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Early American Folk Art On Display

19 Jun

The St. Louis Art Museum has a show currently running called “Self-Taught Genius,” a collection of artwork and craft items made by self-taught, early American artists.  I particularly like the wooden American flag that’s depicted at the top of the article; it reminds me of the American flag series of paintings of late 20th Century master Jasper Johns. If you are in the St. Louis area, it might be worth checking out.


Nonfiction Work Traces Lost Velazquez

10 Jun

The great 17th-Century Spanish court painter, Diego Velazquez, once painted a portrait of the future King Charles I of Great Britain as a young prince; then the painting disappeared. In the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, there’s a review of a book by Laura Cummings which investigates a 19th Century English bookseller’s life-long association with the missing masterpiece.

The book is entitled The Vanishing Velazquez: A 19th Century Bookseller’s Obsession with a Lost Masterpiece.   According to the newspaper, it “captivates as detective story, art criticism and page-turning entertainment.”

This title sounds interesting. I don’t know that much about Spanish painters, so I put it on my Amazon wish list. Here’s a little bit about Velazquez.

Change of Direction

7 Jun

I’ve removed a lot of old work from sale because it wasn’t consistent with my new move into the mid-century modern style of art. If you are browsing through my archives and find a link to a piece of art that’s no longer listed, my apologies!

Addendum: Check out this wonderful blog devoted to all things Mid-Century Modern. It’s really inspiring on an artistic basis for me to look at this stuff. I’m old enough to remember the Kennedy-Johnson Space Age era, although I was just a tot.

Grisaille and All That

26 Mar

From City Journal comes an article about a New York school of art that introduces a modern generation of painters to  Old Masters’ oil painting techniques. The technique begins with an opaque under-painting, often in white and shades of gray (hence the term “grisaille”). Colored, transparent glazes are then laid over the under-painting in layers, until the final painting emerges. It’s painstaking and takes a long time for each layer to dry. I’ve tried it before and it does produce some wonderful effects, but I don’t have the patience to wait for the layers to dry on a regular basis.

Hence the term “all prima”, i.e. all one layer, which is the way most people paint in oil today.

New Listing Original Oil Painting

12 Dec

I finally got around to finishing and listing this piece of artwork that I started more than a year ago. Visit The Teddy Bears’ Picnic at my Etsy shop.

Original oil painting, large wall art, teddy bears, 24" x 36"

New Etsy Listing: New Prickly Pear Painting

30 May
Prickly Pear Cactus, Livermore, Calif.

Prickly Pear Cactus, Livermore, Calif. Copyright 2013 by S. K. Cole, all rights reserved. 


Title: “Prickly Pear in Summer, Livermore, Calif.”

Size: 18″ x 24,” horizontal
Date: 2013
Materials: Top grade oil paints, 1/4″ Ampersand Clayboard Panel**
Colors: Rendered in predominate shades of cool and warm greens, cool and warm violents, and yellow/orange.

Can be framed or wired and hung without a frame, but I recommend framing under glass or acrylic.

Available for purchase here. 


Still Working on the Giant Prickly Pear Painting. . .

5 May

It’s still unfinished–you may remember it from this post. Here’s what the painting looks like right now. The colors are a bit off in the photo–the background is a bit more purple-magenta-ier than it shows here. But you can get the basic idea:

Giant Prickly Pear (unfinished). Oil on Ampersand Clayboard panel. Copyright 2013 by S. K. Cole, all rights reserved.

Giant Prickly Pear (unfinished). Oil on Ampersand Clayboard panel. Copyright 2013 by S. K. Cole, all rights reserved.

As I wrote in my first post about this piece, it’s my first experience using a Clayboard Ampersand panel. I think I like it. For one thing, the panels don’t take up as much room as a stretched canvas–always an important consideration for me, in my small 1950s ranch house! These panels can be stored in a flat file, unlike stretched canvas. And they appear to be very durable. Hooray!