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Worth Watching
  • Empires - The Medici: Godfathers of the Renaissance
    Empires - The Medici: Godfathers of the Renaissance
    A fascinating and highly entertaining look at one of the most important families of the Renaissance era--the Medici.
  • Sister Wendy - The Complete Collection (Story of Painting / Grand Tour / Odyssey / Pains of Glass)
    Sister Wendy - The Complete Collection (Story of Painting / Grand Tour / Odyssey / Pains of Glass)

    “Sister Wendy Beckett has transformed public appreciation of art through her astonishing knowledge, insight and passion for painting and painters.” This set includes Sister Wendy's Story of Painting, Sister Wendy's Odyssey, and Sister Wendy's Grand Tour. Simultaneously delightful and scholarly--this is a must have for anyone interested in art history.

  • Exit Through the Gift Shop
    Exit Through the Gift Shop
    When British stencil artist Banksy traveled to Los Angeles to work, he came across obscure French filmmaker Thierry Guetta and his badly organized collection of videotapes involving the activities of graffiti artists. Inspired, Banksy assembled them with new footage to create this talked-about documentary, and the result is a mind-boggling and odd film (so strange as to be thought a hoax by some) about outsider artists and the definition of art itself.
  • The Impressionists
    The Impressionists
    A dramatization of the Impressionist movement as seen through the eyes of Claude Monet. Highly entertaining and informative.
  • The Impressionists: The Other French Revolution
    The Impressionists: The Other French Revolution
    A very personal and revealing look at the personalities that created Impressionism.
Wednesday
Apr252012

Did You Know?

Henri Matisse’s painting, “Le Bateau” was put the right way up after hanging upside-down for 46 days without anyone noticing at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, America. It happened to Georgia O’Keefee, too, with “The Lawrence Tree” painting.

Tuesday
Apr242012

An American Treasure...an American Tragedy - Mark Rothko

Mark Rothko, Untitled,1949, National Gallery of Art, Gift of The Mark Rothko Foundation, Inc., 1986.43.138 - “Rothko largely abandoned conventional titles in 1947, sometimes resorting to numbers or colors in order to distinguish one work from another. The artist also now resisted explaining the meaning of his work. ‘Silence is so accurate,’ he said, fearing that words would only paralyze the viewer's mind and imagination. (National Gallery of Art)Russian-American painter Mark Rothko (1903-1970) introduced contemplative introspection into the melodramatic post-World War II Abstract Expressionist school. Rothko’s paintings that used color as the sole means of expression led to the development of Color Field Painting--one of the two most important strains of Abstract Expressionism. (The other was Action Painting.) Color field paintings are characterized by flat expanses of color, with a minimum of surface detail. Rothko believed that optical responses were all that mattered in painting--and that visible subject matter and illusion were unnecessary. A significant figure in postmodern art--it’s unfortunate that the artist came to a sad end. Suffering from ill health--and feeling abandoned by the many artists he’d influenced--Rothko committed suicide at age 67.

Monday
Apr232012

Max Ernst - A Leader of Irrationality in Art

Max Ernst, Zoomorphic Couple (Couple zoomorphe), 1933. Oil on canvas, 91.9 x 73.3 cm. - Peggy Guggenheim Collection. 76.2553 PG 75. Max Ernst © 2003 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/ADAGP, Paris (click photo for larger image)Max Ernst was born in Brühl, Germany. In 1910, he enrolled in the University at Bonn to study philosophy and psychology, but soon abandoned school to pursue his interest in art. In 1914 he, traveled to the Montparnasse Quarter in Paris, where artists from around the world were gathering. It was the seat of the avant-garde.

In 1919, Ernst visited the artist Paul Klee and created his first paintings, block prints and collages, and experimented with mixed media.

Following his service in World War I, he was filled with new ideas. With Jean Arp and the social activist, Alfred Grünwald, Ernst formed the Cologne, Germany Dada group. But two years later, in 1922, he returned to the artistic community at Montparnasse in Paris.

Constantly experimenting, in 1925 he invented frottage, a technique using pencil rubbings of objects. The next year he collaborated with Joan Miró on designs for Sergei Diaghilev. With Miró's help, Ernst pioneered grattage in which he troweled pigment from his canvases. Apart from developing new techniques--Ernst hac a real taste in--and flair for--the bizarre.

Friday
Apr202012

Featured Artist Friday: David Sikes

David SikesDavid Sikes is a wonderful oil painter--as well as a novice printer--who lives in Pasadena, California.  David experimented with painting on canvas, paper, and metal before landing on his media of choice--Luan wood veneer. This foundation imbues his highly detailed and beautifully colored works with a wholly unique look--and the results are outstanding. He’s painted landscapes, polo matches, Springer Spaniels, Dory boat competitions and, most recently, flowers. The art featured here includes: “Encore! Flowers” and “Steps of Carmel”. David has been workshopping with me for several years now--and it’s always a pleasure to watch both his process--and his results! If you’re interested in acquiring art by David Sikes, please contact davesfile2@gmail.com.

David Sikes - "Encore! Flowers" - Oil on Luan Veneer - 24x24 in.

David Sikes - "Steps of Carmel" - Oil on Luan Veneer - 36x24 in. (click photo for larger image)

Thursday
Apr192012

Quote of the Day

Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec c. 1885"I paint things as they are. I don't comment." - Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec