Archive for February, 2013

Artist of the moment….Jane Peterson….

  • Price range information:  Oils range from $20,000 to $130,000. She was most prolific in watercolors and gouache works that can be found between $4,00o to $60,000.
  • Jane Peterson was an American artist born in the year 1876 in the city of
    Elgin, Illinois. She loved to draw as a child. Despite having no formal art training Peterson
    was able to take and pass an aptitude exam for Pratt.For her collegiate studies Peterson attended the Pratt Institute in New York city.After college she visited Europe and studied with artists like Frank Brangwyn,
    A well respected painter of the landscape and also portraits who spent much of his career based out of London. Below is an example of Brangwyn’s work. He was a long tenured professor at the London School of Art.
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  • To support herself and pay for school Peterson sold works of her own and also
    gave lessons to fellow students.After finishing college the artist took a job as drawing supervisor of public schools.
  • Peterson also supported herself as a teacher in Massachusetts and Maryland.

On her many trips to Europe she was able to study with a large number of well known artists like Picasso, Braque, Matisse, Charles Cottet, and the most influential was Joaquin Sorolla.

  • Peterson was a student and also a teacher at the Art Students League of New York city. She taught watercolors at the League from 1913 until 1919. She became quite gifted with watermedia and enjoyed using gouache for some of her plein air works. Peterson was introduced to the well known designer Louis Comfort Tiffany and was taken to his estate at Oyster Bay, Long Island. It was here she fell in love with painting gardens. Tiffany had the most exquisite gardens she had seen in a long while, and this gave her the idea to use gouache rather than oils for her quick garden sketches. They are remarkable for their quality and “freshness.”

In 1925 Peterson was married to an attorney. The couple moved into a five story house right across from the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The couple added a sixth floor that was used as her studio.

Her husband passed away in 1929, but this didn’t stop her from travelling the globe. She would winter in Florida and then spend the other seasons in Europe and New York. She was very adventurous and this regard reminds me of the great Georgia OKeefe, both were fiercely independent and didn’t mind travelling alone. OKeefe even taught herself to drive a car!

After her husband passed away she was able to study with a more modern painter that helped bring more color to her floral works, Andres Lhote. Lhote was a French painter very modern in his approach with a very colorful and bright palette. Here is an example of Lhote’s work.


Jane Peterson passed away in 1965 at the age of 89 years old. She had developed arthritis so this prevented her from painting as much as she would have liked, but she still managed to paint until her death. 

  • Peterson is included in the collection of the Met in New York city, the
    Brooklyn Museum of Art, and the Boston Museum of Art.

I feel Peterson is not given the recognition, as many women of her time period, not only due to the fact that they were female in a male dominated game. This was also due to the fact that she discovered and participated in many art movements over her career. Her style was a great mixture of color combined with a high level of draughtsmanship. Very inspiring indeed!

Of her many works I enjoy Peterson’s beach scenes the most.  Another artist painting lively beach scenes would be Sally Swatland. Swatland has painted many works featuring young children at play at the beach. Below is an example of her work.




Get out there and paint or draw!


Artist of the moment……Calvin and Ruby Black….Possom Trot Amusement Park

Calvin Black was born in the year 1903. After marrying in 1933 to Ruby, the couple bought land in the mojave desert of California. The couple made a small amusement park that showcased the amazing wood carving skills of Calvin Black. Eventually the property hosted dolls shows and had wind driven merry go rounds.

Here is the famed amusement park on the couple’s California property, Possom Trot. See many of the artist’s unique wood carvings. His wife was in charge of making and designing the costumes worn by the dolls.

The Black family spent the era of the Depression in the deep south. The family decided to head west to California and bought some land sight unseen via an advertisement they saw in a magazine. The parcel of land was in the Mojave desert. The couple opened a rock and mineral store that didn’t do so well. To attract customers Calvin started to build the dolls and construct them to appear to have movement. As you can see in the clip with the older woman riding a bicycle.

Calvin used found wood from fallen telephone poles or from the many fallen redwoods on his property.

Mr. Black spent some time in the circus and whilst working for the circus found his wife Ruby. With his big tent experience  he even installed tape recorders into the dolls and gave some of the dolls more movement by adding rods to move their limbs. Calvin made the voices and brought the characters to life. The couple had no children, and the dolls became their family. The dolls were left gifts that customers seemed to think fit their personalities like perfume.

The dolls themselves are very interesting for the fact that here is a work of art that sat for many decades in the middle of the Mojave desert and was exposed to many natural elements that you would think would destroy the dolls over time.

The pieces of Possum Trot seldom come to market. Many dolls are priced between the 5,000 to $15,000 range. Occasionally you may find a sign or something like that available for $2,000 to $5,000.

Calvin Black passed away in 1972. His wife Ruby passed away in 1980.

The couple is a great example of Americana, and what used to get people excited to travel on route 66. Other artists that work with recycled and found would be Goeffrey Gorman who makes wonderful lively animals from wood and other found materials.

A link for Gorman’s very unique and entertaining website:




Artist of the moment….Robert Mangold

Robert Mangold is a minimalist artist that was born in Tonawanda, New York in the year 1937. His parents were both employed his father working at an organ factory. His mom worked in the garment industry.

Mangold has worked in many mediums including woodcuts and aquatints which can be found between one and three thousand dollars. His most expensive works are originals in acrylics which can fetch up to 602,000 U.S dollars. Pencil works can reach up to $80,000.

Often times Mangold will work in a series executing paintings and works on paper.

In this clip we visit the renown Pace gallery for a show given for the artist in 2008.

Mangold is held in high regard by other artists who collect his work. One such artist is Robert Kushner, the fantastic painter of floral scenes.

Robert Mangold also married an artist, his wife is Sylvia Mangold. The couple live and work out of Washingtonville, New York.  Here is an example of one of her tree paintings.


The couple had a son James who went on to work in Hollywood as a screenwriter and film producer. Another son named Andrew Mangold who is a musician.

For his artistic education Mangold attended Cleveland Institute of Art. He went on to earn both a bachelors and masters degree from the art program at Yale University.

In this clip we revisit the great PBS series Art21. It has brought featured many artists including Mark Bradford and  Julie Mehretu. Robert Mangold is featured.

If you enjoy minimalism make sure and check out my post on Donald Judd. Judd was born in the year 1928 and passed away in 1994. Here is a great example of Judd’s minimalist work.


An art story that features many minimalist and modern artists would be that of Herb and Dorothy. Herb was a postal employee and his wife Dorothy a librarian. The couple bore no children and spent Dorothy’s salary to start an art collection that lasted their entire lifetime. The couple amassed such a collection they donated 5o works of art to each state. Its a great documentary if you get the opportunity to see it, don’t pass it up. When visiting their rent controlled apartment in New York city watch where you sit, there might very well be an original Frank Stella artwork lying on the floor!

A clip featuring the couple touring the many New York galleries. From the documentary film on the couple.

Another artist working in a minimalist style with basic geometric shapes making wonderful art would be Julie Mehretu. Mehretu was born in the year 1970 and below is a wonderful example of her work. Mehretu paints and also makes large scale installations.


Artist of the moment….Guy Diehl

Guy Diehl is an American artist  that works with a variety of mediums and producing wonderful still life works. Not only does he sell originals, but his artwork has been featured on many tapestries and fabrics. Diehl was born in 1949 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

For his collegiate studies Diehl earned a bachelors degree at California State University Hayward. Diehl went on to earn a masters degree at San Francisco State College in California. For a short time Diehl attended Diablo Valley College, also in California.

A link to Guy Diehl’s own personal website:

In this clip we hear directly from Guy Diehl and mural project done in Davis, California. As he states, are should be part of everyone’s daily life!

Mediums used: Has worked in many mediums from cloth to painting and for painting sticks to acrylics.

Other artists that have spent a fair amount of time doing murals include Diego Rivera, Michelle Torrez. Torrez is a great painter of the figure and works in oils now. Here is an example of her contemporary artwork.

One last figure in the mural world to check out would be John Pugh. Pugh paints in a very realistic style that is meant to trick the viewers eye!

Another clip from Davis, California featuring the Davis Mural team at work giving their neighborhood a facelift featuring Guy Diehl working with his fellow neighbors! Very inspirational to see the community come together for art. He calls his work interactive storytelling.

One last clip featuring the Davis Mural Team. Just very cool!



Its great to see artists working with community members on ideas for the public. Lets hope that we can see collaboration with children and schools. A way to make them feel part of their community and also to make art part of the daily activities.



Artist of the moment…….Mario Sanchez….

Mario Sanchez was an artist who flourished during the mid 1900s with his works that dealt with living life in the wonderful and very colorful Florida keys. Sanchez was born October the 7th in the year  1908  and spent most of his life in the Florida Keys. From the beginning inhabitants in the 1820s until the artist’s passing in 2005, his oeuvre documented his way of life in the Keys for more than one centuries time.


Sanchez passed away in 2005.

In this clip we visit the Gallery Greene in the Florida Keys to seek  out some original works by Mario Sachez. His works appear about 1 minute 50 seconds into the clip.

Grandma Moses was a great artist that didn’t start painting until her old age made her give up crocheting. She was skilled as a draftsman with all of her time spent designing quilts and blankets. I enjoy her work for its simplicity and execution. Here is a great example of Grandma Moses’ artistic style.


Another artist working with a folk art style would be Queena Stovall. Stoval took up painting at the age of 62. Stovall was self taught and documented her friends and family in her artwork. Here is a great example of Stovall’s style.


Another artist that has a folk art style would be Mary Michael Shelley. Shelley was born in 1950 and often times using woodcarvings as a final statement of art. An example of Mary Michael Shelley’s artwork below.




I hope you enjoyed this quick look at some folk artists. For those of you in Colorado, its like a Guy Wiggins painting outside today!




Artist of the moment…..Matthew Cusick….

Matthew Cusick is a contemporary artist who makes wonderful works of art using recycled materials and papers such as maps. Matthew Cusick was born in New York city in the year 1970.  For his collegiate studies Cusick stayed in New York attending The Cooper Union finishing in 1993 with a bachelor’s of fine arts degree.

I love the way his art not only celebrates realism, but is also a form of pop art. Cusick does a great job at using text and words to bring more interest to his paintings. In addition to the cut collage, the artist uses acrylics to bring his works to completion.

Cusick is part of the San Diego Museum of Contemporary Art Collection.

Paper’s used in his artwork:  Old textbooks, maps, atlases, encyclopedias.

A link to Matthew Cusick’s own personal artist website:

In this clip we see many works of art done by Matthew Cusick.

If you like Matthew Cusick’s style of art make sure and check out the wonderful Peter Clark. Peter Clark hails from Britain and makes awesome animals from discarded vintage papers. Here is a great example of Peter Clark’s style of art with this fun looking weiner dog.


Another artist who takes contemporary art to a new level is the British artist David Mach. Mach has produced some incredible works of art using the collage method, but I am most impressed with his portrait works. They are sculptures that don’t use paint, but rather the many colors found on imported matches. Here is a great example of his work with match heads with the resulting face of Charlie Chaplin.


Price range information:  Sorry, none available.

Try a collage today!

Artist of the moment….Richard Jackson….

Richard Jackson was born in the year 1939 in Sacramento, California.

For his collegiate studies Jackson attended Sacramento City College studying art and engineering.

Jackson was part of the teaching faculty at UCLA from 1989 to 1994. He taught sculpture. Though he has worked with many mediums over the years his works now lean towards performance art. Sometimes the action that he is documenting is not art to some observers. For instance in this clip Richard Jackson flies a toy airplane and then crashes it just outside of the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California.

And you must admit that at least Mr. Jackson has brought the question to the forefront of our minds, what is art!  If you want to skip ahead in the clip watch the last 45 seconds to view the crash! This was a series done by Mr. Jackson titled Accidents in Abstract Painting. It was free to the public. The plane was fifteen feet long and filled with paint.

Here we see Richard Jackson at work on another abstract work.

Richard Jackson currently lives and works out of Los Angeles, California.

Has been part of exhibits in Germany, France, Switzerland, London, and the United States.


One of my favorite artists working with floral imagery started as on stage performer in the 1970s, Robert Kushner. Though very skilled and progressive with his acting, sometimes appearing nude on stage, Kusher went on to become a spectacular painter of flowers using mixed media. Below is a wonderful example of Robert Kushner’s painting style!


Try some performance art today, just for something different. Channel your favorite movie that will appear at the Oscar’s tomorrow night!

Price range information:  A life sized plastic version of the duck went for more than $62,000. Watercolors range from $2500 to $7500. Oils range from $1,000 to 4000. Photographs are available starting for few hundred dollars.

Artist of the moment……Andy Burgess…..

Andy Burgess is what the current Pop Art movement is about. Burgess hails from England and is renown for his work with the urban landscape. Sometimes he paints the works but he is also deft and producing what he calls ephemeral collages. Collages that use time period consumer goods boxes and labels.

A link to the artist’s own website. Very cleaver name!

This clip features the artwork and photography of Andy Burgess applied to commercial ideas.

Price range information:  The very large renditions of summer houses that are done in oils sell for $25,000. These can reach as long as 60 by 90 inches.

Don Wexler is a famous architect from California. He became well known for his summer houses made with steel. The houses have a very clean and modern look and feel. Here is a classic Wexler architecture design. When I first saw a Wexler’s house I confused it for a work of art by Andy Burgess!


For his collegiate studies Bugess attended Leeds University. He also studied art at the Byam Shaw School.

In 2005 had a painting featuring a street scene in Philadelphia was chosen for the Royal College of Art annual competition for the Hunting Art Prize.

Burgess lives and works out of London, England.

Burgess has been in many shows with  the Cynthia Corbett gallery since the year 2000.

Has been in many international art publications including Modern Painters. He has also been featured in the Daily Telegraph and the Evening Standard.

Burgess has done many high profile commissioned works including works for the Queen Mary II, the international yacht and views of the River Thames.

A recent commission has Burgess painting the Cardinal Tower of Farringdon, large property investment company.

If you enjoy the artwork of Andy Burgess, make sure and check out an artist that uses a similar palette and fun compositions, John Aquilino.  Aquilino lives and works out of New York and here is an example of  Aquilino’s work with the urban scape. The artist has also worked in the animation industry.


How about following in the footsteps of these two artists with their very unique approaches to the classic landscape!


Artist of the moment…..Hayward Oubre….

Hayward Oubre was born in the year 1916 in New Orleans.  Oubre was a groundbreaker as he was an African American football player that also studied art at Dillard University. He was the first art major in the school’s history. Oubre then went on to Atlanta University where he was able to meet some great mentors.

One such professor was Hale Woodruff, a leader in the Harlem Renaissance movement. Woodruff was born in 1900 and was well known for his ethnic style of painting. Here is a great example of Woodruff’s style.


Another mentor that helped Oubre along his artistic path was the sculptor Nancy Elizabeth Prophet. Prophet came to fame during the Harlem Renaissance as a sculptor. She spent a fair amount of time overseas living in Paris, and gained a large following for her portraiture work.


Oubre was drafted into military service and joined a group of African American engineers that developed the Alaska Canadian highway.

After the war, Oubre used the G.I. bill to go back to school. This time he earned a Master’s of Fine Art’s Degree from the University of Iowa following two other well known graduates Elizabeth Catlett and Houton Chandler. I have written about Catlett many times as she was a great sculptor. Chandler was more abstract in his art and below is an example of his style.


During this time as an M.F.A. student Oubre was able to study in depth other forms of art such as printmaking. For printmaking he was able to study under the great Mauricio Lasansky. Lasansky was the son of a bank note engraver and went on to become a highly collected printmaker in the artworld. Here is a great example of Lasansky’s printmaking style.




Oubre also made many painting studies referring to his childhood. Oubre also began working with wood and clay.

Oubre went on to teach art at Florida A & M University, Alabama State University, and Winston Salem State University.

Hayward Oubre passed away in 2006 at the age of 90 years old.


If you enjoy Mr. Oubre’s work, especially the work with wire, please check out a wonderful artist hailing from Colorado that also loves to work with wire. Tim Flynn. Here is a great example of Flynn’s work with wire.




Oubre was highly talented and successful artist that is often overlooked when it comes to African American’s and their contribution to the artworld. Lets hope in due time more recognition comes this artist’s way. He was not only highly skilled, but also taught many modern and contemporary artists.

Sorry, no price range information available!


Artist of the moment….Mihail Chemiakin…

Price range information: Many lithograph prints can be found between two and four thousand dollars. No pricing available for sculpture works or original works. He has worked with oils, acrylics, drawings, and sculpture.

In this clip we see a small outdoor sculpture section featuring Mihail Chemiakin. The park is located in Moscow, Russia.

Mihail Chemiakin was born in Moscow, Russia in the year 1943.

Chemiakin was exiled from Russia in 1971 partly for being an “underground artist” and relocated to Paris, France. 

1981 Chemiakin relocated again but this time to New York city.

In 1989 the artist returned to Russia for a retrospective of his work.

Won a prestigious government award given by then President Boris Yeltsen for his contribution to the Russian artworld in  1993.

Chemiakin started studying art at a high level whilst still enrolled in high school at the Repin Academy of the Arts in Leningrad, Russia.

In addition to producing many public sculptures for the parks around Russia, Chemiakin also designs theater and stage productions for the Mariinksy Theater.

Chemiakin reminds me of another spectacular Surrealist painter hailing from Russia, the wonderful Vladimir Kush. This is my favorite work by Vladimir Kush, what wonderful butterflies.


Chemiakin has many books for sale on Amazon that show his work as well.

Try a Surrealist work today. Use a brightly colored palette like these artist’s use or if you feel it try a Peter Max super charged color palette.

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