A few weeks ago, I visited an exhibition that featured the work of regional students who had over the years, won top marks in the Caribbean Examination Council Visual Arts Examination. Many of the works were portraits in meticulous detail. A representative of the Council confirmed my suspicion that they had copied from photographs. Furthermore, it seems that students are encouraged to work from photographic references, whether it is a portrait, landscape or market scene.
As a staunch advocate for working from life, this approach to teaching the next generation of artists, beggars belief. There have been occasions when I have sourced technical detail from photographs to ensure accuracy. The Caribbean postage stamps that I designed in the 1980's are a case in point…
Here is a poem I wrote a couple of years in homage to Denise, my wife and model.
THE COLOUR BLACK
At a cursory glance
All shades are reduced to just that.
But to the painter, poet and lover
A hundred hues compete,
With the jet of her cane-row hair
And the pale saffron soles of her feet.
Put aside your tubes of Scarlet Lake,
And erase cloy similes of peach.
Look instead at freshly tilled earth
Or a wave-washed volcanic sand beach.
Cinnamon bark and breadfruit leaf,
Coffee beans in the warmth of the sun.
These tints her whole being encapsulates,
With nature's own colours, she's one.
From the dark areola of her breast
Brown madder and yellow ochre merge…
"Models of both sexes and all ages, shapes and sizes are urgently required for paintings and sculptures..."
The above is from an advertisement that I run in my local on-line newspaper. Occasionally, I land a catch. More often, I see a potential model in passing. I then have to pluck up courage to ask...that is how I met my Grenadian born wife and model 22 years ago.
She was ahead of me in a queue at the bank. From what I could see of her from behind, she had all the makings of an artist's model. When we got to the counter, the queue split: she went to one teller and I went to another. Alas, before I had finished changing my US$ to EC$ she had finished her business and left.
However, this was a model too good to miss…
Cuban Cultural Center Mega Art Auction in NYC
May 3, 2013 6 PM
Spanish Benevolent Society
239 W 14th Street
Pictured to the right Wave Flower painting by Jose Acosta
PARTICIPATING ARTISTS :
Jose Acosta, Susan Bank, Jose Bedia, Guido Betancourt, Humberto Calzada, Chari Castro-Marin, Luis Cruz Azaceta, Enrique Cubillas, Liliam Cuenca, Aurora De Armendi, Pablo Diaz, Ofill Echevarria, Felix Esquivel, Pedro Esteban, Galindo Landeira, Florencio Gelabert,
Frank Guiller, Gisela Hernandez, Eliana Iturbe, Juan Lopetegui, Luis Mallo, David Martinez, Mysora, Jay Palacio, Manuel Pardo, Orlando Luis Pardo Lazo, Rene Portocarrero,
Rolando Pulido, Jesus Rivera, Gilberto Ruiz, Baruj Salinas, Mario Torroella, Gladys Triana, Raul Villareal
Mojitos at a unique art auction,…
The following is extracted from my brochure for residential workshops that I tutor from my studio on the lush Caribbean island of Dominica.
Whether capturing the model in the split-second that she stretches between one pose and the next, or the shaft of sunlight that fleetingly illuminate the landscape, Roger Burnett's workshops offer a rare insight into his passion for working rapidly from life. The morning sessions are devoted to working from the figure and after lunch, students work at locations that cover the island's diverse tropical scenery. The itinerary includes virgin rain forests, dramatic coastlines, bustling markets, grand estates, sugar mills and remote villages…
In the mid 1990's, in order to pursue my work as a sculptor, my wife and I left the warmth of my adopted Caribbean and returned to the North of England, the land of birth. Beneath the barrel-vaulted roof light of what was once a church assembly hall we created a studio that was reminiscent of the workshops of past masters.
My first major commission was for two life-size bronze figures for the small Yorkshire mill town of Sowerby Bridge. The town raised the money by public subscription - including jumble sales and door-to-door collections.
In order to promote the project I opened my studio to visitors and posted on the internet a daily diary of the work in progress. This was before the days of blogs…
My most recent post in this series was on Claude Monet, who so completely redefined the artistic enterprise that he set a new benchmark against which future artists had to define themselves. By limiting his focus to the facts of perception he created an unusually direct interaction between the artist and the visual world, but in doing so he effectively excluded the interests of most artists preceeding him, whether "classical" or "romantic".
There was, predictably, an almost immediate attempt to blend his new vision with the traditional concerns of artists. I have already discussed Cezanne, who in this context must be seen as a "classicist": concerned with the structure and order behind our perceptual world, what we KNOW as opposed to what we SEE…
Insurance Considerations for the Art Collector.
As a serious art collector, you're likely quite aware that if your most prized piece of art is ever damaged or stolen, no amount of money or insurance will ever be able to truly replace it. However, you've likely invested a considerable amount of money in your collection, which you should be able to recover. Compare these methods for insuring your art collection, and make sure your investments are protected with the coverage that's right for you.
Option 1: Your standard home insurance policy.
A standard home insurance policy typically includes personal property coverage to help protect the valuable possessions in your home…
Going through a person________s things after a death can bring up powerful universal emotions: loss, love, nostalgia, remembered hurts and joys, guilt, and occasionally bewilderment. Why was this important to her? Why did he save this? Who were these people?
There will be things to keep, things to send to other family members or friends of the deceased, things to toss out, things to donate, and in time you might find inspiration to the artist within you. For those things which bring out powerful emotions most often are those from which art emerges.
The mixed media painting developed from my thoughts in looking through unidentified photos going back at least to the early 1920s which had been among my mother-in-laws possessions…
I turn now from Degas and Manet to Claude Monet - THE Impressionist. This is another of those artists, like Leonardo, whom I would not really call a "favorite", but whom I recognize as a towering figure in the development of artistic vision in his time. I respond more to the works of Degas and Manet. But as with Leonardo, no artist in the period following Monet could work without coming to terms with his redefinition of painting. You could follow him or reject him, but you had to deal with the terms which he had established.
Monet redefined painting on several levels: the enterprise, artistic vision, palette and technique. First, he finally stated that the work done directly on the scene was an end in itself…
I am turning from Degas to Manet, the other "older" Impressionist, though - unlike Degas - he never accepted the term as applied to his work. Like Degas, he had a strong traditional background in form and composition which he used to great advantage. Paradoxically, Manet is in many ways the most radical of the group, certainly the most confrontational.
It is fascinating to compare Manet to Courbet, the great revolutionary of the previous generation. It was Courbet who broke with the Academie, setting up his own competing exhibition, thus blazing the trail which the Impressionists then followed. But while Courbet's revolution was all about class warfare and social justice, Manet's is all about art itself. Manet uses confrontation to force the viewer to look at art in a new way…
The Most Incredible Campus Art Collections from around the World.
To the right Staying Alive painting by Jose Acosta that is part of the University of Pennsylvania Art Collection.
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South Street Seaport Museum will Exhibit Mario Sanchez Art.
On November 8, 2012, the South Street Seaport Museum in NYC
will open a new exhibition called A Fisherman's Dream: Folk Art by Mario Sanchez, highlighting Sanchez's depictions of early 20th century Key West harbor, its watermen, and seafaring culture. The exhibition features 35 of Sanchez's brightly painted intaglios, a type of carving where wood is removed to form a bas-relief.
The exhibition is co-presented with the Key West Art & Historical Society and the American Folk Art Museum, whose exhibition Compass: Folk Art in Four Directions is also on view at the South Street Seaport Museum. The Seaport Museum sees A Fisherman's Dream as a fitting companion to Compass…
I'm coming back around to where I started, which was with Cezanne...and more generally with late 19th century European painting. I find more to excite me in that period than in any other.
As I think about the Impressionists, and the generations that followed, I definitely learn something about myself and what satisfies my artistic soul. I like structure. I am more excited by Degas and Manet, the two artists who had an "academic" training, than I am by most of Monet, and I like Monet better than Renoir. I can feel the lightness and joy of Renoir's work, its wonderful softness, but ultimately it leaves me wanting more.
In Degas' work, the feeling of carelessness in framing belies the artfulness behind it…
PAST, PRESENT, PA'LANTE Exhibition in PUERTO RICO
Group Art exhibit at the Museum La Casona in Puerto Rico.
From November 1, 2012 to January 19, 2013.
Opening Reception November 1, 2012 from 6 to 8 pm.
Pictured to the right Dancing & Two Friends paintings by Jose Acosta
Participating Artists - Jose Acosta - Maria Aguiar - Gerardo Castro - Pablo Caviedes - Carlos Chavez - Jose Manuel Cruz - Christine Devereaux - Irelys Martinez Tejeda - Arazay Molina - Salvatore Tagliarino - Isabell Villacis.
Calle Cruz Ortiz #104
Humacao, P.R. 00791
SEPTEMBER 9 - OCTOBER 4, 2012
Opening Reception: Sunday, September 9, 1:00 - 4:00 PM
ARTS GUILD NEW JERSEY
1670 Irving Street, Rahway, NJ 07065
P: 732-381-7511 / www.agnj.org
Gallery hours: Sat. Sun.: 1 - 4PM, Mon through Fri: between 10AM and 4PM.
Please use the rear lot entrance during weekday hours.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE :
RAHWAY, NEW JERSEY : As part of fall National Hispanic Heritage Celebration, Arts Guild New Jersey will present an inspiring exhibition of contemporary Latino art entitled: WE ARE YOU PROJECT INTERNATIONAL from September 9 to October 4, 2012. The opening reception for the exhibit will be held on Sunday, September 9 from 1:00 to 4:00 PM and is open to all. Admission is Free and light refreshments will be served…
I seem to be moving from artist to artist in a natural progression, and I will continue that with this post. I looked last at Dutch 17th century work, including still life, with its strong sense of organization and selection, and most recently at Vermeer, where every element in the frame is meaningful and carefully chosen. That leads me naturally to the 18th century Still Life master, Chardin.
Chardin seems to me to have the same sense of careful selection and organization, with another element which makes him special: being "of the earth". His still lives seem to grow out of the earth and to be made of the same substance. The compositions are always rock solid and immovable, seemingly built on a slab of living rock…
RAHWAY, NEW JERSEY : As part of fall 2012 National Hispanic Heritage Celebration, Arts Guild New Jersey will present an inspiring exhibition of contemporary Latino art entitled: WE ARE YOU PROJECT INTERNATIONAL
Pictured to the right "Hispanic Pride" painting by Jose Acosta.
From September 9 to October 4, 2012. The opening reception for the exhibit will be held on Sunday, September 9 from 1:00 to 4:00 PM and is open to all. Admission
is Free and light refreshments will be served. The exhibit will take place at Arts Guild New Jersey galleries at 1670 Irving Street Rahway, NJ…
Having written about the "Little Dutch Masters", it is a natural step to move on to Vermeer. He was certainly one of their number - in fact, if you were to judge by the dimensions of his works he could be the littlest of them all - but he is also too great to be lumped among them. He also had a primary specialty - light filled interiors with figures - but also produced exquisite works in other genres, like the "Street in Delft" above. All with a sensitivity to ambient light never equalled before or since.
He is, of course, the center of a huge controversy, because of the strong evidence that he used a camera obscura to view his subjects and perhaps to project them on the surface…
I would like to introduce the work of Benjamin Casiano to the readers of this blog.
To the right "The Dance" by Benjamin Casiano
To learn more about Benjamin Casiano and his work please visit his site at www.benjamincasiano.net
I enjoyed viewing his art and I hope you will, Jose Acosta
About: Benjamin Casiano
- Born and raised in New York City
- BFA graduate from Pratt Institute, Brooklyn NY
- Resident of Stratford CT
- Board member at Stamford Art Association
- Raised by Puerto Rican born parents
Influence: Matisse, Modigliani, Lempicka, Rothko and De Kooning
Movement: Abstract Expressionism and Cubism
Galleries, Exhibits and Awards
- The Westport River Art Gallery in CT…