Monday, March 29, 2010

A Visit to the Players' Club

The Players' Club was founded by Edwin Booth (older brother of John Wilkes Booth), Mark Twain, General Tecumseh Sherman and several others in NYC in 1888.  The Club exists to promote a convivial bond between actors and others associated with the arts and letters.  Over the years, many whose names we still recognize and revere shared in that fraternity and their portraits cover the walls like diplomas in a doctor's office.

Recently I joined a group of portrait artists on a guided tour of these portraits.  Our guide was none other than the Chairman of the Art Committee at the Players' Club, Mr. Everett Raymond Kinstler, who is as masterful at telling stories as he is at wielding paint loaded brushes.

Here he is telling us the behind-the-scenes events surrounding several portraits in the collection he painted himself.

According to Mr. Kinstler, Mark Twain played pool on this actual table.

The Club boasts 3 (formerly 4) portraits by Sargent, who by the way, was also a member.

This wall contains a Norman Rockwell a James Montgomery Flagg and a painting of Katherine Hepburn by Mr. Kinstler along with other museum-worthy originals.

The Players stage their own performances in this area.

The building, a former town-home, borders Gramercy Park.

A big thanks to Mr. Kinstler.  Both he and the Club were thoroughly impressive and the event was very much appreciated.

Friday, March 19, 2010


Avery is a recently-completed commissioned portrait of beautiful and kind young girl, named Avery, that will be featured in the May issue of The Artist's Magazine.  This video shows some of the 'making-of' Avery.  I've also included some higher-res photos of the completed painting below.

The music for the video is from David Tolk.  I found his song Through the Trees looking through the iTunes genius feature.  I liked the music and the title fit quite nicely.  After purchasing the song, I soon found out that David is the brother-in-law of one of my closest art buddies, J. Kirk Richards - the brother of Kirk's wife Amy - as in Amy Tolk Richards, also a talented artist.

But the coincidences don't end there. . . Avery was painted in New Jersey - in the bucolic and historic town of Morristown (Washingon's troops spent two winters there during the Revolutionary War).  David grew up in the bucolic town of Mendham, NJ which happens to sit exactly next to Morristown.  Through the Trees is on the album Memory Road.  I'm not saying it was destiny to pair Avery and Through the Trees, but I am saying that, to me, it seems like artistic peanut butter and jelly.  A big thanks to David for letting me use the music.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

The Completed Painting - A new class starting April 13th

Beginning on the 13th of April, Jonathan will be teaching a 10 week oil painting course.  Geared toward the intermediate and advanced student who already has an understanding of basic artistic fundamentals-this class is designed to help participants create a beautifully and fully-realized oil painting.  Jonathan will be giving individual instruction at each step of the process - from initial design to final glazing.  A costumed model will pose the entire session for those who wish to paint a person, but students are welcome to bring their own still life setup to work from instead of the model.  The course will be held at ArtSpace in Herndon, Virginia.   For more information or to register for the course, click here.