Friday, September 2, 2011

Powerful & Poignant Exhibits Commemorate 9/11

September 11, 2011 marks the 10th anniversary of the unthinkable terrorist attacks that took place at the Twin Towers, NYC, the Pentagon in Washington, D.C. and in the woods over Pennsylvania.  With great sadness, we will long remember that fateful morning, recalling in clear detail where we were and what we were doing.

Art can often express what words can’t. Tapping into that visual connection, I have chosen to highlight a few powerful and poignant exhibits that commemorate this national tragedy.

Graydon Parrish's  proposal sketch for 
"The Cycle of Terror and Tragedy, September 11, 2001"
Detail of Parrish's allegorical mural
THE CYCLE of TERROR and TRAGEDY… In 2002, Douglas Hyland, the executive director of the New Britain Museum of American Art, commissioned Classical-Realist artist, Graydon Parrish to undertake an monumental allegorical mural to memorialize the events surrounding 9-11. Hyland, who had great respect for the artist’s work, including his powerful allegorical painting about the early AIDS epidemic, considered no other artist. The resulting 8-by-18 foot long dramatic work of art, The Cycle of Terror and Tragedy, September 11, 2001, occupies a single wall in the museum’s Chase Family Building. Arguably one of the largest and most important of recent realist American paintings, its creator, Graydon Parrish, is a modern master and leading figure in classical art revival.

Visitors to the 2007 September 11th
Commemorative Ceremony
gather around the "Flight 93 Flag"
and share their experience
of September 11. (Photo by Chuck Wagner)
This year, two major 9-11 memorials will be opening for the first time: The National 9-11 Memorial at WTC New York City lists the names of every person who died in the 2001 and 1993 attacks, a powerful reminder of the largest loss of life resulting from a foreign attack on American soil and the greatest single loss of rescue personnel in American history; and the Flight 93 Memorial in Shanksville, PA will honor the courage and sacrifice of the 40 heroes who fought back.A TRIBUTE  to the FORTITUDE of NYC… Now through October 16, The Heckscher Museum of Art in Huntingron, NY presents New York, New York, which pays tribute to the fortitude of New York City and the courage of her people. Museum admission is free to all visitors on Sunday, September 11, 2011

9/11 PEACE STORY QUILT… The 9/11 Peace Story Quilt designed by the artist Faith Ringgold and created in collaboration with New York City students’ ages 8 to 19, will be exhibited at The Metropolitan Museum of Art from August 30, 2011 through January 22, 2012. The Quilt is comprised of three 72-by-50 inch panels, each with 12 squares on the theme of peace.

Thursday, June 9, 2011


For the past few months I have been painting Venice scenes and still lifes for a show entitled, "For Love of Venice: Paintings by Louise B Hafesh and Chris Willett," which will be on view at Village Artworks, 42 Peddler's Village, Lahaska, Pennsylvania from June 11 - 18, 2011. Here is a sample from my collection.

Monday, March 28, 2011

George Inness in Italy... a must-see for me!

"Twilight on the Campagna"
George Inness in Italy (through May 15, 2011), now at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, features ten oil  paintings that survey Inness’s Italian subjects dating from 1850 to 1879. A canonical figure in American painting,  Inness (1825–1894) is widely admired as the pioneer of Tonalism, which is notable for its soft focus and translucent layers of paint.

Twilight on the Campagna, Inness's first major work completed in italy, was recently conserved and has not been on view at the museum since 1952. I have long admired his landscapes, especially as the artist settled  in my home state of New Jersey and painted many familiar scenes in and around Monclair (The Montclair Art Museum houses an impressive collection of his work). Looking forward to viewing this latest exhibit.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Understanding Hue, Value and Chroma

If you weren't familiar with Graydon Parrish’s prominent body of work 
Graydon illustrates a point
before attending his annual summer color workshop at Grand Central Academy of Art, (GCA)

New York City, 
you wouldn't know it any better upon completion. That’s because Parrish, a realist painter in the classical tradition, is one of those rare instructors intent on helping students understand the principles of his subject, not demonstrating how talented he is, or using the teaching forum to promote his work. 

"White Roses"  by Graydon Parrish
Mind you, Parrish is an extraordinary artist, as evidenced by the body of work on his website ( and the attached painting of his (a favorite of mine) “White Roses.” 
Taking a break from color mixing!
 Munsell tools of the trade
In the forefront of adapting the 
color theories of Albert Munsell for use in traditional painting methods, Parrish introduced 15 eager workshop participants (myself included) to the functional use of Munsell's unique, numeric system for accurately describing every color that exists.  Heady stuff, to say the least, but under Parrish's competent guidance, each student completed a complex series of color-mixing  and painting exercises and came away with an arsenal  of workable solutions for identifying color by its dimensions of Hue,  Value and Chroma. 

For an in-depth overview of Graydon's color workshop, check out the April issue of The Artist's Magazine and my article entitled "Rational Color."

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

NEW WORKSHOP: Painting Moving Still Life

DATES: May 21 and 22, 2011

TIME: 10AM to 4PM Daily
COST:  $275
WHERE:  Art Ctr of Northern NJ-250 Center St., New Milford
INFO: 201/599-2992

Do you have a passion for painting still life? 
Join us  as we focus  on new interpretations of traditional artistic principles. Students will have an opportunity to experiment while working from life at their own pace. (all skill levels welcome).  Space is limited. For more info or to reserve, please contact:  Ruth Miller @, or call 201/599-2992