A Peek Inside an Itinerant Artist’s Toolbox

Here is a fantastic article Lynn Sanguedolce wrote for Artists on Art Magazine.

A Peek Inside an Itinerant Artist’s Toolbox

By Lynn R. Sanguedolce

When I think of the various opportunities for students today on their paths to learn about painting, they contrast sharply with the artistic “road less traveled” that I have been on. I know I am not alone in this feeling. Sometimes life’s circumstances prevent us from following what we think is our heart’s desire. I was unable to commit to a long period of study at an art school, atelier or with a specific teacher/mentor. I moved frequently all over the country (12 homes in 25 years, up and down both coasts with a stint living in the desert) and I was immersed in my role as a mom. To top it off, I think I suffer from a form of AADD (Art Attention Deficit Disorder). Therefore, my art education, career and growth, progressed in fits and starts as my circumstances and stamina allowed. This probably accounts for the broad range of subject matter, style and different mediums I have enjoyed using. Not a good thing for “branding” perhaps, but a great thing for acquiring skills or “tools for my toolbox.”

Oil on Belgian Linen 39.5in H x 30in W

Bruce in the Coffee House
Oil on Belgian Linen
39.5in H x 30in W

My artistic roots are found on the East Coast where I was born into a family of artists. My dad’s art studio was a wonderful playground to me. I knew I was different from the other kids in my neighborhood. Instead of toy kitchens, I had quill pens, India ink, and tempera paints. My parents also encouraged a love affair with nature. These were my first tools. . .

My formal art education began after high school at the School of Visual Arts, where I studied life drawing and Illustration for several years. It was here, under the guidance of my teacher Sam Martine, that I became enamored with composition, shapes, and gesture. I picked watercolor as my medium of choice. (This felt like a natural transition from my tempera paints.) Later, when I became an illustrator, making frequent contributions to periodicals such as Readers Digest, I had the opportunity to continue refining composition and selection skills and to learn good work habits. More to add to my toolbox.

I, along with my toolbox, might have remained this way forever if it wasn’t for that fateful day in 1989 when Sam recommended that I check out an exhibit of the work of a Spanish painter I had never heard of, at the IBM Galleries in New York City. His name was Joaquin Sorolla.

Introspection Oil on Belgian Linen 22in H x 30in W

Oil on Belgian Linen
22in H x 30in W

My reaction was immediate. My heart pounded and my pulse quickened. The color relationships in those Sorolla paintings were so luscious I wanted to eat them. In the days and weeks that followed, a nagging and persistent voice taunted, dared and eventually lured me to purchase oil painting supplies and venture outside of the studio door.

The important thing is this: To be able at any moment to sacrifice what we are for what we could become.”

(Charles Dubois)

Enter Impressionism (yes, I removed black from my palette) and wow!—the paintings of Willard Metcalf.  When I worked with the thickness and sensuousness of the oil paint texture, it was fantastic! I grew to love the scent of unwrapping a fresh roll of primed canvas and the process of stretching it. The color relationships out in nature made me deliriously happy. My hands (and brain) were clumsy and awkward in the presence of the new tools and materials. It was an incredibly humbling and daunting experience to, in effect, start over and learn a completely new way of working. What kept me going was all the joy in the process, and I was on an absolute mission to capture nature. It was during this time that I put a great deal of focus into developing my “color vocabulary.” I learned about how to mix colors in this incredible outdoor laboratory. More tools.


I remember this as one of the very happiest and most fulfilling times of my life, but there came a point when I had to admit to myself that my paintings did not meet my expectations. I couldn’t come close to painting the beauty I saw. Figuring out that there was much more to learn than what I could possibly teach myself, I reached out to some great instructors.

Tom Poyner in the Studio Oil on Belgian Linen  68in H x 50in W

Tom Poyner in the Studio
Oil on Belgian Linen
68in H x 50in W

“A self-taught man usually has a poor teacher and a worse student.”

Henny Youngman

I found John Phillip Osborne, at the Ridgewood Art Institute in New Jersey. John taught direct painting methods, introduced me to the work of George Inness, and reconfirmed the importance of painting from life. Fifteen years, and many miles of canvas later, I took a Tonalist landscape painting workshop with Dennis Sheehan, who graciously shared his knowledge of indirect painting methods and adding mood to paintings. More great tools.

And again, things might have gone on just like this for the rest of my life, if it hadn’t been for the moment in Dennis’ studio when I happened to notice some incredibly soulful head studies he had painted that were leaning against the wall. I can clearly remember thinking, “Oh no.” After devoting over 15 years to the study of landscape, I glimpsed something that my mind could not erase. The question of whether I was an Impressionist or Tonalist faded as a stronger current pulled and drew me back to painting figures.

This process, again and again, of dismantling preconceived perceptions of what I thought defined me really cut to the quick, but I kept going. I was very lucky to have the opportunity to study with John Frederick Murray in Tucson, who showed me the benefit of making Master copies, and helped me to develop an understanding of many important painting principles. I continued on with other instructors and am so grateful for my time with Glen Orbik at the California Art Institute, who taught me so much about the structure of the head. I feel very indebted to Jeremy Lipking as well.

Each new exciting discovery further eroded the walls of false security I had built around my identity as an artist. It was important to shed those skins, put my ego on a shelf—however painful and humbling the process—and open up to what else I might learn.

Although I didn’t have the benefit of an established curriculum at a particular school, through this unlikely path I gained the ability to cultivate an inner dialogue and recognize the clues that art, life and my own work provided to me. It took time to tie it all together, create order, and make sense of it.

“In the great cathedrals of art education, the idea is to grab what you can from the priests before they get to you, and then go it alone with courage, optimism and full-on individual character.”

(Robert Genn)

As I continue today to shed those self-imposed limitations, I am free to let my intuition and inspiration be my compass and guide me in the right direction. And that compass has proven to be my best tool of all.

Opalescence Oil on Belgian Linen 40in H x 30in W

Oil on Belgian Linen
40in H x 30in W

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Ryan Brown in Vancouver

Workshop: Ryan Brown in Vancouver

Blog by Matthew D. Innis. Re-posted with permission. Visit Matthew’s blog – underpaintings.com for more fantastic and informative articles on art and artists.
Ryan Brown will be teaching back-to-back, 5-day workshops next month, and there are only a few spots available for interested students.  The first workshop, running from July 8th through the 12th, will concentrate on landscape painting, while the second, from the 15th through the 19th, will focus on the portrait.  Both workshops are being held at the Northwest Fine Art Studio in Vancouver, British Columbia.
While studying illustration at Brigham Young University, Brown found that his interests in 19th century Academic and Naturalist working methods were not being satisfied.  So in his senior year, he entered into a private study with William Whitaker, a figure painter renowned for his immaculate technique.  But when Brown received his degree in 2002, he felt he had only just scratched the surface of his assimilation of traditional methods, and he decided to move to Europe to finish his training.  Over several more years of intensive study, he eventually completed the rigorous drawing and painting program offered by the Florence Academy of Art in Italy.
Since returning to the Untied States, it has been Brown’s goal to pass on the training he received in Academic art to a new generation of artists.  He has taught many classes and conducted many workshops throughout at the country, including teaching regular courses at his alma mater, BYU.  Several years ago, he opened his own school in Utah, the Center for Academic Study and Naturalist Painting (CAS), which offers a 5 year, full-time program.
In a recent interview, Brown had this to say about taking workshops:
Workshops can be great fun and a great resource for information for students. It’s a great opportunity to expand your thinking and experience other working methods. But for all the good workshops offer, they do have their limits.
I think there are a couple of things students can do to prepare for and take advantage of workshops.
First, if possible, have a home base for your training. If you have a program or respected artist close to home that can provide you with a stable curriculum to follow that will help you build a solid foundation, this will help tremendously when branching out to experience different approaches. It grounds your learning and gives you a context by which to compare and understand other methods.
Secondly, spend as much time as you need learning to draw. Perhaps the most important and the most common critiques I give to workshop attendees have to do with the correction of drawing errors. Nothing will make your time in any workshop more valuable than having developed strong drawing skills. Drawing is the fundamental first step towards being a good painter. Having said this, I don’t believe you have to be a master draftsman before you take a workshop;  it’s just a good idea to always be working on your drawing skills, and the more you do so, the more I believe you will be open to learning in any given workshop.

Lastly, have realistic goals when attending a workshop. Don’t put undue pressure on yourself to create something amazing. Disconnect your desire to create from your desire to learn. Remember that the real prize you’ll bring home from a workshop is new information and knowledge.

One of the most important pieces of advice I can share with any student is to be fair with themselves. Learning cannot be rushed. It takes as long as it takes. Don’t allow your impatience to overcome your determination to improve. Develop the discipline and patience that you need to succeed.

And don’t be afraid to communicate your hopes with the instructor. A good instructor should want to know what you hope to learn and help you towards it.

The Northwest Fine Art Studio is located at 8091 Williams Road, Unit 14, in Richmond, B.C., just 15 minutes south of the Vancouver Airport.  For more information on their workshops, please visit theirwebsite.
Brown will also be offering a condensed 3-day portrait painting workshop in Miami this September. For more information on that workshop, please contact the Old Masters Atelier.
See the earlier Underpaintings post on the making of Ryan Brown’s painting,
The Loneliness of Waiting, by clicking here.
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Bryce Cameron Liston: Essence of Lavender

“As an artist my career is dedicated to the integrity and quality of representational fine art.”, says Bryce Cameron Liston. “My goal is to regain the traditions of the past along with the standards of craftsmanship and training. By studying the great artists of the past, we artists of today can once again regain a full command of proficiency to create great works of art…art about life.”

Bryce Cameron Liston
Essence of Lavender
oil on linen
30 X 24 in.
Available at the M Gallery of Fine Art

Palette colors: Titanium/zinc white, cadmium yellow light, cadmium yellow deep, cadmium red light, perylene red, quinacridone violet, ultramarine blue, Sevres blue, transparent oxide red, raw umber.

644540_371896602886158_1813501030_nStep 1: For many of my paintings, particularly undraped figures, I will do a separate drawing that I can refer back to. But in this case I started the charcoal drawing directly on the white ground of the linen. After many changes of both placement and proportions I ended up with this drawing…it’s certainly nothing fancy. I start with the paint by applying color to the light side of the figure using a mixture of white, cad yellow lt., and perylene red, with a small amount of Sevres blue (Sevres blue is a Rembrandt color which is thalo blue and white). I want to keep the paint thin at this stage, so I use a generous amount of OMS to thin the mixtures.

425801_371896629552822_178431883_nStep 2: I continue to apply the basic flesh tones over most of the figure. I also mass in the general tones of the background, keeping them toward the warmer side and not pushing the values too far light or dark. As I work into the darker flesh tones I add some transparent earth red to the mixture. I’m paying particular attention to the grouping of the overall tones, trying to keep similar tones massed together, so at this stage I can get a feeling of where the painting is going.

420937_371896642886154_1966530588_nStep 3: “Wow what was I thinking?!” was my first thought the next day. I was still happy with the figure but I felt that my background was too broken up and didn’t seem to make the best design. My tones weren’t as grouped as I had thought they were. I didn’t really want to scrape the panting down, but that little annoying voice kept telling me that I’d be sorry if I didn’t. With some trepidation, I went for it, scraping and wiping down most of the surface, fortunately the painting was still a little wet from the previous day, so the paint came off easily. I then proceeded to change the elements in the background, focusing on simplifying the design. With a few changes of furniture I was able to facilitate a simpler triangular design that focused more strongly on the figure. I then reestablished the figure along with the new changes in the background. The changes took most of day but it was definitely worth it.

598731_371896699552815_276672906_nStep 4: The next day I started working in earnest on the flesh tones. The figure is being lit with a cool north light, so I add Sevres blue and quinacridone violet to the basic mixture of yellow, red, and white, to give the flesh a cool tone on the light side. On the shadow side I keep my mixtures warmer by adding transparent red and cad. red light to the mixture. I’m not thinning the paint much. I enjoy putting the paint down thickly on the light side and a little thinner on the shadow side, that way there is more interest in the paint layers. As I apply the paint, I want to just put it down and not move it around too much. I will do some blending with my fingers.

61182_371896732886145_901962155_nStep 5: (Continuation of step 4): You can see the flesh has taken on some fun color change-ups. It has taken me all day to work this stage 4 and 5.

299362_371896762886142_1377432202_n (1)Step 6: This is the finished painting. I know it made a big jump to this stage. I got so into the painting I forgot to shoot it along the way–sorry. This stage represents two days work, but really all I did was to continue to resolve the flesh tones and shapes and give the edges some variety. I work all around the painting, trying not to spend too much time on any one spot. At some point during these last days I decided to move the bedspread and reduce the white sheet. It helped to get the dark against her shadow side so that the values didn’t jump too much; it added a solid feeling to the left side of the painting.

12727_371896772886141_890722747_nBlack & White illustration: I like to show my painting in black & white to illustrate the organization of the shapes and value masses. I used a lot of color in the painting, but look at it in black & white, it seems very tonal—I think it reads quite well.

560417_371896552886163_1607134465_nTwo value illustration: Now let’s look at it in two values. I used Photoshop to reduce the image down to two values only, notice the grouping of shapes. It makes for some abstract shapes (there is no face), but I feel it is well balanced.

227544_371896582886160_629011411_nThree value illustration: Here it is in 3 values. It takes on more reality, it looks like a person. I think it is important how the middle values hold the painting together.

To see more of Liston’s work, please visit his website, and to encourage him to post more of these step-by-step processes, follow Liston at his blog, The Art of Bryce Cameron Liston.

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Ryan S. Brown painting demo, Sonja

“This is a rough documentation of the process of making this portrait painting of Sonja. Clearly I’m not a video guru. I’m hoping this demonstration will be a good insight into my working methods. This painting was made over the course of six model sessions.” -Ryan S. Brown

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Matthew James Collins

‘Mediocre art is simply a reflection of a culture. Great art transcends it.’

A Conversation With Painter Philosopher – Matthew James Collins

One of my best friends and key intellectual influence in my life , Monsieur Fabien Montcher dixit: 'This photo deserves a quotation: "One must pass through the circumference of time before arriving at the center of opportunity." (Lorenzo G.)'

One of my best friends and key intellectual influence in my life , Monsieur Fabien Montcher dixit: ‘This photo deserves a quotation: “One must pass through the circumference of time before arriving at the center of opportunity.” (Lorenzo G.)’

Matthew and I haven’t met yet but we did. I only got in touch with him recently almost by accident. His images had met me before and they lingered somewhere in my mind. I live in London. He lives in Italy. I am single. He is married with kids. I am involved with the contemporary art world. He is a humanist perfecting his art as it used to be done three centuries ago. I find him fascinating and his art speaks for himself. There is something of those conversations between Nicholas Poussin (le Peintre Philosophe)* and the Chevalier de Chantelou that I want to convey (or maybe participate in) in this ongoing conversation that I am planning (if Matthew agrees) to establish as a feature of this blog.  

Rodrigo Cañete: In the first part of this dialogue  I was particularly moved by your interest in the ‘other’ (person) as a via of self discovery as the ‘engine’ of your artistic production. You said: ‘a curiosity about another’s experience to help us come to grips with our own is pretty universal.’  This might sound too Freudian but actually it is not just that for it is at the core of the humanist Early Modern experience. The other as a ‘mirror’ (or an example) to perfect ourselves.  Recently I did group therapy and understood the ‘visual’ clarity of this. Can you tell us a bit more about that?

Matthew James Collins: The painted image as mirror is a very interesting idea.  A quality work of art functions on many levels.  It is the sensibility, accumulated culture and bravura of the artist that determines how rich a work of art can be.  In addition to ‘being a mirror’ hopefully a good work of art is a catalyst.  Obviously the preparation of the viewer is fundamental as well. Instead of showing us only ourselves, it reveals how we relate to others.

RC: You described your move from the US to Italy in terms of the (in your own words) ‘oversimplified metaphor that describes Anglo-Saxon as Masculine and the Latin as Feminine.’  According to you, the Anglo-Saxon is that which gives form and the Latin is the matter that needs from that external agent to be shaped.  The North as (cold) intellect and the South as (warm) Nature. Do you understand the self delusion in this way of structuring artistic reality? In other words, aren’t you just a poshed up gringo?

MJC: It is more useful to our discussion to build upon the idea Masculine and Feminine with the added attributes of Conscious and Unconscious.  They seem on the surface to be opposites but are actually integral parts of a single whole.   Creating a dualistic or Manichean model is usually not very satisfying when applied to life or art.  And that is not to say that everything is ‘grey’ either or completely amoral.  There are strong primal forces at work within our lives, like Eros and Thanatos, and they should be investigated.

RC: This question has two parts. Firstly, isn’t there a contradiction between identifying oneself with the observant gentleman and actually intervening in nature so as to modify it to produce (as you say) a ‘product’’? Secondly, you said: ‘I am on a sort of Grand Tour but instead of acquiring cultural and aesthetic symbols that reaffirm a social order, I am researching the symbols themselves.’  How do you do that?  How is your ‘gentlemanly’ art an instrument for social change?

MJC: I should have been a bit more specific. I definitely don’t identify with the ‘Bamboccianti’ (note: ‘he refers to my original question where I associated with the group of Transalpine commercial artists that used to work in Rome during the XVII century and specialised on vedute and landscapes) as I am not a genre painter and my work is not very commercial.  The sort of Grand Tour that I am on is similar to what many artists have done in the last 600 years: coming to Italy to understand art.   You are completely correct about the difference between artist and the ‘gentleman’ patron.  My motivations and experience are more related to that of Reynolds, Giambologna, Velazquez, and numerous other foreign artists that made the pilgrimage to Italy to study its patrimony.

Art for social change doesn’t interest me as much as its potential for personal reflection and growth.  My research into the symbols that I use is essentially rendering them relevant in a contemporary context.  That involves, in my opinion, overcoming the 19th century imposition on art, symbols, and culture in general.

You mentioned Freud in your first question and that is a perfect example how the 19th century point of view influences how see the present and past.  He has appropriated Greek mythology to validate his Victorian ideas.  Not that he was wrong with his observations.  But they set parameters that definitely limit our perspective on the myths.  Jung and the comparative mythologists are more useful to look at.

RC: Let’s talk about light.  Why is that artists coming from a place where is barely any shadow appear to be obsessed with chiaroscuro and a somber palette?  Velazquez from Seville, Salvatore Rosa from Naples, Caravaggio, you?

MJC: Light as an allegorical element was a very important aspect of Baroque period painting.  It carried philosophical, psychological and often moral meaning.  But power of light and dark imagery is not limited to just painting of the 17th century, Shakespeare uses it as well.  It is true that interrelationship between light and dark fascinates me.  It gives form to our visual world.

RC: Now let’s get back to Bacchus. Referring to him you said that ‘Melancholy is a self imposed emotion that acknowledges the past, present and future.’  ‘Dionysus/Bacchus leans on a representation of a future self symbolized by the male figures that he has already encountered.  Also one can sense a real empathy in Dionysus that is evident in acceptance of the abandoned Ariadne.’  I am struggling to see the ‘melancholic’ side of Bacchus and its ’empathic’ side.  Aren’t you just projecting your own expectations of a fallen humanity onto him?

MJC: It is the artist’s prerogative to interpret.  So of course I am projecting.  But isn’t that what Euripides did as well?

Dionysus/Bacchus was the only god born of a mortal mother.  He traveled widely to share his gift to help humanity.  That makes him completely different that the other Gods of the Greek pantheon with the exception of Demeter.  Within melancholy there is always at least a bit of hope.  That is what differentiates it from depression.  Melancholy is a meditative state that assesses the world as it is.  Both Dionysus and Demeter are active in the life cycle of the world and partake in the happiness and unavoidably the sadness that naturally occur.  Recognizing the positive and negative emotions as natural parts of our existence empower us not to be completely controlled by them.

RC: I will take issue and demand more evidence of your assertion of ‘Early Greek images of Dionysus as a bearded man.’  As you know the issues of identification when unearthing sculptures prevent us from referring to them with any certainty.  The drunken bearded man is usually Silenus, one of Bacchus’ Bachantes.  Having said this, it is an open debate.

MJC: Attribution and identification has always been a tricky business regarding artifacts of the antique world.  However there is little risk to my assertion.  There are numerous examples of greek black figure and red figure vase painting with a bearded Dionysus.  Very often to avoid confusion the figures are labeled by the painter.

Silenus is an interesting character as was a sort of foster father for Dionysus.

RC: I am interested however in your need to shape Bacchus to your ‘own personal needs.’  You want to bring him closer to you through mimesis.  Bacchus is represented in the middle ages and Roman times as a baby and as an ephebe whatever you say.  But through you, the archeological allusion is manipulated to transform him into YOU.  I wonder what is the place of art in your life in relation with your ‘Melancholic’ present and your (probably depressive) American past…

MJC: Another problem of the 19th century that we have inherited is its ‘literalism.’  This has resulted in inflexible ideas based on reason.   The representation of Dionysus/ Bacchus a baby, ephebe or as bearded man is completely justified depending upon the original intention of the work of art.  A particular physical manifestation of Dionysus should be relevant to the meaning of the specific work of art.   The common stereotypical depiction of Dionysus/Bacchus is of the ‘party god’ and that of wine.  I feel that he is much more complex.  Creating works with him as the primary subject is one way of studying him.

Art consoles me in this ephemeral life as the truly great works have the power to communicate universally and reveal the best elements of our collective selves.  It is the ‘beautiful’ that usually speaks to me.  Melancholy is not negative per se when beauty is present.  Art is so important that it is a responsibility.  It demands study, commitment and sensibility.  That brings to mind what my father, who is an architect, says about art.  ‘Mediocre art is a simply a reflection of a culture, Great art transcends it.’   That is a sentiment that is easily laughed off in the cynical environment of academic art of today.  So it is not surprising that much of today’s art production will be simply disregarded in the future.

My relationship with my ‘patria’ is becoming more even positive the longer I live abroad.  Experiencing contemporary life in Italy and its social state has been very disappointing. The cultural life there in general has suffered greatly.

To be continued

* For more on Nicholas Poussin and ‘le peintre philosophe’ you might find interesting Anthony Blunt’s Nicholas Poussin (Washington, 1967)

Blog from http://www.loveartnotpeople.com/

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Matthew Almy – Legendary Drama

Legendary Drama

M Gallery has recently received the first two new pieces in a series of narrative works from Chicago based painter Matthew Almy. Almy, a Florence Academy of Art graduate who founded the Ravenswood Atelier in 2007 with his wife Magda, has been working on the series of large scale religious literature themed works for several years. The initial offerings are some of the finest works we have ever seen here at M; incredibly complex subject matter presented with great skill and sensitivity.

Ravenswood Atelier, where Almy and his wife Magda work, occupies a second story cavernous space up on Lawrence Avenue in Chicago. It is drafty, dusty, has great north light and contains an astounding array of props, sets, student works, master works for teaching, plaster casts, models, palettes, easels, etc. The studios are a wonderland for art lovers. Almy is constructing props, skeletons, costumes – even spider webs – for his large scale works which are all painted from life. One has the sense of timelessness and urgency as the feverish pace that Almy works at is counterpoint to the spaciousness of the studio, the centuries old techniques he employs and the ancient subject matter on which he focuses his attention.

“I am primarily a figurative painter, but have retained a love for still lifes. With paint I can explore in depth objects that I find beautiful and intriguing. I get to create little moments by painting things I find all around the world, exploring the moods different light and compositions produce. I find that this greatly enriches my figure work; the two go hand in hand. I (paint) mostly large biblical narratives or narratives that are inspired by literature influenced by biblical themes. As a believer, these are of the most interest to me. They deal with very serious subjects that address all of humanity and our condition.” –Matthew Almy


David and Bathsheba, 50”x 40”, Oil on Belgian Linen
Bathsheba was the wife of Uriah the Hittite, and afterward of King David, by whom she gave birth to Solomon, who succeeded David as king. The story of David’s seduction of Bathsheba, is told in 2 Samuel 11. The story is told that David, while walking on the roof of his palace, saw Bathsheba, who was then the wife of Uriah, having a bath. He immediately desired her and later made her pregnant.
In an effort to conceal his sin, David summoned Uriah from the army (with whom he was on campaign) in the hope that Uriah would re-consummate his marriage and think that the child was his. Uriah was unwilling to violate the ancient kingdom rule applying to warriors in active service. Rather than go home to his own bed, he preferred to remain with the palace troops.
After repeated efforts to convince Uriah to have sex with Bathsheba, the king gave the order to his general, Joab, that Uriah should be placed in the front lines of the battle, where it was the most dangerous, and left to the hands of the enemy. After Uriah was dead, David made the now widowed Bathsheba his wife.
David’s action was displeasing to the Lord, who accordingly sent Nathan the prophet to reprove the king. After relating the parable of the rich man who took away the one little ewe lamb of his poor neighbor (II Samuel 12:1-6), and exciting the king’s anger against the unrighteous act, the prophet applied the case directly to David’s action with regard to Bathsheba.
The king at once confessed his sin and expressed sincere repentance. Bathsheba’s child by David was struck with a severe illness and died a few days after birth, which the king accepted as his punishment.


House of Mirth, 50”x 40”, Oil on Belgian Linen
Eccl. 7:2-4 “It is better to go to the house of mourning, than to go to the house of feasting: for that is the end of all men; and the living will lay it to his heart. 3 Sorrow is better than laughter: for by the sadness of the countenance the heart is made better. 4 The heart of the wise is in the house of mourning; but the heart of fools is in the house of mirth.”

To consider life in all its stages, ultimately and invariably culminating in death, gives us a healthy, balanced view of life. Just as a visit to the home of the poor helps us appreciate our wealth and a trip to the bed of the sick makes us appreciate our health, some time spent with the dead or grieving helps us appreciate life. This is not the easiest lesson to learn, but it is a necessary one. When we give sober thought to serious matters it brings good benefits later. “All discipline for the moment seems not to be joyful, but sorrowful; yet to those who have been trained by it, afterwards it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness.” (Heb. 12:11) The fool is interested only in what is currently fair, pleasant, easy, diverting, amusing and fun. He gives no thought to serious things and so never acts seriously. But the wise considers all of life rationally, soberly and seriously. So he pays his respects to the dead and considers their life, his own life and his own death.

We are very excited about these two paintings. We feel they are historically important and represent all that is valuable in contemporary painting.

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7 Deadly Sins

As the holidays draw to a close, and New Year’s Resolutions begin looming, M Gallery of Fine Art took the time to talk to Chad Fisher about his sculpture series “7 Sins”.


Rodin was once asked by a client to chose the final material of their portrait bust, based of course on his input. “Bronze”, said Rodin swiftly, “because the fingerprints on the metal are more sincere than the chisel on stone”. Fisher believes that Clay is an honest material and becomes an extension of you, the artist.

Cast in bronze, the Seven Sins are a part of Chad Fisher’s “7 Sins and the 7 Virtues” series and represent the experiences of life with and without love.

The Sins were completed in 2012 and emphasize the possibility of emptiness in life. Sculpted from life models, each composition was chosen based on the essence of the sins. The virtues are currently being finished in clay, and will be cast in bronze in March or April of 2013.

“They (the 7 Sins) are my most cherished academic work, incorporating my 10 years of sculpture study into this series. They are designed using elements of Dynamic Symmetry and the Golden Mean ratios, Musical Rhythms from the Greeks and Romans, Renaissance Masters’ Compositional Elements, and other subtleties relevant to the mood and message of each bronze.”


Avarice is old, full of regret, tormented, and yet still filled with excessive needs. He reaches for an object while barely able to stand on stable ground. The primary design elements in this piece are all curves and move out to the reaching hand. This directs the viewers eye to the hand, and emptiness.


LUSTSMALLLust is playing his flute, and calls for the youthful forest nymphs. Overwhelmed with intense desire for their naked forms, his passions for the pleasures of flesh never give rest for all eternity. All composition elements within the piece move upward towards the flute then spin circularly around the piece. This movement keeps you in the composition reaffirming the intention of Lust.



Sloth has rejected grace. She is physically and mentally lazy and rejects positive energy. Drunk from wine, she sits unfulfilled in sorrow, unable to move or change. Primarily a triangular composition, she sits similarly to The Italian Mannerist design.



Pride is the original sin. She is overly proud of her youthful beauty and has an excessive love for herself. The design is vertical with several triangular composition elements and utilizes a wave form to help balance the angularity in the design.

Be sure to stop by M Gallery of Fine Art in 2013 to see Chad Fisher’s stunningly beautiful sculptures, on display at our 11 Broad St. location.

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