Art Life

Studio photo.

Nighttime in The Studio

I stopped by my Gillespie Park studio just to measure two bronze busts (The Best of Friends) and and an oil on linen (Nude at Sunrise).

Stopped by! Ha!

Real Time, always a questionable concept, means nothing in the studio.

The New Yorker Who Fell to Sarasota

What the heck just happened?! It has been ages since my last post.

Two and a half years have flown by since my last post!. Off the radar. But busy. I am forever inspired.

I left New York City in August 2015, and moved both home and studio 1,200 miles south to Sarasota. It was never in my plan. But I was and still am in love with Amy Davis,  and wherever she is I call home. And I have discovered that without Amy I would be an artist and not an artist in business. That said, “everybody” told me it would take a year or two to start to feel at home. And it has.

Yes, it is staggeringly beautiful on the Gulf “SunCoast”. Parenthetically, it is pouring rain and chilly as I write. And cold here is surely not the cold of the NorthEast. However, the general consensus here is that we do indeed live in paradise.

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The foliage is alien; in fact, I feel like I moved to a different planet. The leaves never turn color; there are myriad species of palm trees.shrubbery and plants that yield out of this world flowers and seed cases.

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When it does get cold enough in the winter;  a plethora of critters seek shelter in our home, including, but not limited to, palmettos, more species, some actually benign, of spiders just in our yard and house. I am admittedly an arachnophobe; I have no idea which are actually benign (and assume the worst). I know for sure that a Wolf Spider bite means dial 911. I’ll save that photo until I find it. Maybe I’ll do a special post.

That said I live in the only sub-tropical state. I am minutes from Siesta Key, a beach voted most beautiful so many times the sign is starting to rust.

A new world of inspiration.

 

Reminded at Depth that Tarot is No Thing with Which to Fuck Around

About a year ago towards the end of June 2013, I finally started to paint my Tarot deck. I knew at the time that I was undertaking the largest and most challenging body of work of my entire career, but I had no idea that by the time a year had passed I would find myself so psychically and emotionally drained.

I think of my Tarot as one work of art made up of 22 paintings, each of which is 5 feet high and 3 ½ feet wide. Aside from the basic fact that undertaking one work that is in total 73.33 feet long and 5 feet tall is a hell of a lot of hard work. In retrospect, this series was incredibly demanding in terms of finances, material, and labor. This does not include the cost of a full time studio assistant and a DUMBO studio. That’s the easy part.

When I first started the series, the card imagery veritably poured out of me in spite of working with a totally repaired rotator cuff on my left arm which I had dislocated from the shoulder. I would work on three or four at a time, take a brief break from the Cards to paint a landscape or two – memories from the south of France – and then dive back in. I hardly needed to look at the paintings; they were just right.

It is a year later. Yesterday I completed Judgment. Both The Lovers and The Wheel of Fortune are nearly complete and The World is well underway and I just started my last card, Strength.

Until recently, the paintings were still flowing; I did not need to think about them nor was I exhausted at the end of the day. These last five paintings are more demanding than the first 17. However, as with anything else I do, once I have committed I will see a project through. I will finish the entire series of 22 Major Arcana, and I have every intention of doing so by the end of the month.

This level of exhaustion reminds me of the result of having harkened to my mentor, Jan Cox, at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Jan said “You cannot think of yourself as a printmaker unless you print an entire edition in one day.” I hand-printed an entire edition of 40 stone lithographs by myself in one day. I went upstairs to the Museum School Gallery, laid my head on the soft stone floor and passed out for four hours.


For an in-depth statement about the genesis and development of the series, please see the project specific statement.

Three Promised Detail Shots from last night’s Camargue Memory

oil paint is glorious, and only takes about 40 years to learn proficiency

Jonathan Herbert landscape oil painting of the Camargue

The Paint on Camargue Memory (detail 1)

Jonathan Herbert landscape oil painting

Camargue Memory (detail 2)

Jonathan Herbert landscape oil painting

Camargue Memory (detail 3)

More artwork by Jonathan Herbert at http://jonathanherbert.com

Eine Kleine Tag Musik

a little canon g15 preview before the big shoot in two weeks

close-ups of the brushwork soon

Jonathan Herbert oil painting landscape France Provence Memoir

Camargue Memories
14 x 18 inches Oil on linen

The trip of a lifetime.

More art by Jonathan Herbert at http://jonathanherbert.com