Wednesday, December 2, 2009

4 New Giclee Prints, "On Virginia Beach"

4 Giclee Prints are offered

for the Christmas Holiday


40% discount

Pay Pal Accepted

For quite some time I have been wanting to develop a reliable source for Giclee Prints. As you may know Giclee is a printing process which allows for excellent duplication and when done by printers' who consider it as an Art form you can get an image which is hard to tell apart from the original. Another advantage is you can choose from a variety of surfaces; such as paper or canvas.

The paper prints are printed on Premium Archival, acid-free, matte paper. The image sizes for all the paintings pictured above is approximately 20 inches x 16 inches. The paper itself is about 26 inches by 22 inches. The prints are signed and number in the traditional manner, under the picture; the edition is 250 of each in paper. With this type of print, you will need a glass with the frame. There is a further discount on the collection of four prints.

The canvas prints are finished with a 'Gallery Wrap', which is to say there is a plain finished edge and framing is not really necessary. As well the canvases are coated with a protection from ultra violet rays. The edge can be finished in black or white (the canvas color). The overall image is 20" x 16" approx.

The wrapped canvas maybe framed and we are offering 4 various 'Float Frames'.

A new feature to the web site is we are accepting Pay Pal. This allows for payments with a variety of Bank and Credit Cards as well as your Pay Pal account.

Please visit my web site to make your purchase. Here is the link:- Paintings n Prints

Have a very happy holiday season.

Bill Osmundsen

ps pls place your orders early for Christmas delivery

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

A Story About Earthday

Hudson River Sloop riding tide upriver through Haverstraw Bay,

while the sidewheeler Daniel Drew heads south beneath Hook Mountain.
Oil Painting by William G. Muller

Scenes like the one above were common in the 1700's - 1800's and inspired the Clean-up of a River forgotten for it's Beauty

Pete Seeger, The Clearwater and the Hudson River

Earth Day and Earth Week have come to an end. It is 39 years since the first Earth day was declared in 1970. A few things fueled that idea, including the Cuyahoga River that caught fire in June 1969.
The Cuyahoga, which means crooked river in Iroquois, meanders through Ohio, flowing south from Hambden to Akron and north from Akron to Cleveland where it empties into Lake Erie. Pollution then was thought to be the price of industry and doing business. After all, the Cuyahoga, caught fire in 1952 and at least 9 other times, beginning during the 1860’s.
But, I’ve never seen the Cuyahoga River and this piece is about the Hudson River, a river that has been called the American Rhine; a river you can grow to love for all it’s majesty and surrounding countryside.
The Hudson never caught fire but was chocked full of pollutants which by-and-large could be visually overlooked. My father, who’s father was an occasional yacht captain in the New York area said to me, when he was growing up, he used to swim in the Hudson. We both agreed, during the 1960’s, that would be a really terrible idea. The Hudson over the centuries had been polluted by open sewage and by the 1970’s large amounts of PCB’s.

PCB’s, a group of Polychlorinated biphenyls and are plenty useful ….

PCB were used as dielectric fluids in transformers and capacitors, coolants, lubricants, stabilizing additives in flexible PVC coatings of electrical wiring and electronic components, pesticide extenders, cutting oils, flame retardants, hydraulic fluids, sealants (used in caulking, etc), adhesives, wood floor finishes,[1] paints, de-dusting agents, and in carbonless copy paper.[ref. Wikipedia]

However General Electric (GE) elected to dump this, mostly yellowish, sticky, highly toxic and not in anyway biodegradable ooze into the Hudson rather than dispose of it responsibly. By 1937 a conference held at the Harvard School of Public Health warned the industry and anyone else interested in listening that PCB’s were hazardous. This warning remained largely ignored by GE and other industries.
The Hudson River, is tidal estuary, divided into the Upper Hudson and the Lower Hudson or North River and South River. The River begins in upstate New York in the Adirondack Mountains and flows 315 miles down to the Battery in Manhattan. As well as a tidal estuary, the tide flows north from the Battery all the way to Troy, NY. This divides the river into the Upper Hudson and the Lower Hudson or North River and South River. The Iroquois, native American name, for the Hudson was Muhhekunnetuk (Great Mohegan) or the river that flows north and south.

By the 1970’s Commercial Stripped Bass fishing was banned on the Upper Hudson and Seabirds that were washed up on the shores showed significant amounts of PCB’s which are not only toxic but carcinogenic. (Frankly I don’t know anyone who would have deliberately eaten any fish at that time from the Hudson River). But by the mid to late 1980’s, in Kingston, NY, where there is a fresh water and salt water exchange, the River-side town hosted a Shad and Shad Roe barbecue that I attended. Shad, a fish which spawns much like Salmon, in fresh water were migrating up the Hudson River.
We also noted that Swans were back in Cold Spring Harbor and Eagles were nesting again up by Bear Mountain, areas south of Kingston and within about 100 miles of New York City.
So what brought back the Eagles, Swans and Shad?

The biggest culprit in the deadly PCB overload was GE, but if anything we can learn from the present corporate mess of Banks and Car companies is the ability to regulate or police itself; as long as it’s profitable ‘who gives a PCB’.

Enter now, in 1966, not a big government agency or powerful advisory to pollution but a home spun, modest folk singer named Pete Seeger. He lives in the Hudson Valley in the Town of Fishkill, initially building his own log cabin there, and after reading a book about the great Hudson River Sloops, that traded up and down the river in the 1700’s and 1800’s, he has a visionary moment. Seeger thinks by building one of these magnificent 100 foot Sloops, which carried over 4,000 sq. ft. of sail, everyone would once again see the Hudson River as it had been, when it was called the American Rhine. Pete and his wife Toshi and a few friends commissioned the Harvey Gamage Shipyard, in S. Bristol, Maine to build a replica Sloop.

The Clearwater, a replica of 18th & 19th century Dutch gaff rigged Sloop, was laid down in Oct. 1968 and Launched on May 17, 1969. from South Bristol, Maine. LOA: 106 ft., Beam: 25 ft., Draft: 8 ft., Auxiliary Engine, Sail: Main, top and jib;- 4,305 sq. ft. The Sloop was sailed down from South Bristol, to the Hudson River; offices home based in Poughkeepsie, NY.
The Clearwater's mission was well defined by 1966, but the unfortunate or maybe fortunate blaze on the Cuyahoga River in 1970 hit Time Magazine (remember this River had been on fire at least 9 times before since the 1860's) and a swell of indignation rose throughout America.
Since the 1960's a Wisconsin Senator, Gaylord Nelson had been ineffectively campaigning for an environmental turn around. In 1969 Senator Nelson announced grass route demonstrations in the form of peaceful 'teach-ins', in part inspired by the effectiveness of the Vietnam demonstrations. On April 22, 1970 it is estimated 20 million people gathered throughout the United States demonstrating for environmental clean-up;- Earthday was born.
The Clearwater continues to actively navigate the Hudson River for Environmental clean-up.
Pete Seeger will be 90 years old on May 3, 2009 and will be honored at a concert in Madison Square Garden, at the date. For more information about that event;-
Keep the Scene Clean,
Bill Osmundsen

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Paul Ridley

The evening has given away to the blackness of the night and in my solo comfort I think of another member of this earth also alone but in the vast expanse of the Atlantic Ocean. Paul Ridley is a young ‘rower’ of 25 who has decided to cross the Atlantic and presently as I write this Blog is on the last leg of his solo voyage in a 19 foot boat. You see Paul, who lost his mother to cancer, has taken his considerable rowing and boating skills and is making this crossing to raise money for cancer research. He is hoping individual donations will reach $500,000.00. As of March 6, 2009, Paul has been rowing 65 Days. Departing Canary Islands in December the westward crossing is intended to end in English Harbor, Antigua; a total distance of 2,950 miles. Presently 650 nautical miles lay ahead.

I picked up on Paul’s story in a CNN interview, while he was at Sea, about a week-and-a-half ago. It got my attention because we have been deep into the project of “The Fox Sculpture and Monument. Perhaps Paul got his inspiration from George Harbo and Frank Samuelsen, subjects of our Fox Sculpture. They were the first men to dare the North Atlantic in 1896. They made their two man crossing under oar only in 55 days and since that event no one has matched their crossing time. That voyage was from west to east, Paul’s is east to west. Theirs was a northern crossing, Paul’s a southern route.

Each crossing has it’s own particular problems. I think the loneliness of Paul’s and the difficulty of being the only propellant to the boat must be his. Harbo and Samuelsen could at least rest while the other rowed;- albeit in an open boat.

Paul makes a daily entry to his Blog:- and you can track his progress on Google Earth, presently he his on day 69 and is delayed because of weather.

Paul’s web site is:- and you make a donation to Cancer research there.

We all wish Paul and his Norwegian named craft LIV all the best for a safe return.

Bill Osmundsen

Thursday, February 5, 2009

NEA's impact is more than decoration

'6 more weeks of winter'
I was struck the other day by the dollar figure of 50 Million.

I had been seeing it bounce around ;- first for the purchase of Citi Banks’ Corporate Jet, part of the first Congressional bailout package and then just the other day on CNN as a figure associated with the NEA, National Endowments for the Arts, as part of the new recovery bill.

Both dollar amounts are identical and both are being scrutinized for there validity.

Many people are aware of how dramatically the Arts have been cut in Public Schools, State and Federal Funding, and Corporate sponsorship. This has impart taken place quite amazingly enough during our recent boom albeit a financial success driven by smoke and mirrors.

Ah look at the King stride down the street in his long underwear the
proletariat are unaware his garments are so fine they can’t be seen.

It is difficult to comprehend that during times of prosperity that the Arts were being so severely cut. One would wonder doesn't Art go hand and glove with a great civilization. After all, really all, we have to show of the great civilizations of the past is Art, Architecture and their Writings;- you might describe this as the soul of a civilization. Every civilization needs a soul as do we as individuals.

The NEA was begun during the hopeful years of the Kennedy Administration and it flourished for a period of time and was reminiscent of the WPA program of the Depression era. Why Art isn’t driven by a free market is because it simply isn’t a utilitarian commodity, it can be ephemeral and conceptual. In many ways each Artwork is its own journey into an unsolved problem. Art seeks creative solutions for intrinsic ideas.

Teaching then and the education of Art is an important tool for creative thinking and the hands on technical skills one needs to create them.

You can almost see how culture devoid of Art and Art Education would foster all the greed and excess of the last decade. How can a CEO the head of a company accept millions of dollars of bonuses while the company and it’s employees go in the tank.
A CEO must be viewed like the captain of a ship. He is ultimately responsible for the vessel and it’s crew. More than one Captain has been tried and convicted for malfeasance.

Has anyone thought of sending a bonus to Captain Smith (or his heirs) for the sinking of the Titanic?

When Captain Kidd was sponsored by the Kings investors to go ‘a roving’ and came back empty loosing their investment and accused of misappropriating the bounty, he was slapped in a dungeon for a year, tried, hung twice and his body bound in an iron cage to hang out on the quay for one year.
Gone are the good old days.

What does 50 Million mean to the NEA and the USA.
The 50 Million dollars are spread throughout 50 States and to over 4,000 local and state agencies. The distribution is not equal for all states, it is driven by population density, but it does only average 1 Million dollars per state or based on 4,000 agencies working with art grants, $12,500. Per agency.

Compare this modest dole out to the Citi Banks Corporate Jet. Both again have the 50 Million dollar figure but the corporate jet accommodates 12 corporate executives compared to the NEA Art program which directly impacts thousands of individuals. In comparison each seat on the airplane costs 4 Million 167 thousand dollars per executive before fuel and usage.

$50 Million to NEA, on the other hand, will directly impact on 14,422 jobs in the Arts, according to a press release issued by Americans for the
The NEA funds are leveraged by 7 to 1 by local, state and private donations leveraging the 50 Million dollar figure to a $350 Million.
The 2007 Arts & Economic Prosperity III study indicates nonprofit arts and their audiences generate 166.2 Billion dollars yearly; support 5.7 Million jobs and return nearly 30 Billion in local, state and federal government revenues every year.

The Arts support the mind and the economy.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Andrew Wyeth remembered

"Christina's World" Andrew Wyeth

Are you a Seagull

or an Eagle

Andrew Wyeth 1917-2009

Andrew Wyeth died Friday, on January 16, 2009, at 91 years of age. He quietly influenced many artists, in fashion, out of fashion, he was always respected in his trade. His stately presence and the possibility that he would add to his list of creations was a comfort to many artists as we continue daily to add to our own. I didn't know him; I don't create like him but his lone individual course, like an Eagles, was one I drew strength from, so because of this, lets take a moment to honor him.

I first became aware of Andrew Wyeth in the mid-60’s he had created a picture called “Christina’s World” which was a powerful realistic painting of Christina Olsen, a Maine resident with polio, crawling through a field toward her farm house and barn. The picture a purchase by MOMA, Museum of Modern Art, in New York, stood distinctly against the avant guarde art trend of the period.

Many an art discussion of that time pitted non-objective or abstract art against Wyeth’s realism. Jealously, many artist’s attributed Wyeth’s stunning style to being only a facial technician. AOL in their on-line article on Wyeth stated that New York Times critic Hilton Cramer said; he didn't think Wyeth could paint at all. As a true artist and innovator Andrew Wyeth simply went his own way following a path that lead to painstaking realism and introspection. It’s his introspection and detailed analysis that Wyeth performed, in his paintings, that I believe will live for centuries to come.

After some college studies I opened an Art Gallery in New Jersey and as it had two store owners before and having been a music shop I inherited the musicians and the previous store owner. They used to drop by with guitars and banjos pulling up in a 1938 Chystler convertible. Very much into the free form of the late 60’s, still 'Beat', not Hippie, they would play a little Blue Grass; one of the instrument cases always carried the Sangria Wine.

Chet, the former store owner, had moved his musical repair shop into his nearby house and in this little work room and there I first learned about N. C. Wyeth, Andrew Wyeth’s father.

N C. Wyeth was the illustrious illustrator of such books as “Treasure Island”, and there on Chet's wall was ‘the pirate with cape’, the original painting, as illustrated in the book. And the collection also included another 3 or 4 original N. C. Wyeth’s and another 3 or 4 original paintings by Howard Pyle. Howard Pyle being the great illustrator, a generation before N. C. , and N. C. Wyeth’s teacher.

N. C. Wyeth was a big robust man who had 5 children, They lived in Chadds Ford Pennsylvania and the family summered in Maine. All the children were trained in art, by N. C., two daughters and Andy became professional artist’s. Henrietta married Peter Hurd who made the presidential portrait of Lyndon Johnson that he hated. Henrietta, also a portrait painter painted Pat Nixon.

It’s interesting to note that Andrew being rather frail was mostly home schooled in a time before that became popular. He described his family life as being rich in the sense of opportunity to learn and the support and love that went with it. You can just imagine Christmas with N. C. Wyeth as Kris Kringle must have been a real event.

The Wyeth’s were pretty regular people from what I read but years ago, while on a Med. Cruse in the Navy. I started a painting onboard using the subject of the ships block and tackle and two of the deck crew over by the rail. I knew both of those guys. One named ‘Smitty’ was pretty quite and to himself. As the painting progressed I was rummaging around in the Drafting Shop, where I was assigned, and found a book on Andrew Wyeth. Both men had come down to the Drafting Shop, I said, “look at this I found a book on Andrew Wyeth, do you know about this Artist". Sure said Smitty I used to see Jamie (Andrew Wyeth’s Son, also an Artist) down at the garage all the time, he likes to work on cars. And that painting there of the girl in the grass, “Christiana’s World” was always hanging unframed over Andy’s fireplace.

Christina's World can still can be seen at MOMA, the Museum of Moder Art in New York City.