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Action – The One Thing That Some Artists Are Lacking

Action – The One Thing That Some Artists Are Lacking

Lack of action is one of the biggest problems that most artists deal with because, we get a great idea in our heads for the perfect drawing, painting or sculpture but then that idea fades away because we didn’t do anything with it. Being an […]

Drawing – Why Every Artist Needs To Draw More

Drawing – Why Every Artist Needs To Draw More

It was early in my senior year in 1994 that I took my first art class. Instead of painting, the one thing that my art teacher had us focus on was drawing and I realized that after years of studying drafting in high school, I […]

Best Art Movies That I’ve Seen

Best Art Movies That I’ve Seen

I love watching movies, it’s something that I’ve always been passionate about, especially if the movie is an art movie then I will leave myself a reminder to go see it because I love to be inspired.

If you’re an artist or someone who wants to be inspired by a good art movie, this post will provide you with a list of some of my favorite art movies that I’ve seen over the years.

Surviving Picasso (1996)

Starring Anthony Hopkins as Picasso, this movie is based on the book by Francoise Gilot called “Life with Picasso”. It’s a very loose adaptation of the book and the movie was of panned by critics because of the producers choice to cast Hopkins (a British actor) as Picasso.

I enjoyed Surviving Picasso because it showcases the creative energy that Picasso had and what it must have been like for everyone around him to keep up with his creative energy even as he got into his 60’s, 70’s and 80’s.

Loving Vincent (2018)

This art movie took years to get off the ground and completed but Loving Vincent is absolute mastery and a perfect tribute to the life of Vincent Van Gogh.

The story involves a young man delivering Van Gogh’s final letter and learning more about who he really was after talking with the people who loved him.

Unlike other art movies, Loving Vincent is a movie where each scene was hand painted by dozens of artists so it literally is like watching the world of Van Gogh come to life as he may have seen it.

Frida (2002)

Starring Salma Hayek, Frida is about the life about famed artist Frida Kahlo and the relationship she had with her artist husband Diego Rivera.

Hayek’s performance as Frida is superb and the entire cast is excellent. You will walk away from this movie with a better understanding of her art and the lives of two of the best artists who ever lived.

Pollock (2000)

Starring Ed Harris, Pollock tells the story of Jackson Pollock, a mid 20th Century painter who quickly rose to fame in the 1950’s. This is another superb art film because it really showcases the creative process of the artist and their work as the movie was a passion project for it’s star Ed Harris who actually took up painting so that he would be even more convincing on film during the painting scenes. Harris’s hard work paid off and this film will stand the test of time as being one of the best art movies to be produced in the last 100 years.

Basquiat (1996)

Basquiat is about the life of Jean Michel Basquiat, a well-known New York based artist from the 1970’s and 1980’s who started out as a street artist only to connect with Andy Warhol and the New York art community of the time and quickly rise to fame before his tragic death.

David Bowie stands out in this movie with his portrayal of Andy Warhol which is excellent because, Bowie was a huge fan of Warhol’s and may have crossed paths with him during the height of his artistic fame.

What are some of your favorite art movies that you’ve watched over the years? Feel free to leave me a comment below!

Obey – An Appreciation For The Global Art Movement

Obey – An Appreciation For The Global Art Movement

The Obey stickers started popping up where I lived around the San Diego, CA area sometime in the mid 1990’s. They were usually placed on the backs of stop signs or in places where people could easily get out of their cars and place them […]

My Studio Isn’t Organized So I can’t Paint Yet – He Once Told Me

My Studio Isn’t Organized So I can’t Paint Yet – He Once Told Me

When I first got started as an artist I had no problem sitting down to draw, paint, or create new artwork using any medium I could find but I quickly learned that for other artists the creative process wasn’t that easy because they let excuses […]

My Connection To Charles Reiffel – A San Diego CA Landscape Artist

My Connection To Charles Reiffel – A San Diego CA Landscape Artist

Born in 1862, Charles Reiffel is one of the most well known American Plein air-artists who ever lived. What’s interesting is that he didn’t originally start out as an artist, he was a lithographer before turning to painting while he was in his 30’s, and he didn’t look back.

Reiffel’s art can’t be described just as Impressionism because, he came onto the art scene when Impressionism was winding down in Europe. His work can be best described as “Modern Art” because, being a self taught artist, he wasn’t afraid to try different things and his work eventually won over most art critics in the United States.

Sadly, Charles Reiffel’s name isn’t a “household” name in the art world in the 21st Century because instead of staying on the East Coast during the early 20th Century, he relocated to the San Diego area. Back then, San Diego was literally a world apart from New York so there’s no doubt that an artist really had to fight to survive on the West Coast especially during the 1930’s.

Thankfully, Reiffel benefitted from the Works Progress Administration in the 1930’s and he was able to support himself and his wife as they grew older while he continued painting.

My Connection To Charles Reiffel

By the 1920’s, Reiffel and his wife had settled in the San Diego area because at the time it was still largely undeveloped and an artist could literally choose a different landscape every day because in San Diego you’re just a short drive away from the mountains, desert, ocean, city or marina.

Back in the 1920’s, San Diego was still largely undeveloped and Reiffel was able to paint plenty of wonderful plein air paintings of landscapes that have sadly become developed with homes or stripmalls in the 21st Century.

It was in the 1930’s that he met my Grandparents, Ruth and Carl Hyatt.

Carl was an artist in his own right who supported his family with his sign painting business while Ruth was a homemaker whose family owned Clingman Dairy in the San Diego area. They both met at Ruth’s job working as a soda jerk at a local drug store and married shortly after.

The 1930’s was tough for everyone and Carl worked multiple jobs to support his family, on one of his sign painting jobs he met Charles Reiffel and proceeded to develop a friendship with the artist that led my grandparents to help the artist set up his canvases at local art shows.

To show his gratitude to my grandparents, Reiffel gave them two of his landscape paintings and those paintings hung in my grandparents home for the next 50 years as treasures from their past.

Growing up, I relished every opportunity to explore my grandparents home because along with the works by Reiffel they had a Picasso hanging over their bed (which I learned was a copy) and many other paintings, rare collectables and other interesting things that were examples of a life well lived.

Thankfully, Reiffel’s work is now starting to gain more recognition in the artworld thanks to recent art retrospectives in the San Diego area and judging by the variety of websites that have popped up in recent years which claim to pay top dollar for his artwork it’s easy to see that his work has gained in value as well.

My hope is that more books or movies will be produced about the life of Charles Reiffel in the coming years because, like Van Gogh, Cezanne and other well-known artists before him, his life was fascinating and deserves to be documented more for future generations.

 

I’m Not Depressed, honest, I Just Like Painting With Blue

I’m Not Depressed, honest, I Just Like Painting With Blue

Pablo Picasso’s Blue Period lasted for about 3 years. During this time in his life he started his Blue Period following the death of one of his good friends and it ended up becoming one of the most well-known periods of his artistic career. Ever […]

Why Cutting The Arts And Music Funding In Public Schools Is Bad For Society

Why Cutting The Arts And Music Funding In Public Schools Is Bad For Society

When I was a kid, I had the gift of being able to study music in public schools (flute and trumpet) for about four years then when I was in high school I took art classes for one year after realizing at the age 0f […]

I Didn’t Need Paris (Yet), I had San Diego, CA Instead

I Didn’t Need Paris (Yet), I had San Diego, CA Instead

When I first start painting, all I wanted to do was go to Paris, France because that’s where all of the great artists that I had read about had been, lived, established their art careers and thrived.

The desire to go to Paris was always in the back of my mind that I would have been prepared to go at a drop of a hat until I realized that I didn’t need Paris to become and artist and experience what I could experience there because I had San Diego.

I learned this from an old friend who in the mid 1990’s was a well-known artist in the San Diego area. He had been painting and selling work in SD for years. When I started painting, our relationship became like Picasso and Braque, we were constantly talking about art whenever we got the chance and inspiring each other to go farther with our artwork.

Painting In Chicano Park, San Diego

One day he invited me to paint in Chicano Park, San Diego because he was also a well-known Chicano artist at the time so I accepted his invitation to paint there and didn’t realize that I would experience culture first hand.

It was a Saturday morning, I arrived in Chicano Park with my art supplies ready to start working. He had already been there for hours working on several canvases.

I opened up my art supplies and proceeded to start a painting of the well-known Chicano Park bridges in front of me. As we painted, I could smell the delicious smell of fresh tortillas and mexican food being cooked down the street, I could hear guys playing handball in the nearby courts and music Tejano music playing somewhere nearby.

The whole experience was almost intoxicating, I was wrapped up in my painting while he worked on his canvases. What was strange about the whole experience is that I felt safe painting there even though my parents warned me about it being a “rough” part of town.

We painted for about 3 hours that day and after we both had wet canvases, we realized that it was time to get something to eat so we loaded our art supplies in our vehicles and walked down to the taco shop for some mexican food and beers before I headed home.

I Can Be Inspired To Paint Anywhere 

While I sat there eating lunch, with still wet paint from my canvases on my pants, I realized that San Diego was “my Paris” and I could find inspiration there around every corner including the same inspiration that artists like Monet found in the French countryside since in San Diego I was just an hour away from the mountains, beaches or countryside if I wanted to find inspiration for creating new art.

Now in my 40’s, I still want to go to Paris (someday), hopefully with my family, but for now I know that I can be inspired to create new artwork anywhere including San Diego, Central Texas, Oregon or wherever I may be living in the United States.

Picasso And Kerouac In A Factory?

Picasso And Kerouac In A Factory?

Most people hate their jobs but work in them anyway because they have to make a living. For me, when I worked on an assembly line doing production work (when I was in my early 20’s) this was one of the best jobs that I […]


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