Thursday, June 27, 2013


Grand prix day Sun

Spanish Steps

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Hassam (pronounced HASS'm;) (known to all as Childe, pronounced like child) was born in his family home in Dorchester, Massachusetts in 1859. His father Frederick was a moderately successful businessman with a large collection of art and antiques. He descended from a long line of New Englanders, while his mother, Rosa, was a native of Maine. Hassam demonstrated an interest in art early. He had his first lessons in drawing and watercolor while attending The Mather School, but his parents took little notice of his nascent talent.
As a child Hassam excelled at boxing and swimming at Dorchester High School. A disastrous fire in November 1872 wiped out much of Boston's commercial district, including his father's business. Hassam left high school after two years despite his uncle's offer to pay for a Harvard education. Hassam preferred to help support his family by working. His father arranged a job for him in the accounting department of publisher Little, Brown & Company. During that time, he studied the art of wood engraving and found employment with George Johnson, a wood engraver. He quickly proved an adept draftsman (listed as a "draughtsman" in the Boston directory) and he produced designs for commercial engravings such as letterheads and newspapers. Around 1879, Hassam began creating his earliest oil paintings, but his preferred medium was watercolor, mostly outdoor studies.

L'Exposition universelle de Chicago
Columbian Exposition, Chicago

Champs Elysées, Paris, 1889

Snowstorm, Madison Square Garden, 1890

By 1883, Hassam was exhibiting publicly and had his first solo exhibition, of watercolors, at the Williams and Everett Gallery in Boston. The following year, his friend Celia Thaxter convinced him to drop his first name and thereafter he was known simply as "Childe Hassam". He also began to add a crescent symbol in front of his signature, the meaning of which remains unknown.
Having had relatively little formal art training, Hassam was advised by his friend (and fellow Boston Art Club member) Edmund H. Garrett to take a two-month "study trip" with him to Europe during the summer of 1883. Hassam and Garrett traveled throughout the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, France, Italy, Switzerland, and Spain, studying the Old Masters together and creating watercolors of the European countryside. Hassam was particularly impressed with the watercolors of J. M. W. Turner. Sixty-seven of the watercolors Hassam did on this trip formed the basis of his second exhibition in 1884. During this period, Hassam taught at the Cowles Art School. He also joined the "Paint and Clay Club", expanding his contacts in the art community, which included prominent critics and "the readiest and smartest of our younger generation of artists, illustrators, sculptors, and decorators—the nearest thing to Bohemia that Boston can boast."
Friends found him to be energetic, robust, outgoing, and unassuming, capable of self-mockery and considerate acts, but he could be argumentative and wickedly witty against the art community who opposed him. Hassam was particularly influenced by the circle of William Morris Hunt, who like the great French landscape painter Jean-Baptiste Camille Corot, emphasized the Barbizon tradition of working directly from nature. He absorbed their credo that "atmosphere and light are the great things to work for in landscape painting."

A Back Road

In 1885, a noted critic, in part responding to Hassam’s early oil painting A Back Road (1884), stated that "the Boston taste for landscape painting, founded on this sound French school, is the one vital, positive, productive, and distinctive tendency among our artists today...the truth is poetry enough for these radicals of the new school. It is a healthy, manly muscular kind of art."

In the Park, Paris

Early Evening, After Snowfall

Late in 1886 Hassam and his wife, Kathleen Maud, departed for France and spent the next three years abroad. They settled in Paris, and Hassam began lessons in drawing at the Académie Julian with Gustave Boulanger and Jules Lefebvre. His work of these years reflects his growing awareness of the French Impressionists; he consistently used broken brushstrokes, and his palette rapidly became brighter. Hassam preferred to consider himself a painter of ‘light and air’ in a general sense rather than be labeled an Impressionist.
In 1889 Hassam settled in New York. He continued to depict urban scenes just as he had in Boston, a genre with which he became so closely identified. In the summer seasons he traveled to artistic resorts throughout New England. Around 1884 he visited Appledore Island, one of the Isles of Shoals off the Maine–New Hampshire coast, and he returned there repeatedly during the early 1890s to produce some of his finest and most sophisticated Impressionist watercolors and oils. By 1892 Hassam was exhibiting regularly at the annual exhibitions of most of the major art institutions on the East Coast, including the Boston Art Club, American Water Color Society, National Academy of Design, New York Water Color Club, Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts and the Philadelphia Art Club. In 1898 he helped to organize the first exhibition, in New York, of the Ten American painters.
Between 1900 and 1910 Hassam continued to live and work in New York, during the warmer months visiting the artistic colonies at Cos Cob and Old Lyme, Connecticut; his brand of Impressionism influenced not only students and amateur artists who gathered there, but also fellow American Impressionists such as Julian Alden Weir and Willard Leroy Metcalf.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013


Joseph Zbukvic

Getting ready to paint

Where the grey matter kicks in

Paintings awaiting the return of the master

Pastel and the easel

Braced for a painting
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Joseph Zbukvic was born in 1952 in Yugoslavia. In 1967 he enrolled into the University Ivo Leber to study languages and literature combining the performing and visual arts to pursue a teaching career. However this was interrupted in 1970 when, due to political unrest, he decided to emigrate to Australia. During this period Joseph was given the opportunity to return to art. He continued his formal education at Deakin University, Melbourne, graduating in 1974, gaining a Diploma of Art, majoring in Industrial Design.
In 1978 he took up painting full time, quickly establishing himself as one of the leading artists in the country, specialising in watercolour.
He lectures at the Charles Sturt University, Mitchell School of Arts, Melbourne University and the University of Western Australia. He has held over 40 solo exhibitions in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Adelaide, London and Texas. He is a member of the Victorian Watercolor Society and a long-standing member of the Twenty Melbourne Painters Society.
In 1998 he was nominated and accepted into the esteemed membership of the Australian Watercolor Institute and has won over 200 major art awards over his professional career. Joseph has travelled widely and is much sought after as a teacher, taking art courses all over Europe and the USA. His work is represented in many public and private collections all over the world.
(From The Tryon Gallery at

Coffee Time

Delivery Time
All images from

Dordongne, France

Venice Fish Market

The Last Run
All images from internationalmastersoff

The Boulevard, Cologna

"Painting precise locations is irrelevant; simply keep the character."
Joseph Zbukvic is a leading master of watercolor medium of his time. His impressive achievements and enormous success is due to his ability to transform any subject into visual poetic language. Covering an infinite variety of subjects, his sensitive, lyrical and atmospheric paintings have captured people and galleries from all around the world.
Due to his exceptional drawing skills and extraordinary abilities in art, he is proficient in any medium. However, it is his passion for watercolors that has led him to become a unique master of that medium. Although greatly admired for his soft moody impressions of rural life, Joseph also produces strong urban scenes and powerful equestrian images. He has always had a deep connection and affection for the laborer and the common man and it is these works that are also his finest paintings ever produced in watercolor.
He has continued to explore new subjects and fresh ways to express his vision by frequent overseas travel. He has reached a new level of technical ability, maturity and strength as he enters the fourth decade of his career.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013


Ivan Aivazovsky

Self-portrait, 1874

Ivan Aivazovsky's success was well-earned, for no other artist managed to capture with such brilliance, conviction and apparent ease that most difficult of subjects for the painter - the changing moods of the sea. Aivazovsky was not just a professional marine painter. He knew the sea and loved it sincerely. Although he turned occasionally to other art forms such as landscape and portraiture, these were only brief departures from his chosen genre to which he remained faithful all his life.
When Aivazovsky began his career, Russian art was still dominated by Romanticism and it was the romantic mood which set the terms for Russian landscape painting in the second half of the nineteenth century. It is scarcely surprising then to discover romantic elements both in Aivazovsky's early works, and in the majority of his later ones. One reflection of this is his choice of subjects again and again we find him depicting shipwrecks, raging sea battles and storms.
Aivazovsky continued in the tradition of the great Russian landscape painters of the early nineteenth century without recourse to imitation. He created a new tradition, a new school of painting, thus making his mark on the marine painting of his own and subsequent generations.
Apart from his work as an artist, Aivazovsky was a tireless and versatile public figure: he took an eager interest in world events and sympathized deeply with small nations struggling for their independence. At the same time he worked selflessly for the good of his native town Feodosiya and did much to assist young artists.

The Caucasus, 1817

Seascape, 1856

Sea view, 1867

Rescue at Sea, 1872

Moonrise in Feodosia, 1892
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Napoleon on St Helena, 1897

His technique and imagination in depicting the shimmering play of light on the waves and seafoam is especially admired, and gives his seascapes a romantic yet realistic quality that echoes the work of English watercolorist J. M. W. Turner and Russian painter Sylvester Shchedrin. Especially effective is his ability to depict diffuse sunlight and moonlight, sometimes coming from behind clouds, sometimes coming through a fog, with almost transparent layers of paint. A series of paintings of naval battles painted in the 1840s brought his dramatic skills to the fore, with the flames of burning ships reflected in water and clouds. He also painted landscapes, including scenes of peasant life in Ukraine and city life in İstanbul. Some critics have called his paintings from İstanbul Orientalist, and others feel the hundreds of seascapes can be repetitive and melodramatic.
He became the most prolific Russian painter of his time. Early in his career, he was elected a member of five Academies of Fine Arts, including those of St. Petersburg (his Alma Mater). Rome, Florence, Stuttgart and Amsterdam. He was an Academician at 27, and Professor of Marine Painting at the Academy of Fine Arts, St. Petersburg, at the age of 30.
His works were highly appreciated by J. M. W. Turner, a leading English landscape and marine painter, when they met in Rome, in 1842. The art of the young marine painter Aivazovsky inspired Turner to devote a poem to him.

American Shipping off the Rock of Gibraltar, 1873

Aivazovsky left over 6,000 works at his death in 1900. The funds earned during his successful career as an artist enabled him to open an art school and gallery in his hometown of Feodosiya. As of 2006, Aivazovsky's works have been auctioned for as much as $3,200,000, and his international reputation continues to grow.
On June 14, 2007 his painting "American Shipping off the Rock of Gibraltar" sold for 2,710,000 pounds, "the highest price paid at auction for Aivazovsky". He is also said to be the most forged of all Russian painters.

View of Constantinople and the Bosphorus, 1856

On April, 2012, Ivan Aivazovsky’s canvas View of Constantinople and the Bosphorus was sold at Sotheby’s auction in London for a record $5.2 million (3.2 million pounds)
He is in the highest category number 1 - an artist of the world fame, tested with time (for no less than a century)" in "United Artists Rating".

The Bay of Naples, 1845
The Gottage palace museum, Peterhof

The Bay of Naples 1841

The Bay of Naples on misty morning 1874

The Bay of Naples in the morning 1877
All images from

The leading artists of the day recognized Aivazovsky's mastery and talent. During a trip to Italy in 1842 the famous English marine painter, Joseph Mallord William Turner was so struck by the picture The Bay of Naples on a Moonlit Night that he dedicated a rhymed eulogy in Italian to Aivazovsky:

In this your picture
Of a mighty king!
I see the moon, all gold and silver.
Forgive me if I err, great artist,
Reflected in the sea below...
Your picture has entranced me so,
And on the surface of the sea
Reality and art are one,
There plays a breeze which leaves a trail
And I am all amazement.
Of trembling ripples, like a shower
So noble, powerful is the art
Of fiery sparks or else the gleaming headdress
That only genius could inspire!

Biographical outline:
1817 17 July (29) Ivan Aivazovsky was born in Feodosia in the family of a merchant of Armenian origin Konstantin Grigorievicz Aivazovsky, moved in the beginning XIX of century from Galitziya in Crimea.
Studies in Feodosia in school of church arrival. The interest of Aivazovsky involves in drawing attention of the chief of Feodosia city A. I. Kaznacheev.
1830 Has entered the Simpheropol gymnasium.
1833 22 July - is enlisted in the St. Petersburg Academy of Arts. Is engaged in a landscape class of the professor M. N. Vorobyov.
1834 As the assistant is attached to French artist F. Tanner.
1835 The silver medal of 2 advantage for a picture "an Etude of air above the sea" is awarded. Gets acquainted with M.I. Glinka, V.G. Belinskiy, I.A. Krilov.
1836 The gold medal of 2 advantage is awarded. Gets acquainted from A.S. Pushkin.
1837 The gold medal of 1-st advantage "for excellent successes in painting sea kinds" is awarded.
1838 1838 – 1840. For outstanding successes in painting is sent on business by the Petersburg Academy of applied arts for two years to Crimea for independent job.
1839 Takes part in battle operations under a management N.N. Raevskiy at the Caucasian coast. During navigation by the battle ships of the Black Sea fleet gets acquainted with the admirals M.P. Lazarev, P.S. Nahimov, V.A. Kornilov. For pictures written in Crimea, "is issued from Academy and is awarded with a rank of the artist".
1840 Leaves for six years abroad as the pensioner of Academy of applied arts "for improvement in painting". In the autumn in Venice gets acquainted with N.V.Gogol.
1841 1841 – 1844. Travels on Italy, Portugal, Spain, France, England, Holland. Becomes the member of Amsterdam academy. The pictures of Aivazovsky are on display at exhibitions in the largest cities of Europe.
1842 Meeting with famous English marine artist J.W.M. Turner.
1843 Is awarded with a gold medal of the French Academy of applied arts.
1844 Comes back in Russia. Is ranked as the Main Sea staff. The rank of the academician of the Petersburg Academy of applied arts is awarded.
1845 Is sent in navigation in Konstantinopol and on the Greek archipelago. After returning from navigation begins construction of a house and workshop in Feodosia.
1846 May - Has noted the first decade of the creativity by the device of a display of paintings in Feodosia.
1847 The rank of the professor of the Petersburg Academy of applied arts is awarded.
1848 The first display of paintings in Moscow. Marries on J.I. Grevs, daughter of the Petersburg doctor. With the young wife moves to live in Feodosia.
1850 Writes a picture The Ninth Wave, which exhibits at first in Academy of applied arts in St. Petersburg, the next year - in Moscow.
1852 The second exhibition in Moscow.
1853 March 5 - Is elected by the valid member of Russian Geographical society.
1854 June - Exhibition of battle pictures in besieged Sevastopol.
1857 Display of paintings in Paris, for which the award Honourable legion is awarded to him.
1862 Writes two variants of a picture "the World flood". During life repeatedly comes back to this plot [The World flood (1864) and others].
1865 In connection with opening in Feodosia the first School of Arts, is enlisted on a service in the Petersburg Academy of applied arts.
1868 Writes a cycle of pictures on a theme of struggle of Greece with Turkey.
1868 - 1869. Trip on Caucasus and Transcaucasia, makes trip on opening of the Suez channel. Begins efforts about a lining in Feodosia of the railway.
1869 Trip to Egypt. Is invited to celebrating of opening of the Suez channel.
1871 Has constructed in Feodosiya a building Historical museum.
1872 Has visited Nice and Florence with an exhibition of the pictures.
1873 Picture Rainbow.
1874 By the order of the sultan Abdul-Azis writes about 30 pictures for an ornament palas Dolma-Bahche in Konstsntinopol.
1876 Is elected by the member of the Florentine academy of applied arts. Has written an auto portrait for Gallery Uffitsi.
1877 Terminates a marriage with J.I. Aivazovskaya.
1879 Travel to Genoa for the tax of materials connected to opening of America by Kolumb.
1880 Has based in Feodosiya Picture gallery. Is elected by the honourable citizen of Feodosia.
1881 Picture The Black Sea.
1882 Marries on A.N. Sarkizova, widow of the businessman.
1884 Travel on Volga.
1887 The fiftieth anniversary of creative activity, exhibition in St. Petersburg.
1892 Trip to America.
1898 Picture Among waves.
1900 April 19 (May 2) Aivazovsky has died in Feodosia. Is buried near to an ancient Armenian temple.

Thursday, June 13, 2013


Rembrandt Self-Portrait with Velvet Beret, 1634
Current Loc Gemäldegalerie, Berlin

Very few artists of the modern period have left as many self-portraits as Rembrandt van Rijn. His lifelong study of his own physiognomy, his desire to keep a pictorial record of his constantly changing physical and psychological features, can be taken as a sign of his interest in autobiography and as proof of the belief he nurtured, in spite of the many crises and setbacks he suffered, in the uniqueness of the individual. Different kinds of autobiographical narrative - memoirs, for instance, or episodes from lived experience interspersed in fictional texts (as with Grimmelshausen), or regular diary entries - were becoming increasingly important in seventeenth-century literature. "Affective individualism" (Lawrence Stone), which had begun to penetrate every aspect of bourgeois experience, had entered poetry, too. Petrarch had anticipated these centuries before with the interest he provoked in his biography: "You will wish to know what kind of person I was."
In the seventeenth century, this humanist motto was generally seen in a confessional or religious light. Rembrandt is known to have maintained frequent contact with members of many different confessions, religious groupings and sects and it is probably not far wrong to assume that qualities which all these groups had in common - their ethical awareness, their intensely emotional character, and even their potentially oppositional nature - had a profound influence on Rembrandt's character. On the other hand, it would be quite wrong to see Rembrandt's self-portraiture entirely in the light of his religious introspection. Indeed, his method reveals somewhat more affinity to doctrines of emotional expression which influenced contemporary academic art theory.
In his early self-portraits, and in a number of smaller etchings which, significantly enough, are almost entirely devoid of ornament, allowing the artist to concentrate exclusively on the face, Rembrandt experiments with constantly changing facial expressions, working his way through the full gamut of human feelings and their physiognomic equivalents until, at one end of the scale, all that remains is a grimace. The face, the focal point of the personality, is given symbolic status: it represents human feeling. (

Rembrandt Self-Portrait, 1659
Current Loc National Gallery of Art
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Detail of Rembrandt Self-Portrait, 1659

Rembrandt's Self Portrait with Turned Up Collar (1659) is one of almost fifty surviving self depictions, Rembrandt is the true father of the introspective self portrait. These are invaluable, not only for their realism and self commentary, but also as evidence of Rembrandt's experimentation with various techniques and media. Rembrandt was in effect announcing himself to the world. It was this confidence that earned him patrons that were to make him the most famous painter in Europe for a number of decades. In the latter part of his career, Rembrandt's fascination with evolving the art of painting did not gel with changing fashions, as the increasingly affluent Dutch demanded Art that was fanciful and decorative. The gritty thoughtfulness of Rembrandt had become irrelevant and the Dutch master spent his twilight years in financial distress. (Rembrandt and the evolution of artist as subject, by Hasan Niyazi at
While most artists produce a handful of self portraits if any during their lifetime, Rembrandt depicted himself in approximately forty to fifty paintings, thirty-two etchings and several drawings. Many scholars agree that a Rembrandt self portrait reflects his journey of self discovery. During his time in Amsterdam during the 1630's he began to paint himself with more light. He portrayed himself in many different ways; elegantly dressed and honoured with gold chains, as a fashionable middle class burgher donning a wide-brimmed hat and an expensive cloak and again as a beggar. During his marriage to Saskia van Uylenburgh he portrayed the two of them in different scenarios. A 1636 etching depicts himself as an artist whose loving wife looks on at him while he creates. In another he is the prodigal son and Saskia is a temptress. In a 1640 Rembrandt self portrait, he portrays himself as the accomplished man of means who can stand alongside great creators of the past. He was at the pinnacle of success during this, not only creating great works of art but also collecting creations of other great artists of his day. During the 1640's he stayed away from self portraiture. One by one each of his three infant children would die within the first few months of life. His fourth child would to everyone's surprise survive an infancy the others could not. The birth and survival of his son Titus was one of the biggest joys of his lifetime. Just when life seemed to be getting better his wife would also be taken from him. One short year after the joyous birth of their son, Saskia died and so did his desire to paint the reflection he saw staring back at him in the mirror. He returned to self portraiture in the later 1640s and 1650s with a different style. These were mainly etchings that portrayed more sensitive inward looking images. A Rembrandt self portrait painted in 1652 in which he wears his definitive beret depicts a more serious Rembrandt. In this painting he is facing front with hands on his hips wearing a plain brown robe. This was created during a time when his popularity was fading. He was experimenting with a more elegant Flemish style of painting that was not very popular. He was suffering financially during this time and had to declare bankruptcy. A few self portraits were sold just to keep his head above water. One in particular in 1659 is dark and sombre as the only illuminated feature is his face. His expressionless face seems to indicate how empty he was feeling during this time.

Rembrandt van Rijn Self Portrait (Altman)
Self-Portrait (with Black Beret), 1660
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

Self Portrait (Altman), 1660 was painted when the artist was 54, it has been noted as a work in which may be seen "the wrinkled brow and the worried expression the troubled condition of his mind". Part of the Benjamin Altman Collection, it has been in the Metropolitan Museum of Art since 1913. This was a year of anxiety for him. He had just been declared bankrupt. He saw his collection of art treasures disposed of at auction and himself deserted by his pupils and his friends, with no studio of his own in which to set up his easel. In this portrait we have a work of mature years, when he brought all the skill and resources of a lifetime to its creation. The lift of the eyebrows that wrinkle his forehead is that of whimsical impatience, yet the spark in his eyes denies defeat. The mouth is drawn and the mark of undeserved neglect is evident in the premature wrinkles, but a certain merry pride lurks in the tilted cap and raised head. A pang of pity shoots through us, only to be replaced by one of keen satisfaction that he, the neglected, is remembered and they, the aristocrats, are forgotten. Though this great artist lived several years longer, they were years of misery, and he painted only one more great work, "The Syndics of the Cloth Hall," now in the Ryks Museum in Amsterdam. His great reputation suffered an almost total eclipse, although to-day he is probably the most popular painter that ever lived. Yet he never lost his courage, and as we see him in this portrait he carries his head bravely and wears his hat jauntily, as if in defiance of the evils that engulfed him. Heretofore we may have felt acquainted with Rembrandt the painter, but now we know Rembrandt the man; for just so he must have looked to his neighbors in the troublous year 1660. Technically this portrait shows Rembrandt at his best. The hat, a rich black, and the background, a warm green, are smoothly painted. The shadows in the face are thin, warm, and transparent, while the lighter parts, as on the cheek, are laid on with a well-loaded brush, suggesting the texture of the flesh and made to glow with color. Over a red waistcoat Rembrandt wears a heavy, brownish coat.
(From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)

Rembrandt Self-Portrait-1661

Detail from Rembrandt Self-Portrait, 1661 

Rembrandt Self-Portrait, Circa 1662
Current Loc Wallraf-Richartz-Museum

In the last year of his life he painted the last of his self portraits. One shows himself standing in his studio with his palette and brushes in hand. He will always be known for being the master of the self portrait. His legacy is an experience of self discovery through art that artists and art lovers worldwide have had the privilege to enjoy.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013


Martin Grelle In his Studio

Whether painting the Native Americans in a dramatic, picturesque setting, or the American cowboy in the dusty cattle-working pens, Martin Grelle captures the spirit, beauty, and vastness of the West in his historically-accurate, compelling images. Grelle studies diligently to portray the diverse cultures of the American West accurately and with sensitivity. His knowledge of the cowboy's way of life, gained from his time spent horseback on ranches during the annual Cowboy Artists of America's (CAA) trail ride, as well as the time spent with local ranchers and friends, is evident in his contemporary cowboy paintings. The many hours spent in museums, at historical re-enactments, in visiting with experts on Native American culture, and reading from his extensive library, have helped him to bring his vision of the Plains Indian culture to life on canvas.
Winter Quest Tribute Signs along the Snake From Teller of Tales From In 1995, Grelle is one of the youngest active members and won the People’s Choice Award at the CAA exhibition in October 2002. Grelle’s painting, Teller of Tales, received the top award at the 2002 Prix de West Invitational held at the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City and was chosen for inclusion in the museum’s permanent collection. The artist is represented by Overland Gallery of Fine Art in Scottsdale, Arizona, where he has enjoyed one-man shows each March since 1989. Quote: “I thank God for the ability and the opportunities He has given me, and I hope I can continue to grow and learn more with each finished painting. I am honored by everyone who collects my work, and I will always strive to create artwork worthy of their attention and their investment.”

Like Wolves in the Night

When Crow Hunt Geese
Images from FAR WEST FORUM at

Martin Grelle (pronounced: gree-lee) was influenced by terrific Western artists like James Boren and Melvin Warren. It was Boren that saw the potential and gave Martin the confidence to be a full time artist. In 1995, Martin Grelle became a member of the prestigious Cowboy Artists of America and he says, "I know that my association with them has been a catalyst for growth that I may not have known otherwise." In 2005, Grelle became one of five artists to have ever won the coveted Prix de West Purchase Award twice. He's also won multiple People's Choice Awards at the show. These awards are major collection factors.
While his Indian scenes are more coveted than his Cowboy scenes, there's still a very strong demand for both subject matters. The overwhelming demand and limited supply contribute to the collectability of Grelle's works. More importantly, his dedication to research, exploration of historical and social aspects of the new and old West and understanding of the people and landscapes he paints is unmistakable when confronted with his paintings. While Grelle paints in both oil and acrylic, he paints with moderate detail, emphasizing texture and color to create visual imagery and light and shadow for dramatic effect. Whether it's the splashes of color, familiar landscapes, or Martin's intimate knowledge of horses, it's hard to not stop and be taken away while standing in front of Grelle's big paintings. Just when you don't think you're not going to see any more progression, Martin continues to challenge himself by taking on more difficult compositions or adding more figures to steer your eye around the canvas.
Martin Grelle lives with his wife, Terri, and their children near the small, Central Texas town of Clifton, just a few miles from where he was born. Rich in beauty and history, the area has become a mecca for artists, which is one reason why the artist has spent his whole life there. Many of his closest friends are artists, and they gather to see each other’s work, exchange ideas, and just “shoot the breeze”. Grelle treasures the camaraderie among these artist friends and the rare opportunity it affords him. Grelle’s work reaches far beyond his Texas home conveying the spirit, drama, beauty and vastness of the American West. Whether painting a Native American in a dramatic setting or a working cowboy on the range, he captures the essence of the West in his historically-accurate, picturesque, peaceful, yet compelling, images. He enjoys the Cowboy Artists of America’s trail ride each year, and manages to spend some time occasionally working cattle with local friends. He is proud of the Native American part of his ancestry and studies diligently to portray their culture accurately and sensitively.

Peaceful Morn

Offering to the River Spirit

Grelle is able to take even the most mundane daily task and elevate it to a new level in each painting. This is particularly true in Peaceful Morn as the pair pause to allow the horse to drink. Grelle captures them in the most intimate and dramatic setting, giving it all an overwhelming sense of peace. Sometimes he adds a note of humor as in Offering to the River Spirit where the Asparoke are indeed giving an offering, but rather than offering a piece of their own finery, they are offering the River Spirit something captured from an enemy tribe – something special, but not integral to their own existence. He has studied, traveled widely, and sought subject matter throughout the American West. Working primarily in oils on canvas, Grelle marries his figures with the landscape in a painterly style rich in vibrant color. Grelle has been profiled in many publications, including Southwest Art, American Cowboy, Art of the West, Western Horseman, The Equine Image, Art Talk, Persimmon Hill, and InformArt. His work has also been featured on the covers of several magazines and on various historical novels published by the University of Nebraska Press. Elected to the Cowboy Artists of America.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013


Richard Schmid (born 1934 in Chicago, IL) is an American realist painter and author. His earliest artistic influence came from his maternal grandfather, Julian Oates, an architectural sculptor. Richard's initial studies in landscape painting, figure drawing, and anatomy began at the age of twelve and continued into classical techniques under William H. Mosby at the American Academy of Art of Art in Chicago. Throughout the second-half of the Twentieth Century when representational art was out of vogue, Schmid kept alive the knowledge he received from Mosby and from Mosby’s circle of luminaries that included Sargent, Monet, and Degas. Mosby, a graduate of the Belgian Royal Academy in Brussels and the Superior Institute in Antwerp, was a technical expert on European and American realism. Studies with him involved working exclusively from life, at first using the conceptual and technical methods of the Flemish, Dutch, and Spanish masters, and eventually all of the late 19th century European and American painters. The emphasis in each period was on Alla Prima, or Direct Painting systems of the various periods. However, Richard's individual style and the content of his work developed along personal lines. A gifted teacher himself, Schmid has generously shared this knowledge through his books and through his mentoring of young artists. Richard Schmid is widely viewed as an American Master by his collectors and peers and students.
At the apex of his long and distinguished career during which he has achieved the honor of winning nearly every major art award in the United States, including the Medal of Honor from the prestigious Salmagundi Club of New York City, the $100,000 National Arts for the Parks award, and the John Singer Sargent Medal for Lifetime Achievement–Richard Schmid still experiences every new painting as a process of discovery. Says Schmid, “I seek what I love about a subject and try to convey it honestly. As I have grown as an artist, I have found I have the capacity to see more. The more I see, the more I find to paint, and the more I wish to convey on canvas. It’s an unstoppable sequence. “And that’s the adventure.” “Over the last few decades, I’m noticing more and more young people appearing on the art scene with amazing skills and hungry for what Alla Prima offers – everything they didn’t learn in art school. Most art schools offer predominately modern art. They discourage anything that might inhibit the spontaneous act, such as prior knowledge of traditional methods.” As we enter this new Golden Age at the birth of this new century, Schmid’s achievements have continued to grow. In 2000, when he received the John Singer Sargent Medal for Lifetime Achievement, the presentation was made by Richard Ormond, Sargent's grandnephew during a special awards ceremony at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. in 2009, West Wind Fine Art, which has represented Richard Schmid's paintings since 1998, curated an historic exhibition RICHARD SCHMID & HIS INFLUENCE at the Salmagundi Club in New York City with paintings by Schmid and a selection of recognized artists who he has mentored, including his wife, Nancy Guzik. Also featured at the show were Timothy R. Thies, Daniel Gerhartz, Rose Frantzen, Scott Burdick, Susan Lyon, Paul Mullally, Clayton Beck III, Molly Schmid, Gretchen Schmid, Judy Stach, and Casey Baugh. Then, in 2009, Schmid wrote and published The Landscapes, featuring over 300 of his images spanning 50 years of painting directly from nature. Schmid is also working on a revised and expanded edition of Alla Prima and has several other books in the developmental stages. At the conclusion of Alla Prima Schmid writes, “Somewhere within all of us there is a wordless center, a part of us that hopes to be immortal in some way, a part that has remained unchanged since we were children, the source of our strength and compassion. “This faint confluence of the tangible and the spiritual is where Art comes from. It has no limits, and once you tap into it you will realize what truly rich choices you have. “May each painting you do from that sacred place include an expression of gratitude for the extraordinary privilege of being an artist.” As we enter this new Golden Age, it is art lovers worldwide who are expressing gratitude to Richard Schmid – for the generous sharing of his accumulated wisdom and for the extraordinary privilege of witnessing his artistic vision.
(written by Sheryll Reichwein at
In 2005, Richard Schmid was presented with the Gold Medal award from the Portrait Society of America during their annual portrait conference held in Washington DC. Richard is also the recipient of an honorary doctorate degree from the Lyme Academy College of Fine Arts in Old Lyme, CT. Throughout his career, Richard Schmid has promoted art education through his books, articles, workshops, seminars, and television presentations. He travels widely in the Western Hemisphere for his subjects, and currently lives in New Hampshire with his wife, Nancy Guzik. Richard Schmid's work is represented by West Wind Fine Art, Falmouth, MA on Cape Cod.

Exmoor Farmhouse – Devon

Richard Schmid in his studio

Abbotsford framed print version copy

Study of Abbotsford House, Scotland

Abbotsford House, Scotland
Images from

Several years ago, Douglas Pringle, an attorney and the president of the K.T. Wiedemann Foundation, a non-profit, charitable grant organization located in Wichita, Kansas, contacted Kristen Thies of West Wind Fine Art, expressing interest in the artwork of American Master, Richard Schmid. The Wiedemann Foundation, which has a rich tradition of promoting the arts in Wichita, decided to acquire several of Schmid's original paintings to place on public view at the Wichita Center for the Arts. During follow-up conversations with Pringle, Thies mentioned, in passing, that she and Schmid were planning for an upcoming trip to London, and this piqued Pringle's interest. The attorney, a descendent of the Pringles of Melsrose, asked if the artist and art dealer might also consider visiting Scotland. After being inspired by the words of the Scottish poet and novelist Sir Walter Scott, who had written, "If thou wouldst view fair Melrose aright / Go visit it by the pale moonlight," the teenaged Pringle had made the pilgrimage to the land of his ancestors, and there became entranced by the romance of the land. If Schmid were interested, Pringle proposed commissioning the artist to travel to Melrose, and to paint a large landscape featuring Abbotsford, the baronial house and estate of Scott. Schmid, who himself had been enchanted by Scotland during his first visit to that grand country, and who also had a fondness for castles, responded to this idea with a resounding "Yes!"¹ The resulting painting, Abbotsford House, made its official debut on September 29th, 2012 at the Wichita Center for the Arts. It was part of a special exhibition, jointly organized by the Wiedemann Foundation and West Wind Fine Art, featuring 20 of Schmid's works culled from permanent collections. In attendance at this very special unveiling were three of Sir Walter Scott's descendants, as well as several dignitaries from Abbotsford. Next year, the painting will be permanently installed in the new visitor center at Abbotsford House in Scotland. Schmid has granted to the Abbottsford Trust the reproduction rights to the painting, so that 100% of the income generated from the sale of prints of the work will be directed into the Trust's ambitious £14 million revitalization project of Scott's ancestral home.