Tuesday, August 7, 2018

New Work: Forest Sequence I, oil on canvas 48 x 120 inches

Forest Sequence I, oil on  two, 48 x 60 inch canvases, total size, 48 x 120 inches

Sometimes you just want to go bigger with an idea. With this oil and the 10' expanse, I was able to create an expressive forest view where all is simplified and surrounded in a soft, colored atmosphere. 

Care was taken to keep a limited color selection and also to subtly move the color across the canvas from left to right. There is a lot of atmosphere here and it becomes more obvious when the foliage is reduced on the right side. As the oil developed, I became more aware of the lateral possibilities and seeing back into the forest. 

It became a painting of nuances, a sweeping view of trees plainly seen and many others receding into the background. It was a joy to watch this come to life on the canvas.

Saturday, August 4, 2018

Grateful Notices: Light Diffusing Oil on canvas, 40 x 40 inches

Light Diffusing   Oil on canvas, 40 x 40 inches
private collection
Exhibited: Dominique Boisjoli Fine Art, Santa Fe, NM

I started this oil while I was doing private lessons. The idea being presented was to grey down all of the colors and create a sunlit piece without the need for saturated colors and bright effects. Parts of the painting still appear to be bright but it's a nice illusion. The brighter colors are in reserve - they are not used here, but more vibrancy could have been brought in if needed.

Since the colors are not a full strength, it allows for the delicate purples and blue-greens to play a prominent role here and there, breaking up the line of trees and making this part of the forest more interesting. It's a good strategy for making every color count and creating a softer mood.

The composition went through numerous changes, simplifying each time with the end result being a painting equally focused on color and composition.

My thanks to the collectors that purchased this work. It's always an honor.

Article and Video: Did a Deceased Couple Steal a de Kooning and Get Away With It?

Here's a very interesting headline from the Washington Post, August 3, 2018 by Antonia Farzan.  This is an excerpt, so check out the full Washington Post story here and scroll down to see the video documentary.

A small-town couple left behind a stolen painting worth over $100 million — and a big mystery

Woman-Ochre” by Willem de Kooning.
(Courtesy of University of Arizona Museum of Art)
More than 30 years ago, that same painting disappeared the day after Thanksgiving from the University of Arizona Museum of Art in Tucson
Jerry and Rita Alter kept to themselves. They were a lovely couple, neighbors in the small New Mexico town of Cliff would later tell reporters. But no one knew much about them.

They may have been hiding a decades-old secret, pieces of which are now just emerging.

Among them:

After the couple died, a stolen Willem de Kooning painting with an estimated worth of $160 million was discovered in their bedroom.

More than 30 years ago, that same painting disappeared the day after Thanksgiving from the University of Arizona Museum of Art in Tucson.

And Wednesday, the Arizona Republic reported that a family photo had surfaced, showing that the day before the painting vanished, the couple was, in fact, in Tucson.

The next morning, a man and a woman would walk into the museum and then leave 15 minutes later. A security guard had unlocked the museum’s front door to let a staff member into the lobby, curator Olivia Miller told NPR. The couple followed. Since the museum was about to open for the day, the guard let them in.

The man walked up to the museum’s second floor while the woman struck up a conversation with the guard. A few minutes later, he came back downstairs, and the two abruptly left, according to the NPR interview and other media reports.

Sensing that something wasn’t right, the guard walked upstairs. There, he saw an empty frame where de Kooning’s “Woman-Ochre” had hung.

At the time, the museum had no surveillance cameras. Police found no fingerprints. One witness described seeing a rust-color sports car drive away but didn’t get the license plate number. For 31 years, the frame remained empty.

In 2012, Jerry Alter passed away. His widow, Rita Alter, died five years later at 81.

After their deaths, the painting was returned to the museum. The FBI is investigating the theft.

Did the quiet couple who lived in a three-bedroom ranch on Mesa Road steal “Woman-Ochre” and get away with it?

Something else doesn’t add up. Jerry and Rita Alter worked in public schools for most of their careers. Yet they somehow managed to travel to 140 countries and all seven continents, documenting their trips with tens of thousands of photos.

Also included in the Post article is this documentary from WFAA, Dallas

And yet, when they died, they had more than a million dollars in their bank account, according to the Sun News.

“I guess I figured they were very frugal,” their nephew, Ron Roseman, told WFAA.

Roseman couldn’t be reached for comment on Thursday evening. But not long after “Woman — Ochre” resurfaced, he told ABC13 that he couldn’t imagine that his aunt and uncle had stolen the painting.

“They were just nice people,” he said.

Read the rest of this Washington Post story here