DAILY ART FIX: Long Overlooked, Leading 20th-Century American Artist Doris Lee Is Celebrated Once Again in Traveling Exhibition

Art world links which caught my eye…

Doris Lee “The View, Woodstock” Oil on canvas, 27 1/2″ x 44″ 1946

Doris Lee was an American painter who could be seen as as part of the Regionalist art movement, producing representations of what is now derided as “fly over country.” She is currently the focus of a traveling exhibition.

Simple Pleasures: The Art of Doris Lee features 77 of the most notable and compelling works of art by Doris Lee (1905-1983). Using a vibrant color palette, Lee sparks feelings of playfulness and humor in her paintings, drawings, prints, and commissioned commercial designs for fabric and pottery. Simple Pleasures includes works by the artist spanning from the 1930s through the 1960s from both public and private collections and gives overdue recognition to Lee’s significant contributions to American art. A selection of ephemera, such as product advertisements for the American Tobacco Company and General Foods who commissioned paintings from Lee, will also be included in the exhibition.

Doris Lee “Off to Auction” Oil on canvas, 24½” by 35½” 1942

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I don’t fundraise off of my blog. I don’t ask for Patreon or Paypal donations. If you’d like to support the Remodern mission, buy a book. Or a painting

Learn more About My Art: Visionary Experience

My wife Michele Bledsoe has written her own inspirational book, Painting, Passion and the Art of Life.

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DAILY ART FIX: Mythmakers: Winslow Homer And Frederic Remington

Art world links which caught my eye…

“The Stampede” by Frederic Remington (1861-1909), 1908. Oil on canvas. Gilcrease Museum, Tulsa, Okla., gift of the Thomas Gilcrease Foundation.

Frederic Remington “The Stampede”

Two great American painters went through their artistic peaks around the same time, despite a great difference in their ages and locations. A 2021 exhibit highlighted what they shared.

Winslow Homer and Frederic Remington are both mythic American artists. Their artworks represent what – for differing groups of art critics and consumers – have come to be seen as defining products of an “American art.” Homer is seen to represent the East Coast, with his crashing waves and stoic Atlantic fisher folk, and Remington the West, with his roughneck ranch hands and romanticized Native American braves. While Homer’s work was slow to catch on at first, he became one of the most respected artists of his day, and he is now universally lauded among the arts intelligentsia as a centrally important figure in the history of American art. Remington, by contrast, enjoyed wide popularity as a young artist, but since his early death his reputation has fallen among the curators, critics and academic art historians who are the keepers of the canon. It is partly for this reason that the two artists’ work has never before been considered together in a major exhibition, despite their surprising number of commonalities. Seeking to redress that oversight – and, to some extent, both artists’ “mythic” status – the Amon Carter Museum of Art, Portland Museum of Art (Maine) and Denver Art Museum have co-organized “Mythmakers: Winslow Homer and Frederic Remington,” on view at the Amon Carter through February 28.

Read the full article here: ANTIQUES AND THE ARTS – Mythmakers: Winslow Homer And Frederic Remington

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I don’t fundraise off of my blog. I don’t ask for Patreon or Paypal donations. If you’d like to support the Remodern mission, buy a book. Or a painting

Learn more About My Art: Visionary Experience

My wife Michele Bledsoe has written her own inspirational book, Painting, Passion and the Art of Life.

Remodernism Video: BEFORE THERE WAS FAKE NEWS, THERE WAS FAKE ART

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Please send any inquiries to info@remodernamerica.com. Thank you!

DAILY ART FIX: Video – Norman Rockwell’s Painting Process

Art world links which caught my eye…

Norman Rockwell created iconic scenes of American life in the 20th century. As a commercial illustrator, he had to work fast, so I forgive his use of a projector to do his drawings from photographs. As this video notes, he originally worked from life, so I have no doubt he was an amazing draftsman on his own. And he could tell such stories in a single image, something I often strive for.

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I don’t fundraise off of my blog. I don’t ask for Patreon or Paypal donations. If you’d like to support the Remodern mission, buy a book. Or a painting

Learn more About My Art: Visionary Experience

My wife Michele Bledsoe has written her own inspirational book, Painting, Passion and the Art of Life.

Remodernism Video: BEFORE THERE WAS FAKE NEWS, THERE WAS FAKE ART

Visit other posts for more commentary on the state of the arts.

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DAILY ART FIX: Is Realist Art Still Relevant?

Art world links which caught my eye…

Scott Fraser “Lemon Spiral” Oil on board 44″ x 29.5″

Even though I tend to paint from imagination rather than life, I have the greatest respect for artists who can accurately depict the natural world. And I agree that realist art has an immediate impact to the audience. It’s good news if the art market is becoming supportive of actual skill and talent, instead corrupt Postmodern conceptual hackwork.

Sprick shared an illustrative anecdote about overhearing a snippet of conversation between a couple leaving a museum: “They were walking out of an exhibit of incomprehensible, conceptual stuff, within earshot. The man said to the woman, ‘I know that guy was a genius, but sometimes I want to know it’s good artwork just by looking at it.’ realism is self-evident and needs no explanation.”

Sprick believes realism remains not only relevant, but also flourishing in the twenty-first century.

“There’s no sign of loss of interest among artists with sincerity who want to be challenged,” Sprick said. “I don’t think realism is ever going away. There’s a groundswell of young people finding training outside universities, in ateliers, in private studios, with somebody who has gained academic skill and teaches others.”

Scott Fraser, Pencil Wreck. Oil on board. 25.5 x 18 inches.

Scott Fraser “Pencil Wreck” oil on board 25.5″ x 18″

Read the full article here: Art & Object – Is Realist Art Still Relevant?

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I don’t fundraise off of my blog. I don’t ask for Patreon or Paypal donations. If you’d like to support the Remodern mission, buy a book. Or a painting

Learn more About My Art: Visionary Experience

My wife Michele Bledsoe has written her own inspirational book, Painting, Passion and the Art of Life.

Remodernism Video: BEFORE THERE WAS FAKE NEWS, THERE WAS FAKE ART

Visit other posts for more commentary on the state of the arts.

Please send any inquiries to info@remodernamerica.com. Thank you!

DAILY ART FIX: The Christmas Tree Painting, Updated

 

 An update on a post from December 23, 2015

Our Christmas Tree: Our Work-in-Progress Tradition

It started in 2012.

It’s a little hard when you are adults, with no kids around, to find the proper level of Christmas decorating for the home.

To not decorate at all would be bleak. It would be an unhappy break from a lifetime cycle of excitement and fun around the holidays, as well as missing out on commemorating one of the definitive miraculous events in human history.

But to go for an 8 foot live tree with all the trimmings and a giant outdoor display seems excessive. There are other complications as well. Our cats were too intrigued by even the small artificial tree we used for a few years, leading to some unfortunate episodes. And we don’t even have an outlet on the outside of our house to plug lights into.

In 2012 my wife Michele Bledsoe came up with a great solution. We were both painters-why not make a painting of a Christmas tree that we could bring out for the holiday?

Inspired, we made a quick trip to the art supply store and got to work.

Tree paint 1

2012: I began with the star and some vague spots of color as a base coat for ornaments

Michele’s sister Sherry was living with us at the time, and joined in creating the tree and decorations. The idea was just to roughly block in the shapes at first. Then, every year at Christmas time when we bring out the painting, we would continue to work on it.

Tree paint 2

Sherry and Michele, adding details

Michele took on the role of clean up and enhancement. Since her paintings are so precise and intricate, she excels at getting images resolved.

Tree paint 3

2021 marks our ninth season of painting on the tree. There’s still room to add new ornaments, and plenty of opportunities to refine the elements we’ve already depicted. I imagine we will be working on this the rest of our lives.

When the tree is not on one of our easels, we put it on our family room floor, surrounded by presents. It’s been a wonderful tradition. And the cats don’t try to climb it.

Merry Christmas!

“Christmas Tree” acrylic on canvas 36″ x 24″ 2012-2021

Michele Bledsoe, Richard Bledsoe, Sherry

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I don’t fundraise off of my blog. I don’t ask for Patreon or Paypal donations. If you’d like to support the Remodern mission, buy a book. Or a painting

Learn more About My Art: Visionary Experience

My wife Michele Bledsoe has written her own inspirational book, Painting, Passion and the Art of Life.

Remodernism Video: BEFORE THERE WAS FAKE NEWS, THERE WAS FAKE ART

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DAILY ART FIX: Christmas Lights: Photographing a Very American Tradition

Art world links which caught my eye…

a woman in a christmas sweater sits in front of her large home decorated in christmas lights

From An American Christmas

One Christmas tradition my wife and I maintain is decorating our porch with lights. We have a solar powered string festooning our railing and pillar, flashing evolving patterns in red, gold, blue and green. Many of our neighbors have put up their own light displays: dripping blue icicles, loops and coils of big bulbs, flurries sparkling in bushes and trees.

But many cities have that one homeowner who makes their house a destination, a real Christmastime spectacle. A recent book photographed the phenomenon.

Danelle Manthey’s American Christmas, published last fall, is the culmination of a decade-long project documenting elaborate Christmas displays across the US. Through intimate photographs and the artist’s own words, Manthey’s photographs and accompanying essays recontextualize these displays as more than just Christmas kitsch, but as visionary works of art created by talented folk artists. Featuring the stories of more than forty artists across twelve states, American Christmas shows their commonalities and differences, and how they are united by hard work and an inspired vision.

Read the full article here: ART & OBJECT – Christmas Lights: Photographing a Very American Tradition

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I don’t fundraise off of my blog. I don’t ask for Patreon or Paypal donations. If you’d like to support the Remodern mission, buy a book. Or a painting

Learn more About My Art: Visionary Experience

My wife Michele Bledsoe has written her own inspirational book, Painting, Passion and the Art of Life.

Remodernism Video: BEFORE THERE WAS FAKE NEWS, THERE WAS FAKE ART

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DAILY ART FIX: Theme Songs for Our Artistic Methods

From June 11, 2017

Richard Bledsoe “At the Crossroad” acrylic on canvas 24″ x 30″

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I’ve written before about how vital music is in our studio, as the soundtrack of our art. Recently my wife Michele Bledsoe and I took our musical influences to an even greater intensity. One afternoon while we were painting, we identified songs that we felt epitomized the way that each other approached creating our art.

You see Michele and I have very different methods to the way we paint; we are diametrically positioned, which is why being a married artist couple works so well for us. Opposites attract. We both act as conduits in our artistic expression, but it’s very different forces that we channel.

Michele has spent years watching me paint in a kind of frenzied trance, taken outside of my normal senses in service of the art. While I paint I tend to pace, curse, pray, rant. It’s an ecstatic process for me; not just in the sense of happiness, even though it fills me with joy. It’s so intense I’m not paying attention to the way I’m behaving. An unknowing witness would not understand all my frantic swearing is actually a sign of overwhelming engagement, as I push further.

Michele’s song for me is “Crossroads” by Tom Waits, a collaboration with writer William Burroughs. The story it tells shows the sense of abandonment to the demands of creation, no matter the personal cost. There is nothing diabolical about what I’m going for, but the reckless commitment is there. I always say painting is my healthiest addiction.

Click the image to see the video “Crossroads” here:

The lyrics:

Now, George was a good straight boy to begin with, but there was bad blood
In him someway
and he got into the magic bullets that lead straight to
Devil’s work, just like marijuana leads to heroin;
you think you can take them bullets or leave ’em, do you?
Just save a few for your bad days
Well, well we all have those bad days when we can’t hit for shit.
And the more of them magics you use, the more bad days you have without them
So it comes down to finally all your days being bad without the bullets
It’s magics or nothing
Time to stop chippying around and kidding yourself.
Kid, you’re hooked, heavy as lead
And that’s where old George found himself
Out there at the crossroads
Molding the Devil’s bullets
Now a man figures it’s his bullets, so it will take what he wants
But it don’t always work out that way
You see, some bullets is special for a single target
A certain stag, or a certain person
And no matter where you aim, that’s where the bullet will end up
And in the moment of aiming, the gun turns into a dowser’s wand
And points where the bullet wants to go
George Schmidt was moving in a series of convulsive spasms, like someone
With an epileptic fit, with his face contorted and his eyes wild like a
Lassoed horse bracing his legs. But something kept pulling him on. Now
He’s picking up the skulls and making the circle.
I guess old George didn’t rightly know what he was getting himself into
The fit was on him and it carried him right to the crossroads
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 Michele’s mode of painting could not be more different.
Michele Bledsoe “The Great Fear of Falling” acrylic on canvas 14″ x 11″
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I have spent years watching Michele work tranquilly at her easel. She sits down and the art just begins to flow out of her, methodically, with great order. Layer upon the layer the intensity builds without interruption until she has crafted a mysterious and moving environment. She calmly renders complex compositions with profound depths and eruptions of otherworldly expressiveness.
 
 
What musician other than Ludwig Van Beethoven could reflect such a method?
 
 
My song for Michele is Beethoven’s Symphony no. 7 in A major, Op. 92, the second movement, Allegretto. It starts so quietly, but goes through cycles of growth until it is truly cosmic in scale. Such precision and feeling. That is how Michele makes her art.
 
 
There aren’t any lyrics, but there’s no need for those when the music speaks so eloquently on its own.
 
 
Click on the image to see the video for the 7th Symphony, “Allegretto” here:
What would be the theme song of your artistic method?
 

“The Remodernist’s job is to bring God back into art but not as God was before. Remodernism is not a religion, but we uphold that it is essential to regain enthusiasm (from the Greek, en theos to be possessed by God).”

-The Remodernism Manifesto

 
 

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I don’t fundraise off of my blog. I don’t ask for Patreon or Paypal donations. If you’d like to support the Remodern mission, buy a book. Or a painting

Learn more About My Art: Visionary Experience

My wife Michele Bledsoe has written her own inspirational book, Painting, Passion and the Art of Life.

Remodernism Video: BEFORE THERE WAS FAKE NEWS, THERE WAS FAKE ART

Visit other posts for more commentary on the state of the arts.

Please send any inquiries to info@remodernamerica.com. Thank you!

DAILY ART FIX: GATECRASHERS: THE RISE OF THE SELF-TAUGHT ARTIST IN AMERICA


Art world links which caught my eye…

Lawrence Lebduska, Untitled (Horses and Snakes), 1936 

An intriguing exhibit is drawing to a close at Atlanta’s High Museum. GATECRASHERS is a show dedicated to the early years of outsider art in America.

Nearly one hundred years ago, artists without formal training “crashed the gates” of the elite art world, as the newspapers of their day put it. Their paintings of American life, as well as fantastical scenes derived from their imaginations, began appearing in major museums. Featuring more than sixty works from leading collections across the country, Gatecrashers will illuminate how artists including John Kane, Horace Pippin, and Anna Mary Robertson “Grandma” Moses overcame class-, race-, and gender-based obstacles to enter the inner sanctums of the mainstream art world. These early “gatecrashers” defied life circumstances that limited their access to art training and, thus, redefined who could be an artist in America.

Josephine Joy, Waterbirds Nesting, ca. 1935–1939 

Read the full article here: HIGH MUSEUM – THE RISE OF THE SELF-TAUGHT ARTIST IN AMERICA

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I don’t fundraise off of my blog. I don’t ask for Patreon or Paypal donations. If you’d like to support the Remodern mission, buy a book. Or a painting

Learn more About My Art: Visionary Experience

My wife Michele Bledsoe has written her own inspirational book, Painting, Passion and the Art of Life.

Remodernism Video: BEFORE THERE WAS FAKE NEWS, THERE WAS FAKE ART

Visit other posts for more commentary on the state of the arts.

Please send any inquiries to info@remodernamerica.com. Thank you!

DAILY ART FIX: Video – Thornton Dial

Art world links which caught my eye…

I had the honor of meeting American self-taught artist Thornton Dial once; I wrote about it in 2015 (Artists: Thornton Dial).

This short video gives a nice overview of his story.

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I don’t fundraise off of my blog. I don’t ask for Patreon or Paypal donations. If you’d like to support the Remodern mission, buy a book. Or a painting

Learn more About My Art: Visionary Experience

My wife Michele Bledsoe has written her own inspirational book, Painting, Passion and the Art of Life.

Remodernism Video: BEFORE THERE WAS FAKE NEWS, THERE WAS FAKE ART

Visit other posts for more commentary on the state of the arts.

Please send any inquiries to info@remodernamerica.com. Thank you!

DAILY ART FIX: The Story Behind Thomas Hart Benton’s Incredible Masterwork

Art world links which caught my eye…

DEC14_M04_THBenton.jpg

Thomas Hart Benton “Instruments of Power from America Today”

Thomas Hart Benton was a cantankerous and stubborn man, but it made him a conscientious artist. In 1930-1931, Benton created a masterpiece for the New School for Social Research in New York City. Benton developed a series of murals about the United States, using imagery he observed while travelling the country during the 1920s.

The over-simple label of Benton as a Regionalist, one he once embraced himself, misses the point. The ten panels of America Today, his most important mural, show Benton as a painter celebrating (and sometimes critiquing) the whole of American life.

The word mural means “related to a wall,” and calls up the vision of a single oversized painting. This is misleading in the case of America Today, which is a whole painted room, four walls, ten panels, floor to ceiling. Like all great art, the mural does not reproduce well; illustrated it is dim and simplified, its colors untrue, much detail lost. All masterpieces must be seen at firsthand. This was the reason for the Grand Tour. It is the reason that people still visit the great museums of the world and they discover, as I did with America Today, that being in that room, enclosed by those glorious walls, is the way Benton conceived his project: not as a set of pictures but as an enlivened space. It must be seen that way for its subtlety to be appreciated and the full force of its color and vibrancy to be experienced.

Read the full article here: SMITHSONIAN – The Story Behind Thomas Hart Benton’s Incredible Masterwork

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I don’t fundraise off of my blog. I don’t ask for Patreon or Paypal donations. If you’d like to support the Remodern mission, buy a book. Or a painting

Learn more About My Art: Visionary Experience

My wife Michele Bledsoe has written her own inspirational book, Painting, Passion and the Art of Life.

Remodernism Video: BEFORE THERE WAS FAKE NEWS, THERE WAS FAKE ART

Visit other posts for more commentary on the state of the arts.

Please send any inquiries to info@remodernamerica.com. Thank you!