New Painting “Plein Air”

Richard Bledsoe “Plein Air” acrylic on canvas 24″ x 30″

In painting, Plein Air is an idiom, borrowing a French term that refers to an artwork created outside.

The term is closely associated with the Impressionist painters of the late 1800s. The invention of paint in tubes made painting on location easier. The Impressionists were known for their landscapes, rapidly painted outdoors, capturing the ever-shifting effects of natural light.

My painting “Plein Air” is a different matter altogether.

The exterior depicted is the world of the mind, the landscape of the imagination.

It was painted slowly in my studio. The space is inner space, and the shifting light came from within.

For an intuitive artist, every painting is a self portrait. This work took that more literally, the artist as stand in for universal man.

As per my usual method, I did not directly use source material in the studio-I did not look into a mirror while painting. I would look in a mirror in another room, then go to the canvas to paint what I remembered. These are my own features filtered through my consciousness.

A good thing about making a self portrait: the model was always available when needed.

Making a painting becomes more than just a matter of how to
represent something. It symbolizes the artist’s engagement with life.
We want so much to make an image that says, “This is who I am, and
this is what I saw.”

-Richard Bledsoe, Remodern America: How the Renewal of the Arts Will Change the Course of Western Civilization

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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!

The Work Continues: Steven Pressfield and the War of Art

I’ve been absent from this blog due to a series of life events.

We lost a close family member.

My wife and I were in a horrific car crash, not our fault. It’s a miracle we walked away from it (we have an attorney, a new car, and I have ongoing chiropractor appointments).

I have been writing non-art articles for another entity.

There’s been some good art news as well; many sales, and a major commission.

But all this time, despite all these issues and events, I’ve been painting more than ever.

I have an art method which keeps me from getting overwhelmed with too many works going on at the same time. My natural inclination is to keep starting new paintings without finishing them. I don’t like that approach, so I developed a strategy which keeps production flowing while still committing to completion.

I keep three paintings in progress going, at different stages of development. I switch off between them based on where my mind is at the moment: either still making big decisions and adjustments in the early stages, refining and defining during the middle passages, and then making all the finishing touches which make such a difference at the end.

Here is a sneak preview detail shot form my currently most finished painting, “Plein Air.”

Detail of “Plein Air” in Progress

Part of what got me organized as an artist many years ago was the amazing Steven Pressfield book, The War of Art. I recommend it for everyone, not just artists. So much happens when you do the work, and get out of your own way.

The lessons I learned from that book enabled me to persist in completing my own book, Remodern America: How the Renewal of the Arts Will Change the Course of Western Civilization.

This blog is part of my work, and it will continue. More to come.

In the meantime, enjoy this inspirational clip.

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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!

“ART IS FOR EVERYONE” A Pop Up Gallery Experience at SEEDs For Autism

Remodern America Presents:

ART IS FOR EVERYONE: A POP UP GALLERY EXPERIENCE AT SEEDS FOR AUTISM

Seeds For Autism Hosts Group Art Exhibit

PHOENIX, AZ – Local artists present a pop up gallery experience at Seeds for Autism. Community artists and the talented participants at Seeds for Autism present a special one night show on Friday, May 27, 2022, 6pm to 8pm. 

A pop up gallery is a temporary art show held in a non-tradtional location. Local artist Richard Bledsoe described how Seeds for Autism is an ideal venue for an art exhibit. “I’ve seen lives transformed by the programs at Seeds for Autism. One of the biggest factors I see in this progress is the hands-on work Seeds emphasizes. As a painter, I understand the personal growth which happens when you engage with the material world. The making and viewing of art inspires kinship for all participants. We are grateful to Seeds for providing this opportunity to bring the community together.”

SEEDs for Autism is a unique vocational training program in Phoenix, AZ dedicated to providing adults across the spectrum with hands-on experience as they learn a variety of life skills, social skills and job skills in a real-life work environment. Through the production and sale of their hand-crafted home and garden items, adults on the autism spectrum build self-confidence as they step outside of their comfort zone and GROW.

This event was created to raise awareness and support for the life-changing program at SEEDs for Autism. Participating artists will be donating 50% of all sales to SEEDs.

ADMISSION IS FREE!

SEEDs for Autism
3420 S. 7th St. Phoenix, AZ 85040

602-253-4471

https://www.seedsforautism.org/

Richard Bledsoe “That’s A Moray” acrylic on canvas 20″ x 20″

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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!

Cultural Renewal May Not Be Pretty, But It is Beautiful: Punk, The Ashcan School, and Remodernism

Robert Henri “Snow in New York” oil on canvas 32″ x 25 13/16″ 1902

“Do whatever you do intensely. The artist is the man who leaves the crowd and goes pioneering. With him there is an idea which is his life.”

-Robert Henri

When I was a teenage punk, I was just having fun.

Only later did I understand I was participating in the messy but vital process of cultural renewal.

It was a matter of being in the right place at the right time. I was sixteen years old in 1986, living near Washington, DC. My geeky group of friends and I were performing the young male ritual of rebellion right next to an epicenter of an aggressive, controversial youth movement.

Only about a decade old at that point, the music and fashion sensation of punk had mutated into what was called hardcore. DC was the home of now legendary bands like Bad Brains and Minor Threat, and the excitement they generated spilled out into the suburbs.

I got a bad haircut and started wearing a black leather jacket and combat boots. On weekends my buddies and I left behind VHS movies and Dungeons and Dragons marathons and ventured into the big city, prowling the hip enclave of Georgetown.

We had a routine route, visiting the Exorcist stairs, Smash Records, and the Commander Salamander boutique. Mainly we walked the streets, feeling a thrill of immediate kinship whenever we encountered another band of promenading punks. We finally had something in common with some girls, too.

In time we started to visit the seedy clubs featuring shows with loud, fast songs and shouted vocals, while the audience danced by jumping around and bouncing off of each other. It was exhilarating.

Punk began when a bunch of self-starting kids, often working class, got bored with the bland, predictable culture being offered by the establishment. At the time there was no internet, and only sensationalized, derogatory mainstream media coverage. Hardcore punk was all underground and word of mouth, shared mix tapes and Xeroxed fliers. It felt like a conspiracy, like being initiated into something mysterious and special. We created our own alternative, and it spread.

I wrote about some of punk’s contradictions in my 2018 book, Remodern America: How the Renewal of the Arts Will Change the Course of Western Civilization:

Punk’s anti-establishment outlook put it on the radical side of things, but I never got how advocates of a movement that emphasized individuality and independence could turn to a politically leftist worldview. In the 1980s the Cold War was still raging, and a lot of the major figures of the punk world openly sided with the communists.
But looking at actions instead of rhetoric, it was clear to me leftists were the most vicious enforcers of the establishment in history.
Around the world, their whole political system as practiced demanded an individual’s submission to centralized power, the exact opposite of punk’s message.
It made no sense to me how any free thinker would ally themselves with brutal regimes who used constant surveillance, intimidation and violence to keep entire populations captive. The problems
of America, how we fell short of our high ideals, how we were easily distracted by crass consumerism, seemed minor compared to the literally murderous systematic oppression coordinated by greedy and
aggressive totalitarians elsewhere in the world.
I did not understand I had been recruited into a covert war which had been brewing for decades. The Cold War was being fought unacknowledged right in the midst of our placid existences, in the classrooms, on the television. Postmodernism co-opted the potentials of punk.
If I’d had more perspective then I could have seen the double standards in play, and understood their origins. But I was just a kid, lacking experience and insight. It was easier just to ignore the contradictions.
If punk meant being a nonconformist, I would follow my own conscience. I could reject materialism and unthinking obedience to authority without buying into audaciously misguided leftist dogma.
To me punk went beyond the music that sounded a certain way, a gaudy aesthetic, lapses into lazy nihilism, and a juvenile reflex towards sardonic defensiveness. Punk advanced quintessentially traditional American viewpoints: no respect for the unjustified hierarchies the powerful attempt to impose; emphasis on action and energy; commitment to justice and progress; and the desire for the liberty to pursue individual happiness.

When I look around today, at all the people with the dyed hair, tattoos, and facial piercings, I still remember how shocking such trappings were when my peers were doing it back in the day. It makes me reflect how art is a leading indicator for society-for good or ill. All the once-startling punk displays are bland and predictable.

Almost one hundred years earlier, there was another aggressive, controversial cultural phenomena going on in the United States, in painting. We’ve come to call it the Ashcan School.

Artist Robert Henri (June 24, 1865-July 12, 1929) was an inspirational artist and teacher initially based in Philadelphia; he later relocated to New York City. Henri (pronounced Hen-rye) was bored with the bland, predictable art being produced in the American art establishment at the time: either gentle, pale Impressionist imitations, or flattering Gilded Age portraits of wealthy patrons.

Henri mentored a group of journalist illustrators which included notables such as William Glackens, John Sloan, and George Luks. In an era before common photographic reproduction, newspapers used artists to create the pictures for their stories. These men were used to depicting the grime and grimness of newsworthy city life. Henri encouraged them to bring that real world engagement into fine art.

Like punk many years later, the Ashcan School was an alliance of freethinking individuals each following their own artistic vision, rather than an organized, regimented movement. The artists shared a Modernist urban sensibility, dark palette, gritty realist subject matter, and an appreciation for the common people. They made sketchy yet accurate depictions how life was lived at the time, instead of polite, idealized fantasies. As Henri put it, “There is only one reason for art in America, and that is that the people of America learn the means of expressing themselves in their own time, and their own land.”

This was considered to be bad taste. Like many other art movements like Impressionism or Fauvism, the title of Ashcan started as an insult. A reviewer sneered about the “pictures of ashcans and girls hitching up their skirts on Horatio Street.” The artists embraced the derision as a badge of honor.

The Ashcan School artists were also referred to as “The Apostles of Ugliness,” much as the punks were called “foul mouthed yobs.”

But the critics are missing something important: the ugliness isn’t the point. It’s the willingness to undergo the rough journey needed to renew the energy of life.

Something too constrained stagnates, even dies. There’s always something a little wild and scary about real growth.

There’s a difference between pretty and beautiful. Prettiness is a surface. Beauty is the substance. Pretty is an outside appearance; beauty is from within. Pretty is agreeable. Beauty is truthful, and as we know, the truth isn’t always pleasing.

Accepting yet refining the harshness of truth through creative expression is a transcendental experience. The joyous human offering of art can add significance to mundane squalor.

Right now, Postmodern establishment mismanagement has created a culture which is neither pretty nor beautiful. They need us to believe the squalor is the point, after all. Artists are needed as the pioneers which carry out the idea that life is wonderful and surprising, even if elitists call us trashy. Cultural renewal will be a little wild and scary.

The latest cycle of real change in the arts actually started decades ago, although the cultural institution-controlling elites do their best to suppress the news.

In 2000, two British artists, Charles Thomson and Billy Childish, were tired of transgressive yet still bland and predictable Postmodern art. They were brave enough to tell the truth: the galleries and museum were filled with objects that weren’t really art at all. They described a new cultural understanding called Remodernism, rising to take the place of failed Postmodern artifice. Their manifesto included this key proposition: “The making of true art is man’s desire to communicate with himself, his fellows and his God. Art that fails to address these issues is not art.”

Childish soon struck off on his own, and continues as a celebrated painter, musician, and writer. Thomson remained committed to cultivating Remodernism as a movement. Guided by his inspirational example, grassroots art groups were founded around the world.

I was inspired. In my own Remodern America manifesto, I wrote my take on what is happening now:

Remodernism reboots the culture. Remodernism is not a style of art, it is a form of motivation. We express the universal language of inspired humanity. We do not imitate what came before. We find in ourselves the same divine essence of love and excitement which has inspired masterpieces throughout history. We are strengthened by drawing on traditions thousands of years old. We integrate the bold, visionary efforts of the Modern era into a holistic, meaningful expression of contemporary life. Remodernism seeks a humble maturity which heals the fragmentation and contradictions of Modernism, and obliterates the narcissistic lies of Postmodernism. Remodernism is disruptive innovation applied to the moribund art world.

As for Robert Henri, his wisdom was captured in a great book called The Art Spirit. It encourages us to understand how important the role of the artist is.

As for me, I still pull out my Bad Brains and Minor Threat albums when the mood strikes me. It’s good music to paint to.

A version of this article originally appeared on The Masculinist, now on Substack

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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!

New Painting ‘Hellhound On My Trail”

Richard Bledsoe “Hellhound On My Trail” acrylic on canvas 30″ x 40″

This painting is a sequel.

In 2013, I was new to working in acrylics. I had moved my art studio back into my home in 2012, and decided I didn’t want to be breathing the solvents involved in oil paints any longer.

One of the first acrylic paintings which really clicked for me was called “At the Crossroad.” It was based on the American legend of bluesman Robert Johnson.

It wasn’t in my life for long. The 24″ x 30″ painting was newly completed when I exhibited it in a group show; it sold immediately.

We subsequently made a video out of the painting and the symbolism of its story.

Johnson was our own home-grown version of Faust. He was said to have met the devil at a midnight crossroads and sold his soul in exchange for musical talent.

After the fateful meeting, when you compromise with evil in exchange for worldly glory, is when the real trouble starts.

Johnson sang about that too: “I got to keep moving, got to keep moving/Hellhound on my trail, hellhound on my trail.”

The hellhound is a hunter. A stalker. Whether the hound is guilt, or catastrophe, or even death, his quarry is the one who bargained with dark forces, and set doom into motion. There’s no peace or rest thereafter.

We call the hellhound upon ourselves, and he’s a ruthless tracker. Few escape once he’s on the scent.

I started this new painting in 2020. It sat for a long time incomplete. But its time came round at last.

Just as “Crossroad” was an early breakthrough, I see “Hellhound On My Trail” as another breakthrough in my art. It’s an intense fulfillment of an inner vision.

Artist at Work, June 2020

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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!

Just in Time for the Apocalypse: Albrecht Durer and a Different Take on the Symbolism of the Four Horsemen

Albrecht Durer “The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse” , woodcut, 15-1/4″ x 11-7/16″ (1498)

[1] And I saw when the Lamb opened one of the seals, and I heard, as it were the noise of thunder, one of the four beasts saying, Come and see. [2] And I saw, and behold a white horse: and he that sat on him had a bow; and a crown was given unto him: and he went forth conquering, and to conquer.

[3] And when he had opened the second seal, I heard the second beast say, Come and see. [4] And there went out another horse that was red: and power was given to him that sat thereon to take peace from the earth, and that they should kill one another: and there was given unto him a great sword.

[5] And when he had opened the third seal, I heard the third beast say, Come and see. And I beheld, and lo a black horse; and he that sat on him had a pair of balances in his hand. [6] And I heard a voice in the midst of the four beasts say, A measure of wheat for a penny, and three measures of barley for a penny; and see thou hurt not the oil and the wine.

[7] And when he had opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth beast say, Come and see. [8] And I looked, and behold a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him. And power was given unto them over the fourth part of the earth, to kill with sword, and with hunger, and with death, and with the beasts of the earth.

Revelation 6:1-8

Back in in my freshman year of college, even though I had plenty of art assignments to focus on, I still pursued reading in esoteric subjects which fascinated me. We had a great library at the university, just about a block from my dorm. I was socially awkward, so I had free time. I browsed for hours, looking up whatever crossed my mind.

It was in this side reading I encountered a concept which shaped my understanding of reality ever since.

I can’t remember the title of the book I stumbled across, or the name of the author. He may have been a rabbi.

The subject of the non-fiction book may have been religion, or symbolism, or philosophy. It might have even been self-help; I was looking for advice about my social awkwardness.

Whatever the main point of the book was, this forgotten writer discussed in passing what we call the Four Horsemen, as described in the final book of the Bible, the Book of Revelation.

I learned growing up Revelation (often misidentified in the plural form of “Revelations”) was written by John the Apostle, one of the original disciples of Jesus. Scholars dispute this, but as current events prove, credentialed experts are almost always wrong about everything, especially in their own fields of study.

No matter who wrote it, Revelation presents a hallucinogenic recounting of the Apocalypse. People think Apocalypse means the end of the world, but the word is taken from a Greek term meaning “revealing,” or “uncovering.”

The Bible describes the unsealed riders being turned loose, their mounts, and what they do, but does not name them. The traditional identities given to these terrible figures are Pestilence (white horse and bow), War (red horse and sword), Famine (black horse and scales), and Death (pale horse, with Hell following).

These days many think we are four for four as far as prophecy fulfillment goes, although at the moment Famine looks like he’s yet to really make his move. He’s still in the starting gate, the planned front runner for the next phase in the World Economic Forum’s genocidal assault on humanity.

The best image of the Horsemen I know of comes from the work of German artist Albrecht Durer (May 21, 1471-April 6, 1528). In 1498, less than fifty years after Johannes Gutenberg published his revolutionary copy of the Bible, Durer became the first artist to print and copyright his own book: Apocalipsis Cum Figuris, The Apocalypse with Pictures. Many at the time believed the year 1500 would be the end times, so the folio was topical.

The Four Horsemen was Durer’s greatest hit from the album of fifteen illustrations. The woodcut, originally printed from a plate carved from pear wood, depicts the charge of the forces of destruction, trampling representatives of humanity under the hooves of their horses. Durer was an incredible draftsman, and rendered a horrific scene with naturalistic details and a powerful, diagonal composition. In Durer’s uncolored prints, the riders can be identified by the implements they bear; the Pale Rider gets the devil’s traditional pitchfork. 

The beauty of symbols is they can mean more than one thing. The mysterious, inspirational library book I read suggested an alternative interpretation for the Horseman. Rather than manifestations of God’s wrath, the riders can be seen as four aspects of the human consciousness.

The White Horseman with the bow and crown goes out to conquer. The purity of white, the far reaching range of a bow, and the acts of conquest suggest man’s Spiritual nature.

The Red Horseman with his sword takes peace from the land. The fiery appearance of red, the cutting sword, and the trouble inflicted is like man’s Emotional states.

The Black Horseman with his scales is measuring and stingy. The concealing nature of black, the counting and the withholding communications are Intellectual stances.

The Pale Horseman bringing death and suffering can be seen as our Physical selves, the pallid, fleshy parts of us that break down and die.

Even though there is more to Revelation that this brief segment, I saw the wisdom in the model it suggested. I’ve gone through life looking for physical, intellectual, emotional, and spiritual health. The best resource for harmonizing those elements is represented by another complex symbolic animal of the Apocalypse: the Lamb.

We are undergoing a revelation right now as a culture. It is apocalyptic in that what was once hidden is now coming to light. The WooHoo floo, vaxxx hysteria, the election, planned destruction, puppets and their masters, Durham’s investigation; we don’t know the real stories, just the manufactured narratives.

It’s staggering how much we’ve all been deceived, and for how long. It’s going to be judgement day for many people, especially those who utilized Postmodern strategies of deception and groupthink as their means of power.

Evil is in its death throes and it’s causing much damage, but fundamentally this is an era of rebirth. What is passing away is an entrenched system that could not sustain its delusions any longer.

We aren’t at the end. We are at a reboot of the culture. We will run better once we clear up the rotten aristocratic caste which is locked up and glitching right before our eyes.

I’ve seen this coming for a long time, through my involvement in the art world. The visionary artist William Blake explained it: “Empire follows art, and not vice versa.”

Over my decades involved in the art scene, I saw the establishment art world increasingly exposed as a corrupt joke.

I discovered a powerful alternative way of art proposed by two English artists, Billy Childish and Charles Thomson. They defined a replacement for the globalist scheme of Postmodernism with a practical, populist appreciation of art called Remodernism. It grew into an international art movement, the Stuckists, which has inspired creatives around the world with a DIY spirit far removed from the political posturing that goes on in the elitist art cult.

I saw in these events a pattern I knew the world would follow.

The mighty would fall once the people had enough of their BS. We will bypass their precious assumptions and entitlements, and make them obsolete. We are out-evolving them.

As I said in my 2018 book, Remodern America: How the Renewal of the Arts Will Change the Course of Western Civilization:

Art is a more enduring and vital human experience than the power games of a greedy and fraudulent ruling class. The managers crashed the culture in pursuit of their agenda. They defend their usurped authority and privileges with doublethink, misdirection, and intimidation. Their time has run out. Reality is crashing back through their carefully constructed facades, and a time of reckoning has come. Enduring changes start in the arts. Remodernism defeats Postmodern desecration.

In the meantime, if anyone recognizes the helpful book which discussed the Four Horsemen I stumbled across so many years ago, please leave a comment. I’d love to read it again.

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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: New Painting “Sea Floor”

Richard Bledsoe “Sea Floor” acrylic on canvas 16″ x 12″

2022 got off to a great start, when I finished a painting on New Year’s Day called Reef. Now, in my second painting of 2022, I keep working on the same subject matter. After watching countless nature documentaries, I realized any colors and shapes can be applied to the complex ecosystem of a coral reef. I invented this imagery, keeping it all loose and aquatic.

Keep exploring the depths!

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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 History of the Color Red: From Ancient Paintings to Louboutin Shoes

Art world links which caught my eye...

History of the Color Red

Red Pigment

The colors of paint are created by various minerals, chemicals, or organic substances. This article reviews the various means used to create the color of passion, red.

The Jewish Bride by Rembrandt

Rembrandt “The Jewish Bride,”  1666

Carmine

As with all lake pigments, carmine is made from organic matter, as opposed to minerals used in colors like ultramarine or vermilion. Made from cochineal, tiny scale insects that live on cacti, the pigment made its way to Europe in the early 16th century when Spanish conquistadors noticed the brilliant reds used by the Aztecs. Carmine made a beautiful, deep crimson that was used by nearly all of the great 15th and 16th century painters. Rembrandt, Vermeer, and Velázquez are just some of the painters that used carmine to obtain a rich red hue. The pigment must be used carefully, however, as it can change color when exposed to light.

Fun fact: Cochineal insects were a valuable European import in the 16th century, coming in third after gold and silver. Used both in paints and dyes, the resulting color was a symbol of wealth. Many European aristocrats would wear clothing dyed with cochineal, as it produced a red much stronger than the kermes varieties already available in Europe.

Read the full article here: MY MODERN MET – The History of the Color Red: From Ancient Paintings to Louboutin Shoes

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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: New Painting “Reef”

Richard Bledsoe “Reef” acrylic on canvas 24″ x 24″

2022 got off to a great start, when I finished a painting on New Year’s Day. After watching countless nature documentaries, I realized any colors and shapes can be applied to the complex ecosystem of a coral reef. I invented this imagery, keeping it all loose and aquatic.

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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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