Monday, July 20, 2015



I love this show!

It's only the second time in my 25 years at the P&C that we've had a show dedicated to one specific model, (the last one honored Steve French),  but this one is even better because it has drawn in so many  outside artists (6 out of 10 are not members)

It was organized by the model herself, as kind of a farewell to Chicago as she prepares to move to Denver.

When I first wrote this post, the artists involved had not yet been identified, but now I've gone back and posted the names and additional comments in green.

Errol Jacobson

This is one of my favorites.
 Felissia has a very outgoing personality - but this shows a more reflective mood.

I guess I shouldn't have been so surprised that Errol painted this. I've always liked his moody cityscapes.

Arturo Aldama

This one is apparently Felissia's favorite -- she uses it on her facebook page. (unfortately it was under glass, and the reflections forced me to crop the above image)

Here's  one of my favorites -  by Tom Robinson - who has a studio near Chicago and Western where he runs his own drawing workshop.  It shows her as a Chicago person.

Evelyn Brody

A nice, simple, quick sketch.
 There must be thousands of such drawings in artist sketchbooks all over the city.

Gary Price

I like this one because it feels more like Felissia  than any of the others -- though the artist is definitely more of a folk artist or outsider than an academic.

By contrast, here's an exceptional piece that might have been done by a late 19th C. artist like Whistler.  It was drawn by Helen Oh, who, appropriately enough, teaches at the Palette and Chisel.

Michael Van Zeyl

Here's a fun piece that treats the subject with great affection.

Here's another artist identity that surprised me - but I guess it shouldn't have, since the face and the body seem to have been painted at two separate sessions, and that's professional portrait portraitists have often worked in the past.

Nancy Rosen

Another fun piece that presents Felissia's athleticism and free spirit.

Andrew Conklin

I really like this one too -- done in  that early 20th C. style that owed so much to Cezanne.

Margaret Abbott-Trboyevic

Same thing with this one.  Are they by the same artist ?

(as it turns out, this artist, the widow of a famous restaurateur,  is a friend of Andrew's. Possibly these paintings were made at the same session. But you might note that this face shows some anxiety or sadness, while Andrew's version is expressionless. They both are very good artists)

I'm not sure that precision, rationality and balance characterize this model
 -- but it's what Larry Paulsen does best.

James Kapche

This one feels like it was sketched by an explorer on an anthropological expedition to some remote tribal area - the kind of place where Felissia may well end up living.

Piotr Antonow

I'm not sure how well German Expressionism fits this model - but it's fun to see someone try to do it.

Here's the head on the mantelpiece.   It's quite good, actually.

Errol Jacobson

Now I'm thinking of Titian.

Obviously this piece was done by Lenin Del Sol - who specializes in illustrating the covers of pulp fiction that has yet to be written.
The accompanying  blurb might read:
"The last thing she remembers was meeting the famous comedian at the hotel bar last night. So why is she waking up in his room this morning?"

Fran Hollander

Ken Probst

Boruch Lev

At first I thought this fine example of Russian classicism came from the hands of Misha Livshultz
















William Edwards

Teresa Zawitkowska


Finally -- here's one of  my own renditions of that remarkable profile - though it was not included in the show because I was too lazy to frame it.

Christina Body

I've always been a big fan of Christina Body

Her work is relentlessly upbeat

And obviously, she looks a lot of paintings other than her own.

She's a member of the Plein Air society - but she's quite close to being a geo-form abstractionist.

Here, I think she's recalling some 19th C. Japanese prints.

I met her while she was sitting the show, and told her how much this reminded me of the great Wayne Thiebaud.

She agreed -- and she is also a fan of that painter
whose gallery makes an annual trip to the Chicago international art fairs.

Christina is a very serious painter -- but she is also a Mom
-- and this is the work of her youngest son.

When the early Modernists said that children are the best artists --
 this is the kind of freewheeling, beauty-loving child they must have had in mind.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Spring Sale 2015

James Hajicek

I can't believe this wonderfully melancholy model study was priced  as low as $75


It looks like she's about to burst into tears.

Larry Paulsen

A fine back rendered by our resident classicist.

Darius Lipinsky
The dramatic emphasis on  booty reminds of this wonderful couch scene by Alexander Brook that I recently saw in Minneapolis.


Meanwhile,  this ecstatic explosion reminds me of this piece by Grace Hartigan that was also in the Minneapolis Institute of Art.

Stephanie Weidner

This is an simple, moody, evocative landscape all by itself.  But  wouldn't it  also make a nice trompe l'oeil painting with the label attached in the upper left corner?

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Joseph Tomanek and Archibald Motley

According to a wall display at the current Archibald Motley exhibit at the Chicago Cultural Center, the above photo documents a model that Motley shared with Palette and Chisel member, Joseph Tomanek, in  his studio in Berwyn.

And this photograph may have been taken in Tomanek's studio in 1921.

Motley is holding the umbrella in back -- and I suspect that Tomanek is holding the violin at the far left  ( he was a prize-winning fiddler)

These pictures were taken soon after both were fellow students at the Art Institute.

Motley would go on to earn a reputation for his scenes of jazz clubs - while Tomanek would paint murals for churches and pin-up girls in the great outdoors.