Bob's ART du Jour

Hi, I'm Bob Eggleton and this is my painting and "life in general blog" but mostly paintings. Usually they're for sale. Anyway, if you like something contact me at and ENJOY!!

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Location: New England, United States

I am a Hugo award-winning fantasy/SF artist who works on both publishing projects and film concept work(such as Jimmy Neutron and most recently, The Ant Bully) but I have a passion for landscape work, small paintings and exploring the properties of paint. This blog will mostly showcase my "painting-for-the-day" as kind of a personal voyage. I'll also be inserting sketches,photos and ideas of projects I am working on, that I can, when I can, so look for those every so often(usually as paint is drying!)

Monday, October 13, 2008

Seven Museums in Two Days

We went to Washington DC and Baltimore. My wife attended the 2008 Bouchercon and made some great contacts for her mystery writing. I took the train down to Washington DC to see some of the museums and galleries I had not seen in awhile.

I got in and had lunch with my longtime friend Angelique Trouvere-widely known as a costumer and in the 1970's she was one of the first "Vampirellas" and "Red Sonjas" at many of the comic cons. Hadn't seen her in ten years so it was great to catch up.

After that, I pounded the Mall and went to the NAtional Academy of Sciences for the John Brosio display. John is a great artist I have come to know lately as a friend, and he paints tornadoes like no one I know. He has 12 large canvases there and they are on display in the same halls that once walked the likes of Albert Einstein back in the day. The place is impossible and, so obvious to find!!! After that, I went to The Corcoran Gallery, The Renwick Gallery, The National Gallery and the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History! WOW! All in five hours!!!

The National Gallery had some amazing Thomas Coles (his epics "Voyage of Life") my favorite(and Ray Harryhausen's) John Martin painting, and some fantastic paintings by Fredric Edwin Church, Albert Bierstadt and Jasper Francis Cropsey, and JMW Turner, and many more. Back in Baltimore the next day, I went to the Walters Museum of Art and The Baltimore Museum of Art. The Walters wound up being my favorite, despite The Baltimore having a fine Thomas Cole. The collection at the Walters was pretty amazing. They have a 19th Century hall that has a Gustave Dore painting I have only ever seen in a book and it does it no justice, and a wonderful Asher Brown Durand. As well as this, they have an Orientalist room which contains some Jean Leon Geromes,a Delacroix and the always amazing Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema.

All of this completely re-invigorated my inspirations. It was reassurance for me. I'm never intimidated by masters such as these. I simply look at them and see things they did that I am now doing and feel like "Yeah, I'm doing the right thing". For instance, Dore has so much texture on his painting that it becomes all part of the detail and how you percieve the work. Nothing looks "slick". While I like Sci-fi and fantasy art, I like this stuff even more because it's epic and it's done for it's own sheer granduer. And I find myself rapt looking at these works.

I can always stress to artists, go to MUSEUMS. Take a look at these great masters and take your inspiration and style hints from them, don't copy contemporary artists. Also, if you make a living in art, it's tax write off to visit these places to see this work in person. And it enriches your mind and expands your perceptions.


Blogger Michael A. Burstein said...

I've been to the National Academy of Sciences once for an exhibit, and to the National Gallery, but seven museums in two days! Whoa.

11:36 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You are cordially invited to visit
for a feast of Turners


6:47 PM  
Blogger Annalisa said...

I love posts like these where you're sharing your enthusiasm and inspiration with us all! (And it's great to hear that Bouchercon was helpful for your mystery-writing wife. So she paints and writes? That's what I want to do!)

I completely agree about how inspiring and reassuring museums are; occasionally I do get jealous pangs like "Why can't I do that? Why am I not that great?" but mostly I feel reaffirmed in my commitment to art and how powerful art is. And YET, I still don't go to museums nearly enough! There are certain things that I know are good for me, that I know I enjoy, and I still don't do them. That's the next hump for me to get over.

I must get myself to the National Gallery. I adore the Hudson River Valley painters and I've only seen their work in person a few times. It really makes a difference.

3:23 PM  
Blogger leslee said...

That's amazing. I get stimulation overload pretty quickly at a museum - I can't believe you took in so many! This relates totally to writing, by the way. To be a good writer, you have to read a lot of good quality writing.

5:14 PM  
Blogger Bob Eggleton (Zillabob) said...

Annalisa-yeah-museums do that for me. In the case of the masters of course I am in awe but not in a way that makes me want to give up. Portraits are not my calling, but epic landscapes are. I'm a bit different from the crowd in that respect. When you see "the" painting in the canvas, as it were, you realize they're doing all the same little tricks we're ALL trying to do, and they were plagued with the same doubts.

Leslee-yeah, I was overloaded!! I was trying to keep track of all that I had seen and it was overwhelming. What also stunned me was that most of the museums and galleries in DC and Baltimore are all FREE. I think I paid for the Corcoran.

5:58 PM  

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