The Sight & Insight Podcast

Absence makes the heart grow fonder

Don't lose hope. We're back next week!

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Join us round the coffee table next Monday.

Meanwhile here is David demonstrating for the local Cape Ann Plein Air (CAPA) event at Cogswell's Grant, Essex, MA. 

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Cheers,

David, Judy and Connie

"Have as much fun as you can and don't feel that the edge of your canvas confines you - let your vision go right on." - Charles Hawthorne

Art on the Other Side of the Pond

Greetings, Art Lovers, from Leeds, England. Judy is visiting family, while David is holding the fort in Gloucester. Connie is footloose, fancy free and painting up a storm. Hopefully, the three of them will be able to gather around the 🎤 before long to entertain you once again with some pithy comments on the art scene, past and present.

Judy, meanwhile, isn’t letting the grass grow under feet while she is away, and recently spent a day at the Yorkshire Sculptue Park, West Bretton, Wakefield, Yorkshire. Here are some of her favorite views.

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Henry Moore, Three Piece Recling Figure No. 1, 1961-2  Photo © Jonty Wilde

And then there was the work of Italian sculptor, Giuseppe Penone:

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Albero folgorato, 2012 Photo © Jonty Wilde

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Luce e ombra, 2014  Photo © Jonty Wilde

“Penone is mostly remembered for his role in the Arte Povera movement, a fairly short-lived affair of the late 1960s and early 1970s that flourished in Italy and set out to disrupt the values of commercialised markets. It took its name (translated literally as “poor art”) from a typical use of such humble materials as soil, burlap sacking or lumps.”

- https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/exhibition-review-giuseppe-penone-a-tree-in-the-wood-at-yorkshire-sculpture-park-wakefield-bk3rgz2t8

YSP is a wonderful place to visit. The grounds are extensive, and the views are terrific. Creativity in the Yorkshire countryside. What more could you ask for?!

Nor should we forget the painters. YSP has also hosted exhibitions by celebrated modernists such as Joan Miró, (1893-1983) the Spanish Catalan painter.

Another painter Judy has come across, while visiting the historic Saltaire Mills complex, is artist Fred Stead.

Frederick (Fred) Stead (1863 – 1940) was born in Shipley and lived for the latter part of his life at Ghyllwood Drive, Bingley. He painted mainly portraits and local landscapes.

He studied art, initially at the Saltaire Art School in Shipley and was awarded a scholarship to study at the Royal College of Art. He gained a Travelling Scholarship that took him to Italy, Switzerland, Germany and France to study.

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Fred Stead, A Picnic, o/c, 25 x 30, pc.

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Baildon Green, Saltaire, Yorkshire, o/c, 18 x 25 ½, pc

And last but not least, Judy’s favorite Fred Stead, A View of Richmond Castle, West Yorkshire, where her grandfather was born at the beginning of the last century.

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 O/c, 19 ¾ x 23 ½, pc.

The art of the landscape is something to be enjoyed, no matter where you are, and the delight of visiting new, or favorite, places can open your eyes to so many new works and painters.

Until, next time,

Cheers,

David, Judy and Connie

 “Art enables us to find ourselves, and lose ourselves, at the same time.” - Anonymous

Taking a Hiatus

Well, here we are again, or rather, here we are not!

Yes, once again, we are footloose, fancy free, and on the loose. At least, Connie is, having set out for the Big Apple for a psychodelic film festival last week, after a successful private showing of work by the Dynamic Trio: Connie, David and their artist friend Tom Heinsohn. Here's what you missed:

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From left to right: David, Connie and Tom - Three With a Brush!

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A corner of the foyer, and refreshments by artist Annie Marks

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Two views of the dining room gallery

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Works by Connie, Tom and David

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David and Connie will be busy with their Sight and Insight 'October Skies workshop for the rest of this week, October 10-12, 2018 and Judy will be winging her way to England, if she doesn't get lost - she doesn't have much of a sense of direction! - to visit family.

Last Sunday, after giving a PowerPoint presentation on the work of Don Stone, NA, at the North Shore Arts Association, Judy was both surprised, and delighted, to be honored by the NSAA, and the Rockport Art Association & Museum, as well as the Cape Ann Museum for her work in researching and writing on the history of art on Cape Ann. For once lost for words, Judy did later manage to explain that writing about Cape Ann art was, for her, a way of being involved in David's business, and other art related events, without actually being able to paint herself!

Stay tuned, folks. We'll be back before you know it.

David, Judy and Connie

Episode 26: Sight and Insight Programs

"You will learn to enjoy the process... and to surrender your need to control the result. You will discover the joy of practising your creativity. The process, not the product, will become your focus." — Julia Cameron

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Welcome art lovers, to another edition of the Sight and Insight podcast. Today’s topic: the Sight and Insight programs.

Judy begins off topic with an introduction into the insight of  ’21 in Truro,’ a women’s painting group who exhibit together throughout the year and enjoy a retreat for a week down in Truro, sharing five rustic cottages right on the marsh, or as close to as you can get!

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These 21 women are all individual artists who have been getting together for the last 20 years – next year is their 21stanniversary – and they only need another seven years to catch up with the Philadelphia Ten. The Philly Ten were an early women’s group, which included Theresa Bernstein and Emma Fordyce MacRae, who got together to empower women’s art at a time when many women signed their paintings with initials to disguise their gender from painting juries.

The discussion then comes round to David and Connie’s upcoming ‘October Skies’ workshop, October 10-12, as they talk about some of the ideas they will be bringing to their students, such as the ‘line of design,’ the advantage of memory cards, and how beauty and aesthetics are affect a painting. 

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You want to know how to get more movement and drama in your skies? Stay tuned for more words of wisdom from Connie and David!

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Lorwen C Nagle, Mud Flats near Brunswick, 12 x 24, oil

"The search for this inner truth is the search for beauty. People whose vision does not penetrate beyond the narrow limits of the commonplace, and to whom a cabbage is but a vulgar vegetable, are surprised if they see a beautiful picture painted of one, and say that the artist has idealised it, meaning that he has consciously altered its appearance on some idealistic formula; whereas he has probably only honestly given expression to a truer, deeper vision than they had been aware of. The commonplace is not the true, but only the shallow, view of things." — Harold Speed, The Practice and Science of Drawing

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Episode 25: Don Stone - Doing It His Way

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Greetings, Art Lovers, and thank you for joining us for another exciting episode of the Sight and Insight Podcast. Today we are talking about a great show currently on exhibit at the North Shore Arts Association, 11 Pirates Lane, Gloucester, MA 01930. Don Stone Comes Home is on view through October 9 and features over 140 works.

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Bittersweet by Don Stone

Don Stone could turn his hand to oil painting, watercolors, egg tempera and more and these skills, combined with an unerring eye for composition and design, helped him become a noted artist and beloved teacher during a long and successful career. Our intrepid trio discuss Don's work, his larger than life personality and the character quirks that made him a legend in his own lifetime!

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Winter Trees                       Barn Rafter with Swallows

And if you get chance, join Judy and David Curtis, and hopefully, Lorwen, at Judy's presentation on Don Stone at the North Shore Arts Association, 2 pm, Sunday, September 30.

Happy listening!

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Episode 24: Copying the Masters

Welcome to another edition of the Sight and Insight Podcast. This week, our intrepid trio, David, Connie and Judy, willbe discussing the weighty topic of copying from the masters.

Is it sneaky, as some people think, or cheating; or is it an age old method of learning to paint better by studying closely, and emulating the work of, old masters who have stood the test of time?

During today's episode, Connie relates the tale of how she finally managed to get access to the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston to copy Monet's Grand Canal. This is her version below. She also made a copy of Antonio Cirino's Peonies from the Rockport Art Association and Museum's Copying the Masters Workshop earlier this year. 

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As Connie says, it is important to see how a past master has designed and created their work of art, especially their color tones and brushwork. Studying these elements can only make your own work better.

While on his Paige Traveling Scholarship in Europe, in 1913, A. T. Hibbard - as a graduate art student from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, was admitted to the Museo del Parado in Madrid to copy from Velazquez, including Las Hilanderas (The Weavers) below.

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Of course, the criteria for copying another's creation is that it should not be sight size. In Hibbard's case, he did a large painting of the lower right hand side of the painting. Hibbard's version is now a part of the RAA&M's Permanent Collection. 

There are many reasons for practicing copying from the masters, not least of which is improving your own art. David teaches an annual workshop at the RAA&M, so if you want to try improving your art by this method, keep checking David's website at davidpcurtis.com for more details.

In the meantime, if you would like to view Connie and David's upcoming exhibition, Three With a Brush, with their painting friend, Tom Heinsohn, check out the invitation below. Or view Connie's website at lorwenpaintings.com for further details. 

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And don't forget, David and Connie are teaching a Sight and Insight workshop, October Skies, October 10-12, 2018.

Want to know how to paint better skies with movement and drama? Then check David and Connie's websites for further information on how to sign up. Still a few places available. Don't lose out!

And, last but not least, if you have enjoyed this podcast, don't forget to hit the red follow button, so you don't miss out on another episode. 

Have a great week!

Connie, David and Judy

PS. Next week we will be talking about the current Don Stone: Coming Home Exhibition at the North Shore Arts Association, 11 Pirates Lane, Gloucester, MA 01930 Ph. 978.283.1857 or email: arts@nsarts.org

This is a great exhibition containing over 100 paintings. Judy will also be giving a presentation on Don Stone and his work on Sunday, September 30 at 2 pm. Come along and join the fun.

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Episode 23: Elements of Nature

"Art not only imitates nature, but also completes its deficiencies." — Aristotle

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Willard L. Metcalf, Flying Shadows, 1905, o/c, 26 x 29

Well, if we are already quoting Aristotle, you can tell we are going to be covering some pretty deep thoughts in this week's podcast on 'Elements of Nature!' 

Deep it may be, but the problems or, rather, the challenges of painting nature are not insurmountable. On a basic level, the artist just has to consider all the elements help, or hinder, their painting, and then go from there. And it is perfectly permissable to whip out your artistic licence and brandish it at anyone who dares to complain you moved a tree or moved a rock from one place to another because it composed better. 

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A. T. Hibbard, Lingering Snow, 1917, ocb, 9 1/2 x 11 1/2, Vose Galleries, Boston

Artist A. T. Hibbard was noted for moving elements around to make a better composition. Nature, as beautiful as she is, is not constrained by the size of her canvas and, therefore, occasonally - to create a better a better design - it is necessary for an artist to adjust elements to look good within the parameters of their canvas.

"Nature is my springboard. From her I get my initial impetus. I have tried to relate the visible drama of mountains, trees, and bleached fields with the fantasy of wind blowing and changing colors and forms."  — Milton Avery

If you would like help designing your elements of nature, check out David and Connie's Sight & Insight 'October Skies' workshop, October 10-12, 2018, at davidpcurtis.com or lorwenpaintings.com.  If anyone can help, they can!

And finally, if you have enjoyed this podcast, please 'Follow' us, and then you'll never have to worry about missing an episode!

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Episode 22: Practice, Practice, Practice

Greetings, art lovers; we're back!

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"Learning the art of painting is not an easy task. It takes a great deal of intelligence, keen analysis, study and practice." — Edgar A. Payne

Practice, practice, practice. We’ve all heard this adage from parents, teachers and everyone else who wants to get in on the act. But how much practice do we have to put in before we get anywhere? And will we ever succeed, or will we be students all our lives, trying to put into practice what we’ve learned and get that one perfect picture, essay, novel or piece of music?

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left: John Constable, Landscape with a Double Rainbow, 1812

right: John Constable, Rainstorm Over the Sea, c.1824-28

"There has never been a boy painter, nor can there be. The art requires a long apprenticeship, being mechanical, as well as intellectual." — John Constable

Of course, if you love painting, or writing, or researching history, then working at it doesn’t come across as hard work, or practice; it’s just an opportunity to do something we love and a learning opportunity that makes us better as we go along.

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Lorwen C. Nagle Sketch at Brave Boat Harbor 

"Try to put well in practice what you already know; and in so doing, you will in good time, discover the hidden things which you now inquire about. Practice what you know, and it will help to make clear what now you do not know."

— Rembrandt

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David P. Curtis Sketch for Summertime and the Living is Easy

"Practice should always be based upon a sound knowledge of theory."

— Leonardo da Vinci

After an illness in 2016, David found himself struggling to get back into painting mode. "In order to motivate myself," he said, "I began painting a whole series of 12 x 16 canvas board sketches, trying to get a fresh look - alla prima - rather than feeling I had to get a perfect painting every time. It turned out to be enjoyable. It lifted the pressure of having to produce a finished canvas while I was still recuperating. Just practicing on 12 x 16's on a regular basis, really helped me get back into top gear."

So there we have it; pratice is a great tool, and can help take us to the next level, not just by improving our technique and skills, but also by taking the pressure off having to produce a masterpiece everytime we pick up a brush, or pen. Wasn’t it the great Italian painter Titian, who said on his deathbed, “I don't want to die now, … I am just beginning to learn to paint.” Which suggests the artist - or any creative individual - should always be a student; always learning, always challenging themselves to achieve something greater.

“I know you've heard it a thousand times before. But it's true - hard work pays off. If you want to be good, you have to practice, practice, practice. If you don't love something, then don't do it.” — Ray Bradbury

 

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Episode 21b: Having a wonderful time - wish you were here, too.

With David and Connie still AWOL, it is left to Judy, working hard in a hot studio, to put a few words together and ensure fans that all will be back to normal next week. Judy has been guiding tours around the Rocky Neck Art Trail, and thanking Heaven that when she emigrated from England in 1986, she ended up living in the wonderfully artistic haven of Cape Ann with its tremendously important history that contributes fully to the background of art in America.

In the meantime, David and Connie are painting up a storm, working en plein air amid nature and trying to capture the light and atmospher with color, brush and canvas. And just to prove it, here are few works in progress:

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David P. Curtis, What, me worry?

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Lorwen The Orange Buoy

Practice makes perfect, and a painting a day keeps the doctor away. — Eleanor Blair

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David P. Curtis, Sarah Long's Bridge

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Lorwen, Symphony in Gold

Practice yourself, for heaven's sake, in little things; and thence proceed to greater. — Epictetus 

So while David and Connie are out on location sharpening their skills for their upcoming workshop 'October Skies,' Judy is hard at work at the computer, preparing a presentation on the Art of Don Stone at the North Shore Arts Association, East Gloucester on September 30th. The show just opened so if you get chance to check it out, it will be well worth the visit. For more information visit Don Stone: Coming Home.

And so, until next week when hopefully all returns to normal, we wish you happy painting, and a wonderful week.

Judy

I know you've heard it a thousand times before. But it's true - hard work pays off. If you want to be good, you have to practice, practice, practice. If you don't love something, then don't do it. — Ray Bradbury

 

Episode 21: Painting a Better Painting

Greetings, and welcome to all our followers. As you can no doubt see, we have no podcast this week as Connie and David are on a painting trip in Maine with their friend, Tom Heinsohn. Here they are on location. Looks to me like they are having too much fun!

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Meanwhile, back in the studio Judy was busy putting the finishing touches to two articles for the next issue of the American Art Review, guiding a tour of the Rocky Neck Art trail for RoadScholar, and delivering a PowerPoint presentation on ‘Early Artists of Cape Ann’ for the Sandy Bay Historical Society at the Rockport Public Library. Having attended to all that, Judy is now beavering away at the keyboard to put these few words out so that fans of the Dynamic Trio don’t go into a decline during their absence.

What is it that really makes a painting special? Is there such a thing as the perfect location? Perfect weather conditions? Of course not. So, what does an artist have to do to take the ordinary, and turn it into something super special with an effect of light worthy of being captured on canvas? You don’t have to go to the Rockies, oftentimes there is great material in your own backyard. Or, at least, nearby! It’s just a matter of learning to see, and then design, a great composition. Look below at how the great A. T. Hibbard goes about creating a great painting.

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A. T. Hibbard (1886-1972), Sunlit Peak, Lake Louise, Canadian Rockies
Oil on canvas, 28 1/8 x 36 1/8, courtesy of Vose Galleries, Boston

Of course, not all of us can get out to the Rockies to capture the grandeur of sunlight hitting the mountains, but Hibbard could always get a terrific painting even if closer to home.

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left: A. T. Hibbard, Clearing, Buzzard's Bay, oc, 32 1/2 x 36 1/2, pc

right: A. T. Hibbard, Rockport Quarry 1920, ROCKBOUND installation, 2017, Cape Ann Museum ©c ryan 20170602_110218

Of course, we are not all A. T. Hibbard's, but even Hibb admitted that painting was more to do with hard work than good luck or talent.

So, do you think you need help? Why not try a Sight and Insight workshop with our very own David and Connie? As practicing artists themselves, they are in a position to teach how to design a better painting based on years of experience.

October 10-13, 2018: October Skies

A Sight and Insight Plein Air Oil Painting Workshop
With Instructors: David P. Curtis and Lorwen ‘Connie’ Nagle

Join David and Connie as they explore the principles of aerial perspective. Learn to design skies, model clouds and paint a fresh plein air landscape in one session!
The Sight and Insight programs are popular, so sign up now. Space is limited.

Tuition $300 pp. Please email via David's contact page at davidpcurtis.com to register. Or visit LorwenPaintings and do the same thing.

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This workshop is suitable for all skill levels and will address the importance of aerial perspective in creating dynamic ‘moving’ alla prima skies. As English painter, John Constable once said, “The sky is the source of light in Nature and it governs everything.”

“Aerial perspective has nothing to do with line, but concerns tone and colors, by the delicate manipulation of which an artist can suggest infinite distance.” — Walter J. Phillips (English-born Canadian painter and printmaker 1884-1963)