Wednesday, December 30, 2009

The December All-Media Show at the Art League this month was juried by Maryland artist David Grafton. My painting called Young Dancer was selected. Sometimes I forget how competitive these monthly shows are; for example, this show had 737 entries and only 156 were accepted.

Over the holiday I went with my family to see the Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition at the National Portrait Gallery. The winning piece by Dave Woody is a photograph with the most beautiful light and color, but my favorite piece is a painting by Margaret Bowland called Portrait of Kenyetta. There is a youtube video of some of the award winners on the competition site and Margaret talks about how the painting came about. She talks about the different influences like the model putting on the wedding dress, thoughts about the Murakami show she had just seen and thoughts about our wedding rituals. I liked the part where she said that it is upsetting that women continue to participate in telling young women they aren't lovable enough as they are and that they have to make themselves more saleable by dressing up and purifying themselves. (photo of Margaret Bowland's painting from the portrait competition site)

A few weeks ago I went to the Corcoran Gallery of Art to see the Sargent at the Sea exhibit. It was great to see the key painting, En Route pour la peche (Setting out to fish), with many of the supporting paintings that John Singer Sargent did as studies. I've seen most of them in books, but it's just not the same as seeing them in person. As a realist painter, one of the things I struggle with is whether it is okay to paint a composite of different images in one painting and this is an example where it was successful. Another example in this show was the Neapolitan Children Bathing. This is the painting of the four naked boys on the beach, one with water-wings. The show had the separate studies that he did of the boys, so you could see how he put them all together for the final painting. (photo is from the Corcoran web site)