Entries by tja

The Nerdrum Museum

A comprehensive collection and an exquisite presentation, showing full paintings and details.  My compliments to the website architects!  Launched April 8th, 2012. Visit The Nerdrum Museum


The first modestly large, layered-with-subtext, multi-figure painting was completed in the new studio on March 9th, 2012.  I am very pleased.  Finally.  

pLog Pith IX

First, find the structure, then find the skin. And never underestimate the power and beauty of a one inch wide hog bristle brush. —pre-dishwashing thoughts after a long rewarding day in the studio.

La Sfida della Semplicita’

Tonight Giulia and I were admiring and discussing what I think is the nearly completed first great painting forged in the new studio.  I said to her: It’s the unexpected simplicity in this painting that I like so much—it’s the most from the least—made of simple improvisations I could have never planned.  That’s the trick […]

“Oiling Out”

It looks like some learned practical instruction is finally making its way on to YouTube.  The trick is finding them.  Surprisingly, the keywords “oiling out” produced some interesting results:

Glazing ≠ Luminosity

The truth is: keying up a flesh tone with a near-white color and then glazing over that with a transparent dark (like a raw umber) does not charge the image with an electric-like glow.  Instead, the glaze dampens the luminosity and shifts the hue. How strange I thought the contrary to be true.  A lapsus? […]

Odd Nerdrum’s Ground

I just had a conversation with my Maestro about this tonight… though I have managed to concoct my own “Italian version” of the ground, you can read a super explanation of the actual materials used here on Art Babel.

pLog Pith VIII

A few words now about technique, so that there may be no misunderstanding as to its importance.  It is a poor thing that cannot be abused, and I do not want you to be afraid of the word, or to surround it with mystery.

The Library of Velazquez

Often before I leave on a trip I print and assemble a packet of articles to read along the way.  In the Summer of 2010 I collected a series of essays and investigations on Velazquez.  These included: “Sargent after Velazquez” by Richard Ormond and Mary Pixley pulished in The Burlington Magazine in September of 2003; […]

Titian: His Colors and Technique

My friend and colleague, the Classicist Paul Gwynne, called my attention to this documentary just a couple of weeks ago: he had it on VHS, but I would have to wait to see it. Not known for my patience, I immediately searched YouTube… but didn’t find anything. Well, nothing can cure mediocre research skills like […]

“The Power of Mathematics”

And I have to say, underlying everything that we’re talking about, in fact underlying everything I do with my entire life, pretty much, is a firm belief that mathematics is a sure-footed guide to how reality works. If that’s wrong, then all bets are off. –Brian Greene, Physicist, from a fascinating interview with Terry Gross […]

The Secret of the Old Masters

This life work was more or less an injury and loss to me in many ways. —Albert Abendschein, author of The Secret of the Old Masters, published in 1909 As such, I wouldn’t dare be the one to spoil Mr. Abendshein’s efforts by readily revealing the “secret.”  It’s actually a fascinating read: the author spends […]

A Dose of Speed Does the Body Good

The business of the artist is to see to it that his talent be so developed that he may prove a fit instrument for the expression of whatever it may be given him to express. Great things are only done in art when the creative instinct of the artist has a well-organized executive faculty at […]