Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Our Weekend with Howard
From the Studios of Garin Baker
Carriage House Art Studios
November 15th 2011
Howard Pyle, Detail , Mermaid

Many thanks to James and Jeanette Gurney for inviting and planning the itinerary for this past weekend's Art Journey and Extravaganza!  We started out meeting at a little gem of a Tie restaurant in Wilmington, DE so we could all greet and get our bearings. Artist s included, Armand CabreraKevin Ferrara, Jean-Baptiste Monge, Lester Yocum and Noah Bradley

Then it was off to Frank Schoonover's Studios where we were met by his grandson John who welcomed us with great stories of his grandfather's about NC Wyeth, Harvey Dunn, Norman Rockwell, JC Lyendecker, and countless amazing artists and illustrators who assembled under the tutelage and mentoring of  Howard Pyle at his Brandywine School spawning what is known to this day as  "The Golden Age of American Illustration".

Frank Schoonover
James Gurney with sketch of John R. Schoonover.

Later that evening we all attended the private viewing and opening of the 100th anniversary exhibition of the Works of Howard Pyle "American Master Rediscovered" at the Delaware Art Museum
Howard Pyle.

So many amazing works, large and small exemplifying the brilliance and mastery of this American Iconic Genius.
This is truly were it began, down through the ages exciting the minds, talents and visionary artists, created an unique art form that lives today in the compositions, lighting and ways of seeing of many of our contemporary artists, filmmakers and concept designers.  An amazing Exhibition, Not to Miss and Experience! 
Also the bountiful and beautiful region of Delaware and Eastern Pennsylvania and it landscapes and cities that inspired  Pyle and his students. And since it's so close by,  the Brandywine River Museam  and the Studios of NC Wyeth, amazingly preserved in the state in which he worked. 
A priority for all artist and those in the know, Don't delay!

Thank you again James and Jeanette for you invitation and Jim for your wonderful lecture the following day.
With my appreciation I have included this priceless image of you both demonstrating your wonderful spirit and my sincerest camaraderie, friendship and admiration. 
When 's the next Journey and Extravaganza?......,
dropping everything. I'm in!!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Max Ginsburg's New Retrospective Book

Carriage House Art Studios
October 18th 2011
Bus Stop, By Max Ginsburg, cover image
It gives me the greatest of pleasure to help publicize this wonderful new book published and offered by Max Ginsburg entitled "Retrospective". I am also proud to, along with some of his past students, invited to add our thoughts and words of praise for one of the most important contemporary representational artist of the last 50 years who has courageously held to his principals and with his work communicates a powerful, unique vision of humanity, not to mention the amazing array of countless beautifully printed reproductions he lovingly presents.

My printed comments excerpted from the book; (p. 36) 
I first met Max Ginsburg as a Freshman at the High School of Art and Design in New York City.  What I, and many other students, discovered was to alter the course of our lives. Arriving at the high school we encountered two art teachers, Max Ginsburg and Irwin Greenberg.  They were traditionally and classically trained representational artists, some would say "Social Realists,"who found themselves teaching high school on 2nd Avenue and 57th street to a bunch of jagged edged kids.  Maybe it was our good fortune that the art market of the time was crammed with Soho galleries filled with modern art.  For me it held no mystery, and satisfied less and less the young audiences on the move hungering for something "real!"  Max and Greeny, as we would call them would arrive two-and-a-half hours early before the regular school day began. The janitor would unlock the school building so Max and Greeny could climb the stairs to their fourth floor where their classroom was.  A long commute was ahead for bleary-eyed students ranging in age from fourteen to seventeen.  Starting out while the darkness of night still blanketed the City, from far off points like Coney Island or Kingbridge Road in the Bronx, the MTA would bring us to a place call A&D. 

All that would melt away as we entered the "Old Hat Club"."  An unsuspecting student would be coaxed into posing, costumed or just as they were. Simple honest poses and subtle reminders to stay awake were the order of the day, while ten to fifteen students , along with Max and Greeny, would paint from life.  Both would take turns in a relaxed manner walking around helping students. Stories, numbered jokes and warm discussions ensured as the lessons of life unfolded and painting and student's growth accumulated.  I remember things Max would say about color harmony, cool and warms and the perception of simple shapes, "for the forrest reveals all it's trees when painting large masses and building form."  Greeny shared with me a deep and profound lesson. With a smile he asked, "Are you struggling?" My answer was obvious. He replied, "For then today is a good day", for it is through struggle that one's craft and one's life develop real growth and soul.  These and many more lessons are the basic truths not found in textbooks.  Day by day these great mentors and their students worked away till the bell for the first period class rang out.  Nothing was planned or even conceived but through this, a new world would come to a group of students and teachers that would profoundly change the course of art history, spawning a new generation of artists whose parallel vision would culminate and add to the reemergence of Representational Art.

Irwin Greenberg has since past, and our fondness for his gentile human spirit, masterful watercolors and dedication will never diminish. Max and I have remained close all my adult life and he and his wife Miryam have always and generously offered warm meaningful advice, a timely honest assessment and the deepest of support to me, and my family and my work.

To the core of my soul I offer the following as an understatement: Max Ginsburg over the course of his life monitored and stewarded countless, talented and dedicated students beginning in the "Old Hat Club" at the High School of Art and Design, Visual Arts and the Art Students League.  For many of these students now mature artists, their works and achievements began in the halls and classrooms inspired by the dedicated spirit of human beings like Max Ginsburg.  His work as an artist and a teacher is a testament, a passing of the torch, towards the greatest of human achievements.  His paintings speak to a language of human dignity and struggle.  A Masterful Realist, stroke by stroke, through his work and his life he offers the most relevant truth, honesty and real beauty to this world.

"Crossroads", Max Ginsburg

Over the next few days I will be posting images of a workshop Max is teaching here at my Carriage House Art Studios during the dates of October 21st - October 23rd.
I am so please and excited to welcome artists and students from around the US who have taken advantage of this opportunity to spend time learning from Max and  for me personally culminates with a fulfilled aspiration that I have had for many years to continue in the spirit of these great artists, mentoring, passing the torch and lighting a way.

Garin Baker. 

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Painting Brandywine
From the Studios of Garin Baker
Carriage House Art Studios
October 4th 2011
Painting on the Wyeth Farm, Brandywine, PA
Back in my studios and so thrilled to have spent all last week painting the amazingly preserved countryside of Bandywine and Chads Ford, Pennsylvania. Fun was had by many talented artists as we spent an entire week plein air painting in and around the stomping grounds of Howard Pyle, NC and Andrew Wyeth.  The inspirational landscapes are like no other across the US. Rolling hills, perfectly designed by nature spotted with the most amazing stone houses and picturesque farms. Truly a plein air painters paradise.
The culminating show and sale was juried by Frolic Wymouth, bradywine painter and close friend of Andrew Wyeth.  I was fortunate to win first place and best in show and my winning painting which was done in 2 hrs during in a torrential rain storm is shown at the end of this post.

Paul Casale & Eleinne Basa painting at King Range Property
I spent most of the week painting with Paul Casale and Eleinne Basa and Mark Ferina from California.
We also took a couple of side trips to visit the homes and studios of NC Wyeth and Howard Pyle.

Studios of NC Wyeth

Wyeth's studio has been preserved as he left it and is full of amazing inspiration and also quite informative for me seeing how in his later years he created a open space with rolling staircase for his mural works, Truly a treat for all those interested in the great story of one of America's most iconic artist, painter and illustrator. Not to miss, as well as the Brandywine River Museum.  Full of jaw dropping paintings and Illustrations done during the hight of the Golden Age. We were fortunate to visit during a full showing of Howard Pyle's work. Nice!

Mead Schaeffer                                                          detail, Hoeward Pyle

Pyle                                                                                   Pyle

Paul and I stayed and where hosted at an incredibly beautiful 250 acre farm and horse ranch full of rich history and the most beutifully constructed home and out buildings. A wonderful family who opened up their property in the most gracious way, inviting all the artists and supporters for truly memorable barbecue and party one evening.  Here just one shot of their porch with riding barn in the distance and the greeters of every visiter with barks and playful fun.

Here's another shot of Paul painting along side at Jaimie Wyeth's family farm. We finally caught a sunny day and my painting below done at King Ranch selected as Best in Show.

"Afternoon Clearing At King Ranch", Oil on Linen, 14"x 22", By Garin Baker
Best in Show, Brandywine Paint Out 2011.

Wouldn't have missed it and can't wait till next time!

Monday, September 12, 2011

NY Rangers Gearing Up
From the Studios of Garin Baker
"Rangers vs Flyers" Oil on Linen, 44' X 84" 2010
Carriage House Art Studios
September 12th 2011
Detail, "Rangers vs Flyers" Oil on Linen, 44' X 84" 2010

As a youngster I remember vividly climbing down the fire escapes of the old Madison Square Garden # lll, located on 50th St. and Eighth Avenue.  My Dad had taken me to see the NY Rangers play the Montreal Canadians for the last game of the 1968-69 season. The "Garden", we all know today is located on 34th St. and is presently under renovation and I can't wait to see what's in store.  Being a life long Ranger fan I have been to countless games and I'm always amazed by the spectacular energy and intimate atmosphere The Garden provides... compared to so many other arenas.  A couple of years ago I wanted to create a large oil painting of the Ranger Team bench. With all it's intensity in the midst of play as though you could see the game in everyone's face as they anticipated the action. I attended several games in 2008-9 season waiting for just the right moment, photographing and sketching.  I even got thrown out of a seat or two trying to find the best vantage point.  One day late in 2009 I was in Philadelphia. The Flyers are a huge rival team known as the "Broad St Bullies" and the Rangers were in town.  I asked a young artist and colleague whom I was visiting if he wanted to go. He could care less about my ice hockey passion,... so I stub hubed a great seat for myself,  just where I wanted to be and off I went.  Surrounded by Philly fans who kept asking why my attention was focused on the Ranger bench,  I had to play it off as to not get drenched with beer and went about my mission. The Rangers where loosing badly and the frustration in the team grew. But the score was the least of my concern as I have watched the Rangers get beat many times. Then all of a sudden as usually happens with Sean Avrey looking to spark his team mates, the moment for a striking painting had arrived.

The players... 
The Coaches...

The Fans...

The Full Painting...

"Rangers vs Flyers' 
Oil on Linen, 44" x 84", 2010 c.

The original is on view for The Grand Opening, September 17th, 6-9pm 
27 Olcott Square (Rt. 202)
Bernardsville, NJ 07924


Sunday, September 11, 2011

Remembering 9/11
"September 12th",  
Oil on Linen, 34" x 48" 
From the Studios of Garin Baker
Carriage House Art Studios
September 11th 2011

Monday, August 15, 2011

 Paintings Currently On Exhibit.
"Club Fight", 34" x 84"
From the Studios of Garin Baker
Carriage House Art Studios
August 15th 2011
"Club Fight" Oil on Linen, 34" x 82" by Garin Baker, 2010

With a Grand Opening planned for September, Highland Art Gallery, now in it's new location in Bernardsville, NJ, will be exhibiting two large sports paintings I completed in 2010-2011.

The first one pictured above and detailed below is a scene I started back in 2009 when a long time dear friend invited me to a boxing match of a young fighter and golden gloves champ her boyfriend manages and trains. 

The Broadway Boxing Club is located in the basement of steak house restaurant on 42nd St. in NYC. Transformed from an old discotheque, still with the mirrored ball hanging in the center of the composition is this tight arena space.  Down a dark staircase, where crowds come from across the five boroughs of NYC to root on their neighborhood favorites. 

Stock brokers, celebrities and a regular folk are served up a good steak diner and drinks as they watch the evening's card, (a series of boxing matches in successive order, fly weights to heavy weights). 

I was captivated by this treasure trove of subject matter, exciting all my senses, compelled to paint for the next few weeks back in my studio from compositional sketches and literally countless digital images, working out and combining like a puzzle all the amazing elements into this multi figured composition, attempting to capture the energy and flavor of this amazing and interesting place with all its characters.  

In 2010 it was awarded Best in Show from the National Art Museum Of Sports and the original was exhibit there for almost all of last year and now back on the east coast and can be seen at Highland art Gallery along with a group of smaller works and the other sports painting I completed in 2011 entitled,
"Rangers Vs Flyers" that I will feature in my next post. 
Stay tuned. Thanks so much for taking the time to enjoy!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Max Ginsburg, "3 Days Revealing Realism" Workshop Dates Released
Announcements from the Studios of Garin Baker
Carriage House Art Studios
August 8th 2011
Detail, "Bus Stop", By Max Ginsburg

It gives me great pleasure to announce the dates for The Max Ginsbug's "3 days, Revealing Realism" Workshop here at my Carriage House Art Studios. Fast on the heals of the successful and raved about workshop here back in July by James Gurney,  I am so thrilled to have invited Max Ginsburg , who has graciously envisioned a packed filled weekend starting October 21st - October 23rd  of 2011,  including demonstrations and instruction for maximum of 15 participants in the considered focused study of the human form for 6-8 hrs each day.   Shared meals and accommodations are also offered for 3 beautiful days in the glorious Hudson Valley during the peak of the fall color season.  Carriage House Art Studios is located just 1 hour north of NYC along the Hudson River.

Please click the the flyer below for information on Pricing and how to Register!

Registration is on a first come first serve basis, limited to 15 participants.  $ 650.00 Payment is required in full in order to secure your spot and seems to be the fairest way to guarantee placement.  A few modest rooms are available on site,  in addition to an offered listing of recommended area B&B and inexpensive hotels.  All meals will be included and served on site as well as in general a focused yet relaxing, amazing and wonderful creative experience. 

For additional information and registering please e-mail Garin Baker at gb@carriageart.com  or go to: Carriage House Art Studios Atelier Site  and find out more about this workshop as well as all the other offerings.  You can also call me at my studio # (845) 562-7802.   I'd be happy to answer any questions about your interest.

"Cross Roads" By Max Ginsburg.

Also incredibly grateful to share news about a most beautifully appointed, with the most amazing reproductions, the New Book "Max Ginsburg Retrospective",  which will soon to be available at major retailers.  Undoubtedly copies will be signed personally by Mr Ginsburg during this Workshop. 

I was thrilled to be asked and add my comments in the 'Tribute from former students" section, paraphrasing and briefly quoting,  "I first met Max Ginsburg at the High School of Art & Design.  What I, and many other students, discovered was to alter the course of our lives.  In a relaxed manner, Max would walk around instructing with warm stories and lessons about color harmony, cools, warms, and the perceptions of simple shapes to see complex elements.   As an Artist, Teacher and Mentor,  Max is a testament, passing the torch, towards the greatest of human achievements.  His paintings speak to a language of human dignity and struggle.  A Masterful Realist, stroke by stroke, through his work and his life he offers the most relevant truth, honesty and real beauty to this world".

Garin Baker.  

Thursday, August 4, 2011

LA County Fire Dept. Mural In Progress, #1
From the Studios of Garin Baker
Carriage House Art Studios
August 4th 2011
Detail, LA County Fire Department Mural, 10 ft high X 25 ft Long, Artist, Garin Baker, 

With all the sketches and preliminary renderings approved,  I've been working in my studio on this large scale Mural, 10 ft. high by 25 ft. long, which will eventually be installed in a new Fire Station in Santa Clarita, California in 2012.  This project started back in 2009 when I was first contacted as a finalist by the LA County Arts Commission.   Invited to travel and spend a week with the firefighters and in general learn as much as I could about their heroism and daily activities.  Seeing first hand the amazing bravery and sacrifice having been commissioned to do several painting after the events of  9/11.   The painting below,  completed in 2002, entitled "September 12th", was used on the NYC Police and Fireman's Memorial web site, and several reproductions hang in fire stations and police precincts thru out NYC.

"September 12" oil on linen, 36" x 58" Garin Baker

So with exhilaration and excitement I went about returning to my studio to create renderings and sketches expressing the story of the cross trained LA firefighters, paramedics and rescue workers, who in relationship to "incidents", that they call huge fires, which can at times destroy thousands of acres, homes and people's lives in Southern California.

Blue print architectural layout of wall space available for mural.

Given the parameters of the project, which is funded by a percent for art program administered through the Arts Commission and tied to the construction of several newly needed fire stations in Southern California,  I wanted to create a heroic scene expressing and showing the rolling California landscape, dotted with perfect suburban homes on the left and to the middle and right of the composition, using the road as a fire break, the amazing firefighters and other heros who protect it from ranging winds that swirl down the canyons, sparking huge destructive fires, "sometimes" a natural occurrence.  This was described and witnessed by many a firefighters I spoke with during my visit.  The imagery and scene I invented from many different pieces of sketches and photo reference is shown in the approved renderings below.

Preliminary rough compositional study 

Scaled Rendering black & white charcoal on canson paper completed in studio,  38" x 89", 2010, Garin Baker.

Working on Large 12 ft. rolled canvas, I prime and hang in my studio using a rolling system to work from right to left.  My mural palette below is filled with alkyd enamels in coffee cups set in a large plywood surface that has been a useful simple tool and method I have used on many a project and shows the years of spill over and mixing surface I use with large chip brushes to block in my murals.  The paint stays wet so I can work in a similar fashion as I do when working from life and on smaller easel works. 

Mural Palette.

NY Studio/mural wall with LA Co Mural in progress July 2011.

Detail area 2, LA County Firefighters Mural in progress, Garin Baker, 2011

Over the next few weeks and months leading up to it's completion, I will post more progress images as well as our trip and full report and images, in early 2012 to Los Angeles,  for the install and unavailing.

"Goin back to Cali.... really think so. 

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Amazing Painting by Belyukin.
From the Studios of Garin Baker
Carriage House Art Studios
July 27th 2011

I was recently hanging out with James Gurney who knows way to much for one individual but gratefully he turned me on to a wonderful blog site entitled "Inspirational Works of Art". (http://inspirationalartworks.blogspot.com/)  
where I came across this amazing painting.

"White Russia in Exile", by Dmitri Belyukin, 1994

Now you might think this is a early 20th century political propagandist painting and although it has tons of references to a sympathetic view of exiled Russians who were deposed after the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917 but it was completed in 1994 by Deitri Belyukin
What I found so amazing beyond the powerful subject was the composition and handling of such a complex scene of figures in an atmospheric setting. The inventive way the artist has used, without discernible obvious perspective solutions, the layered aspects of building groupings of figures moving into the distance that allow you eye to travel through the image experiencing the poses and characters in his human narrative. Looking closer as the figures recede into the mist during their morning commute, I am amazed how he uses a harmony of color and handling to capture this complex configuration. Not an easy task and aware to my core and knowing how difficult it is to compose something this layered and interesting. This artist in my opinion demonstrates the highest of abilities and skills that many including myself admire about contemporary realism.  This work has captivated me and raised my excitement towards doing work that is as well realized.

This inspirational blog site is chock full of works of all kinds and times and I urge anyone who's on their own personal quest never to be satisfied to search out works that shake you off you comfortable creative perch nudging you to go beyond what's popular in all our attempts at being "successful" and paint what excites you finding your own personal and compelling voice.