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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.
Monday
Mar192012

Be Careful What You Wish For - Regionalism and Grant Wood

Grant Wood, "American Gothic", Oil on beaverboard, 74.3 x 62.4 cm, Friends of American Art Collection, 1930.934 - All rights reserved by The Art Institute of Chicago and VAGA, New York, NYAmerican Regionalism is a style of art that became popular during the 1930s. Among its prestigious practitioners are Edward Hopper, Thomas Hart Benton and Charles Burchfield. The goal of the American Scene Painters (another name by which they became known) was to depict life outside of large cities such as New York--in straightforward ways that everyone could understand and enjoy. Considered by some to be the founder of the movement was Grant Wood, who created the famous “American Gothic” -- which catapulted him to fame overnight. But that dream come true turned into a nightmare for Wood:

“No American artwork has been parodied more than American Gothic. Zombies, dogs, Beavis and Butthead, the Muppets, Lego figures, and even Nicole Richie and Paris Hilton have taken a turn with the pitchfork. But the painting itself is no joke -American Gothic is as recognizable as the Mona Lisa and The Scream.”  

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Friday
Mar162012

Quote of the Day

Paul Gauguin c. 1891“Art is either plagiarism or revolution.” - Paul Gauguin

Thursday
Mar152012

Small Works By the Large Talents of the Burbank Art Association

The mini works show currently on exhibit at Carter Sexton is a must see. The paintings (created by members of the Burbank Art Association) range from the highly realistic to the wholly non-representational--and each work is a delight to behold. The show will be running thru April 6. Click here for details about the exhibit. I will also be giving a talk on the connections between medieval art and modernism at the association, on March 21st.

Wednesday
Mar142012

Researchers in Florence May Have Discovered Lost Mural By Leonardo Da Vinci 

Peter Paul Rubens, Copy after Leonardo's 'Battle of Anghiari', c. 1604 - Black chalk, pen and ink, highlights in grey and white  45.2cm x 63.7cm. Louvre Paris. ➤ This work by Rubens, dating from 1603 and known as The Battle of the Standard, was based on an engraving completed in 1553 by Lorenzo Zacchia, which was taken either from Leonardo’s ‘Battle of Anghiari’ painting, or possibly derived from a cartoon (preparatory drawing) by the master. The original painting by Leonardo was believed to be lost. But...it may be hidden behind a painting completed years later--by Giorgio Vasari.From ArtDaily.org:

FLORENCE (AP).- Researchers may have discovered traces of a lost mural by Leonardo da Vinci by poking a probe through cracks in a 16th-century fresco painted on the wall of one of Florence's most famous buildings. The latest findings Monday still leave much mystery in the hunt for the "Battle of Anghiari," a wall mural painted by Leonardo in Florence's storied Palazzo Vecchio, and possibly hidden behind a fresco done by Giorgio Vasari decades later.

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This Sunday, National Geographic Channel will be airing "Finding the Lost DaVinci" (9pm, PDT), a documentary detailing one man's thirty-year search for the lost masterpiece.

Tuesday
Mar132012

A Recipe for the BEST Oil Painting Medium

Photo by D. Chaskin

Those of us who paint in oils always need medium for thinning our paints. The pre-manufactured mediums work well--but they’re expensive and you can’t recycle them. I mix my own medium with 1 part refined linseed oil + 1 part stand oil + 1 part damar varnish + 3 parts odorless turp (or odorless mineral spirits or odorless paint thinner). I store this medium in glass jars. At the end of each painting session, I pour my dirty medium into a large can. Within a couple of days--all of the paint sinks to the bottom. I pour off the clean medium into my glass jar and keep using it over and over again. Works like a charm! And...it’s cost effective and environment friendly.