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May 01, 2018


Lovely post, Beth. I like your Block Island piece, and the introduction to Velasco.

In our time when the post-Warhol avant garde has been dead and a growing minority of painters are moving forward by going back through the tradition, I expect the reputation of "academic painters" will keep being on the rise. How to turn the wheel when it has been dismantled? Interesting answers are coming up.

Beth, I agree wholly with your remarks about drawing but I'm not so enthusiastic about Velasco's paintings, at least the ones above. No doubt at all that they're very skillful and charmingg but for me they lack backbone, je ne sais quoi. Yes he's patient and precise but too soft, too anxious to please. It's partly due to the preferred styles of that period but also I don't feel he was really immersed in what he was looking at. Intellectually yes, but not viscerally (unlike Van Gogh). Take the top watercolour for instance: he's poured caramel sauce over those rocks and sweetened them so you could eat them with a spoon. You couldn't climb them and they wouldn't cut you if you scraped against them. The other landscapes are very pretty but also coated in sauce. I don't mean just the colour but the whole aura. The bottom study of rocks is the best, in my view,but still too bland.
Oh la la, I've gone into lecture mode...Stop me before I start rapping knuckles!

Ilike your top drawing - plunge in! Not too much of the cross-hatching.

In the uncolored version, I found my eye was drawn to the waves, and I really liked the -- no pun intended -- fluid feeling they gave. You must have studied waves a while to catch that. The white tint in the color version drew me back to the shore in the middle, and gave me more a sense of the scale. You don't mind if I envy you, even if I understand how much work is going on in the background?

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Who was Cassandra?

  • In the Iliad, she is described as the loveliest of the daughters of Priam (King of Troy), and gifted with prophecy. The god Apollo loved her, but she spurned him. As a punishment, he decreed that no one would ever believe her. So when she told her fellow Trojans that the Greeks were hiding inside the wooden horse...well, you know what happened.