Because at SAAM everything eventually comes back to American art, some of us have been inspired to model our sweet, sassy, bored, annoyed, sleepy, amusing pets after favorite artworks in our collection. We offer them as amusement and inspiration, and as evidence of the creativity and sense of humor we appreciate in each other. Share your pets with us @AmericanArt!
As I child I grew up with music and art, and experienced the emotional connection between the two.
I looked for the movement and song in paintings and experimented with my own art. I loved the dancers in Degas’ paintings.
I tried oils and watercolour, then moved onto digital art. It provides me with a way to use design and placement in my art that feels right to me.
I’ve always felt a flow of music in nature, like a symphony. As a digital artist, I enjoy creating a mix of fine, abstract and fantasy art.
I’m inspired by nature, and by its power and spirituality. I try to imbue a sense of intimacy in my art through showing response and transformation.
As shown by the breaking dawn and the advent of life, we see that nature has the power to uplift and inspire. Nature’s story is preserved and retold in narratives, theatre and travelling shows of old. It is a way of understanding our place in the world.
These are stories I wanted to know, and sought out as I explored myths and legends.
The Botanic Gardens in Adelaide is my favourite place to visit. It is a place of fantasy and imagination, complete with hidden spaces, needle pines, the lily pond, and its intriguing night flower propagation. They have a hall where specimens are kept, as well as books of intrepid explorers and their first drawings.
Fauna and flora. New and ancient lands. Our bond with nature is now being challenged as we battle environmental changes. I am interested in preserving the history and rituals of our world, its myths and how they have shaped us.
In much of my artwork, I try to express how I feel about what is happening. I’m interested in preserving the history and rituals of our world, its myths and how they have shaped us. I want to hopefully create something intense and moving that will uplift the viewer and re-establish our link with our roots and the nurturing of the land.
I grew up in The Bronx where I had immediate access to the great museums of Manhattan at a time when most had free admission. Coming from a family of limited means, I never felt a lack of cultural access.
Beginning oil painting at age ten, I knew what I wanted to do. My college art experience was not a good one, as my professors were pushing color field painting which I did not relate to. I left after two years, totally discouraged with art, and rambled around the country with a guitar.
A few years later while performing in a saloon in Idaho, it occurred to me that I wanted to paint. I returned to New York City and enrolled at The Art Students League. It was there that I regained my artistic voice and direction. I had a wonderful experience at The League being trained by working professionals amid a community of folks who spoke the same artistic language. I continue this experience today, having been an instructor there for the past twenty-three years.
I’ve had many influences such as artists Da Vinci, Rembrandt, the Barbizon painters (especially Millet), the Ashcan Painters, Marsh, Soyer, Tooker, late 19th century Scandinavian artists and German expressionists of the 1920s. Writers such as Thoreau and Kafka, as well as musicians such as Schubert, The Weavers, The Beatles, Neil Young, Tom Waits, and current events all contribute to the art that I make today.
I use realism as a tool rather than as an end in itself. My goal is to present a reality that exists only on the canvas. I may or may not use models, and the environments in which I place them are usually invented or reworked from sketches.
My earlier works were usually images of cityscapes and the New York City subway. The subway interested me because there was distance in space and in time. From any station, one could travel anywhere. That station would also contain century-old mosaics covered with recent graffiti. There would be just one small figure in the work, and that figure would always be the star of the piece.
In recent years I’ve zoomed in on the figure, who now dominates the canvas surface. I am currently painting a series of single bathers, often the same woman, and casting her into a multitude of environments and situations. Some of these paintings have a touch of social realism, some are serene, and some are disturbing.
I have a passion for using oil paint on lead-primed linen. I apply the old technique of oil glazing due to its amazing luminosity, depth and coloring possibilities. I learned the technique from old books, centuries old incomplete paintings, and by experimentation.
I begin with a dry toned canvas, building up a monochromatic underpainting, and add layers of transparent colors, sometimes applying colors followed by layers of the opposite color.
As far as I’m concerned, life experience is essential to making art. I’ve never followed current artistic trends and in recent years I rarely visit museums and galleries. I’ve made a sort of self-exile into the studio where I can follow my personal ideas and vision. This is the best way that I can artistically breathe and function.
The Corona Virus Won’t Last Forever. But What about Now? I trust you are staying home and staying safe. That’s the best you can do to protect against a highly contagious and deadly virus. Only antibodies from exposure or immunization from vaccine can stop it. While we wait it out, you may find stories of […]
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If you didn’t get a chance to purchase one of the Crucible curved card scrapers, you can make your own with a dry grinder and an existing card scraper. It takes about 30 minutes.
Download and print out the following template. It’s a hand-drawn version of Chris Williams’s scraper, which is where our design started.
Cut it out and affix it to your card scraper with the help of spray adhesive. Or make a cardboard template and trace its shape on your scraper with a permanent marker.
At your grinder, set the tool rest to 0° – parallel to the floor. Dress the wheel of your grinder (we use an #80-grit wheel, but a #60 or #100 will also do) so it has a slight convex shape. This convexity in the wheel makes the scraper easier to shape.
Get a bucket of water and put it by the grinder.
(Hey wait, where are the step photos? I’m in a hotel room that’s 400 miles from my shop. You are going to have to use your imagination.)
Place the scraper on the tool rest and start grinding the excess metal away. Don’t work on one part of the scraper for more than a few seconds. Keep moving around the perimeter. After 10 or 15 seconds, try to pinch the scraper with a finger and thumb. If….
… you can pinch the scraper with no pain, continue to grind.
… your fingers reflexively jump away, cool the scraper in your water bucket.
… you smell bacon, also cool the scraper in the water bucket.
Once you have ground down to your line, you will have become pretty good at grinding flat shapes – congrats. Now you need to remove the grinder marks from the edges.
Use a block of wood to hold the scraper at 90° on a coarse diamond stone and stone the edges. Remove all the scratches from the grinder. Then move up to a #1,000-grit waterstone (or soft Arkansas) and then up to a polishing stone. Then you can proceed with normal scraper-sharpening procedures.
This is exactly how I made all of our prototypes. I promise that you will become emotionally involved with your scraper after putting all the work into it, and you might not ever want to buy one of ours.
So be it.
— Christopher Schwarz