Monday, February 13, 2012

New Painting 2/13/12

                       "Full Moon Return" 24"x36" oil on canvas  Not Yet For Sale

            Every year the VA holds a national art competition for veterans called the National Veterans Creative Arts Festival. I've entered the competition a couple times now, winning  third place in my category ( veterans with physical disabilities) in 2009.
            This year I hope to enter the painting above. It depicts a small sport fishing vessel returning home from a long day's adventure. My wife and I took the picture I used for a reference photo from the same spot at Green Harbor (on the South Shore of Massachusetts) that I painted "Green Harbor Moon" (see post from 1/30/2012). The painting is not yet for sale. It will have to go through the accepting process and hopefully through several rounds of judging before I can accurately price it.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Of Art, War, PTSD, and Therapy

Ernst Ludwig Kirchner "Self Portrait as Soldier"

        About two years ago, I learned of an art exhibit which was being presented by the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons called, "Wounded In Action: An Art Exhibition Of Orthopaedic Advancements". After submitting a painting , I was asked to come and give a presentation for the exhibit's premiere at their 2010 convention, which was to be held in New Orleans, LA. I accepted the offer with great enthusiasm and started to work on the project right away, searching through art books and researching the Internet to find good material for the presentation. I focused on the painting above, which I found in a book about Modern Art. After learning more about the painting and more importantly, the artist, I realized it would be the perfect subject with which to start my presentation.
           The painting above was done by the very famous German artist and WWI veteran, Ernst Ludwig Kirchner. Kirchner is considered by many to be the father of the Expressionist movement. His experience in the First World War affected his art deeply. When the Nazis came to power in the 1930's, Kirchner and other prominent artists were persecuted for they're beliefs and lifestyles. Hitler declared him and others as "Degenerates" and confiscated many of their works. Kirchner's persecution along with problems most assuredly associated with PTSD , led him to commit suicide at the age of 58. An ironic footnote to this tragedy( and also a little known fact) is that Hitler himself was once an aspiring young artist and in fact a very talented painter of architecture. After WWI , Hitler was rejected from prominent art schools and many have speculated that this rejection was the reason for his later persecution of other artists.
           In any case, I was immediately drawn to Kirchner's self portrait and spoke about it greatly during my presentation (which can be seen below). I also spoke about how art has become a great source of therapy for me in dealing with a devastating injury and the loss of a fellow soldier. I've recently acquired a video of the presentation I made at "Wounded In Action" and  have posted it below. My painting titled, "We Honor The  Fallen"  won Best In Show at the exhibit, which can be seen at the following  link: . You can further browse the preceding link to see the complete exhibit, which has been touring the country for the past two years.
                                                                              My Presentation At "Wounded In Action"

Monday, February 6, 2012

New Painting 2/6/12

                             " Nantucket Light" 6"x6" oil on canvasboard $200 SOLD

           Here is another painting I did over the summer that's been hanging around my studio. It depicts the Brant Point lighthouse on the picturesque island of Nantucket, MA. It is often photographed, and painted probably equally as much. If ever asked, I would have to say that this particular lighthouse is Nantucket's "signature" lighthouse.
           I wish I had something more current to post. At present, I am working on a very large painting which will be submitted to the National Veterans' Creative Arts Competition. The deadline for submissions is next Monday. As usual, I am feverishly working to complete the piece so that I can compete this year. Last year, I opted out. In 2009 I won third prize nationally . This year I hope to win big. Wish me luck.