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Portrait of a Young Woman

by Rembrandt van Rijn

Recent acquisition at Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Texas

oil on board

25.75 x 19. 25 inches

dated 1633

 

Blogs and replies from http://www.absolutearts.com/portfolios/c/cecilherring/

Current Blog Headlines: [create a new blog]

 

 

1: Thank You, Mos Riera
Date: 2007-05-07 - Time: 18:31:06 (published) [edit] - [delete]

2: Shipwreck on Santorini
Date: 2007-04-13 - Time: 23:31:11 (published) [edit] - [delete]

3: Comet Sky Bird
Date: 2007-03-28 - Time: 22:11:40 (published) [edit] - [delete]

4: What is real art?
Date: 2007-01-29 - Time: 18:39:49 (published) [edit] - [delete]

5: "The job of the artist is always to deepen the mystery." Francis Bacon, painter.
Date: 2006-12-29 - Time: 22:43:47 (published) [edit] - [delete]

6: My Best Present: MUFAH
Date: 2006-12-24 - Time: 22:25:30 (published) [edit] - [delete]

7: Expressionism: Is You Is or Is You Ain't My Baby?
Date: 2006-12-06 - Time: 22:53:52 (published) [edit] - [delete]

8: I had a bit of a breakthrough
Date: 2006-11-11 - Time: 22:05:27 (published) [edit] - [delete]

9: I have to grow up when I'm already too old...
Date: 2006-09-07 - Time: 20:36:13 (published) [edit] - [delete]

10: I saw the The Illusionist tonight and think we are like illusionists.
Date: 2006-09-02 - Time: 23:23:47 (published) [edit] - [delete]

11: Suddenly I'm angry.
Date: 2006-08-30 - Time: 11:05:11 (published) [edit] - [delete]

12: Is Art Really Changing?
Date: 2006-07-24 - Time: 20:04:48 (published) [edit] - [delete]

 

"My Best Present: MUFAH"
Date Published: 2006-12-24 - Time: 22:25:30

I got the best Christmas present I could get this week with a trip to Houston's Fine Art Museum - MUFAH! I hadn't been there for 10 years so I noticed a big difference.
MUFAH has always been a treasure chest with my favorite Rauchenburg, Cezanne, Matisse, Dega, Manet, Monet, Van Gogh, Greek and Roman sculptures, pre-Colombian collection and so many other amazing works I cannot recall them all.
I do remember many great works I have seen over the years: Rodin's Walking Man, a comprehensive Frida Kahlo show elevating Diego Rivera's wife to rock star status with adoring throngs grabbing tee shirts and anything Kahlo, a comprehensive James John Audubon exhibit complete with one man show enactment of his life and Dead Sea Scrolls glowing gold on darkened museum walls.
MUFAH has a permanent collection numbering more than 31,000 works of art including 18 works by Jackson Pollock. It has become the repository of the second-largest collection of the artist's work in the world.
Some of the more recent acquisitions are Alexander Archipenko, Jean Arp, Lucio Fontana, Arshile Gorky, Adolph Gottlieb, Philip Guston, Hans Hofmann, Franz Kline, Willem de Kooning, Roy Lichtenstein, Joan Mir?, Joan Mitchell, Robert Motherwell, Pablo Picasso, Mark Rothko, Clyfford Still, and Andy Warhol.
To me one of the most memorable work at MUFAH is a gift by the museum's friends and Trustees and several local foundations, Rembrandt van Rijn's vivid oil painting Portrait of a Young Woman, signed and dated 1633, 25 34 x 19 14 inches, oil on wood
I cannot forget the subject's reddish hair, her earrings, her clear, steady gaze and perfect embroidered lace collar, white against a black background, set in an oval format. It is clearly a great masterpiece and an exceptionally beautiful example of the Dutch artist´s genius for *

portraiture, and only the second painting by the artist in a Texas museum.
Another standout is a huge painting by Anselm Kiefer, Heavenly Jerusalem, a painting, the color of ashes, devoid of life, but breathtaking and unforgettable. If only I could paint like that.
There are 3 big buildings now, one across a street with a connecting tunnel. And that is some tunnel with an installation of changing hot pinks and blue that glow mysteriously. illuminating a path. Walking across the straight line with a 6 inch drop on the sides makes it feel dangerous like a trip to see the Wizard of Oz, lying at the end of the tunnel. It is stunning.
I loved every minute until my feet gave out. Thank God my sore feet did not affect my art spirit because I got my batteries recharged for a new year and hopefully new and exciting works.


Walking Man

bronze sculpture

MUFAH, Museum of Fine Art, Houston

Auguste Rodin

 

"Expressionism: Is You Is or Is You Ain't My Baby?"
Date Published: 2006-12-06 - Time: 22:53:52

PRESS RELEASE 12.6.06
CECIL HERRING RECEIVES SPECIAL RECOGNITION
Artist CECIL HERRING of DELTONA, FLORIDA has received a "Special Recognition" Merit Award for the artwork entitled "Radical Pond" in the "4th Annual Color: Bold/Subtle International Online Juried Art Exhibiton" hosted by www.upstreampeoplegallery.com.
This international exhbition received over 700 entries from around the world and 81 artists were selected by the juror Larry Bradshaw, Professor of Art at the University of Nebraska at Omaha.
Professor Bradshaw states this about this specially recognized work:
"'Cecil Herring of Deltona, FL richly paints with oil on linen canvas. The brilliance of the colors are intensely felt in her artwork "Radical Pond".'
The exhibition will be on featured this month of December, 2006 online at www.upstreampeoplegallery.com and continue for 12 months, closing November 30, 2007.
Further information in the artist's own words:
"Radical Pond"
I go by this pond on the way to my daughter's house. Sometimes, I park by the road and take photos from my car window. It was a bit overcast that day and not as colorful as I like my landscapes. So I tried to make color from not much color and this was the result! I call it Radical because I got radical with the color using a painting knife, scooping up thick globs of paints, making each stroke serve for a large area and not mixing any of it. I wanted to say there is action here and an ever changing in the moment aliveness in a landscape."


UpstreamPeoplesgallery.com included (juried in) in 4 other of my works for a 5 out of 5 with one award! That makes me very happy!


I received the award notice above and coincidentally, these comments on Expressionism published by About.com by
Marion Boddy-Evans arrived in the same batch of e-mail. Marion who hails from South Africa, writes a wonderful art newsletter. Get on her mailing list!

Newletter's quotes about Expressionism:

"Matisse believed "the invention of photography had released painting from the need to copy nature", leaving him free to "present emotion as directly as possible and by the simplest means".1
Van Gogh tried to explain to his brother, Theo: "Instead of trying to reproduce exactly what I have before my eyes, I use color more arbitrarily, in order to express myself forcibly.
... I should like to paint the portrait of an artist friend, a man who dreams great dreams, who works as the nightingale sings, because it is his nature. He'll be a blond man. I want to put my appreciation, the love I have for him into the picture. So I paint him as he is, as faithfully as I can, to begin with. But the picture is not yet finished. To finish it I am now going to be the arbitrary colorist. I exaggerate the fairness of the hair, I even get to orange tones, chromes and pale citron-yellow." 2
Kandinsky is widely quoted as saying: "The artist must train not only his eye but also his soul, so that it can weigh colors on its own scale and thus become a determinant in artistic creation". Kandinsky was a synaesthesiac, which would have given him an insight into colors that most people don't. (With synaesthesia you don't just see color, but experience it with your other senses too, such as experiencing colors as sounds or seeing sounds as color.)
We've Become Accustomed to Expressionism
Remember that a lot of what we're used to was new at the time of the Expressionists. When you look at Matisse's Girl with Green Eyes painting, for example, it's hard to believe his contemporaries were outraged by it and regarded it as grotesque. Matisse biographer Hilary Spurling says: "The confident gaze and frank body language of these young women, painted almost a century ago, speak directly to us today, although contemporaries could see little in these portraits but meaningless jumbles of color outlined in ugly black brushstrokes."3
In his book Bright Earth: The Invention of Color, Philip Ball writes: "If Henri Matisse made colour the substance of pleasure and well-being, and Gauguin revealed it as a mysterious, metaphysical medium, van Gogh showed color as terror and despair. Munch's remark apropos of The Scream (1893) that 'I ... painted the clouds like real blood. The colours were screaming' echoes van Gogh's sanguine comment on The Night Cafe -- 'a place where one can ruin one's self, go mad, or commit a crime'."


Cecil's Comments
Even though I went to France to study Expressionism and visited museums to see the exciting works of the Fauvists (also called Wild Beasts) Matisse, Van Gogh, Durain, Braque, Dufy, Van Dongen, Munch and Kandinsky I have not seen much discussion on the subject recently. I thought Fauvism had gone the way of color field painting, and minimalism. Even so, I have been moving in this direction for some time painting away at what I was calling my emotionalism. Today I received recognition for my efforts! Thank you upstreampeoplegallery.com/
And validating words about Expressionism came from Marion Boddy-Jones came almost simultaneously. I can only deduce that Expressionism and American artists who are working in this genre are increasingly being understood. (a century after Matisse and Van Gogh!)
Really, I think Expressionism as a style is entirely suitable for the passionate free wheeling American persona. I myself find great release when I artistically bare my breast and rather bombastically knife out a bold stroked oil landscape that has the emotional climate of an Eroica Symphony!
I love painting like that. In fact, I think I will paint one tomorrow!!! 12.06.06


"I had a bit of a breakthrough"
Date Published: 2006-11-11 - Time: 22:05:27

Oh I thought I finally had a STYLE - a signature style as they say. But I soon grew bored with it. As I said I am not happy unless I am pushing the envelope, trying new things all the time SUFFERING, struggling never getting glib enough to copy myself. After all what is it all about unless I can do something new in a new way for me. I realized that after a particularly trying day yesterday, a day that I even had paint IN My beat up shoes, a day when I was taking paint OFF ONE CANVAS AND PUTTING IT ON ANOTHER - at that point I quit. Well, today I threw out one canvas and elevated the other to having a name: "Vanessa and I Disccussed Hesse" (which we did.)

Now, somehow that has opened up a whole new aurore borealis for me. Oh please hold that thought will you? I am learning new things, slowly, slowly, begging the world to let me see it, touch that place between reality and dreams. You know like the time between sleeping and waking up when I get all my answers. I love art because it allows me to paint that time. I think that time is what I read someplace is to paint the moment of change. It is like the Quetzal, an exotic bird with brilliant plumage, that never comes out except late at night. You see a flash of iridescent blue and it is gone.

 

Comments: (2)

Vick: 2006-11-12 -
Hi Cecil-- you know I want to comment on the aurora borealis thing! I scrape off paint from one canvas and use it all the time on other canvases. I mix it together, you get some great greenish grays and strange color combos you might never get from trying to mix them on purpose. What I like about your posts and outlook is that you are still approaching it all with the eyes of a beginner, keeping it fresh and new. I think that is a hard thing to do.

Cecil Herring: 2006-11-12 - http://www.spacescapes.com
Yes, Vick. I know that strange mud grey well. It's on my shoe! I read an article by the lady, Marion Boddy-Evans who runs About Art. com the Url is painting.guide@about.com She is in South Africa and writes many wonderful informational things about art. She had a column about chromatic black last week. I read it and realized that's what I've been doing for decades when I want black. Just mix alizirin crimson, viridian and maybe some french ultramarine or cobalt or for the blackest, pthalo blue. I use no earth tones or black at all in my palette. I get favorite colors though. Last year it was maganese blue. Now they say there is no more maganese blue.


"I have to grow up when I'm already too old..."
Date Published: 2006-09-07 - Time: 20:36:13

Oh boy. This week, the fur flew in my head! I wanted to enter a woman's contest but I was told I was too old. That San Frandisco Women's International Museum group is putting out the call for entries for 20 to 40 year olds. I am way past that believe me but decided to find out more anyhow. I wrote andI was told it's definitely 20 to 40! I wrote a kind of whiny poor me letter to them, complaining I have missed the cut all around blah, blah, blah. It took me 30 years to get a degree. I had a big family and no money so I had no hope of ever having a degree. I just took one course at a time for years and even got college credit when I went to those sculpture workshops at Arrowmont. Later when I got time and got serious about it, I found condescending chauvinistic professors. They were downright mean. I was actually told by painter Hiram Williams when I was at U. of Florida "women generally don't like my art so I don't show them." I honestly never saw his work until many years later! I did like them. He was fond of Francis Bacon who is one of my favorite artists. Later, at UCF where I finally got my degree, the well known sculptor Johann Eyfells told me to "sit down and rest dear." Another professor, Steve Lotz, wondered out loud to me, "why would I ever want a degree?" I have had a thin skin about it and that also has fueled my attitude that I have decided as of now to lose. I pronounce that here and now even though I was somewhat set back this week by the aforementioned Imagining Ourselves
International Museum of Women's letter to me when I asked if I could be considered.

Here was the main part of the reply I got as to their reasons for chosing this 20 - 40 age group:

"...Paula Goldman,
the director of our project, reveals: "If you are a woman between the ages
of 20 and 40 living anywhere on the globe today, you are part of the most
educated, most well-traveled, most professionally empowered, most
international generation of women ever to have existed on this planet. It's
a story that not many people are telling yet, but it's one of the most
inspiring stories out there in a world full of violence and insecurity - the
story of a generation of women poised to take the reins of global leadership
like no other generation in history."

And my response in part to them:

"... You have actually missed a generation of women artists and placidly chosen to settle on a generation of women who more easily walked into being artists with the way already cleared, taking for granted how the 'west' was won with settled law and birth control! Life was not easy for women artists who went before the generation you have chosen to lionize. "

I have had no further response.

All I can say here is in the immortal words of Al Pacino in Johnny Brasco "Fagettaboutit!


"I saw the The Illusionist tonight and think we are like illusionists."
Date Published: 2006-09-02 - Time: 23:23:47

I saw The Illusionist tonight and was not disappointed. It was magical, entertaining and evoked thoughts about art and illusion. I liked it. The musical score is by Phillip Glass, my favorite composer. I paint to Philip Glass music. The Illusionist has schlocky elements: goatees, gas lights, horse drawn carriages, mystery, intrigue, romance, sepia tones, slight German accents in Vienna in that strange 19th century period when people were recognizing Dr. Sigmund Freud as a healer of psychic disorders. And herein lies the movie's message for me. It's about people understanding that sleigh of hand is going on. People enjoy having magic played on them. People like to look beyond into the spirit world even if it's smoke and mirrors. After Freud, Karl Jung came along and told us that what we dream has meaning. What we think or create or paint is based on personal symbols for ideas and thoughts hidden deep in our subconscious. A star, a small child, a knife floating is how a friend of mine described her thoughts in meditation. I don't get any of it but I like it and want to talk about it. It is that delightul fog of consciousness, an alpha state where anything goes. Stuff floats around like DiChirico. What we think is often not true. What we see as real is often not real. What we are told is frequently not true. The name of the game is head games and we are getting good at it. Noone can tell what another will see as truth. Being an artist is like being an illusionist. We create it and no telling what the reaction will be, who will like it or who will hate it. Does it really matter? What is the truth?

 

Comments: (6)

josé freitas cruz: 2004-11-22 - www.absolutearts.com/freitascruz
Cecil, I've been reading through a couple of your blogs and find what you say quite interesting, this one especially because I too like Phillip Glass's work and because what you allude to here is a pet topic of mine as well and, I feel, regrettably, is somewhat neglected in current trends. We are illusionists as you say. I am sure you are familiar with P.D. Ouspensky who wrote that «An artist must be a clairvoyant - he must study the hidden side of life and learn to see what others fail to see - and a magician - he must possess the gift of making others see what they cannot fathom by themselves. Art is the beginning of vision! An artist will understand that the wood that goes into the making of the mast of a ship, a gallows and a cross will inevitably be different, he understands the difference between the wall of a church and that of a prison, he hears the voices of stones,

nderstands the language of ancient walls, of rivers and plains, he hears the voices of the silence and realizes that silence itself may be different...» I'll be returning to read more.

Vick: 2006-09-03 -
Anais Nin quote: We don't see things as they are, we see them as we are.

josé freitas cruz: 2004-11-22 - www.absolutearts.com/freitascruz
Cecil, I've been reading through a couple of your blogs and find what you say quite interesting, this one especially because I too like Phillip Glass's work and because what you allude to here is a pet topic of mine as well and, I feel, regrettably, is somewhat neglected in current trends. We are illusionists as you say. I am sure you are familiar with P.D. Ouspensky who wrote that «An artist must be a clairvoyant - he must study the hidden side of life and learn to see what others fail to see - and a magician - he must possess the gift of making others see what they cannot fathom by themselves. Art is the beginning of vision! An artist will understand that the wood that goes into the making of the mast of a ship, a gallows and a cross will inevitably be different, he understands the difference between the wall of a church and that of a prison, he hears the voices of stones, understands the language of ancient walls, of rivers and plains, he hears the voices of the silence and realizes that silence itself may be different...» I'll be returning to read more.

josé: 2006-09-04 - www.absoluterts.com/freitascruz
sorry Cecil, seem to have messed things up here. i got an error message and ended up sending my comment twice. forgive me please.

Cecil Herring: 2006-09-04 - http://www.spacescapes.com
Dear Jose and Vick: I liked your comments very much. My attempt at blogging is a bit like mining - there's gold in those hills out there! I am conversing with some incredible artists, reflective, intelligent, intellectual and articulate. I myself am way behind (I should start a new blog with that one) on such matters knowing only I am making blind stabs in the dark at all you all seem to understand. The Anais Nin quote is wonderful. Your comments are sheer poetry and that is what I like best of all. Poetry. The only mystery is how to get the letters and numbers into the pic below! I've messed up like that too on my 'blog.'

dennis jones: 2006-09-06 - www.absolutearts.com/portfolios/d/dennisjones
The phenomena is called a 'suspension of disbelief'. Take a look at the book written by Suzi Gablik, titled, 'The Reenchantment of Art'. Vick, I like your quote. I would also add that we see what we want to see. Good words Jose.


"Is Art Really Changing?"
Date Published: 2006-07-24 - Time: 20:04:48

i see so many styles in Absolute Arts.com portfolios. Is there a new trend? If so what is it? I go by a gallery and see many strange objects that look awful, pieces of cloth draped around that makes the window look messy. Then I go to another gallery where the art looks pretty good, modern and up to date. ITHINK! Why do I think that? What makes me know what's good or bad? I have judged a lot of art shows, juried installations but still I have doubts about my abilities to JUDGE. Does art really change? Is DaVindi still good? Does that saying only 100 artists are great masters and the list does not include Picasso. Does it matter? Is Art art or is it lifting bales of hay and putting them in a row? Anybody have any ideas? Cecil Herring

 

Comments: (5)

r. abplanalp: 2004-11-22 -
there is only that which is inspired and that which is uninspired. this always comes through no matter what we are talking about. the words 'good' or 'bad' need never enter into it.

r. abplanalp: 2004-11-22 -
there is only that which is inspired and that which is uninspired. this always comes through no matter what we are talking about. the words 'good' or 'bad' need never enter into it.

Christian Brunner: 2006-07-25 - www.christianbrunner.com
I think the trend has been, I guess since mid last century, for an artist to search for her/his own unique style rather than being part of a group creating art in a similar manner. Was it the membership in the group (like the Impressionists) that furthered your career back then, it's now the uniqueness (or not belonging) that does the trick. Kind of rules out the creation of a coherent style, though. On their way to find their own style, many artist try out previous ones, adapt them to their pesonal liking. I have done that, not the least to learn how certain style elements affect the composition, mood, overall feel of a painting. As far as good or bad art is concerned, I think it depends on how you define the term art. It seems that in American English, art is used for anything coming from a creative process. That is a very broad definition and therefore leaves room for a lot of bad stuff. In my native language, German, the respective term Kunst is only applied to objects that meet certain, agreed upon criteria, and acceptance by a number of professionals in the field. That,

Christian Brunner: 2006-07-25 - www.christianbrunner.com
continued...in turn, narrows the range of what art is considerably. While I find the American point of view too broad (as much as I like what my 4-year-old scribbles, it's not art -- yet), the European way tends to get stuck in a brotherhood of who knows whom in the scene. I think, the only straw that you can hold on when jurying art is to seek for craftsmanship in the object, and if the artist was able to make at least many viewers, if not all, percieve and understand the feeling s/he had when creating it. I find Monet's impression de soleil levante, the painting responsible for the term Impressionism, the prime example for that achievment. In breaking entirly with the established way to tell the story (the accepted style), he still was able to evoke a certain mood in the viewer and an understanding of the subject matter. The critics' sarcastic claim, that it would have been a nice painting, had he finished it (their way of saying it was not realistic enough), was actually the biggest compliment. They (though unwillingly) and everybody else knew, because of Monet's craftsmanship enabling him to

Christian Brunner: 2006-07-25 - www.christianbrunner.com
continued...set the mood and tell the story with little detail, what this painting depicted and what he wanted to express. I guess if you, as a juror, see a painting that speaks to you no matter what style it is in, it's a good one. Then it only has to fit the criteria of the show to get in. Just bounced some ideas. Next time, I try to talk less :)

Christian


 

"The job of the artist is always to deepen the mystery." Francis Bacon, painter.
Date: 2006-12-29 - Time: 22:43:47 (published - comments: yes)

I used this quote by Francis Bacon, the great Irish painter to punch home my own feelings in a post to Art Collector and Author Michael Corbin's wonderful blog about Getting It. I wanted to add I never actually 'think' which on its face is a sad statement. I am not a thinking artist. It shows my utter lack of identity when I am faced with a blank canvas. I honestly have an awful time being an artist and am always near to giving up except for one thing: My compulsion, anger, rage, and longing to destroy what I produce as soon as I produce it and stopping myself some of the time. Also my utter trust in that other side of me that is ahead of my conscious mind by about 10 years. I am absolutely incapable of 'thinking' and painting 'thoughts.' My whole body wants to paint something like really my painting brain cells are in my hands. And those works I don't remember painting turn out to be my best works. It's all a big mystery. I'm so glad Francis Bacon said that. It gives me hope.

 

Blog Comment:
Vick: 2006-12-29 -
I don't remember painting most of my work. It's an altered state of consciousness. I don't understand the artists who sit an an easel and plan out every move. It's almost like we are not even in the same ballpark at all. Bacon is one freaky dude, though...saw a show of his is London, wow, wouldn't want to be locked in that gallery overnight with that work...which means it is pretty damned strong, eh?
dennis jonesd: 2006-12-30 - www.absolutearts.com/portfolios/d/dennisjones
I think what you both are trying to say is that painting or making art involves a heightened state of consciousness. Making something is a thoughtful process that involves living in the moment where your body and mind act as one. Decisions are rapid fire and may seem as though they are unconscious. I'm sure you each make decisions beforehand as to color choices, size of canvas, brushes, lighting as you're working, etc... I'm sure you are each aware of how you are feeling at the time of beginning to work. It's being highly conscious and thoughtful that deepens the mystery. It is not about being an automaton, although some strong work has come from such an approach.
Andrew: 2006-12-30 - www.absolutearts.com/portfolios/e/elaniii
Some of what I do is conscious, and some is not. I plan out the size, suss out what's possible and what's not with the materials at hand, and then get lost in the work. Many of my best stuff happened during the process...I didn't plan it...but with some, I returned to the Director's role and again, sussed out what was possible. Even for elements, like an arm, hair, etc., separated from the whole. I also go from lucid to completely non because of all those diabetic crisis lows, same with writing sometimes. Even those, though, heighten awareness by excluding excess narative, getting close to the bone. Insecurity and instability are things we all have within ourselves, but heavily mask so as to appear solidly rooted. It's good for the work and me to float sometimes, to be rootless. Somehow more honest...
dennis jones: 2006-12-30 - www.absolutearts.com/portfolios/d/dennisjones
Andrew I imagine that the sense that you have of feeling lost in your work comes from reaching a meditative state resulting from intense concentration and focus on the work at hand. I think this illustrates a high degree of consciousness, being fully aware, most awake and alive and not acting automatically. Again, I think it takes much thoughtfulness that deepens the mystery.


What is real art?
Date: 2007-01-29 - Time: 18:39:49 (published - comments: yes)

I read in today's Absolutearts.com Arts News that works by the late sculptor DUANE HANSON are being shown in Denmark. I last saw him with his pretty new blonde wife in 1995 at the opening of Nam June Paik's electronic show at the Ft. Lauderdale Museum. I am happy I was introduced to him that night. He was of German descent I think. My art friends said he was born in Germany but I don't know that for a fact. He had that intense stare like he had personally seen the holocaust. Maybe he had. Despite being very ill with cancer in his last years, Hanson always looked the same, tall, thin, distant and intense. He towered over me. Of course he never knew who I was but nevertheless, he was one of my heros. He was innovative and original. I first heard of him back in the 60s when I was welding and doing plastics and making my own polyvinyl chloride and welded steel sculptures.
I had had a show in New York and loved all kinds of experimentation. I admired Hanson's striking out in a wild new direction in plastic sculpture created from casting real live people in body casts. The sculptors of Florida talked about him a lot. There were all kinds of stories going around. Hanson had burst on the international art scene with an exhibit that shocked everybody and brought him instant fame. I forget the name of the show but it featured dead Vietnam Vets all lying around in a circle. They were created out of cast acrylic resin and were so realistic there was a big outcry. People said it was not real art because he 'casts them from real people.' I think that was right after the war was over. He became an instant art celebrity. He was a kind of genius and made an international reputation for himself in his own lifetime, something that not many artists do. He actually judged a show I exhibited in in the Las Olas Sidewalk Art Festival back in the early 70s. I watched him walk fast right by my exhibit.
I began to look for his works whenever I went to a museum. They appeared seemingly overnight in every museum I visited. New York's Museum of Modern Art had one of a lady sitting reading a letter, so realistic I wanted to talk to her. Another had a museum guard 'on duty.' U. of Miami had a Hurricane football player all suited up in his gear complete with dirt and 'sweat.' There was the nerdy American tourist couple with their cameras, tropical sport shirt and fumpy clothes. It was said he ordered his eyes from Germany and installed each hair individually with tweezers. His older women had varicose veins and bad skin. Then I read he was getting $200,000 and every museum in the world wanted one. Everytime I saw one I got very confused about life and who was a sculpture and who was real. I think that is so cool. The Absolutearts.com article says he died in 1996, the year after I met him. He was an American treasure and I think his work was wonderful art.

 


Blog Comment:
Gerhardt Isringhaus: 2007-02-01 - http://www.absolutearts.com/portfolios/i/ishadesigns/
Duane Hanson's work was great in that he showed that real life and art are one and the same, it's just how close you look at it. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on an interesting artist. He created and left behind some very profound work, some of which I was fortunate to see in the Berkeley Museum back in the early 70's.

 

 



Comet Sky Bird

 


Date: 2007-03-28 - Time: 22:11:40 (published - comments: yes)

After reading Walt's great blog about Saatchi gallery's showdown contest and complaining that I never saw my last entry despite sitting one entire morning dumbly looking at all the entries, I now think I did not enter the last SAATCHI SHOWDOWN! Today I encountered a whole new entry process I did not see before which is why I don't think I ever entered.

I said I was not going to bother ever again with it but was intrigued when I read Walt's blog and how many people are interested in it and what a phenomena it all is. Then I saw the work that won last Showdown, a brilliant graphic work by an American artist who now lives in London with amazingly luminous black and white graphite "paintings" which are absolute masterpieces of satire and angst. I think she is a modern master and greatly deserved the top SHOWDOWN recognition. I went to her website and saw dozens of graphic masterpieces of creativity, deep imagination and drafting ability like the great German Kathe Kollwitz and dare I say even Albrecht Durer. It was clear why she won. That's my opinion although others may disagree.

So I myself succumbed today when I got a Saatchi e-mail invitation to enter the current SHOWDOWN. I just kept messing around with the whole business saying there's no way I will do this. i had painted a new painting but it was too wet to photograph and I was too tired to drag it outdoors into a windy day in direct sunlight for a good shot. Finally I did and wrote an explanation of the work called Comet Sky Bird.

It's at http://www.saatchi-gallery.co.uk/showdown/index.php?showpic=13249

 

 


Shipwreck on Santorini
Date: 2007-04-13 - Time: 23:31:11 (published - comments: yes)

To the Sirens first shalt thou come, who bewitch all men..."
In this passage from the Odyssey, written in 850 BC, the great Greek writer Homer tells of a siren luring innocent victims to their deaths.

And the great Greek Philosopher Socretes' words in Plato's Dialogues, written around 1,500 BC:

... "Atlantis, which, was an island greater in extent than Libya and Asia, and when afterwards sunk by an earthquake, became an impassable barrier of mud to voyagers sailing from hence to any part of the ocean. "

Both writers were reporting on the same region where much ancient history occurred, where time seems to stop for a nanosecond. In the Aegean Sea between Greece and Turkey lay the islands of Patmos, where imprisoned John wrote the Book of Revelations; Lebos, from which comes the term Lesbians; this not far from Constantinople, now Istabul where German explorer Schlemann discovered 7 cities of Troy one on top of the other attesting to that city's antiquity; and Santorini, where Socretes pinpointed the lost city of Atlantis.

What a place. I was there 15 years ago on a painting trip to Santorini. The entire time I was there my overactive imagination buzzed. I felt people had died there. The manganese blue sky meets the sea in a non horizon oneness. Never have I felt such remoteness and isolation as when I sat high atop the craggy grey rock called Santorini, at Jerry's Outdoor Bar listening to Kenny G saxaphone!

I remember being frightened to even go to Greece, envisioning capsizing ferries, planes crashing and other disasters. My fears were real. The waters are treacherous. Ferries have capsized. We were warned to carry painting supplies in sealed garbage bags as if that would help in a ferry disaster.

As I painted sitting atop cooked lava rock, looking straight down into the deep blue caldera where Socretes described a golden culture with a disciplined army that terrified even invincible Athenians, that buzzing in my head intensified. Socretes said the mighty residents of Atlantis were obliterated without a trace because they were a mean bunch and died because bad things happen to bad people.

I painted 18 watercolors, saw the Parthenon, the Acropolis at Delphi, the place of the first Olympic games, incredible Greek marbles, the naturally patinaed green Charioteer. What a culture ancient Greece must have been. What I saw whole was nothing to compare to the massive piles of partial columns, parts of pediments, sweeping landscapes of artifully sculpted rocks.

 

I ate supper under a setting sun on the Aegean facing a 25 lb lobster feeding 24, had baklava, pasticho, moussaka, stuffed grape leaves and danced the night away. Had breakfasts of apricots under the trees we picked them from with fresh bread, butter and hot coffee. I have not been the same since. The Greeks live their history, know their history, are proud of their history and take credit for Democracy and wine.


"See?" said Sophia, the Greek guide as she pointed to a place where five roads met. "That's where Oepidus killed his mother!" At Mars Hill: "This where Paul gave his speech to the Athenians." Everywhere there are references to the Bible and history. it all comes alive.

So last week I was particularly shocked when I heard about the awful shipwreck on the same rocks where in 1,500 BC thousands vanished in a volcanic explosion. Chills ran over me when I heard the news. A father and his daughter are missing and by now there is little hope they will be found alive. An entire 469 foot cruise ship disappeared deep into that caldera. The captain should have known about the treacherous bottom with the jagged rocky remains where ATLANTIS once was.

The Sea Diamond shipwreck is nothing like what happened so long ago. Why anyone would want to go there is a mystery. Yet it's considered the most beautiful place on earth and thousands flock there very year to be "bewitched by sirens..." I want to go back...

Blog Comments:

Select Comment: Blog Comment:
Giovan Beck: 2007-04-14 - www.absolutearts.com/portfolios/v/vanportraits/
Was there the time,for The Myth, to wake-up.smb said. Not nice to hear that two people are missing.Especially on Easter days that this hapened. On 1992 i did an oil painting of Ia village on Santorini. This island is really beautiful.It's full of Energy. Greetings from Rhodes Gr.
Andrew: 2007-04-17 - www.absolutearts.com/portfolios/e/elaniii
I'll be there in a few weeks, trying to grab some inspiration for a sculpture I'll be making for the following four months. On another Greek island.

 



Thank You, Mos Riera
Date: 2007-05-07 - Time: 18:31:06 (published - comments: yes)

I want to thank Mos Riera, Sariego,Spain for posting his sensitive drawing of Nam June Paik on Absolutearts.com today. It reminded me of a wonderful moment in my own art history.

I met Nam June Paik in 1994 at his huge one man show at Ft. Lauderdale Museum. It a complete electronic installation that took the museum three weeks to install and required 7,000 feet of coaxial cable running around the museum's perimeters, powering many rooms of digital video productions all running at full speed, changing colors, patterns, tiling on huge screens, in old car windshields, post office booths and other marvelous presentations all running to blasting music with odd syncopations. There were veritable forests of old tv rabbit ears pressed into service as art displayed like many skinny bunny's ears. And at a certain time a gong sounded off in a deafening blast like a wacky Big Ben that lost its meridian time. I loved it all so much.

Most of all I shall never forget the moment when Mr. Paik unpretentiously dragged his old black oriental slippers over to me to explain his wonderful show. He was wearing very baggy black pants held up with suspenders over a wrinkled shirt with the sleeves rolled up. He seemed a bit tired but very pleasant and talkative, not at all egotistical. I immediately liked him and felt he could be a good friend.
"I am essentially a musician," he said.

Paik was a genius and a true original. Thank you Mos Riera for honoring him with a drawing.

 


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Suddenly I'm angry.
Date: 2006-08-30 - Time: 11:05:11 (published - comments: yes)

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I've been talking about what's good or bad, what can be judged as good style, what makes good art. After certain recent global and personal events I got furiously angry. I remembered principles I had forgotten: good art is about more than craft, content, color, line and form - and serenity. This new anger makes me want to make art of a different nature. And it makes me feel more alive than I have been during my recent Florida landscape period. I have not been fully acknowledging the subterannean river of rage that runs under my colorful flowers, lakes and fields. I knew the rage was there yet I've been denying it, calming myself down in order to lose passion and pain and paint pretty because I didn't know how to paint my anger nor did I want to go there. Now, hopefully my heart art will drive me to create more more than serene art. I take courage from great artists of the past. Devastation, passion and pain are emotions that have driven artists to make greater and more universal art. Think of Picasso's Guernica, Black Sabbath by Goya, The Raft of the Medusa by Gericault, many paintings by Damier where social injustices are depicted, Delacroix's works about war and myth. Those are memorable masterpieces. Even myths become greater art works if they depict wars between gods and heros. Ok. So should we now discount the Mona Lisa by Di Vinci because she is smiling instead of crying. Does it mean that Mona, Vermeer's lovely maiden passive pouring milk in a bowl, sewing, putting pearls in her ears are not exciting works? No. DiVinci and Vermeer knew that lovely maidens can only smile and earrings can only be put in one's ears during the short peace that occurs after wars are won or perhaps between battles. Those passive masterpieces show backgrounds of hard won devastating battles and show resolve and resignation that is not sweet.


 


Okay, I have to admit, when I read about pretty landscapes I cringed. But I looked at your work, it isn't just pretty, there is a strange little edge to it. Being angry only means you are paying attention now. It doesn't mean you have to make angry art. It's a source of inspiration and power just like sex is. Same wellspring of somehow saying I am. Go tear that canvas a new one, Cecil! Whoo-hoo!!
Mark R Brockman: 2006-08-30 - http://www.absolutearts.com/brockman
Cecil, Nothing wrong with being angry and letting it come out through your work. I have recently done a few paintings that express my anger and frustration. But too, one can use that anger even behind a beautiful painting to express one's self. Andrew Wyeth, a realist (many dislike him) has often said that behind a painting can be great anger, and his work is know to be bucolic and some say peacefull tho they do not see the work for what it truely is. So be angry, let it out in your paintings and be better for it, it will help you find your center.
dennis jones: 2004-11-22 - www.absolutearts.com/portfolios/d/dennisjones
There is nothing wrong or negative about expressing anger through your art. I suggest that you take one or two of those precious paintings and rip the hell out of it. Put your fist through the canvas a couple of times or stomp on the stretcher bars until they snap like bones. Twist it all into a ball then paint some more. Kick it across the floor a couple of times like a soccer ball and see what happens for chrissake.
Jeanne Guerin-Daley: 2006-08-30 - JeannesMagicalMurals.com
I agree with Vick. I definitely see an edgy quality in a lot of your work. Your Puzzle Lake isn't just a pretty landcape to me. It holds in it some feeling reminiscent of Van Gogh, and we all know that his mind was not often at peace! (Please don't take that to mean I believe you are mad like he supposedly was!) He's actually my favorite painter of all time, I think because of the passion I see, in his paintings. The bold color, the movement in the brushstrokes I see in his paintings, I also notice in some of yours. Even the paintings you refer to as colorful flowers, like the Cyclamen painting holds my interest because of the tension I see. Nothing wrong with feeling anger. Just don't hurt someone when you're kicking that canvas across the floor!
Vick: 2006-08-30 -
The post by Dennis made me laugh out loud. There is a lot to be said about booting a piece across the room, I have to say. It reminds me of that quote: you must kill your darlings. It was about the craft of writing, but it can be said about painting, too. You have to be willing to totally ruin it in order to make progress.
dennis jones: 2006-08-30 - www.absolutearts.com/portfolios/d/dennisjones
I've been there and done it! And made a series of work from it. It's a cathartic and wonderfully liberating experience to make something from nothing. It may leave you laughing or crying out loud. But what's the harm it's only a painting. Then move on.
Cecil Herring: 2004-11-22 - http://www.spacescapes.com
You artists are so wonderful. I never tried to write a blog before but see how beneficial it is to my 'psyche.' Thank you all so much. I loved all of your comments and love you all for being so helpful. I may yet find my center after beating up on some of my work like Denis suggested! xxx Cecil
Cecil Herring: 2006-08-30 - http://www.spacescapes.com
You artists are so wonderful. I never tried to write a blog before but see how beneficial it is to my 'psyche.' Thank you all so much. I loved all of your comments and love you all for being so helpful. I may yet find my center after beating up on some of my work like Denis suggested! xxx Cecil
Don W Murphy: 2006-08-31 - absolutearts.com/donwmurphy
Your discussion on anger in art interests me because it seems the best work I do expresses emotion. If I can find a way to show you these pictures on a blog I will do so. Sorry. You can see both of them on my portfolio at absolutearts.com/donwmurphy
Don W Murphy: 2006-08-31 - absolutearts.com/donwmurphy
Your discussion on anger in art interests me because it seems the best work I do expresses emotion. If I can find a way to show you these pictures on a blog I will do so. Sorry. You can see both of them on my portfolio at absolutearts.com/donwmurphy
Don W Murphy: 2006-08-31 - absolutearts.com/donwmurphy

Don W Murphy: 2006-08-31 - absolutearts.com/donwmurphy

Lynda Lehmann: 2006-09-03 - www.lyndalehmann.com
Hi Cecil. I've just looked at some of your art and see the same edge that Vick has mentioned. Nowhere do I see saccharin sweetness or an obediance to a need for repression or tameness. I think all your work is already quite expresssive. I think that perhaps you have already given more to it than you think you have. I love New Land, it's a beautiful abstract, and the expressiveness of Lake Grass, Cabbage Palm, and Tababuia Tree, among others. For me, anger propels me into a destructive, instead of constructive, dimension. Instead of creating, I tend to make mud. I've destroyed many paintings at those times when a negative mood overwhelmed my creative tension, and destroyed my ability to keep that delicate balance between passion and restraint that we have to maintain in order to produce a good painting. It's not just about id, or subconscious mind, but about how we apply perception, artistic judgment, and restraint to those raging subterranean rivers. For me, too much anger sweeps everything downstream, into an undifferentiated oblivion. I do better taking a long walk, during which I try to process my anger. Then I can come home
Lynda Lehmann: 2006-09-03 - www.lyndalehmann.com
...and paint. I think it's great that you are questioning and exploring your creative process this way. But I suspect that you already have been transmuting your anger, and the other primitive emotions we all possess, in your art!

 



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I saw the The Illusionist tonight and think we are like illusionists.
Date: 2006-09-02 - Time: 23:23:47 (published - comments: yes)

I saw The Illusionist tonight and was not disappointed. It was magical, entertaining and evoked thoughts about art and illusion. I liked it. The musical score is by Phillip Glass, my favorite composer. I paint to Philip Glass music. The Illusionist has schlocky elements: goatees, gas lights, horse drawn carriages, mystery, intrigue, romance, sepia tones, slight German accents in Vienna in that strange 19th century period when people were recognizing Dr. Sigmund Freud as a healer of psychic disorders. And herein lies the movie's message for me. It's about people understanding that sleigh of hand is going on. People enjoy having magic played on them. People like to look beyond into the spirit world even if it's smoke and mirrors. After Freud, Karl Jung came along and told us that what we dream has meaning. What we think or create or paint is based on personal symbols for ideas and thoughts hidden deep in our subconscious. A star, a small child, a knife floating is how a friend of mine described her thoughts in meditation. I don't get any of it but I like it and want to talk about it. It is that delightul fog of consciousness, an alpha state where anything goes. Stuff floats around like DiChirico. What we think is often not true. What we see as real is often not real. What we are told is frequently not true. The name of the game is head games and we are getting good at it. Noone can tell what another will see as truth. Being an artist is like being an illusionist. We create it and no telling what the reaction will be, who will like it or who will hate it. Does it really matter? What is the truth?

 

 


 

Select Comment: Blog Comment:
josé freitas cruz: 2004-11-22 - www.absolutearts.com/freitascruz
Cecil, I've been reading through a couple of your blogs and find what you say quite interesting, this one especially because I too like Phillip Glass's work and because what you allude to here is a pet topic of mine as well and, I feel, regrettably, is somewhat neglected in current trends. We are illusionists as you say. I am sure you are familiar with P.D. Ouspensky who wrote that «An artist must be a clairvoyant - he must study the hidden side of life and learn to see what others fail to see - and a magician - he must possess the gift of making others see what they cannot fathom by themselves. Art is the beginning of vision! An artist will understand that the wood that goes into the making of the mast of a ship, a gallows and a cross will inevitably be different, he understands the difference between the wall of a church and that of a prison, he hears the voices of stones, understands the language of ancient walls, of rivers and plains, he hears the voices of the silence and realizes that silence itself may be different...» I'll be returning to read more.
Vick Vercauteren: 2006-09-03 -
Anais Nin quote: We don't see things as they are, we see them as we are.



josé freitas cruz: 2004-11-22 - www.absolutearts.com/freitascruz
Cecil, I've been reading through a couple of your blogs and find what you say quite interesting, this one especially because I too like Phillip Glass's work and because what you allude to here is a pet topic of mine as well and, I feel, regrettably, is somewhat neglected in current trends. We are illusionists as you say. I am sure you are familiar with P.D. Ouspensky who wrote that «An artist must be a clairvoyant - he must study the hidden side of life and learn to see what others fail to see - and a magician - he must possess the gift of making others see what they cannot fathom by themselves. Art is the beginning of vision! An artist will understand that the wood that goes into the making of the mast of a ship, a gallows and a cross will inevitably be different, he understands the difference between the wall of a church and that of a prison, he hears the voices of stones, understands the language of ancient walls, of rivers and plains, he hears the voices of the silence and realizes that silence itself may be different...» I'll be returning to read more.
josé: 2006-09-04 - www.absoluterts.com/freitascruz
sorry Cecil, seem to have messed things up here. i got an error message and ended up sending my comment twice. forgive me please.
Cecil Herring: 2006-09-04 - http://www.spacescapes.com
Dear Jose and Vick: I liked your comments very much. My attempt at blogging is a bit like mining - there's gold in those hills out there! I am conversing with some incredible artists, reflective, intelligent, intellectual and articulate. I myself am way behind (I should start a new blog with that one) on such matters knowing only I am making blind stabs in the dark at all you all seem to understand. The Anais Nin quote is wonderful. Your comments are sheer poetry and that is what I like best of all. Poetry. The only mystery is how to get the letters and numbers into the pic below! I've messed up like that too on my 'blog.'
dennis jones: 2006-09-06 - www.absolutearts.com/portfolios/d/dennisjones
The phenomena is called a 'suspension of disbelief'. Take a look at the book written by Suzi Gablik, titled, 'The Reenchantment of Art'. Vick, I like your quote. I would also add that we see what we want to see. Good words Jose.

 


My Best Present: MUFAH
Date: 2006-12-24 - Time: 22:25:30 (published - comments: yes)

I got the best Christmas present I could get this week with a trip to Houston's Fine Art Museum - MUFAH! I hadn't been there for 10 years so I noticed a big difference.
MUFAH has always been a treasure chest with my favorite Rauchenburg, Cezanne, Matisse, Dega, Manet, Monet, Van Gogh, Greek and Roman sculptures, pre-Colombian collection and so many other amazing works I cannot recall them all.
I do remember many great works I have seen over the years: Rodin's Walking Man, a comprehensive Frida Kahlo show elevating Diego Rivera's wife to rock star status with adoring throngs grabbing tee shirts and anything Kahlo, a comprehensive James John Audubon exhibit complete with one man show enactment of his life and Dead Sea Scrolls glowing gold on darkened museum walls.
MUFAH has a permanent collection numbering more than 31,000 works of art including 18 works by Jackson Pollock. It has become the repository of the second-largest collection of the artist's work in the world.
Some of the more recent acquisitions are Alexander Archipenko, Jean Arp, Lucio Fontana, Arshile Gorky, Adolph Gottlieb, Philip Guston, Hans Hofmann, Franz Kline, Willem de Kooning, Roy Lichtenstein, Joan Mir?, Joan Mitchell, Robert Motherwell, Pablo Picasso, Mark Rothko, Clyfford Still, and Andy Warhol.
To me one of the most memorable work at MUFAH is a gift by the museum's friends and Trustees and several local foundations, Rembrandt van Rijn's vivid oil painting Portrait of a Young Woman, signed and dated 1633, 25 34 x 19 14 inches, oil on wood
I cannot forget the subject's reddish hair, her earrings, her clear, steady gaze and perfect embroidered lace collar, white against a black background, set in an oval format. It is clearly a great masterpiece and an exceptionally beautiful example of the Dutch artist´s genius for *

portraiture, and only the second painting by the artist in a Texas museum.
Another standout is a huge painting by Anselm Kiefer, Heavenly Jerusalem, a painting, the color of ashes, devoid of life, but breathtaking and unforgettable. If only I could paint like that.
There are 3 big buildings now, one across a street with a connecting tunnel. And that is some tunnel with an installation of changing hot pinks and blue that glow mysteriously. illuminating a path. Walking across the straight line with a 6 inch drop on the sides makes it feel dangerous like a trip to see the Wizard of Oz, lying at the end of the tunnel. It is stunning.
I loved every minute until my feet gave out. Thank God my sore feet did not affect my art spirit because I got my batteries recharged for a new year and hopefully new and exciting works.

 

 


Low Tech Meets High Tech" by Bruce Price

on Wednesday, June 20th, Cecil Herring said

Making computer art is a whole different category that can not be compared with the other art making mediums. It is not an either or comparison issue. Since it is an art medium an artist would be better equipped if he or she takes traditional art training, drawing, composition, color, study of line and form, even figure drawing in addition to a complete schooling in hard drive knowledge, software knowledge. In short, it is a very difficult medium and time consuming and wears the arm out as our author blogger here Mr. Bruce Price can attest to. He has chosen to replace that sore arm with his other arm in his wonderful pen works show High Tech - Low Tech. I bet when his arm gets better he'll be back making art on his computer. He is very good at making computer art. There are some memorable pieces on his site.

I love making original digital art as some prefer to call it because it is made strictly in the computer by the artist and not a copy of anything else. Drawing straight lines, making or selecting has nothing to do with it and actually it has nothing to do with printing unless you want a final discrete product which is another art form - printing. There are computer art purists who show strictly on the internet. So it is really FREE ART! It is what it is - a 21st Century art making medium. Inherent is the ability to use ANYTHING from anything creating the image right on the computer screen, add images, pieces of images, scans of a rock, material, sheet metal, text, layer pieces of this melange into a whole new work of art, recoloring and redrawing as the artist sees fit.

Actually it can save a lot of money because the artist can just push delete or erase at any point. It does require thinking of a different nature, an abstract dimensional thinking or being able to think in this new medium. I am beginning to understand digital art as intellectual, cosmic in its dimensional qualities. But then you would have do it and be excited to do it, to understand it. There is a great future in this field particularly using the internet.

 


same blog bruce price lo tech high tech

r love creating digital art. Some people don't seem to understand it is most assuredly a bonafide art medium. It works on many levels like no other medium - compositing images to create a new reality, strange other worldly concepts.

As a sculptor, I always sought a way to layer images so things could be seen through things - into a divine spiritual dimension which has no number (or maybe it does). I think digital art gives this 3D capability. I started making digital art in 1988, went to digital school, helped set up a digital school at Stetson University and taught there. I was heavily into the digital medium for about 12 years but got tired out. As you say, I wanted some real strokes, messiness and even the smell, and to get my hands dirty! No medium affords the artist the total best of everything. There are negatives in them all.

I also hated the huge expense and how the printing industry turned big archival printers into cash cows with their exclusive requirements as to media used (their own or else!). The inks and papers are horribly expensive and to sell the prints was something else to try to explain why the prints cost so much and would they stand up to the Wilhelm light test meaning would they last a 100 years! I had my own 36" plotter and created some neat big works and had some awards. It was early in the digital age so I had trouble getting support with archival inks and media.

Print companies said unless I had a particular printer and used a particular ink the ink would not work and furthermore would destroy the printer. I never liked service bureaus preferring to playing around with the various prints, repainting them sometimes after washing off the inks, combining media. Also I got tired of the attitudes of the public who thought digital art is some kind of cheap trick and all that is required is to push PRINT! And the giclee thing. Don't get me started on that. Very few people understand the difference between an original digital art work and a giclee. Finally my big printer got struck by a lightning storm and a huge power surge and lost its program. By then the British company I had bought the RIP from was long gone and the newer operating system on the computer was not compatible. Noone could fix it. I took that wonderful big printer that would print on anything out to the street for the garbage pickup. I went back to painting because I also love painting. There are printers now that will print big prints using paints. I may go back to digital. I might check those out. I never considered pencil but you were smart and analytical to assess your situation and realize mouse strokes are the same as pencil strokes. That's wonderful. Thanks for writing about the digital art medium. Congratulations on your show!


regarding blog by Ron Butler : Portrait of Lupe Marin - Diego Rivera's Other Wife" by Ron Butler

on Monday, July 9th, 07, Cecil Herring said

Thank you Ron for writing about one of my favorite artists - Diego Rivera and the interesting facts about his wives. I admit I have never paid attention to the wives beyond amazing Frida. Yes I do remember seeing Lupe in scenes in Frida.

Even Frida Kahlo was not in my sights until I saw a huge show of Kahlos works in the Museum of Fine Arts - Houston in the 90s. My interest grew as I saw her works and read about her sad life.

But 25 years before that Diego Rivera had cast his magic on me when I saw his mural Dream of Sunday Afternoon in Alameda Park, Rivera-Kahlo at the Del Prado Hotel in Mexico City.

The huge painting featured artist Rivera in a group painting with Frida. You can see her behind Diego (as a schoolboy) holding the hand of a dressed up skeleton. No question it changed my life forever. I know that sounds very dramatic but it is true. I count my art sightings as main life changing events in my life!

Night time Mexico City is described as the Paris of the west - with good reason. It glows and casts dark shadows on sharp Mexican features making them all subjects for Mexican Murals. When I checked into the Del Prado and saw that macabre mural my heart sank in fear and lifted at the same time. I saw something I had never seen before - or since - a complete art movement that said what it is about openly, harshly, painfully, personally yet beautifully, artistically, masterfully. Art from those painful Mexican hearts cannot be used in derivative work unless it was or is a synthetic version. It had to be in that moment in that place to work. And it did.

The entire week I was there, I tore through the city taking in all the art centers and museums I could. That macabre atmosphere pervading passionate Mexican murals all over town fed my own recently learned art school anger and irony. These paintings all had marching men with hard fists, straining muscles, political fury and rage at a system that always ends up shafting the people. Los Trabajadores. Jose Clemente Orozco had it. David Siqueiros created a whole dome museum of three dimensional workers surging towards some kind of resolution.

Rivera was commissioned to paint a huge mural at New Yorks Rochefeller building in 1934 including some of his socialist ideas (like a portrait of Lenin right in the middle!) The buildings owner ordered him to paint Lenin out but he refused and the entire work was destroyed.

Frida supported her husband in his political views. They are both dead now as are all the Mexican muralists of that genre. But that seething movement I think is still happening now. I am connecting the dots...Los Trabajadores


Ron Anderson, absolutearts.com

""The History of the Rule of Law", Supreme Court of Ohio Law Library art collection"
Date Published: 2007-07-08 - Time: 14:44:56

The Supreme Court of Ohio
The Ohio Judicial Center

Cecil Herring: 2007-07-10 - www.absolutearts.com/portfolios/c/cecilherring/
Your paintings are fantastic. It is ironic that these famous signers of the US Constitution will only be historical figures signing a historical document that no longer exists after the Bush Administration gets finished. President Bush has dealt the US Constitution immeasurable damage by systematically cherry picking through basic principles of freedom through his use of a loophole called Signing Statements or changes in the Constitution being made without being voted on by Congress. In hundreds of these secret signing statements Bush has authorized torture, warrantless eavesdropping on American citizens, the unlawful detention of military prisoners and decimated the use of Habeas Corpus, that fundamental tool to defend oneself against his accuser. And it's all happened while we watched because we cannot know everything and freedom requires leaders who can be trusted. Congratulations Ron. I'm talking about something that is ongoing and happening now..


reply to I Hate Beads by Judi W. :

Cecil Herring: 2007-07-09 - www.absolutearts.com/portfolios/c/cecilherring/
Hi Judi: I think you were in the Heathrow Show 2 years ago. I recall picking one your works for an award since I was one of the 3 judges. Oh boy. I could be wrong but had a look at your portfolio page. I recall loving your gorgeous works using beads. I remember there was a problem with the category because it included other media. That can hamper prize giving. If not I still love your work now and think it is amazing! Art show judges come and go literally and who cares what they say? Your work is beautiful and wonderful.


Cecil Such a great Xmas gift to see one of the best museums in the States.
Vick: 2006-12-29 -
I feel reborn when I visit the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam. It recalibrates me like no other body of work by any other artist. Rock on, Cecil!

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