Thanksgiving 2017

Bob Dylan 1964
from the The Times They Are a-Changin’ album:

Come senators, congressmen
Please heed the call
Don’t stand in the doorway
Don’t block up the hall
For he that gets hurt
Will be he who has stalled
There’s the battle outside raging
It’ll soon shake your windows and rattle your walls
For the times they are a-changing

Bob Dylan 2006
from the Modern Times album we have the song Things Have Changed:

People are crazy and times are strange
I’m locked in tight, I’m out of range
I used to care, but things have changed

That’s Dylan talking about the changing times. Indeed. You know, these days, they talk about the partisan issues between those that sit on either side of the aisle. Maybe they should be calling the ‘aisle’ what it really is – a canyon. We are now in the era of America First. I think  the reality is that we are in the era of Me First.

The USA used to be a kinder and gentler place. Not so much now. In my own words, I think I can both see and feel the social fabric of our nation tearing beneath our collective feet right now. We should all  have a sense of a gathering storm. And truly that’s not good. But maybe it is necessary.

And if that isn’t change…then tell me, what is?

Remember what Gore Vidal once said about this country – The United States of Amnesia.

But not everything changes. As has been my tradition on this blog, I choose the American holiday of Thanksgiving to offer my thanks for all that we have that is good, and for all that we have that is wonderful. Of course, art is a purely subjective art form. Art may be understood and appreciated, or just understood, or just appreciated, or neither understood nor appreciated.

My annual Thanksgiving post may or may not show Thanksgiving-themed art works. The artists may or may not be American. My tastes in art are varied – and I don’t stick to just one school of art.  Impressionist, Classic reality, modern, portraits and landscapes, or even historical paintings may show up in this post.

As will the vibrancy of bold colors, or paintings in which the colors are more important than the subjects. If a work of art appears in this annual post, it is because I like what I see, and wish to share with you. I can only hope that you will have similar feelings.

I have chosen the American painter Jeremy Lipking to open this post. Lipking is a 40 something from Santa Monica, CA, and he is most easily described as an American realist.

This first Lipking painting is called Whispering Pines. I love the soft color mix of this work, and I hope you can feel both the awe and the mystery that this work evokes. Just look at the foreground details and then, behind the woman, in the distance, we only have the colors and shape of the ridge of the hills meeting the sky with just the slightest bit of detail.

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Happy Thanksgiving 2016

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.

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Happy Thanksgiving 2015 – Every Picture Tells A Story

Thanksgiving gets a lot of people out of the house. According to the travel organization AAA and Homeland Security, nearly 47 million of our countrymen will take to planes, trains, and automobiles for a journey of 50 miles or more for this long Thanksgiving holiday weekend.

vlcsnap-00018Count me out. I’m staying at home. Planes, Trains, and Automobiles has become a Thanksgiving must see film, and it was on tonight on the SyFY channel. I watched it as I usually do, and it is still funny. This film came out in 1987, nearly 30 years ago, and now, it is as ubiquitous on Thanksgiving as turkey, stuffing, and cranberries.

The news has been exceedingly depressing lately, and what with many of TV’s best shows having concluded their fall seasons, pickings on TV will come down to sporting events, or reruns.

But there are antidotes for many of the depressing events in the news, or the growing noise coming from our Presidential candidates. With each day, the Mouth That Roared (Mr. Trump) grows increasingly more shrill. Mr. Trump has decided to play the hate card again and again, which in one sense plays to people’s fears, and in another sense, his words have marginalized many in this country thereby pushing them in another direction. Mr. Sanders continues to wallop us again and again. Ben Carson seems to back pedal just as fast as anyone in recent memory. Mrs. Clinton has the experience and the know how, but is she trustworthy? It really is too much.

But there is one thing that I do on Thanksgiving to get away from all of the above. I trot out some art that appeals to me, and call it my Happy Thanksgiving gift to my readers.

Back in 1971, British rock and roll musician Rod Stewart and Ron Wood wrote a song called Every Picture Tells A Story. While this song has nothing to do with art lyrically, and has been called rude, racist, and sexist it does begin with a reference to self-discovery. And what could be a better message on this Thanksgiving holiday than to state that while the answers to the world’s ills will not be solved by self discovery, many of the issues that live within us surely could use some looking at.

Every Picture Tells a Story is the title of this post. I’ve been writing about art every Thanksgiving since 2009, and am proud to do so once again.

By The Fjord

By The Fjord

We will start with Norwegian artist Hans Dahl. Now  Mr. Dahl died in 1937 – almost 80 years ago.

Andreas Admiring the View

Andreas Admiring the View

There was a period in his life (in the 1890’s) when his work came in for considerable criticism. Painting and the world of art was turning away from Romanticism and heading for Modernist themes.

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Happy Thanksgiving 2014

It has been my custom to share some of my favorite art on Thanksgiving. While the paintings that follow are not Thanksgiving themed, they do take me back to my younger days. As a kid growing up in Huntington, on Long Island, we lived near wooded areas. We also watched TV shows about cowboys, and there were even small forts that were built in those nearby woods. So it is no surprise for thoughts of the west to stay with me all these years later. In those days, a good many films were produced that featured Cowboys and Indians. In fact hiking in the woods has stayed with me even as an adult.

These days, I don’t live in the west except through art. And here in Sarasota, Florida, there are neither hills or forests. We do have some hiking trails and those help somewhat. While I like horses, the last horse I rode was near Shenzhen in China. And it wasn’t that many years ago; maybe in 2008. So you shall see a good number of paintings that include horses. But that’s not all – some of the paintings will take you back to the days of the Old West, or others will be family oriented as is this holiday.

If you can remember the Thanksgiving holiday from when you were a child, you will note that those family gathering have changed. Families do get bigger, but they also get smaller with the passage of time. So thinking about those good old days will be good for the spirit. I have a good many paintings for you, so let’s get started. NOTE: Following the end of the text – there is a link to a video I made of almost all of these images.

I’ll lead with Of Many Paths They’ll Take by Steve Hanks. I don’t think I was this small when I started to navigate pathways. And I didn’t have a small sister either. But doesn’t this painting have an aura of wonder to it. We don’t know where these kids will end up. Nor do they know how their lives will turn out. As a companion to the above painting, Steve Hanks also did one (below) involving a walk down a different path and he called it A Path to Follow.

A Path to Follow Steve Hanks

Speaking of paths, beside those that wend through a forest or the country, there are pathways to people’s hearts. But there are also warpaths.

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Happy Thanksgiving 2013

Happy Thanksgiving !

It has been my custom, and tradition, to offer my thanks on this American holiday by sharing some works of art with you. The works selected for this year’s Thanksgiving Day post share no common theme, no particular style, and are clearly not Thanksgiving based works of art.

I’ve offered the famous Norman Rockwell Thanksgiving Day painting at least twice before so we won’t see it again this year. I also won’t be offering any of my long time favorite artists either. So we won’t have anything by James Bama, Steve Hanks, Alfredo Rodriguez, or Robert Duncan (all subjects in previous Thanksgiving posts) this time. This year is a no-repeat artist offering.

As usual, there are a myriad of things that people will do on this day, many of which are weather dependent. But besides activities like watching football, carving a turkey, traveling to Grandma’s or Grandpa’s home, or simply taking some time to relax, this year, Black Friday starts on Thursday in many places. And that means people will be manning the cash registers and working the shopping aisles in many stores.

So they won’t be relaxing. If shopping is part of your agenda for Thursday evening, so be it. Hopefully you will run into the bargains you seek. And be sure to thank those who are working on Thanksgiving.

But now it is time for the art. We will start with an art work where the subjects are clearly not happy about Thanksgiving.

Three and a Half Toms by Guy Coheleach

Three and a Half Toms by Guy Coheleach

It is called Three and a Half Toms. The artist is Guy Coheleach. Guy is an American Wildlife artist, and he was born in 1933 which makes him about 80 years old. His works have been featured in our own White House.

American Bald Eagle  by Guy Coheleach

American Bald Eagle by Guy Coheleach

In fact, prints from Coheleach American Eagle series have been given to visiting Heads of State. As for the turkeys in Tom’s painting, I can only offer my best wishes.

I’m not sure if fox-hunting is something that is done on Thanksgiving, but it does have a fall seasonal flavor to it. Below is a painting called Waiting for a Friend by Carol Lee Thompson.

Waiting for a Friend by Carol Lee Thompson

Waiting for a Friend by Carol Lee Thompson

Carol is a Signature Member of the OPA (Oil Painters of America). She resides in Maryland. Doesn’t that rolling hill country look great.

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