Painting restoration YouTube is the niche relaxation you need

This post is part of Hard Refresh, a soothing weekly column where we try to cleanse your brain of whatever terrible thing you just witnessed on Twitter.

If power-washing porn is your cup of tea, then historic painting conservation is going to be your new relaxation destination.

When I need to unwind, I turn to the highly educational and surprisingly calming YouTube genre, popularized online by conservationist Julian Baumgartner. (Baumgartner is the most popular YouTube conservationist, which is an admittedly small community to begin with.)

This is the video that made me a fan:

In general, we can break painting conservation in to a few major steps. The process varies depending on the extent of the damage and the piece’s needs, but Baumgartner usually follows the same playbook.

First he evaluates the painting’s condition and what type of paint the artist used, so he can be sure chemicals won’t harm the original work. After that, he often needs to remount the painting onto a new canvas or surface to ensure the painting is strong enough to be handled. Next comes the cleaning process, where layers of dirt and buildup are oh-so-satisfyingly removed. Finally, retouching: parts of the work that are lost or damaged are repainted.

SEE ALSO: Cookie decorating videos show off the most relaxing culinary art form

Baumgartner mixes chemicals and solvents to take off the mixture of varnish and grime that has accumulated — sometimes over hundreds of years. It’s a delicate process that is both disgusting and immensely gratifying.

In the video below, Baumgartner is tasked with removing an oil painting on paper from the piece of wood to which it’s adhered. He chisels all the wood away until just a thin layer is left, then removes that layer using a scalpel. It’s a bit like watching a surgery, but with none of the gross bits for people who are squeamish.

Baumgartner also narrates quite a few of his videos. His voice is even and mellow, which suits the steady pacing. It’s also nice to know exactly what’s going into the process — especially one that’s so unfamiliar to most people.

Most of the videos don’t stick to the same auditory scheme either. Some of hi s videos are borderline ASMR, in which the sounds of the cleaning, repairing, and painting are front and center. Like in this video:

In some videos, he takes the musical approach, pairing his work with classical compositions. Personally, I find this method to be so soothing that I’ve nearly fallen asleep to it. If that sounds up your alley, check this video out:

At this point, I’ve spent several hours watching these videos and frankly, I’ve learned a lot. I now know the importance of reversible paints (so future conservators can take off the past conservation jobs without harming the original painting), and that B72 resin is paramount for stabilizing wood and other surfaces the paint sits on.

And I’m clearly not the only one who’s a fan. In December of last year, Baumgartner won a YouTube Creator’s Silver Award for surpassing 100,000 subscribers, and in true conservationist and YouTuber fashion, he made an unboxing video.

While these videos are very pleasing and will make you feel like an expert, just remember that Baumgartner is a professional. Please don’t try these methods on your own priceless antique paintings (that you have). The chemicals used are very dangerous and you would likely turn your paintings into mush without the proper training. 

Uploads%252fvideo uploaders%252fdistribution thumb%252fimage%252f90257%252f1b13b72f 8f21 4078 a6ac f422e2b74d43.jpg%252foriginal.jpg?signature=klbm5s0jppotnyd9am9r0lh5p2a=&source=https%3a%2f%2fblueprint api production.s3.amazonaws

More

Volunteers Welcome for Coconut Grove Arts Festival®

The 2019 edition of the Coconut Grove Arts Festival® is seeking volunteers for many key assignments which include the staffing of merchandise and vintage poster booths, and offering assistance to the 360 participating artists.  The Arts Festival runs Presidents’ Weekend February 16-18.

Volunteers are needed each day either during the morning shift (9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.), the afternoon shift (1:30 p.m. to 6 p.m.) or full day.   Adult volunteers will receive an Arts Festival t-shirt and a souvenir poster. Student volunteers will receive a t-shirt and community service hours. Those individuals who volunteer both shifts, all three days will receive a complementary framed Arts Festival poster and be entered to win a bike courtesy of Panama Jack.      

No experience is required and young professionals, students in high school or college (minimum of 15 years of age), parents, retirees and members of community groups or arts organizations are all welcome.  

Those interested in volunteering are asked to visit the Arts Festival’s Web site at www.cgaf.com and fill out an application online.  Those requesting a high school student application must email Volunteer@cgaf.com.  

The Coconut Grove Arts Festival is produced by the non-profit Coconut Grove Arts and Historical Association. Proceeds help fund year-round arts programs. For more information or to purchase tickets for the Arts Festival online, visit www.CGAF.com.

Connect To Your Customers & Grow Your Business

Click Here

Home portraits for the house proud

Virginia Johnson describes her work as “bright and cheerful”. Her playful illustrations have graced tunics and tote bags, as well as magazine pages and books for the likes of the late Kate Spade – not to mention her own tome, Travels Through The French Riviera: An Artist’s Guide to the Storied Coastline, from Menton to Saint-Tropez. Her subjects range from people and places to motifs of flora and fauna, and last year the Toronto-based artist was asked by a private client to tackle a new theme: a New York brownstone. “She wanted me to create a watercolour of her building to use on a holiday card, making sure I included her little dog in the window,” recalls Johnson. “I really enjoyed that experience and decided to make home portraits [$2,000] a regular offering.” 

Johnson’s painting of a friend’s clapboard cottage on Lake Erie

Interiors commissions, Johnson admits, are more exacting and require a higher level of detail. But no matter which is chosen, the three-to-four-week process is the same, resulting in a 23cm x 30cm original watercolour illustration. Potential clients will submit multiple photographs from different angles, from which Johnson creates initial pencil sketches. The process isn’t unlike styling a photo shoot, and favourite flowers, family heirlooms or pets can be included on request. “Recently, I produced an image of a beautiful, traditional white clapboard house surrounded by trees. The client also wanted a version to send as a holiday card, so I created a digital layer where I added Christmas decorations as well as a portrait of the family in front of the house.”

Johnson’s portrait of the sitting room of Villa Santo Sospir in the South of France, with its murals by Jean Cocteau

Johnson, who lives in what she describes as an “old brick box from the 1920s that is a compromise between my modern-loving husband and nostalgic-loving me”, has been honing her horticultural skills and will soon also offer garden portraits – a category of her business that will bloom in the next few months.

Fairhaven watercolor artist featured at Millicent Library

Tuesday Jan 22, 2019 at 5:42 PM Jan 22, 2019 at 5:42 PM

The Millicent Library’s current exhibits include paintings by Fairhaven watercolor artist Jack Daly. They are on show at the ends of the stacks behind the circulation desk. In the Rogers Room showcase, there is a display of items that have been donated to the library, but are generally tucked away in storage or in the archives. “We want to show the variety of historical and other items that have generously been given to us. As a side note, most of the art objects in the Rogers Room were donated to the Library,” a release from the library stated. The Millicent Library is at 45 Center St., Fairhaven. There is an elevator on the Walnut Street side. For more information, call 508-992-5342.

Daisy Dodd Noble’s technicolour oil paintings of imaginary worlds and whimsical landscapes

Daisy Dodd Noble, Family. Image courtesy of the artist

Taking a peek inside the imagination of British artist Daisy Dodd Noble, we get a decent understanding of the colourful and whimsical landscapes she loves to dream up for her ongoing series of oil paintings.

But it isn’t all made up; Daisy does use a dash of observation to inspire her many artworks, which are created on canvas or linen. “The work explores ideas of consciousness, light, colour and space, depicting natural landscapes and dramatic outdoor settings,” Daisy tells Creative Boom.

Splitting her time between London and New York, Daisy completed her MFA at the New York Academy of Arts, after living and working between Dubai and Iraq in the oil and gas industry, and for the United Nations in the Office for Disarmament Affairs. “I work mainly in oils and more recently mainly from imagination,” she adds.

Whether painting landscapes in Miami with sunset skies or majestic volcanoes in Costa Rica with unusual plants and trees, the running theme is one of colour, soft muted brushstrokes and nature that looks familiar but potentially from another world. You can see more of her work at daisydoddnoble.com.

Daisy Dodd Noble, Sunset Climb. Image courtesy of the artist

Daisy Dodd Noble, 8th Street. Image courtesy of the artist

Daisy Dodd Noble, Island. Image courtesy of the artist

Latin heritage celebrated at Colores de Latinoamérica art show in London

Works by some of Canada’s finest artists with Latin American roots are showcased in a new exhibition at a London gallery.

TD Sunfest’s 13th annual Colores de Latinoamérica features works by six artists at TAP Centre for Creativity until Feb. 2.

The artists include Mao Correa (Colombia),  Mariana Bolaños (Mexico), Oscar Marroquin-Ponce (El Salvador), Michelle Peraza (Costa Rica and Cuba), Agustin Rolando Rojas (Cuba), Alex Usquiano (Colombia).

All the artists were either born in Latin America or have immediate family ties to the region.

The official opening of the exhibit Friday features music by the Alfredo Caxaj Latin Jazz Ensemble.

“The quality of this year’s Colores show is outstanding,” said Caxaj, who is also Sunfest’s executive and artistic director. “Whether seasoned professionals or recent graduates, many of our 2019 exhibitors have pieces that are part of prized art collections around the world.

“I am also thrilled by the diversity of esthetic approaches and mediums being showcased — from painting and assemblage to print-making and digital art.  In addition, many Colores ’19 artists are highly engaged community organizers and educators, giving their work a bold social purpose.”

jbelanger@postmedia.com

Twitter.com/JoeBatLFPress

IF YOU GO

What: TD Sunfest’s 13th annual Colores de Latinoamérica

When: Until Feb. 2 with official opening Friday, 7 p.m.

Where:TAP Centre for Creativity, 203 Dundas St.

London’s National Portrait Gallery set for huge redevelopment

London’s National Portrait Gallery has unveiled plans for the biggest redevelopment in its history, with a new entrance and a complete redisplay of its collection designed to resurrect the work of its Victorian creator.

At an event to announce details of the £35.5m scheme on Tuesday, architect Jamie Fobert said the proposal would revive the architecture of Ewan Christian, who designed the gallery in the late 19th century but whose full conception had been hidden or lost in piecemeal changes over time.

The biggest change to the 1896 building will be a generous, three-door entrance to be punched through the Renaissance-style façade on the gallery’s northern flank, relieving overcrowding at the current visitors’ foyer.

Offices in the eastern wing will be returned to their original function of display spaces for the gallery’s artistic treasures, and blocked-up windows along the roadside once again opened to light a new shop and gallery areas on the ground floor.

A new learning centre will be created in the basement, while flooring that was added in the 1960s will be ripped out to reclaim the naturally lit double-height spaces of the original design.

Nicholas Cullinan, the director of the gallery, which is a charity, said the new building would be “more welcoming, engaging and accessible for all”.

An artist’s impression of how the gallery will be transformed © PA

Jamie Fobert Architects have racked up a number of prominent gallery commissions in recent years, including work on Tate St Ives in 2017 and Kettle’s Yard, Cambridge university’s modern art gallery, last year.

But as well as changing the fabric of the building, curators are using the upheaval to rethink the display of the collection, which covers about 500 years of British history, “from Katherine Parr to Martin Parr”, as Mr Cullinan put it, referring to Henry VIII’s sixth wife and the prominent documentary photographer. The gallery will gain 20 per cent more display space, more of which is to be given over to its hoard of 250,000 historic and contemporary photographs.

The top-to-bottom refurbishment of all 40 galleries will be “no mean feat”, Mr Cullinan said. “As you walk around the galleries . . . some haven’t been touched for 25-30 years and some have aged better than others. The effect is to create quite a fragmented experience for our visitors. We want to have a more unified approach to the display of the collection.”

The gallery said it was still assessing how the building work, which is due to begin in 2020, would affect access to the collection.

The gallery’s surroundings have changed dramatically since its conception, when Victorian-era artists’ impressions of the proposed entrance showed wide pavements and children playing in Charing Cross road alongside a single stationary cart. Today the area is thronged by road users and pedestrians at the edge of one of London’s most popular tourist spots.

A new learning centre is a key part of the plans © Jamie Fobert Architects

The gallery submitted its planning application to Westminster council on Monday, and with £27m already raised towards the project, aims to complete funding this spring, with a target of 2023 to open the revamped gallery.

As well as seeking big cheques from wealthy philanthropists, the gallery launched a public appeal for funds on Tuesday. Donors can have their support recognised for particular elements of the building, such as new mosaics reflecting the gallery’s original Victorian designs, or “adopting” one of the 18 artists’ stone busts on the outside of the building.

PAINT YOUR SWEETHEART FOR VALENTINE’S DAY: ART CLASSES IN FEB. AT NAINSOOK IN LA MESA

 

 

East County News Service

 

January 21, 2019 (La Mesa) – Get creative!  Nainsook Framing + Art in La Mesa is offering a variety of art classes in February.  Enjoy an evening of wine, art and friendship while learning how to create mosaics, watercolor paintings, pendant jewelry and more.  Special for Valentine’s Day, on Feb. 7 you can also learn how to turn a black and white photo of your sweetheart into a painting.

Nainsook Framing + Art is located at 8130 La Mesa Blvd in La Mesa’s downtown village.

For a complete schedule of classes, visit www.NainsookFraming.com.

Still Life workshop with Master Oil Painter, Jim McVicker

This is a past event.

When: Jan. 18-20, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. 2019

Redwood Art Association will sponsor a Still Life workshop with Master Oil Painter, Jim McVicker. This still life workshop will be held on three consecutive days, January 18,19 and 20th. Held from 9a.m. to 4p.m. each day participants will learn Jims process of creating still life paintings. This includes learning about set up of the subject,process and evolution of painting. Jim will also discuss other aspects of still life painting such as lighting and composition. Jim will also demonstrate a block in process to achieve the finished work. Group demonstration and one on one instruction is included although lunch is not. This workshop is sponsored by Redwood Art Association and is limited to10 participants. Log on to Redwood Art Association home page and link to 2019 workshops for more information or call Redwood Art Association at 707-268-0755 . Email: info@redwoodart.us. NOTE: THIS WORKSHOP IS FILLED If you would like to be placed on a waiting list, please email Claudia L ima.

Derby Museum Opens Annual Student Art Show

Monday, January 21, 2019 at 2:37 pm | Back to: Shared News

Hundreds of works by student artists went on display Monday for the Kentucky Derby Museum’s 33rd annual Horsing Around with Art: A Student’s view of the Sport of Kings competition, presented by WinStar Farm. The competition is open to 1st-12th graders from the Louisville, Kentucky area. A total of 223 pieces were submitted by 30 schools this year.

“Every year we look forward to the unbelievable talent and creativity showcased by all the students who participate in Horsing Around with Art,” Kentucky Derby Museum President Patrick Armstrong said. “It is a wonderful way to celebrate and champion the arts in our local schools as well as the extraordinary event that is the Kentucky Derby.”

WinStar President and CEO Elliott Walden added, “WinStar is proud once again to sponsor the Kentucky Derby Museum’s student art competition. It is such a wonderful event that supports the student’s artistic talent, but also encourages them to immerse themselves in the Thoroughbred industry. It’s a great way to connect new fans to the sport and generate excitement for one of the industry’s most celebrated events.”

Works will be on display through Feb. 17 in the Museum’s Matt Winn Gallery, and a panel of judges will select winners in a number of categories. For more information, visit www.derbymuseum.org.

Not a subscriber? Click here to sign up for the daily PDF or alerts.

‘Photographing Frida,’ the artist as art: coming to the Arts Center

When we think of Pablo Picasso, we think of his mural “Guernica,” perhaps, or the Cubist “Demoiselles D’Avignon.” When we think of Frida Kahlo, we think of the woman, with her long Mexican dresses, oversized jewelry, flowery headdresses and iconic monobrow.

Kahlo was every much an artist as her on-again, off-again husband, Diego Rivera, but her personal glamour has gotten as much, if not more, attention as her paintings. She was herself a walking artwork, and because of her bohemian beauty, Kahlo was the subject of hundreds of photographs by such important photographers as Edward Weston, Imogen Cunningham and Lola Alvarez Bravo, and 65 such portraits will make up the “Photographing Frida” exhibition opening Feb. 1 at the Arkansas Arts Center.

Kahlo curated her image by wearing the traditional dress of the Tehuana women of southeast Mexico: rectangular huipil tops decorated with embroidery and floral patterns; and large, colorful skirts and large starch ed bonnets. Her dress was an expression of her feelings about her home country of Mexico and feminism.

In an essay in “Mirror Mirror,” a book of Kahlo photographs that will be available for sale at the Arts Center, Salomon Grimberg writes that Alvarez Bravo photographed Kahlo more than 30 times, nearly half the time showing Kahlo gazing at herself in a mirror, and that Kahlo surrounded herself with mirrors as a way to maintain her sense of self. One such photograph is in “Photographing Frida”: Because Kahlo’s image is so much of a piece with her artwork, Alvarez Bravo’s photograph of Kahlo gazing in a mirror is recursive both physically and philosophically.

In “Photographing Frida,” we also see a color photograph by Nickolas Murray — one of Kahlo’s lovers — of a viewer-gazing Kahlo, dressed in black and gold, wearing roses in her hair and seated in front of a flat floral background, a photograph with a startling similarity to the contemporar y work of painter Kehinde Wiley. There’s a shot of Kahlo as an 18-year-old staring confidently into the camera, belying the incredible pain and suffering of her youth: the spina bifida that affected her legs and spine and injuries in a bus-trolley crash that sent an iron rod through her abdomen and which fractured and crushed her bones. While her teenage gaze is serene, her paintings are anything but, inspired by her continuing afflictions. One photograph in the show, by Juan Guzman, is of Kahlo in a hospital bed.

Murray’s photograph of Kahlo painting “The Two Fridas,” in which a vein from an exposed heart in a Tehuana-dressed Kahlo connects to the heart of Frida in less flamboyant clothing, provides a second-hand glimpse of Kahlo’s talent. Kahlo in her later life said the painting depicted her sadness at her separation from Rivera.

There are photographs of Kahlo and Rivera, both posed and informal, and the exhibition will include the Arts Center’s fa mous Rivera, the Cubist painting “Dos Mujeres.”

“Photographing Frida” is the first exhibit having to do with the famous Mexican painter at the Arts Center. It’s not known whether any paintings by Kahlo have ever been exhibited in Arkansas, though reproductions of some of her work were shown at the Arts Center of the Ozarks in Springdale this winter. Arts Center curator Brian Lang, who did his master’s thesis on Kahlo, said that “Photographing Frida” may not include her own work, but it “allows one to experience a different aspect of the artist — artist as subject rather than artist as creator. In some respects, one might argue that as a subject she is also playing a role in the creation of the object.”

At 6 p.m. Jan. 31, before the members’ preview of the show, Metropolitan Museum fashion historian Raissa Bretana will give a talk on the way Kahlo used dress to express feminism and national pride. Admission is $15 for nonmembers, free to me mbers. Memberships will be sold at the show.

Other programming includes a screening of the film “The Life and Times of Frida Kahlo” at noon Feb. 8; a family portrait-making event from noon-3 p.m. Feb. 10; a Museum School class, “Paint Like Frida,” with Robert Bean and Michael Schaeffer, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Feb. 16, $60-$75; a lecture, “Movement and Frida,” Ashley Bowman of the Artifact Dance Project, 5:30 p.m. Feb. 21; a lecture by Julie Rodrigues Widholm, director of the DePaul Art Museum, at 6 p.m. March 14 (5:30 p.m. reception), $10 nonmembers; and a lecture by Lis Pankl of the University of Utah, “Materiality, Geography and Identity Construction in the Work and Life of Frida Kahlo,” 6 p.m. April 4 (5:30 p.m. reception), free.

Free Watercolor Workshop – learn to paint! – Mondays at 7 pm.

This post was contributed by a community member.

Author/illustrator Mike Malbrough is offering a free Watercolor Workshop on Mondays at 7 pm at Trinity Covenant Church beginning 1/21 for anyone ages 13 and up.  For more info visit www.TrinityCovenantChurch.com.  Trinity’s address is 343 East Cedar St, Livingston NJ.  973-992-4044.

Westminster Buffalo Presents Festival of Hymns

All are invited to Westminster’s Festival of Hymns on Sunday, January 27 at 4 PM in Sanctuary of Westminster Presbyterian Church, 724 Delaware Avenue, Buffalo, NY 14209.  Led by guest organist, Dr. Patrick Scott (Atlanta, GA), the service will present great hymns of faith with choirs, brass, percussion, and organ. One of the major ways Christians have shared their faith throughout history has been through the singing of hymns. The choirs of Westminster and the Buffalo Brass will lead the congregation through favorite hymns of the liturgical year, beginning with Advent, and ending with Christ the King. Time honored hymns to be feature in this service include Holy, Holy, Holy; All Creatures of Our God and King; Hail Thee, Festival Day; and Abide with Me, amongst many others. “Hymns are a unique art form designed to be sung as a community,” says Garrett Martin, Choirmaster and Organist at Westminster Presbyterian Church. “Hymnody is an important part of the life and work of the Church: when we sing hymns, we sing our faith. We are literally putting words in people’s mouths, so the words must be beautiful, good, and true. At this great Festival of Hymns, we will sing many important hymns of our faith over the last centuries.” Guest organist, Dr. Patrick Scott, will lead the service alongside Westminster’s Organist and Director of Music, Garrett Martin. Scott serves as Organist and Associate Choirmaster at the Cathedral of St. Philip in Atlanta, GA, and has been on staff at the Cathedral since September 2014. Dr. Scott was recognized as one of the top 20 leaders and organists under the age of 30 by The Diapason magazine. He won both first prize and audience prize in the American Guild of Organists National Competition in Organ Improvisation, Boston, 2014. An active recitalist and accompanist, Dr. Scott has appeared in concert and with choirs throughout the United States, as well as in France, Scotland, England, and Ireland.

Aurora artist paints portraits to honor those who have died

Cassidy Alexander knows what it is like to unexpectedly lose a loved one.

David, her husband of 35 years, was electrocuted in a freak accident in December of 2010 while trying to find a water leak in a rental property the couple owned in Aurora.

But even before they had moved here from their native Los Angeles in 2007, David’s brother-in-law, a deputy sheriff with L.A. County, died of a heart attack at age 43. And that sudden death prompted Cassidy, a portrait artist, to create a painting of him for his funeral.

“Everyone loved it,” she said, “but I didn’t think much more about it” … until she was asked to make a portrait for another Southern California officer who died in the line of duty … and another …. and later, for several police dogs that were killed.

“It was just a way to give back to the community,” she said.

And that mission continued.

When the couple moved to Aurora after David was hired as deputy director of Sci-Tech Hands On Museum, she began doing the same for Chicago police officers who lost their lives in the line of duty, including Cmdr. Paul Bauer, who was shot and killed outside the Thompson Center in the Loop almost a year ago, and, more recently, for Officer Samuel Jimenez, who was killed in November by a gunman at Mercy Hospital & Medical Center in Chicago.

By 2011, Cassidy estimated she painted “eight or nine” portraits that were donated to the families of the fallen officers, and that same year she was awarded the Mayor Richard J. Daley Medal of Honor for her volunteer efforts. It also led to more requests for portraits from across the country, most of which she can’t do because, “as much as I feel for those who are grieving, I still have to make a living.”

Still, when former Aurora Mayor Tom Weisner died, Cassidy felt the need to do something.

“He was the mayor for so long,” she said, as well as one of the first people her husband met when the couple moved to Aurora and he began working for Sci-Tech.

“I didn’t know where (the painting) would go — City Hall or the Paramount or to Marilyn (Weisner’s widow),” the 68-year-old artist said of the painting, which features a relaxed mayor smiling widely. “But then we just decided, let’s do this for Marilyn so she can have it for the memorial.”

Which meant, as always when painting a portrait for a funeral, she had “to jump right on it.”

Two days before Monday’s “Celebration of Life” at the Paramount, Cassidy spent sunup until well past sundown creating Tom Weisner’s portrait from pastels. Because she was running out of time, If These Walls Could Talk, a downtown framing business, agreed to donate the framework so it could be completed for the memorial.

Like all Cassidy’s portrait work, this painting that was displayed at the bottom of the theater’s Grand Staircase was taken from a photograph. In this case, it was a candid shot of the mayor the artist had seen at Weisner’s wake and was immediately drawn to because “it was so joyous.”

Weisner “seemed to be completely at ease, enjoying life in this shot,” she said. “Even though he had all his work to do as a mayor, it showed the humanity of a guy at ease, laughing.”

Painting portraits — Cassidy also does horses, pets, land and seascapes, still-lifes and genre scenes — from her studio and home on Aurora’s near West Side “is a process” that can mean even little changes such as “making eyebrows thicker or raising an eyebrow.”

Making a portrait from a photograph, she added, is but “one slice of a person’s life … but you want to make it true.” In this case, Mayor Weisner “showed he is a person who is positive and truly enjoys life.”

Which is certainly what Cassidy is trying to do eight years after the death of her husband, who she described as “a magician, writer and silhouette artist.”

A grief support group she started soon after the tragedy was a huge help, she said, as was the support of so many friends from California and the strong community she’s built in Aurora.

Cassidy also has a new man in her life, she’s taken up dancing and in addition to the portraits she is commissioned to paint for people across the country, the artist has begun cutting silhouettes, as her late husband did, which she describes as a more unique way to capture the image of a loved one, particularly a child.

She’s also gotten more involved in Aurora’s art community, which she describes as “lively, fun, experimental and participatory.”

A work in progress, you might say.

“When the community is enthusiastic,” said Cassidy, “the possibilities are everywhere.”

dcrosby@tribpub.com

Twitter @dencrosby

Longest-serving man to win exoneration after 45 years sells his prison art to make ends meet

Richard Phillips, the longest-serving inmate in the United States to win exoneration after spending 45 years in prison, is selling watercolor paintings he made in prison  to get by.

Phillips, 73, told The Associated Press in an interview released on Friday that he is selling 50 of the more than 400 watercolors he painted while in prison at a gallery in Detroit until he is awarded compensation for his wrongful conviction. 

According to the news agency, Phillips may be eligible to receive over $2 million for his wrongful conviction but the Michigan is reportedly resisting due to a separate disputed conviction.

ADVERTISEMENT

Phillips, who was freed from prison a year ago, was wrongfully convicted of homicide in 1971 following an investigation carried out by the Wayne County prosecutor’s office and law students at the University of Michigan. 

While in prison, Phillips said he was able to purchase supplies for painting by selling greeting cards he made by hand to other inmates. 

“I didn’t actually think I’d ever be free again. This art is what I did to stay sane,” he said.

Phillips said the paintings “are like my children” but told the news agency he doesn’t have a choice when it comes to selling them because he doesn’t have a job.

“But I don’t have any money. I don’t have a choice. Without this, I’d have a cup on the corner begging for nickels and dimes. I’m too old to get a job,” Philips said. 

Phillip’s case is reportedly being reviewed by Dana Nessel, Michigan’s new attorney general, at present.