John’s picks

John says:

Here is a vision of the future by both painter (Elliott Murphy) and musician (Evan Paul). We are in a new age of art and there is no stopping it. This is just a sample of what is out there and so the wonderful world of art moves on ward to a galaxy you might know someday.


Here is a link to another great artist of the modern world, but his art appears a bit on the darkside of the moon. He captures his subject with total awesomeness and his arrangements speak volumesfor themselves. I’m sure you will find them quite intrigueing.

Enjoy, John

This one was quite funny. Notice the way he is mixing paint, it is in fast motion and kept cracking me up. He is getting his ideas for the painting from different pictures. Where oh where is the vision?

Enjoy, John

About trueoutsider

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33 Responses to John’s picks

  1. trueoutsider says:

    Steve says,

    Murphy & Paul have far out interplanetary imaginations, and they have obviously put their stellar skills into play with marvelous blending of deep color and 3-D form ( whether in paint or digitally ). And their art feels tender & warming somehow, even with galactic tactics portraying distant cold worlds. But I guess I’ll be staying behind while the new age moves on. I barely made it to the 20th century. We are all stuck in the muck of illusion, but the older muck feels better to me, in fact it feels newer to me. I suppose I’m a front-porch painter, always have been and don’t see that changing now. But I honestly enjoy watching as others explore and express the cosmos. I am as awe-struck by the infinite as anyone and sincerely salute the artists of tomorrow with a fond farewell.

    • johnk823 says:

      Steve, The paintings were done in oil on canvas for this piece. This had to take some time and effort. Althought it is an amazing video with some amazing paainting and music, I’m with you a hundred percent on the fond farewell.

      Blessings, John

  2. Steve says:

    John…how do you think Frazetta paints? Are these paintings digitally made, perhaps with a computer tablet and software, or does the artist paint on canvas? The lines are so blurred these days between mediums that I can’t tell sometimes how something was done. It can all be valid, but I’m just curious. Also, I’ve noticed these past few years how many human anatomy books there are that seem comic-book driven, have you noticed that? I’ll bet that there are young kids out there in the drawing world who know anatomy better than many serious painters, the bulging-muscle super-hero kind of anatomy. I’ve never been too thrilled by Conan The Barbarian type of illustration, but more and more folks are. As video games and Lord Of The Rings movies come to dominate the visual imagery of our times, the more squeezed-out I feel, happily squeezed-out mind you. It makes me want to go draw in the dirt with a stick or paint on cave walls with a piece of charcoal & greasy hunk of left-over bison from the dinner fire. What a world it is now.

  3. johnk823 says:

    Although above I mention the new artist methods of computerization with the computerized stylis pen and graphic tablet, we can never loose heart with the roots of the hand held real pencil, chalk and brushes using the same talents from our original origins of creating art.

    Here is such a sample of what I am talking about using various methods by Robert Liberace.

    We can create today using the new found computerization methods, but are still required to have the skills and talents based on the original methods and origins of drawing with the old fashion pencil, chalk and brush. The artists visions are produced through their markings regardless of the medium.

    • Steve says:

      John…I actually like the Liberace video, once I turned that infernal music off that accompanied it. I’ve seen many ‘demo’ videos and the problem with almost all of them is the way they are edited. The speeded-up action ones , I mean really speeded up , are ridiculous,…but the long drawn out talking sequences are just as meaningless. This one has pretty good ‘timing’ , a little quick, but not keystone cops type of action. I always enjoy honest-to-goodness life drawing, which is what this video shows. The best one that I’ve ever seen of this kind of thing is from a Spanish painter doing a portrait.
      I am so removed from the teaching end of art that I can’t begin to answer your question about what is going on ‘out there’ in the art classes of today. I can make a good guess based on what I see locally, and it’s the same thing that was going on 40 years ago ! I can only hope that the young painters taking these courses get at least one teacher who tells them about life and relates that to painting. Otherwise….

      • johnk823 says:

        Steve, I agree on the music of the video, kind of athumbs down, but the drawing part is what was most interesting for me and the many mediums used throughout the video. The end result was what one should strive for to be a great figure drawing artist.

        Also, you are right to say about the teaching and having at least one good teacher who can be there for the student and bring into play life and how it relates to painting. Our school system is being attacked this very day, as if politicians have nothing better to do, but then unions shouldn’t have a place in our public school system (IMO), that’s why they are called PUBLIC school systems. Our generation of school kids today are so far behind other countries in education, it is almost a joke.

        Otherwise… well, we can only imagin – were have all the children gone in a art world filled with God only knows what!

  4. johnk823 says:

    Here is a link to give you a bit of history about the Slate Institute of Art, UK that was in my Winsor Newton News Letter.

    Found it to be a bit interesting, and wonder what kind of teachings are going on there in this day and age.

  5. trueoutsider says:

    John and Steve,

    Just to be clear, what is being discussed here is commercial illustration, not art in the sense of the Impressionists, Beckmann, Guston, Picasso, etc.

    As Guston said, “Paintings aren’t the same things as pictures.”

    Illustration iterates the conventional. It doesn’t push vision or human consciousness.

    That’s why Guston and Pollock and Cezanne and Titian and Rembrandt and Degas and Picasso were great painters. They pushed painting and human consciousness into entirely new areas of perception.

    The closer a painter is to those examples, the better a painter they are.
    Frazetta, Liberace, and Academic Realists are catering to popular tastes and norms. It’s essentially copying. The really good illustrators, like Frazetta, develop a distinctive style. But he’s making illustrations, not working in the tradition of Turner and Rembrandt.

    Degas puts it eloquently: “A painting is above all a product of the artist’s imagination, it must never be a copy. If, at a later stage, he wants to add two or three touches from nature, of course it doesn’t spoil anything. But the air one sees in the paintings of the masters is not the air one breathes.”

    The air of Liberace and the Academic realists is all too sadly the air one breathes.

    Academic illustration is copying. Illustration is copying. That’s what illustrators get paid for. It’s highly skilled work. But it’s not the same thing as the monumental achievements of Western painting. It’s not even in the ball park.

    Fantasy art like Frazetta’s and outer space stuff and sci-fi stuff all looks the same to me. They all have the same training. They rearrange the same kind of cliches. They learn the same techniques and there’s hardly a dime’s worth of difference between any of them. Liberace looks just like a thousand other figure drawers. I’ll post a half dozen of these different guys and let’s see who can tell one from another.

    If I put a Bacon or Lucian Freud or Picasso or van Gogh in the lineup that work will be instantly recognizable.

    In a nutshell, that’s what distinguishes a great figure artist from a figure illustrator.

    Those great artists are almost a miracle to me. How in the world could a Lucian Freud at this late date in the Western canon of figure painting find a way to paint the figure that is completely unique? How did Bacon do it?

    They made it up. They invented it. As Degas said, it’s from his imagination, not a copy. Freud himself said, all my paintings are self-portraits.

    I’m not knocking illustrators. I just don’t want to let their work be confused with the work of the artists I’ve been looking at on the various blogposts. Also, don’t think I don’t like good illustration. I used to collect Frazetta as a school kid. All the Creepy and Eerie covers. Jack Kirby was my favorite artist. I still love their work. I just love it for what it is. It’s relatively certain Kirby had no pretensions to being Picasso or Rembrandt. What bothers me is these academic guys pretending they’re painting like Rubens or Old Masters, which is absolute rubbish.

    To copy Rubens techniques is not to paint like Rubens. To copy Rembrandt’s way of painting is not to paint like Rembrandt.

    If it was then one of the greatest painters of the 20th century would be Han van Meegeren, the great Vermeer forger. But no, van Meegeren is considered a forger. He was a forger. Why Rembrandt and Rubens forgers are being considered great artists in the circles they travel in is something that I’d love to hear someone try to explain to me.

  6. Steve says:

    Bart…I won’t be one who is trying to explain forgery-as-great-painting. We touched upon copying master works in an earlier post ( I think ) wherein I said that I had copied a Rembrandt painting during my first college art class. The experience wasn’t only frustrating for me , being new to the brush, but left me feeling empty, and a little ill. It was clear to me even at the baby-stage of my journey through painting that copying would never get me anywhere, whether it was copying other paintings, or copying photographs, or even copying nature. It’s one of the main reason why the current art culture, in my own local area, depresses me. Almost never do I walk into a place that’s showing painting and see something else besides copying, and even copying the copies ! It has become a geeclee world of visual images where even ‘original’ copies aren’t exhibited but instead artists are showing cheaper prints of their copies. Crazy.

    • trueoutsider says:

      Steve, the paradoxical thing is that I’ve recently applied to get a copyist’s permit for the National Gallery of DC. I’m actually hoping I don’t get it. Just so there’s no confusion in what I’m saying, I think copying is great. I think learning figure drawing is great. It’s keeping it in perspective that’s essential, as far as my beliefs go.

      I believe that they’re steps in the process of forming one’s own unique vision, not the end point of creative activity that the New Academy is turning it into.

      I’m not at all opposed to learning craft and technique, etc. But if they’re learned at the expense of artists losing their own visions, which is indeed the cost at these New Academies, I think they’re harmful. Illustration work under the aegis of Hollywood or advertising agencies amount to the same thing. The great confusion that’s arisen is that illustration and academic work are now synonymous with what’s in galleries and museums. I know I’m fighting a rear-guard action trying to separate high art from low art. I’m aware it’s a losing battle…. but I’ve always liked the David vs. Goliath story… and I love Michelangelo’s majestic sculpture of David. Even if you’re going to lose, it doesn’t really matter. It’s important to me to speak about how I see things and what I believe in.

      I rely entirely on my intuition. That’s what my intuition is telling me lately.

  7. johnk823 says:

    Here is another interesting form and style. It is by a Russian Expressionist painter Mikhail Evstafiev who uses layering of oil colors and then cutsopen the colors using palette knives in order to leave words and thoughts behind on the canvas that have no beginning and no ending, but what is left helps to express the spiritual nature of the human soul as represented through his work.

    I found this to be quite interesting and very relaxing to watch. As we travel accross the globe there are many very interesting methods for our visions that encompass a wide array of styles, shapes, forms and color usage in many languages. Your thoughts are always welcomed and each observer has their own view. Art truly is in the eye of the beholder.

  8. johnk823 says:

    Pushing the limits of art and creating ones own unique style and form is what an artist should be all about. We must never forget women in art and their quest. Here is one such example of a woman doing just that. She is Selina Trief who studied under Hans Hoffman and was able through her 30 years as an artist to create her own unique style and form that is exemptlified by no other artist and has an almost iconic style yet is very informatic in its form. Here she is being featured in the PAAM in Proviencetown.

    She used many different methods within the scope of her work that is quite interesting with skulls, animals, ghostly figures and conveys many various messages through her visions. Very interesting work for a woman with a highly motivated vision and a unique way of expressioning it it her work.

    • Steve says:

      John…Selena Trief’s paintings feel honest and real to me. Thanks for bringing this artist to my attention. The somber emotional impact from her figures reminds me of Kathe Kollowitz, with maybe a blend of Art Nouveau design quality, like those beautiful stained glass works in American homes around the beginning of the 20th century. Also, from the look of her face in a still photo in the film clip, I’d say that she’s a serious-eyed person who didn’t flinch at seeing and portraying the spiritual struggle in life. Her figure’s faces seem a little stylized with a generic ‘look’ but it doesn’t feel false to me and I still like the drawing and colors. I love the simple dignified way that she does hands.

  9. johnk823 says:

    Here is a contempoary Russion Artist- Vladimir Buzin with some Neo- Impressionist art that you might enjoy.

  10. johnk823 says:

    Bart, This one reminds me of what you were talking about as to how museums are set up today with all the videos and noise going on in todays museums and the on-slot of what is to be called art within their walls. This is called “The Raw, The Cooked and The Packaged” – The Archive of Perestroika Art at the Kiasma Museum. Just goes to show it is not just in America, but rather on a global scale what you can expect, walking through the front doors of our great museums.

    • johnk823 says:

      Bart, After having read many of your articles on trueoutsider, I can feel your frustration with all that is going on, in your mind, about our wonderful world of art and corporate and government control and take over. We have all been laid waste to the big corporate machine for a long time, but, in the end we will rise to the top, as they fall to the bottom. We push the pencils and charcoal, use real brushes and pigmented paints, because art, real art, will always be just that, real art. The video I posted here back in March 2011 was just a taste of what was to come, in the future years, and now in August 2013 look what the world is doing!! Ha!! Is it no surprise, we are being whipped each and everyday with more and more insanity that is being called art. And you know that the corporates, art critics, governments and the like are all subjecting the whole world to their demagoguery. Their lies and preconceived notions of deceit are taking the whole world by stealth, mostly because of the lack of wisdom, knowledge and understanding of the truth.

      I related this several years ago in a sociology class( 1978), that sometime in the 2000’s the government would be trying to deceive the people to the point that they would feel as though they NEED the government, and that government would have to support the people because there would not be enough jobs, mainly because of population growth, doing the math at the time. Well, my predictions were right and we are just seeing how true it is coming to be.

      The thing, I failed to see, at that time, was the corporate side of it, concerning the art world and what it was being set up for, and so here we are today seeing things like the video above and the things you have been posting. So now we have a world filled with dementia for artist being lead by a bunch of blind wackos, that are worst than they and so don’t they all deserve one another? Well, just wait a couple of years and we will be seeing crap on top of crap, on top of even more crap.

      And their thoughts are if you can’t beat them, then join them, they are nugatory and surrogate of one another.

      Peace and Blessing, John

      • trueoutsider says:

        Hi, John. Peace and Blessing to you. I agree with you that the best way to make art is by hand with simple materials. The introduction of new materials, concepts, theories, are distancing devices.

        We’re going through a period where everything is breaking down, which is why the mechanisms of power are becoming easier to see. It’s also why American violence is escalating, globally and domestically. Terrible times ahead.

        As far as art goes, the art world is constructed along the same lines of the rest of the propaganda system– for entertainment and diversion…. Post-Modernism is simply Post-Art, which is a term the critic Donald Kuspit used to disparage one group of Post-Modernists, while elevating another group of Post-Modernists he’s backing. To me, it’s a given that anyone working within an entirely corrupt system, which the fine art world is, will speak something that has a lot of truth-value, although a lot of what Kuspit writes is worth reading. At least he attempts to level some serious criticism at a certain type of Post-Modernism.

        But none of the people working or writing within the art world itself can seriously challenge its values at the foundation level, which is where the rot exists. That would threaten the pyramid structure.

        Arthur C. Danto can write jive about The End of Art, then show up in religious ecstasy drooling in front of Marina Abramovic. In a similar way, you’re not going to find a member of the Washington Press Corps do anything but drool in front of Donald Rumsfeld or Barack Obama.

        Robert Hughes can write that Jeff Koons is rubbish, but then drool all over the mediocre work of Susan Rothenberg.

        The art world is little more than a cult with certain belief systems that must be strictly adhered to if one wants to join the cult. As an example, Andres Serrano can enter art stardom through his NEA grant with work like Piss Christ… But try desecrating the Torah or painting the Dalai Lama masturbating on a disciple and see how far you get on your NEA grant application. I read that Serrano’s recent work incorporates feces as a medium. All perfectly fine and in keeping with art corp’s unstated ideological manifesto. Generally speaking, the more dehumanized the more profound the art.

  11. johnk823 says:

    This is a small piece on an iconic woman from the mid 1900’s Grace Hartigan. It give a breif history on her life and her art. It’s called Shattering Boundries, a very interesting woman to say the least that had an exciting career as an artist.

  12. trueoutsider says:

    John says:

    Bart and Steve,

    Sometimes the best place to find great movies about an artist like Pablo Picasso is in the music section in You Tube. I found this one done by a musician named Carlos Vamos. He spliced 10 minutes of film about Picasso, his life and his art and titled it “In The Key of Picasso”, which I found to be a totally unique title for the song, yet alone the film. This is totally awesome and you will see Picasso as he lived his everyday life. I got a very warm feeling from both the films and the music. I think your going to love it and when it is done you will know Picasso for who he was and his art. Enjoy!!

  13. trueoutsider says:

    Nice find, John. It really shows us how dynamically alive the man was. Here’s a link to the slower blogpost with single images we can look at one at a time.

  14. trueoutsider says:

    John says:

    Here is another good one with Beethoven. It shows alot of the many styles and techniques that Picasso was able to tap into with his art. A very nicely done presentation. Picasso was truely an amazing artist, to say the least.

  15. johnk823 says:

    Found this one featuring the artwork of Edward Potthast c.early 1900’s. What I find interesting about his paintings is he seem to incorporate many slyles and techniques in his work such as Cezanne, Manet, Monet, Matisse and Renoir, yet a lot of himself. He was from the New York City area and wasn’t well know, but he enjoyed painting places where there was water and people doing everyday things. He was a very talanted and gifted painter in the art world of his time.

  16. johnk823 says:

    We shouldn’t leave out Marc Chagall as he too was one of the great artists of his time. There’s some interesting biographical information contained in this youtube video:

  17. johnk823 says:

    Here’s some of Chagall’s artwork to accompany the biographical information:

  18. johnk823 says:

    I guess a couple of good questions to ask oneself about a painting, when viewing it, is, “Was this painting painted only for the artist to share with himself/herself, or was it painted with me, the viewer, in mind, so that I walk away with something that sticks in my mind for a long time to come”? Or, “Is the work just shock and awe for a moment in time and tomorrow long forgotten”?

  19. john823 says:

    This video gives you lots of Fantastic Realism paintings:

  20. johnk823 says:

    This is a nice viewing of some of Turners artwork. I not over welmed with the narration but you have to take what you can get when you find it. Turner is one of my personal favorites and inspirations. His visions grew as he grew as an artist and got away from the commercial work of his time period. Through his vision, maybe we can all learn something as to what vision truly is and hopefully incorporate some of it into our own work. He was criticized more than he was praised, but he was eventually recognized after his death as a revolutionary genius. It’s not about copying someone esle, it about creating your own vision, through your own minds eye.

  21. trueoutsider says:

    Thanks for that one, John. I saw that show at the National Gallery. It had a large impact on my way of seeing painting. An overwhelming show. The National Gallery is finally doing a retrospective on the great American artist George Bellows I believe some time next year. That’s a show I’d dearly love to see. Bellows is one of the great American painters and he’s been almost entirely neglected, along with many other American painters prior to the Abstract Expressionists. I hope the show of Bellows will lead to more examination of many of these neglected painters.

  22. johnk823 says:

    Well, seeing that you enjoyed that one and brought up George Bellows here is a little peek into some of his paintings. Enjoy, it is the best I could find thus far.

  23. johnk823 says:

    Well, having been away for awhile I thought I would post something interesting and quite creative. Here is a link to something that I found to be of a unique simple style of painting using just two colors, a hardware store paint brush and some paper towels and linseed oil. Watch as this artist takes a creative gesture from a few brush strokes on his canvas and then steps back, takes a look at his what looks like a mess and then finds a vision and creates a painting with some simple techniques. Quite interesting indeed. This is how to take your mind off all the crap going on in our government and what ever else is teasing your brain.

    Hope you enjoy this one as much as I did. Simplicity works for me. Leave politics to the politicians and enjoy life while you can.

    Peace and Blessings, John

  24. trueoutsider says:

    Thanks for the video, John. While my paintings don’t remotely resemble the artist showing his painting technique, the technique I’m using in the paintings I’ve been working on lately is remarkably similar to his. It’s also how Goya made his last paintings on tiny pieces of ivory. It’s the easiest way to make the painting process directly akin to drawing. The artist in the video said nothing about the surface he was painting on. But in Goya’s case he was painting on ivory and in my case on a built up and smooth gesso surface. Having an impermeable ground is important for this kind of painting as one can wipe out back to the surface maintaining maximum brightness, as well as cutting in easily with fingernail, brush handle etc. The palms of one’s fingers or heel of the hand I find are the most useful tools for blending paint.

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