Friday, March 31, 2006

Studio 101......#001

And now its that time of the show were we share studio tips that really work. As opposed to the studio that don't work. Lighting. For those of you who have a custom made studio built by your doctor/lawyer/indian chief husband and have northern sky light to work from, you can skip this little portion of the show. As struggling artists, we resent your money and time and nice cloths and vacations to Italy, where I will never get to go ... and have an espresso machine worth more than my '92 Camry and having subscriptions to nice art magazines so you dont have to "borrow" them from the local library where they never get read anyway. Lighting. One word. Solux. I have a track lighting system that focuses six Solux lights onto my easel. (See third photo) The track lighting can be purchased at Home Depot for about $50 as I recall. This is for three lamp units. More can be added. Solux lamps are MR16 bulbs, so make sure you get this type of set up. The bulbs you want to get are 50 watt, 36 degree 4700 Kelvin. This is the closest to daylight short of having a doctor husband who can build you a studio with northern sky lights. (Bitter, isnt he. -Steve) The first and second photos show Solux task lamps used on my palet. You need two to cover the surface if you paint off of a palet like this. I bought mine at Dick Blick. Do yourself a favor and get some good lighting. Besides, we work when the sun is not shining, so it does'nt matter if we have northern light.-Henry

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Show and Tell #001

Howdy, y'all. This is a recent painting, an oil on masonite. I love painting on masonite but have recently purchased about $600 in linen and stretchers. Rabbit skin glue and oil primer. There is no way getting around the mess. But have you priced out prestretched oil primed linen canvas. Yow! This is a painting of an artist friend named Bill Brinker. The image is of him at an art show, doing what artists do at these shows. The title is Artist/Pearls. 24"x30". It has been accepted into the International Salon show in San Antonio, Tx in May. It is great getting into shows, but when you add up all the cost, it is not cheap. I guess the hope is always to get exposure. -Steve

Monday, March 27, 2006

Henrys Book Club #001

Being the reader of the studio, I have been chosen to do the book reviews. The main criteria for a book for me are images and images alone. I am and am not interested in text. Unfortunitly some of the best art books in terms of image quality and quantity are written by university types who, to be quite frank, are idiots at best. Not all, but many. (My favorite example of a university type book is Menzel's Realism by Michael Fried. Is this guy retarded? Really. I am not kidding. His thesis is beyond stupid. But the images make owning the book worth it.) Well, on that note, my book recomendation for this week/month is The Art of William Nicholson, catalogue from a show at the Royal Academy. If you are a painter who enjoys looking at the virtuosity of a direct painter (as in Soroyolla or Zorn), you will love Nicholson. The reproductions are very nice, though you will end up wanting more. There are a few more book about this guy that I look forward to getting, but for now this is the one. I give it five loaded paint brushes. -Henry

Sunday, March 26, 2006

March 23, 2006 Fred Berger Passes Away

Fred Berger, renouned artist from Chicago, has passed away. In the grand tradition of allowing our best artists to languor in obscurity, Fred was one of the all time great figurative artists in our lifetime. Fred was born in Chicago, Illinois in September 24, 1923; he was able to attend the Art Institute of Chicago for a short time and resumed his studies at the Institue of Design. He was influenced early on by abstract expressionists such as de Kooning and Pollock. In regards to his non objective work Fred was asked how he felt about the canvas itself at that time. Fred said he had simply viewed it as a rectangle or square, not as a window, explaining, "I would call attention to the integrity of the surface, but in the final anaalysis, I was more interested in imagery... imagery was paramount." Fred painted and exibited regularly up through the sixties when he
decided to return to school. Completing a bachelor of science degree at the Illinois Institute of Technology in 1952, Fred contiued to paint in his spare time. Through the 60's and 70', Fred work grew more representational, resulting in imagery that Fred felt was the right and natural progression of his art. To many of us, this was the work we looked to when we sought out Fred. I met Fred at the American Academy of Art in the early 80's where he was a life drawing instructor. His class was where the serious students could be found. Small in stature but big in heart, Fred always had a kind word and rarely failed to inspire. His figurative work is some of the best ever produced. When asked, the conservator in the drawing room at the Museum of the Art Institute of Chicago said that Freds work would be looked at studied for years to come. I will always marvel at the upbeat nature Fred always seemed to have. His circumasances later in his life were hard, but you would not have known. Fred had the great fortune to keep his sharp mind right up to the end. The fun in talking with Fred was never know where the conversation was going to go as his interests were far and wide. Thank you Fred for all you have given us. You will be missed very much. (First image shown is A Flower, A Child, Will they Grow 84"x72", Copywrite owned by the Museum of Contemporary Art. Fred considered this one of his very best works.) -Steve

Friday, March 24, 2006


Its time we meet a few of my favorite artists. This artist lives in PA, I believe. Alex Kanevsky. What I love about his work is his skill combined with a sense of freedom. He seems fearless when he paints. He has a great series of progressive versions of a single painting on his web site. He obliterates what was good to make even greater work. Are those some great images or what! Way to go Alex. Buddy. Pal. -Hoffman

Introducing the studio.

The studio is where we spend most of our day. When we can. We work there, eat there, drink there etc. This blog is about us in that world. It has changed and evolved. Sometimes art is the point of the studio and sometimes it is a byproduct. Here are a few pics of the sudio as it is now. It looks a little cramped, and it is. We are working on our landlord to blow out the wall and expand into the next room. More room for books!!