Well another year has passed into history, and is now a topic for books and historians. It’s been as tumultuous a year as I can remember. But that’s real life – I’m not making any such statements about the world of art. The year I referenced is not a calendar year but rather a Thanksgiving to Thanksgiving year. As has been my custom for this blog – I celebrate Thanksgiving by bringing you some art to admire, to think about, to be puzzled by – or to simply make you say WOW!
I Hope you will enjoy the art. I don’t think that there are any Art Galleries that are open today Thanksgiving Day), and maybe not too many museums, if any. So you may enjoy the selections here without taking to our nation’s roads, highways, or airports. So without further prologue or warm up lets get into it.
Art is a medium that strikes each of us differently. It doesn’t matter if you see the art on a museum wall, or in some one’s home, or even in an art gallery – your collective reactions are as different as the topics artists choose to memorialize.
The painting at the top of this post is called Old Glory. The artist is the Texan, Clinton Broyles. I led off with this work even though I know that not everyone is a fan of guns and or whiskey. But that leads us to the natural follow-up by Mr. Broyles. Yes, there’s still a gun, marked down from a rifle to a handgun, but the whiskey is not present.
This second one from Broyles is called Texas Two Step.
In case you didn’t get the score, the NFL’s hottest team right now is the Dallas Cowboys who today, Thanksgiving Day, won their 10th straight game. These two Broyles paintings also represent an art genre called Still Life – which is a kind of painting that has gotten very little coverage from me over the years.
Our next batch (of three) are about people looking at art. The first is called Puzzled and is by Chris Chapman who hails from Bournemouth in the UK. The next one is by Pauline Roche and its title is Discovering the Degas. Pauline was born in London but grew up in Australia. Her specialty is what she calls people in quiet contemplation that reveal a connection between the people and their surroundings
We’ll let Mr. Chapman close out this section with a work similar to Puzzled. He calls it Head Scratching. Even the dog isn’t sure of what he’s looking at.
Chapman is an illustrator and has done a whole series of similar works called Fraud Monet, Roy Lichtensteinish, and Jason Pillocks.
Switching gears, or should I say the type of art, let’s look at some paintings from the school of classic realism. The first two are by painter Alfredo Rodriguez.
The first is called Free Trapper. Just look at the details of his fur hat, or his beard.
The second one from Rodriguez is called Cowboys in Training. Staying with the cowboy motif, the one (below) is by Carrie L. Ballantyne. This artist has long been noted for using her friends and neighbors for her art.
This one is called Jackson Wald.
Of course the world of art is not only about realism. When the artist gives you an idea of something, or shall I say, more than a suggestion but still lacking fine details, the art is called Impressionist.
I’ll begin with three from artist Andre Kohn. He was born in southern Russia, but Kohn now lives in Arizona.
Kohn, as a leader in Figurative Impressionism has said that “I’m seeking my own unique, poetic interpretation of the moment. I’m striving to find the extraordinary in the ordinary.”
I love the texturization of the paint on the canvas in Kohn’s work. In both Rhyme and Adagio, you can’t see it, but you get that there is plenty of wind present. Amazing.
Staying with women as an art topic, our next work is called Last Evening Light by Albin Veslka. The artist was born in 1979 and currently lives in Idaho.
Artist Duffy Sheridan’s work above is called On a Clear Day. He is among my favorite artists. His best works are usually women as solo topics.
Sheridan has said “That the purpose of his work should be to magnify the dignity and nobility of the human spirit and the singular beauty of all things. When people look at one of my paintings, I’d like them to see that humans, indeed, are noble beings.”
I know what you must be thinking. Art is more than just portraits and still life, how about some landscapes and some people at play.
Okay – try this landscape.
The Artist is Ron Thomson. I’m not sure where the location of this painting, called Low Country Home, is. It seems like it might be in what is called ‘ the low country’ which is how people refer to a section of South Carolina. Plus, this painting is in the Reinart Gallery in Charleston, SC.
Mr. Thomson was born in Rota, in Spain. His works are often collectively described as ‘expressive realism’.
Staying with landscapes, here’s another from Clinton Broyles.
And another. This one is called West Side, and the artist is Craig Nelson. While Nelson has painted many works about life in such diverse places as London, New York, and the Tuscan Region of Italy, the key to his work is based in this statement – “It’s not the city that makes the people, it’s the people that make the city.”
Our next paintings combine both landscape and people.
The above painting is by Hans Dahl, whose work has appeared on my pages before. The title is Summer Day By Balestrand. I love how the painting is filled with sunshine.
Donny Finley’s By the Bend is above. The work shows a pair of men getting away from their homes, or their wives. Or more simply a couple of guys following their passion which is fly casting in an isolated spot.
Returning to the figurative, here’s one by George Bodine. His goal is to produce works of at that will transcend time. In the painting above, which is entitled The Good Daughter, we know nothing about this woman. We have no way to determine what she might be using the shovel for, or where she is, and if we have to assign a valued-based judgement to the painting, we have to assume that rather than returning from the chore, she is leaving to do the chore. I get that just from the position of the dog ahead of her.
Staying with the figurative and with female subjects, we’ll take in works from artists June Stratton, Pino Daeni, and a pair from Kim Felts.
Let’s start with one from Kim Felts. It is called Tip Her Hat. I find this one to kind of mysterious. But that is likely just me projecting. Felt’s works are most easily described as being a part of the naturalism movement in art.
This second one from Felts is called Be Still My Soul. In this work, you can readily see what the artist is going for – a representation of the subject matter truthfully, without artificiality and avoiding artistic conventions, implausible, exotic and supernatural elements. On a personal level – I’ve no idea what the subject is seeing or wants. But I’d like to have seen it myself.
Pino Daeni is also known as Giuseppi Dangelico which was his name at birth. In the painting above I can see the romance, as well as the warmth. I admire this work because it is both subtle and welcoming.
June Stratton’s works are hard to fit into a specific style or niche. There’s elements of realism, fantasy. and some impressionist in her paintings. I think it is especially true in the above painting.
Okay – just a few more. Robert Duncan has long been a favorite of mine. This year I present his foray into the world of cowboys which is a departure from the farms and family works he is so famous for.
Another of my favorite artists is Logan Maxwell Hagege. This artist is the master of simplicity as well as being a magician when it comes to colors. In the above painting we can once again see a few of Hagege’s trademarks – bold colors, striped blankets or robes, and clouds.
To close out this year’s Thanksgiving art series is a work by Walter Ufer. This artist died 80 years ago in 1936. Based in Taos, New Mexico, Ufer specialized in works about the Pueblo Indians, and other themes of the West. He was quite popular and successful in the 1920’s. But Ufer’s career and fame stalled with the stock market crash of 1929.
Here is his work called A Ride In Autumn. It is not that special a painting, and I can not glean any information at all about the subject or the artist. But as you’ve no doubt heard before, Life often imitates art.
This photo is one of me. It was taken as I was horse riding at a stable outside of Shenzen, in Guangdong Province in China circa 2005. For the record I will state that the photo is not particularly good. I’ve included the photo because of its similarity to Ufer’s painting that came way before I arrived on this planet.
Best wishes to all for a Happy and Healthy Thanksgiving.