Friday, November 23, 2012

Richard Schmid's "Abbotsford House"

“O Caledonia! stern and wild, 
Meet nurse for a poetic child!
Land of brown heath and shaggy wood;
Land of the mountain and the flood!
Land of my sires! what mortal hand
Can e'er untie the filial band,
That knits me to thy rugged strand!”
Sir Walter Scott  -  Lay of the Last Minstrel (canto VI, st. 2)

Richard Schmid
Abbotsford House (2012)
30 X 50 in.
oil on canvas

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.

“What skilful limner e'er would choose
To paint the rainbow's varying hues,
Unless to mortal it were given
To dip his brush in dyes of heaven?”
~ Sir Walter Scott

Richard Schmid, in Scotland, with his study of Abbotsford House

Richard Schmid in his studio, working from his plein air study.

"The Creation of a Masterwork, 'Abbotsford House' by Richard Schmid,"
a film by Ryan Mellody (Artists on Art online magazine)

"This short video highlights the American Unveiling of Richard Schmid’s historic painting of ABBOTSFORD - Sir Walter Scott’s home in Melrose, Scotland, and an Exhbition of Schmid’s paintings at the Wichita Center for the Arts in Wichita, KS on September 29, 2012. The Exhibition was curated by Kristen Thies and hosted by The K. T. Wiedemann Foundation, Inc. and West Wind Fine Art."
Film by Ryan Mellody |
Produced by Kristen Thies |
Narrated by Richard Schmid |
Paintings and script ©Richard Schmid 2012
Soundtrack: River of Life by Mark Petrie

"Nothing is more the child of art than a garden."  ~  Sir Walter Scott

To all, to each!  a fair good-night,
And pleasing dreams, and slumbers light.

¹ Kristen Thies, Richard Schmid's Journey to Abbotsford, "Fine Art Connoisseur," Vol. 9, Issue 5, October 2012, p. 90.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Monday, November 19, 2012

Art of the Figure

Albin Veselka
Peeling Apples
30 X 24 in.

Six years after its inception, Waterhouse Gallery's Great American Figurative Show has become one of the most prestigious figural art invitationals in the West.  This year's show features nearly 100 paintings from award-winning artists from across the country, including Jeremy Lipking, Richard Schmid, Dan Beck, Adrian Gottlieb, Amy Lind, Jeffrey Hein, Candice Bohannon, Joseph Todorovitch, Vincent Giarrano, and many more.  

Founded by Diane and Ralph Waterhouse in 1984, Waterhouse Gallery is located in the heart of Santa Barbara's Cultural District.  The 7th Annual Great American Figurative Exhibition is currently on view, but for those unable to visit the gallery in-person, the show is also available for viewing online.  For more information, please visit the Waterhouse Gallery website.

Albin Veselka
New Shoes
16 X 12 in.

Richard Schmid
The Guitarist
24 X 18 in.

Michael Malm
Streamside Lessons
21 X 24 in.

Joseph Lorusso
Cafe Lovers
24 X 26 in.

Nathaniel Skousen
16 X 20 in.

Dan Beck
14 X 11 in.

Yen-Ching Chang
Brown Hat
18 X 11 in.

Albert Ramos
12 X 8 in.
listed as oil (?)

Serge Marshennikov
Soft, Dark & Rainy Blue
20 X 13 in.

Bryce Cameron Liston
November Sky
20 X 16 in.

Stan Moeller
Paris in Pink
18 X 14 in.

Robert Coombs
Final Arrangement
16 X 9 in.

Jeffrey Hein
Life #2
31 X 14 in.

Adrian Gottlieb
Portrait in Grey
22 X 18 in

Romel de la Torre
Calm Summer
24 X 18 in.

Javier Pedrosa
Vendima Dora
18 X 13 in.

Hsin-Yao Tseng
Study for Chinese Carpenter
9 X 12 in.

Kevin Beilfuss
24 X 36 in.

C.M. Cooper
Lilies & Satin
24 X 36 in.

Candice Bohannon
13 X 44 in.

Joseph Todorovitch
20 X 38 in.

Jeremy Lipking
12 X 24 in.

Vincent Giarrano
18 X 24 in.

Vincent Giarrano
Railroad Apartment NYC
18 X 24 in.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Painting Demo: Greg Dubuque

Greg Dubuque
Velvet Rose
30 X 24 in.
oil on canvas

Greg Dubuque is a native of Missouri who received his art training at the Otis Art Institute of Parsons School of Design in Los Angeles.  After graduating, Dubuque spent more than a decade in California working in film and television, first as a scenic artist for such films as Jurassic Park, and later working within almost every division of animation, including creating backgrounds for favorite series such as Pinky and the Brain and Batman Beyond.  Several years ago, he returned to his home-state of Missouri to raise his family, and to enjoy a varied creative experience as a photographer, illustrator, and fine artist.

The following series of images show in-progress shots of the creation of Dubuque's painting, Velvet Rose.  In this painting, Dubuque is using a method highly influenced by the Venetian method, in which a highly-rendered, monochromatic under painting is modified by successive layers of transparent glazes and semi-opaque scumbling.  His canvas is first toned with a raw umber wash, onto which he paints the outline of his subject.  The under painting is then rendered using raw umber, yellow ochre, and white.  Once this stage is complete, Dubuque introduces color glazes.  For this work, he used M. Graham's Walnut/Alkyd Medium, and a variant of Daniel Greene's color palette (Flake plus Permalba White, Cadmium Red, Alizarin Crimson, Scarlet Lake, Yellow Ochre, Naples Yellow Light, Hansa Yellow Deep, Raw Umber, Raw Siena, Burnt Siena, Prussian Blue, Ultramarine, Cerulean Blue, Olive Green, and Pthalo Green).

The scarab symbol in each image is Dubuque's watermark.

To see more of Greg Dubuque's artwork, please visit his website,

"I put down a value in the adjacent areas surrounding each form as I moved through the
painting to help me set my values and to keep them balanced.  I kept those edges
scumbled and soft so my eye wasn't drawn and distracted by them."

"Painting opaque as I move through the figure form by form and trying to complete my
values - dark to light - in each area as I go."

"I sometimes (always) go a little overboard with my rendering in the underpainting stage,
but I have always had a tendency to go too light with my shadows and darks. By refining
my shapes and values in monochrome early on, it leaves me room to recognize where I need
to go darker when I start laying in colors in the overpaint."

"The grisaille is done here. I knew I'd be pushing some of my mid-range values darker,
but this gave me a complete ground to start my color work on.
Still painting opaque for the next stage; no glazing yet."

The Overpainting.

I brushed in a light texture to the canvas with an alkyd gel medium after the grisaille had dried
before I began the overpainting. No technical reason. I simply like the subtle look
and feel of the canvas it provides.

"As with the grisaille, I framed each area with the base of the surrounding color as I moved
through the forms. It helps to key my values and allows for nicer edges.

"Adding dress details."

Velvet Rose

"She was right on the edge of the seat. It was a conscious choice to make her appear slightly
unsettled, a little tense, waiting for something."