Tuesday, May 24, 2016

What now my Friends!?

Recently my long time friend Patricia of PVE Design posted a very poignant feature discussing her reasons for blogging and asking fellow bloggers to share our own stories and one benefit from blogging.  

The image above conveys how writing The Arts by Karena has made me feel over the years. Expressive, inspiring, uplifting, a woman of strength, and vibrancy.  (could not list just one!)

All of you who have both read and contributed to my blog have given the gift of your art, creativity and insights. Sharing in this venue make me feel so honored! From your many comments, my features on the arts, unique visions and originality has made a difference to many.

After seeing a specialist and receiving test results, I have been diagnosed with a fairly rare disease, Gastroparesis. It is a life altering condition that although there is no cure, we are working on treating the symptoms, which can be severe.

Over the years my mission has been to be a positive influence to all who visit, and I hesitated to write about this as I rarely discuss personal issues on social media. In this case I felt it is an important topic to share.

This has made me realize more than ever how people we know who look perfectly healthy, may be dealing with challenges every day of their lives. 

My friends, we have been together through so many of the ebbs and flows over the years. I cannot begin to express how much each and every one of you mean to me.

The Arts by Karena

Monday, April 11, 2016

Seeing Ourselves: Women's Self-Portraits

Seeing Ourselves
Women’s Self-Portraits
by Frances Borzello
Published by Thames & Hudson (May 17, 2016)

Newly released by Thames and Hudson, Seeing Ourselves: Women's Self-Portraits is an updated and rewritten version by author Frances Borzello. Borzello has created a vivid depiction of the lives of  female artists through the decades. She eloquently illustrates how women were suppressed by societal issues not recognizing the talent of many female artists and cultures that forbade their expression of confidence, pride and genius.

Mary Beale, Self-portrait (detail), c. 1675-80.
Oil on sacking,  (35 1/4 x 29 1/4).
Manor House Museum, Bury St Edmunds. Courtesy of St. Edmundsbury Borough Council

From the author: "A book that began as a passion. For years I collected copies of self portraits by women artists. One day when I opened the drawer that held them , I realized that I had over a hundred, dating back to the sixteenth century. 

It was inevitable that I would ask if the social pressures on women had dictated their depictions of themselves. What I found was fascinating. Forbidden by the conventions of past centuries to boast about themselves, to work in fields that were seen as exclusively male, and expected to know their place and to be forever feminine, they still managed to speak about their artistic convictions, to hold on to their femininity, and yes, to boast about themselves by exploiting the language of self portraiture to their advantage."

Berthe Morisot, Self-portrait with her Daughter Julie, 1885.
Oil on canvas, (28 3/8 x 35 13/16).
Private Collection

As salons and galleries slowly began to allow women (such as Berthe Morisot and Mary Cassatt) to exhibit their art, the Impressionist era ushered in a heightened regard for these female artists' resounding works and creativity . 

Frances Benjamin Johnston, Self-portrait, c.1896. Photograph.
The Library of Congress, Washington D.C.

Marianne von Werefkin, Self-portrait, 1908-10.Oil on cardboard, (20 1/8 x 13).
St├Ądtische Galerie, im Lenbachhaus, Munich

Gluck, Self-portrait with cigarette, 1925. Oil on canvas. 
Courtesy of The Fine Art Society, London. © Estate of ‘Gluck’ (Hannah Gluckstein)
The 20th century brought about an era where artists broke through the "forbidden" and where nothing was out of bounds in the creation of art. Finally many women expressed themselves freely in painting. Alice Neel's nude self portrait at the age of 80! Frieda Kahlo's painful existence and isolation depicted in lush, albeit often distressing detail. Cindy Sherman's depiction of female stereotypes and exploration of identity.

Florine Stettheimer, Natatorium Undine, 1927.Oil and encaustic on canvas.  
(50 1/2 x 60). 
The Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center, Vassar College, Poughkeepsie, 
NY. Gift of Ettie Stettheimer, 1949


Oil on Masonite
16 x 12 inches (40.6 x 30.5 cm) 
Bequest of A. Conger Goodyear, 1966
Thank you to Thames and Hudson for providing a publicity copy of this eloquent book by Frances Borzello on women's self-portraiture through the ages.

You may purchase Seeing Ourselves: Women's Self Portraits at  Thames and Hudson.com

Thank you to my Family, Friends and Followers who support The Arts!

The Arts by Karena

Friday, March 25, 2016

Featuring Artist Scott McBee

Artist Scott McBee's stunning, large-scale paintings are some of the most intricately rendered works that I have ever seen. His finely detailed nautical portraits of ocean liners and yachts are approximately 3 x 9 feet in size. The glorious marine life series is created with vivid colors and gold or silver leafing. Scott's exquisitely refined art will take your breath away! Please enjoy our conversation below.

Scott. thank you so much for participating in this interview for our readers.

1) When did you first become interested in being an artist?

At a very early age, I would say around 7. I always loved to draw and play with paints. Whenever I was handed an assignment in class or given home work it always came back to the teacher with artwork plastered on both sides of the paper. I had very little interest in doing my homework and my teachers were not amused. Needless to say there was a meeting with my mom. 

2)  At what point in your career did the intricate nautical portraits of ocean liners and yachts become a passion?  

I understand you have clients who commission your work from all over the world.

 I've always had a life long passion for ocean liners and steam yachts since I was a boy. I was always doodling or building a model of one or the other. I was fascinated by the design and construction as with all the details that go into the creation of a ship.  
   My passion for painting ocean liners and steam yachts emerged about 15 years ago. I started my career in NYC as a commercial artist  working in advertising.  As an experiment and gift to myself  I decided to take a month off and do something I loved to do. To follow my passion so to speak.
   Painting the ocean liners and yachts were and still are for my own pleasure.  The paintings are an extension of my love for model building I did as a kid. I manage to squeeze a model  in every so often in between commissions.

   I began receiving commissions after my first gallery show with the Chinese Porcelain Company here in NYC.  My clients range from bank executives in  Singapore, media presidents here on the east and west coast as well as yacht owners and enthusiast. They all share a common interest in nautical architecture, history and a passion for the sea.

 My two most recent commissions were of the Cunard liner, R.M.S. Queen Mary and the aircraft carrier H.M.S. Invincible. Both commissions were from a gentleman who had traveled on board the Queen Mary as a child and served on the Invincible as a naval officer. They were a pleasure to paint and I have a very happy client.

3) I also love your stunning Marine Life Series! What inspired you to create these incredible paintings?  

   Thank you Karena. I had recently taken a vacation to the Bahamas and was inspired by the natural beauty there. From birds to fish. Rather than painting in a traditional manner I decided to put a twist in the way of working with colors and metallic finishes such as silver or gold leaf. I'm fond of  working in hues of blue, corals and reds for that particular series.

4) Are there mentors in your life who have encouraged you in the arts? 

   My mentors are my high school art teacher, Mr. Floyd Nordwick, the late Terry Wilke, the amazing artists Basil Gogos, Marie Mutz and my partner James Andrew. There are many more. I believe everybody you encounter in your life makes an impact on who you become.

5) Who are some other artists that you respect and admire?  

   I draw a lot of  inspiration from the great nautical painters, Antonio Jacobsen and Stephen J. Card, Klimt, Cassandre, and John Singer Sargent in their incredible drawing skills, use of color and composition.

6) What interests and activities do you enjoy when not in the studio, painting?  

   I love to travel and explore new places. Reading a good book, building a model, cooking with James Andrew, movies, working out  and allowing myself to do absolutely nothing on occasion. 

7)  Scott, where can readers find your art and do you have any upcoming exhibits? 

   I have two web sites for my work.   

I am currently represented by
 The Chinese Porcelain Company at 
232 East 59th street,5th floor
NYC, NY, 10022

The Island Store
P.O. Box N7776
Nassau, Bahamas

Lindroth Design
312 B South County Road
Palm Beach, Florida, 33480

8) Finally, what advice would you give to the beginning artist of any age?

Don't be afraid to express yourself, to stand out.  
Don't be afraid to make a mistake or "mess it up".
STOP being afraid..... the daily home work assignment.  
Stay open to new ideas.
Learn to listen, be honest, true to your word.

Surround yourself with positive, like minded friends.

Please visit Scott's websites to view more of his extraordinary works of art or to contact him.

Thank you to interior designer James Andrew of What is James Wearing ? for the introduction!

Thank you to my Family, Friends and Followers who support the Arts!

The Arts  by Karena

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Artist Mike Savage

Kansas City artist Mike Savage needs no introduction to the local community as his vibrant and joyful paintings are instantly recognized around the city. This larger than life artist shares his works in his gallery, at premier art fairs and also graces the walls of some of the finest homes in the world. Please enjoy our conversation below and some of Mike's delightfully exuberant paintings.

1) Mike, thank you so much for participating in this interview. Tell us about when you first became interested in painting.

When I could see. But seriously, since I could start drawing! Always. It always seemed innate.

2) I remember having dinner at JJ's  (an iconic restaurant) on the Country Club Plaza  and seeing your works of art on the walls; it was so vivid in color and style; how did that commission come about? 

My buddy Charlie Podrebarac and I used to hang out there when it was Don Pepe’s. When Jimmy bought the restaurant, a friend from college in the art department was dating him. She suggested my work to hang there. I really believe he was the first to do this in town. It was supposed to be for a month and then I suggested other friend's art for the next two months. He (the owner) said that everyone had missed my art and the rest is history.

3) Where do you find inspiration for your art?

Everywhere. Just look, it’s there.

4) Did you have mentors or others who encouraged you to be creative and to paint? 

Sister Francis Grady at Bishop Ward High School. She pushed, meaning educated me and made me “See”. Also the instructors at KU. All they ever did was say, “Look, see, feel”.

5) Who are some of the artists whose work you admire?

I always have my main three: Monet, John Singer Sargent and Rothko.

6) Where can readers find your art? Do you have upcoming exhibits?

My website: http://www.sav-art.com , on Facebook , at The Sav-Art Gallery: located at 4504 State Line Road. KCKs. 913.236.9400. 

JJ’s, And other places…I think! The Blue Dot Salon in Lawrence. Margaritas, the KU Union Restaurant, Shop Beautiful in Leawood…..I’m sure I’m missing somewhere.

Indeed, as I have seen some of your private commissions! I also just noticed that you have generously donated paintings of our Kansas City Chiefs and Kansas City Royals stadiums to for a local charity's auction event! 

7) Mike, what advice would you give to the aspiring artist of any age?

Hone your fundamentals and the medium of choice. Make mistakes, and look for yourself in your work. Be honest with yourself and don’t listen to critics. And have fun.

It is a pleasure to know you Mike, you are truly an inspiration! 

Thank you to my Family, Friends and Followers who support The Arts!

The Arts by Karena

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Featuring Sculptor Joe Gitterman

Stunning, breathtaking, and dynamic are just a few ways to describe sculptor Joe Gitterman's works of art. Using a unique array of fine metals and finishes, his designs become a focal point of interest whether in a residential, commercial, or public domain.

Mr Gitterman has an impressive list of private commissions and has the ability to fabricate his sculptures in many sizes. Please enjoy his fascinating story and our discussion below.

1) Joe thank you so much for participating in this interview. Your sculptures are stunning! After an illustrious career on the New York Stock Exchange, what propelled you into the life of a professional artist and sculptor?

I took my first art classes many years ago when my wife was working nights in the theater. I was working in the New York Stock Exchange at the time and my nights were free so I decided to put them to good use and nurture my interest in art. It became a hobby that I spent a lot of time on. I worked in plaster, wood and marble but really fell in love with metal. In 2011 I happen to participate in a gallery show and ended up selling a few pieces. It was a pleasant surprise to me that my pieces sold. I quickly mounted a website and became a full-time working artist.

2) When did you first become interested in the arts? 

Like many people I owe my interest in arts to a teacher.  My 6th grade teacher was fantastic and really encouraged me to express myself through art. 

3) Your sculptures are infused with movement. How does your thought process work when you begin a new piece or a new series of art?

It's a process in which I get a picture in my mind. I try to create what I am visualizing but sometimes I end up with something different than I originally envisioned. Sometimes that ends up being a really exciting surprise

4)  Who has influenced your style and creativity? Are there mentors or other artists that you respect and admire?

To name just three I would say Brancusi, Hepworth and Moore. My mentors and other artists that I admire is a very long list of amazing talents and contemporaries that have helped me. Too many to mention. 

5) Joe, I understand you do many private commissions from clients such as the renowned interior designer Robert Couturier to Norwegian Cruise Lines. Would you tell us more about that? 

For me the most exciting aspect of doing a commissioned piece or pieces is creating something that fits into and compliments the aesthetic of a specific location or design need. It is very different than creating something I love for myself. I recently installed a piece in a luxury residential building by architecture icon Robert A.M. Stern in Washington DC. It is the only sculpture in the building. 

6) Where can readers find your sculptures and do you have any upcoming exhibits? 

I'm working on some future exhibits and more information is available on my website - WWW.JOEGITTERMAN.COM  I am also on Instagram, Pinterest, FaceBook and some art exhibition sites. 

7) What is your advice to the beginning artist of any age? 

Be passionate about what you do and always keep exploring. 

Thank you again, Joe! 

Thank you to my Family, Friends and Followers who support The Arts!



The Arts by Karena

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