Friday, December 25, 2009

Tor Prepares for Eternity

It's never too early
to start getting ready






Eternity is a very long time.

Who wants to spend it in an ordinary coffin?





So, Tor has finally found
a practical application
for the skills
he has developed
over the last two decades
of sculpture workshops at the Palette and Chisel






The sculptors of Ghana
are currently the world leaders
in this genre





And who would want to live
yet another day,
while the open door
to this stylish destination
is beckoning






But Tor is following the style
developed in a different part of Africa





and he'll even have to give himself
a headdress
(to keep the neck from breaking)












Ahhhhh,
Peace at last.




Lesley Rich in Venice



Here's another P&C painter
with a distinct style.


As her brochure says:

"I love Venice"


And who can argue with that?

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Edna Wolff (Henner) Maschgan











The above painting,
by Edna Maschgan (1907-2001)


currently at Treadway Gallery,
reads "Palette and Chisel, Bitterly Award"

So, she must have been
among the first women members


(update: I've just spoken with Joe Vangsness,
who knew her when she became a member in the 80's,
so no, she was not among the first women to join.
As Joe remembers,
she was a short, serious artist
who called herself "Eddie",
and was married to Dr. Erich Maschgan,
the veterinarian at the Lincoln Park Zoo)











The gallery also notes
that she studied in Mexico
with Diego Rivera
in the 1920's









I'll have to scour the P&C archives
for any mention of her











She certainly did some interesting work,
quite different from
anyone else I've yet seen here.

















































































Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Gold Medal Show: 2010

Linda Vice

The 2010 Gold Medal Show
arrived a few weeks early this year.

Several notable prize winners from the past
were conspicuously absent
(perhaps to generously give everyone else a chance to win)

And the above is my pick for this year's winner.

Because, by comparison,
everything else in the show
just says "Painting" to me,
while this one
feels like a compelling
human presence.






Walter Monastyretsky


I also liked this one,
even if I prefer
to see attractive young women
depicted with their shirts off






Michael Van Zeyl


is certainly challenging himself
with complex arrangements like this one







Lois Raub

I wish this style
of simple, peaceful sculpture
were as prevalent today
as it was a hundred years ago











Stuart Fullerton














Diane Rath


Something about Diane's florals
seems so appropriate for funeral homes

which is fine by me
since I seem to be spending
more and more time in such places








Romel De La Torre

Nobody but Romel
dares to paint
such large, sun lit figures
appropriate to American Impressionism
c. 1910





I love this detail




Judith McCabe Renner
(detail)


I love this detail, too.
Very magical.










Stephanie Weidner












Ray Grzbielski

















Pamela Val Gibson












Linell Beaumont




















Keith Raub

















Jane Ellen Murray








George Freeman









George C. Clark










Diane Hynes




















Chad Aldrin













Clayton J. Beck III










Audry Cramblitt






Chris Miller



(note: these are, of course,
just my selections and opinions,
and are intended to be the first
rather than the last
words on this subject)
........................

Addendum:
.............................



Sheila Wolfson

... and lo and behold
this was the winner
of both the Gold Medal
and
The People's Choice
Awards.


Which completely surprised me
on two counts.

First - because
the winners are usually
those which are hung
in the most conspicuous places
(above the fireplaces or opposite the gallery door)

Second - because
the winners are usually
paintings that I like.






Thursday, December 17, 2009

George Bridgman is Coming






Only a dozen people attended the P&C Quarterly Meeting last night
(and most of those were board members)

but two fortuitous announcements were made.

First,
that selected paintings
from the Vanderpoel Museum
will be shown at the P&C Gallery next year.

This is a great collection of early 20th C. figure painting and landscape
that includes the work of several P&C members .

And second,
the announcement that Stuart Fullerton
is donating a large sheet
of anatomy demonstrations
drawn by George Bridgman
at the the Art Students League
back in the early decades
of the 20th Century














Bridgman (1865-1943)
is well known today
for his many instructional books
that are still in print




Donations are now being solicited
to cover the expense of restoration and mounting,
and eventually,
it should be a fine addition
to a wall in one of the studios.











And.... as it turns out....
Jane Ellen Murray,
in a Palette & Chisel tradition
that dates back a hundred years,
once wrote a musical:



AMERICAN ROCK
A musical salute to Norman Rockwell.

The Show played in a number of theaters
across the country including The Studio Theatre in Rockford,
White Pines Dinner Theatre,
and Suncoast Theatre in New Port Richie, Fla.


And since Rockwell was schooled by Bridgman,
the following scene was included:




SCENE 2

BRIDGEMAN: (TAKING THE SKELETON FROM ROCKWELL) Norman, How many muscles do you think it takes to move your little finger?

NORMAN: Ah ... I don't know, sir.

BRIDGE: Eleven ... ELEVEN! It's a damned wonderful thing! (TO ANOTHER STUDENT) What's that supposed to be? Is that supposed to be a human figure? One of God's creatures?

STUDENT: I don't believe in God, Sir.

BRIDGE: Well you'd better believe in anatomy if you want to get a passing grade in this course. ANATOMY
... bones, muscles! They're the building blocks of the body. You can't paint a house or a body until it's built.

(BRIDGEMAN TAKES OUT A PIECE OF CHALK AND PROCEEDS TO DRAW BONE STRUCTURES ON THE MODEL'S BODY AS STUDENTS WATCH)

ANATOMY
BRIDGEMAN: ANATOMY ...

THE HIP BONE CONNECTED TO THE THIGH BONE,

CONNECTED TO ...

MODEL: ANATOMY ... I'VE GOT GREAT ANATOMY!

BRIDGE: THE FEMUR CONNECTED TO THE TIBIA,

JUST BEHIND THE FIBULA ...

MODEL: THAT'S ANATOMY!


BRIDGE: ANATOMY IS WHERE YOU HAVE TO START,

WITHOUT IT, IT AIN'T ART ...

NO MATTER WHAT THEY SAY ...

BOTH: IT TAKES ANATOMY ...

MODEL: TO STRIKE THE PERFECT POSE,

IT TAKES ANATOMY,

BOTH: THAT'S RIGHT ANATOMY.

BRIDGE: TO DRAW A ROMAN NOSE.

BOTH: IT TAKES ANATOMY! ANATOMY!

ALL: IT TAKES ANATOMY ...

TO MAKE YOUR FIGURES MOVE,

SO THEY'LL HANG YOU IN THE LOUVRE!

TO SCULPT THE PERFECT MAN,

BE FAMOUS LIKE RODIN,

THANK GOD FOR, ANATOMY!

BRIDGE: ANATOMY IS WHERE YOU HAVE TO START,

WITHOUT IT, IT AIN'T ART ...

SO LEARN YOUR LESSON WELL,

THAT'S THE GOLDEN RULE!

ALL: TO MAKE IT COME ALIVE,

YOU HAVE TO STRIVE ...

TO LEARN ANATOMY! ANATOMY!

ALL: IT TAKES ANATOMY,

TO MAKE THE PIETA CRY,

EVEN MICHELANGELO KNEW,

WITHOUT ANATOMY,

YOU'D NEVER SELL THE POPE,
6
YOU WOULDN'T HAVE HOPE,

WITHOUT ANATOMY,

BRIDGE: ANATOMY IS WHERE YOU HAVE TO START,

WITHOUT IT, IT AIN'T ART ...

ALL: TO MAKE IT COME ALIVE,

YOU'VE GOT TO STRIVE,

TO LEARN ANATOMY!

MODEL: Mr. Bridgeman, I will not have you drawing all over my body as if I were a plaster cast!

BRIDGE: Ah! But Sophia, you have the perfect ...

ANATOMY!

(MODEL THROWS ON A ROBE. LIGHTS A CIGAR AND STOMPS OFF.)

ALL: TO MAKE IT REALLY ART,

YOU HAVE TO START, WITH ANATOMY!

(BLACKOUT)


....................................................
Cool,
huh?
....................................................










In other business at the Quarterly meeting,
the membership approved the 2010 budget
by a vote of 46 to 1.

Once again, copies of the budget
were only mailed to those who
requested them, so the vast majority
of people who voted for approval
never considered the issues or attended the meeting
to participate in any discussion.

As announced,
a "Town Hall Meeting"
was convened after the Quarterly
in response, presumably,
to the issues raised in the mailings
sent by Jane Ellen.

But only about six people stuck around
and the meeting was over as soon as it began.








Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Exhibit: Four of Our Best


Paintings by Stuart Fullerton, Kathleen Newman,
Jim Hajicek and Marci Oleszkiewicz





Marci Oleszkiewicz


It's impossible for me to look at these paintings
without connecting them to what I've come to know
about the artists who made them.

So maybe I'm rooting for the home team.

But I do think that there was more good art
at the Palette and Chisel last Saturday,
than in the 500 booths at the One-of-a-kind show
at the Merchandise Mart.




Marci Oleszkiewicz


And besides crediting the talent
of the artists involved,
some credit does need to go the
institution where they've developed their art.

Especially Marci,
who came to the P&C
on a scholarship she won
at the first and only
P&C High School drawing contest.








Jim Hajicek



Jim Hajicek




Jim Hajicek



Jim Hajicek



Jim Hajicek


There's been some dispute
over whether that orange paint on the chin
got there by accident.

But I don't think so.




Stuart Fullerton

For whose success
the P&C must also be given some credit


I've lost track of time,
but I think that Stuart has been taking
classes here continuously
for about 10 years.


Stuart Fullerton



...in addition to going out
every week with
the Plein Aire Society



Stuart Fullerton



I can't believe
anyone could paint this in 150 minutes,
but Stuart swears he did.

(I suppose he had to,
or he would have froze to death)



Stuart Fullerton




Stuart Fullerton







Stuart Fullerton







Stuart Fullerton








Stuart Fullerton










Stuart Fullerton

I'm afraid that this is where Stuart.
like so many P&C members before him,
is eventually going to live.

And he certainly has a feel for it.







Kathleen Newman

Kathleen was an accomplished painter
before she ever came to the P&C.


And the closer you look at her paintings,
the more you can find to enjoy.





Kathleen Newman








Kathleen Newman








Kathleen Newman





Kathleen Newman





Kathleen Newman







Kathleen Newman


If only the quality of these small works
could be carried over into a larger format.




Someday,
I wish we could give the club
another retrospective,
so we could see how our generation
compares with those that came before.

The last one
was in 1945.

Isn't it about time for another ?