Why Copy?

Still Life with Apples on a Pink Tablecloth

The Arts Club of Washington presents a one of a kind exhibit that will surely wow you.  A magnificent collection of art has been created by some very talented independent artist and copyist at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.  Each copy has been created in front of the original masterpiece.  As copyist, we learn and perfect our skills by studying the styles, history and procedures of great painters from the past as the master artists we copy did before them.

Riverbank after Paul Cezanne
Riverbank after Paul Cezanne

Come out, meet the artist and enjoy a fun evening of great art.  Opening Reception will be on Friday, January 5th from 6:30-8:30, The Arts Club of Washington, 2017 I Street and 20th NW.  Parking options include free street parking on Pennsylvania Avenue after 6:30 PM, metered parking in front of the of the Arts Club, and at the Colonial Garage, 2100 Pennsylvania Avenue, where you can prepay and reserve a space online.  The club is also within a few blocks of both the Foggy Bottom and the Farragut West and North Metro stations.   For more information go to the Arts Club of Washington.  This event is free and open to the public.

Note: this exhibition is not organized, supported, or endorsed by the National Gallery of Art.

 

 

 

 

 

Paul Cezanne “Riverbank” Day 4

Looking at the latest photo of “Riverbank” you can’t see much difference between the previous weeks photo images and the current one.  One needs to see it in person and get up close to study the variations.  After an additional 5 hours of copying “Riverbank,”  I’m beginning to feel it is coming close to the end.  My last session will be toning down colors with glazes in order to make the painting look more like the original.  As I’ve mentioned many times before, my copies are always brighter in color, the result of newer, fresher paint.  Often the public prefers the brighter look.

By 1886, a year after Cezanne completed “Riverbank,” his financial troubles were at an end and he was free to pursue his commitment to painting without outside interference.  He preferred to spend his days in solitary pursuit of those ambitions in painting which were as vivid to him as they were obscure to others.  He begins to paint with confidence and robustness, with an ambition and clarity about his work that suggest an artist coming to terms with his own temperament and realization.  Many of Cezanne’s most distinctive subjects, like “Mont Ste-Victoire” and the “Card-Players,” made their definitive appearance at this time. The paintings of this period of his life show a rich interplay of colors, gestures and a massiveness that reminds us of the hard-won mastery that Cezanne had achieved in his thirty years as a painter.

The weather is getting milder (we hope) and visitors and art lovers are starting to venture out to see the sights in Washington, DC and the great new exhibits at the National Gallery of Art.  I look forward to seeing friends and family at the NGA.  Let’s have lunch together, I’m in gallery #84.

Paul Cezanne “Riverbank” Day 2

My routine of posting a new blog on a Wednesday following a Tuesday copiest session at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. was derailed by an ice storm which hit our area hard leaving behind a half inch of ice on top of snow with down trees, limbs, power lines and a host of other problems.  Our power was off for two days forcing me to flee to a warmer shelter and unable to do any work related to art or blog.  We’re just getting back to normal.  Like everyone else feeling the effects of this winter, I’m hoping for better days ahead.

Tuesday, February 4, was day two working with Paul Cezanne’s “Riverbank”.  As one can see from the photo, while it is barely beginning to hum, as my favorite museum guard often says, it is coming along nicely.

Nature was the foundation and inspiration for Cezanne’s art.  He painted with feeling and his own strong emotion.  He had a personal, independent perception of the world which was formed by studying the great masters but always aspiring towards the intense and artless vision of a child.  He searched for his own temperament.  Cezanne asserted that art must strive to be ‘equivalent’ to nature and painted with a series of marks, colors and tones on a canvas that was the realization of his sensations.  As I copy “Riverbank”, my task is to figure out how those marks were made and the meaning behind them.  I discover as I work that Cezanne observed every nuance of light and tone in nature and every time the light changed, he would interpret that light with a different color layered thinly one on top of the other in a very determined fashion.  Copying “Riverbank” requires close observation and much thought and study.

The Gallery has several new and exciting exhibitions.  Let it warm your days viewing beautiful works of art and if you visit on a Tuesday, don’t forget to stop by to see me in gallery #84.  It looks as if I’ll be there for a while before going on to my next copy.

New Exhibit at the Delaplaine

The Frederick County Art Association will open its Member Exhibit with a reception this Saturday, January 4th from 3 to 5 pm at the Delaplaine Visual Arts Center, 40 S. Carroll Street in Frederick, Maryland.  I have entered two works into the exhibit, “Young Dancer” and “Bridge at Argenteuil” after Monet.  I hope to see many of my friends and family at the reception.  It is also First Saturday in downtown Frederick which offers many activities to be enjoyed all over town, not to mention great restaurants and shopping.  So bundle up, come out and enjoy the town as well as great art during the opening of several new exhibits at the Delaplaine.

Young Dancer
Young Dancer
The Bridge at Argenteuil after Claude Monet
The Bridge at Argenteuil after Claude Monet

On Tuesday, January 7th I will be putting the finishing touches on my copy of Vincent van Gogh “Roses” at the National Gallery of Art.  I’m also very excited to see for the first time the NGA’s newest acquisition of van Gogh’s painting “Green Wheat Fields, Auvers,” which has not been seen publicly since 1966 and was painted months before the artist’s death in 1890.  It hangs right next to “Roses” in gallery #83 so I will be able to admire it all day long.

On Tuesday, January 21st I will begin work on Paul Cezanne’s “Landscape near Paris” in the Impressionist gallery.  This masterpiece is a bit different from the ones I’ve previously copied.  It is a very loose oil painting done in thin washes almost like a watercolor. It will be a new challenge for me.  I will keep you posted on the progress.