Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Recent Miniatures

Dale Wittig, San Francisco, CA
March 30, 2016

Over the last week I've painted about twenty of these miniature paintings on gessoed playing cards, which is a long time practice going back thirty five years or so.  I started this series without any preconceived concepts or themes.  There's a random quality to them.  I wanted to start by seeing just what it was that I wanted to paint.  I'll let others interpret them, assuming that anyone might deem them worthy of interpretation.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Miniatures on Ivory, Francisco Goya

Bordeaux 1825

Antonio de Brugada witnessed Goya at work: “His miniatures bore no resemblance to fine Italian miniatures nor even those of Jean Baptiste Isabey… . Goya had never been able to imitate anyone, and he was too old to begin. He blackened the ivory plaque and let fall on it a drop of water which removed part of the black ground as it spread out, tracing random light areas. Goya took advantage of these traces and always turned them into something original and unexpected. In transforming the stains of water into recognizable forms, Goya added accents by scratching the surface with a sharp pointed instrument; touches of watercolor were deftly applied; outlines were reinforced in black; and small patches of the surface were wiped to produce a range of shadows and highlights.”

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Paintings, Oil on Wood Panel, Albert York (1928-2009)

Water Mill, Long Island, New York 1960-1992

Two Women reclining in a Landscape, Woman with Dog and Moon, Three Red Tulips in Landscape with Horse and Rider, Anemones in a Tomato Can, Skeleton and Woman, Cut Zinnias, Cow with Pond, Two Sheds with Trees, Carnations in a Blue Can with Beetle, Sphinx in Flight, Lunch on the Grass

 Grey Dog and Brown Dog in Landscape, Boundary Line, Geranium with Bird, Two Indigenous Men with Snake, Wheel Barrow, Late Afternoon, Landscape with Five Trees

Albert York didn’t paint many pictures and those he did were fairly small, though I’ve certainly seen a lot smaller, but they made a pretty strong impact on the people who saw them that appreciated the art of painting.  He worked at this vocation for only about thirty years or more and was slow in the execution of it, partly because he often scraped the paint off and started again when working.  As any good painter should be, he was dissatisfied with the stuff he produced.  It’s all pretty remarkable just the same.  Though his work ended up selling for a lot of money and much of it to some obscenely rich bastards, York was what I'd call an honest amateur, far better than most of the celebrated artists of our era at the end of Time.

Moonlit Landscape with Palm, Reclining Female Nude with Cat, Edge of the Wood, Cow in Landscape, Two Carnation Blossoms in Goblet, Two Women with Cow, Tropical Landscape with Palm and Snake, Two Oriental Men in Landscape, Twin Trees, Indigenous Man on Horse and Indigenous Man standing by Water, Four Dogs, Seated Male Nude, Woman with Stork near Water, Portrait, Field with Trees, East Hampton Meadow, Landscape with Alligator