Sunday, June 12, 2016

New York Botanical Gardens Plein Air Invitational

Armand Cabrera

I will be participating in this event on Sunday June 19th, 24 artists have been invited to paint the Gardens from 11am to 5 pm.  Unofficially I will be there on Saturday too, painting and picking out spots for paintings on Sunday.

The event coincides with Impressionism American Gardens on Canvas a display of more than 20 Impressionist paintings with work by artists William Merritt Chase, Childe Hassam, John Singer Sargent, William de Leftwich Dodge, Maria Oakey Dewing, Matilda Browne and others. The Impressionist show runs through September 11 2016.

All of this is part of the 125 anniversary of the New York Botanical Gardens. I want to thank James Gurney who is Artist in Residence at the Botanical Gardens this year for putting this together and inviting me to participate.

Monday, May 30, 2016

John Atkinson Grimshaw

Armand Cabrera

John Atkinson Grimshaw was born in Leeds in 1836. His father worked for the Great Northern Railway and secured a job for his son as a clerk when John was 16 1852.  Grimshaw was interested in art but his parents did not support his choice to become an artist.  His parents were strict Baptists and discouraged the boy from art. His mother went as far as destroying his paints. In 1856 he married his cousin Frances Hubbard and the couple had several children together.

Grimshaw quit his job as a railroad clerk in 1861 to paint full time; he sold his work in Leeds in galleries and book shops gaining a following with collectors there. His early work was mostly highly detailed landscape and still life paintings and a few portraits. His success grew in the 1870’s and he was able to rent a second home in Scarborough overlooking the ocean. He dropped the John from his signature and began signing his work as Atkinson Grimshaw. His success pushed him to expand his subject matter and he painted society women, historical subjects, fairy paintings and moonlight scenes.

Today Grimshaw is remembered for his nocturnes and a few iconic images of fairies. The nocturnes range from moonlit seascapes to city scenes at twilight all painted with an exquisite sense of light and mood. Financially successful, Grimshaw had little time to paint for exhibitions. He was painting private commissions for art patrons most of his life.

In 1893 John Atkinson Grimshaw died of cancer at the age of 57. Four of his children, Arthur, Louis, Wilfred and Elaine were also painters and continued his artistic legacy.


Atkinson Grimshaw
Alexander Robertson
Phaidon Press Ltd. 1988

Popular 19th century painting
A dictionary of European Genre painters
Phillip Hook and Mark Poltimore

Antique Collectors Club press 1986

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Martin Rico y Ortega

Armand Cabrera

Martin Rico y Ortega was born in El Escorial, Madrid Spain in 1833. His early education was in Madrid at the Escuella de Bellas Artes des San Fernando. It was here he was influenced by his teacher Jenaro Perez Villaamil to work from life. He won a government scholarship to study in Paris France in 1860. In France he became friends with the Barbizon painter Charles Daubigny. In 1866 He won a silver medal at the Paris Salon. Ortega briefly returned to Spain during the outbreak of the Franco –Prussian War from 1870 to 1871.

By 1878 he had returned to Paris and that same year he was awarded a bronze medal at the Exposition Universelle and was made a Chevalier of the Legion d’Honneur. By 1879 he was living permanently in Paris and spending his summers in Venice. His Venice work was painted outdoors often in gondolas or along the canals. In 1889 he was again awarded at the Exposition Universelle this time a silver medal.

Though he painted and travelled throughout Europe, Ortega is most remembered for his beautiful light filled scenes of Venice. His works are a tour de force of precise landscape painting. Martin Rico Ortega died in Venice in 1908.

Impressions of Europe: Nineteenth Century Vistas by Martin Rico
Javier Baron

Meadows Museum, Southern Methodist University (2013)

Monday, May 2, 2016

Ravencon 2016

Armand Cabrera

I attended the Ravencon Science Fiction Convention this last weekend as a guest artist. The convention was a great place for people who enjoy the genre. Artist guest of honor was Vincent DiFate who is a force of nature in the art world, and I was glad to get a few minutes and sit a talk with him and hear some stories from his 50 plus year career as an artist.
Calling a Maker study 8 x 10 oil
The art show was well organized and there was some great stuff in the show. Most of what images were prints and I was one of the few people with originals. I showed a number of small studies that were the basis for larger paintings.
Ice Station study 9 x 12 oil

This process is a learning curve for me as I work on building new outlets for my imaginative work and so far the response has been positive. I do think going forward I will focus on larger venues and markets where there is a greater potential for sales of original paintings.
The Argonath study 9 x 12 oil

Saturday evening I did a 3 hour painting demo from a photo of a smaller study. This is the finished painting ‘Return to Dragon Hall’ 20 x 24 oil on canvas.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Upcoming shows

Armand Cabrera

I will have 14 small imaginative painting on display this weekend at Ravencon in Williamsburg VA. I'll post more pictures next weekend.

I will also be participating in a plein air invitational at the New York Botanical Gardens on June 19. There are 15 artists who have been invited to paint on the grounds and there is a show of Impressionist paintings by artists like John Singer Sargent and Childe Hassam.

There is also an Imaginative realism show in Denver Colorado being planned for October that I will participate in. More on that when things are finalised in the next few months