Sunday, February 05, 2006

Clayton Beck nudes

I guess the most embarassing thing for me about the Palette and Chisel, my art club, is that my taste is almost identical to that of its membership. Time and time again, over the past 15 years, whenever the members vote the winners of a competition, the ones I pick are the ones that win -- and this year -- even more than usual -- since I picked all three winners in exactly the order that they received their votes. (see my earlier post showing the winning paintins Mary Qian, Romel De La Torre, and Kathleen Newman.) We members didn't care for Clayton Becks's portraits -- but today, in the faculty show, he redeemed himself with the two jewel-like miniatures shown above. (neither one is much more than 12" long)

They're awesome -- because these are not just slap-dash studies -- they're as small and precise as enamels -- yet they have that wonderful freshness of being studied from life. I can't remember seeing anything like it in art museums.

Pious medieval merchants would carry around miniature icons of the saints so they could perform their devotions in barbaric lands far from home --- exactly as I would like to carry around these miniature nudes to remind me of Classical painting if I ever had to visit someplace like -- say -- Texas.


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