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Monday, October 31, 2016

Ross Bleckner

Bleckner and his photographic clones. Wish I could do that!
It's not often we have the opportunity to observe a fairly complete chronology of an artist's life's work. In fact, more often than not, I have to scrounge to come forth with titles, much less dates for the work of a living artist. The same is true of many second and third-tier non-living artists too. I like to present some degree of chronological order when highlighting each artist if for no other reason than it tends to document the progress (or sometimes the lack of progress) made by the artist during his or her lifetime. It also tends to show sometimes the changes of interests as to content during the artist's career. New York artist, Ross Bleckner is an Abstract Expressionist in the finest sense of the world, and also apparently rather left-brained. He actually titles each one of his works in a helpful, no-nonsense, manner, while also being quite fastidious in keeping track of the history of each piece. And as you can see in the time-lapse exposures used in the photos of Bleckner working in his studio (above), that's no small accomplishment given the number of paintings he produces each year.
Bleckner's Tribeca loft studio.
The famous artists' hangout,
the Mudd Club occupied the
ground floor.
But first, a little about the man. Born in 1949, unlike so many artists I write about, Bleckner did not have a difficult childhood. He probably lacked for little or nothing in his formative years growing up in the Hewlett communities of western Long Island, just barely outside New York City. At a time when other artists were starving to pull together the monthly rent for a cold-water, sixth-floor loft, Bleckner simply bought the building...and in Lower Manhattan's exclusive Tribeca neighborhood too, no less. His father's company manufactures electronic parts. In 1965, after encountering an art exhibit called "The Responsive Eye," Bleckner decided to become an artist. He arranged to study art with Sol LeWitt and Chuck Close while an undergraduate at New York University. There, in 1971, he received his BA. He then went on to earn an MFA from the California Institute of the Arts in 1973, allowing him pretty much the best education money could buy.

Bleckner very much enjoys the seclusion and quiet of his rural estate.
As a rising young artist during the 1970s and 80s, Bleckner obtained gallery representation from two of the most notable artists' outlets in New York City, the Cunningham Ward Gallery, and later the Mary Boone Gallery, as well as international exposure through Thomas Ammann, an influential Swiss art dealer, who went on to collect Bleckner's work. Even while still in his early forties, Bleckner became a generous philanthropist in support of HIV/AIDS research. Then during the 1990s, Bleckner paid $800,000 for the rundown modern beach house that had once been the five-acre Truman Capote estate in Sagaponack, New York, not far from where he grew up. He remodeled and modernized the place, doubling its size, while also adding a 2,000-square-foot studio, a three-car garage, and a swimming pool (every important estate on Long Island must have a swimming pool).

Besides painting, Bleckner has written about a dozen
books dealing with his art.
At this point you're probably wishing I'd show you some of Bleckner's work, specifically the chronological development I spoke of earlier. First, though, let me note that Bleckner came of age as an Abstract Expressionist at a time when the New York School and non-representational painting were waning in popularity. The Postmodern era was dawning. And while Bleckner's work is very much in an Abstract Expressionist mode, it is not (for the most part) non-representational. In most of his work, if the content cannot immediately be discerned the titles he has attached provide vital clues. Thematically, Bleckner's art has largely centered around an investigation of change, loss, and memory, often addressing the subject of AIDS (especially in his early works). Bleckner is most at home using symbolic imagery rather than direct representation, causing his work to be visually elusive, with forms that constantly change focus.

A major difficulty in appraising an artist's evolution
is when he or she suddenly changes their main
area of content as Bleckner sometimes does.


to a Lonely Dragon


Interior (with Dots)

The Seventh
Examined Life




Parallel Dome

TIME (Why Then, Why There)

Parallel Dome,

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Creative Halloween Costumes

The Roy Lichtenstein influenced Pop Art icon.
I guess you'd call this recycling,
though I wonder if there might
not be a "right to life" theme
lurking just beneath the surface.
Although I've written about costume design before, I don't think I've ever written about it in a Halloween context. That's a little surprising in that this peculiar art form is quintessential to Halloween. By the same token I've written about masks before, but only mentioned Halloween in passing. In discussing Halloween cos-tuming I've set a number of filters re-garding originality, creativity, and comer-cially available items which, if anything suppress creativity, making it too easy to put together a spectacular outfit. I'm thus highlighting, for the most part, really clever do-it-yourself themes, designs, and hand-icrafts. I've deliberately sought to skip various cartoon character designs and most consumer products. (What did you go to the party as? I went as a tube of Crest.) These costumes range from hor-rifying (or obscene) to strikingly beautiful to "cute" in the finest sense of the word, depending upon the age for which they were intended. I think Roy Lichtenstein would be pleased with the Pop Art Lady (above). I just hope all those Ben-Day dots will wash off.
"I went as a Mondrian."
"I like my Pollock better."
Marie Antoinette perhaps?
From a personal standpoint, ever since I grew too old for "trick-or-treat," I've not been a great fan of Halloween. Although it apparently grew out of a religious holiday, All Hallows Eve, back around 1556, there were numerous antecedents dating back to pagan rituals during the Roman Empire. In any case, any religious references to October 31st, have largely fallen by the wayside by now. The contraction, "Hal-loween" came into play about 1745 with pumpkins, pranks, jack-o-lanterns dress-ing in various macabre disguises coming during the next hundred years. Trick-or-Treat, as the name suggests, seems to be pretty much a 20th century urban re-placement (wildly embraced by the candy industry) for the traditional rural pranks. Getting the youngest of children involved, sometimes dressing them up even before they can walk. Even worse is the fad of imposing various costumes upon pets, a still more recent development. I really have nothing against imposing clever costumes upon toddlers so long as their safety is not threatened, but I absolutely draw the line at forcing dogs and cats (which by and large prefer nudity) into such ridiculous costumes for no other reason then owner vanity. That's animal cruelty. You'll find none of that among the costumes seen here.
Chicken-man. No chicken had to die to make this costume, nor
is the rider inflicting animal abuse on his handsome looking bird.
As I suggested above, good costume design involves the selection of a theme which hasn't been, as they say, "done to death." Leave the cartoon characters to those with more money than time to come up with something. No Halloween party needs twenty Batmen, a dozen Mickey Mice, or even one than one Count Draculas with their eyes on every naked neck in the crowd. Beyond that the costume should be well made (no wardrobe malfunctions), plainly obvious in conveying a theme, in reasonably good taste, and perhaps most of all, comfortable to wear for at least a period of two or three hours. It should not inhibit movement, eating, drinking or toilet activities. And though the tendency to stereotype is ever-present, no costume should degrade another's ethnicity, gender, or religion. Remember, people are much more easily offended today than a generation or two ago (no one in black-face with a hangman's noose around his neck).

The kids' costume contest. And the winner is...?
Except for the aforementioned trick-or-treat (above) most Halloween costumes, whether for children or adults, are intended for parties and the inevitable costume contests with categories such as the ugliest, funniest, most original, etc. This is one Halloween tradition I applaud, and even taken part in myself a few times. I once dressed up as Merlin the Magician. The high school at which I once taught had a Halloween costume day. One year I dressed up as a priest and went around patting kids on the head, muttering, "bless you, my child." Some of the kids were startled nearly speechless. Others cracked up in embarrassment. Costumes designed for couples (below) are among the surest winners in many such contests.

Some couples really go to a lot of trouble, although I think the
Malibu Ken and Barbie may be a rental. It's simply too good
to be homemade.
For some strange reason, pregnancy seems to be a "fun topic" for Halloween party apparel for both sexes. For pregnant women, ingenuity is at a premium as seen in the gumball machine and the beer-bellied redneck. The pregnant nun is far more popular that I would have ever imagined. But the gut-busting fetus, wins the prize, it being as funny as it is grossly horrifying. But then, for better or worse, "grossly horrifying" is much of what Halloween is about.

If your due date is around October 31st.
Of course no discourse on Halloween would be complete without taking note of the fact that every four years our presidential election day falls within a week or less of this clownish holiday. This year its as if the two dates are attempting to compete with one another for sheer media entertainment, especially on the Republican (GOP) side of he aisle. Dressing up a Hillary Clinton is simple as seen in the little darlings below. All you need is a wig (an optional mask) and a pantsuit, accompanied perhaps by an overflowing bag of newly discovered e-mails. With Trump, well, just check out the pictures at the bottom.

Some of our greatest presidents.

I have no idea what the context here might be,
 but I think we could safely say this is one of
those highly touted pictures "Hillary doesn't
want you to see."


Saturday, October 29, 2016

Garden of the Gods, Colorado Springs

Garden of the Gods after an early snowfall.
Pikes Peak is seen in the background.
In August 1859, two surveyors were working to lay out a small town south of Denver which they called Colorado City. One of them suggested that the area would be "...a capital place for a beer garden". His companion, awestruck by the impressive rock formations, exclaimed, "Beer Garden! Why it is a fit place for the gods to assemble. We'll call it the Garden of the Gods." If you think of God as the ultimate artist, then the 1,364 acres on the western edge of what is now Colorado Springs, Colorado, might well be considered his sculpture garden. If so, the only disagreement I would have with the name given it by our intrepid surveyors would be that it should be singular--"The Garden of God."

Steamboat Rock (left) and Balanced Rock (right).
Some things change...some things never do.
During the past few months I have been highlighting the top ten city parks in the world as rated by TripAdvisor. The Garden of the Gods they list as number two in the world; and if anyone is an expert on such things, it would be the thousands of travelers (of which I am one) who write reviews on such things. It's only fair to note that other top ten lists differ significantly in their rankings. In any case, having written now on eight of the ten, I'm not sure this park would be near the top of my personal list, but I can certainly see why other TripAdvisor reviewers rate it so highly.

Colorado Springs is just east of Garden of the Gods while the U.S. Air Force Academy is about ten miles north along I-25.
First of all, it is quite unlike any of the other top ten city parks. Although there are roads and trails through it, and an all-important visitor's center, it was never a plot of land set aside in the middle of the city, designed by man to radiate warmth and flowery beauty. That is to say, as mentioned before, God was the landscape architect of this city park. To start with it's not in the middle of Colorado Springs at all, but on the far western edge of the city, perhaps best known as the home of the U.S. Air Force Academy just a few miles to the north. For those unfamiliar with Colorado, the state's second largest city is some seventy miles south of Denver on I-25 which runs near both the park and the academy. As city parks go, it's not the largest in the world, but it is the largest on TripAdvisor's top ten list, spread over 2.13 square miles of semi-arid landscape.

How romantic! Actually the Kissing Camels are
located in an area adjacent to Garden of the Gods.
Garden of the Gods is not the place to go if you want to take pictures of the traditional acres of green grass, massive masses of flowers, lovely little lakes, or pretty pagodas and pavilions. Yet it would be hard to imagine a place more rewarding in terms of vast, photogenic vistas, and weathered red rock formations featuring Pikes Peak some ten miles off in the background (provided you're shooting westward). The Garden of the Gods' ravishing red rock formations (above) were created during a geological upheaval along a natural fault line millions of years ago. Archaeologists tell us prehistoric people visited Garden of the Gods as early as 1330 BC. Around 250 BC, Native American peoples began camping in the park possibly attracted to wildlife and plant life in the area while using the overhanging rocks for shelter as seen today in the nearby Manitou Cliff Dwellings (below, and not a part of the park itself). Many native tribes such as the Apache, Cheyenne, Comanche, Kiowa, Lakota, Pawnee, Shoshone, and Ute have an ancestral connection to Garden of the Gods.

Manitou Cliff Dwellings next door to the park.
Beginning in the 16th-century, Spanish explorers and later American explorers and trappers discovered the area, including Lt. John C. Freemont and Lt. George Frederick Ruxton. In 1879 Charles Elliott Perkins, purchased 480 acres of land that included a portion of the present Garden of the Gods. Upon his death, in 1909, his family gave the land to the City of Colorado Springs with the provision that it would be a free public park. Perkins' friend, William Jackson Palmer, owner of the nearby Rock Ledge Ranch, did likewise when he died a few years later, thereby more than doubling the park's acreage. The City of Colorado Springs' grew the park to its present 1,364 acres by adding a nature center in 1994.

The Three Graces.
The ancient sedimentary beds of deep-red, pink and white sandstones, conglomerates, and limestone were deposited horizontally. Over the millennia, The resulting rocks had different shapes as they were toppled, overturned, stood-up, pushed around, and slanted. Balanced Rock was once part of a fountain formation, a com-bination of coarse sand, gravel, silica and he-matite. It is hematite from which it derives it's rich, red hue. Balanced rock was formed as erosive processes removed softer layers near its base, eventually leaving the precarious-looking formation seen today. The Gateway Rocks Three Graces, and other outcroppings are sedimentary layers that had been pushed up vertically.

Segment of Cathedral Spires

Today, The Garden of the Gods Park is popular for hiking, advanced rock climbing, riding mountain bikes and horses. It attracts more than two million visitors a year, making it the city’s most visited park. There are more than fifteen miles of trails with a 1.5-mile trail running through the heart of the park that is paved and wheel-chair accessible. Annual events include two summer running races, recreational bike rides, and a Pro Cycling Challenge Prologue. The park's visitor's center features thirty educational exhibits staffed by Colorado Springs Parks, Recreation, and Culture employees. There's also a short movie titled, How Did Those Red Rocks Get There?

Friday, October 28, 2016

Woodstock, New York

Woodstock: a symbol of a bygone era...two bygone eras, actually.
Today, when someone mentions Woodstock, most people immediately bring to mind the famous (or infamous) Woodstock Music Festival held August 15-18, 1969. There are several peculiarities involved with this historic landmark event. If all the people who claim to have been there actually had been there, then it would probably still be going on, or at least they would still be trying to get there, or leave there yet today. Of course, after almost fifty years, a lot of them would be dead by now. To say that Woodstock was peculiar might be an understatement; ill-fated might be more accurate. First of all, despite the name, the Woodstock Music Festival was not held in (or even near) Woodstock, New York. The city fathers, when they learned the size of the crowds they would be dealing with quickly decided they wanted nothing to do with it. So, the organizers leased a farm some forty miles south of Woodstock near the tiny town of Wallkill, New York (also forty miles closer to New York City).
Chasing down a venue--(1.) Woodstock. (2.) Wallkill. (3.) Bethel, New York.
Tickets were $18 in advance,
$24 at the gate. ($120 and $150
 in today's money.) In fact,
admission was mostly free.
Fine, except that the same thing happened again. Wallkill said, "NO WAY...go away." But by then it was too late. Several acts had already been signed, the publicity had gone out, advanced tickets had been sold by the tens of thousands--186,000, to be exact(eventually around 400,000 showed up). The rock music happening had to happen. As a last ditch effort, the organizers moved about fifty miles west to another tiny town called Bethel, New York. Had that town known what they were getting into, they too probably would have "pulled the plug." In any case, given the confusion as to the venue, baby-booming hippies were prowling the narrow backroads of Ulster and Sullivan counties just trying to find the location well after the 24-7 three-day concert (later extended to four days) was well under way. Then the organizers' worst nightmare began--rain--often a deluge, and with it came mud, traffic jams, nude group-and-grope bathing, food, water, and toilet shortages, drug overdoses, and probably the greatest rock music concert in the history of rock music concerts.
They planned for 25,000. 400,000 showed up.
Although Woodstock didn't take place at Woodstock, the history of both communities can be sharply divided into two periods--Pre-Woodstock and Post-Woodstock. Despite the fact that the concert didn't take place there, insofar as Woodstock's baby-boomer tourists are concerned it might just as well have. The hippie era image lives on wherever there's a dollar to be made. Today Woodstock is a mixture of low-brow gift (souvenir) shops, flea markets, book stores, tie-dyed clothing stores, art galleries, theaters, country restaurants, inns, and hotels all referencing the three rainy days in August when a great rock concert was supposed to have happened there...but didn't.
Old hippies never die, they just keep getting "hippier."
The so-called "Woodstock Music and Art Fair" was not the first time the arts had come calling at this quiet little farming community. Less than five miles from the river, Woodstock had played host to numerous Hudson River School painters during the 1800s. Then in 1902, the Arts and Crafts Movement came to Woodstock with the arrival of Ralph Radcliffe Whitehead, Bolton Brown and Hervey White. Together they formed the Byrdcliffe Colony less than a mile northwest of Woodstock. Then in 1906, L. Birge Harrison and others founded the Summer School of the Art Students League of New York in the area, primarily to encourage and teach landscape painting. Since that time, Woodstock has been considered an active artists colony. From 1915 through 1931, Hervey White's Maverick Art Colony held the Maverick Festivals, when hundreds of liberal artists gathered each summer for music, art, theater and drunken orgies in the woods. These have featured folk and rock acts like Richie Havens, Paul Butterfield, Dave van Ronk and Van Morrison, who were all identified with Woodstock's reputation as a summer arts colony. The Sound-Outs inspired the original Woodstock Festival's organizers to plan their concert at the Winston Farm in Saugerties. We all know how that turned out.
Hudson River School, Circa 1850, Ashokan Reservoir
The Byrdcliffe art colony is one of the nation's oldest Arts & Crafts colonies. It brought the first artists to Woodstock to teach and produce furniture, metal works, ceramics, weaving and established Woodstock's first painting school. Byrdcliffe forever changed the cultural landscape of the town of Woodstock. In 1916, the utopian philosopher and poet, Hervey White, built a "music chapel" in the woods. This became the home of the Maverick music festival, the longest-running summer chamber music festival in the country. It's still held annually. The town is also the home to the Woodstock Artists Association and Museum (WAAM), founded in 1919 by John F. Carlson, Frank Swift Chase, Andrew Dasburg, Carl Eric Lindin, and Henry Lee McFee. The WAAM Permanent Collection features work by important American artists associated with the region, including Milton Avery, George Bellows, Arnold Blanch, Doris Lee, Marion Greenwood, Philip Guston, Paul Meltsner, and many others. The Art Students League of New York's summer school was in Woodstock from 1906 until 1922, and again after World War II, from 1947 until 1979. The Woodstock School of Art has been operating since 1980.

Original Woodstock School of Art, built in the 1930s with
WPA labor. It was used by the Woodstock branch of
New York's Art Students League until 1979.

Styles change, as do the seasons, but the scenery remains the same.

Today's Woodstock School of Art (painting under the Pines).


Thursday, October 27, 2016

Paintings I Haven't Done Yet--Water

Copyright, Jim Lane
Hues of Canoes, Croatia, 2013
No painter can really call themselves an artist who has not learned to "handle" water. Painting water is far more than blue paint with some degree of modulating texture intended to give it movement. The source photo, Hues of Canoes (above) has only tiny "snippets" of very light blue highlights on what is, for the most part, one or two subtle shades of olive green. The highlights do little more than indicate the current of the stream. Water is reflective, sometimes almost, but not quite, to the same degree as a mirror in the same position. It reflects the predominant hues in the environment plus the occasion up-side-down images of whatever my be near it, in it, or resting on it (as with the subtle, rust-tinted reflection of the red canoe).

Copyright, Jim Lane
Swimmers on the Rocks, 2013 along the Aegean coast not far
from Dubrovnik.
That's not to say water is never blue, nor should never be blue (notice the greenish tints toward the foreground). Actually most water is painted with one or more bluish pigments. I'm fond of cerulean used with pthalo or Prussian blues. I detest cobalt blue. I seldom see it in nature, and it is too intense for most uses. However, it goes without saying that in nature, as in art, there are blues, and then there are blues. Anyone painting water has to be quite sensitive as to both intensity and the relative warmth or coolness of their blues. Blue is naturally cool, almost the epitome of cool...even cold. But it takes little, to derive a warm blue, often quite common in skies and thus, the waters beneath them. Notice that, like the sky, the water's tint varies toward lighter shades as it nears the horizon. That's the result of aerial perspective. During daytime hours, water may not always be blue, but air above it most often is.

Copyright, Jim Lane
The Marina, near Fisherman's Wharf, San Francisco, 2015.
Other than perhaps the time of day, nothing effects the rendering of water more than weather conditions. Above, the water is virtually the same hue, though shaded only somewhat darker as the stormy sky above. I won't say an artist should never adjust the sky for the sake of a "prettier" shade of blue in his water, (a photo editing computer program can help in this regard) but keep in mind, any such attempt is one of the "trickier" adjustments a painter can make in that the sky coloration also effects virtually everything else in the painting in ways only the most color sensitive painter's eye will notice. Whites items are especially prone to reflecting such changes.

Copyright, Jim Lane
Dubrovnik Marina
Now, compare the deep blues of the Dubrovnik Marina (above) with those of foggy San Francisco. Shades of gray do still come into play near the boats but the shaded sides of the white boats come across as rather "dead" without a subtle bluish tint. In the case of more Expressionist renderings, the bluish tints on the boats and elsewhere can become anything but subtle. The painter of water must also learn to handle the distorted reflection of that which is in the water. Besides providing a realistic, or at least naturalistic quality to the scene, such reflections can often be more interesting for the viewer than the boats themselves.

Copyright, Jim Lane
Slooping Around, off the Baja coast, 2016
The image above and that below dramatically demonstrate the differences between a warm blue (above) and the much more drab, cooler blue (below) of the vessel near the famous Baja rocky landmark. In the upper photo, the blues tend slightly toward green while those seen in the photo below take on a purplish shade, in both cases, all the result of the influence of the sky above. Be careful not to overplay reflections in the water. In both these photos they are practically non-existant. Never exaggerate or add reflections unless "documented" in your resource photo or personal observation.

Copyright, Jim Lane
Cabo San Lucas on the Mexican Riviera, 2016
As the ninth group in this series, like the others, these photos are available free of charge for use by painters as source material for their own work on an individual basis. Simply e-mail me with a request to do so at and indicate which photo you would like to use as well as your full name (no nicknames) and geographical location. If you have a website, include the URL; and please, when finished, e-mail me a photo of your painting. These images are not for publication as photos (except on a royalty basis) nor are they in the public domain.

Copyright, Jim Lane
Blue? What blue? We don't need no stinkin' blue!
A private garden in the Azores.


Wednesday, October 26, 2016

The Title Fight

The knockout, Leslie Parke
I've long been a proponent of the view that art should be fun, especially insofar as teaching it and learning about it is concerned. In the past, that has traditionally been thought of as doing art--exploring new concepts, new media, new styles, new techniques, etc. And FUNdamentally that is, and always has been, true. However, there's lots more to art than simply creating art. Whether we consciously think about it or not, there's the whole idea of enjoying art--our own and that of others. I mean, the creative process takes only a matter of hours...perhaps spread over a day or two or a few, or in the case of motion pictures, several months. But regardless of the time span, the best art is, figuratively speaking, eternal. Thus, except for various types of performance art, far more time and effort is spent in enjoying the creation than is in creating it. Today, we're all about having fun with art after its creation.

Once a painting or other work of art is finished (or during the process of finishing it) the artist needs to settle upon a title. I mean that in the broad sense as it applies to the viewer, rather than it necessarily being a visceral need of the artist. In any case, the "title fight" begins. This altercation takes place inside the artist's mind, often I think, simply to keep someone else from choosing a lesser title. Take it from a painter who has engaged in this cerebral conflict hundreds of times, the "title fight," while seemingly little too clever, is very much an apt description of the thought process involved. It's a free-for-all pitting various elements of the artist intellect against one another. In one corner of the ring is the esoteric, in another is the literal, in a third corner there resides the clever, and in another the laughably silly. (Since it has corners, why do they call a boxing venue a "ring"?)
Sometimes the famous image is altered to fit the meme.
Very well, but how does this become "fun"? I'm sure by now everyone has heard of the term, "meme" (rhymes with team). It has a long, boring, literary history dating back to, Richard Dawkins' 1976 book The Selfish Gene, but in its most popular Internet manifestation, the meme is a new title to an old image. Or it may be an old title to a new image...or maybe neither one...a new title to a new image. In it's purest form, it juxtaposes the familiar with the unfamiliar in some humorous or ironic manner. Some famous paintings, such as Michelangelo's Creation of Adam (above), are just begging for a meme. The same is true of Leonardo's Last Supper, or Monet's landmark, art for art's sake Luncheon on the Grass (below). Paintings, such as Whistler's Mother, have acquire memes more lasting than their original, artist chosen, title (Arrangement in Gray and Black No. 1). Obviously the esoteric element in Whistler's mind won that title fight.
My meme. What would you suggest?
Okay, I think you get the idea. I've put together a collection of famous paintings along with their artists and the titles chosen by them to forever denote their work. See if you can come up with a clever (and hopefully funny) new title for each one. This is just a fun game, there's no need to send me what you come up with, though I would enjoy seeing a few of your best ones. If you like, send them to: as jpg attachments. Oh, and try to keep them clean, or at least in reasonably good taste.

The Art Critic, 1958, Norman Rockwell
 Judith Beheading Holofernes, 1598-99, Caravaggio
The Persistence of Memory, 1931, Salvador Dali
The Battle of Anghiari (copy), 1505 , Leonardo da Vinci
Women in the garden, 1866, Claude Monet
Family of Saltimbanques, 1905, Pablo Picasso
 The Anatomy Lesson of Dr. Tulp, 1632, Rembrandt van Rijn
The Kiss, 1889, Auguste Rodin
Skull with a Burning Cigarette, 1885-86, Vincent van Gogh
And finally, one of my own; can you come up with a better title?

Copyright, Jim Lane
Mademoiselle, 1971, Jim Lane