Ashes to Ashes

Last week after many months of investigations it was revealed to the World that we had lost yet another 7 renowned Masterwork paintings.  Expert forensic specialists at Romania’s National History Museum have not yet fully confirmed the loss but it is believed that all we are waiting for is a formal announcement.  Ernest Oberlander-Tarnoveanu, the museum’s director is quoted as saying that the theft and destruction is “a crime against humanity to destroy universal art”.

The paintings believed to be totally destroyed are those stolen form the Kunsthal Museum in Rotterdam, Netherlands.  They are among our favorite paintings.

Pablo Picasso, “Harlequin Head”  1971
Claude Monet, “Waterloo Bridge London”  1901
Claude Monet, “Charing Cross Bridge London”  1901
Henri Matisse,  “Reading Girl in White and Yellow”  1919
Paul Gauguin,  “Girl in Front of Open Window”  1898
Meyer de Haan, “Self Portrait”   circa 1890
Lucian Freud,  “Woman with Eyes Closed”  2002

The paintings are believed to have been burnt by the mother of one of the suspects in the theft.

It is inconceivable for me to understand how thieves would think they could ‘make’ money from such art treasures.  Art market experts say that the thieves may have discovered what many art thieves have before them that easily identifiable paintings by famous artists are extremely difficult to sell at anything like their auction value.

This new frenzy of art theft leaves art lovers such as you and me at a loss to understand the pointlessness of the crime. For me it shows that even in the art world there is no longer any safe haven in which to retreat from the world for a while.

This evening, pour a cup of tea or a glass of wine and look through your favorite art books, enjoy the beauty art and the uplifting feeling of being in the presents of such perfection.

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Art For Arts Sake

Or James McNeil Whistler, vs.  The Great Proletariat Soup Kitchen and Meeting Hall.

In the late 1840’s The Aesthetic Movement, as it came to be known, made its way onto the world stage partly as the natural progression of art and partly as a reaction to John Russell who declared, “I wholly deny that the impressions of beauty are in any way sensual; they are neither sensual nor intellectual, but moral.”

Home architecture today is the antithesis of the Aesthetic Movement.  Homebuilders are the inheritors of the Bauhaus manifesto decree,  which states that the Common Man is as yet “intellectually undeveloped” and therefore does not know what type of housing would serve best.  This notion put forth in the early part of the twentieth century should have died a swift death but alas, it is still very much with us.  Architecture is the “speech of our transient culture”.  We move from one ism to the next but we are still being dictated to by the academic theoretical architect.

Last week I delivered another Wendy Wells-Bailey painting to a new home.  The owners were delighted with their new painting and asked me to help hang it. 

The request was normal, I am always prepared to help hang or place artwork, but this time, WHERE?  I looked around the Great Room setting so popular in the 1980’s and early 1990’s (this being a new house I guess the fad is still around). My client’s Great Room was one of those cavernous multipurpose rooms with no interior walls, high ceilings….oh I mean Cathedral Ceilings in realestatese.  

Wendy’s paintings are large so the only place I could see large enough to accommodate her work was a space above the cathedral windows……oh my!  No problem, out came a shiny new ladder which the owner shimmied up. The hanging went fine, the painting was too far away to appreciate the detail, but the owner was very happy. 

As for me, I came away with a feeling of having spent my time in a barren industrial wilderness, one of those meeting halls attached to union offices, you know, like a great Proletariat meeting hall. It reminded of the Purest ideas of Le Corbusier and Walter Gropius. It was Gropius who said “the people (that’s us) are too intellectually undeveloped to understand what environment they would want to live in and therefore would be happy and content to live in the “worker housing” provided for them by the Great University Compound Architects.  Living in these great rooms then is the 21st century equivalent of living in the Projects.

So why is my client so enthusiastic about living in a “great room”?  Why are they so happy with heating costs, irregular angles and wasted space?  Could it be that they are just caught up in what they perceive as being “IN” or could they be perpetual victims of the school of university compound architects such as the Bauhaus School?
In the “Great Proletariat Soup Kitchen and Union Meeting Hall” that is    todays housing I find a depressing return to the Victorian ideal that art and structure must have a moral and religious purpose.  Today the moral and religious purpose is displayed in the over sentimentalized Bauhaus compound pronouncement  of “sheer walls, no window architraves, no raised lintels, no colors save the compound shades of white, beige, gray and black…….rooms stripped of all House Beautiful aesthetics and open floor plans ending the individualistic notion of personal privacy” as decreed in the Bauhaus worker housing manifesto.

In 1900 James McNeil Whistler was asked to “touch up” a room designed to feature the porcelain collection of Mr. &Mrs. Frederick Leyland and as the world knows the “improvements” became the world famous “Peacock Room” and Mr. Whistler became one of the leading proponents of the New Paradigm of the House Beautiful movement of aesthetics which include the entire Arts and Crafts Movement, Art Nouveau, Art Deco, Art Moderne and a host of movements within these circles.  He simply created a room for Beauty, for visual and physical renewal.  In other words “Art for Art’s Sake”.
In the end the Wells-Bailey was successfully hung.  It stands out in the great room as a beacon of Fauvist color and hope for the House Beautiful against the gray walls of the proletariat meeting hall, I mean Great Room.

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The Emperor’s New Clothes

As you know, from time to time I invite artists to exhibit on my web site just as I did in my gallery.  Lately however, I have been receiving unsolicited work for exhibit consideration.  Almost all of these works are “abstract”.  The accompanying letters note with pride that they (the artist) are creating a painting a day!  I recently picked up one of those free art publications that galleries give away.  This particular issue consisted of 88 pages of Art Gallery ads, show previews, and commentaries.  Each page is filled with art images intended to attract a buyer, each gallery lauding their space and prestige.  Out of these 88 pages there are exactly 19 images that are recognizable at immediate glance.  I am entreated with blobs, disjointed lines and absurdities which at best are amusing and at worse are an insult to the intelligence of the buying public.  I am beginning to wonder if this abstract art deluge has something to do with “a painting a day”.

Perhaps this latest craze can be blamed on Robert Henri who wrote in his always popular book “The Spirit of Art” that we should “paint as fast as you can” however this would be a sad interpretation of his meaning which is to act immediately on inspired thought.  Frankly, today’s trend in fast painted ‘modern art’ is very tiresome and boring.  It has all been done before.  Paint has been splashed on canvas, paper, and cloth from ladders, elephants, helicopters, anything you can imagine for a very long time, we need to move on!  Today so many artists and galleries are caught up in this painting a day craze and they still expect the buying Patron to pay top dollar for their work.  Yes, I know Picasso painted one and sometimes more pieces a day but he also had piles of unfinished work, which he lost interest in and simply abandoned.
And you my good Patron, what roll do you have to play in all this?  Are you buying art just to match your furniture?
I love ‘modern art’, truly!  I love the Futurists, Dadaists, Surrealists, Futurists and a whole list of experimentalists but these works were thought out and executed at a speed befitting the complexity of the work.  What I am expressing is the development of ‘modern abstract’ work as a substitute for poor talent and a lack of patience and know-how to work out a commentary of balance and harmony.
Artists, go outside, take long walks, look at what surrounds you.  Find out what moves you, then express it in a deliberate way at a steady pace.
Patrons, consider where you are in the quiet alone moments of your life.  Buy art that reflects those moments.  You will be amazed at your own choice continuity.  Trust in your choices.  You will grow inside and your sofa cushions will fade away. Be prepared to mix styles and be prepared to sell work that no longer speaks to you.

Featured Artist,  Chris Wills and Sky Rider

Sky Rider Takes a Musical Ride
Sky Rider keeps riding into the most wonderful places.  This time she has found her way onto a YouTube video featuring international singing star Chris Wills.  Chris appears in this YouTube spot with singer/song writer Jayne Olderman.  You will find him singing Jayne’s  song “Let Me Be There for You”.  Have a look.  As you watch the video the camera moves in on Jayne and there sitting on the piano next to her is “Sky Rider”.  You can see this YouTube spot by going to or at www.jayneolderman.com Thank you so much Jayne for sending us your wonderful video.

Wendy Wells Bailey:  Off the Easel
Wendy has just finished a new piece which she has entitled MY Tree.  It is the view from her studio window and a view which has inspired several of her most recent works.

My Tree

I sense that I have awakened from frightening dryness.  The rain clouds have just passed and from my studio window I watch as My Tree glistens with rain drops in the early evening light.  She has the strength to stand alone.  I feel I am a part of Her, part of Her leaves and part of the strength of Her roots.  Past MY Tree the parched land is greening and the sometimes lake sparkles in the evening glow.
Tomorrow the lake will be gone but My Tree will still be here to shade me from the frightening dryness.

My Tree is Acrylic and gold on canvas  12X18X1.5 inches  wrapped image
Original: $750.

Collecting Art
Collecting doesn’t just mean going to art shows and exhibits and buying the next big collectable artist.  Part of being a collector is enjoying the art presentations that all local art galleries offer whether it is a talk on Art Nouveau composers or the galleries latest acquisition. Don’t miss a gallery presentation.  You will become newly informed and you will meet new people with similar interests.  There is no better way to learn about art, what is good and what is not by attending gallery exhibit openings and public gallery collections.  You can even take your lunch to a public art gallery and a lunch time lecture. Please support your local public art galleries.

Books I am Reading
I am always reading and referring to Thomas Hoving’s book “Greatest Works of Art of Western Civilization”.  This book has been around since 1997 but if you don’t have it put it on the top of your list.  Thomas Hoving, the former swashbuckling director of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York has selected 111 works of art which he considers to be “the pinnacles of quality, elegance, and artistic strength, the best mankind has created, the hallmarks of unalloyed genius”.  With a statement like that you will have lots of room to agree or disagree.  He writes a descriptive and sometimes gossipy essay on each work.  You may not agree with him but he makes you expand your mind’s eye on art.  It makes good fireside reading anytime.  ISBN-10: 1885183534

Care of Artwork
From Melanie Smith owner of Seaside Art Gallery, Nags Head, North Carolina comes this advice on cleaning artwork.
How NOT to clean oil paintings.  Food items appear to be a popular cleaning agent.  It has been recommended that bread, sourdough being the preferred, should be bunched up and rubbed all over the painting to pick up dust and grime.  The other option is to cut a potato and rub the raw end all over the artwork.  The results of both these methods are bread crumbs and potato residue.  The only benefit will be to the bugs!  Next time you are at the cosmetic counter (you too Sir) buy a good sable “bronzer” brush.  These thick flat-topped brushes will clean dust away without damaging the work.  If you feel your painting has become grimy with age or cigarette smoke have it professionally cleaned.  Don’t take the chance of using home remedies.

Parnassus
As you read at the top of this blog spot I have been recently been receiving samples of work with the artist proclaiming ‘I do a painting a day’.  To be frank the works presented show it.  In the privacy of reading this blog I tell you that no one is impressed by a painting day, least of all your buyers.  The same thing applies to abstract art.  The presentation of color and form in balanced harmony can be invigorating even spiritual but throwing paint on a surface at random by whatever means is at best an insult to the buying public and at worst an insult to your own talents.  Paint with purpose.  The process of creating art in all mediums begins with thoughtful consideration and planning.  First you walk and then you write.  What do you want to say?  What do you want the public to become aware of?  What story do you want to tell?  Every art creation must start with a thought.  Write it down, make notes from research, and learn new techniques if required, then draw.  Use these drawings to explore your ideas, make changes, every great artist of the past has made multiples of drawings before beginning the final work.  Plan your colors.  Prepare several blend examples before making your final choice.  Preparation “separates the Condors form the Cuckoos”.  I’d love to see your work along with the drawings and preparatory notes and sketches.  You can contact me at info@deserteaglefineart.com.  By the way, notes and sketches help sell the work and can enhance the price points.

 

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May 29, 2012 Sisters of the World

Welcome Inside the New Desert Eagle Fine Art

Welcome to the all new look of Desert Eagle Fine Art, a showcase for established as well as up and coming artists.  Our collections include painting, sculpture, pottery, glass, and a few surprises.  desert eagle fine art has been representing fine art to discerning buyers worldwide since 1992, and presenting fine art on-line since 2000.  Our success has been due to the consistent high quality standards of the fine art and fine craft that we present.  We have built a reputation of trust with our patrons, artists, communities, and corporate partners alike.  By taking the gallery on line we  intend to extend our marketing reach for the benefit of artists and patrons around the world.

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New   The Talking Stick

The other day I was listening to a disk by the famous Japanese composer and performer Kitaro.  The album “daylight, moonlight Kitaro Live In Yakushiji” records a special concert given at the temple of Yakushiji in Nara, Japan.  This concert was given for world peace.  It is a beautiful recording, Kitaro has long been one of my favorite composers, his music is insightful.  As I listened, my thoughts went to our Mother Earth and how She is our Common Ground so I wrote a short letter to my Sisters of the World, I thought you might like to read it.

 

Foot Steps

Have you ever thought of how much we have in common?  Love for our children, love for our families, sorrow and pain in loss.  A child dies for no reason that our hearts can understand.  A loved one suffering a pain we cannot cure.  Work, labor, hunger.  Laughter!  Joy!  Love!  Giggles and blushes!  Pride of place and home.  We experience Beauty in ourselves and Beauty in Nature.  Each one of us dear Sisters are born with these inescapable events.

        We are also born on one Common Ground.  Each time your foot touches the Earth and each time my foot touches the Earth we resonate together.  No matter where you may be in your present age or where you live.  No matter what your Race or your belief system, we, each of us, are connected by the Common Ground.  We grow our food, together.  We dance and sing, together.  We march, we shuffle, we run, always together on the Common Ground.

Dear Sisters, we have everything in Common. The Common Wind, The Common Spirit.  The Common Earth.  If you can stop for a moment today and touch the Earth and think of me, I am touching Earth Mother and thinking of you.  And I’ll be thinking of the Peace in the World we can help create, one footstep at a time.  Peace and Loving Kindness.

Kitaro is available on Amazon.

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Off the Easel

          New Works from Wendy Wells-Bailey

 

This wonderful piece is called Athene.  It shows Athene in her warrior aspect surging forward with the wings of her sacred owl propelling her forward.  I love the detail Wendy always puts into her work.  She works for hours on each line building up the gold paint until it has the luster she wants.  It is my new favorite!  The painting is 12wX36hX2d inches, museum wrap acrylic and gold on canvas.  $1,475.00 Plus shipping.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Framed, The Art of Collecting Art

 

Are you an Art Collector?  Of course you are.  Do you know all about art?  Of course you don’t but that does not mean you are not a collector.  Every month in our brick and mortar gallery some curious passerby would stop in the doorway and peer in.  “Come in” I would offer.  “Oh no I don’t know anything about art” was always the same timid reply.  (It seems that someone, somewhere told these good people that art was only for the high elite of society, whatever that is.)  My next question “do you know what you like?” always got an emotionally charged answer good or bad. This usually resulted in the person coming into the gallery.  Some looked around gingerly as I answered questions, some took the art critique aspect quite to heart and had no trouble telling me what the liked and didn’t like in no uncertain terms.  Many of these Good Folks would come back again, usually with a friend in tow explaining each piece of work in their own terms.  Others, tourists, told friends and family back home and the next year someone would come into the gallery with a bedraggled Desert Eagle business card in their hand and say that a friend, cousin, uncle, sister told them to have a look at the gallery when they came to town.  We treat these would-be patrons like royalty.  They become the backbone of our repeat business.  I hope you too will step through the threshold of our website to see what’s new.

 

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 Books I’m Reading

Did you get a chance to order Rosamond Bernier’s book “Some of My Lives?  Just in case you didn’t I have kept the information on this blog post for you.  It is a real treat it would be such a shame if you missed it.  This is what I wrote last week:

If you haven’t read Rosamond Bernier’s “Some of My Lives” stop everything and get this book.  Mrs. Bernier has been an art lecturer at the Metropolitan Museum of Art for many years.  Her father Samuel Rosenbaum was head of the Board of Directors of the Philadelphia Orchestra and from her pre-teens she acted as his hostess.  She personally knew such greats as Rachmaninoff, Stokowski, and many others.  Later she lived in Mexico and became a close friend to Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera.  When she moved to Europe she became friends with Matisse, Picasso, and again many others.  Her book is personal, easy to read and fascinating!  Anyone interested in art of the 20th century will want this book.  It’s available through Amazon.com  ISBN978-0-374-2661-5

 

 

 

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Not All That Glitters……

 

I can see that you are just settling down with your cappuccino or martini and just thinking to yourself that you want to read something current in the art world, something to take you away from the vicissitudes of the day, and then I come along!

It has been said by experts that from 45% to 80% of all art brought to auction is either fake, misattributed, or stolen.  Two weeks ago, I was reading in The Boston Globe that some new clues are being explored over the theft of art works from the Gardner Collection.  (Remember, the 1990 theft of over $500 million dollars’ worth of art from the Stewart Gardener Museum?)  I read the news report with trepidation, what were we all going to learn?  Nothing as it turns out, at least there has not been any follow up that I can find.  Maybe you can find something new?  There has been nothing in the Boston Globe and no press statement from the Gardner Museum.  I guess we will have to continue to wait and see. The read the Boston Globe article go to www.boston.com archives May 10 2012 Special Reports.

 

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Written on the Wind

 

Russell Lynes definition of a Philistine; “a smug, ignorant, especially middle-class person who is held to be indifferent or antagonistic to artistic and cultural values”.  Love it!

 

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Parnassus

Mount Parnassus is the paradise of art where Apollo and the Muses inspired poets, musicians and artists.  In this section I will discuss issues concerning the creating and selling of artwork.  I will be stepping on some sacred cows and herding new ones.  I will be discussing such topics as how to choose an art show, art show etiquette, art gallery etiquette, what to say, what not to say, the dark side of thank-you.  As a gallery owner for more than 20 years and as a show artist I would like to pass on some of the do’s and don’ts that I have learned.  Watch for this section in I my next blog, it’s sure to please!

 

I hope you like the look of our new web site I am so happy to be working with Mia Johnson and her crew at Kits Media, thanks Mia for an outstanding job!  And thanks to you for reading our new blog, stay tuned for more interesting information about the arts and some lively discussion.  In the meantime,

 

Walk in the Beauty Way.

 

 

 

 

 

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Welcome inside the new Desert Eagle Fine Art Gallery

Welcome to the new look of Desert Eagle Fine Art (now Spirit Eagle Creations), a showcase for established as well as up and coming artists. Our collections include painting, sculpture, pottery, glass, and a few surprises. Desert Eagle has been representing fine art to discerning buyers worldwide since 1992, and presenting fine art online since 2000. Our success has been due to the consistent high quality standards of the fine art and fine craft that we present. We have built a reputation of trust with our patrons, artists, communities, and corporate partners alike.

Off the Easel: New works from Wendy Wells-Bailey
Our new website is intended to provide you with a beautiful art experience. You may view your favorite art pieces on-line in the privacy of your own home in the atmosphere your artwork will occupy. We are very excited to offer this new style of art gallery, and are looking forward to serving patrons and artist we would never have been able to become acquainted with had it not been for the media of the internet. Enjoy your visit. We hope you will find a wonderful piece of art work to enhance your lifestyle.

The wonderful piece to the left is called Athene. It shows the figure of Athene from Greek mythology in her warrior aspect surging forward with the wings of her sacred owl propelling her forward.

I love the detail Wendy always puts into her work. She works for hours on each line, building up the gold paint until it has the luster she wants. It is my new favorite!

The painting is 12w x 36h x 2d inches, museum wrap acrylic and gold on canvas, $1,475.00 plus shipping.

Collecting Art
I have been a great admirer of Margarete Bagshaw. Her work is full of complex patterns and shading. She is the granddaughter of the famous Santa Clara artist Pablita Velarde and the daughter of the late artist Helen Hardin. Helen has been a great influence on the art of Wendy Wells-Bailey. In March of this year, Margarete gave a talk at the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian at which she beautifully describes her art process and discusses the influences that her mother and grandmother have had on her art.

Books I’m Reading
If you haven’t read Rosamond Bernier’s Some of My Lives, stop everything and get this book. Mrs. Bernier has been an art lecturer at the Metropolitan Museum of Art for many years. Her father, Samuel Rosenbaum, was head of the Board of Directors of the Philadelphia Orchestra and from her pre-teens on she acted as his hostess. She personally knew such greats as Rachmaninoff, Stokowski, and many others. Later she lived in Mexico and became a close friend to Frieda Kholo and Diego Rivera. When she moved to Europe she became friends with Matisse, Picasso, and again many others. Her book is personal, easy to read and fascinating!

Anyone interested in art of the 20th century will want this book. It’s available through Amazon.com, ISBN978-0-374-2661-5

Written on the Wind
In the March/April 2012 edition of Native Peoples Magazine, Dr. Buffy Sainte-Marie wrote:

“The arts are more than just wall decorations or a night’s entertainment. Art is more like a verb than a noun. It’s something we do. It’s about the hearts we touch and the lives we change. We must apply the medicine of the arts to our own communities. Have the courage to love the arts!”

“Have the courage to love the arts.” Isn’t that a great idea!

I hope you like the look of our new web site. I am so happy to be working with Mia Johnson and her crew at Kits Media. Thanks Mia for an outstanding job! And thanks to you for reading our new blog. Please stay tuned for more interesting information about the arts and some lively discussion.

In the meantime, Walk in the Beauty Way

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