Whatever you think of George W. Bush as a president, most agree he is not bad painter. There are two reasons for the latter: one, he had good teachers, and two, he is a good student. How do I know he had good teachers? According to this, Pocket: Art critics alarmed to discover that George W. Bush is actually a pretty good painter, Bush…
… didn’t have to sign up for classes at a local art school or the museum, of course. Instead, he took private lessons from a prominent Dallas artist named Gail Norfleet. Norfleet wrought a change in Bush’s worldview. He began to see the colors even in shadows, the subtle shifts of palette in a clear blue sky. “I was getting comfortable with the concepts of values and tones,” Bush writes in the introduction to his book. Norfleet also thoughtfully introduced the once monochromatic president to her mentor, another well-known Dallas artist named Roger Winter, and it was he who gave Bush the idea to paint world leaders. Bush also consulted a landscape painter, Jim Woodson, whose visions of the vast, untouched terrain of New Mexico are nothing like the conventional bluebonnet vistas many still associate with Texas art. It was Woodson who introduced Bush to, among other things, larger canvases and thicker paint, and guided him toward a more complex view of the world about him. (Underlying by me for emphasis).
Bush took the lessons from these teachers to heart. But he was fortunate to have access to good teachers. A lesson for us all.
I am always on the lookout for links to Gerhard Richter, one of my favorite artists. Here are two good ones:
- An oldie but goodie: images from the show, Gerhard Richter: Panorama at Tate Modern – in pictures | Art and design | The Guardian.
- How to paint like Gerhard Richter ▶ How To Paint Like Gerhard Richter – YouTube.
Cartoons! Well, there’s more to it than that, as this fascinating post shows: The secret to great Renaissance art: tracing (Vox).
I knew Renaissance artists did sketches: I didn’t know that they used them as stencils. In hindsight, it makes sense: to make such great paintings, it is best to work them out in detail first and then focus on paint.
The first one is a summary of his new show in L.A.: David Hockney unveils new works on perspective created in Los Angeles | Art and design | The Guardian.
The second one is a meaty interview: David Hockney: ‘Just because I’m cheeky, doesn’t mean I’m not serious’ | Art and design | The Guardian.
I enjoyed the interview alot: it is a great review of his career, plus it talks about many other great artists of the second part of the 20th century.
Anyone interested in modern art would enjoy both of these.
Not for everyone of course, but this article shows you a novel way of turning a good idea – painting one wall of a room a different colour to make the room more interesting – and going one step further. The result is something like this:
If you are still interested, see Before & After: Maura’s $13 DIY Wall Art! | Apartment Therapy. Get the lamp, too.