Saturday, June 26, 2010

New Paintings on Display

I just dropped off some new work at the Rottinghaus Gallery in O’Bryonville.
I have a Cincinnati Reds painting in the window in addition to some new still life and landscape work.

 This new painting of some summer vegetables was a bit of a struggle and has a lovely story to go with it, but I will talk about that later. Just to peak your interest I will tell you it involves a temper tantrum.
A local frame shop that went out of business has been selling off their supply. Many of the frames are unfinished and need repair. I have been buying a lot of them and then I just paint something to fit the frame. I have stacks of small frames, many around 3" x 5". That, along with the fact that my wife has been growing some amazing roses in the garden this year, have resulted in my doing a lot of small flower pictures, attempting to do one a day before I start on my larger work. I have five of these rose pictures that I think would look good hung as a group.

The gallery hours are 11- 4 Wednesday thru Saturday.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Caffeinated Auction

Three of my pieces were selected for the Juror's Picks at the Brigham Gallery Auctions.
Espresso with Blue, Pink and Green, Each 5x3, oil on wood
This time I listed them with a "Buy it Now!" option. The site does not have the exclamation point, but it should be there.
It is a good time to buy some work at a good price. The three paintings above can be purchased separately of course, but would also look good as a set. Each one is 5"x3.5" and are painted in oil on shellacked cherry plywood. They are being sold unframed, but if you are interested purchasing them with frames, I have some small frames to go with them or I can even build some frames specifically for the pieces.
Another painting that is being offered at a pretty big discounted price is one that has not ever been offered in a gallery. It has been in my studio for a while since it was the first still life I painted on my own just after I ended my study in New Hampshire. This painting was an attempt to arrange some odd objects in order to get a pleasant abstraction with lots of color in spite of the odd subject matter. This one has received a lot of comments, and folks are often coming up with their own ideas as to the subject in this painting. I even titled it "Old Frying Pan" to get away from the obvious subject matter.
 Old Frying Pan(16x12)oil on linen, 2004
If you are interested, register and place a bid. This one has a "BUY IT NOW!" offer as well. 
Click here to see the paintings offered in the auction and for more information. There are some photos of the frame for the above painting which I personally restored and adjusted to fit the theme- yeah I know, I said it didn't have one- but it matches and is very cool.
If you buy it locally I will personally deliver them to your home and help you find a place to hang them. We can then drink coffee and discuss our personal favorite scenes from Star Wars.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

I have the Secrets

I have a bookshelves full of secrets. Well, I just told you about them, so I guess the cat is out of the bag. It is no longer a secret.
And NO! you can't borrow them! Get your own!
The secrets of the art masters have never really been a hidden thing. Most of the great artists either wrote extensively about their craft, or their students wrote about the teachings of their master.
Now to most of those folks that call themselves artists these days, this knowledge is definitely a secret.  Even the "world famous" artist David Hockney wrote a book on the "secrets of the masters".

Just to put it plainly, he is an idiot! Do not buy this book!. Don't even check it out of the library. In fact, print out this blog after you are finished reading it, burn the paper and bury it in your yard. He has little, to no idea, what he is talking about. Look up some of his paintings online and let me know if you think you should listen to him. 
I really don't want to talk about it anymore. Others have discussed his ridiculous ideas at length and done so quite eloquently.
Click here to read a good article on the subject.

I want to talk about books you should read. Books about painting, and in almost every case, books written by the best artists in the history of art.
My teacher, Paul Ingbretson, had an extensive list of books for us to read while we were studying. He got that list from his teacher Gammell, who got it from his. Surprisingly, most of these books have few if any pictures. They contain quotes, anecdotes and stories about painting and the training needed to become a painter. They contain the "secret", and this secret has little to do with what special medium Vermeer painted with or the type of brushes used by Sargent. These books contain the thoughts of the great artist. The best of which instruct us on the technical, the philosophical and the emotional aspects of the craft of painting.

I love buying books. Most artist do.
Of course, now you just have to read them all. I have tried putting them under my pillow at night to see if I would absorb the information by osmosis, but it seems you actually have to read them cover to cover to get the full effect. Probably more than once.Also, most of them have not been written in recent history. The best are written around the late 1800s and early 1900s.
So, I will begin by posting a few of the books off my list, and try to have links to Amazon, now that I have that fancy new function.

First I will recommend a book that got it all started for me. It was the book written by R. H. Ives Gammell. He wrote a few wonderful books, but Twilight of Painting, is a life changer. It lays out the history of art in terms of the instruction and craft leading up to the present (well, the one that existed in the 40s when he wrote it). This book sealed the deal for me, that I had to get some real training.
It is probably best purchased from the Art Renewal Center. You can see it here.
My library has a copy, so you might want to check yours as well.

The next book is by Leonardo. It reads surprising well for a book so old. There are some odd things to wade through, but some of these discussions are the invention of some of the most important ideas of painting. It is very interesting to read.

Next is a book by Kenyon Cox . You should read all of his books, but the best is Classical Point of View. It is a bit idealistic and sentimental- but so am I.
I also loved Concerning Painting and Artist and Public. Cox is an Ohioan and studied at the Cincinnati Art Academy way back when it offered some of the best training in the country.

This next one, I have to admit is a very tough read, but is has some great information. I just suggest you wade through, not worrying if it is over your head. You may need a dictionary occasionally, but you will get the gist of it. A few years after reading it, you may in the middle of a painting, something will pop in your gray matter, and you will finally understant what Joshua Reynolds was saying. Paul Ingbretson said that reading chapter 11 of this book will prevent the artist from filing for chapter 11. Each chapter was a lecture, given to the students of the Royal Academy.

The Painter in Oil by Daniel Parkhurst covers everything from choosing your materials, technical information and some theoretical stuff as well. He was a student of William Bouguereau and the book should be required reading. I was struggling to find this one a few years ago, but it luckily has recently been republished.

Finally I will suggest a book I have mentioned on this blog before. Landscape Painting by Birge Harrison. How can you not listen to guy named Birge? It is the best book on the subject and reads like poetry. I was looking for a copy of this one as well a few years ago. It was going for $300. I discovered the library had a copy, and I scanned the whole book and turned it into an editable file, added color illustration. It was a lot of painstaking work.
Well, about 3 months later I discovered that someone reprinted and that it was on Amazon for $20. I almost cried, but wasted time aside, you should get it for your collection. A must read if you want to paint outside.

Well, that should keep you busy for awhile. Let me know what you think of these books when you read them. Once you get started you will notice that a lot of the painters are saying the same thing, just each in his or her own way.
Also, if you are reading this blog David Hockney, and I am sure you are, you definitely should start reading  these books.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Luschek In the Dawg Pound.

Have you noticed more Luschek paintings appearing in the Cleveland area?
I have been looking for more gallery representation. It has been a recent revelation that you can't really sell work unless people see it. You may write that down if you are taking from this blog. It has been a big realization for me.
I am looking for galleries out of the Cincinnati area to increase exposure to my work. The newest gallery representing my work is Bonfoey Gallery in Cleveland Ohio. It is probably the top gallery for contemporary art in the area and has been around for over 100 years.
If you are in the area, stop in to see the work in person. My paintings would look great on your walls and will liven up any Dawg Pound cheering section.
 Here are some fans cheering on the Browns with my Giesha painting. It really adds some class don't you think?

Contact the gallery if you are interested in any of the paintings shown with the Cleveland fans in the photos above.
Yeah, I know it is baseball season, but I am not really into sports.