Monday, October 30, 2006

Morris Hirshfield's "Overnight" Success

"Dog and Pups"
"Girl and Dog"
Morris Hirshfield1872-1946
"Four Cats"
"Morris Hirshfield came to the United States from eastern Europe at the age of 18. Like many other Jewish immigrants of this period, he found work in the garment industry, at first in a women's coat factory. Hirshfield soon opened his own coat factory with his brother, but after 12 years, they started a new company, the EZ Walk Manufacturing Company, which made women's "boudoir slippers," as Hirshfield called them. This business operated with great success until Hirshfield became ill and then retired.
In 1937, at the age of 65, Hirshfield began to paint, much to the bewilderment of his wife and family. The subjects he was immediately drawn to were women, animals, and occasionally themes from his Jewish heritage.
A record of Hirshfield's life and career as an artist was written by Hirshfield himself for Sidney Janis's 1942 book They Taught Themselves. Janis had come upon Hirshfield's paintings a few years earlier while organizing an exhibition called "Contemporary Unknown American Painters" for the Museum of Modern Art. Upon seeing Hirshfield's Angora Cat, he immediately included work from the new artist in the exhibition.
In 1941 Hirshfield was given a one-man exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art that included 30 paintings."
I love Morris Hirshfield. To think it only took him 4 years to have the show of a lifetime at MOMA with the 30 paintings he had done up until that point. He completed only 77 works of art before his death- 9 years after he started painting.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Ray Caesar

Here's Ray Caesar's art on the cover of the upcoming issue of Hi-Fructose magazine. He creates his art on the computer with a 3-d modelling program and scans in the fabric. Simply amazing how much soul he gets in his faces and the old-fashioned feel to his tableaus. They are every bit "paintings", but he uses the computer instead of a brush. Check out his unique sense of fashion design, too. Ray Caesar is a truly inspiring and creative modern-day Victorian surrealist. He's got the WOW factor.
P.S. If you like myspace and it doesn't crash your computer, check out Ray's fascinating page: Ray on myspace
(Thanks to VinylPulse and Wurzeltod , two cool blogs featuring Ray Caesar's art)

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Hungarian Nudes

Paintings by Molnar C., Pal
"Began his studies on the art teacher training faculty of the Hungarian Academy of Fine Arts in 1915, later travelling to Geneva, where he trained himself autodidactically. He lived in Paris between 1921 and 1922. He participated on the exhibitions of KUT regularly from 1924 on. He switched to illustrating works of literature and in parallel to the techniques of wood engraving in 1930. Though next to illustration work he also designed posters through the thirties, his work as a painter came in to the foreground. He became a scholarship holder of the Collegium Hungaricum in Rome as early as 1928, later to become an individual creative voice of the Rome School. He received a number of significant commissions from the Church between 1933 and 1970. He summed up his technical knowledge in specialised textbooks, while his autobiography was published in 1994. His flat has now become a memorial museum." Text from the Kieselbach Gallery website
(Thanks to Internet Weekly for turning me on to this great Hungarian painter!)

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

The Art Spirit

This book is a bible for painters like me: "The Art Spirit" by Robert Henri, written in 1923. I have read it at least ten times and I am reading it again. Robert Henri was a great teacher and a great painter. The more I read it, the more I can relate to it and the more I get out of it.
I am recommending it to any painter who has not read it!

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Mark Lowrie: Photomontage

Photomontage of Abandoned House Copyright 2006 Mark Lowrie (LA AMISH)
Want to see something cool?
Check out my friend Mark Lowrie's
These are amazing hand-crafted sculpture-photos. I like the one of Burning Man especially.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Gibson Mando-Bass

Blues Gal#5 sketch w/ Mandobass copyright 2006 Amy Crehore

We have one of these at home. You can play the Gibson Mando-bass upright or sitting... like this woman in the picture. It's a beautiful piece of furniture. I might have to work on my drawing of the bear - not quite there yet.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Music and stuff

Robert Armstrong with his creations (

Here's a picture of Big Bill Broonzy with the Gibson guitar that I mentioned in my previous post - on an album cover from Yazoo Records. Yazoo always had a great selection of hokum music with wonderfully illustrated album covers by R. Crumb and Robert Armstrong (two of my favorite underground comic artists who also had a great band called Cheap Suit Serenaders).

Check out talented Robert Armstrong's

page at to see close ups of his painted instruments!!