Vincent Directs the Sun at $150. Do I Hear $151?

2015. Acrylic on hardboard, 16 x 20″. Framed in metal, under glass, 22 x 28″

Buy this today and I will toss in a swab of true artist DNA which will improve taste in any human gene pool seeking to unwind and uplift its mortal burden. The art market could use a reforming GMO to pop the TIA (tulips in Amsterdam) bubble that floats above all realities, laughing at them. Sometimes the bubble breezes into a private plane, and this painting here shall become an accurate rocket launcher from the ground, from the base, from the real reality where artists pine for an equal playing field. Aim. Fire! That’s some GMO not to mess with!

And the oligarch no longer enters a world he was never invited to. We are the salon of the future but only if we cease with stupid phraseology like “the cream rises to the top”. Cream comes from cow’s milk and after 5,000 years, science tells us that lactose makes our guts turn inside out. Some also declare the milk protein is causing us cancer like it does in rats. So I don’t want cream anymore. Leave it in the cow for the calf. The putrid stench of rot also rises to the top. When we need a new metaphor to share the story of the big city art market, lets embrace our mutual intolerance and call out the oligarchs as the putrid stench that rose to the top.

Amsterdam had pretty tulips to sell as if there were no other perennials to flower in the early spring. The super rich were bored and super stupid.

Nothing has changed, so buy a painting on your own today because unlike 17th century Holland, you, the outskirts peasant, can afford these more colorful tulips, and at the same time ruin the stupid game of stupid rich people spending enormous sums on what nature and the artists give practically for free.

Bacchus and a Bald Stranger in New York

I hope to see friends and new friends tomorrow night. I have door prizes of painting(s) and a vacuum sealer. I’ve added a couple quiches to the menu and washed the floors on my hands and knees. Autumn is the surprise time, and our second gale in a week blew over Ontario last night. It’s time to batten down the hatches and set that third sheet to the wind. If you drive, think taxis. If you walk, think about making a taxi driver your private chauffeur. Pretend with me that we’re crazy rich, but not necessarily in that order.
Lena did it again, and this morning I saw Bacchus at court in full inebriation. Many birds and a bald guy came to call.
“Beautiful strangers in New York. Ancient Greek Gods and Danae. Bacchus is the God of Winemaking and Inspiration.” 2018. Acrylic, and photo by Eric Olson.

Me Horn Meet Toot and Blow


While perusing Twitter this morning I came across the National Gallery feed, and a curator’s post of her excitement at hanging some 11 x 14″ Dutch master of ancient times. And rightfully so! There is a wonderful feeling to hold and view the treasures of generations past. She put on her white gloves, strolled down to subterranean darkness to retrieve the artifact among thousands, and so carefully brought it out to artificial daylight to hang on its alarm nail for a few months, the end.

She got paid, and then tweeted her thrill, and probably went to a delicious lunch in Georgetown, seated next to a table of Saudi diplomats openly mocking the moral elasticity of our politicians and many other game players at our nation’s capital.

Just another art history PhD having lunch in a topsy-turvy world.

Juxtapose her curatorial effort with mine and you’ll see that art is very much alive and well on planet earth, with many more artists in the actual daylight and moonlight striving to bring humanity back up or down to equilibrium.

I made my house a gallery because the National Gallery does not want this nation to see and feel the art of the living. It dots its halls with copy-cat painters to wow visitors who aren’t wowed enough with imagination wrought by their own powers. “Look, a painting by a Dutch master! And look, some amazing painter copying the Dutch master’s painting for an hourly wage! It looks just like that Rembrandt!”

How efficiently federal pretend capitalism shames the living talents of its own visual art makers.

Turns them into monkeys for money.

The National Gallery curator sees no irony because she has a similar working imagination of dead-eyed Saudi diplomats.

Lena Ulanova Entrainment
Brought to you by reverence. Paid for by it too. And because all avarice has been buried in the yard with the squirrel’s nuts, no National Gallery can hold a candle to it.



Jean-Michel Basquiat and Andy Warhol

Jean-Michel Basquiat and Andy Warhol
Jean-Michel Basquiat and Andy Warhol. 2018. Acrylic on hardboard, 17 x 21″, metal frame, under glass (22 x 28″) $150

Here we go. I have just made final arrangements with the Frank Gordon Trio, ordered the new element for the oven, purchased fresh flowers at a steal, weathered an all-night wind storm and gale off the lake, and am ready for art lovers and friends of art lovers to meet the inspiration of Lena Ulanova.

I have planned a menu for the opening.  Please don’t tell me what you think now, just come in on Friday and break pounds of bread with me in the flesh, and Lena in spirit.

Palatable menu for expressive paintings to be exhibited:

Pumpkin Pie
Apple Crisp
Chocolate chip cookies
Double chocolate cookies
Peanut butter cookies
Fresh picked empire apples
Spiced almonds, pecans, cashews, maybe pistachios
Assorted cheeses
Smoked salmon with capers and dill
Vegetarian chili
Butternut squash soup
New oven element roast beef
New oven element roast turkey
Vegetables and multigrain breads and rolls for sandwiches

Coffee and tea

Many beverages including sangria

And an autumn night filled with space.

First, a song about Andy, followed by a great autumn song:

Presale Before the Winds Howl Off the Gulf of Finland

6 days until the opening. I want to give all and sundry a taste of work available for sale. You can place your red sticker dot on today to ensure painting goes home with you on the 19th, or mailed out on the 20th for those out of town and state. All paintings are matted and under glass in a metal frame. Please remember, there is no middle man here. There is reverence, and I am king of that castle. All purchases minus frame cost go to Lena to buy paints, substrate, and perhaps fresh flowers set in the window of her flat on a winter’s day. I’ll post one or two a day, an image of the painting out of frame. I look forward to seeing old friends and new faces on the 19th! Meanwhile, think holiday cheer and loved ones overjoyed to receive modern taste and éclat from the great north of Russia!

Blue Beard’s Wife 2017. Acrylic on cardboard, 12 x 12″ (16 x 20″ metal frame, under glass) $100
Tanya’s Flower Dinner 2017. Acrylic on hardboard, 13 x 16″ $150
Here Everything is Absolutely the Same 2018. Acrylic on board, 15.5 x 19″, Frame, 22 x 28″  $150

Any Exhibition Worth Its Salt Needs Decent Signage


Lena Ulanova is an aristocrat of the spirit.

I copied her stance in self portrait from a painting she made a couple years ago, and placed it in a Saint Petersburg vista I saw in dreamland. There is also a mute swan late to migrate, and autumn leaves swirling.

The mute swan was brought to America to ornament the gardens of grand estates. I invited Lena to send her work over here to teach my countrymen, especially those immersed in the arts and art professions, how to dream again, like they did before treading water for a lifetime in a sea of art bureaucracy, which is an enormous oxymoron pool that no one thinks beautiful. Like an atomic sea, or an ocean in hell.

Dear private galleries and museums… You don’t need us now, but you will one day. Like van Gogh, we do this for free, and we also take van Gogh in a direction he desired, of this I am certain. Communion among fellow artists! For art for the masses to survive to the next century, I advise all and sundry to take another look—perhaps to do a Timothy Leary— “turn on, tune in, and drop out” now to save your souls, or just to make yourselves more deserving of a better time, like you had when you were young and hoping foolishly.

The thought of art in your 20’s was like the anticipation of a wine buzz on a night out with friends, (in)complete with all the unknowns and surprise that could happen without cars and money. Art in your 40’s, 50’s, and beyond is like a bottle of wine for coping—a kind of temporary medication to the constant duress underpinning every sought after good time.

Established galleries and museums are missing the point. They cannot represent art. Living artists, (and I don’t mean the image-makers with polished dot coms and paid for Brooklyn studios), but the ones turning old man and old woman wine drunks into born again songwriters, the aristocrats of the spirit—they are the artists worth seeking and promoting, else you’ve learned nothing at all from van Gogh. Nothing art anyway, above rich endowment and $75,000 advertising budgets. Your end of the art spectrum is so necessary to art and artist, however you worship a bottom line declaring that the only path to art’s survival is more money.

In America, an aristocrat like Paul Allen, owns a football team and attempts to buy art. And therein lies the rub. Art cannot be bought, or sold. One can share it for a price, in order to keep moving artistically. No one pays a plumber to dig and install an old ceramic French drain (even one his great grandfather might have lovingly fired in a plumber’s kiln). Paul Allen must be an idiot to think he can pay a million times more than what a French painting costs a dead painter, and move an art world toward a gargantuan tax write-off. No. He is a dead product pusher, a little rich boy with no depth, an aristocrat of avarice and emptiness, with the spirit of a greedy flea.

And he boasts of a 10,000 bottle wine cellar for his hopeless admirers and wannabes.

There has always been an easy greed to spot in art, even of the 19th century, when any cough around the corner could spray blood, and a cool drink of water on a hot day spread the cholera to babies. Vincent van Gogh was an artist. Jeff Koons is not. Any person who speaks of the latter in art does not know art. He or she knows image, like Paul Allen. And the three of them can go figuratively hang themselves on a Seahawk’s goalpost for all I care of their loud mouths. I’m gonna put up this sign I made for Lena, quieter than most swans, and show her paintings to the world, expressively like an angry goose.

Lena Ulanova is an aristocrat of the spirit. In any age she could fall and complete a painting to uplift and inspire. There is an easy marker to tell art from artifice. Would a painter have the determination to magically land and express in any century, or is she just another contemporary middle or late age wine drunk dreaming about owning a football team?

Wake up galleries and museums. Stop selling your stuff like losers.




Eve’s Selection

2018. Acrylic on board, 9 x 12″

Can a man be an Eve? I feel I stand in the Garden of Eden often, making good and bad decisions for the future of the human race.

No. That’s just ego. Woman possess more potential to suffer. Good men can be, but they never carry a weight more than their own. Women provide. Men pretend.

Here is a short art story of my pretending from a couple years ago:

I Must Leave The Figure Drawing Class. I’d Rather Be Naive

I am surprised I made it through class these past two months. A man approaching a half-century of life does not need a new trick if he is productive and often pleasantly satisfied with his limitations. I draw better, more confidently than five years ago. The class has taught me proportion, lengths and widths of the human form. That’s good enough for me. I color better than five years ago — trial and much error, with persistence and practice… I have never sat before a canvas not painting for more than two minutes. I think I would suffocate if I did! That is a kind of success I have achieved — painting meditation. Actually, the original intent of auditing this university class has been satisfied. That is, I humbled myself before a better drawer, hoping he unveil some secrets to a lifelong study of the figure. He opened up a world to me that was practical and interesting, but only to a degree. Car mechanics are interesting too. So is bridge engineering, and volleyball tournaments. However, if I had to paint with any of these newly refined skills, I’d have killed my lust for self-liberation altogether before the second engine block torque demonstration.
The class itself was a private torture. I won’t elaborate out of respect for my professor’s occupation, except that the environment created and methods used, no matter how traditional, to me were painfully rote and joy-stultifying. Art students paying for his tutelage will graduate later in the spring feeling accomplished, but less confident and overflowing with new doubt — exactly how I felt while petitioning the master for a free spot in his class. Here is my letter I wrote to him, followed by a reason why I was probably knocking on the wrong monastery:
Are you familiar with the book “Training of a Zen Buddhist Monk” by D.T. Suzuki? If not, it’s an account of a monk’s life in a dojo — from beginning to release. Before entering he must wait at the gate for days, suffering the elements and jeers of other monks heckling him from behind the wall, until he is allowed entrance to live and learn with the master.
This week I received a modest grant to sit with Russian figurative painters using Skype, amass work with them, transport it, to finally show in exhibition in the fall at The Art Association. Our first meeting was last Monday. It was the most humbling experience of my life. I learned (yet always knew) that I can’t draw. I am in love with paint — a naive painter through and through. But I can’t draw! Sitting in my studio plugged in live to social media friends six thousand miles away, a huge language barrier, and a room full of more experienced figure drawers — it was like the biology student being called upon to perform brain surgery on his own child. Okay, not quite like that. But I have been pacing the floor for several days and thought of you.
Anyway, to the point. Do you have room for me to audit your Figure Drawing I class this spring? I see that it is almost full, but I promise to be a very non-invasive yet eager student. I do not expect miracles, nor do I desire trompe-l’œil skill achieved in this lifetime. I just want to see better. Who better to learn from than you?
Well, as mentioned before, I have learned a more confident approach to gesture and proportion of the human being. Good. And I must leave it at that, or I fear regression to a point where I begin to doubt my own powers of expression, when alternately at this time in my life, I feel born again and more productive than I ever felt.

My Drawing Teacher is From Spain 2016. Acrylic on panel, 20 x 16″

Barring any private or mass public tragedy, my future is paint because I have determined that there be no other for me. If I draw so badly that you can’t see this painting to be my figure drawing professor suffering his own demons, then label me abstract expressionist. Heck, if I wanted to, I could have given him beach balls for legs, if it helped express what I believe most men my age feel on their darkest nights.
I express to charge my world — my politics, philosophy, and emotion — with repetition of my humanity. I guess I already knew before taking this class that I did not need to draw better in order to express myself.
I need to feel more, dream more, live more. There is no regress to progress. Daily, all any person should do is take his or her humanity and fly with it.

My resignation letter: I am writing to thank you for the chance to audit your Drawing 300 class these past two months. It was challenging as you said it would be. Still, I learned a great deal — about just as much as I need to carry on. Too many new tricks for this old dog and he may undo all he has unlearned over the years. I guess I like where I go with painting more than I felt I did. Self-doubt is a big part of any adult life. I feel that I have hit a point where the trade off of learning the figure in a traditional way just piles on more doubt than I desire at this time and station of my life. I guess, overall, I truly enjoy my naivety. As you said in the last lecture, it is good to know our abilities and work with them. Coincidentally, I have long said that all I want out of a productive life is to perfect my limitations.
I’ll have you know that I am exactly half way there 🙂
If you are ever around my neighborhood, please stop by for a cup of coffee. I keep a messy studio around back. We can discuss painting, art, planetary alignments, what have you… I also host house exhibitions about twice a year to keep me in touch with other human beings of my locale.
Always merry and bright,
Ron Throop