The Sight & Insight Podcast

Episode 8: Books, Books, Books

"Art is not an amusement, nor a distraction, nor is it, as many men maintain, an escape from life. On the contrary, it is a high training of the soul, essential to the soul's growth, to its unfoldment."

- Lawren Harris


Welcome to Episode 8 of Sight & Insight, the podcast for all things Art. Today Judy, David and Connie discuss their favorite art books and how they can increase the artist or art lover's understanding practice and understanding of the Fine Arts. 

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A.J. Munnings Reading by Harold Knight

Harold Speed, Sir Alfred East, Robert Henri... just a few of the names these three friends will be discussing, not to mention Judy's book on the history of the Rocky Neck Art Colony 1850-1950. How to books, artist biographies, exhibition catalogues are also a big topic of conversation. Tune in and find out David and Connie's favorite books and see if you agree. Your favorite wasn't mentioned?! Let them know. There's sure to be a similar discussion in the future and sharing ideas is the best way to share knowledge.

“Painting is poetry that is seen rather than felt, and poetry is painting that is felt rather than seen.” - Leonardo da Vinci

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Until next week, happy painting....



Sight and Insight - Episode 7: Memory Painting


"It is all very well to copy what one sees, but it is far better to draw what one now only sees in one's memory. That is a transformation in which imagination collaborates with memory." - Edgar Degas (1834-1917)
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This week, Connie, David and Judy talk about memory painting. How does it help the outdoor artist? Is the memory trustworthy to work from, or is it better to have a photograph? Is photographic color honest? Or should the artist work at training his or her memory to remember color notes, shapes, masses and pictorial gestures? Listen in to the convwersation and feel free to drop the crew a message if you have something to add. 

"A cultivation of the taste, by a proper degree of attention to literature and the fine arts, elevates the mind above trivial cares and conventional jealousies, giving it a vigorous independence, and a fund of inexhaustible resources within itself. They present a means of quiet enjoyment, that gently exhilerates the spirits, and produces a cheerful state of mind highly conducive to health."*

*Huntington, D L. Manual of the Fine Arts. Vol. 20, A. S. Barnes & Company, 1874, p. 23

So, before you grab your paints, canvas and easel, how's your memory?!

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Sight & Insight Episode 6 Pleine Aire Painting


Welcome to episode six of the Sight & Insight podcast. Join David, Connie and Judy as they talk about the art of painting out of doors. As Sorolla said, "As far as outdoor work is concerned, a studio is only a garage; a place in which to store pictures and repair them, never a place in which to paint them."

Artists have been working out of doors since the time of John Constable (1776-1837) the English Romanticist, who was sketching in the Lake District as early as 1806. The Barbizon School, located on the edge of Fountainbleu forest, near Paris, also championed the idea of developing a landscape painting via direct observation, attracting painters to the site such as Theodore Rousseau (1812-67) and Jean-Francois Millet (1814-75) in the late 1840s as well as Charles-Francois Daubigny (1817-78) and Constant Troyen (1810-65). But it was Claude Monet (1840-1926) and his Impressionist colleagues who perhaps garnered the most attention with the idea of painting outdoors, expressing the artist's perceptions of nature as laid out before him. 

Hear Connie and David, both outdoor painters and teachers discuss the pros and cons of working in all weather to capture the momentary effect of light hitting their subject in Nature, while Judy tries to keep them in order. As David says, "You don't always what you want the first time around, but you will have had a wonderful morning or afternoon working out of doors, observing nature and the flora and fauna of your location. And these observations will make you all the more prepared for next time you go out there."

For Connie, having a good color theory before you even go outdoors is a big help for the student artist. Read Harold Speed, and other great painters, such as Lecoq de Boisbaudran who developed Light and Color Theory to assist the artist to help understand the principle in conjunction with a painting class or workshop

Artist's today often use technology to assist them paint images of the outdoors within the confines of the studio, but as Augustus W. Dunbier (1888-1977) said, "If you can't paint it with all of this hanging out there at the end of your nose, how do you expect to do it better back in your basement?" 

But supposing you can't get outdoors to paint because of hayfever, or pouring rain? Then those observations already made outdoors will help you when you are confined to the studio. Tune in next week for Episode 7: Memory Painting....

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Sight and Insight - An Art Education

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Join Connie, David and Judy for their fifth podcast as they discuss the pros and cons of art education

With more than 50 years of painting experience between them, and some 25 years of teaching, David and Connie have teamed up to offer their Sight and Insight to help you become a better painter.

What kind of art education will help you? Gertrude Fiske spent seven years at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts (SMFA), Boston, to throughly ground herself in her chosen subject; Polly Thayer dropped out in her second year because she felt it wasn't helping her do what she wanted to do. A. T. Hibbard split seven years between the Mass Normal Art School and the SMFA. So what does a student of the arts really need to know? Tune in a hear what the Magnificent Three have to say, and see if you agree. If you don’t, let them know. Discussion of the arts is a wonderful thing; stimulating and motivating. Let’s have more of it.


Charles Gleyre, (1806-1874) Lost Illusions,c. 1865-67, o/c 34.1 x 39.3, The Louvre, Paris

“Color and design together,” David says, “can create emotional feelings to the viewer,” but how to find the right color and the right design? That where Sight and Insight comes in…!

Or, as Leonardo said:


Many are they who have a taste and love for drawing, but no talent; and this will be discernible in boys who are not diligent and never finish their drawings with shading.

The course of instruction for an artist (483-485).

483. The youth should first learn perspective, then the proportions of objects. Then he may copy from some good master, to accustom himself to fine forms. Then from nature, to confirm by practice the rules he has learnt. Then see for a time the works of various masters. Then get the habit of putting his art into practice and work." 

— Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519)

The Notebooks of Leonardo Da Vinci by Leonardo da Vinci

Chapter IX



Sight and Insight - What is Art?

A word from our producer...


... or not. Maybe next week.

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What is Art? A lofty question indeed! Join Lorwen 'Connie' Nagle and David P. Curtis, both experienced plein air oil painters and teachers, and Judy Curtis, art writer and historian, as they get to grips with the question of 'What is Art?' According to Beverly Sills, the late, great vibrant soprano once described as the 'All-American Diva,' "Art is the signature of civilization," while French sculptor, Auguste Rodin, prefers, "Art is contemplation. It is the pleasure of the mind which searches into nature and which there divines the spirit of which Nature herself is animated." Tune in to find out what David, Connie and Judy have to add to the mix. 


Leonard da Vinci (1452-1519) Madonna of the Rocks (1483-1486) Oil on panel, 78.3 x 48 in. The Louvre, Paris

Hear, too, about what these three amigos have been up to recently. Judy talks about the preview opening of Harold Rotenberg: An American Impressionist' now on view at the Cape Ann Museum, through June 17, 2018. 

Meanwhile, David and Connie share their adventure down to the University of Delaware where they explored the Charles Allan Winter Papers and came up with some surprising insights!


Charles Allan Winter (1869-1942), Under the Tree, oc 24 x 20 in.


Sight and Insight - Aesthetics

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Join Lorwen 'Connie' Nagle and David P. Curtis, both experienced plein air oil painters and teachers, and Judy Curtis, art writer and historian, as they sit around the coffee table to talk about aesthetics. Together they cover the gamut of topics interesting to art lovers and artists alike. Or, at least, they hope so!

Pick up your own coffee and then sit back and enjoy the conversation. If you disagree, let them know. As David's father, art teacher and marine artist Roger W. Curtis, once said, "Few facts are sure and opinions are debatable...." 


Raphael, The School of Athens, 1509-1511, fresco, 200 x 300 in., Apostolic Palace, Vatican City

"Design is a way of life, a point of view. It involves the whole complex of visual communications: talent, creative ability, manual skill, and technical knowledge. Aesthetics and economics, technology and psychology are intrinsically related to the process."

— Paul Rand
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Sight & Insight - Beauty

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This week Lorwen 'Connie' Nagle and David P. Curtis, both experienced oil painters and teachers, and Judy Curtis, art writer and historian, talk about the concept of beauty in art. Between the three of them, David, Judy and Connie cover the gamut of artistic topics of interest to artists and art lovers alike. At least they hope so! Tune in and see if you agree with them. If not, let them know. Facts are few and opinions are debatable....

Love of beauty is taste. The creation of beauty is art. - Ralph Waldo Emerson

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Beautiful art is successful in portraying the artist’s most profound intended emotions, the desired concepts, whether they be pretty and bright, or dark and sinister. But neither the artist nor the observer can be certain of successful communication in the end. So beauty in art is eternally subjective.

Wm. Joseph Nieters, Lake Ozark, Missouri <4/9/2018>


Sight & Insight - Imagination

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Join Lorwen 'Connie' Nagle and David Curtis, both experienced oil painters and teachers, as well as Judith Curtis, an art writer and historian, as they sit around the table and talk about art appreciation, and how to execute a better painting yourself. This podcast is aimed at all those who make art, collect art, or just want to enjoy some good conversation with, hopefully, some uplifting thoughts on a subject particularly necessary in an era of speed and technology.


Why is art important to our lives, and why is creativity a worthwhile human endeavour? Tune in and find out.

"This world is but a canvas to our imagination." - Henry David Thoreau