In Rose III Seth Camm has painted a floral composition of
colors which are neighboring, harmonious, pleasing visually, and often found in
nature. There is some contrast between
the red-orange of the roses and the large garden rose which is red-purple in
tone, singular in number, and supportive in color. Seth purposefully selected
dark shadowy background to limit the view and allow the colors of the botanical
to be at its radiant best.
Central to the composition are the fully open rose and the
three warm toned roses which are painted in fresh natural tones. There is the inclusion of two green flowers
that are lively and complement the colors used by Seth. Included are stems of muted flowers that add
a romantic and elegant abundance to the painting.
In keeping with this
expression the foliage is natural and appears informal. Seth uses brush strokes
which are less defined toward the edges of the loosely arranged foliage. In keeping with limited expression a vase is suggested
artistically by a simple line of highlights making it a receptacle of minor
importance other than containing the flowers and foliage.
It is this simplicity
that encourages renewed interest and awareness of the convex and concave curves
created by the supportive foliage and invites the viewer to enjoy the central
aspects of the bouquet once again. The brush strokes and the expressive depth
of multiple layers of paint are revisited and acknowledged with renewed
“Bread and Butter” by San Antonio artist, Seth Camm is an extraordinary
still life painting encased in a rugged and raw skin, breathing with bellicosity. Thick underlays of heavily applied oil paint
are worked and reworked, striving for absolute painterly perfection. This direct and distinctively meticulous
quest for definitive and absolute finesse is mirrored in Camm’s artistic
persona of self-tormented pursuit to make the painting come alive. Camm’s preference for a dark and melancholy
aesthetic is fine-tuned and masterly applied to the mundane and banal still
life, canonizing it with academic importance.
A toaster with a slightly lopsided slice of warmed bread totters
off to the left side, confined to the narrow slots of metal constrictions- an appliance asylum- while purposefully polysemous
petals of the floral bouquet adds a sense of traditional still life etiquette;
an addition that balances out the arrangement.
The triangular composition of the toaster to the stick of
heavily layered yellow butter to the perfectly presented buttered toast gives
the eye a pleasant linear anchor to explore the tabletop; all centered on the detail
of the convex reflection. The choice of
a white tablecloth starkly contrasts the dark and almost blood red
backdrop. Camm uses an off-kilter and obtuse
angular backsplash countertop corner as a repetitive compositional element,
mirroring the viand.
However, the key player in this entire quasi-lugubrious
classical configuration is the mirrored surface of the metal. The foreshortened
reflections, the bantam angular sophistications are striking in their stunted
glory. Carnival horror house distortion
mirrors offer an eyeful of edible enticements.
“Bread and Butter” offers edginess that is underlying, a
composition that is traditional, and a lustrous aura of a woebegone world.
Against a background of darkness, a
bouquet of roses is illuminated in an arrangement that is offered towards the
viewer as a token of solemn gesture in Seth Camm’s oil painting, “The Best I
Can Give You”. The transition from dark to light, the
chiaroscuro, is one of the masterly ways in which Camm emphasizes visual and
thematic importance of the subject matter.
The background is deeply obscure revealing no information of the setting and context in
which this offering is made, a gesture that transcends economic status and
carries with it the highest form of refined sentiment.
From the giver to the receiver, the meaning
long associated with pink roses has been of love, gratitude, and appreciation. The title itself, “The Best I Can Give You”
perhaps infers that the artist has established the tenet that the flowers are
merely a vehicle through which an affection of the highest regard is expressed
toward the recipient. The title of “Queen of Flowers” was bestowed upon the
rose since ancient times, perhaps eternally sealing its position as the most
exalted of botanical endearments.
The pink of the rose petals are in
contrast with the earthy greens of the leaves and foliage of the bouquet. In
the focal point of the composition is a rose blossom of near total perfection,
surrounded by her sisters in a vivid swirl of floral profusion. One of the commanding paradoxes of Camm’s
technique is his visceral application of the paint, gestural frenzied strokes;
a vibrating intensity underneath the surface-all coalescing into an intimate
and delicate presentation. A deft broad stroke of paint is transformed into the
soft curl of a petal.
Layers diverge as they build up in
varying degrees of complexity and depth. In the bottom of the painting thinned
out areas in the shadows and some sgraffito, (areas in the paint where it has
been scratched out) reveal the light foundation color underneath. To contrast
this, there are other areas within the leaves where the paint has been applied
thickly and even sculpted into undulating textures- this push and pull creates a tension that
animates the painting and draws one in, to gaze, to wonder and to feel a sense
A rose’s evanescent grace continues to
inspire and stir the soul of humanity with its sheer beauty. Seth Camm reminds
of why: by profoundly capturing the eternal mystique that a rose casts upon us
through his skillful and reflective still life.
art consultant, J.R. Mooney Gallery 1/2015
In preliminary discussions with Sidney about a spotlight
showing of her new artwork for our monthly events, we began to explore the new series
she was working on. The most recent material she had was from a recently
attended workshop by a prestigious mentor. However, Sidney was undecided in how
to continue to create work using her abstractions vs. the traditional genres of
her comfort zones. This created the conceptual basis for her part of the
As I thought about her work, another Boerne artist, Bill
Scheidt came to mind. Bill and Sidney had been showing in the same gallery for
decades until it closed and then J.R. Mooney Galleries brought both aboard for
representation. Their connections were like sister and brother; it would be
like splitting up the family if one was brought to the forefront and not the
other. If we showed them together we had a pair of local artists who have been working
on their own projects, their own commissions and other institutions exhibitions
outside the gallery. By bringing them back together we were bring a history, a
dialogue, an interaction and I felt “Dyad” as a noun was perfect for a good description
of the action itself.
However, we ran into snags along the way. Life took its toll
on the production of the artwork, the little things added up; the holidays,
sickness, other shows, etc. After following up with Sidney on the prospect of a
highlighted collection of new work the material had changed. She was back
exploring old sensibilities with new eyes. She was drawn back into her comfort
zone with new ideas; working in a traditional sense with abstract
concepts. Struggling to gain a foothold
on an overall cohesive body of work, we decided together that the exploration
of her abstracts, the landscapes and everything in-between was a healthy
decision, and not to edit in the studio – paint as she felt fit.
Now, we were no longer dealing only with two artists as a
dyad, but now one artist was dealing with two genres- the abstract and
traditional. It was a dichotomy of sorts with conceptual and contextualized explanations
for both ways of working and her need to continue to explore aspects of each.
In her statement we see into her thoughts and begin to understand a new
beginning of an old way. The thoughts
that linger, but driven ahead by the new, the new styles she wants to paint,
the new images she sees that influence her work and the new experiences of the
world around her that play a role in her paintings.
For Bill, large private commissions dominated his studio time;
recent accolades in other cities spurred a rekindled interest in his work. A
new body of artwork was out of the question.
So it was decided older work from his private collection would be
swapped out with previously exhibited paintings already at the gallery, and we
would show ones new to us, new to our clients and patrons. Now we had a dyad for Bill, two categories of
work, new to us, old to him and a swap of the old to the gallery and new to his
private collection; a dyad: an interaction in a physical sense and a conceptual
sense. More artwork would be supplemented by private consignments, giving our
viewers opportunity to view aftermarket originals, fitting into Bill’s stable
resale rate. Our intent is to show how
relevant older work can be in comparison to newer work, and the desire to
project a cohesive variation of subjects, including wildlife, western, and Native
American. Old and new for Bill was his dichotomy, time was the agent, and the
visual connection of this span of work was the cemented and contextual analogy
of thoughtful representations – hence the cerebral, or mind, brain, or intellectual
connections throughout his work.
Here is a great representation of the new artwork available at J.R. Mooney Galleries-Boerne of San Antonio Artist of the Year 2014, SETH CAMM. Seth has brought in several new floral paintings and 2 still life paintings. Call us at 830-816-5106 for pricing and viewing opportunities.
Ready For Song L. Richard has created a world of sentient beauty, with a Rococo inspired palette of dusky pastels in his oil painting Ready For Song, with deep Romantic undercurrents running throughout, articulated through the landscape and subject matter presented. Idyllic and serene, border lining on escapist, Richard’s composition depicts a menagerie of exotic birds grouped together harmoniously perched upon lush foliage in the upper echelons of a forest canopy, each one unique, like the flowers that are blossoming rampant all around in profusion.
This Romantic ode to nature expresses a deep inclination to connect to the sublime, or as a core ideal of Romanticism is expressed by Gary Harrison, “an intense desire to restore man to a place of intimate intercourse with the vast organism that constitutes the earth.” Even though this piece has been painted in contemporary times, it has timeless qualities due to its formal influences of prior artistic epochs of the Rococo and the Romantic.
In a representational manner that is controlled and precise in areas, L Richard suppresses his brush strokes where he desires attention, especially in the birds and flowers. The expressive paint application is impressionistic for the background elements and foliage receding from the viewer’s focus. This attention to detail of the natural world is utilized through exquisite rendering; L. Richard’s skill beckons to Romantic yearnings for a return to a spiritual haven expressed through the exotic, and in turn facilitates in the viewer a renewed reverence for nature.
Birds play a prominent role in Richard’s current work. Since he has ceaselessly chosen to portray them in his landscapes their significance should not be overlooked. One interpretation of bird symbolism has its origins from ancient Egypt, where birds were regarded as “winged souls”. As each bird is perched upon the mossy appendages of the forest, with three on the left and two on the right, facing towards each other, there is a quiet impasse in the center of the picture plane where the light has the most concentrated luminescence. The behavior of the birds in L. Richard’s canvases is always of peaceful benevolence towards each other, which brings to mind the words of Hildegard de Bingen, “…Just as birds are lifted up into the air by their feathers and can remain wherever they wish, the soul in the body is elevated by thought and spreads its wings everywhere”.
Even though L. Richard’s has strong roots in Rococo, especially under the influences of the artist, Fragonard, there are visual metaphors that can be inferred from his art is modern day Romanticism. With careful attention placed on the birds, especially with their delicate placement in their pristine environment they are elevated to the best of his intentions and serve as meditation to remember the highest spiritual state is possible within humanity.
Sources: Harrison, Gary. "Romanticism, Nature, Ecology." Romantic Circles. University of Maryland., Dec. 2006. Web. 09 Jan. 2015. <http%3A%2F%2Fwww.rc.umd.edu%2Fpedagogies%2Fcommons%2Fecology%2Fharrison%2Fharrison.html>. Ehrlich, Paul R., David S. Dobkin, and Darryl Wheye. "Bird Biology and the Arts." Bird Biology and the Arts. N.p., 1988. Web. 09 Jan. 2015. <https://web.stanford.edu/group/stanfordbirds/text/essays/Bird_Art.html>. "Birds." Birds. University of Michigan, 1997. Web. 09 Jan. 2015. <http://www.umich.edu/~umfandsf/symbolismproject/symbolism.html/B/birds.html>.
There is an elegance, an air of panache in Thomas Arvid's paintings...
Part of that can be attributed to his favorite subject matter. Arvid is obviously a connoisseur of fine wines. His audience almost needs a sommelier to fully enjoy his work.
To say Arvid's paintings are photo realistic is a major understatement. When viewing his work, a familiar tingle begins in my cheeks, while the old olfactory senses go into overdrive with the robust bouquet of a smooth beaujolais or merlot. I almost feel I must stop myself from nodding to a non-existent waiter, as if to say, "this one will do just fine."
Thomas Arvid's hand is like a finely tuned instrument. He doesn't miss a detail or skew a perspective. Distorted views of reality seem clear as each reflected surface has its own viewpoint and story to tell.
Arvid is nothing if not consistent. His color palette is always warm and inviting like the wine itself. Soft brown, satin ebony, and deep burgundy can be found in almost all of his paintings. The holidays are over. The cool, brisk air of January breathes like a sigh of relief, but still, one cannot help but feel a little deflated after all the recent activities that come with the season. Arvid's work has a way of keeping the festivities alive. The just opened bottle, candle light dancing as Sade's sultry voice floats through the air, a fire heartily going in the fireplace with a select few people and suddenly the world is right again.
Don't miss the opportunity to share a glass of your favorite red with the artist himself. Thomas Arvid will be making a rare visit to San Antonio the weekend of March 14th of this year! J. R. Mooney and Boerne Wine Company will be hosting Mr. Arvid as featured artist at Boerne's 2nd Saturday Art & Wine Festival. Clear your schedules for a weekend of fine art and wine with this world renowned artist. Events will include a special exhibition of Thomas Arvid's work with the artist in attendance on Saturday evening March 14th at J. R. Mooney Gallery in Boerne, Texas and plans are in the works for a dinner with Thomas Arvid and special patrons. We will have more details for that as we get closer to this exciting date!
"Well Red" By Thomas Arvid - Gicleé on Canvas 43" x 19"
The Briscoe was named in honor of the late Texas governor, Dolph Briscoe, Jr. and his wife, Janey. They preserve and interpret the art, history and culture of the American West. The complex consists of the historic museum building, the Jack Guenther Pavillion and also the McNutt Courtyard & Sculpture Garden spread over 1 and 1/4 acres in downtown San Antonio.
This year, the Briscoe will be hosting its 14th annual "Night of the Artists" art sale and exhibit. It will showcase over 60 of the nation's great Western artists. The sale will take place on Saturday, March 28, 2015. There will be a cocktail reception, dinner, and live entertainment. The exhibition runs March 29th through April 26th.
Kicking off the festivities is the Artists' Preview & Dinner on Friday night. This event is for the artists and patrons of the museum. The Briscoe's Legacy and other awards will be presented at this dinner. The prestigious Legacy Award recipient for 2015 goes to artist, David Halbach. He joins an elite group of previous winners including Sandy Scott, Bill Owen, Howard Terpning, and G. Harvey to name a few.
Please come celebrate America's Western history through art. For more information on the Briscoe's, "Night of the Artists" visit their web page at www.briscoemuseum.org.
We are very excited to announce that two artists represented by J. R. Mooney Galleries were invited to this year's very prestigious "Night of the Artists". Mark Keathley is a familiar face at the Briscoe for this event and Cliff Cavin will be making his 8th appearance in 2015. Both of these artists are true craftsmen representing the ideals and beauty of a history we are incredibly proud of. For a preview of the kind of work that will be shown at the exhibit, you can visit both locations of J. R. Mooney Galleries in San Antonio and Boerne.
Click the online catalogs for a survey of current artworks available by Cliff Cavin and Mark Keathley at J.R. Mooney Galleries Fine Art.
We are pleased to introduce Katherine Shevchenko. She was born in San Antonio, TX. Her art studies began at the San Francisco Academy of Art University and continued to the University of Texas at San Antonio where she received her Fine Arts Degree with an emphasis in Painting. She has varied experience in the arts from interning as a curatorial assistant at Southwest School of Art to teaching art to students of all ages. Currently, she is an art consultant/framing designer at our Boerne location. Outside of work she enjoys spending quality time in her art studio painting, the company of family and friends, and being in nature.
Second Saturday Art & Wine - Boerne
Seth Camm Florals Jan. 10, 2014 4 pm - 8 pm
UPCOMING SAN ANTONIO & AREA ART EVENTS!
2nd Saturday Art & Wine - Featured work by San Antonio Artist of the year 2014, Seth Camm - Boerne - 2nd Saturday Boerne
Alamo Kiwanis Western Heritage Art Show - Featured work by J. R. Mooney Gallery artists, Bill Scheidt, Sidney Sinclair, and Donald Yena - Henry B Gonzalez Convention Center - Lonesome Dove Room - Kiwanis Art Show
2nd Saturday Art & Wine - Boerne "Dyad" - Featured work by Sidney Sinclair and Bill Scheidt, J. R. Mooney Gallery artists - Boerne - 2nd Saturday Boerne
FEB 21 - 22
On and Off Fredericksburg Road Studio Tour - This annual event is celebrating its 8th year. It consists of more than 80 featured artists (including Cody Vance and Russell Stephenson), plus more than 200 visual, literary and performing artists who participate in official group shows and other special events. It features two full days of open studios that offer visitors the rare opportunity to interact with artists in their work space - San Antonio - On and Off Fredericksburg
2nd Saturday Art & Wine - MARK YOUR CALENDARS NOW FOR THIS EVENT - world renowned artist represented by J. R. Mooney galleries, Thomas Arvid will be here for event featuring his work - Boerne - 2nd Saturday Boerne
MAR 28 - APR 26
Night of the Artists - Hosted in the beautiful Jack Guenther Pavillion at the Briscoe. The exhibition will showcase over 60 of the country's top Western artists including Cliff Cavin and Mark Keathley of J. R. Mooney Galleries! The art sale will take place on Saturday, March 28, 2015. There will be a cocktail reception, dinner and live entertainment. The sale will be followed by a month long exhibition - THE BRISCOE Western Art Museum - San Antonio - Night of the Artists
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