Friday, August 28, 2015

Jesse Arms Botke


Jessie Arms Botke


Jessie Arms Botke


Jessie Arms Botke


Jessie Arms Botke


Jessie Arms Botke


Jessie Arms Botke


Jessie Arms Botke (1883-1971) was a decorative painter and California Impressionist, noted for her bird images and use of gold leaf highlights.

Botke was born in Chicago, and attended the Chicago Art Institute, studying with Charles Woodbury and Albert Herter. She started exhibiting in 1916. She moved to Carmel, California in 1919, and later to Santa Paula, where she ran her family's ranch while continuing to paint and exhibit.

Inspired by early work as a designer of woven tapestries, Botke's art often featured birds, particularly white peacocks, geese, and cockatoos. Later in her career, she shifted from oils to watercolors, and also focused on still lives.

Botke exhibited regularly throughout the US during her lifetime. Her work has also been exhibited posthumously at the Irvine Museum and the Museum of Ventura County.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Fred Machetanz Lithographs


The 50 Stone Lithographs of Fred Machetanz (ISBN 0941728005) 

Fred Machetanz made 50 stone lithographs between 1946 and 1980, each in editions of 100. Many of those same prints now sell for well over $5,000 each. In 1982, all 50 of these beautiful designs were compiled into this 101-page book, which was published in a limited edition of only 950 copies. 

Each lithographic image is accompanied by a written description which was written by the artist's wife, Sarah. Each book is also hand-signed by artist Fred Machetanz and is individually numbered. It is extremely rare for a book of such high quality to be published in such a small limited edition-- just like his limited edition prints, it was intended to become valuable. 

Originally published by Mill Pond Press of Venice, Florida in 1982. 

To collect all 50 of the original full-size prints (of which only 100 were made and sold from 1946 to 1980) it would likely cost six figures. 

Fred Machetanz (1905-2002) 

The dramatic colors of Alaska are the colors of Machetanz's palette: the pinks 
and golds of the northern sunlight, the blues and greens of snow and ice, the grays and creams of polar bear fur. Machetanz credited his classic transparent oil technique with capturing Alaska's kaleidoscope of color. 

Fred Machetanz painted portraits of an Alaska in what he called its romantic period, between the gold rush and the oil boom. He chronicled the traditional Eskimo lifestyle- now rapidly changing but not as yet vanished -- and the constantly changing resplendency of the Alaskan landscape. 

One of Alaska's preeminent artists, during his lifetime Machetanz traveled a long trail from his first one-man show in 1961. His paintings and stone lithographs have been exhibited around the world, including in numerous permanent collections and have been published in several books. His awards ranged from 1977 Alaskan of the Year and a seat in the Alaska Press Club Hall of Fame to three honorary doctorates, including one in humane letters from Ohio State University, his alma mater. 

Machetanz pictured the Alaska he first encountered in the village of Unalakleet; it was here that he first established a bond with the land and its people that lasted nearly 50 years. As the patterns of light and dark and the luminous effects of his glazing techniques are the trademarks of a Machetanz oil painting, the spirit of Machetanz is the trademark of Alaska. He once said, "If anyone viewing my work has felt the beauty, the thrill and the fascination I have known in Alaska, then I have succeeded in what I set out to do." 


Fred Machetanz


Fred Machetanz


Fred Machetanz


Fred Machetanz


Fred Machetanz


Fred Machetanz


Fred Machetanz


Fred Machetanz


Fred Machetanz








Monday, August 24, 2015

Paul Stankard Glass Paperweights

Paul Stankard is widely considered "the father of the modern American glass paperweight."
In the early 1960s, paperweights made by other American paperweight makers showcased brightly colored crafty-type flowers that were not botanically accurate. 
Stankard labored to make his glass floral designs look more natural and botanically life-like. His glass flowers were so real looking that many people mistakenly thought that he had found a way to encase actual flowers in glass. Soon thereafter, paperweight makers (mostly American) were following Stankard's lead.
Stankard, who is now an internationally acclaimed artist, is largely credited with changing the status of glass paperweights from that of craft to that of fine art. Among many other museums, Stankard's work is exhibited at The Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC; the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, New York; the Musée des Arts Décoratifs and the Musée du Louvre in Paris, France; the Victoria & Albert Museum in London, England; and The Corning Museum of Glass in Corning, New York.


Paul Stankard


Paul Stankard


Paul Stankard


Paul Stankard


Paul Stankard


Paul Stankard


Paul Stankard








Sunday, August 23, 2015

The Influence of our Clarence Steele Painting

I grew up with this painting of a chicken coop by Clarence Steele. Dad liked it and bought it at an art show in the 1950s, which really impresses me, because of its pronounced Cubist qualities. 

When the watercolorist Edmond J. Fitzgerald visited the house, he took one look at the canvas and boldly declared, "This artist studied with Mark Tobey." He was exactly right, which isn't surprising because Fitz himself had studied with Tobey

I've always loved this painting. When the heat was on during my final semester in Graduate school at SMU, I decided to narrow- focus on black and white paintings of the bird cages at the Dallas Zoo for my qualifying thesis show. 

I was intrigued with exploring the idea of playing with the spatial tension of the outline volume of the cage bars and the high-contrast patterns of cast shadows and bird shapes (2-D pattern vs. 3-D depth). It created an "ambiguous gestalt" where the image would emerge out an flat abstract pattern to a recognizable picture space, especially when viewed from a distance. Only later did I realize that this was sort of a subconscious variation on the Cubist painting I'd grown up with.

Clarence Steele


Don Mangus

Saturday, August 22, 2015

The Landscape Club of Washington D.C.

This was the art club where Marvin D. Mangus was mentored by Roger Rittase and William F, Walters in the 1950s. Marvin won a "best in show" award at his very first group showing at the club, and remained a dues-paying member until the end of his life. Some of the members would drop by our house when they or their friends came to Alaska.



The Landscape Club of Washington is a group of men with a mutual interest in outdoor painting, the pictorial possibilities of the Washington area, and in the promotion of public interest in art and the out-of-doors. It dates from the Spring of 1913 when chance aquaintances in the field developed into firm friendships and, over the years, a growth in membership to include those with outstanding reputations as well as the promising younger men who may gain from such association.

Alone or in groups they have covered thoroughly the environs of Washington in quest of subjects for their pictures. The Club's "Log Book" records many jaunts to scenic spots in this area and beyond, Earlier accounts, which make entertaining reading, are reminiscent of inter-urban street cars, gravel roads, that are now superhighways, woods, creeks, and truck farms where present-day suburban homes, apartments, and shopping centers blot out the gentle landscape.

Today its members often range even further afield, in the United States and in other countries, to bring back a variety of pictures for exhibitions and for the walls of people's homes.Yet they remain ever grateful for the close-by rolling hills of Maryland and Virginia, the Blue Ridge, the Potomac Valley, and the Chesapeake Bay area.

At the Club's meetings comradeship prevails, along with constructive programs which further understanding and develop skills, while its exhibitions are a challenge to the members and a pleasurable and cultural experience for gallery visitors.

Members:

Atkyns, Lee
Barr, William H.
Barth, Max
Bittinger, Charles (honorary) 
Baumer, Joseph
Cassedy, Richard  H.
Coleman, Tracy
Crockett, Gib
Cupoli, James V.
Dunn, Charles A. R.
Eboli, Jules L.
Ecker, John B.
Eyer, Charles Robert
Fairlamb, Guy
Firestone, I. L.
Freeman Stuart I.
Gilden, Meyer
Granahan, David M.
Harrison, Edward S.
Hicks, Herbert (Herbie)
Jackson, Vaughan L.
Jex, Garnet W.
Johnstone, Robert B.
Jones, Ron
Kagy, Sheffield
Loiselle, Bernard (honorary)
Mangus, Marvin
Melvile, Col. Phillips 
Moore, Benson B. (honorary)
Moore, David 
Nett, Charles T.
Oakley, A. John
O'Hara, Eliot (honorary)
Peters, Francis C.
Petter, John
Poiesz, C. J.
Pritchard, Thomas C.
Rittase, Roger
Schmidt, Alfred G.
Seat, Robert
Shinn, Charles C.
Shorter, Edward S.
Walter, William F.
Wendelin, Rudolph F.
Winn, Joseph