The Art of Winning

Today’s guest post comes from Verily Sherrilee

Art5I don’t get too excited about prize drawings because I never win. Well almost never; I think I’ve won maybe 3 drawings my whole life. This includes a big company anniversary drawing 10 years ago in which they drew 400 names. Zip, zilch, nada.

So last week, when I got an email from a supplier requesting that I fill out a little survey to enter a drawing, I almost deleted it. But it had been forwarded to me by my boss, so I decided to play along. The online survey included a smart-a** option for each question, so you know which answer I chose – for every question – as I figured it wouldn’t matter.

Art2

Imagine my surprise when I found out that my name had been picked for the prize – a trip to the Russian Museum of Art and a painting class. Not only did I win, but I won something that had value for me!

Yesterday afternoon (yes, I got off work for this) a group of 10 of us met at the RMOA. We learned a little history of the current exhibit as well as the background of two specific pieces of art and their artists. Then we took a quick walk over to Simply Jane’s Studio, where they were all set up and waiting for us.

Everyone got a penciled in canvas (we had chosen which of the two pieces we wanted to do ahead of time), smocks, brushes, paints – the works. The staff did a great job of teaching how to use the acrylics, including having us “color block” our canvas and then filling in shading and details. At first I was a little worried that mine would look terrible AND I was sharing the table with someone who was very talented, but after a little bit, I was able to let go of it and just enjoy myself.

Art1

Art4On the left side of the screen you can see the work in its color block stage, and on the right, the finished piece, which I’m calling “She’s Still Life with Apples”.

And I’m feeling like a winner!

If you have paints in front of you, which artist would YOU like to copy?

126 thoughts on “The Art of Winning”

  1. today it would be edward manet. he did such a nice job of combining the impresssionist feel with the essence of the subject. he did people so well and attention to detail was stunning. the appeal is the ability to paint in the semi realistic mode rather than the inclination to do it. its only fun to paint abstract if the ability to do it is a choice not done out of lack of talent at anything else.

    Liked by 2 people

        1. Yes, indeed – very nicely done. I wonder if we could have a Baboon party at Simply Jane and do something else like this for all of us? (She said being a bit jealous of VS’ fabulous prize and lovely painting).

          Liked by 4 people

  2. What a great win, Sherillee! Winning is tough enough, winning something you really can enjoy is pretty amazing.

    tim, how did you get an image in your post?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. punched up google images of the manet in question. copied it and then went to the blog and pasted just like with youtube. you pull up the image then copy the stuff in the info bar at the top.

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  3. Diego Velazquez.
    His most famous painting is Las Meninas. I’d seen it often in books but was absolutely blown away by viewing it at the Prado in Madrid. It is HUUGH! (Gotta get a dig in at Trump at every opportunity) So many stories to tell and imagine are portrayed within the work. I especially enjoy the dog being stepped on by the dwarf in the lower right. Although it seems to be asleep, I imagine it’s patience has just about run out and someone is going to get it.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Las_Meninas

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Vermeer. I love the stillness and the beauty of the paintings. I think it is funny that when the Strawtown Inn, a lovely inn and restaurant was still a going concern in Pella, IA, people in town wondered what local family the Vermeer room had been named for.

    Liked by 4 people

      1. Have you (or has anyone) seen “Tim’s Vermeer”? It’s a documentary about a non-artist who figures out how Vermeer got the perspective so perfect in his paintings. I have not seen it but very much want to do so.

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  5. What a fun prize to win. I’m impressed, vs, both with the blog and your artistic output. Have you painted before?

    I have no illusion that I’d be able to copy any painting. Period. Recognizing this, I should probably choose something “easy,” but no, I’m going to pretend I could actually pull off copying one of the Russian painter Valentin Serov’s portraits.

    The Tretyakov Gallery in Moscow has a large collection of Serov’s works, and I have spent countless hours gazing at these marvelous paintings. Some of his canvases are quite large. I have a hard time picking a favorite, they are all extraordinary, but this one would certainly be a contender:
    http://www.valentin-aleksandrovich-serov.org/Girl-with-Peaches,-1887.html

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    1. This is lovely PJ. And to answer your question, no I don’t have painting background – I think I’ve whined here before about my sister getting all the artistic encouragement while I was growing up. I did take a watercolor class in college, but it wasn’t very extensive. Most of my artsiness is self-acquired – I’m a “jump in and try it” kind of gal in that respect.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I have the opposite problem, my sister is jealous of the little I have, and not from any noticed I got from parents for it. I do not bring up the subject of my painting, but she will sometimes ask to see what I have stored, during which she bemoans her lack of ability.

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    2. thats a great painting but i find the artists choice to put the girls face in shadows and leave the highlights for the peaches and the backdrop to be genius. what a fun way to suck you away form the main subject to the surrounding aura of the painting

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Rise and Enter the Contest Baboons!

    Vincent Van Gogh (only without suicidal tendency, or ear cutting self-injury). I love Starry Nights–when I saw it at Musee d’Orsay, I could have stood there all day. Then in Amsterdam we went to several museums, including the Van Gogh, which included dozens of self-portraits. I cannot imagine being able to reproduce an image of myself that many times!

    I also love the sculpture of Picasso. As a child we went to Chicago where I first saw anything Picasso. I was riveted by the Whatever It Is downtown Chicago.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. agreed with both the vangogh and the picasso especially the sculpture. the 3rd dimension seems to aid his vision for me. the big outdoor stuff and the tabletop bronzes

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      1. There is a bust of his at the Tate in London (of which I took an illegal picture and got in trouble with the guard) that is stunning. The third dimension adds richness to his work–I like it better than his flat canvases.

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        1. i believe i have seen it in ether chicago or minneapolis collection. i saw it in the tate and realized he made a couple of them

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    2. I also love Michaelango’s sculptures which emerge from the stone! (The David Museum, Firenza). Below is a Polymer Clay sculptor I adore (Jeff Deaver, who I took lessons from!) holding a sculpture of his while he works.

      Fooey–it won’t import. So how do you do it, tim?

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    1. I copied Snoopy for my campaign posters when running for vice president of my dorm wing in the 1961. Helped me win. Maybe the only reason I won.

      Liked by 5 people

  7. Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot A bridge between Neo-Classicism and Impressionism. I prefer the impressionsitoc end of his spectrum and the landscape more than the portraits, but a few of his portraits are scintillating.

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  8. When I was painting in my past life, I copied Mary Cassatt’s Mother and Child and Thomas Eakins’ Van Buren portrait with mixed success. I admired George Stubbs’ horse portraits and tried to copy his style more than once. I love Carl Larsson, but I am lousy at such details, especially in water color. I also tried to emulate the Swedish wildlife artist Bruno Liljefors, but never could get to the freedom of his portraits. I loved painting animals, especially wildlife, and in those days I admired the African wildlife paintings of (I think) Brian Jarvi. Again, his ability and freedom to capture motion. I just googled African wildlife artists because I couldn’t remember who had painted them…only to find out he lives and works in Cohasset! Thank you, VS, for the inspiration to think about painting again. And congratulations on a great win! (I have seldom won anything, either)

    ps. I found images on the web for each of the paintings/artists….am waiting for Tim to tell me how to post them here. It has been many years since I have seen the originals and how lovely to see them again.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Winslow Homer, Thomas Hart Benton, the Russian Impressionists, the Pennsylvania painters, Mary Cassatt, the Newtown School, Howard Sivertson, Elizabeth Mowry, Goya, etc.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Seriously, there is an obscure painter I discovered once in a book at the MIA bookshop. I totally fell in love with his paintings – wrote down the name somewhere and I’ll see if I can lay my hands on it.

    That’s wonderful that you got to do that, VS! And who knew you were “Gauginesque”? It encourages me to try out something like this.

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  11. Nice blog, vs. My answer surprises me. I’m thrilled by evocative landscapes. And yet somehow, I cannot imagine myself painting landscapes that would satisfy me.

    Instead, I would like to try to paint as Mary Cassatt did. You don’t need to tell me she is not as accomplished as Rembrandt or any of the other great masters. What she did was capture the intimate love of a mother and child. How I wish I could have done that!

    https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=images&cd=&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0CAcQjRxqFQoTCP3tmsLg2sYCFdItiAodU5wDjw&url=http%3A%2F%2Fhuntingtonblogs.org%2F2014%2F05%2Fto-mother-with-love%2F&ei=JxKlVb2-LNLboATTuI74CA&bvm=bv.97653015,d.cGU&psig=AFQjCNGafrzD-HlvWkIABg2-G–bebkvdg&ust=1436967822307471

    Liked by 4 people

  12. As Oscar Wilde said, “Be yourself. Everyone else is already taken.” As much as I admire the work of innumerable painters and illustrators, everything I paint seems to come out in my style. I recently took a series of painting workshops from a local painter who works in a style quite different from my accustomed one. My intention was to try to loosen my style up a little. Unfortunately, it didn’t really take. I still paint just like myself.

    Liked by 5 people

  13. Good morning. I became aware of the work of Agnes Martin through my daughter who has a degree in studio art. I like the way she can create art work that at is made up of lines drawn very symmetrically that you would not think could be thought of as great art and it is.

    untitled by agnes martin

    artnet
    untitled by agnes martin
    Agnes Martin
    Untitled, 1965
    11 x 11 in. (27.9 x 27.9 cm.)
    close

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    1. Yup, he’s one of my absolute all-time favorites. I saw many originals at the Bell Museum one year…then in Sweden. I was touring Carl Larsson’s home and on the wall was a small Liljefors painting of a cat…I hardly could bear to keep moving…though the home is delightful and actually I would love to have moved in. My favorite room, his bedroom: http://en.wahooart.com/Art.nsf/O/8DP462/$File/Carl-Larsson-My-Room.JPG I loved the bookshelves so much I had similar ones built in my living room.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. OT: with Pluto flyby going on, Dales palms have to be itching. How strong is the temptation to do a blog? Think of it: the historic flyby and Dale is silent.
    My daughter is at Luther seminary for a class. Our pastor on sabbatical is there. He asked how we were. She told him not to work when he is on sabbatical.
    Yep, Dale. Think of what you are flybying flying by the flyby? What would Bubby say, or Dr. Babooner, or B. Marfty Barry?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I do have a Plutonic post in my head, not sure I can get it into writing. Ach!

      Today is also Bastille Day! Croissants and brioche all around.

      Liked by 2 people

    1. I know that sometimes Dale substitutes a header photo but this one is actually mine. I shared the table w/ another gal and all the little pots of paint were in between us.

      Liked by 3 people

  15. Morning–
    Here is one of my weakness’; art & painters. I don’t know the styles nor painters very well.
    I have art books and I do enjoy looking through them… but can’t tell you very many names.
    I really like Norman Rockwells stuff; but he considers himself an ‘Illustrator’.
    I’ve been trying to work an Art History course into my schedule here at the college but so far I haven’t been able to work it in around students and regular theater stuff.
    Thomas Hart Benton certainly has a recognizable style. Can’t decide if I like it or not.
    I know we just recently talked about the Impressionist 2-step…

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Andrew Wyeth, whom I greatly admire, gets the same stigma, an “illustrator.” His Maine paintings often feel like the North Shore, and I have driven often through that part of PA so I connect to his landscapes.
      I am not savvy enough to be a snob about any artist.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Was just going to add him to the list, Clyde.

        I’m far too fond of Christina’s World. Made it a point to get to that location when in Maine.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Read a biography of Wyeth quite a while ago – the real Christina was a very interesting character.

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        1. Agreed about both. A. Wyeth is my preference by subject matter. I am sure I read books in my childhood with Pyle illustrations because they are pure nostalgia to me.

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  16. A print of this Gauguin hung in my parents’ living room ever since I can remember. When my sibs and I were dividing up things after my mother’s death, this was one of only two things that all three of us wanted. Because I had claimed so little, my sister informed my brother that it was mine. It is interesting to see even an internet picture of the original because, obviously, a print from the early 1950s isn’t going to retain actual colors. I understand that it’s at the Louvre and I would love to see it someday. http://www.paul-gauguin.net/White-Horse.html

    BTW, the other item the three of us coveted was a lamp made from a wallpaper printing roll. My brother’s comment was that it was “so tall, really great for reading”. My sister and I deemed that NOT sufficient sentimentality that he should end up with it so I got that too. Within a week, my brother had purchased another “tall, really great for reading” lamp.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. We have a framed Nolde poster from an exhibit we attended in nor thern Germany eons ago; Girl in a Red Hat, quite lovely.

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  17. OK, I’m trying tim’s instructions for getting a photo on the blog. This is the original artist’s work. Still Life w/ Apples by Konstantin Berkovski who is, I am delighted to say, is a local Russian artist!

    Liked by 3 people

  18. Great blog and what a great prize, VS! How fun for you — and yes, that would be a great outing for Babooners. If I could paint, I would like to paint like Georgia O’Keefe or an Impressionist painter like Monet.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The Art Institute in Chicago, many years ago, had an exhibit of George O’Keefe’s work. I was really taken aback at the size of most of her paintings. There’s something so powerful and bold about them that I had expected them to be very large. To my surprise most of them were quite small.

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  19. This is what I get for thinking too long. Most of what comes to mind the rest of you have already listed.

    We went south a bit in Iowa over the 4th and it is easy to see where Grant Wood got his landscapes. I went to high school in Grant Wood country and I like his stuff.

    I do know that as an artist, I epically fail at anything that disciplined looking. I’d be getting out a ruler and compass.

    I think I’d like to copy a Degas, but would like a couple of nice big glasses of a dry red first.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Everybody’s probably done with this now. You Minnesotans get up SO early in the day. I would like to name an artist whose work thrills me. Scott Prior. He celebrates the astonishing beauty of common moments in life. Variously described as a “photographic realist” and “American impressionist.”

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  21. I’ve been thinking that the birds were pilfering my raspberries. Turns out it’s the Young Adult. Every time she turns the hose on, she eats a few off the canes (canes are next to the spigot)!

    Liked by 2 people

        1. It’s a great book. I love it. Several of her books are being reprinted with the color illustrations of the originals. I’ve seen a few of them and they are well done.

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  22. Can’t leave this subject without mentioning South Dakota’s Harvey Dunn. Many originals in the museum at SDSU in Brookings.

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