Thursday, September 30, 2010

"A Day in the Life. . ."

When artist Wende Caporale asked me if she could come to my studio to interview me for an article, I was surprised and honored. to say the least. Wende has been writing a very interesting series of articles in the Portrait Society of America's section of International Artist Magazine, and I always enjoy reading her articles. First of all, she picks a variety of artists to write about, second of all, her way of following an artist through a day's work is original, and she always reveals things about artists that don't come to light in a more formal type of article or interview. Actually, as the day approached, I was little nervous, wondering about what she would say! (My fears were unfounded.)

What resulted was a very intricate and sensitive description of the work I have been doing towards my upcoming show at the Dowling Walsh Gallery in Rockland, Maine. The show will combine my landscape and figurative work, ranging from large aerial landscapes to intimate scenes of particular places and the people who inhabit them. The gallery hasn't firmed up the date yet, but it will be sometime in the summer of 2011.

The other result of this experience was that I got to spend a day with Wende, who is a delightful, insightful and empathetic person. I'm so glad to have had the chance to get to know her a little better and spend several hours talking about a variety of things!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Women Painting Women

I'm pleased that my painting Right Here (oil on linen, 36" x 28") will be included in the Women Painting Women show at the Robert Lange Studios in Charleston, South Carolina, Friday, November 5, 5:30-8:30 p.m.

Women Painting Women was started as a blog by artists Sadie Valeri, Alia El-Bermani and Diane Feissel. The blog is an ongoing and ever-growing collection of "Figurative Paintings of Women by Women with a focus on Contemporary, Living Artists." Over an amazingly short period of time, the founding artists have taken their idea further by creating an exhibition by the same name, and finding a venue for it. They are now exploring ways to take the WPW idea even further.

This is going to be the second show of women's art in which my work is included--and to think I used to swear I would only enter shows that were not women-only! I think something changed for me when I observed how the realist movement, more specifically the realist figurative movement, had become focused on and dominated by the work of male artists. I am hoping people will make an effort to see the quantity of highly accomplished work by women that is out there in the art world, because I would like to see more of a gender balance, more of a mutual respect, less of a boys' club.

A word about galleries: I would like to see gallery directors think twice about the way figurative art is marketed. I believe that the way it is pitched to potential collectors has a lot to do with the type of art collectors are buying--or not buying. Here are a couple of issues that could be addressed:

The AGE of the artist. Why is a young artist such a hot commodity? Doesn't a middle-aged artist still have room to grow? Doesn't age bias eliminate many female artists whose career trajectory takes a different path?

The WAY the figure is depicted. Do male and female artists see the figure differently? Why is the female figure so popular now, how is the female figure depicted in the most sought-after realist art? Would you paint the female figure differently? Would you like to see more art showing male figures?

After being represented by a highly respected New York Gallery since 1994, being one of a group of male and female artists who have been treated with equal respect and whose work sells equally well, I am puzzled by the existence of galleries that only represent men, or claim that only men are financially worth representing, even though they say they give women a chance. I'm hoping that, in the near future, there will be more galleries that showcase the figurative work of male and female artists equally.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

2011 Tuscany Workshop Announced

September, 2011

I will be leading a workshop in Tuscany for the week beginning September 17, 2011. It will take place at Pieve di Caminino, a privately-owned 1,000-acre estate located approximately about 45 minutes (south) by car from Siena. The main feature of the property is an 11th century Romanesque church that has been renovated and made into a home for the owners and apartments for guests. Each apartment is unique, and has a minimum of a living room, bedroom and kitchen facilities. Two of the apartments will accommodate four people, while the others accommodate two each. The workshop is limited to 12 or 13 painters. Pieve di Caminino will accommodate a maximum of 24 people, which would include the use of the “tower” in Roccatederighi (a lovely three-story home built into one of the ancient towers in the walls), and all the apartments on the estate.

Most painting will take place on the grounds of the estate. We my also paint in the nearest town, the medieval walled village of Roccatederighi, with narrow streets, archways and winding stone stairways. I will be doing three demonstrations and I will have three critique sessions. I will walk around and make comments on your progress if you are painting nearby and would like comments on your work in progress.

The cost is $1,500 for those taking the workshop and $1,200 for those not taking it. The price includes the workshop and accommodations only.

For more information, or to sign up for the workshop, please contact Steven Stern at:
Phone: 215-732-4200

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

"Inspiring Figures" at the Butler Institute

On September 12 my husband and I made the 6-hour drive to Youngstown OH to attend the opening reception of "inspiring Figures" at the Butler Institute of American Art. I know it sounds self-serving to say I was inspired by an exhiit that includes my own work, but I have to spread the word and say this was one of the most exciting shows I've been to recently, for several reasons. First, the artwork, by 30 living artists (ten invited and 20 juried) and ten historically significant artists, was impressive in its quality and variety: second, this was an unusual show in that it showcases the work of contemporary and traditional realist (or representational) figure painting in a museum venue; third, although women are drastically under-represented in museum collections, this was a show solely of art by women; and last, the concept of mutual inspiration that underlies this show is different from the concept of linear "legacy."

Inspiring Figures is the brainchild of the Cecilia Beaux Forum of the Portrait Society of America, and it was a good five years in the making. It is an exhibit that explores the roles of American women artists as innovators, sources of inspiration, and mentors.

Here is a list of the artists in the show: Leslie Adams, Carol Arnold, Rose Bartolini, Cecilia Beaux, Isabele Bishop, Colleen Browning, Wende Caporale, Mary Cassatt, Ellen Cooper, Grace DeVito, Marina Dieul, Ellen Eagle, Cynthia Feustel, Rose Frantzen, Nancy Guzik, Lily Harmon, Jane Lund, Sherrie McGraw, Mary Beth McKenzie, Nicole Mone, Kay Polk, Catherine Prescott, Danielle Richard, Lenka Rubenstein, Kate Sammons, Laura Sanders, Leona Shanks, Rhoda Sherbell, Sharon Sprung, Laura Tilden, Alexandra Tyng, Dawn Whitelaw, Patricia Watwood, Mary Whyte, and Lea Wight

Here is my painting: Claude and Pamela Frank, oil on linen, 52" x 48"

Some photos from the opening. . .
And this is how it looked hanging on the wall.
Leslie Adams with her portrait of artist Michael Shane Neal.
Catherine Prescott with her life-sized work Legacy: Portrait of Val
Here I am with artists Jane Lund and Wende Caporale.
After the opening, Nancy Guzik, Rose Frantzen, Lea Wight, Chuck Morris (Rose's husband) and Leon Shanks stand on the steps of the Butler.
A toast at a nearby cafe.
Rose Frantzen drew quite a crowd as she talked about her work and work process.
Marina Dieul was not able to make the opeing but her work Aenor won the Grand Prize.
Ellen Cooper won Second Place for her portrait Judy.