Sunday, June 27, 2010

World Cup 2010 - My Thoughts

Now that both the teams I was rooting for are out, and my emotions are high, I thought I'd vent a little:

- The US team beat themselves in the game against Ghana. The forwards had chance after chance to put the damn ball in the back of the net and didn't do it. We were weak both forward and back and you don't go deep in a World Cup with just a strong middle. 300 million people and the best we can come up with back is Jay DeMerit? And as for Altidore - he showed NONE of the skill or speed that he showed in Germany 2006. At 20 years old he looks old and fat. Kudos to Donovan, Dempsey and Bradley but three aren't a team.

- While I started this WC wondering about the coach's son, I leave it wondering about the coach.  Michael Bradley was awesome in this WC, but his Dad? Did he want to lose to Ghana? That's the only reason I can think of for him starting the players he did.

- I don't like Efan Ekoku's announcing. He's a pretentious, snotty prig. I like Steve McManaman and Alexi Lalas; they tell it like it is. Klinnsmann is OK but a bit too New Agey to stomach. Give him a hug? 

- The Jabulani ball is a disgrace. Any idiot can see how it sails off the toe. What in the name of God were FIFA thinking? Oh yeah, that's right they don't think. How are players with tens of thousands of hours with a real soccer ball supposed to adjust their play in the course of a few weeks with a BALLOON? Somebody, somewhere is making a fortune off this ball I wouldn't let my nine year olds practice with. 

- Officiating: there will always be mistakes; that's human nature. There is no excuse for a Coulibaly though. Obviously in an effort to be PC and have African refs FIFA put in a woefully inexperienced ref. Americans have never in their history allowed one person in authority to manage their destinies. That's one reason it's so hard for American fans to stomach the complete authority of one referee on the field making all the calls.

-  Thank you Fate for the referee in the US-Ghana game. He let the game play out and the Americans hang themselves. No Dr. Merk anywhere on the field (and how sweet the karma that allowed US to get a penalty kick!)

- Why OH WHY (and I'm crying here) can't FIFA get their heads out of each other's asses and allow instant replay? Oh yeah we're talking about Sepp Blatter, a guy who laughed out loud when the Irish didn't make the WC due to a French handball. A guy who's under investigation for just about everything...gee, makes you wonder?

- England, Oh England! Maybe they need a few World Cups like the French just had, so the English media give up the ghost. Then the players can come back and ENJOY the game, and win the Cup.

- Both the England and US games point out the need for a solid defense. A watertight, mobile back line won't win the World Cup, but not having one loses the World Cup. Duh, but something seemingly forgotten in the hype over flashy forwards and strikers.

- It's a beautiful game. It really is...but somehow the Euros muck it up. 

-NINETY MILLION FOR ONE PLAYER!!!??? Is there really that much money sloshing around? Should it be spent on a sport? (I don't follow baseball or pro football, I'm sure the salaries are just as outrageous.) Money spent on players, money spent on betting - who knows if a bit goes into the ref's pockets? The officiating certainly makes you wonder, that and the pigheadedness of FIFA.

-THANK YOU ESPN and ABC for crystal clear High Def, intelligent live programming. THANK YOU!!!

Now I can get back to painting. My hours the past few weeks have seriously suffered. 

Friday, June 25, 2010

A Couple of Tom Buechner Links

Here's a link to Tom Buechner's obituary in the New York Times: nytimes obit

Here's a link to Tom's book on painting: "How I Paint"

The memorial service is tomorrow at 10:00 in Corning, NY

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

"Inspiration" Show upstairs at West End Gallery

The model and I had been working all morning on ideas at a farm near Lawrenceville. Now it was after noon, between  twelve-thirty and one. The sun was high overhead and the light was at its most harsh. 

While driving between the fields  in my truck I saw that she could be skylit on the hill in the plowed field.  This would take advantage of a light most artists and photographers shun. I stopped the truck and the model kicked off her shoes. Walking down the hill I realized that in order to get the correct angle I had to shoot the photos while lying down in the field.  

The model started doing her “rain dance”, as she called it, on the top of the hill. I concentrated on getting the exposure correct, while at the same time keeping her in the frame.  We knew we had something -  a nice theme - after reviewing the photos.  The next day we went back with a different dress to get more references.

Inspiration is the fuel driving the painting to completion.

Both paintings 6x8 framed oil on linen

Saturday, June 19, 2010


This is the May portrait I did for the last Friday Night Portrait Group. A full blog article on my experience can be found at WestEndTalk. I'd promised the Gallery Director, Lin Gardner, an article on the May sittings. At the time I didn't know it would be Tom Buechner's last with the group. 

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Tom Buechner: Sorrowful News

It's with a heavy heart I share this email from Lin Gardner, the director of West End Gallery, sent out yesterday...

West End Gallery Artists
Although some of you may already be aware of this, it is with great sadness that I am writing to let you know that Tom Buechner is very ill and is not expected to live much longer. He was very recently diagnosed with a rare form of cancer. We can take some comfort in the fact that he is not in pain and is sleeping a great deal. The family has asked for privacy at this time. This news has taken us all by surprise.  He will be greatly missed.  We will keep you informed.


I've known Tom was sick for a few weeks now; learning just how serious his illness was last week. May is usually the last month of the "Friday Night Portrait Group" before breaking for the summer. Tom painted the first two Fridays, but said he didn't feel well. The third Friday he was in the studio instructing but didn't paint. The last Friday is usually a critique and he was unable to attend. 

I had planned on writing an entry on the May class for West End's blog, and took pictures to illustrate it. Not sure if my heart is in it now.

Please send all your prayers and thoughts to Tom and his family.

About Me

My photo
Elmira, New York, United States
In many ways I think like a photographer. The image itself is becoming more and more important to me; the actual application of paint less and less. Blasphemy in some painterly circles. I choose to paint figures and portraits because I consider them the most difficult subject.