Thursday, November 5, 2015

Winona Minnesota Marine Art Museum

Dear Art Lover,
     I hope that you do not mind these “flashbacks.”  There is so much I have wanted to share with you over these past several months, but life just kept going full speed.  However, my home in Italia is not ready yet.  Sadly, my future landlord’s wife died from cancer several weeks ago.  So, you might imagine that he did not have an enjoyable summer and, of course, repairing a house was not a priority.  As I wait in LimboLand, with few art-making tools with me, I write.
Winona Minnesota Marine Art Museum painting

    During my travels this summer around the USA, I stopped in the familiar town of Winona, Minnesota.  My Aunt Carole was anxious to show me an amazing new museum and we had a wonderful time there, before joining up with my Uncle Alan for lunch and more visitations.  This museum is called the Minnesota Marine Art Museum [MMAM].  You may find them at http://www.mmam.org

     There is such a lovely layout of the grounds along the Mississippi River that includes lots of xeriscaping plants.  We passed a student classroom being fully utilized, as well as the obligatory gift shop.  This gift shop featured more original local art than most I have ever seen and if I had not been luggage-challenged already, I would have bought some art. 
    
     The museum inside is spacious with cozy colors and even a reading area that is not segregated from the art, as is often the case with most museums.  And they are taking care of their surprisingly good collection with tastefully done safe doors.  I say surprisingly because my godparents raised their family in this town and I have spent many a summer as a youth coming to Winona.  We never imagined the city hosting an art museum of this caliber. 

Winona Minnesota Marine Art Museum painting

Winona Minnesota Marine Art Museum painting

Winona Minnesota Marine Art Museum painting

     While they have changing exhibitions (such as The Wood Engravings of Winslow Homer), I include only one artwork from them in this blog post.  They appear to be focusing on American and some European artists and, naturally, a water-based theme.  But let us face it:  That hardly narrows the subject matter a lot! 

     And since [George] Washington Crossing the Delaware was touted as the pride and joy of the Minnesota Marine Art Museum, I included several snapshots of it here.  Oh, and pardon the crooked images.  I was lucky to have safely broken the rules this many times.  The George Washington painting is one of several versions floating around in the universe and therefore must have had a very public appeal.  So, without further ado, here are some of the paintings that most appealed to me.

Winona Minnesota Marine Art Museum painting
The Brook, 1894, Daniel Ridgway Knight [pardon reflections]

Winona Minnesota Marine Art Museum painting
Water Lilies, 1917, Edward Henry Potthast 
Winona Minnesota Marine Art Museum painting
Water Lilies [detail], 1917, Edward Henry Potthast [reminds me of J. Sorolla] 

Winona Minnesota Marine Art Museum paintings

Winona Minnesota Marine Art Museum painting George Washington Delaware
Formerly exhibited in the West Wing of the White House:  Washington Crossing The Delaware 1851, Emanuel Leutze

Winona Minnesota Marine Art Museum painting George Washington Delaware
Formerly exhibited in the West Wing of the White House:  Washington Crossing The Delaware 1851, Emanuel Leutze

Winona Minnesota Marine Art Museum painting George Washington Delaware
Washington Crossing The Delaware [detail] 1851, Emanuel Leutze

 More art below...

     I am not above taking a donation.  Even five bucks is a help, if you enjoy what you read about and see in my images here on this blog.  Thank you.  [You may make a donation via the PayPal links on the side bar on the blog site:  http://artbyborsheim.blogspot.com ]

Peace,
Kelly
~ Kelly Borsheim, sculptor, painter, writer, teacher


Winona Minnesota Marine Art Museum engraving Winslow Homer
Winslow Homer, 1873
Winona Minnesota Marine Art Museum painting
Little Caldwell’s Island, 1940, Andrew Wyeth

Winona Minnesota Marine Art Museum Wyeth painting
The Warning, 2007, Jamie Wyeth

Winona Minnesota Marine Art Museum Wyeth painting
The Warning [detail], 2007, Jamie Wyeth

Winona Minnesota Marine Art Museum
William Frederick de Haas, 1879


Vincent Van Gogh, 1882:  unexpected!  

Alfred Stevens, 1884, from Belgium


Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Pescia Italy Gipsoteca Libero Andreotti Sculpture

Dear Art Lover,
     Last spring while still in Italy, I house-hunted a lot.  I asked all of my Italian friends for information and visited several in order to see potential homes for my fall return.  In the process, I got to visit some nearby cities in which I had spent little or no time.  Pescia was one such town.  Pescia lies in Tuscany, halfway between Pistoia and Lucca.  It is about an hour and ten minutes by train from Florence.

Pescia Italy Gipsoteca Libero Andreotti Sculpture

Pescia Italy Gipsoteca Libero Andreotti Sculpture

Pescia Italy Gipsoteca Libero Andreotti Sculpture

     My friends and I found a parking space, crossed the River Pescia and walked pretty much straight into the Piazza del Palagio, which houses the Palazzo del Podestà.  Inside, one will discover the Gipsoteca, a collection of plaster sculptures from the studio of the late Libero Andreotti.  The building dates back to the 12th century, but the renovation is well done and the plaster sculptures feel right at home there.
     The lower level is used for changing exhibitions and we were fortunate enough to see “Passio XTI – la Fede rappresentata”  There were thirty three works of art (2-d and a few 3-d), representing the passion of the Christ.  I must say that I was very surprised to see this small town and museum have TWO xylography works (woodcuts) by Albrecht Dürer!  There were many other lovely Christian works there, but I have so many images to share today of the sculpture …

Pescia Italy Gipsoteca Libero Andreotti tiny Durer Woodcut
Albrecht Dürer from 1519

Pescia Italy Gipsoteca Libero Andreotti  Durer Woodcut Xilografia
Albrecht Dürer from 1503

Pescia Italy Gipsoteca Libero Andreotti Sculpture     Allora, there was so much sculpture to see that, really, I was thrilled by this surprise.  As we entered the top floor via the staircase, I saw this portrait bust of a young boy… hung from a shelf attached to the ceiling!  What a greeting!


     I really enjoy the movement in the greyhound dogs.  The work of Libero Andreotti feels very human to me and captures simple, but often profound, moments in our lives.








Pescia Italy Gipsoteca Libero Andreotti Sculpture

Pescia Italy Gipsoteca Libero Andreotti Sculpture

Pescia Italy Gipsoteca Libero Andreotti Sculpture

Pescia Italy Gipsoteca Libero Andreotti Sculpture

     Bas relief sculpture is so difficult to do well.  I have found and show my students that the lighting during one’s work is necessary for success.  Relief sculpture is not just “puffy painting” (as I once told my workshop instructor Eugene Daub).  It is compressed form.  But even that will not work, if the lighting is not well done and specific in the creation and exhibition.  Eugene knows this better than most:  he carved coins and such, as well as many other sculptures.

Pescia Italy Gipsoteca Libero Andreotti Sculpture

Pescia Italy Gipsoteca Libero Andreotti Sculpture

Pescia Italy Gipsoteca Libero Andreotti Sculpture

   
     However, I was charmed by bas relief when I saw the story-telling applications possible.  I especially enjoy mixed relief levels, such as on the Gates of Paradise in Florence:  Flatter, more coin-like levels (true bas [low] relief) and as the foreground advances, it becomes more high relief.  Sometimes the figures in front are totally realized in the round!  But, I digress . . . as I do.  I hope you enjoy these images and can go see this collection in Pescia.  There is so much more than I was able to show here.

For more information, including open hours, visit:
http://www.comune.pescia.pt.it/flex/cm/pages/ServeBLOB.php/L/IT/IDPagina/63
[There is an English section if you scroll down the page.]


     I am not above taking a donation.  Even five bucks is a help, if you enjoy what you read about and see in my images here on this blog.  Thank you.  [You may make a donation via the PayPal links on the side bar on the blog site:  http://artbyborsheim.blogspot.com ]

Peace,
Kelly
~ Kelly Borsheim, sculptor, painter, writer, teacher


Pescia Italy Gipsoteca Libero Andreotti Sculpture

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Paintings The Wallace Collection London


Dear Art Lover,
     I wanted to take a closer look at some of the paintings in The Wallace Collection in London, which I wrote about in the last blog post.  I did not have much time in this place, but that just means that the works that stood out merit a closer look, no?

Wallace Collection London Sheep Painting by Marie Rosa Bonheur

     This first painting Sheep by Marie-Rosa Bonheur (1822-1899) was my favorite of the bunch that I saw.  I am not sure if it is because I have been spending so much time with farmers in Italy, Croatia, and Serbia, or something else, but like hay bales, I find sheep somehow comforting to see.  However, this particular painting is luscious.  It has an interesting arrangement of light and dark shapes, each animal doing his own thing, while obviously still part of his social club.  I love the way the light in the foreground contrasts with the dark clouds, the bright green landscape contrasting with the distant mountains.  The texture was brilliantly rendered.  The only thing that I did not like about this painting is that the lighting creates a shadow from the frame over the top section of the painting.  For a smaller painting, this seems a tremendous loss and unnecessary distraction.
Wallace Collection London Painting Assassins by MeissonierWallace Collection London San Rocco Saint Roch Painting by Carlo Crivelli

     This long narrow vertical painting made me laugh.  It is of a man who has pulled down one of his thigh-high stockings to reveal a cut on his upper and inner thigh… showing us his “fundies” in the process.  It turns out that I am a bit immature. [Who knew?]  The cut is supposed to be a sore from the “plague,” which back in the 1300s was a term used generally to describe any number of serious ailments that spread quickly.  Saint Roch [San Rocco in Italian] was a Frenchman who died in Italy after having ministered to many people with the plague.  He contracted it himself and was exiled, and later imprisoned.  I am surprised that I had never heard of Saint Roch, the subject (and title) of this painting by Carlo Crivelli (1430/35-1495), two years before the artist’s death.  Roch is apparently the patron saint of dogs and people falsely accused.  “Plague saints” became popular as people chose to take control of their lives instead of simply accepting the spread of disease.  San Rocco has many churches in his name throughout Italia (and Europe) and I had better start paying attention!
For more information on this saint and the plague in art, visit:  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saint_Roch

     The painting above right is titled, The Hired Assassins and was painted by J.L.E. Meissonier (1815-1891).  I love the quiet urgency in the body language and how the viewer knows that “something mischievous is about to happen.”

Wallace Collection London Oil Painting by P Delaroche

     Edward V and the Duke of York in the Tower by P. Delaroche (1797-1856) is a good composition.  And I like the emotions shown by the different glances of the boys while the dog’s attention appears to be on an impending intrusion.  I hope that you are not only noticing the elaborate frames on these paintings, but also the colors of the walls upon which they hang.  I have noticed over the years how much I truly enjoy muted rich colorful walls as backdrops for art.  In these large rooms, at least, the color brings a coziness and intimacy to viewing the art.

Pure fun, this vase of marble!

Wallace Collection London Marble Vase Gargoyle Face

     I started this blog post with an animal painting with contrasting light in the sky and thought I would end it the same way…. But make no mistake:  These are not sheep!  Hahahah.  This painting by C. Troyon (1810-1865) has the very clever and catchy title, Cattle in Stormy Weather.

Wallace Collection London Cattle Painting by C. Troyon

     I am not above taking a donation or five if you enjoy what you read about and see in my images here on this blog. Your support and sharing really helps.  Thank you.  [You may make a donation via the PayPal links on the side bar on the blog site:  http://artbyborsheim.blogspot.com ]

Peace,
Kelly
~ Kelly Borsheim, sculptor, painter, writer, teacher


Monday, November 2, 2015

The Wallace Collection London

Dear Art Lover,
     A friend drove to London to meet up with me while I was there recently.  Since we had limited time to visit, she walked me over to The Wallace Collection.  It is free, which is so amazing, really!  After our brief walk-through we ate lunch there, even with an Italian waiter… what fun!

     Really, such elegance!  It makes me a bit sad to see such places, actually.  I feel that our generation has lost so much, with our relative impatience and fast-moving society.  We do not seem to create things to last or to engage longer than for a momentary entertainment.  I hope that I am wrong and that people still appreciate feeling actual awe.

     I think this first image of the docent would make a cool painting.  Do you?  

The Wallace Collection London Sculpture and Paintings

      These next two images fill me with frustration.  I LOVE this painting of the horses.  However, the unfortunate placement of the chandelier in the entrance hall virtually guarantees that one may not view, much less photograph, this incredible painting without glare.  I walked all around the floor, and even up the central staircase looking for a good vantage point… nothing!  One can hardly see that second grouping of animals on the right.  Peccato!

The Wallace Collection London Painting with Bad Glare

The Wallace Collection London Painting with Bad Glare
       Across from this painting is a stunning work in marble.  I am not much of a portrait fan, but if one catches my attention, it deserves it.  I mean, seriously, can you look at this and not appreciate the quality and workmanship, as well as the design?  I love seeing chains and delicate features carved into such a one-shot material. 
The Wallace Collection London Sculpture Marble PortraitThe Wallace Collection London Sculpture Marble Detail


    













     My friend and I did not have much time to look too long at anything, but I got enough of a taste to know that I would go there again on my future visits to London.  That is one nice thing about free entrance:  One does not feel the need to study each and every work on exhibit and can have a better quality experience as time and desire dictate.

The Wallace Collection London Sculpture and Paintings

The Wallace Collection London Sculpture and Paintings

  The Wallace Collection London Sculpture and PaintingsThe Wallace Collection London Sculpture and Paintings



















     I love this scene of the children's classroom visiting the museum.  I do not like to badmouth the land of my birth, but it has been hurtful and confusing as an artist who paints and sculpts nude human figures to be told that I could not show my work since it corrupts children!  And, as I have told many other artists and friends, one cannot use “The European Argument” (that is:  In Europe, families even play together in parks with nude sculptures and grow up with nude paintings in their everyday lives) because those in America who would silence the nude in art also believe that Europeans are decadent.  As with any touchy subject, my belief is that it is better to amicably discuss than to shut down the topic entirely.

     I am not above taking a donation or five if you enjoy what you read about and see in my images here on this blog. Your support and sharing really helps.  Thank you.  [You may make a donation via the PayPal links on the side bar on the blog site:  http://artbyborsheim.blogspot.com ]



Peace,

Kelly
~ Kelly Borsheim, sculptor, painter, writer, teacher



The Wallace Collection London Sculpture and Paintings

The Wallace Collection London Sculpture and Paintings

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