Friday, April 24, 2009

A Passion for Painting Award

I am very pleased to announce that artist and fellow blogger  Marina Vicari Lerario living in San Paulo, Brazil, has kindly chosen me, along with six other talented artists, for the award "A Passion for Painting".  I am always watching to see what she will paint next (check out her recent water color Vórtice 3).   She is very modest when speaking of her art, but I like her work very much, and admire her very obvious passion.  I believe she is a student of the fantastic floral painter/blogger Fabio Cembranelli.  In the tradition of this award, I am to list seven things I love, and to continue the flow by naming seven artists whose work I admire.  In both cases, I find it difficult to limit the list to only seven, and certainly the order is random.

I love:

1. Family and friends.

2. The Higher Forces.

3. Rural living.

4. The arts, music, particularly the words and melodies of Leonard Cohen and those who sing them.

5. My cat Sophie.

6. My studio, and the time spent there.

7. Anyone who is willing to focus on the bright side. 

Seven artists who now are the deserving recipients of "A Passion for Painting" from me:  

(Please forgive what looks like nepotism, I love the work of the other three artists in my family, unfortunately only two have blogs).

Pierre Raby

Marni Mutrux

Jelaine Faunce

Jeff Hayes

Sally Tharp

Frank Licsko

Adam Licsko

Friday, April 17, 2009

The Ugly Stage

"Bitter Sweet" 
© J Licsko 06
  oil on canvas  12"x16"

Yesterday, I delivered a painting to my gallery for a group show. It was a wine related event, and I painted two wine glasses and a bottle.  Reflections on glass require some patience, and as the deadline approached, it reached an unattractive state where I began to feel no one would want it.  I rushed to finish, fearing it might not improve.   As I handed the painting over to my dealer, I heard myself say " I could have used another two weeks".  

Recently, I was reading artist Bill Jones's words about one of his paintings recently after he made a comment on one of my posts.  He shares the blog On Painting with Lisa Towers, and I often look to their art and humorous writings to brighten my day.  Bill writes in his April 6th post about the "ugly stage" of his paintings.  You will enjoy reading it.  Until that post, I thought "the ugly stage" was just a Licsko family term.
I first heard the expression many long years ago when my husband, artist Frank Licsko, was was my teacher.  His words were comforting and encouraging when he said "Don't worry, every painting goes through an ugly stage."  I now know it happens usually around the three quarter stage of a every painting.  Most of the enthusiasm for the subject has been released onto the canvas, and one is left with about one quarter of the enthusiasm.  That's not much fuel for finishing. This is where it is tempting to say "that's enough, it's done".   For me, a detail oriented personality, this is where faith comes in.  Faith in myself, and faith in my muse.  With experience, I have come to know that the best parts of my paintings come in the finish.  

The painting above called "Bitter Sweet" is one of those paintings that I obsessed over, and feared I had taken on too much.  All the reflections had me seeing double.  Trusting that if I just stuck with it, I would overcome the "ugly stage" is all that kept me from abandoning it.  The reward for perseverance came when my diabetic collector bought the painting.  The title "Bitter Sweet" meant one thing to him, initially for me as a chocophile, something else, but later it came to symbolize hard work with a sweet reward.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

The Artist -Museum Fairness Act

"Girl's Night Out"© J Licsko 03
9"x12" oil on canvas

Artists are always being asked to donate works for legitimate charities and non-profits.  In return, we get gratitude, a little publicity, the satisfaction of knowing we helped our community is some way. 
All working artists, and especially fundraisers for museums, non-profits, and charitable organizations need to investigate  Bill H.R. 1126.

  In brief, this bill addresses the fact that creators unlike others, cannot deduct anything more than the cost of their materials when they donate works to museums, etc.  This bill if passed, it would allow creators to deduct the full market value of their works.   

Artists - Wouldn't you feel like donating more often? 
Fundraisers - Wouldn't that make it easier to get donations of art? 
Isn't that worth your time to ask your Congress member to support this bill?
Go to The Buck and Mike Blog for an easy to understand explanation of how it affects you, and what to do.  And pass the word to all your artist and fundraising friends.