Thursday, March 08, 2007

Circus Family

Picasso 1905 Drawing, Circus Family
I love Picasso's line drawings. This one has a cat in it doing the typical cat rub. Small gestures and details like that are what make the composition special. I am locked away in my studio this week working on a new painting and I have put everything else "on hold" until I finish. Things like cleaning, answering emails, paperwork, etc. have been put on the back burner for now. Stay tuned.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Hokum Lantern Woman

Explore for vintage costume photos like these.

Barnes Collection Revisited

Portrait of Dr. Barnes 1926 by DeChirico (courtesy Barnes Foundation)
Photo courtesy of NYTimes
Here is a just a mere glimpse of one of the 24 rooms at the
Barnes Foundation in Merion, PA from a New York Times article. There are 59 Matisses, 180 Renoirs and 68 Cézannes in the Barnes art collection. That fact alone is astounding! There are also many Rousseaus, Picassos, Modiglianis, De Chiricos and Van Goghs. If you haven't been to the Barnes Foundation, you are missing the best collection of Impressionist and Post Impressionist paintings in the world. There are a great number of rare masterpieces. I might have to order the CD-Rom from the Barnes Foundation website just to renew my memory of the place.
When I was young, we used to visit my grandparents in Merion, PA quite a bit. I never even realized that hiding behind one of the gates in a nearby neighborhood was the secret Barnes collection. That is until I went to college and one of my art history professors took us on a field trip to see the place. I was never the same again. It's the most spectacular art collection that anyone could ever lay eyes on. I went back over a decade later and was astounded again. It's still very private and mysterious and you have to call first and arrange an appointment, but anyone who truly loves painting should really make it a vacation destination.

Monday, March 05, 2007

Beautiful Vintage Nude Girl

Félix-Jacques Antoine Moulin, Daguérotype coloré, 1851-1854
Here is a nice find by Internet Weekly !
(vintage nude photograph link at

The Art of Amy Crehore

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Cats in Art

Pompeii, Italy 1st century A.D. mosaic tile
Japanese watercolor 1850 of Sleeping Cat
1867 painting by Renoir, "Julie Manet with Cat"
Felix Vallotton 1896 "La Pareese", woodcut

I got these images here: Cats in Art (Cats in the House).
There are six galleries of cat images throughout art history. I can relate. Cats are cool.

The Art of Amy Crehore

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Jeff MacNelly, 1948-2000

" Shoe" Comic by Jeff MacNelly
Jeff MacNelly, photo courtesy of ValueRich Magazine
I have been wanting to do a tribute to artist Jeff MacNelly for some time now. He was a 3-time Pulitzer Prize winning political cartoonist and creator of the comic strip, "Shoe".
When I was much younger and fresh out of college at V.C.U., I had a part-time waitress job at Eden's Restaurant in Richmond, VA. One of my customers was Jeff MacNelly, who walked across the street everyday to the restaurant from The Richmond Newsleader to have lunch with a friend or two. He always sat at the same table in my section and, even though I was a terrible waitress, he was my loyal customer. The day he won his second Pulitzer Prize, he ate lunch in my booth and I took a polaroid of him sitting there with the same grin on his face as in the photo above.
I remember that he invited me to see his office one day and I noticed that his book shelf was filled with art books (including the Society of Illustrators Annuals). He was kind enough to write me a recommendation for a grant at the VA Museum and he gave me extremely good advice: "Keep practicing your craft. That is what my father told me."
To this day, I will never forget those words. "Practice, practice, practice". And that is what I did. He also told me that there were not enough women political cartoonists and that I should think about becoming one. He was very humble and generous with his time. I was certain that I was bugging him the day I went to his office with my portfolio, but he really liked talking about his dad and painting.
I wish he was still alive today so that I could tell him, "Thank you". I kind of wish that I could show him my new work in "Blab!" and all of the other things I have done in the years following my waitress years. But, alas, Jeff died in the year 2000 of cancer at the very young age of 52 and I was shocked to hear the news.
Here is a 2005 article about Jeff:
And a little bio of Jeff from
"Jeff MacNelly, the son of a publisher and portrait painter, created his first strip in 1969, while working as a political cartoonist for a weekly paper in Chapel Hill, NC. A year later, he relocated to The Richmond Newsleader in Virginia, and in 1972, his work was awarded with the first of three Pulitzer Prizes. In 1977, he started drawing the newspaper strip 'Shoe', named after the legendary Jim Shumaker, for whom Jeff used to work at the Chapel Hill Weekly."