"Paintings have a life of their own that derives from the painter's soul." Vincent Van Gogh

Saturday, September 24, 2016

2016 Coeur d'Alene Auction of Western Art

New hound dog painting hot off the easel!

Focused Resolve / 16x12 / oil on masonite

In July, as we do every year since moving to Reno, my husband and I attended the Coeur d"Alene Auction. The catalog cover this year featured a delicate oil by Charles M. Russell called The Tenderfoot painted in 1897. Charles Russell was a real and rugged cowboy in addition to being a painter and sculptor. This piece engendered some spirited bidding and sold for $700,000.00 USD.

2016 Auction Catalog and bidding paddle

 The center painting in this photo is Howard Terpening's  Blackfeet Storyteller 1988. He is such a magnificent painter with enviable brushwork and is a master of lost edges.This one also sold for about $700,00.00 USD. (That is the Charles Russel Tenderfoot painting on the right).

Harry Jackson's 60 inch high sculpture called Pony Express 1983 shows the kind of energy and motion that I love to paint!

 A portion of the display of over 300 paintings and bronzes that encircled the entire ballroom.

Two Conte drawings and two acrylic paintings by contemporary artist Bob Kuhn. I was impressed by the crispness and purity of his colors.

 Paul Pletka's Crow Warrior was one of my favorite pieces.

 This romantic painting by Richard Schmidt seemed very nostalgic to me, hearkening back to more carefree times.

After viewing the lots the night before the auction there is always a buffet dinner. This year the food was bountiful and better than ever including prime rib,lamb shanks, cheddar cheese balls, tiny quiche lorraine and wonderful pastries for dessert. The auction itself is always the most fun as it all happens at such a fast and furious pace. Most things were sold quickly. I learned that western art is alive and well in the United States although I must admit that generally the subject matter is not my cup of tea. My absolute favorite was not an American Western painting but instead an arrestingly beautiful picture by Leon Gaspard, a Russian trained painter and adventurer. The painting is Siberian Christmas and the story is that at 17 years old, after winning a gold medal at an exhibition at the National Academy of Russia, Leon set out into Siberia on a solo painting trip. The year was 1899 and after paying abut 12 cents for a ride in a horse drawn wagon from a passing family, he was dropped off at an inn deep in the interior of Siberia. This painting is a result of that experience.

Siberian Christmas / Leon Gaspard / 24x24
The photograph does not even come close to doing it justice. It sold to a lucky buyer for a mere $250,000.00!

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

New Painting Sold Painting and a California Chill!

Just completed and awaiting a title -

Untitled / oil on linen panel / 14x18

Sold from my gallery in Blowing Rock, North Carolina:

A Moment of Disciplined Pleasure / 11x14
And a few photos from a short trip to California. In mid-July, my husband and I had just completed some business in Palo Alto (outside of San Francisco) and decided to drive to Half Moon Bay a few miles away on the coast.  It was a beautiful, warm sunny day but the weather in Half Moon Bay was quite different! The wind was blustery and the temperature was so cold that sweatshirts and jackets did not keep us warm. We were not able to walk on the beach but were forced to shelter ourselves inside the Ritz Carlton Hotel and drink hot chocolate while looking out over the ocean! Summer on the northern California coastline!

I am going to make an effort to post more regularly and next time I will have some photos from the Couer d"Alene Auction of Western Art that was held here in Reno in July. Until then - many thanks for taking the time to follow my blog!

Friday, June 10, 2016

European Odyssey Comes to an End

European Odyssey 24x30 oil on canvas

 The finished painting - I wanted to celebrate our trip in a painting that showed the exuberance and joy of our experience together as a family.

And some final photos of the magical city of Rome to share with you:

Ruins of the Roman Forum with rose garden in full bloom!

Piazza del Popolo with the Leonardo da Vinci Museum

The Vatican inner courtyard

Laocoon - what an amazing sculpture. I was mesmerized by the strength and emotion of this piece.

Some "marble taxidermy "and one of the most interesting rooms of sculpture in the Vatican Museum!

The Hall of the Muses

Raphael Room in the Apostolic Castle

The Sistine Chapel - what a masterwork it is! Much more impressive than any photo could ever show!

Entry to St. Peter's Basilica

The Pieta- sublimely beautiful and most definitely the highlight of the trip for me.

Inside St. Peter's

Bernini sculpture

Doorway relief sculpture

Inside the Tomb of the Popes underneath the Basilica - no photos allowed :0!

On this trip, our European odyssey, I saw and experienced things that I never dreamed or imagined. Upon returning home, I felt an overwhelming connection to the people of the past and to the history of mankind through the ages. This feeling came more through my experiences of living in the ancient cities for a time and sharing their cultures than it did from antiquities in a museum or a church. I found that people are open and friendly, are eager to share their own stories and to make connections. On the last day in Amsterdam before our long flight home, I had a chance to meet up with a Scottish friend of mine that I had not seen in almost 30 years. Seeing Gwen and her husband and introducing her to my family was perhaps the best ending that such a magical trip could ever have had.

Friday, June 3, 2016

On the Easel - and Rome!

Untitled / 24 x 30 / oil on canvas
 Still on the easel - this is at least the third painting on this particular canvas - the other two being wipe offs. I wonder if I will keep this one......

And then there was Rome! What a magnificent city - so ancient and so new. I loved every minute of exploring it. This is the lobby of the Marriott Grand Flora Hotel with hundreds of tennis balls hanging from the ceiling - we discovered that the Italian Tennis Open was being played in Rome the week we were there. We had a magnificent room - complete with feather mattress on the bed and balcony over looking the Borghese Villa and gardens. I had no trouble falling asleep in Rome!

Marriott Grand Flora Hotel - Rome

 The daytime view from our balcony overlooking the Borghese ruins. The Vatican was not far in this direction also and the American Embassy was a short walk down the street. It was a perfect location.

Some incredible churches that we happened upon as we explored Rome - we saw so many - each one more beautiful than the last.

Church interior with mass in progress

Church with gorgeous life size wooden crucifixion carvings

A not atypical church entry
 The Pantheon is in such perfect condition you would think it was built yesterday however it was completed by the Emperor Hadrian in about 125 AD. The rotunda is resplendent with sculptures and art work and is still the world's largest unreinforced concrete done. The Pantheon is still actively used as a church with masses held every Sunday and has also functioned as a tomb. I was surprised to learn that the painter Raphael, 2 Italian kings and a queen are all buried here.

The Pantheon - under the rotunda

Inside the Pantheon

Roman rooftops
 Our next stop was the Colosseum. We spent several hours there exploring and wondering about the intricate Roman engineering that allowed it to function. Not only did it house the gladiators and many very large, wild animals beneath the main arena - there were very sophisticated mechanisms for moving them about and up to the arena. And did you know that it was occasionally flooded and ships held mock battles there? It was an almost inconceivable drainage system that allowed this to occur.

My family and I at the Colosseum  - typical tourists!

The Colosseum held over 50,000 people and it was not hard to imagine the spectacles that unfolded here.

Inside a Roman delicatessen!
What a holiday trip - and more yet to tell you about!

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Sammy, Breitner and Albert Cuyp

Sammy-A Connoisseur of Comfort / oil on linen panel / 12x16

 Completed this morning, my friend's cat  Sammy catching some zzzz's!

While we were in Amsterdam, the Rijksmuseum had a Georges Breitner exhibit of 20 paintings and sketches in his Girl in a Kimono series. They are all thought to be of one model, Geesje Kwak and were painted between 1983 and 1896.  Interestingly, Breitner and Van Gogh met and spent some time sketching together outdoors. But apparently Breitner never liked Van Gogh's work stating, "I can't help it, but to me it seems like art for Eskimos, I cannot enjoy it. I honestly find it coarse and distasteful, without any distinction..."

Next, we headed to the Albert Cuyp Market - a huge, teeming outdoor market with over 300 vendors lining both sides of one long street and selling every kind of food imaginable as well as flowers and clothing.

Next stop - Rome!