More Amsterdam Paintings

If you follow me on Instagram you’ve seen some of these in the works. Chicken helped me paint some of them.

He loves to land on my paintbrushes when I’m painting. Then he likes to drop onto my palette where all the oil paints are mixed. It’s more like dive bombing.

One day he swiped his tail in cadmium orange. I had to catch him, no easy feat. And clean him with marseilles soap. I was worried he’d die of cadmium poisoning because a large gob was on his tongue from trying to clean his tail.  Luckily he didn’t seemed bothered. He is a pest. But so much fun.

Want to see these paintings in person? They are coming soon  Carré d’Artistes® gallery in Amsterdam.

 

 

Amsterdam Paintings

Soon my paintings will be at the Carré d’Artistes® gallery in Amsterdam. These are a sneak peek of the first forty.

It’s a fun challenge to paint a new subject, a new city.

City reflections were my inspiration when I painted the Arno river many years ago, that seems like a different life, when I lived in Florence. Cats have nine lives, I wonder how many lives artists have. Every new subject feels like a new chapter.

I never imagined that I might paint Amsterdam, or exhibit there. It’s a blessing to work with such great people who believe in me and showcase my work in their galleries.

How do you get to show in all theses places? Paint, paint, paint. Be jealous of your time and creative space. Carve your own path through life.

 

Automobile Classics

It’s time for cars. Dream cars, race cars, steel cars. Stick shifts and double shifts. Those cars we drove before seat belts. The classics.

My favorite cars are those where I can relax in the passenger seat with my feet on the dash.

These cars will be at the Paratissima art fair in Turin, Italy from 1 to 5th November. Look for Carré d’artistes stand and find the your dream car.

All paintings are oil on canvas.

 

The best of 2016

Sparkle – Brooksby 60x120cm oil on canvas
2016 was an excellent year for me. Despite the craziness on the planet I painted circa 350 paintings. Read and listened to 83 audio books. Sculpted and decorated my manga eyes. And painted those four mannequins that pinched a nerve in my back. 

In April I had a show with Carré d’artistes in their Saint Germain gallery with excellent sales. Then in November my paintings were at the Luxembourg Art Fair.

In August I began painting landscapes of the American Southwest. These paintings sell faster than I can make them.

For some time I’d wanted to liberate my technique, to go abstract. Painting the red rock formations and big skies , was the ticket. 

It’s true that to master your craft you need to produce a massive quantity of work and to stay concentrated.

The result is this final painting for 2016. Up close the details are abstract, the use of the palette knife apparent. Step back and it blends beautifully. It looks hyper-real. 

Marianne at La Republique

place de la Republique- oil on canvas- 36×36 cm- Brooksby

The Monument à la République was inaugurated in 1883. Léopold Morice is the sculptor. 

The bronze on the pedestal is Marianne. She is an allegorical figure of the French republic. 

Three stone female figures, also allegorical, flank the pedestal. They are La Liberté, L’Égalité et de La Fraternité. A bronze lion symbolizing universal suffrage stands at Marianne’s feet.

A bust of Marianne is present in every state school. Marianne wears a phrygian cap. 

I think this fact is interesting because phrygian was somewhere in the middle east. The bonnet is considered to be of anatolian origin. This hat became a symbol during the revolution because it represents the pursuit of freedom. Emancipated Roman slaves wore a similar hat.

Michel-Eugéne Chevreul and Color

As the planet spins off axis in a flurry of bad news I’ve decided to tackle the subject of color.

I wanted to write about Eugéne Chevreul’s influence on the French Impressionists for my Masters in painting. But I never got a M.A. Oh, the shame. But who the hell wants to contract twenty thousands bucks in loans to get a M.A. in painting? Not me. At the time  I lived in the U.S.A. and I didn’t know the Eurpoean universities were basically free.

Color in artworks has changed drastically since paeleolithic France. Back then some dude burnt a stick in a fire and drew a horse on the wall of a cave. Dude then colored it in with different colored rocks, kind of like drawing on a chalk board. Amazingly, artists still use charcoal to draw on paper. Others draw on subterranean walls, like Parisian catacombs, but with spray paints.

zezao4
ZEZAO4 in action Photo courtesy of blog.vandalog.com

There are more than 180 paleolithic decorated caves in France. That’s seriously old. France has been through a few wars since then. Even a revolution. I guess there is a reason the government took all the guns away from a bellicose population and now spends money on advancing knowledge in science and the arts.

One of the most important scientists in French history is the chemist Michel-Eugène Chevreul. From the photos of him, let’s say bad hair day didn’t matter.

chevreul_10
Photo attributed to Nadar

Among other scientific writings Chevreul penned The Principles of Harmony and Contrast of Colors (and their application to the arts) ©1987 based on the first English edition of 1854 as translated from the first French edtion of 1839. Here is the title in French.

De la loi du contraste simultané des couleurs et de l’assortiment des objets colorés considéré d’après cette loi dans ses rapports avec la peinture, les tapisseries des Gobelins, les tapisseries de Beauvais, pour meubles, les tapis, la mosaïque, les vitraux colorés, l’impression des étoffes, l’imprimerie, l’enluminure, la décoration des édifices, l’habillement et l’horticulture.

In 1992 I wanted this book so badly after I saw it at an artist’s flat in Florence but it wasn’t available in any book stores and Amazon was yet to be invented, so was the internet. My lovely mother knew how to obtain it. She wrote to  Shiffler Publishing Ltd. and I sent it across the Atlantic ocean.

M.E. Chevreul revolutionized the use of color. I’ll tell you more about that in the next post.