Thursday, November 29, 2018

Why I like the Bay Area artists of the 1950s

I used to think that when I matured as an artist I would paint like one of the Bay Area figurative artists especially Elmer Bischoff or Richard Diebenkorn. In 1993 when I was in grad school is when I really became aware of Bay Area figurative art from the 1950s. I was going to school at Davis California at the time and had grown up on the eastern seaboard primarily in New York City, and many of my teachers even at the undergraduate level never even mentioned in an art movement on the West Coast.

While I was in graduate school at Davis a couple of my favorite artists, including a friend named David Tomb , talked quite a bit about Richard Diebenkorn. They were really taken with his Ocean Park series, but David was particularly attracted to his figurative work. Quite by accident, a friend of mine owned a frame shop in downtown Davis and would occasionally frame art from a local art gallery by an artist named Kim Froshin.

What I liked in particular about most of these artists was the fact that they use the human figure. In addition to that they also used paint and color in a way that was very similar to artist that I thought were particularly good, Mark Rothko, and de Kooning. In a way the main difference that I saw between the West Coast Bay Area artists of the 1950s to the East Coast abstract expressionists was the use of a figure and the creation of space. For me, this tidied up the reconciliation between abstract form and realistic imagery in art that I craved in 20th century art.

It was almost as if John Singer Sargent, Edward Hopper, and Willem de Kooning, were brought together in some sort of strange hybrid in the work, especially of Elmer Bischoff. Bischoff combined thick painterly passages, the creation of space, color theory, and a love of clunky almost unrealistic, naïve, and aggressive drawing together with some interesting iconography subject matter.

In Bischoff’s painting, Yellow Lampshade, he creates a painting that looks a bit like one of Edward hoppers psychological interiors but makes it more interesting on a level beyond that in terms of color theory. In this painting, the interior color of the light is warm orange and yellow, and as you look outside the window you see a ceiling that is made up of all cool or blue tones. It kind of tells a story through color that is similar to the story it tells in terms of the subject matter of the interior apartment at dusk with two figures speaking in a comfortable living room.

Monday, November 26, 2018

Jobs related to "art history" found 10 new jobs.
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Painting and Drawing Women

Mourning Gloria, 11x14 inches, oil paint on canvas panel by KennEy Mencher
Recently I've upped my game a little bit.  I started using a slightly different kind of oil paint called alkyds.  These kinds of paints have a quicker drying time and can be much thicker than traditional oil paints and also seem to be a bit stronger and more archival. The paint is also a bit glossier than traditional oil paints and for this reason I've taken a couple of different shots from oblique or strange angle so that you can see the brushwork and see the gloss on the painting.

I’ve always felt a little weird about making art about women. Especially since I’m a man and I’m an artist, to make art about women is basically to objectify them.  Years ago, a student asked me why don’t you paint women more, and I replying to her that the reason is it makes me feel a little bit like I’m participating in some kind chauvinist agenda especially when it comes to art history there is even a term for art that’s me to please the male point of view, “the male gaze.”

Nevertheless, almost all art is about objectification. When talking about his artists are by their very nature making images of beautiful things that people should find beautiful. I certainly do this in almost all my paintings of men but with women unless, will about it. I’ve been trying to work this out because I realize that a lot of women, like a lot of men, like to be looked at and consider their physical presence a sort of work of art. So when I make art about women, and portraying women, I try to make them look a little bit stronger and make it a little bit more about their personality rather than just their physical beauty as would appeal to a straight man perhaps or an immature point of view of the female in the female form. A lot of the images that I get of women are often from blogs that are run by lesbians who have a slightly different aesthetic than straight men do. I hope that this comes out in my paintings.

Please visit this link to see more of my women.

Thursday, November 22, 2018

If you are a painter, how do you market your art?