: Sargent; Thumbs Up: Bouguereau

John Singer Sargent and William-Adolphe Bouguereau are not normally considered together, yet their careers overlapped for several decades. In the ‘Undergrad’s Giant Book of Art History’ Sargent is counted among the progressives, while Bouguereau is thrown in with the anti-progressives–history’s losers (according to the Giant Book). Indeed, in many fables in the ‘Undergrad’s Giant Book of…

Non Reviews

I was going to title this post ‘negative reviews’ referring to non-reviews—shows I’ve visited that did not speak to me, and so no reviews were forthcoming. Silence as a review, so to speak. But, of course, readers have no way of knowing what exhibitions I attend and pass by without comment. Visiting an exhibition without…

In the Studio 4/7/2013

Here is a batch of some recent work. The large painting–‘The Conversation’–is 66″ high. It’s not far from being finished (knock wood). The smaller paintings are Betty Jane paintings, that is, paintings of people aboard my boat–The Betty Jane. They are also examples of paintings on canvas board. Treated properly, canvas board can be as…

Lost Secrets of the Masters Part I

We are in the midst of a surging revival of interest in historical painting methods. More is written on the topic each day. Many authors point to received experts (Eastlake and Doerner to name just two—my own threadbare copies are much-thumbed) and claim to have rediscovered or reinvented long-lost methods. The pursuit of the ‘lost…

The 42nd Student Show at The Galleries at CSU

I enjoy student shows and attend them whenever I’ve a chance. While most student shows are filled with, well, student-grade work, I almost always find a gem or two. So I wasn’t disappointed when the bill of fare for this exhibition at the Galleries at Cleveland State U. proved to be bog-standard stuff, which is to say most pieces…

Update to Oil Paint Brands

I’ve updated the Oil Paint Brands material to reflect the recent quality decline of several brands: LeFranc, Rembrandt, and Daniel Smith. All three have fallen from the ‘mid-range, good value’ category to student grade. Avoid except for sketches or grounds. One consequence is that Windsor-Newton has tightened its grip on the all-important mid-range category. The others…

Easter 2013

I got a little work done this morning (got up at 5:00) then again after church at St. Mary’s. Worked on the three in this photo, plus one or two others. All have the cheap lawn chair I frequently use. Its shape is always fun to paint. The larger is 36″ x 48″. Started the…

Lake Erie Comes Alive

Lake Erie came alive this week; Spring is finally here. The first private boats were spotted–what a cheery sight! One brave soul was night fishing, his running lights moving slowly through the night. Soon boat lights will be as numerous as stars. I also saw the first commercial boat of the season.