Saturday, May 31, 2008

Friday, May 30, 2008

Found Friday - Found Recordings

A couple of years ago, I stumbled on a trove of home recordings at a thrift store in Fort Wayne, Indiana which I quickly bought up for a dime a piece. Not too long ago I started trying to record them to mp3. Most of them were badly damaged and I was unable to record form the majority of them. There were a few that came out well, and a few more that came out ok. I've compiled the decent ones (the last two tracks are pretty poor quality) for you to listen to. It is a fascinating collection of short audio letters, talk about the war (WWII), home recordings of the piano and accordian, recordings from the radio, etc. All the information I have on these is that the main two people on the 1945 recordings are M. M. White and Helen. Some of the records have scrawled notes, my favorites being the black markered ones on which they wrote "bad." There were no second takes - so there's a good live, conversational feel to these recordings. I have tagged the mp3s so it should come up as one album on your mp3 player. The audio quality is very rough- covered in a thick layer of fuzz, but sometimes that's refreshing with the over-polished state of most new recordings. Here are some scans of some of the records - some were on a vinyl-coated cardboard disc, some were on vinyl (the ones that sounded better), some were on vinyl-coated aluminum (most of which had peeled off the metal). You can find the collection here, here or here. I especially like the track "Married Life for Us".

This is what most of the look like - on vinyl-coated cardboard

Thursday, May 29, 2008

High-Security River Vally/Canyon

If all is going well at this point, I should be in the Grand Canyon. Michael Schall put up some new drawings - all of which are absolutely amazing, but this one more closely relates to my Canyon adventures...

Michael Schall, "High Security River Valley", graphite on paper, 38" x 50", 2008.(detail view)

Check out his portfolio...spectacular work.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Watercolors from Vacations

Nathan Abels, "Bay of Sorento at Night", (study), watercolor on paper, 2002
Nathan Abels, "Italian Landscape", (study), watercolor on paper, 2002
Nathan Abels, "Italian Landscape" (study), watercolor on paper, 2002

I try to bring a small watercolor set with me when I go on vacations. I did these while on a trip to Italy in 2002.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Balthus Landscape

Balthus, "Larchant", Oil on Canvas, 130x162 cm, 1939

This is a beautiful Balthus painting that actually does not have figures in it (which is rare). I referenced this painting for the sky on my painting "Overpass"

Nathan Abels, "Overpass", Acrylic on Panel, 36x96", 2005

Monday, May 26, 2008

Patti Hallock's "Greetings from the West"

photo by Patti Hallock

I am not the only one that is getting the out-West fever lately - fellow artist and friend here in Denver area Patti Hallock is working on a excellent series of photographs that present the West in all of its real and artificial/mythological splendor. Patti says that the series is an, " examination of the myth of the American West through the landscape, Wild West-themed amusements and Hollywood Western movie making." I love these photos and I'm really looking forward to being in a show with her this late-summer/early-fall. Check out all of her photos, because this isn't her only series -and they are all fantastic.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Found Photos: Camping

From my large collection of antique/vintage photographs - a camping theme:

Saturday, May 24, 2008


Today we leave for Moab, Zion, and the Grand Canyon. I will continue posting through scheduled auto-posts, so keep checking in...

Friday, May 23, 2008


A funny comment was made to me a few days ago when I was told by my wife, "I didn't think that when we moved out to Colorado you would start listening to soundtracks from old Westerns"...I didn't either - but it is true. Lately I have been listening to a lot of Ennio Morricone soundtracks, and watching "There Will Be Blood" (great soundtrack too) and "No Country for Old Men" a few too many times. It's hard not to get a little swept up in the spirit of the West out here. And in light of this, here are a few great movie posters from old Westerns:

Poster art by Averardo Ciriello - from MovieposterDB
Poster by Averardo Ciriello

This will be me and my wife by this time next year.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

About the Island...

Leah Giberson has written a very complimentary post about my work:

More on Leah's excellent artwork soon...

New Aerial Photos

The first 13 photos on this slideshow are new snaps I took on Tuesday.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

A Surge

I host my NathanAbels dot com on a Wordpress Blog, and according to Wordpressbestblogs, "The number 1 growing wordress blogs position is yours today – 2008-05-21. Your blog Nathan Abels at - is doing well." This is thanks to Tiny Showcase and everyone that has stopped by this site and my art site. Thanks everyone! I am also happy to announce that my Tiny Showcase edition sold out in less than one hour.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

This Evening!

Nathan Abels, "Island", Graphite and Colored Pencil on Paper

I am pleased to announce that TODAY - May 20th at 7:30 pm EDT a small editioned print of my drawing titled "Island" will be available for purchase for no more than $25 through the wonderful Tiny Showcase. I will be in good company too -Tiny Showcase has printed editions of works by notable contemporary artists like Josh Keyes, and Marci Washington, and has even been featured in Oprah magazine as well as numerous art and design blogs.

This is a great and very affordable way to start your contemporary art collection and donate to a good cause. Tiny Showcase donates a percentage of the proceeds to a charity of the artist's choice - in my case I will be donating to the Alta Vista Center for Autism here in Denver, where my wife works. Austim rates are soaring nationwide, currently affecting one in every 150 children in the US. This is a organization and cause I feel strongly about and by purchasing my print from Tiny Showcase, you will be donating to help children with autism that attend the Alta Vista Center from all over the Front Range here in Colorado.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Magnus Von Plessen

Here are some semi-recent paintings from Magnus Von Plessen, a artist I have been enjoying for a few years now. I am fairly certain that all of his brushes or palette knives are flats: I can also say with confidence that Magnus Von Plessen has the coolest name in the art world - I mean you could abbreviate his name to MVP. My initials are "Not Applicable" (NA), but his are MVP - "Most Valuable Player (Most Valuable Painter?)"- there's no comparison.

Magnus Von Plessen, 2006, Oil on canvas, 47.2 x 35.4 inches photo from Kyle Lemstrom

Magnus Plessen, In and out of my shirt, 2006. Oil on canvas; 45.67 x 39.37 inches
Magnus Von Plessen, Untitled, 2006, Oil on Canvas, 110x68"

Minutiae - where you'll find only the most erudite art criticism and commentary.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Variations on a Theme

Johannes Kahrs
Man putting finger into his finger, 2004
Oil on canvas
94.5x 98.5 inches
(240 X 250 cm)
"Reconstruction of 'The Dead Torreador' by Manet" by Pavlova
Manet, "The Dead Toreador" 1867 - photo from the MoMA

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Friday, May 16, 2008

Film Sketch

Here's a short sketch I did this afternoon between many coats of paint. Best seen full-screen. Music by Matmos.

How colourfully each other self unwinds

Here are some beautiful mosly figurative paintings by Kaye Donachie. I love the mysterious qualities these images have and the dramatic titles that sound like lines from plays. They also remind me of the work of Luc Tuymans both in palette and in brushwork.

Kaye Donachie, "How colourfully each other self unwinds", 2005, oil on canvasKaye Donachie, "Your untold dreams I love to see", 2005, oil on canvasKaye Donachie, "During the days, we move along like frightened animals", 2005, oil on canvas Kaye Donachie, "Then between lust and tragedy and I know not what", 2006, oil on canvas, 18 1/8 x 12 1/4 in.
Luc Tuymans, "Der Diagnostiche Blick V", 1992
photo by zwigmar

Luc Tuymans,"Turtle", 2007 , Oil on canvas, 144.88 x 200.39 inches
photo by tee R tee


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