Sunday, December 29, 2013

Step Pumpkins

Oil on board, 6" x 7"
$145 plus $7 shipping in U.S.
Click image to enlarge

For check payment or other arrangements, email

Okay, I know it's past pumpkin time, but I'm playing catch-up after my time away from painting/blogging so you get to revisit October. We had several of these colorful guys scattered around our entry--they really livened the place up.

On another note, I happened to hear an interview on Oregon Public Broadcasting the other day with Bruce Guenther, the Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art at the Portland Art Museum. Guenther scored something of a coup when he managed to convince the buyer of the most expensive painting in history to allow the work to be exhibited for a time at PAM. The artwork, a large triptych by the famous English painter Francis Bacon, sold recently at Sotheby's for $142,000,000.

I thought Guenther's comments around the question of art and value in our society were interesting and eloquent. Here's a link to the interview:


Marilyn Flanegan said...

Great to see your paintings again, Don! I never tire of pumpkins - why I made three loaves of pumpkin bread this afternoon!

Don Gray said...

Hi Marilyn--thanks! Really good to hear from you. I can almost taste that pumpkin bread!

Sheila Vaughan said...

Thanks Don - now I know what blogger comments are for !!
Did you go to see the Francis Bacon? I always feel his paintings are examples of extreme freedom of expression frustratedly confined in self made angles of conformity, which sounds pretentious but isn't meant to be. A few weeks ago I posted an entry on my blog on Peter Doig, the Scottish painter whose 1990 painting of a canoe on a lake which was subsequently in the hands of Charles Saatchi, sold at Sothebys in 2007 for over £5 million. Doig was in his own words "nauseated" - not that he had missed the money (he originally sold it for less than £1,000 I think) but as he said "that somebody should have put their hand in their pocket and spent that much money on a painting of mine".
Second to precious stones and metals, paintings are the next biggest investment. The business men say so, not the artists and painters. Strange world. But don't let's knock Bacon. He was a serious painter. "Liking" is neither here nor there. And today, guess what, my project is to begin a copy of Freud's 1952 portrait of Bacon (which while it may be neither here nor there, I do actually "like").

Don Gray said...

Hi Sheila. I think your description of Bacon's work is very insightful and accurate--I'd never thought of it quite that way.

Yes, the money thing in art is bewildering and strange. Prices are distorted all out of proportion at these "blue chip" auction houses. Doig is right to feel concerned, as sudden inflation of prices can leave an artist with an extremely limited collector base and an artificial, manipulated market that is very fragile.

On the question of value, I guess anything is worth what someone is willing to pay at any given time--no more, no less. Market drives value. The true worth of that's another story.

I hope you'll post your Freudian/Bacon study. I have a feeling it will look thoroughly Vaughn.

Sheila Vaughan said...

He's looking more like Errol Flynn at the moment, laugh out loud. Will post in a few days.

Jason Waskey said...

Happy New Year, Don-- I like this piece a bunch!

Don Gray said...

Hey Jason--thanks! Happy New Year to you too!

Don Gray said...

Hey Jason--thanks! Happy New Year to you too!

Zara Chaney said...

Thankk you for this