Thursday, September 21, 2017

Plein Air Painters of Chicago - 2017

 Albert York (1928-2009)

Regretfully, Albert York was not a member of the PAPC -- but this painting  certainly exemplifies the qualities that many of them pursue.

A freshness - and a wonderful density of balance.

This small painting came to Art  Expo Chicago this year.



Wilson Irvine (1869-1936)

Wilson Irvine was long gone when the PAPC first began -- but he was just in time to join the fledging Palette and Chisel Club.  This painting was done on a field trip to the Smokies.




 Caitlyn Hwang


A wonderfully different sense of color and design.




Don Yang





 Don Yang




Errol Jacobson


This feels like a very hot day.






 Laurie Kennard






Mary Longe




 Stephanie  Weidner



 Stephanie  Weidner




 Steve Johnson, "Pancake Breakfast"

A piece that crosses over into the territory of "American Scene" painting.

It certainly brings back happy memories.

My favorite painting in the show.





Steve Puttrich




Sunday, September 03, 2017

Exhibit: sculpture and Drawing





James Hajicek

A nice little nature study - and the only well-lit sculpture in the exhibit.






Misha Livshulz

There isn't really much sense in showing sculpture but not lighting it.






Roger Akers

I guess there's supposed to be a joke here somewhere.    It's got a sharply modeled miniature bust of DJT however.





Ed Wentz

One of  Ed's best pieces --possibly displayed here before



Andrew Conklin

Another wonderful drawing from Andrew - with the ghostly image of yours truly taking the photograph.




George Clark

"The Return of Odysseus" -- or --- just two pair models in the third floor studio ?




Helen Oh


I despair for the quality of our shows without Andrew and Helen.







Leon  Osseny



Margaret Small

Margaret showed a portrait of Mary Qian painting in last year's exhibit as well.



Nancie King Mertz

A  nice scene done as a demo




Larry Paulsen


The intrepid man from Minsk -- where would the sculpture studio be without him?


Steve Puttrich



Saturday, September 02, 2017

Palette and Chisel at Woman as Warrior

 Debra Balchen



Michael Van Zeyl



Two Palette and Chisel artists are included in the exhibit "Woman as Warrior" now showing at the Zhou B. Art Center in Bridgeport.

The show is associated with Poets and Artists , which will  be sponsoring another show of figurative art next April on the theme of "Visions of Venus".  Applications will be accepted until mid January, 2018 -  and no entrance fee is required.

There are several very good paintings in this exhibit.

If it took itself more seriously as an academy, this is the kind of national show that the Palette and Chisel should be hosting.





Exhibit: Randall Mattheis









Randall Mattheis is an architect who specializes in designing retail showrooms --
so as one might expect, he likes to make his pictorial spaces lively and exciting.

He appears to be channeling early 20th C. Modernism.















The computer images loose the surface of the painting - but capture the sense of space.

They look better than the actual pieces which were done a bit loosely.










Maurice de Vlaminck


Sunday, August 13, 2017

Exhibit: Nathan Silver




Based on photographs, these portraits are quite different from  the kind of observational painting that's taught at the Palette and Chisel.


But they are curiously strong, nonetheless - with a strong presence of personality.

Perhaps we could call this style "photo-expressionism"














A nightmarish vision of reality -- like early Sunday morning with a hangover.

I like it.




I really can't stand to look at his ABX painting - they make me dizzy.

Which is a problem for me, since he has hung it in every room -- including the library where I eat dinner two nights a week.

But they do seem to offer a good background for some kinds of figure sculpture - especially my own!



Sunday, August 06, 2017

Palette and Chisel at Gallery Victor Armendariz

Mary Qian



A commercial Chicago gallery is now displaying the work of three current members of the Palette and Chisel.

When was the last time that ever happened?

Victor Armendariz took over the roster of his former employer, Ann Nathan, when she retired, and he  is continuing to emphasize various kinds of  figurative painting that may be observational as well as cartoonish.










Andrew Conklin















Michael Van  Zeyl









Those ae tubes of colored light installed beneath the right edge.

The figures seem to jump into the gallery space - even without 3-D glasses.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Exhibit: Don Yang's Drawing Class







 Don Yang, Portrait of Kevin



Don Yang has the most sculptural, clinical, dry, precise, Classical style of drawing at the Palette and Chisel.  It's perfect in this depiction of Kevin Allen, an accomplished composer of sacred music for the Roman Catholic Church.

In its depiction of a sensitive, intelligent, disciplined, creative man -- this is one of the best portraits I've ever seen in our gallery.

It's a style that demands complete control of sculptural volume.  The short comings in execution do not read as artistic expression -- they just read as clumsy mistakes.

And so most of the student pieces in this exhibit  are eyesores.

But there are a few remarkable exceptions:





Cynthia Li







 George Zaremba





George Zaremba


This portrait is especially remarkable because the face is so expressive.  That woman's anxiety jumps off the wall.

Sunday, July 09, 2017

Exhibit: Yu L. Huang

 Target: The 50th Anniversary of the Cultural Revolution





Coincidently, another one of my blogs records the dramatic experiences of a good friend's wife in that catastrophe.

Click here to read it.




The  State of Painting



Wow!  I can't imagine a better tribute to those intrepid souls who write about contemporary art -- and are usually addressing an empty chair.

By far, it's the most thoughtful -- and best looking -- painting in this show - and among the best paintings shown at the Palette this year.

Yu L. Huang can really tell a story.



Click here for her website.