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My Newest Painting


Peterhof Cascades
The Peterhof Cascades

The Peterhof Cascades © (24" x 36" acrylic on Canvas)

In May of 2012, we went to Russia. Two days in Saint Petersburg basically meant a quick bus tour of the city, the Hermitage Art Museum, Catherine's Palace, and the Peterhof Palace. This painting was the result of that whirlwind expedition to the "Venice of the North." As a devotee of art history and architecture as much as painting, the palaces were the highlight of our entire nine-day Baltic excursion. And, while exciting to see, this has been the only image I deemed worthwhile to paint (so far). The source photo was heavily edited, especially toward the bottom as I was shooting over the heads of dozens of fellow tourists. Fortunately, I had several other shots from which to cull needed elements for those areas in which I had to improvise. I also utilized about a dozen supplimental shots from the Internet for certain details. The water from the cascades was a persistent problem so I simply let it flow down over the lower edge of the frame and placed a mop next to the painting for use as needed for the requisite postmodern touch.

The Peterhof Cascades, framed in wood painted gold. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$595.

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by Jim Lane

Each chapter of Learning to Think Like an Artist contains from four to twenty-one relatively short essays on different aspects of learning to think like an artist. Originally written for an artists' online discussion group, these "ArtyFacts" (as they were first called) can be bitten off, chewed, and digested in as little as fifteen minutes. Some ArtyFacts are light and fluffy-brain candy. Some are snack food for thought. Some are downright chewy. And, a few are (gulp) stick-in-your-throat fruit-cakey. They employ humor, irony, a gentle dose of art history, common sense, conventional wisdom, and good old school-of-hard-knocks experience.

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THE MOST RECENT ADDITIONS TO THE COLLECTION


Golden Globe Self-portrait A Postmodern
Self-portrait

Golden Globe Self-portrait © (18"x24" acrylic on Canvas)

For several years now, I've taught an art class at a local assisted care facility, my "Ladies in their Eighties" I call them. One nice summer day we went outside to allow them to experience the joys of digital photography for the first time. With its simplicity and instant feedback they had a great deal of satisfaction and fun. While outside with them, on a whim, I shot the photo from which this painting was based. Also in the community there is a factory making glass mirrored balls like the one seen here. They come in several other colors but gold seems to be the most reflective. Postmodern art, by its nature, is quite conscious of the creative process, embracing all the modern tools at the artists disposal along with all the creative possibilities they allow. In this case, they work together to expose not just my likeness physically, but something of my identity as an artist.

Golden Globe Self-portrait, framed in cherry. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$195.

Slopewood 2009
A Postmodern Winterscape

Slopewood 2009 © (30"x40" acrylic on Canvas and Birch plywood)

On a bright, wintery day in 2009 I shot several photos of a moderately heavy snowfall (after shoveling the driveway), and one of the front of our house recently caught my eye, not so much for the house but for the magnificent blue Spruce in the front yard. So, I painted the framed painting in the middle of the framed painting. However I was dissatisfied with the composition, notably the central placement of the blue Spruce so I decided to make the painting a part of a larger painting. Artists painting landscapes are forced to make decisions--what to leave out, what to leave in. This painting illustrates that decision making. In a very postmodern manifestation, we have a painting hanging on a hook within a painting. Incidentally, when the smaller painting is removed, behind it is the same tree minus the house, very much able to stand alone as a beautifully serene winterscape.

Slopewood 2009,
framed in white wood and brass. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$695.

Waterfalling Water on the Rocks

Waterfalling" © (12"x24") acrylic on Canvas)

Often I've traveled halfway around the world to find subjects for my paintings. In this case, however, I had to travel no further than my backyard. About five years ago I poured about $150 and lots of backbreaking toil and sweat into creating a piece of 3-D aquatic art where once had been the steps leading down into our pool. Though the pool had long been filled, the gap in the concrete had always been a visual irritant. As an artist I'm not fond of visual irritants. Before the summer was over what had once been an eyesore had become this calm, vision of liveliness and loveliness. The greenish little girl had been hanging about the garden area for several years. She took to the new waterfall with great enthusiasm and has become something of a fixture ever since. The resulting painting is striking both for its narrow verticality and the three-dimensional "rocks" which thrust out onto the frame. In the foreground and background, I must confess, I took liberties with my garden creation, adding a couple more levels to the waterfalls and a more sylvan setting. I hope you don't mind.

Waterfalling, framed in light wood . . . . . . . . . . .$295.

The Eastern Mediterranean 2010 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ..

Picture Taormina

Picture Taormina" © (24"x24") acrylic on Canvas)

Almost halfway down the southern coast of Sicily from Messina lies the delightful little town of Taormina. It's a touristy little place set about halfway up a mountain overlooking a small beach and a miniscular harbor. The town is some 2,500 years old and was likely as much a tourist mecca when the Greeks and Romans trekked its cobblestone streets as today when those streets are paved with a checkerboard of colorful tile. The scene above is the town square with its whitewashed church, medieval gate, sidewalk cafes, and street artists selling their wares. The Postmodern addition of my hands and arms (three-dimensionally rendered on the canvas using modeling paste) snapping a digital photo of the place emphasizes the fact that I, too, was one of those tourists in the touristy little town we tourists deprecate by calling it "touristy." For the history-minded there are museums and a Grecco-Roman theater with a stunning view of Sicily's Mount Etna. For those tourists intent on spending lots of money, there is a wide variety of high and low-end shops along the town's crowded, narrow streets. Me, I spent all my money on Italian ice cream and very nearly missed the bus back to the ship.

Picture Taormina, framed in light wood . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$395.


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