Saturday, May 22, 2010

Ya Know...

Turns out plein-air painting is like any other skill. If you don't do it regularly, you get really, really rusty. Really.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Cabbages and Kings

My new friend Greg and I had a great time painting in Miamiville this morning, and my friend Mike and I braved the wind and cold for a good morning of sketching in Rowe Woods last week. Today Greg found a very cool little garden full of cabbages and purple iris, and I painted a wonderful old house dappled in sunlight. It was awesome as always! 

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Herb and Dorothy

Earlier this week my Salon 11 buddies and I watched a delightful documentary called Herb and Dorothy. It's the story of Herb and Dorothy Vogel, that legendary New York librarian and postal worker who have managed to amass a literally priceless collection of Minimalist and other late 20th-century art on an extremely limited budget. They sacrificed so much to build their collection but they're completely devoted to collecting.

Not too long ago, the Vogels donated--that's right, I said donated--their collection of nearly 5,000 pieces to the National Gallery of Art (where, incidentally, they spent their honeymoon!). Because the National Gallery can only display a small fraction of the collection, the pieces are being divided up and distributed to museums in all 50 states in the U.S. Herb and Dorothy feel that because they were able to collect art using income from their government jobs, it's only fitting for the collection to return to the American people. Their generosity is almost incomprehensible.

But perhaps even more striking is the Vogels' connection to the artists they have collected. The Vogels have as much passion for art as any artist I've ever known. When they become interested in an artist, they get to know that person personally. They discuss the work, encourage the artist, and provide support with their money and enthusiastic feedback. Of course, the gallerists don't like the way the Vogels buy direct from the artists, often at lower-than-gallery prices, but the artists all want to be in this acclaimed collection.

The film is fantastic and so uplifting. It's a love-of-art story. It made me wonder if there are more great stories about collectors out there. Please share your thoughts.

PS The Vogels did not want to accept money for their collection, but the National Gallery insisted on providing a monthly stipend for them so their retirement years could be more comfortable. But the Vogels aren't interested in taking vacations or moving to a bigger apartment. They're using the money to buy more art!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Gallery News

I just wanted to share some great news with you about a couple of new galleries. First, there is a new gallery opening in the O'Bryonville area of Cincinnati called Greenwich House Gallery. I'm very proud to be represented by this wonderful and spacious new gallery, so I'll let you know when the official opening happens. It should be sometime in the next month or so.

If you happen to be in Union Square in Manhattan, there's an exciting new gallery there, too. The Sankofa Gallery is a beautiful space right on the square, featuring exquisite work by painters Sam Adoquei, Jeanette Christjansen, Usha Sharma, Musette Morgan, Cidny Klein, and Nao Otaka. As you may recall, Sam recently published a truly thoughtful and inspiring book for artists--How Successful Artists Study--so now you can see even more of his work and that of several other talented artists. Find out more at