Posts Tagged ‘burton silverman’

Artist of the moment…..Catherine Murphy

Catherine Murphy  was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts in the year 1946. Murphy is a renown for her oil paintings of the urban landscape. For me visually her art reminds me of the painter Burton Silverman. Both do a great job of using a wide variety of greys in their work, they control the color as a master painter should. Below an example of a work by Burton Silverman.



Catherine Murphy attended the Pratt Institute of Art earning a bachelors degree. She took additional classes at Skowhegen School of Painting for a year in the mid 1960s.

Winner of a Guggenheim Fellowship.

Two time participant in the Venice Biennale.

Her husband is an artist Harry Roseman. I wrote about this gentleman two days ago. He is also a professor at Vassar College in upstate New York.

The artist works strictly from life, never from photographic references.

price range information: Sorry none available.

Murphy is concerned with every detail in her work. She might work more than one year on one painting. Murphy is part of many collections including the Museum of Modern Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the Museum of Modern Art.



Artist of the moment…Julio Larraz…..

Julio Larraz is another well known artist that was born in Havana, Cuba in the year 1944. His father owned was the publisher of a newspaper. Larraz’s painting style is wonderful mix of realism and fantasy. I enjoy looking at his art as he is able to push color as  you would expect a Caribbean artist to do. By that I mean I learned as a painter that if I had a red rose, to grey down the red and only use straight from the tube red where I wanted the viewers eye to go. Larraz lives in where maximum color exists everywhere! From the brightly colored fruit in the trees to the flesh tones of the beach and bright pink and bright yellow houses!  Every artist should go to the Caribbean if no other reason than to experience life with an abundance of color everywhere.

A great clip here! Here we see the Larraz’s painting the Tropic of Cancer, go up for auction at Sotheby’s.

Quick selection of the artist’s wide variety of painting from figures and surrealistic works to still life paintings.

In 1961 his family left Cuba and came to the United States. The family lived in Miami, Washington D.C. and then New York city. Over little more than five years time he was able to study with such master painters (in modern times not when he studied with them) Burton Silverman, Aaron Shickler, and David Levine. Its easy to see some influences the artist had from David Levine who was a well known caricaturist working in pen and ink for the most part. Larraz became known as a caricaturist when he was beginning his artistic career.

Here is a wonderful example of David Levine’s caricature style, the celebrity in case you can’t tell, is film director Woody Allen.


Aaron Shikler is a well known artist best known for his portraits. From his paintings I can see that he influenced Larraz on using black, or very dark tones close to it in his works which give them a different feeling of space. Very quiet and still. Below is a great example of Shikler’s style.


Larraz is included in the Boca Raton Museum of Art.

Larraz began working as a full time artist in 1967.

First solo exhibition in the United States took place in Washington D.C. in 1971.

Another artist who has a similar style at least in perspective in that this artist paints many times from views right above the subject. I have blogged about him before and he makes wonderful still lifes, his name is Kenne Gregoire. Here is an example of his above the subject viewpoint. This painting of a nude in bed reminds me a great deal of the painting sold by Larraz at Sotheby’s titled Tropic of Cancer.


Price range information:  Larraz is an old school artisan craftsman well schooled in many mediums from oils ranging from $30,000 to $360,000.  Pastels range from $10,000 to $40,000.

Watercolors range from $6,000 to $25,000. Not enough sales to make a judgement on prices for sculpture works.

Larraz lives and works out of Miami, Florida.

I enjoy this artist for his bright color palette and strong contrasting darks. Also a great technique to include views from above. For some art homework try a view from straight above your subject!

Keep learning!


Artists working with the face and figure….Burton Silverman

A link to his personal website:

online and land based galleries: Gallery 1261 in Denver, Colorado.

low price range: $5,000 for oil painting. Various prices for watercolor and drawings.

high price range: $85,000. For more info please visit this website showing the top portrait artists including Mr. Silverman.    . For a full oil figure painting life size look to pay $85,000.

mediums used: oils, watercolor, graphite, pastels

a clip from a great dvd by the artist. He shows a unique method using bristol board and zinc goache. Its better than normal watercolor as its easy to make corrections.  What I enjoy about this artist and any of his dvds is that he lets his thought process show in the end piece. He paints a rough sketch, lets it dry, then reworks the drawing and adds more paint. He also uses a large Grumbacher brush which I had to search quite a few art stores to find. Its great to pick up large pools of water or paint and put them down without any fear of running out of paint! He has lessons on dvd covering drawing , using watercolor, and painting in oils. He also has some books out. Here is a preview from the watercolor dvd. Its also great as he slides the figure over after making some initial marks. Its great to see the entire thought process that goes into a figure painting.

A short clip from a dvd lesson dealing with using graphite and paper. I learned a lot about how the artist is very patient with his marks rather than try to get into the heavy details of the figure from the start. He starts making marks on the paper and from these random lines finds a very abstract and interesting composition.

Find his Breaking the Rules in watercolor book for around $8 on Another book titled the Sight and Insight of Burton Silverman is $90 on Amazon. This book is more of a retrospective of the artist.

Mr. Silverman was born in 1928. The artist attended Columbia College finishing in 1949. He has done commercial illustration for magazines such as Time and Newsweek. He is included in more than 20 museum collections including the Denver Museum, the Philadelphia Museum, and the Brooklyn Museum.

This artist is one of the best business artists around. He has his works available in life size oils to pastels and watercolors as well as drawings. He also has some prints of his work available. In addition he has written a book and made films showing artists his process of painting. The artist still gives workshops that are sold out as soon as the word gets out.  He is one of the best living artists in the country and I hope you get the chance to see some paintings of his in person.

One last item to learn from this artist is to use a variety of colors in your work, but grey them out.  If you have a bright cadmium red you would like to use in say a sweater, add some raw umber to the red and save the bright splashes of red for just a few areas on the sweater, the artist has supreme control of his colors and his palette.

For today’s art homework try a new medium. This artist does watercolor, oils, and pastels and a high level! You can do it also.

From my experience I use a watercolor technique similar to the artist but use gessoed hardboard rather than paper as you don’t have to worry about the board buckling.

Happy Painting!