Monday, April 24, 2006

The Cinematographer

The Director

"Metteur-en-scene, director. The point is not to direct  someone, but to direct oneself." - Robert Bresson

Friday, April 21, 2006

Piano Notes...

Music as Experience

"music is not limited to sentiment or to the intellect, to emotional commitment or to the critical sense, but engages, at the moment of performance, the whole being. After all, that is why one becomes a pianist." Charles Rosen, Piano Notes

Pictorial Language

Substance and Form

When some one complained to Matisse that she had never seen a woman who looked like the woman in his painting, he replied: "Madam, that is not a woman; that is a picture." - John Dewey

Wednesday, April 19, 2006


"Every closure is an awakening, and every awakening settles something." - John Dewey

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

The Painting: J.M.W. Turner

Allen Memorial Art Museum, Oberlin College, Ohio, Mrs. F. F. Prentiss

I've written quite alot about British painter Joseph Turner lately on Art Comments and rightfully so. Here is the painting that fetched close to 40 million dollars a couple of weeks ago at Christie's here in Manhattan, New York. This picture is the best that I could find online and I was granted permission to use the photo here on Art Comments. I would like to thank the Allen Memorial Art Museum.

The Art of Communication

"Communicating is the process of creating participation, of making common what had been isolated and singular; and part of the miracle it achieves is that, in being communicated, the conveyance of meaning gives body and definiteness to the experience of the one who utters as well as to that of those who listen." - John Dewey

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Joseph Turner on Tour

Here's an excerpt from a book that I am currently reading, called "Turner on Tour."

"Burke postulated that landscape painting should be aimed at the infinite, the overwhelming, the heroic - at nature that aroused awe and terror in human beings. In contrast to the Beautiful, which - embodied in the smooth, small and synmetrical - arouses pleasure and joy, the Sublime should therefore be directed towards the esthetic experience of nature that is felt to be a threat, in the shape of tempestuous seas, vertiginous cliffs and extreme weather conditions. Delight in limitless nature was accompanied by a feeling of terroor, with a predilection for depiction of catastrophes of all kinds, as is also characteristic of Turner's work." - Turner on Tour, Inge Herold

The Universal in the Spiritual

"If the subjective might seem to be the ultimate requirement of every age, the objective in its strictest sense must still retain its original value. For it is with this world, as starting point and bias alike, that we shall always have to concern ourselves; the world is not to be learned and thrown aside, but reverted to and relearned. The spiritual comprehension may be infinitely subtilized but its raw material must remain." - Robert Browning

International Jazz Blog

I would like to direct everyone's attention to a really great blog that features the topic of jazz. Visit the blog and let me know what you think: International Jazz Blog

Past relevant Blogs:
Brad Mehldau Live in New York
3 Must Have Albums From 2005
Matisse Quote

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

New York City, Edvard Munch and The Scream Painting

New York City, Edvard Munch and The Scream Painting

I saw the Edvard Munch show here in NYC and it is great show. Edvard Munch is a supreme colorist and if you love color and the application of it for different moods, go see the show! Here is an excerpt about the show taken from my catalouge that MOMA sent me:

Edvard Munch: The Modern Life of the Soul

This is the first retrospective devoted to the work of the internationaly renowned Norwegian painter, printmaker, and drafsman to be held in an American museum in almost three decades. - MOMA

Yes, as some of you may know Edvard's Munch's The Scream painting is missing, due to some, let's say, legal issues.

Pete Duhon

New York City and JMW Turner

Not too long ago I wrote in a previous blog about JMW Turner and my admiration for his paintings.

Last week at Christie's auction house here in NYC, one of his paintings fetched approximately 35 million dollars.

As mentioned by Beverley Morgan in an FT "write in", we can all take delight that Joseph Mallord William Turner was 65 years old when he painted Guidecca, la Donna della Salute and San Giorgio, the painting that sold last week for millions. Age is not a barrier when it comes to creating masterpieces.

Past blog: Jazz meets Film

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Quote: Stuart Davis

"No work of art can be true to nature in the objective sense. The nearer it approximates the natural appearance of objects the more it is likely to be far away from art." Stuart Davis, from "The Process of Painting," April 20, 1923.

The Master Painter, In Person...

No matter the discipline, to observe a master of his craft sharing precious information, with others is always an enlightening and humbling experience since it is always a discovery of what we may not know regarding something that we cherish.

Master painter Henry Finkelstein shared his expansive knowledge of painting with myself and others at the Art Students League's Vylatcil campus in Sparkill, New York. Most in the audience on this particularly gray afternoon bravely brought at least 3 or 4 of their own paintings to the campus for Mr. Finkelstein to critique.

Prior to discussing everyone's paintings, he mentioned to either accept the useful statements and to disregard his comments if not useful. After the discussion was over, it was clear to all that his statements were conclusively useful and could be used as a point of departure for further in-depth study of classical art to modern art, Da Vinci to Hopper.

I thoroughly enjoyed myself and even spoke with him after the session and noticed that he was amicable toward conversation to all who approached him, and that he even had the same eenthusiasm and energy as he had during the critique session which lasted over 2 hours.

Here are some succinct excerpts from my notes:

1. French painter Corot was a master of translucent paint. Opaque and transparent.

2. When discussing someone's portrait, specifically the head shape and tonal areas, he said "be clear about a shift, you have to exaggerate, there's a virtue in exaggeration, a shift in plane.

3. Have a clarity of plane. Study Cezanne and Leonardo Di Vinci.

4. Color temperature - Artist DNA. Constructing planes with Color. Listen to Color. Hear Color. Notice and appreciate the distinct sounds of Mozart, Beethoven, and Thelonious Monk. Similar differences and conclusions can be reached when applying color depending on what we are trying to evoke.

5. (A) When admiring a young women's painting, he told her that it reminded him of a certain Van Gogh painting which he named precisely. The young woman then told him that the painting that he named was actually the painting that inspired her to paint this particular scene, a scene that she often would drive on occasion. She mentioned also that she had a poster of the Van Gogh painting and was inspired to paint the scene that she saw daily.

(B) While looking at this same women's painting, he noticed that she was using "ready made" greens and she confirmed. I was actually astonished, thinking "what an eye!" He suggested to her to make her own greens so that she could convey broader and more distinctive emotional depth in her paintings. He suggested specific paints and principles for making your own/mixing your own paints. I spoke to the woman afterward about the "ready-made" paints situation and she responded "I didn't learn that in school." I must say also, that Mr. Finkelstein loved her pictures and gave her some great commendation as well. I will also say that her paintings were my favorites.

6. The color - emotions felt and experienced. "Everything we do has consequences." - On the choice of color.

7. Light and Air. Painting light on something and painting the light from something.

8. Constable said "I like to paint the moisture in the air." Study Constable when painting air, landscapes, clouds, etc...

9. Color creates groups and separates. Study Picasso and the "three musicians" painting.

10. Color Distance - distance by use of color; study Stuart Davis

11. Negative space and positive space. Shape. Every shape has to create another shape. "De Kooning takes canvas and makes it a potato chip."

12. 2 ways to think about tone: A) sculptural way: study Da Vinci, the pedigree, and copy his drawings, study Picasso's beach paintings, B) atmospheric tone: Light and air in room, study Vermeer and Edward Hopper. Pick one area for the darkest dark and lightest light. (he gave a couple of exercises for working with both types of tone.)

13. Chardin - short paint. De Kooning "long paint."

14. He mentioned that he prefers oil painting, acrylic neither opaque or transparent.

15. When studying others, "Go back at least two generations and always ask, "what is he/she not doing?"

Hope this coverage was beneficial and interesting. I paraphrased him as much as I could so none of the quotes are exactly word for word but I strongly feel it is at least the gist of what he was saying overall to each respective painter.

Other Relevant Blogs:
International Art Fair
Recital at Carnegie Hall
Literature Quote: Stephane Mallarme

Monday, April 10, 2006

Thursday, April 06, 2006

The Elements of Drawing

"The greatest thing a human soul ever does in this world is to see something, and tell what it saw in a plain way. Hundreds of people can talk for one who can think, but thousands think for one who can see. To see clearly is poetry, prophecy and religion, all in one" - John Ruskin

Past Relevant Blog:
The Eye of an Artist

Monday, April 03, 2006

Upcoming Blogs on Art Comments

This week expect a blog on the Edvard Munch show currently at the Moma, a blog on an Ireland film I saw this past weekend and finally a blog covering an event held at the Art Students League.

Past Blogs:

Mozart Recital
3 Great Albums
Film Review: Cache