--Dan Cummins (Board President)
We invite you to watch Julia Lohrman Audlehelm create a pen and ink drawing before our very eyes! Julia is a local artist whose Iowa roots are often found in her intricate work. Clients of note include Senator Tom Harkin, the University of Iowa President’s home and the local Unitarian Universalist Society. Join us on March 21 at 1 PM to learn more about Julia's story and her creative process. Question and answer to follow presentation.  Register here.
Julia Lohrman Audlehelm is an artist who creates highly detailed pen & ink drawings on commission. Her Iowa roots are on display in many of these drawings. Growing up in Bettendorf, she received her B.A. from the University of Iowa, then lived in Des Moines for 25 years. Currently, she resides in North Liberty.

In the course of her career, she has been commissioned by a variety of public and private clients to create works of art that represent meaningful locations and concepts. She has produced studies of architectural and personal interest that readily translate into fine art prints, calendars, stationery, glassware, and multimedia identity. Her clients have included Senator Tom Harkin and the University of Iowa President’s home. She has created drawings to help with funding efforts for the local Unitarian Universalist Society. People seeking distinctive gifts for employees, customers, or family have sought out Julia’s talents. Non-profit groups have awarded their contributors with limited edition prints of her works. She continues to enjoy working with clients to portray their requests in precisely detailed artwork.
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Please Tell Us Your Views
--Beppie Weiss

Dear Art Friends

March came in like a little lamb this year bringing 70 degree days and melting icicles and deep snow. Snow drops and crocus are opening and best of all the vaccines to end this year of pandemic have arrived. This year has forced us all to rely on the internet to visit family and friends. Entertainment of all kinds here and around the world have gone virtual too. Though there is some reopening, many art events are still online.

One of our readers has told me of an on line event that she really enjoys. Every Tuesday night at 7 on Instagram a curator at our very own Stanley Art Museum chooses one piece out of the collection to discus in depth. Thanks Carrie!

Most of the Iowa Artists  regional shows remain on line. We are zone 8, and the deadline for entry is April 3. Details can be found at www.iowaartists.us. The state show will be Online as well. I also want to remind you that the DuMA biennial deadline is fast approaching.....March 29.  Go to the Dubuque Museum of Art site for details. This warmer weather has me thinking about painting outdoors.
There is an “en Plein Aire” event planned in Washington Iowa for the weekend of June 11-13. Might want to put that on the calendar. Watch the Art Domestique website for more information.

In closing, I would like to share a little “Lost and Found” story. Recently a woman now living in Colorado saw an image of a painting by Norman Rockwell that she had posed for 67 years ago. It was the painting of young graduates’ heads wearing mortar boards looking intently at a speaker out of the frame. “Bright Future for Banking” was painted for and advertisement printed in the Saturday Evening Post. Shortly after that a custodian in Manhattan was unloading trash on the street when a man walking by noticed the painting and asked if he could have it. It resided in one of his sons bedrooms for many years until recently when the brothers decided to sell it. It is now for sale in a gallery in New Orleans. Rockwell paintings have seen a leap in value. One, “Saying Grace” took $46 million at auction a few years ago!
So this is all from me this month.
Please send any news you would like to share to me by clicking here. Also, John Preston demonstrates watercolor and pastel on Wednesdays at noon on Facebook
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--John McGlinn

In the Studio

Washington Post art:
Francisco de Zurbarán (b. 1598)

Contemplate Francisco de Zurbarán’s 1633 painting “Still Life With Lemons, Oranges and a Rose”.

Ah, that’s 1633, mind you! 

Gorgeous painting worth a quick look. The write-up is very short.
Zurbaran Still Life from 1633
Jacob Lawrence, Profile in Art History School

He was one of the most important American artists of the 20th century, widely renowned for his modernist depictions of everyday life as well as epic narratives of African American history and historical figures.

Enjoyable biographical sketch of 16.5 minutes that goes by fast. Narrated by a Brit so it’s fun to listen to discussing an American artist.

I have now subscribed to this channel. Yay! Something new!
Another venue for art appreciation: Couresa

Offered by the Museum of Modern Art in New York (MoMA) here’s a multi-session course on American Abstract Expression Painting, you know, Jackson Pollack, Mark Rothko, Willem De Kooning, etc. I’m taking it starting March 2. It’s not a push-over with not-so-easy required quizzes even for me as a life-long fan. Coursera may have other topics that might interest you as well.

De Kooning’s painting pictured.
In the Studio: Postwar Abstract Painting | Coursera
Liquid Charcoal
Liquid Charcoal? Huh?
Here’s a new one for me: liquid charcoal, really. This Jackson Art article is great as it describes “HOW SCHMINCKE LIQUID CHARCOAL COMPARES WITH TRADITIONAL CHARCOAL”. Love it!

If anyone has tried this, please let us know. And please, the same request for the Artgraf putty charcoal mentioned in the December 2020 ArtiFactory Newsletter as well. Thanks.
Liquid Charcoal at Jackson Art
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--Phil Beck

Vincent van Gogh

The artist who’s had the most films made about him will come as no surprise: Vincent van Gogh, born on March 30, 1853. Happy 168th birthday, Vincent! There are good reasons Van Gogh is fascinating to filmmakers. Not only are his paintings among the most recognizable and valuable in the world, but his life was filled with the kinds of sorrows and torments that make for good drama. He’s become the icon of the Tragic Artist—impoverished and unappreciated in his lifetime, celebrated beyond his or any of his contemporaries’ wildest imaginings after death.

His movie career began in 1956 with Lust for Life, one of the best known artist biopics. Based on Irving Stone’s popular novel, Lust offers a cleaned-up and romanticized version of van Gogh’s turbulent, frequently sordid life, but it still stands up as entertainment for adults. Combining angst with art, it might seem a tad overwrought to viewers today, but it’s an earnest attempt to portray van Gogh’s artistic passions in the context of his emotional and psychological illness. Douglas is a bit too robust and photogenic for the perpetually depressed and malnourished van Gogh, but he makes up for it with an intense, driven performance that is one of his career highlights. Almost better is Anthony Quinn, who won a Best Supporting Actor award as van Gogh’s pal/nemesis Paul Gaugin. Brilliant together, the veteran actors channel the anguish of that famously dysfunctional friendship in scenes that crackle with tension and emotional danger. The movie is also noteworthy for director Vincent Minnelli’s and cinematographer Russell Harlan’s success at visualizing the compositions and bold, bright colorings of van Gogh’s canvases. Some of the film was shot in France and the Netherlands in locales Van Gogh inhabited.

In 1990 director Robert Altman released his absorbing study Vincent & Theo, a dual biography that puts the close, sometimes strained relationship between the two brothers under the microscope. Giving Theo (Paul Rhys) equal time for once, the film alternates scenes of his life as an up-and-coming art dealer in Paris with those of his vagabond brother (Tim Roth), surviving on Theo’s generosity while struggling to establish himself as a painter. It was originally made for television and spanned four hours, but a shorter version was released to theaters. Despite generally good reviews, it is largely forgotten today, an unjust fate for this sincere, thoughtfully made film.

More recently, At Eternity’s Gate (2018) impressed audiences with its less traditional approach to the biographical film, concentrating on the final phase of Van Gogh’s life when he was living and painting in the village of Arles, France (filming was done in the real locations). Willem Dafoe is extraordinary as the disheveled, socially maladroit painter, who shuns and is largely shunned by the townspeople as he stumbles about the countryside in an increasingly frantic search for subjects to paint, almost as if he knows he’s running out of time. Director Julian Schabel (Basquiat) employs hand-held camera and point-of-view shots, along with voice-over quotes from Vincent’s letters to Theo, to take us into the artist’s mind as he lives out the last days of his short, embittered life. Astonishingly rich and moving, this is a much more internalized film than the previous two, a purposefully discomforting gaze into the interior life of this strange, unhappy, ultimately unfathomable man who somehow created many of the greatest works of art that anyone has seen.

That art is the source material for Loving Vincent, a remarkable experiment in animation from 2017--the first fully painted feature film. Taking six years to complete, this Polish-UK production employed 125 artists from all over the world to paint each of its images in Van Gogh’s style. The result is animation like you’ve never seen before, a mobile gallery of Van Gogh-like pictures streaming before your eyes. The plot concerns a search for the truth of Van Gogh’s death, which has been the subject of much speculation over the years. Although it was ruled suicide at the time, a recent biography (Van Gogh:The Life, 2011) speculates that a companion shot Van Gogh accidentally on one of his painting excursions. It’s a complicated story. Watch this amazing film—or read the book!
Seen any of these films?  Tell us what you think of them, or suggest others not covered in the newsletter. Click here to contact Phil Beck with your movie comments or suggestions.

Van Gogh on Film:

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Art in the Afternoon on YouTube

Recordings of the the recent Art in the Afternoon programs on Zoom are now available on the ArtiFactory YouTube channel.

Watch on YouTube

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If you are interested in helping keep the arts alive in Johnson County. Please click here for more details.
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