Two years ago I began painting scenes of Frederick and other significant memorabilia on holiday ornaments. These ornaments have been very well received by the public and have become a valuable piece of one-of-a-kind artwork for many collectors. This year I’ve added additional scenes and have created some commission pieces of homes and pets.
The ornaments of Frederick landmarks as well as blank note cards of winter scenes in Frederick are available for sale at The Candy Kitchen, 52 N. Market St., Frederick, MD 21701 (301) 698-0442, and at the Delaplaine Visual Arts Education Center, 40 S. Carroll St. Frederick, MD 21701 (301) 698-0656. For special orders and commissions, please contact me through the SALES AND COMMISSIONS form on this web-site.
Right and Left, a 1909 painting by American artist Winslow Homer, is the copy I’m currently producing at the National Gallery of Art. It’s quite a change from the Impressionist gallery where I painted for the past three years. It is a substantially different style. Also, I am physically located in a different gallery within the museum, one in which quietness and tranquility rule so I can concentrate with fewer distractions although I miss the hustle and bustle of the Impressionist galleries.
Homer painted Right and Left a year before his death and is a culminating achievement of an extraordinary career. The title, provided by a viewer during the works first public showing, refers to the act of shooting the ducks successively with separate barrels of a shotgun. Scholars have suggested that the diving posture of the duck on the right indicates it is the one which has been hit by the hunter’s initial blast. Its mate is attempting to escape the second shot which has just been fired, the flash of the shotgun barely visible within the gray smoke at the middle left.
This painting makes you want to stare at it and wonder what thoughts were on Homer’s mind as he worked. Perhaps he wanted to convey an ambiguous message deliberately, in order to illustrate that crucial moment of transition between life and death. Not ever being interested in hunting, I find this painting a bit sad but it is magnificently painted and although void of the brilliant colors of the Impressionist, it is filled with beautiful paint strokes and emotion.
I will be at the National Gallery of Art, gallery #68, working on this piece every Tuesday until mid December when I expect to complete my copy of Right and Left.
I would like to share a quote from Fritz Scholder, an artist whose work has been exhibited at the Institute of American Indian Arts Museum in Santa Fe, New Mexico. His words captured my attention, especially at this time of year when we’re all caught up in the hustle and bustle of the holidays. My hope is that this message will be inspirational to everyone .
Spend time patting a dog or cat. Look up and down. Believe in the unknown, for it is there. Live in many places. Live with flowers and music and books and paintings and sculpture. Keep a record of your time. Learn to write well. Learn to read well. Learn to listen and talk well. Know your country, know the world, know your history, know yourself. Take care of yourself physically and mentally. Be good to yourself. You owe it to yourself. Be good to those around you. And do all of these things with passion. FRITZ SCHOLDER, MAY 12, 1983
For me it is a learning process. Something I will continue to work on for the rest of my life.
Dan and I wish all of you a very happy and blessed holiday season and a healthy 2014.
It seems as if the holidays began in October. I’m not the only one thinking this way; others have expressed the same feeling. This past Tuesday it felt strange not to be at the National Gallery of Art working on my copy of Vincent van Gogh’s “Roses.” It was grandparents day at our granddaughter Caroline’s school, a yearly event we attend with joy and pride. I’ll be back at the NGA next Tuesday and expect to be closer to completion of my copy.
This year I decided to create holiday ornaments depicting scenes of Frederick, Maryland. Each ornament is hand painted in acrylic and shows a popular landmark around downtown. The scenes are painted on glass ornaments from photographs I’ve taken and been collecting throughout the years. Someone asked me to do a portrait of their home on an ornament so I thought painting Frederick scenes would be a fun project. I’m going to try to paint a small facial portrait on one. That will be a challenge! Although, last year for a class assignment, our teacher asked us to paint a portrait the size of a quarter. I didn’t think it was possible but I managed to pull it off. We’ll see what happens.
The Frederick ornaments may be seen in the gift shop of The Delaplaine Visual Arts Education Center, 40 South Carroll St., Frederick, MD (301)698-0656.
I wish all of my friends, family and followers a very happy and safe Thanksgiving.