George Marinko 1908-1989 Biography, an American Surrealist

In the early 1930s, George Marinko, was known as one of the most pure
surrealists of all the American artists pursuing that pioneering style.  He also
did automatic drawing that revealed through his personal complex symbolism his
interest in mythology and psycho-analysis.  Many of his works had allusions to
the temptations of Adam and Eve and other suggestions of male/female conflict.
His images seem dreamlike and include clowns, humans, dolls, and puppets as well
as objects that are bending and twisting, and “any one of them may be running,
burning, or melting” (Falk 2185).His painting, Sirius (the Dog

George Marinko Floral watercolor painting

George Marinko Floral “Boquet”

Star, the brightest star in the heavens), seems an incongruous combination of
very realistically-painted still-life objects including a wooden contraption
resembling a human pelvis, and a bright red human leg to the knee, with a rope
or snake wrapped around its ankle.His paintings were included in the
ground breaking 1936 Surrealist exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art in New
York, but he choose to stay out of the limelight and lived quietly in Waterbury,
Connecticut where he was known for his works in sculpting, lithography, and
painting with subjects of landscapes, villages, boats, as well as abstraction.
There he was a prominent local artist, teacher at the Waterbury Art School from
1945 to 1957, and later became director of the Hudson River Museum.  He also
painted the mural in City Hall’s Aldermanic Chambers along with artist Francis
Jmanie.Marinko had studied at the Waterbury Art School with Lewis York
from 1925 to 1929 and took additional training at the Yale University School of
Fine Art with Eugene Savage.  He began his career as a painter of traditional
landscapes, but from 1934-42, painted in the Surrealist manner.  Then frustrated
with the lack of response to his surrealism, he incorporated regionalist
landscape painting into his output, but continued to paint abstract works.  He
also took up the depiction of surrealist images by carving and painting wooden
masks and totems and other primitive figures.He served in World War II, and In the late 1950s, moved to New Haven, Connecticut where he lived in a small apartment crowded with his work.  He also resided at the Ownego Beach Club and Inn in Branford Connecticut where he painted numerous decorations on the buildings and left the owners many of his works for their personal collection and to adorn rooms. Check out the newly added paintings, the oils can be found in ‘post 1900’ works, the watercolors under ‘works on paper’ – estate fresh pieces!

George Marinko modernist still life water color painting for sale

George Marinko Modernist Still Life

George Marinko painting green woman

George Marinko Green Woman

George Marinko

George Marinko Floral Bouquet

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D. Jerome Elwell Biography

D Jerome Elwell Harbor sunset oil painting

D Jerome Elwell Harbor Sunset

D. Jerome Elwell was born in Massachusetts, June 12, 1847. He was the son of George and Elizabeth Pulcifer Elwell. He died at age 65 in Naples, Italy in 1912. He worked in oil, watercolor, pastel and drawings. The pastels, which were on brown paper, came later and were done in Venice under the influence of Whistler.
(This is a partial quote from the BOSTON TRANSCRIPT dated Jan. 3rd, 1914). He lived in Gloucester and Boston, Mass and in known for his ethereal harbor and sunset oils. Has works in the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem MA known for its outstanding collection of early American Marine paintings. Elwell traveled to and painted Venice and Naples Italy, capturing their beautiful water views,

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Another Sternberg! a Glastonbury Painting

These paintings are always an exciting find (I don’t think their owners relinquish them very often). Charlotte’s works are an American treasure. The last one sold quickly and headed down south. This one ‘Glastonbury Town Hall’ may end up staying here in Connecticut – perhaps in Glastonbury itself?  Wherever it ends up the crisp snow scene of a horse drawn sled will be appreciated.  The colonial homes with rolling hills in the distance could be any older town in the US where it snows. This is a painting that truly has its own light, and the detail that can be seen in person is phenomenal. Very uplifting and pleasant to view.

Charlotte Sternberg Glastonbury Green

Charlotte Sternberg Glastonbury Green

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Charles Reiffel’s return from San Diego Museum of Art

Just arrived back from exhibition, a pair of oils by American artist Charles Reiffel. “Josephine on the Porch” and “Josephine in the Garden” are two early 20th century paintings painted when Reiffel was at Silvermine Conn. Josephine is his niece and a beautiful model for the two small impressionist works. Each work has a full page color illustration in the book “Charles Reiffel: An American Post Impressionist” by Ariel Plotek (available for 29.20 on Reiffel is an important artist, most frequently associated with California but with Connecticut roots. See biography for more information or enjoy a copy of the book!

Painting by Charles Reiffiel on exhibition

Charles Reiffel Josephine in the Garden

Charles Reiffel Josephine at Silvermine oil painting

Charles Reiffel Josephine on the Porch

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New Addition Charlotte Joan Sternberg Timberlost Farms

Added today is a wonderfully charming and historic work by Connecticut native artist Charlotte Joan Sternberg (see biography for details of her life). A fine egg tempera on panel the scene is the Noah Bacon Homestead also known as Timberlost Farm in Middletown CT. The Homestead is a period mid 18th century center chimney home, the Bacon family was one of the founding families in Middletown – incorporated in 1650. Middletown was inhabited by the Mattabesett Indians and now is the home of Wesleylan University. Noah Bacon lived from 1745 to 1827. Charlotte captured the idyllic spring warmth in this 20th century view of a farm with horses, chickens, and geese. A young woman carries a shovel ready to plant the flowering geraniums.

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Charlotte Joan Sternberg 1920-2003

Charlotte Joan Sternberg, illustrator and fine artist, was born in Meriden, Connecticut in 1920. Early on, she became interested in art, and Charlotte shone as her parents encouraged her efforts. Charlotte attended public schools in the area, and took art classes at a local technical high school. Afterwards she attended the Yale School of Art. Her fellow classmates included Rudolph Zallinger, who executed the dinosaur mural at the Peabody Museum in New Haven; Jean Day Zallinger, renowned book illustrator; and Edward Paier, founder of the Paier College of Art in Hamden, Connecticut. It was at Yale that Charlotte learned how to paint in egg tempera, and was one of a number of Yale artists who revived this medium. Most of her well-known artwork was done in egg tempera. Charlotte did not work professionally in oils, although she sometimes worked in gouache or watercolor.

Charlotte went on to a long career in commercial illustration, doing imaginative work for fashion illustration as well as more conventional portraits, scenes and product illustration. She worked extensively for J. Walter Thompson, and did advertising art for such companies as Esso (later Exxon), Textron, and Lederle Pharmaceuticals. While she painted a variety of subjects, Charlotte was best known for her Americana themes, particularly snow scenes of historic New England. Many of these pieces were published as Christmas cards for American Artists Group. She also taught a wide variety of subjects for many years at the Paier College of Art. Throughout this period Charlotte continued to paint landscapes and portraits.

Charlotte was commissioned to do several portraits, including those of Gov. John Lodge of Connecticut and President Dwight D. Eisenhower in the 1960’s. Her artwork has been exhibited in one-woman shows at the New Britain Museum of American Art in Connecticut and the Bennington Museum in Vermont and is in many private collections. Later in her career Charlotte concentrated on landscape painting, and Greenwich Workshop produced a line of limited edition prints of her art.

The art of Charlotte Sternberg has been used on such items as tapestry pillows, puzzles and decorative flags and is still being produced on many decorative items today.Her carefully rendered paintings show her love of detail, both in the portrayal of old-fashioned everyday life and the detail of the landscape. The viewer can look at the many people in her paintings, wonder about them and imagine the stories behind their activities.   Charlotte invented the scenes in her paintings, and it’s up to the viewer to see the rest with their imagination.

See the website for more information and works.

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New Addition – Lebduska Dancing Horses

This 20th century American artist painted some of the most purely charming ‘make you smile’ paintings out there. I have always been a fan of the French artist Henri Rousseau, to me Lebduska is the ‘American Rousseau’. A highly creative artist that painted his vision of the animal world – whether that was the Garden of Eden or dancing horses. His full biography is in a separate post, worth a read for an inspiring happy ending story.

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Animalier Bronzes

What is an ‘Animalier Bronze’? Wikepedia defines “An animalier is an artist, mainly from the 19th century, who specializes in, or is known for, skill in the realistic portrayal of animals. “Animal painter” is the more general term for earlier artists. Although the work may be in any genre or format, the term is most often applied to sculptors and painters. Animalier as a collective plural noun, or animalier bronzes, is also a term in antiques for small-scale sculptures of animals, of which large numbers were produced, often mass-produced, in 19th century France and elsewhere. Although many earlier examples can be found, animalier sculpture became more popular, and reputable, in early 19th century Paris with the works of Antoine-Louis Barye (1795–1875) for whom the term was coined, derisively, by critics in 1831.[1][2] By the mid-century, a taste for animal subjects was very widespread among all sections of the middle-classes.” Interestingly it was coined by Barye’s critics but is not a term that now carries any negative conotations. And while this defintion limits it to 19th century works it is used by contemporary artists to describe works which focus on animals, primarily sculptors. Visit the Sculpture page to see many examples of Animalier art particularly dog and horse bronzes – 19th century to present day.

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Lawrence Lebduska 1894-1966 Biography

Born in Baltimore, Maryland to a Bohemian family, Lawrence Lebduska learned art related crafts at the age of five on a return trip to Bohemia.  He was educated in Leipzig where he learned the stained glass craft.  At the age of 18 he returned to the United States and his first job was with Elsie de Wolfe for whom he did wall decorations. In 1912, he began decorative mural painting and painting on canvas for pleasure.  Although he had no formal art training, his fanciful animal scenes, portraits and pseudo-historical themes, had bold colors and subjects resembling Fauvre or French experimental painting. His work made quite an impression in the 1930s and is credited for inspiring Abby Aldrich Rockefeller to assemble her collection of folk art. During the 1940s, he was largely forgotten, with the public preoccupied with the onset of World War II, his career “skidded to the point where he was reduced to living in vermin-infested backrooms in Greenwich Village and the Bowery;” ill and an alcoholic. He would trade his paintings for beer and cigarettes.  Occasionally he would travel uptown to dealers who used to compete for his work. In the 1960s, a Long Island dealer, Eva Lee, was fascinated by one of his vividly colored still lifes of flowers and set out on a search for the artist.  She found him confined to a bed in a cheap attic room.  She obtained medical care, took him home to Douglastown, Long Island, took care of him and helped him recover from alcoholism.  As a result he regained his health and began to paint again producing dozens of canvases. As a result he was given his first one-man show in twenty years at the Krasner Gallery. Lebduska died in 1966 at the age of 70, leaving behind a large collection of his work.  (And he clearly loved horses!)lebduska3lebduska2


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Video on the process of creating a sculpture with horses by Mark Edward Adams

Three minute video at the Helen Woodward Animal Center horse rescue. The horses are willing models as Mark shares his sculpting process. Part 1 of three.

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