Paris and Corsica

Monet – Mitchell Retrospective

Fondation Louis Vuitton

8 Avenue du Mahatma Gandhi

Bois de Boulogne

So many years ago I lived in La Celle St Cloud

down the street from Giverny France for 2 years.

At the time no one had told me about Giverny.

So I never visited it.

Almost 60 years later on October 29th, I was experiencing this

amazing juxtaposition of two prolific artists and

their impressions of Parisien environs.

That’s all we had time to fit into our whirlwind tour.

Our real journey was to an international conference in Corsica.

I met many new friends mostly from Belgium.

Attendees also came from Australia, Britain, Germany and


The conversation was robust and the food interesting.

It was off-season in Corsica which made fish more scarce.

And it was a challenge getting there changing airports from

Charles de Gaulle to Orly. An hour’s ride apart!

Seaport Koi

“Seaport Koi” oil on canvas 36×108 inches (2 panel 35×54 inches each)

Fidelity commissioned me to make this Koi diptych for their

Boston Seaport Hotel in 2010.

For many years it hung behind the check-in desk in the lobby.

Recently, it was moved to the Constitution Room where

the hotel hosts various special events.

When I visited yesterday there was a wedding in process

which explains the tables and random chair below the paintings.

It is always a pleasure to discover where my work ends up.

I had planned to do more of these visits until Covid prevented

access to public collections.

Stay tuned for more work photographed in situ 🙂

Some kid beat me

When I was in high school, in France, my father helped me compose

an essay for some sort of competition. He was a great writer, while

I typically waited until the last minute to begin this and other projects

with the knowledge that I worked well under pressure. Worked well

under pressure that is during the process not necessarily the outcome,

We didn’t win. Came in second I think.

Hence my father’s exclamation, “Some kid beat me!”

Yesterday I was reminded of this little event upon reading the

following in The New York Times:

Six-Figure Artworks, by a Fifth GraderAndres Valencia’s paintings have sold for more than $125,000. And he’s 10 years old

In June, he had a solo exhibition at the Chase Contemporary gallery in SoHo, where all 35 works were sold, the gallery said, fetching $50,000 to $125,000.

That’s impressive. Made me smile. Good for him!

Following up on the Vancouver trip :

If there were koi ponds I never found them.

But the aquarium had a mesmerizing display of jellyfish.

(possible subject for a new series of paintings. :))

What a great city! Adored it. Reminded me of Boston

in population, location, bustling downtown.

What I unwittingly managed to bring back with me was a nasty case of

Sciatica. For those of you who suffer from chronic pain I now fully

understand how debilitating it is. Drugs and time are the healers.

Still managed studio time to paint this small Koi painting:

4 Koi 22, 12×12 inches, oil on panel

Are there koi in Vancouver BC? and other musings

I’m about to find out.

People have told me there is a large Asian population there

so it would make sense that Koi COULD be found, non?

My fifteen day vacation should afford ample time to explore

all the possibilities.

5 Koi 22a
5 Koi 22b

In the meantime, I managed to finish a few new 12×12 Koi

These smaller ones always make me laugh because for the longest

time I painted only larger works – eg 50×60 inches or so – so a small

painting meant “a piece” of a much larger one.

It took some effort for me to shrink them down.

De rigeueur these days.

Finally, two takeaways from the Philip Guston Now show at the Boston MFA.

  1. The pink background in his the KKK paintings was inspired by “Felix the Cat” comic strip.
  2. My favorite part of the show were the wall of these little drawings that people created at the end of the exhibition:

Finally, there’s this:

New Zealand to Guarantee Artists Resale Royalties Starting in 2024
Shanti Escalante-De Mattei

New Zealand said on Thursday that artist resale rights, which provide visual artists with royalties upon resale of their work, will officially go into effect in the country in 2024.
“This is about fairness. It underlines our Government’s commitment to honoring the tremendous artistic skill and creativity of so many of our visual artists,” Carmel Sepuloni, New Zealand’s Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage, said in a statement.
The Artist Resale Royalty Scheme guarantees artists a flat 5 percent royalty fee when their works are sold in the secondary market in the 80 other nations where such resale rights exist, among them France and the United Kingdom. The scheme is to be implemented as a part of New Zealand’s new trade agreement with Europe and the U.K.
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“The establishment of this Scheme is a really important step to support emerging and established visual artists in Aotearoa, ensuring that they can continue to see benefits for creating amazing art and enabling the creative sector to thrive,” Sepuloni said.
New Zealand’s art market expanded significantly in 2021, prompting debate about the secondary art market and the formation of activist group Equity for Artists. The group, which was founded by artists Judy Darragh, Dane Mitchell and Reuben Paterson, has the express purpose of pushing for resale rights.
Critics of royalties rights claim that arts professionals are being forced to bear an unnecessary burden that could negatively impact the market. Sepuloni mentioned in the release, however, that the government did its due diligence to reach out to the New Zealand art sector. Government officials had spoken with “Māori and Pacific artists, art experts, art market professionals, public galleries and museums, and key sector organizations” before initiating the scheme, Sepuloni said.
New Zealand isn’t the only commonwealth country making a push for resale rights. Canadian government officials have also been pursuing amendments to their Copyright Act that would allow for resale rights for visual artists.
“Resale rights for artists are an important step towards improving economic conditions for artists in Canada and a tangible way of ensuring that visual artists are better compensated for their work,” a government representative wrote to ARTnews in an email.
During a July 13 meeting of Culture and Heritage ministers, the amendment was discussed. “In the coming months, the Government will find opportunities to further engage with key stakeholders and partners to identify the best options for allowing resale rights for artists,” the representative said.
The United States has no such royalty scheme for visual artists, although some have been campaigning for such rights since the ’60s, when artists began observing huge markups in their work on the secondary market, according to the Center for Art Law. In 1978, the Visual Artists’ Residual Rights Act was introduced to Congress but failed to pass. The American Royalties Too (ART) Act was floated in Congress in 2018; that piece of legislation met a similar fate.

Koi Diptych

Koi Diptych 22, 24×36 inches each panel, oil on canvas

Making this koi painting was utter joy.

Instead of listening to music or NPR (with the exception ofTerri Gross’s Fresh Air interviews.)

I’ve begun listening to books on CD while painting.

For some reason listening to them never seems to interfere with the process.

And, I can catch up on my every burgeoning “to read” list 🙂

wall of color

Eighteen 8×8 inch oil on canvas paintings, Small Abstraction Series, 2022

New purchase for a client in the Wellesley area.

She has a large home with huge walls and oodles of light.

An artist’s dream.

I love it when multiples of my work end up together.

The hanging possibilities are endless and adaptable to the whimsy

of the day.

Beth Urdang and I have been doing large installations of small

paintings ever since my “Little Series” of koi paintings in 1999.

It packs a powerful punch.

I’m still getting inquiries about the eight 12×12 inch koi

paintings on the Delta Premier Lounge wall at Logan Airport, Boston.

Stay tuned for more about that.

Elaine’s Koi

Elaine’s Koi
oil on canvas
30×30 inches

Just before leaving for Hawaii I was able to ship this commission to a

new client in Maryland.

She’s a big fan of my koi paintings and has a gorgeous koi pond of

her own.

This particular piece is a variation of a much larger one I had made

in 1988 titled, “Koi School 11,” 54 inches square.

It was her favorite.

There were two enormous koi ponds at both ends of our hotel in Lanai.

I took a bunch of photos at different times throughout the day.

The staff kindly provided fish food that I used to lure them into a

roiling water frenzy. (Another favorite motif of mine.)

Still digesting all the images before I leap back into painting them again.

Marching to Hawaii

3 Koi
24×24 inches
oil on canvas

It’s happening.

Another return to Hawaii – my third – where I first saw the

koi swimming among lagoons in the lobby of a hotel in Maui in 1986.

I knew then that’s what I wanted to paint when I returned to the studio

after 10 years in business.

And I did exactly that.

Began painting koi in 1988.

Hard to believe that I’m still intrigued by them so many years later.

This trip we’ll venture to Lanai, a quieter island

for some much needed R&R in warmer weather.

Two glorious weeks April 5 to the 19th 🙂

Trio of Koi arriving together

Red and White Koi 2
12×36 inches
oil on panel
Red and White Koi 3
12×36 inches
oil on panel
Circus 3
12×36 inches
oil on board

These 3 paintings just sold to a lovely new client in Newton, Massachusetts through the Beth Urdang Gallery in Wellesley. I have to pinch myself often to remember that my first show of koi paintings was in 1995 at the Beth Urdang on Newbury Street. She continued to show my work there until moving to SOWA in the up-and-coming area in Boston a few years ago. Since then, she now has two galleries in Wellesley.

I loved working on this series, and the elongated profile, another favorite of mine. Since then I’ve scaled back a bit from the 30×80 inch and longer ones. As usual, photographs never fully capture the lusciousness of oil paint – especially the dark green lagoons in the top two images.

As soon as the client sends along an installation shot, I’ll include that image in this post. It’s always fun to see where and how my work lands. 🙂