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Showing posts from August, 2018

My Burchfield Residency- What I Learned

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Charles Burchfield, Easter Morning in the Woods  (left side), watercolor, 39 1/2 x 29 1/2 inches, 1947-60 Burchfield Penney Art Center, Buffalo, NY

Charles Burchfield, Easter Morning in the Woods  (right side), watercolor, 39 1/2 x 29 3/8 inches, 1947-60 Burchfield Penney Art Center
My paintings have all returned from the wonderful exhibition at the Burchfield Penney Art Center in Buffalo, NY. The show at the museum was of work I'd done from 2015-18 as the Burchfield Penney's Artist in Residence. 
I used to worry about the way I liked to return to earlier paintings and make improvements. I've loved to pull out work from earlier years. If I see a way to strengthen the painting I'll jump right in. Even though this was successful about 95% of the time I didn't know any other artist who did this anywhere near as much.  As I studied Burchfield's work I felt so reassured to find he did the same.
Burchfield's two panels above are uncompleted works-in-progress. Stymied…

Visiting Utica's Munson Williams Proctor Arts Institute

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The first panel titled Childhood from MWPAI's series The  Voyage of Life by Thomas Cole from 1839-40. I just love this painting!

While I was in Western New York two weeks ago to give a talk on my exhibition at the Burchfield Penney Art Center in Buffalo,  I drove east to Utica to visit one of my favorite museums. It has a powerhouse of a permanent collection. And I secretly just love saying its tongue-twisting name, the Munson Williams Proctor Arts Institute (MWPAI). 

Way back in 1967, just after I'd made a serious decision to become an artist I made a visit to see its collection. That visit planted an important seed in my mind about becoming a landscape painter.. 

It was there I saw my first paintings by Thomas Cole, the great grandfather of American landscape painting. MWPAI has the magnificent series The Voyage of Life by Cole, a four canvas series depicting the stages of a person's life symbolized by a figure in a diminutive golden boat. (The Museum has the original versi…

Intriguing Josephine Tota Exhibition at Memorial Art Gallery

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Josephine Tota, untitled, egg tempera, on view at Memorial  Art Gallery, Rochester, NY
In the 4th grade I was bussed along with my class to my local art museum, the Memorial Art Gallery (MAG) in Rochester, NY. I loved it. One painting from that long ago trip stands out in my mind, the Museum's Winslow Homer oil of his studio wrapped in a morning fog. Homer's painting immediately connected with me because it looked so much like the fog I often saw on the rocky shore of Lake Ontario where we lived. I credit that trip to the Museum as an important first nudge toward my becoming an artist.



Wall panel introducing The Surreal Visions of Josephine Tota exhibition at Memorial Art Gallery.

MAG also played a big hand in the life of the artist Josephine Tota, an all but unknown Italian immigrant who lived in Rochester and took art classes at MAG's Creative Workshop. Several years ago Jessica Marten, the Museum's Curator in Charge, ran across two of Tota's paintings while doing…