Billy Baldwin

     “As a fundamental of good decoration, I always advise my clients to buy the best they can afford, antique or modern, and to leave a space empty if necessary until it can be filled by something of real value.  I avoid the sensational in any type of fabric or furniture unless there is unlimited money, allowing for frequent changes.  Too often the novelty of today is the bad taste of tomorrow.  Nothing will last whose only virtue is that it is different.”

Billy Baldwin Remembers, p. 79

When I first began painting I did very traditional paintings.  They were small and straightforward.  The subjects, often flowers, were very ordinary yet beautiful.  I felt personally that the paintings were strong, but I didn’t exhibit them or even attempt to sell them because I knew they weren’t fashionable.  It never occurred to me that I could get paid what they were worth.

Later I attempted larger and more complex paintings.  Ambition has played a healthy role.  I have wanted to demonstrate what I can do.  But lately I have found myself attracted once again to small, commonplace subjects — like my honey jars.  A different kind of challenge inheres in creating lasting meaning from something we see everyday.  The real subject of the painting consists not merely in the objects we can name, but in how they are portrayed.  The integrity of objects is something that painting challenges an artist to discover.

It’s something Billy Baldwin, a real classic kind of guy, thoroughly understood.


French lessons

     Aletha Kuschan est une artiste americaine, paysagiste dont l’oeuvre devien bien connue. Son oeuvre suscite toujours un réel intérêt, tant son style impressioniste évoque une poésie naturelle associée à un souci du détail aquatique. Pour chaque tableau elle à inventé une mirage particulière et mysterieuse . Sous son pinceau, des “koi,” sorties de ses rêveries du nage.

Night Water

Night water.  What shall we said about it?  Large, measuring 50 x 58 inches, bright, lush in many deep blues, it’s about water, dreams, imagination and the interior life.  And about night.  Where would it look best? Perhaps in a room with colors of pale yellow or warm cream.  Being large and dramatic, its scale fits where a bold and striking is gesture is desired.

Its subject is nature — nature as we are least inclined to consider Her today — as mysterious and ineluctable, as something over which we have no power. Nature acts as we sleep.  The modern notion of “global warming” reveals our hubris in vague imaginings.  Do we control nature?  Such a small slice of Nature is even visible to human perception despite our extended, scienced senses.  “Nature” existed eons before human beings appeared and will go on eons after human beings are gone. 

How shall we recover our sense of wonder?  How do we recover a true sense of scale?  Who can even control his temper? Yet we suppose we will control the atmosphere?

A pessimist painting  “Night” might have portrayed a meteor hurling toward us, earth in its sights!  Yikes.  More hopefully, I painted birds sleeping in the dark, under a full moon, lolled to sleep upon dark waves that are reverberations of the categorical wave, like the waves of gravity that Jim Gates studies. 
“Night” in a primordial sense is what I sought.  God-created darkness and light, a darkness called “night” and a brilliance called “day.”

Animals sleep and so do we.  Do they dream like we do?  Night Water is about states of wonder — and authentically so — it began without the waterfowl, without the moon, it began with just waves. 

We are fellows of the myriad creatures that Nature sustains– here, enfolded in comforting night.