This will be about my views on what it takes to put a three dimensional world onto a two dimensional surface. With a lot of digressing.
Don't forget to leave a comment, or a question if you have one, below the post. Thanks.


Jan 22, 2012


I'm reminded of Abby Hoffmans' Steal This Book.
You can steal a book, but stealing a painting is a whole nuther thing.Unless it's a museum heist of old master, it's uncommon. Not exactly shoplifting.
An exception would be looting, which was the dessert as first course when the Third Reich attempted to devour Europe.
Intentional copying, however, can be a learning technique, such as Van Goghs' copying of Millet and others. Or a teaching technique, where a student, with prior permission, can set up in front of a painting at the Met, or the Louvre, and learn by copying.
A procedure I would not aspire to under any circumstance.
Then there is out and out copying, with someone elses' art tacked on the wall as reference, but given a few twists and turns in the hope that no one will notice.
An amateurs approach, and the painter is therefore destined to remain an amateur.
There are levels of influence in art. To be influenced by a teacher, by an artist you admire, by what you see and hear, and to filter the input is to eventually find your own way to express yourself. In a perfect world.
There is "After", or "Homage To" meaning to imitate a technique or subject and especially, acknowledge the source.
Come to think of it, I've never seen a painting with "after DaVinci" in the title.
(I'm not going to get into copyright issues etc at this point)
The dirty word in art is plagiarize, from the Latin for kidnap. To pass off anothers' work as your own. In particular, in order to profit.
For those of us that have spent a lifetime learning and practicing and exploring and working to improve, knowing that the best painting is always the next one, plagiarism is particularly galling. Rise above it? Nah.
Since I've recently been involved in a venue that permitted it, even though it wasn't my painting, I've decided to opt out of any future involvement in said venue. So there.
Since this blog is about influence, inspiration and old masters, I'm inserting, for lack of a better idea, a favorite artist and a favorite painting, one of a series inspired by a cigar box.More on him next time.
                             Dutch Masters II                       Larry Rivers

Apropos of nothing in particular:
A note to Googles' GMAIL  spell-checking dept: Although your suggestion to spell Van Gogh as Van Gosh, while accurate and amusing, is not something I'm going to do. Sophomoric.

Jan 10, 2012


I found this on the internet years ago and couldn't part with it.
I know nothing about it otherwise.
So what else is new?

Jan 4, 2012


Syd is in his prime. Tall (at times) dark, and handsome, with an aquiline nose and startling blue Paul Newman eyes.
He's hopelessly in love however, with an older woman. She is, as well, small and shall we say ...pudgy, with too much eyeliner and a volatile temperament.When she's happy, she runs. When she's really happy, she drools. Not a pretty sight when there are missing teeth.
Syd has tried everything in an effort to be near Millie, but is roundly rejected, even spit at. In desperation, he tried jumping into bed with her, big mistake. So he's reduced to stalking her, which doesn't help his case. If she could open the front door, he'd be out of here in a hummingbird heartbeat.
Maybe he doesn't know he's been neutered. Maybe he doesn't know she has. Either he's not very bright, doesn't care, or is just plain lonely.
Rescues are like the Gump box of chocolates, you never know what you're going to get.
Syd (nee' Sagwa) was picked up on the street about a year ago, terrified, starving and flea-bitten. Labeled by the shelter as a Siamese.
Millie (nee' Camilla), a Dilute Tortoise, had been in the shelter for six months, "left behind" by a family that moved, or something. At seven plus, she was considered elderly and therefore not easily adoptable.
Last March, feeling cat-deprived , I signed for Millie, saw Syd watching me with those eyes, and said what the hell. She tore around the house, in heaven. He hid wherever he could.
On the advice of my vet, I tried confining him (Syd, not the vet) so that he would know who was feeding him. Good move.
So Syd turns out to be a purebred Natural Mink Tonkinese.Wow.
Millie, his lady love
Postscript: Millie still snores, but her bad dreams have stopped.