JERRY GOROSKI is the consultant appraisar to whom I refer inquiries about Scriver bronzes. He is formally trained and certified to do assessments and knew Bob Scriver as well as working for the CM Russell Museum in Great Falls. His gallery is called "Open Range Art."


Sunday, November 27, 2005

Art of the West, notes on Nov/Dec 2005

Yellow slickers: P. 21 Kelly Donovan’s “Easy Goin” -- horses crossing a river.p. 65. Packer on a white horse by Gary Lynn Roberts. All his primary riders look the same.

Eating places: Couldn’t see any. Maybe you can.

Doorways: p. 40 Schmid’s “Red Door II,” only 8”x7” but quite sophisticated composition of a European stone building with a fellow in a beret standiing outside reading the newspaper.
p. 58: Front door of the San Jose Church by Walt Gonske. Strong simple adobe lines against a dark blue sky.

Pino ad on page 19. I don’t know how to “do” links, but if you go to this URL: There’s an interesting discussion about Pino. He’s another of the paperback cover artists and illustrators (like Terpning and many others) who has moved over to easel painting.

Money reports:
Maynard Dixon Country 2005 gala made more than $250,000.
Cheyenne Frontier Days Western Art Show and Sale cleared $562,370. 179 of the 330 pieces sold.
Buff Bill Art Show and Sale totalled $905,920.

Roy Andersen, one of the CAA artists who withdrew, has a triptych featured on p. 84. 52” tall and a total of 152” wide, in three pieces, narrating an invented Crow story against a lurid red sky. I’ll pass. (In generaI I find most paintings of Indians pretty bogus or amateur.)

I liked the Peter Brooke bronze portrait of “Michael, Standing” on p. 85. Another I liked was on page 87: Krystii Melaine’s “After Rain,” a man leading a dapple-gray team across the flooded creek. Very simple and real. On p. 93 is a strong bronze bust of a Huron with the patina very well handled. It’s by Barbara Kiwak.

But the real reason for some to buy and hoard this issue is the well-illustrated story of John Clymer’s Lewis & Clark series. (A dozen paintings.) John was another professional illustrator, well-known for his Sat. Eve. Post covers and for reconstructions of other times and places for National Geographic. He was a narrative artist who was careful to do research with the help of Doris, his wife. They often stopped to visit Bob Scriver in Browning, swapping art lessons for anatomy lessons, and even gave us a wedding gift, a very large illustration of a James Willard Schultz story about bison running through camp, tearing up and knocking down everything. (Later I used to claim it was an illustration of our own marriage.)

Clymer’s colors tended towards the pastel, almost a watercolor palette, which is appropriate for the open prairie and seaside vignettes. They are carefully composed, usually along diagonals and curves that guide the eye to the people, which have a similar “Clymer” look though they are costumed authentically and have distinguishable faces, at least in the case of those who left portraits or -- like York -- suggest something specific. It is the people that count, though the scenery is beautiful, and it would be interesting to compare painting-by-painting with Charles Fritz’ series. I don’t have a copy of Fritz’ book, but my memory is that he is following geography more than anecdote.

John was one of the CAA members who didn’t go on horseback but he was a Westerner -- just not from the prairie. He was also well-connected and respected around Connecticut and one of the early members of the Society of Animal Artists and other professional groups. He was a mild and honorable man who never did harm, held a grudge, or worked an angle as nearly as I could tell. If he had, I think Doris would have straightened him out.

When I was a little child, I tore Clymer’s painting of stampeding horses out of a magazine. It was a double-page ad for a gasoline company, as I recall, and I had no idea who John was at that time. Bob said he took a terrible ribbing about the picture because there was absolutely no dust raised by those trampling hooves! I didn’t care about realism. To me they were like Varga girls, beautiful pastel living flesh.

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