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UNION SQUARE TROUBADOUR
posted: February 26, 2010
While painting this Union Square troubadour, I couldn't help but think about Frans Hals's characters  . . . sweaty and a bit drunk  . . . hamming it up . . . their crooked teath and radiant smiles. The relaxed, comfortable joy in his work. is a reminder for me to unload, ease up, enjoy the moment and the people around me.
What I'm drawn to here is the solitary and intrepid effort of making art, of learning a craft, of making that craft your own.  At some level, we are all self taught. I love to think about the millions of kids sitting on the edge of there beds, inspired by the music they listen too, teaching themselves to master the guitar.  I always give my undergrads this advice . . . learn to do something well. It's going to help you when you get older.
Soap box: "How will this help me get a job when I graduate"? As teachers in universities, we focus to much on preparing students for getting a job when they graduate. They're all going to do that, whether we interfere or not. The theme is overkilled and ends up frightening them to death.  I try to help prepare my students for the long haul of life. Yes through drawing and painting, through music and art history. Many of the grad students I teach are adults now and have been working for any number of years. They are coming back to school asking the opposite question. NOW WHAT, I have a job . . . I don't like it.
The other painting that kept coming up during this session was Paolo Varonese's Marriage at Cana. In the center of his (I believe, life size) composition is a group of musician's. I read somewhere that the musicians represent the fathers of Venetian painting, Bassano, Titian, Tintoretto and Veronese. The instruments that they are playing help describe the character of their painting style, voice. Check it out. It's mind blowing skill.
11 comments
Leo Espinosa February 26, 2010
Nice reflecting post, Pedro, and a terrific painting as well. Narrative, narrative, narrative.
Peter Hermann February 26, 2010
beautiful painting. looks cold out there. also a really nice self portrait in your header.
Robert Saunders February 26, 2010
Nice paintings, both. I can relate to the musical themes. Instruments make such wonderful subject matter!
Peter February 26, 2010
Thanks Robert. Your so right about instruments. Chardin!?? Thanks for stopping by Peter and Leo. Not only cold but about 2 feet of snow!!!
Christian Slade February 27, 2010
I'm digging this one. Nice subject and composition. Everything handled really well! Nice commentary too. And regarding Frans Hals, he's one of my favorite Dutch painters. I remember seeing a few originals. Excellent characters bursting with life off the canvas!! Sort of reminds me of a few evenings back in Syracuse, eh bud?
Peter February 27, 2010
Yes Syracuse. Ha! Going out today with some people in the easy village for a little drink and draw. Was thinking about a few of our tours. Hope your doing well.
Nancy Stahl February 27, 2010
I like his concentration. And your self portrait is so exactly you..!
PEter February 28, 2010
Thanks Nance . . . I'm so glad you like my self portrait. It is me . . . I can feel is too.
Victor Juhasz February 28, 2010
Great focused painting here Peter. You have a great eye for knowing where to put the marks.
Peter February 28, 2010
Thanks Vic. By the way . . . I liked your self portrait on your site so much I decided to include my own. Tipping my hat. Thanks
Dad March 2, 2010
this is great Pete. I'm going to remember "....now what!" (and probably steal it) The painting and the self portrait are great but what pleased me the most were the two pencil portraits at the top probably because when I look at them I want to go make art.
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