Since this blog is certified to be fresh and organic, I am putting it (and computing in general) on hold while I take a short easel break.

I need a couple of weeks (until mid May?) of intensive, concentrated and focused painting time so I can catch up on my work.

Love and Kisses,

Back Soon!

Can an Artist Change the World?

I'd like to think that sometimes we can make a difference.

In 1963, Norman Rockwell wrote this letter below to the NAACP saying that he wanted to do something to help.

The next month, "Look Magazine" published Norman's painting on a big double page spread:

In 1964, that simple visual was a powerful and shocking "wake up" to the insanity of not allowing equal integrated access to our public schools. Rockwell's painting helped to shift the collective thnking and motivate a needed change.

I'd like to think that Artist Norman Rockwell helped - in some small way - to clear the path for Barack Obama.

And on another note...

No matter who we are, no matter where we rest our heads, no matter what our color or creed...we're able to sing the same song at the heart of it all.

But we have to try to do so in harmony.

And when we do? It's just beautiful.

Musicians from all around the globe sing "Stand By Me," for Playing for Change. Just beautiful stuff.

Every once in a while, it's a good idea to hear the music in all of our souls. For it is in the ways we are the same that our strength truly begins.

So dream away, dream often, dream big and make art.

The Moment the Meek Inherited the Earth

Experience the pure power of what an unexpected talent can do!

By now, most people have heard of Susan Boyle. 

But some of you haven't - so click on the picture link above and prepare for a jaw-dropping performance.

Pictured above is a harder-to-find recording of Susan Boyle from a 1999 recording she made for a charity event. 

The original tape was tossed out and alas, only 1000 original CDs were made. 

Above are some pictures of Susan Boyle at home in Blackburn, West Lothian. A devout Catholic, she said "This is where all this is coming from. It'a gift, a Godsend. I don't know why I didn't do this sooner."

Fred O'Neil, a professional voice coach who taught her, said "her 'Britain's Got Talent' audition in Glasgow last year was her last throw of the dice."

Susan Boyle's performance gives us a compelling peek into a universal and ageless archetype about a person so unique that they are shunned and thus feel misunderstood and unvalued.

Brilliance comes so often with high contrast. In our search for perfection, we often overlook the gems that are hidden in unusual packaging. 

Susan stayed true to her dream - and all of us are so much better for her song!

What did Shakespeare look like?

"The object of art is to give life a shape."

The newly identified portrait of William Shakespeare has been unveiled at Dartmouth House, Mayfair, London.

The oil canvas is thought to have been painted in 1610 - six years before the playwright's death - when he was about 46 years old.

It remained in the same family for centuries and was inherited by art restorer Alec Cobbe. 

The painting will go on display at The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust in Stratford-upon-Avon on April 23, Shakespeare's birthday.

*Note that there is no truth to the rumor that Painter Karin Wells is related to Prof. Stanley Wells, Wells Fargo, Wells Cathedral, Wells College or any known Water or Oil Wells. But she once drove by Wells, Maine.


Wow. Since I posted this I have gotten a heap of email on this topic.

This is the Sanders Portrait of Shakespeare.

For starters, see the comments and other link below to read about and view the Sanders "authentic" painting of Shakespeare.

Three U.S. Supreme Court Justices hear a moot court debate over the authorship of Shakespeare's plays. The mock trial was organized to explore the theory that Edward DeVere, the 17th Earl of Oxford, was the actual author of the plays, writing under the pseudonym of Shakespeare. See the video here.

Shakespeare by John Taylor hangs in the National Portrait Gallery in London.

Justice Stevens Renders an Opinion on Who Wrote Shakespeare's Plays
It Wasn't the Bard of Avon, He Says; 'Evidence Is Beyond a Reasonable Doubt.' See this article here.

"About Eastertime"

"About Eastertime" is a beautiful nonsectarian* handmade book by Allison Randall. It is a powerful message of hope for anybody, any time.

I cried the first time I read it.

This is my friend Allison. Or at least these are her hands. 

A Quaker, she makes "Friendly Goods" - soft lovable quiet toys for children (and adults).

Long before I met Allison, I bought one of her velvet "Hands to Hold" and sent it to a friend who needed some comfort while undergoing cancer treatment.

It was an instant hit and I was delighted to eventually become friends with the woman who would think to make such a wonderful thing!

Allison is a very wise and talented woman who wrote and illustrated my most favorite Easter Story.

With her kind permission, I have reprinted her elegant story below for all to enjoy: 

The cover (above).

Below are some little pictures of the other items Allison makes. You can see and purchase her toys at her blog.


Allison has written another book, "I Love You Very Much" that is just as wonderful as this one.

* Footnote:

* And now to be completely sectarian; I'm wishing "a Happy Easter" and "a Joyful Passover" to all of you who celebrate at this time.

Titian, Tintoretto, Veronese: Rivals in Renaissance Venice

Three painters. One city. And four decades of artistic rivalry...

* In the sixteenth century, Venice was one of the largest and richest cities in Europe. A steady demand for paintings from both local and international clients fostered a climate of exceptional competition and innovation.

Titian, Flora, about 1516-18. Oil on canvas.

Titian began his career in the workshop of Giovanni Bellini, a master of late medieval style. By the early 1500s, a sea change was occurring in painting, leading to the development of the Renaissance style. Titian emerged from Bellini’s workshop to become a master of this style, imbuing it with a uniquely Venetian character. Here, he paints his mythological subject with soft colors and delicate brush strokes.

Tintoretto, Self-Portrait, about 1546. Oil on canvas.

Tintoretto came onto the scene a generation after Titian and, like fellow rival Veronese, was forever playing off of the master. This early self-portrait was done when he was emerging as a noteworthy challenger to Titian. His intense, challenging gaze and concern with movement foreshadow his later dramatic compositions.

Titian, Supper at Emmaus, 1533-34. Oil on canvas.

In this scene from after the Crucifixion, two disciples journeying to Emmaus are joined by a stranger. When the stranger blesses and breaks the bread at supper, the disciples recognize him as Christ. Painted in a sumptuous interior, this scene from the Gospel of Luke shows Titian’s interest in textures: the folds of a tablecloth or light reflecting off a wine glass.

Tintoretto, Supper at Emmaus, about 1542. Oil on canvas.

Though it is rumored that Tintoretto apprenticed in Titian’s studio in his youth, this version of the Supper at Emmaus shows a mature artist forging his own dynamic style in a bid to outdo the established master. Tintoretto’s handling of the scene is turbulent. The disciples gesture wildly, and the composition is angular rather than serene. Even the paint is applied with energetic strokes.

Veronese, Virgin and Child with Angels Appearing to Saint Anthony Abbot and Saint Paul the Hermit, 1562. Oil on canvas.

Veronese, like Tintoretto, entered the Venetian scene a generation after Titian. With this third protagonist entering our rivalry, we begin to see that not only did the younger artists play off the older, but all three were influenced by each other. This scene shows Veronese’s classically elegant depiction of human figures as well as his great interest in incorporating careful details.

Titian, Portrait of a Man (Tommaso Mosti?), about 1520. Oil on canvas.

The popularity of individual portraits grew remarkably in the sixteenth century. Here, Titian depicts his subject in a classic portrait composition, shown from the torso up in a pyramidal composition. Titian’s palette is luxurious but sober, capturing textures such as the fur lining of the cloak and the supple leather gloves.

Tintoretto, Portrait of a Man Aged Twenty-Six, 1547. Oil on canvas.

In this work, Tintoretto expands the portrait format to nearly full length, depicting this well-possessed young gentleman almost from head to knees. Tintoretto’s brushwork in portraits ranges from careful and detailed—rivaling Titian as a painter of fur and leather gloves—to reckless and exciting.

Veronese, Portrait of a Man, about 1551–53. Oil on canvas.

In Veronese’s portrait of a Venetian gentleman, a curtain is pulled back to reveal a view of a landscape with ancient ruins. The stylish young man rests a gloved hand on his hip in a gesture of nonchalance. These details may have been intended to express the sitter’s status. Veronese also painted Titian’s portrait, a work that has been lost.

Titian, Venus with a Mirror, 1555. Oil on canvas.

By the time this painting was completed, Titian was about seventy years old. The sensitivity of this female nude shows his talent was unhindered by age. Luxuriously depicted as if she were a Venetian courtesan, Venus is reflected in a mirror held by angels. Because of their tantalizing ability to expose hidden views in a composition, reflected images held a particular fascination for Venetian artists.

Veronese, Venus with a Mirror (Venus at Her Toilette), mid-1580s. Oil on canvas.

This version of Venus with a mirror showed that Veronese was not only looking at Titian’s work but was clearly influenced by it. Veronese’s Venus is elegantly outfitted with rich fabrics and jewels and is depicted from behind. The apparent modesty of this view is compromised by the mirror, which offers in its reflection what is hidden from sight.

Tintoretto, Susannah and the Elders, about 1555-56. Oil on canvas.

Tintoretto’s painting of a woman with a mirror shows a scene from the Book of Daniel in which Susannah is observed bathing by two elderly men with lecherous intent. The mirror’s reflection offers Susannah the view denied to the men, who seek to invade the private garden space.

Although forty years separate the birth of Titian from that of Veronese, the careers of the three painters overlapped for almost four decades. The eloquent record of their artistic dialogue is most apparent when the powerful canvases each produced are considered side-by-side. Juxtapositions of two, three, and sometimes four paintings demonstrate how much these three artists were influenced by one another and how they used their paintings as critiques.

Titian, Tintoretto, and Veronese together created a body of work that defined a “Venetian style” through loose technique, rich coloring, and often pastoral or sensual subject matter. These elements inspired countless later artists, promoting a Venetian current in painting up to the twentieth century.

This show took my breath away and the only way I can describe it is "wow." There are a lot of paintings, they are all large and beautifully displayed.

*Note: I grabbed a great deal of this copy from the MFA website.