Seed writes: "A Painter's Life offers countless fascinating insights into Park and his development, including revelations about the artists who he was exposed to and influenced by early on. Who knew, for example, that 19-year-old Park had been present at a 1930 lunch given for the visiting French artist Henri Matisse?"
Seed also notes Boas' interesting idea that Park's figurative work was a "moral" reaction to the abstract paintings of Clyfford Still: "By committing himself to the depiction of the human figure, Park created a hybrid art that literally moved the abstract inventions of Clyfford Still, Park's antithesis, into the background where they provided a sense of tone and setting. [Boas suggests] that Still's romanticism and sense of 'nature ecstasy' forms the setting for Park's figure."
John Seed tells the little known story of Edith Park Truesdell (1888-1986) "a painter, a teacher, a writer and a poet." Truesdell, a contemporary of Georgia O'Keeffe, studied with Frank Weston Benson and Edmund C. Tarbell at the Boston Museum School in 1906. Her lifelong devotion to painting was an inspiration to her nephew San Francisco Bay Area Figurative painter David Park (1911-1960).
Seed quotes Helen Park Bigelow: "As with David... painting was always Edith's fierce, abiding engagement."
Matthew Ballou looks at Richard Diebenkorn's Ocean Park paintings through the lens of "provisional painting."
Ballou writes that "To get a clear view of Diebenkorn's connection with provisionality one must think about the sense of compositional balance exemplified in the Ocean Park Series. It is a balance that is hard-won yet still teetering on the edge of disarray. Though the works are in some ways locked, they flicker and undulate; these are compositions that don’t always feel as if rightness was absolutely achieved."
Seed notes: "In the last year and half of Oliveira's life, there were wonderful developments in the studio. 'The old Nathan came back,' says Joe Oliveira, 'the guy who wanted to be in the studio every day. He couldn't wait to get back in there; something new and beautiful was happening.' Starting with rich, abstract washes of color, Oliveira was again inspired to conjure up haunting, solitary figures."
John Seed blogs about the painter Joan Brown and his experiences as her student.
Seed writes: "Brown, in her words and in her art, was uncompromisingly assertive. Her toughness didn't endear her to everyone, but over the long haul it was the quality that distanced her from a difficult childhood and moved her towards the visionary optimism that characterized her final works."
Edited by artist Brett Baker, Painters' Table highlights writing from the painting blogosphere as it is published and serves as a platform for exploring blogs that focus primarily on the subject of painting.