Friday, July 31, 2009

Painted Peonies

"If you hear a voice within you saying, 'You are not a painter,' then by all means paint... and the voice will be silenced." - Vincent van Gogh
Lately, having not caught sight of my studio for the past eight weeks, that quote has been nagging at my thoughts. First, a "minor" ceiling leak kept me away during two weeks of repair, as did end of school year activities with my daughter and then we were off on an extended vacation.
Of course, getting away with family is always a treat, and as we were in Paris and Italy, inspiration was plentiful. Visited longtime friends: Chardin, Leonardo and the Dutch masters at the Louvre, marveled again at their work and that of contemporary artists whom I met throughout our travels. I even got to see Monet's huge circular murals and the Paul Guillaume art collections at the Museé de L'Orangerie (long on my "to do" list.) Still, eight weeks without putting brush to canvas, how do I get to call myself an artist with that lapse of hands-on time?
Be silent my internal critic... I'm headed back to the studio today and I think my travels and the time off has actually done me some good. Not only am I itching to tackle the set up I had carefully composed before going away, but I feel energized and refreshed with all sorts of new ideas and projects taking form.
'Painted Peonies" (Oil on Linen 12 x 16), the last painting I finished prior to the studio deluge, was a pleasant distraction. The flowers seemed to flourish along with the steady but slow ceiling drip.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

The Maestro Upstairs: The art and life of Frank Mason

"Art is the invisible rendered visible, wrought with love." Frank Mason
Upon my return from a month long stay in Europe, I was sad to hear of the passing of Frank Mason, artist, teacher and champion for traditional techniques, who led the movement to save Old Masters' paintings from damaging restoration.
I never studied with Mason, but I know many friendswho did at the Art Students League, New York. They counted themselves fortunate to be part of a lineage that dated back to Frank Vincent Dumond and the French Barbizon School.
Maestro Films recently announced a soon to be released documentary, "The maestro Upstairs: The Art & Life of Frank Mason. No date set yet, but you can view the trailer, interview segments and current info on its release @