Author: admin

  • E.H. Shepard

    E.H. SHEPARD I was raised on Ernest H. Shepard’s illustrations for the Winnie the Pooh books, but for some reason Kenneth Grahame’s The Wind In the Willows never found me until recently. Better late than never. Shepard worked in vignettes, letting the edges go, by which device he focussed in on his perfectly selected details. […]

  • Non-Schnabel Beach

    NON-SCHNABEL BEACH I am not a fan of the work of Julian Schnabel (vide July 7, below).      But I’m reminded of his labored crockery paintings by the shore of an inlet off San Francisco Bay, in Richmond. Right across the road from Costco, as a matter of fact. Visible only at very low tide. […]

  • Dali blue

    DALI BLUE One of the characteristics of oil paint is that it grows transparent as it ages. When the paint is applied in thin glazes, underwork eventually begins to show through. As in Salvador Dali’s “Portrait of Dorothy Spreckels Munn” (1942) in the DeYoung Museum in San Francisco.     Here we can see that […]

  • sidewalk delights

    SIDEWALK DELIGHTS Followers of this blog will know, of course, that we ponder only the most lofty and profound questions of art, except when, as now, we pause to notice odd, nifty little things. As here. Every year dozens and dozens of youngsters fan out to execute pastels on the sidewalk on a shopping street […]

  • two more Cezannes

    TWO MORE CEZANNES Recurring to the subject of Cezanne’s methods (see July 28 below), consider two portraits of Antony Valabrègue, done about five years apart. One is so much better than the other.                               The earlier piece is just plopped down. […]

  • Pickett? Really?

    PICKETT? REALLY? Recently, paging happily through “The New Yorker Album of Art & Artists,”* I stopped to enjoy the classic Tobey cartoon after “The Sleeping Gypsy” by Henri Rousseau, c. 1897. I’d admired this many times before, but never bothered to notice the painting on the wall to the left.   It is “Manchester Valley” […]

  • Brooklyn Windows

    BROOKLYN WINDOWS You find these and many similar windows along Carlton Ave in Brooklyn. Informal art of an unassuming, delightful kind: people putting out little plantations and looking after them.                                                    And […]

  • Soutine’s Splash

    SOUTINE’S SPLASH The show of Chaim Soutine (1893–1943) now at the Jewish Museum in New York is full of delights—some pretty standard images in all the art history texts, but other, lesser-known surprises. And one of the nifty things about this show is that very few of the pieces are under glass, so you can […]

  • A Favorite Theophilus Brown

    A FAVORITE THEOPHILUS BROWN Theophilus Brown (1919 – 2012) was a member of the Bay Area Figurative Movement of the ‘50s and ‘60s, and continued drawing and painting into the new century. This undated lithograph ( 8½ x 6” ) lives happily on my dining room wall. I admire the strong, sharp design – those […]

  • Madame Cezanne

    “MADAME CEZANNE” One of the fascinations of the prime work of Paul Cezanne is how he builds his compositions by a process of minute discovery. A new book, Cezanne Portraits by John Elderfield, is full of wonderful examples. “Madame Cezanne” is one. It’s instructive to compare Cezanne’s execution with Edouard Manet’s in a work of similar […]