Posts Tagged ‘Egon Schiele’


“The ache for home lives in all of us. The safe place where we can go as we are and not be questioned.”

Maya Angelou, All God’s Children Need Traveling Shoes


This painting, Nestledown, 18″ by 26″ on paper, is part pf my current show at the West End Gallery, It has the feel of some of my older work with its simple design and spew lines at the edges where the paint has broke free of the picture plane. This gives it a feeling of finding a place of comfort in my eyes, one of security where you can let down your guard a bit.

This feeling is enhanced for me by the multicolored patches of color in the foreground. While they remind me of a patchwork quilt there is something else in the quality of the color that heightens the feeling, something I couldn’t put my finger on for quite some time after I painted this piece. It came to me the other day when I was looking at a book of work by the painter Egon Schiele.

This piece reminded me of one of his paintings, Agony, from 1912, shown here on the right. It shows a person wrapped in a patchwork quilt with a monk laying next to them, his own robe serving as blanket of comfort. As soon as I saw this piece I saw how the oranges, yellows, and reds of its quilt related to the colors in my painting. They provided much the same service in both paintings, creating warmth and security.

I wasn’t surprised by seeing this link. I have long admired the work of Schiele, especially the way he treated his colors, imbuing even the brightest colors with dark undertones. This creates a depth and gravity of feeling that transcends the color itself. This is something I attempted to adapt for my own process many years ago, something that I consider a major turning point in the evolution of my work.

This painting wasn’t consciously in mind when I painted Nestledown but it certainly echoed somehow in memory. And finding comfort in times of trial and agony is a thread that runs through this show. It’s something that hits close to home  both as a nation, as we suffer through the multitude of ills that plague us at present, and as an individual as my family deals with the last days of my father’s life.

We all just want to find a bit of comfort, a place where we can nestle down.

Read Full Post »

Schiele -Eternal

Egon Schiele- Setting Sun 1913



Art cannot be modern. Art is primordially eternal.

Egon Schiele



Read Full Post »

Egon Schiele- Death and the Maiden

Egon Schiele- Death and the Maiden

Going to the Neue Galerie the other day rekindled my fascination with the work of Austrian artist Egon Schiele.  There’s a lot of disturbing material in some of his work as well as in his bio that is hard to overlook even as I admire the work.  But Egon Schieledespite that, Schiele created, to my way of thinking, one of the most provocative and  distinct bodies of work in modern art– all before an all too early death from the Spanish Flu in 1917.

He was 28 years old.

I think of  that and then think of looking closely at the beauty and quality of his brushwork, I can only wonder what might have come in later years.  What masterpieces he might have created.  But as it is, he left us a rich and varied body of work, one that constantly both satisfies and provokes.

I particularly love his landscapes and cityscapes.  Their abstract qualities and coloring just draw me in immediately.  I always find myself inspired after looking at his work, like there’s something pushing out from it that runs into my own need for expression.

I am showing some of my favorites here:

Egon Schiele  Einzelne Häuser 1915 Egon Schiele - Krumau Town Crescent I  1915 Egon Schiele Hauswand um Fluss Egon Schiele Houses with Washed Clothes Egon Schiele -Landscape at  Krumau Egon Schiele Summer Landscape Egon Schiele Town Among the Greenery egon-schiele_agony1


Read Full Post »

There was a John Mellencamp album from 1990, Big Daddy, that had a song with the line ” Henry sent a postcard from a better place…”  There’s something in that line that has stuck in my memory far more than the original song and always comes to mind when I receive a postcard from friends or family.  I thought of it yesterday when I received this postcard from a friend I know through my paintings who now lives in Slovakia.

It’s an image of the painting Vier Baume ( Four Trees)  from the great Austrian painter Egon Schiele  whose work has always captivated me.  He saw it while visiting the Belvedere Museum in Vienna and it reminded him of my paintings, joking that this Schiele guy must have been influenced by GC Myers.  His mother, a lovely woman who I know and who was visiting with him there, added the line, “If only he’d thought to put a red chair in the tree!”  Gave me a chuckle.

One of the little perks of doing this is having my work connect with people and have them tell me of  how they are reminded  of this at different times in their travels.  I posted a photo here last year that was given to me at a gallery talk by a man who saw this tiny, tiny island off the coast of Venezuela with a single twisted tree atop it.  It reminded him of one of my paintings and he was kind enough to snap a photo of it for me. 

These little gestures mean an awful lot to me as small validations of the strength and voice of the work.  When I’m painting in the solitude of my studio I can only hope that the piece I’m at work on will have such an impact to make someone far removed think of it beyond the moment when they actually see it.  There’s something comforting to me in this thought. 

Perhaps the postcards sent are because these folks view my painting as a sort of postcard from a better place. 

Who knows?



Read Full Post »

%d bloggers like this: