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I am a painter. www.StephenCefalo.com, http://twitter.com/#!/CefaloStudio

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Little Rock's Nerdrum

I recently took a tour of the Drawing Center's collection and was delighted to find this. If I remember correctly the figure is about life sized. I photographed it with my iPhone and some if it was cropped out.

Friday, October 28, 2011

"La Psyche" (Mon Atelier) by Alfred Stevens

I know I am not alone in being intrigued by candid views of painters' studios of the past. It's like the behind the scenes bonus material where you get to see what's behind the magic. The stretchers are stuck with keys and a file is overstuffed with drawings or reproductions, and paintings are hung over other paintings. When there's a mirror in a painting ALWAYS look into it, because that's where something fun is probably hidden. The woman's eyes in the reflection meet ours as a little touch of surprise.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Ye Olde Classmates: Michael Lierly Part 2

Michael Lierly is a dear friend of mine since freshman year of art school.
I did another post a while back on Mike, but recently saw some new pieces on his flickr, facebook and official site, so I decided to show you them in a new post.  I'm wildly excited about these.

First Rite

Th Young Initiate
He spent a summer teaching in Little Rock recently, during which he was working on these drawings with the dancing nymph-like people.  I think they are entirely from imagination.

The one below was a pose from a weekly figure group we were doing for a while.  Love the little ghosty faces.

Night Singers

Actors Feigning Death


Beautiful landscape.  It makes me laugh though because the whole scene looks like some kind of plein air outing mishap.  "Hey, what the...? Who just ran into the frame?!"
The Corridor

The one below is my personal favorite.  The angels simply must be stolen from Caravaggio's "Seven Acts of Mercy", which appear on on of my t-shirts.  I think he stole the angels from my shirt.  The shadow of a passing cloud cast over the left edge of the painting creates a wonderful sense of depth as well as a psychological layer to the standing figure.  She also looks like a hobbit.

Private History

Michael is also a great draftsman and colorist, and has a wonderful sense of humanity about his figures.

 Gorgeous color study.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Velazquez's Portrait Lesson

I think of this face as often as any other while painting a portrait.  It is to me an entire course on how to paint  facial features in a nutshell.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

George Frederick Watts

Another great symbolist, it's difficult not to get Watts confused with Edward Burne-Jones.  His themes and his manner are a bit darker, and there is a kind of twist and tension in the figures that give Watts a greater emotional depth.

George Frederick Watts
Pablo and Frencesca
George Frederick Watts
George Frederick Watts
Denunciation of Adam and Eve
George Frederick Watts
Pablo and Francesca

George Frederick Watts
Eve Tempted

George Frederick Watts
The Genius of Greek Poetry
George Frederick Watts
Life's Illusions
What I love about the symbolists is how the compositions seem to spring from out of nowhere, throwing the standard classical templates out the window.  Who has ever seen compositions like this?,  and yet he still retains a sense of timelessness.

George Frederick Watts
The Spirit of Christianity
You already know this one.
George Frederick Watts

George Frederick Watts
Orpheus and Euydice

"Self Portrait with Palette" 1909 by N.C. Wyeth

Anders Zorn, etching portrait

Anders Zorn, etching portrait by deflam
Anders Zorn, etching portrait, a photo by deflam on Flickr.

Zorn, 1893

Zorn, 1893 by Mauro F.A.
Zorn, 1893, a photo by Mauro F.A. on Flickr.

More Pics of Thayer's Gladys

This were sent to me by David Baird.  Thanks David.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Who Sits at What Table In the High Cafeteria of Art History?

Just a funny thought I had.  These are not personal insults against the artists themselves.  For goodness sake don't take this too seriously.  I'd love to hear your suggestions too.

Toulouse Lautrec
Van Gogh

Henry Fuseli
Von Stuck

The Hudson River School
French Academic Art

Metal Heads:
Albrecht Durer
William Blake

Jackson Pollock
De Kooning


Jan Steen

Thomas Hart Benton

Franz Hals
Adriaen Brouwer

A bit of LePage

Jules Bastien-LePage.

Jules Bastien-Lepage (Jules Bastien Lepage)

Jules Bastien-Lepage (Jules Bastien Lepage)

Jules Bastien-Lepage (Jules Bastien Lepage)

Jules Bastien-Lepage (Jules Bastien Lepage)

Jules Bastien-Lepage (Jules Bastien Lepage)

Friday, October 21, 2011

Thayer's unfinished "Gladys" at the Brooks Museum, Memphis

Abbott Handerson Thayer (1849-1921) is one of those names that everyone should know but somehow he did not get invited to Art History's cool table.  Painters love him for his monumental compositions, fearless broad handling of the brush, great color, and solid architecture of his heads. 

My first trip to the Brooks Museum in Memphis I was smitten with (by?) this crazy painting of Gladys Thayer, Abbot's daughter.  I tried to photograph this painting last time I was in Memphis just before I was busted by their security guards.  Yes, they have one of those backward policies that you can't even take non-flash photos, but I won't complain, because it's the best museum day-tripable from Little Rock.  I searched the internet for years looking for a photo of it, but just recently I found these nice reproductions on  this blog

It never occurred to me that Thayer's process would look so chaotic.  The slashes of thick thick, gooey paint look much like what I've seen while watching Steven Assael paint, although the form is more like chiseled stone than Assael's rounded clay-like form.  The long, quick strokes are fearless, and most of the drawing seems to be done into a layer of already thick paint.  Startlingly unacademic, and almost alien.

The second thing to surprise me was the color choices in the flesh mixtures.  The green here is much more limey than the photo reveals, The rest of the neck is a pure blob of naples with a red slash through it, redefining the border of the back of the neck.

The third thing is the Auerbach-like hand with the curious black "S" shape next to it.  Do they all start this way?  Look at the pink on the arm, the way the form turns blue as the breast turns under.  No feigned mastery here, this is the real thing.

If you aren't familiar with Thayer's work, below are a few of his greatest hits.


File:Thayer - A Virgin.jpg