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Film: A strategic retreat’s smirk of defiance in DUNKIRK

Contributed by Jonathan Stevenson /In his paradoxically granular war epic Dunkirk, Christopher Nolan assumes viewers know that the British Army’s 1940 strategic retreat from the eponymous French coastal town was crucial to Allied victory...Show More Summary

Acadia Invitational III at Argosy Gallery in Bar Harbor

"Acadian Summer"12x24 oil by Michael Chesley JohnsonAvailable at Argosy Gallery as part of the Acadia Invitational Exhibition This weekend marks the opening of the Acadia Invitational III exhibition for Argosy Gallery in Bar Harbor, Maine. Show More Summary

Monhegan Meditations

Approaching Monhegan Island The tiny island of Monhegan, scarcely a mile across, gets a lot of attention from painters. Its fame is due to a hundred years of celebrity painters enjoying its charms. Rockwell Kent, Edward Hopper, Andrew...Show More Summary

Adirondack idyll: Jay Invitational of Clay, Rockwell Kent, Ausable Chasm & more

Contributed by Sharon Butler and Jonathan Stevenson / Some artists go upstate to get away from the art world in the summer, and others gather an art world around them wherever they go. We went up to the Adirondacks recently to visitShow More Summary

Plein Air Workshop Report: Rockland, Maine

Port Clyde Puffin(no, it's not real) I just finished up a fantastic week in Rockland, Maine, teaching a plein air painting workshop for Coastal Maine Art Workshops. Usually in the summer, I don't venture far from my quiet home on Campobello Island. Show More Summary

Fiction: Light [Rand Richards Cooper]

FOR THIS EDITION of the summer fiction column, my old friend Rand Richards Cooper has contributed “Light,” a poignant story  published in Big as Life, his 1996 collection of short fiction. In “Light” Cooper imagines reconnecting with our old high school art teacher. Show More Summary

Invitation: “Painting Not Painting” in Baltimore

Contributed by Sharon Butler / Please join us this coming Friday, July 21, 7 to 10 pm, for the opening reception of “Painting Not Painting,” an exhibition at ‘sindikit, the project space run by Tim Doud and Zoë Charlton in Baltimore....Show More Summary

Gretchen Frances Bennett’s tenderness

Gretchen Frances Bennett: “Objects that appear in my drawings are pieced together place holders, in an ongoing search for the things that stay. They speak to a fleeting image caught peripherally, that can hold basic significant information. Show More Summary

Heading to Rockland and then Castine - Painting the Maine Coast!

Morning Glare4x12 oil by Michael Chesley Johnson$175 unframed - Available I'm about to head down to Rockland, Maine, to teach a workshop for Coastal Maine Art Workshops. Although I've visited Rockland many times, I've never painted there, so I'm excited to paint this part of the Maine coast. Show More Summary

Images: Becky Brown, Annette Cords, and accidental poetry

According to the press release for “Cognition-Stroll,” a collaborative exhibition on view at Project:ARTspace that features Annette Cords and Becky Brown , “cognition-stroll” is a literal English translation of the German compound word Erkenntnisspaziergang,...Show More Summary

Art and Film: Ghost as witness

Contributed by Jonathan Stevenson / George Eliot said, wisely, that “our dead are never dead to us, until we have forgotten them.” For the great and infamous, it’s a prescription for immortality. As to more ordinary people, the sentiment can be cloyingly anodyne around the moment of a loved one’s death – it was viciously … read more... "Art and Film: Ghost as witness"

Two Coats Selected Gallery Guide / July 10, 2017

Our mid-summer selected exhibitions list, organized by neighborhood, is, well, blooming with group shows that feature flowers, gardens, and nature. For those of you who are out of town, perhaps tending your own patch of land or painting at one of those fantastic artists’ residencies upstate, links are included for online browsing. Show More Summary

An artist’s legacy

Contributed by Sharon Butler / Estate planning for artists is complex, but Ellsworth Kelly, who died at 92 in December 2015, seems to have considered his legacy carefully. The artist contributed artwork to museums around the world. During a recent trip to Philadelphia, I had a chance to see a grouping of early paintings, many … read more... "An artist’s legacy"

A Few Paintings from the Week

Quoddy Head9x12 oil by Michael Chesley JohnsonSOLD I can't believe both Canada Day and Independence Day have come and gone. Where's the summer going? It's been awhile since I posted, so I thought I'd share some paintings from this past week, which marked the start of my plein air painting workshop season in Lubec, Maine. Show More Summary

Unlimited: Painting and political upheaval

Contributed by Sharon Butler / During the 1960s, the world was rocked by massive political upheaval. In May 1968, two weeks of student riots in Paris blasted traditional approaches seemingly across the socio-political board, from government to gender roles to education. Show More Summary

Art and politics: “Broad Stripes and Bright Stars” in New Haven

Aicha Woods and Dave Coon have co-curated “Broad Stripes and Bright Stars,” a thoughtful group exhibition on view at the Ely Center of Contemporary Art through August 13 that focuses how artists are using the American flag as image, object, and symbol. Show More Summary

How to Become a Better Painter

Field of Lupines9x12 oilMichael Chesley Johnson$200 unframed - available How to become a better painter? Practice—with a series of exclamation points following—is the obvious answer. But you can't just flail away at the canvas with a loaded brush and expect to improve. Show More Summary

Art and Film: Not so simple folk (art)

Contributed by Jonathan Stevenson / According to Aisling Walsh’s irrepressibly winning Maudie (2016), Maud Dowley, plagued by juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, was through no fault of her own a high-maintenance sibling whom an impatient older brother deposited with a mean aunt. Show More Summary

Quick study

LINKS: Casualism in Puerto Rico, Kurt Cobain’s paintings, legislation to ease student loan debt for artists, an interview with Brian Belott, artists recommend books, Tatiana Berg picks shows in London, Saul Ostrow on Antoni Tàpies, the best artist-published art blogs, and Franz West’s estate. Show More Summary

Catalogue essay: Raphael Rubinstein on Drew Shiflett

Raphael Rubinstein wrote the following essay,  “Eccentric Modularity,” on the occasion of Drew Shiflett’s elegant solo show of new collage pieces, on view through June 30, at Lesley Heller Workspace in New York. —— I wonder when the great variety of process entered the field of art. Show More Summary

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