Archive for July, 2011

Great American Families of Art the Gruppe Family….. Emil Gruppe


The artist was born in Rochester, New York. Interestingly enough Rochester has been making weather news as it broke 100 degrees for the first time since 1953. He gained fame for painting his impressionistic paintings of the sea and forest. For this artist I think the best thing he painted was trees. Just perfect. Some detail but much form is suggested leaving room for interpretation by the viewer. Also his leaves were outstanding. Very vibrant and colorful.


Should you wish to see some contemporary artists who paint similar style trees check out Richard Schmid, Albert Handell, Gregory Packard, and David Foley.

The artist was born in 1896.  One of the artists’ favorite painters was Claude Monet.

A link to a Gruppe family gallery operated since 1925 is below. Emile Gruppe is quoted as saying if there is a heaven, it must be here on earth. Please check the site out as it gives far more information on the family.


The artist spent his early years in Holland, there he became influenced by his father and the Hague school of art and painting. The family moved to the U.S. in 1913 as World War I was on the verge of starting. He studied at the National Academy of Art and also at the Grand Chaumiere in Paris.


The artist died in 1978 and if you check out you can see results of more than 1,000 auctions of his artwork.

Here is clip of a wonderful birch tree painted by the artist.


Happy painting!






American Artist Families…. The Gruppe Family….. Patriarch Charles Paul Gruppe



this was the father of the family, to steal a word from the mafia. He was born in 1860, in Picton, Canada on September 3 of 1860.  The artist was mainly self taught but did attend some classes while living in Holland. The entire family paints seascape scenes and I actually have confused some of the artists’ work with that of his son, Emil Gruppe.

The artist’s father died when he was only 10 and the family moved to Rochester New York.

From an artist’s view I really enjoy his composition of harbor scenes and his painting of trees. The trees are sculpted with many layers of paint  and usually located near the focal point of the painting.

As a young boy he took up sketching in watercolour and oils. He also worked for a sign painting shop, modern day typography, mastering the craft at an early age.

His style and work became so close to the Dutch school of painting he was elected to a very exclusive Pulchre Studio in the Hague. He became an artist celebrity and his work was collected by many Dutch museums and also the Dutch Royal Family.

Gruppe also became a dealer broker specializing in Dutch Art and artists.

He died in his studio in Rockport, MA at the age of 80 in 1940.

He was a member of the Salmagundi club of New York.

How about painting a seascape today!

Happy painting!


American Families of Art….. the Gruppe family….



hope you  enjoyed the articles on the Wiggins family, now lets talk about the Gruppe family. First up is Charles C. Gruppe. He is the grandson of Charles Gruppe, who lived from 1860 to 1940.  The artists’ father was a gifted cellist. He had an uncle Karl that was a successful sculptor and Emile Albert another uncle who was known for his harbor scenes.

The artist studied art around the world. Yale, Columbia, the National University of Mexico, and even in Italy where he won awards from the Italian government.

This artist is probably my favorite teacher, should you wish to take a class take it from this man. I recommend his book and dvd that comes along with it highly. In most classes the instructor doesn’t teach fast enough, nor does the student paint quick enough to learn to finish a painting. That is the most important thing behind starting a painting, FINISHING IT. Several students have commented that in other classes they were unable to totally finish a painting. This teacher will have you dissolving edges and being bold with color and shape so that you finish an entire painting in only a few hours and feel great about the results!

On his dvd he talks about doing several hundred paintings per year. Not every painting you make will sell, that is just the dynamics of it, so you need to be as productive as possible to make a living as an artist.   A Denver artist Michelle Torrez said during a class that her goal is to finish one painting per day.  This is a good goal to have, especially as a beginner artist.

The artist was born in 1928 and is still painting and teaching ! Awesome!

A link below to the artist’s website.



Families of American Art…. Guy Wiggins….still painting @ 90 years old…



This artist you have to admire if nothing else for his longevity! He comes from a long line of crafts man and artists!

The artist was born in 1920, grandson to John Carleton and son of Guy Carleton Wiggins.  The artist grew up in Old Lyme, Connecticut. A large artist colony for Impressionism when it was the fashionable way to paint.

The artist was first a student at his father’s art school in Lyme.  Growing up when he did he joined the armed forces, but painted wherever he was stationed.While on assignment in D.C. he took classes at the Corcoran School of Art and the Sculptors School.

He took retirement from foreign service in 1975  and took classes at the Art Students League of New York City.

While at the Art Students’ League he took classes from Robert Beverly Hale and Thomas Fogarty.The artist is a success both in commercial art, having some reproductions made by Cartier for their Holiday Card Selection. He also has a large collector base for his scenes of New York blanketed in snow.

His style I would describe as painterly Realism. Realism interpreted by the artist.

A 3rd generation member of the Salmagundi Club based in New York City!

A great painter still living still producing great works of art! Rock on Wiggins family, this artist appreciates all you have done for the ART WORLD!

Graduated U.C.L.A. in 1950.

Start your own painting dynasty today! All it takes is a dream!



Famous Artist Passes Away…. Death of Lucian Freud…

Freud was known about the art world as a painter of lively flesh.  As  a viewer I grew especially fond of his nudes of fat women. Their flesh seemed so real and full of life.

A few years back he painted Kate Moss.  The artist loved to use hogs hair brushes and piled on the paint like Joaquin Sorolla.

The artist’s father was an architect and his grandfather was the great thinker Sigmund Freud. His family fled Austria and Nazi’s in 1933 and the artist became a British citizen in 1939.

He studied at the Central School of Art as well as Goldsmiths University of London.

His style was seen as a mixture of surrealism and people with unusual poses. In the 70s he spent more than 4000 hours painting his mother.

The artist loved being a dad and is rumoured to have had more than 40 children!

Though he lived simply his net worth at death was estimated at 125 million pounds, or more than 200 million us dollars!

Below is a brief clip of the artist from in interview in 2010.Its great to see this clip as you can get a feeling of how thick his paint was!

American families of art…. the Wiggins Family…. Guy Carleton Wiggins…

I talked about the father, John Carleton Wiggins, today lets talk about a son of John born in 1883.

The artist seems to have been very productive, I found more than 600 auctions of his works on He became known as a great painter of the winter scene, especially in urban areas. He also became a leading impressionist of the Lyme Art Colony. He also loved to paint New York City, especially wintery scenes.

The artist was born in BrooklynA and raised in Lyme, Connecticut. Starting 1917 both father and son listed this as their address. It became an art colony so to speak.

In the Lyme Art colony he painted alongside his father, Childe Hassam, Frank Dumond among others. He enjoyed a long and successful career as a painter  dying in Florida in 1962.

I enjoy the impressionistic and painterly view the artist gives his work. I enjoy photo realists like Raphella Spence and Richard Estes, but give more kudos who are emotional painters of the city such as this artist or Jeremy Mann or Jim Beckner. Its great to give an emotional response!


I found a clip of an art auction of a piece done by the artist in 1935 of New York City. It sold for 38,000, its  fun clip to watch and barely one minute long!

American Artist Families….



I thought it would be interesting to check out the families that have spanned 3 or more generations of American Art. I am sure everyone knows of the Wyeths, N.C. , Andy, and Jamie. Also the daughters of NC Wyeth went on to successful art careers.  We will look at them as well as the Peale’s and the Wiggins.

First the Wiggins. John Carleton Wiggins is the patriarch of the family. He was born in 1848. He was known mainly for his landscapes with cows or sheep.  An American Barbizon painter if you will.

Also had several auctions going of the artists’ work with cows.

He died in 1932.

Tip your hat to the father of one of America’s Art Families!




Artist of the moment….. trompe artist Michael Fitts…



I just became aware of this artist recently while seeing some work of his on the artnet auction site. He is amazing.  I like the fact he is doing trompe like painting, but using not an ultra smooth portrait finish, he uses scrap tin. He started using it when he didn’t want to spend money on canvas.He also liked the texture and the sometimes dented and warn appearance of the metals and tins he uses.

He is known for painting things you use once and then toss away. Look at some of the pics I have included and you have balloons, to clothespins, to shirts, and glass. A true painter of all things!

The artist was born in 1961 in Washington D.C. and got his B.F.A. from Virginia Commonwealth in 1989.

I enjoy this artists work as he paints simple objects everyone is familiar with, and he is going green as anyone by painting on scrap metal! Awesome!

He shows at the Evan Lurie Gallery and the link is below.


Happy learning my friends!




Artist of the moment….. landscape painter Charles Pabst.



This artist is very diverse in his works, a great artist and businessman. He became known as a painter of the grand canyon, but also does cityscapes and country landscapes. I have enclosed the link to his own website below.

Notice he sells not only originals but giclee prints as well.

The artist was born in 1950. He was raised in California and moved to Arizona, attended college at Arizona State University and got a bachelor of fine arts.

He decided to remain in Arizona working as a commercial artist  for 7 years before full time fine art painting in 1978.

The artist finds his inspiration by traveling the soutwest U.S. You can look at a brief slideshow of the artists work from a clip below.




Happy painting!

Artist of the moment…. seascape painter Thomas Higham



This artist is just great. He was born in 1953. His grandfather was a well known blacksmith in the area. His father was a premier boatmaker in the area. He grew up and loves this area of the U.S. His work reminds me of Wyeth, painting the simple things most people take for granted.Wyeth was the painter that first inspired the artist.

Also a great painter of boats. Not often in his landscapes will you find people, but the works connect with the viewer on a emotional level.

The artist had a career retrospective Museum show in Massachusetts in 2006.

He has been showing and selling his paintings since high school.

Also the artist paints in both acrylics and watercolor, achieving tight realism with both mediums.

Received a B.F. A. from Swain School of Design in 1977 and worked as a carpenter and woodworker until in 1993 when he decided to pursue painting full time.

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