Monday, May 26, 2014

Meryl Streep Painting

I’ve been looking at photographs of Meryl Streep as part of the preparation for the 7 and 1/2 foot by 5 foot painting I will do this summer for our Goddaughter’s restaurant, Characters Pub in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. I will not be copying any of these photos. Instead I will drastically alter one or more of them in order to create the actual oversized artwork for the banquet room in the back of the restaurant. The changes include removing a small portion of the original photo(s), changes in attitude/position, and/or, drastic color alterations, along with Impressionist like brushing techniques that remove the painting so far from the original photographic image as to nullify any connection. Some of the photos I’ve looked at are shown below with links to the original Website in which they are displayed.

1. Meryl Streep's Fun Tassel Earrings At The New York Film Critics Circle Awards (PHOTOS) The Huffington Post Jessica Misener First Posted: 01/10/2012 6:22 am Updated: 03/11/2012 5:12 am, Viewed 10:26 PM. EDT, Friday, May 23, 2014.

2. Interview: “Meryl Streep says being a monster in ‘August: Osage County’ was hard”. Viewed 10:33 PM, EDT, Friday, May 23, 2014.

3. “Meryl Streep in the Iron Lady” Viewed 10:29 PM.EDT, Friday, May 23, 2014.

4. The Devil Wears Prada. "Fashionistas beware: Andy vs. Goliath -- Hathaway is the "Devil"'s advocate," in Film Review: "The Devil Wears Prada," By Omar P.L. Moore, June 29, 2006. Viewed 10:37 PM. EDT, Friday, May 23, 2014.

5. Meryl Streep. Viewed 10:47 PM. EDT, Friday, May 23, 2014.

6. Meryl Streep, in Vogue Magazine, found on Google. Was unable to locate the exact spot in the Vogue Website where this photo appeared. Viewed 10:58 PM. EDT, Friday, May 23, 2014.

Back to the portrait paintings

This is only the first step of many that will take at least a month to complete before I can start on the actual painting. But the painting will be the 2nd in a series of large acrylic paintings. I completed the first of Leonardo DiCaprio last August through October, 2013. I detailed the steps involved when preparing to do the Leonardo DiCaprio painting last year in 11 blog entries. I list those entries in reverse order (reversed "blog" order) below for anyone wanting to review the process involved in making these acrylic portrait paintings of iconic motion picture characters.

1. Leonardo DiCaprio Portrait, July 22, 2013.

2. Leonardo DiCaprio Portrait: Part II, July 29, 2013

3. Leonardo DiCaprio as Gatsby, August 5, 2013.

4. Leonardo DiCaprio as Gatsby: Part III (I’m not sure what happened to Part II.) August 14, 2013.

5. Leonardo DiCaprio as Gatsby: Part IV. August 22, 2013.

6. Leonardo DiCaprio as Gatsby: Part V. August 29, 2013.

7. Leonardo DiCaprio as Gatsby: Part VI, September 11, 2013.

8. Leonardo DiCaprio as Gatsby: Part VII, September 18, 2013.

9. Leonardo DiCaprio as Gatsby: Part VIII, September 25, 3013.

10. Leonardo DiCaprio as Gatsby: Part IX, October 5, 2013.

11. Leonardo DiCaprio as Gatsby: Part X, October 11, 2013.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Ocean Waves

Life has conspired to keep me from the beach and those waves this spring, but I’ve made up my mind to be there at least 2 times during the end of May. I want more photos of breaking waves, especially here in south Florida on bright sunny days. The explosive quality of the waves is a natural expression of joyful color and energy. I will never have enough images of waves to look at and enjoy. It is time to create another oversized pastel or acrylic painting of waves.

In this particular photo taken two years ago the pale aqua tints in the curved form of the breaking wave are particularly wonderful. The expression of energy in all those tightly packed puckers in the mixture of tan/gray beach sand and water is different to that which I’ve been used to on the north Atlantic shore in New England, New Jersey and Delaware. I’m sure it has something to do with the stronger slope of the beach here in south Florida as opposed to the more gradual slope up north, and the quality of the sand itself. The natural fine white sand of the beaches has been replaced here by heavier coarse sand dug up from beneath the ocean during beach replenishment. I know that the original sand was white and fine because the few surviving dunes – those not buried under tons of masonry concrete, and manicured gardens – is purest sparkling white between the mounds of palmettos growing there.

At the top of the photo the darker richer aqua of the incoming wave expresses something about the complexities of color, the depth of the water, and the currents beneath as they slide past the beach.

On a bright sunny spring or summer day when a light to mild off the ocean wind blows in south Florida the energy in the waves is joyfully exuberant.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

May Graphics

Once again I continue the series of monthly graphic art reviews for the past six years begun in January 2014


The photo shows all the graphic material I designed to send out to galleries in the year of the Great Recession. Actually it started in January of 2007, possibly earlier, but that’s another story. In 2008 I designed these materials and took them and/or sent them to galleries with little or no response. Some were returned marked “Addressee Unknown” as so many small businesses and galleries failed that year. This was my last hurrah seeking gallery representation. Today I show only through Art and other organizations.


Giuseppe Arcimbaldo, a Renaissance artist made portrait paintings composed of food and vegetables. I used this as an antecedent to the artwork of Jan Svankmajer in my post for May 16, 2009.


The Republican slogan that election year of the great BP Gulf Oil Spill was DRILL BABY DRILL. I designed this graphic for my post of May 19,2010. I changed that slogan to the epitaph “Drill Equals Kill!” If we aren’t careful that will be the result of drilling at sea - the death of the earth’s great oceans, not to mention all the creatures therein and one of our major food sources. Of course, the death of the oceans would be the major component in the death of planet Earth. And, yes, Virginia, we do have the potential to destroy our home.

I have since stopped posting about such calamities because there will not be any change in humanity's propensity toward self-destruction just because I complain about it.


“I remember when all this was trees” by Banksy was one of several images I posted of the phantom artists graffiti paintings, one of 3 entries on this blog about Banksy. He is one of my all time favorites because his subversive artwork often appears on derelict structures, appropriate to the expression of his concerns.


I made this graphite powder drawing of Marlin Brando smoking pot back in 1980. Yes I copied the photograph as exactly as possible, emphasizing the photographic characteristics in a super large, Super Realism format (32’ x 40”). I used a studio publicity photo that I had bought in New York City, and I believe to this day that when a visual artist converts a photograph to super or hyperrealism, he/she changes the nature of the artwork, both in media, and technique, but especially in conceptualization so as to make it his/her own.

The Super Real drawings are from the 1970's to early 80's, the time I call my "fifteen minutes,” because I made and sold many graphite drawings to theater, music and motion picture industry persons in New York City.* In late fall of1979 I was engaged to shoot photos and draw a Hyper real drawing of the Dakota for Yoko Ono and John Lennon, but we all know what happened to prevent that from happening.

This particular drawing of Brando resides along with a set of similar drawings in our Goddaughter’s restaurant, Characters in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.


“Lesbos”(16” x 16”) is a mixed media distressed painting made as part of the “LGBT Pictionary” presented during Gay Pride month, June 2013 at Camp Rehoboth, Rehoboth Beach, Delaware.


*Andy Warhol coined the phrase, "in the future everyone will be world-famous for 15 minutes."

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Art in Nature at the Top of Jupiter Lighthouse

If you are in Jupiter, FL and you have good legs and lungs, climb to the top of the lighthouse. Be sure it is a clear and sunny day with the wind out of the southeast, and the color palette in these photos will greet you when you emerge on the platform at the top. A visiting friend said it best. “Oh my, this is magical.”

The pictures were taken looking northeast, southeast, and east at the confluence of the Atlantic Ocean, Indian River (which is not one) and Loxahatchee River (which is one). I've also added a photo of the irreplaceable great Fresnel lens that makes the beam of light visible to ships up to 28 miles out at sea.

To be clear, I can hear the "Artworld" art critic type person saying, “these are like any great number of pretty scenic photographs taken by amateurs.”* And, I know it isn’t art until a person recognizes it as such, and makes the appropriate photographic and/or painting choices. As an artist, I should have used the edge of the lighthouse platform or people in front of me to achieve depth of field focus from foreground through the entire panorama of ocean, river, and Intracoastal before me to emphasize the fact that I was actually present to the creation of art. So, next time I pay my 9 dollars, and go up those steps, I’ll be sure to put a bit more of an artsy spin on the images. Meanwhile I’m loving and seeing the magical color in these images as Art.


*The term "Artworld" was coined by Arthur Danto in the essay of the same name in "The Journal of Philosophy" in 1964. The term denotes galleries, museums, critics, artists, literature and theory about art as a cultural entity.