February 3rd, 2021

Collage and Cubism

This is a re-post of New York Times senior art critic Jason Farago’s excellent interactive analysis of the relationship between collage and early cubism. The article focuses on Juan Gris’ mixed media work, “The Table” on display at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

Link to New York Times article: https://nyti.ms/3axG9SZ

SURFACE: Paper on canvasMEDIA: […]

July 21st, 2018

She Gave Millions to Female Artists Over 40 Without Credit. Until Now.

Susan Unterberg anonymously created and funded a grant program that has paid out a total of $5.5 million over the last 22 years to support under-recognized female artists over age 40. The program is called ‘Anonymous Was a Woman’.

Unterberg, herself a once under-recognized female artist over 40, said she has decided reveal her identity […]

February 15th, 2017

Load of Rope

Congratulations to British artist Felicity Flutter, whose painting “Load of Rope” has been selected by the Royal Institute of Painters in Water Colours for display at their Annual Exhibition at the Mall Galleries this April.

MEDIA: Pencil and watercolors SURFACE: Beta Series – Extra Heavyweight – 270 gsm – White – Cold Press Finish


February 2nd, 2017

Toddler’s Reaction to Moonlight Sonata

Words unnecessary, the images in this video say it all. We humans are blessed to be sensitive to the power of art and that sensitivity can obviously begin at a very early age: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DHUnLY1_PvM






October 19th, 2016

Larry Marshall Reviews “5-Minute Sketching: Architecture” by Liz Steel

The following are excerpts from Larry Marshall’s review of a new book about sketching by Liz Steel, the Australian Urban Sketcher luminary.

“I have followed Liz Steel’s blog and Facebook posts for several years. She’s been one of the most giving artists within our sketching world. She’s also one of the best. I’ve taken all […]

May 7th, 2016

In Memoriam – Florian Afflerbach

Stillman & Birn shares the pain of the Urban Sketchers community upon learning of the tragic death of Florian Afflerbach. Florian accomplished much in his short life and touched many others with his talent, passion and intellectual curiosity, with his humor and generosity of spirit. He was a great architect and artist, a scholar and […]

July 10th, 2015

Mayo Clinic Study: Creating Art Keeps Brain Sharp in Old Age

“A recent Mayo Clinic study, which featured 256 people in their mid- to late-80s, pinpointed various activities that either predicted cognitive impairment or protected against it during the final years of life. As noted in other studies, an active social life—whether in midlife or in both midlife and late life—was linked with fewer instances of […]

June 22nd, 2015

The Impossible World of M.C. Escher

A retrospective of M.C. Escher’s work begins next week in Edinburgh’s National Gallery of Modern Art and this has inspired The Guardian to publish an excellent article about this enigmatic artist. Here are few excerpts:

“The artist who created some of the most memorable images of the 20th century was never fully embraced by […]

June 6th, 2015

Frick Collection to Keep Its Revered Garden

New York museum lovers rejoiced this week when the Frick Collection, one of America’s premier museums, shelved a major expansion plan that would have destroyed its widely-admired Russell Page Garden, a vest-pocket paradise where pear trees, quince, wisteria, water lilies flourish. The planned demolition of the garden sparked worldwide condemnation. Museum officials were stunned by […]

May 31st, 2015

Gauguin Blockbuster in Basel

A major retrospective of Paul Gauguin’s paintings is currently on view the Fondation Beyler museum in Basel, Switzerland. The exhibit brings together about fifty of Gauguin’s masterpieces from leading international museums and private collections. The following is an excellent short video that focuses on some of the show’s highlights. www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ml-rCgyHF4w via Huffington Post


May 25th, 2015

Why Aren’t American Museums Doing More to Return Nazi-looted Art?

Helen Mirren’s latest film, ‘Woman in Gold’, tells a true story of an arts battle. Mirren stars as Maria Altmann, a naturalized US citizen who sues the Austrian government to recover Gustav Klimt’s portrait of her aunt, Adele Bloch-Bauer, looted from her family’s home by the Nazis.

Time Magazine reports: “While ‘Woman in Gold’ is […]

May 12th, 2015

Cynical Derision or Insightful Criticism?

Last night Picasso’s “Women of Algiers” (1955) sold at a record-breaking $179 million (£ 102.6). Picasso’s painting is an homage to the earlier painting of the same name by 19-century painter Eugène Delacroix (shown side-by-side).

Guardian art critic Jonathan Jones argues that this record-breaking price was paid for a “late, ungreat work shows the foolishness […]

April 23rd, 2015

Drawing Through Tears

Washington Post graphics editor and sketch journalist Richard Johnson has published a compelling narrative about documenting the penalty phase of the Tsarnaev trial. The professional discipline required to report on such a story comes at a great emotional cost. Sitting in the back of the courtroom, Johnson complains about being forced to use binoculars at […]

April 3rd, 2015

Rebirth of the Rialto

Brenda Swenson [ Brenda Swenson Watercolors ] posted this beautiful two-page spread of the historic and shuttered Rialto Theater in South Pasadena. The L.A. Times reports that “a prominent L.A. redeveloper of older buildings purchased the theater last month and hopes to turn it into an entertainment venue that could include a bar and screenings […]

March 17th, 2015

David Lynch: Graffiti Expresses Contempt for Community

From this Guardian article: “It takes someone as unshakably avant garde in his credentials as David Lynch to state the obvious: that scrawled and spray-painted inchoate messages on every corner of every city do not actually enrich our world. It is boring and expresses a generalised contempt for community. It is treated with absurd reverence […]

March 6th, 2015

Sargent Returns to the Prado

Velásquez’ painting “Las Meninas” famously inspired a major tribute by Picasso. But John Singer Sargent was among the many other artists also greatly influenced by the Velásquez and he copied it when he visited Madrid’s Prado Museum in his youth. Later, Sargent used the inspiration of “Las Meninas” to create his society portrait “The Daughters […]

February 19th, 2015

Stillman & Birn at Art Materials Expo – Duluth, Ga.

We’ll be exhibiting at three-day Art Material Expo this weekend at the Gwinnett Center outside of Atlanta. Great deals on Stillman & Birn and most other art material brands too.

Gwinnett Center – 6400 Sugarloaf Parkway – Duluth, GA 30097

Friday, February 20 10:00 AM – 8:00 PM Saturday, February 21 10:00 AM – 7:00 […]

January 28th, 2015

Portrait of Madame X: John Singer Sargent’s Most Famous and Most Infamous Painting

The BBC’s Jason Farago has written an excellent article about the scandal surrounding the creation and exhibition of Sargent’s painting. From the first paragraph: “Her hair is twisted up, away from her shoulders – which are bare save for two straps, somewhat unconvincingly holding up her cinched, classical black gown. On her head is a […]

January 13th, 2015

Art Journal Pioneer Michel Renaud Killed at Charlie Hebdo Offices

[The following article was published on January 8th by the French newspaper, Libération. It was translated by watercolorist Martine Pittet. The article reports on the murder of Michel Renaud, the founder of “Rendez-Vous du Carnet de Voyage”, an annual international festival celebrating travel-related art journaling and writing. The festival is held in the ancient French […]

December 26th, 2014

Best U.S. Art Shows of 2014 (per Wall St. Journal)

Shown here: Matisse’s “Two Masks” (1947) from MoMA’s “Matisse: the Cut-Outs” exhibit through February 10. We’re going next week. Truly sorry we didn’t get to “Degas/Cassat” at Washington’s National Gallery before it closed. But “Madame Cezanne” at the Met (through March 15th) is definitely on our list.