Pear, Shell and A. Getz

The longer you do creative work, the more you realize mood has nothing to do with it.

Julia Cameron

Dec. 8, 14  Noon:  22 degrees and cloudy. Not an exciting day, weather-wise.  Plus, it’s cold.



Pear, Shell and A. Getz AFTER



In the waning sun of yesterday, I started cleaning-up an old painting, one that was still taped to the board but which I never finished after I’d begun, or bothered to remove from the board.  I’m pretty sure that it was begun early in the Summer  of ’08, which suddenly turned out to be my last summer on South Lake St.**

In this painting is my dear old dish towel with the big blue checks and a thin yellow stripe in the white and gray areas surrounding the big squares of blue.  I discovered the towel on a rack at the supermarket and for some reason, it ‘spoke’ to me and I wanted it.   I bought it and I’ve used it frequently, since.

The pear was not artificial.  I bought it to eat and used it as a model until it ripened.  The post card in this set-up was one sent to me by The Hotchkiss School in Lakeville, CT, advertising a show in a gallery at the school featuring work by Arthur Getz.

Arthur Getz was an artist I admired and respected and for a few years, had the pleasure of being his student in a watercolor painting class at the Washington (CT) Art Association.

From an early age, Arthur Getz was well known to me as an artist whose work was often featured on a New Yorker cover.  My mother, a dedicated New Yorker reader, has had a subscription to the New Yorker since she was a young woman.  Before she married and began receiving her own copies, she lived with her parents and read their copy of the New Yorker.  I don’t recall exactly what day of the week The New Yorker was delivered but I do recall feeling anticipatory on the day it was to arrive and eagerly waited to see each and every one.   Arthur’s covers were high on my list of favorites.

Arthur’s last New Yorker cover (#213) was published on Aug 29, ’88, my birthday.  I still have the copy that he gave me in the watercolor class that day.  I wish I’d thought to ask him to autograph it.  I didn’t know Arthur well and I didn’t know him long but when he was my teacher, we had some conversations about art and being artist that impacted me and I remember (and hopefully use) to this day.

I’m a life-long and dedicated New Yorker reader but being frugal-minded, do not have a subscription.  I get my copies from my mother when she’s done with them.  When I’m done with them, I leave them in a magazine rack in a nearby waiting room.

Arthur died in Jan, 1996.  I’ve paid homage to Arthur in one or two other paintings with postcards.  I started this particular painting because I so enjoyed the image created by Arthur that was used on the postcard from The Hotchkiss School in Lakeville CT that was showing his work so many years after his death.

I went to the show in Lakeville with Dan, who had also known Arthur.  Dan owned 2 paintings by Arthur; one an original for a cover and another, a large oil painting of flags outside the UN building in NYC.  The flags are multi-national — so multi-colored  — and were done with such skill, passion and feeling by the artist that the viewer can almost hear those flags snapping in the breeze.  I don’t know what became of the original New Yorker cover when Dan’s estate was divided-up but I do know that he bequeathed Arthur’s large oil painting to the New Britain Museum of American Art.  I’d love to see it again, someday though I feel it will be difficult to see it on view in a museum where it once hung in the intimacy of Dan’s dining room overlooking so many parties, dinners and other good times with good friends.

** whole other story….


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2 Responses to Pear, Shell and A. Getz

  1. beetleypete says:

    What a great story Gretchen. I had not heard of Arthur, so followed your link, and many others, to his work for the New Yorker. Great stuff, I loved it all!
    I also have to say that your improvements are really first rate, Everything looks so much better, including Arthur’s painting.
    I really enjoyed this one. I always enjoy your posts anyway, but I loved that connection tonight, I really did.
    Very best wishes from England, Pete.x

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