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When I started Barebrush in 2006, I worried a lot about spammers and pornographers, who have a terrible reputation for being nasty people whom you don't want to know. I tried to structure Barebrush to reward professionalism, hard work, integrity, honesty, fairness and simple niceness. All along, the Barebrush nude calendars have kept getting better and better, but the proof of the success of my efforts may well be most evident in this new calendar series, the Best-of-the-Rest.
When I looked at the art offered by Barebrush Artists in these new genres, I realized that I had succeeded in attracting the very nicest group of artists you would ever want to know. Here are people who love people and love life. They love being artists themselves, and their representations of the world are a blessing.
There are many portraits in December, but the Best-of-the-Rest begins the month with an appropriate “big picture” of the human condition. The Winding Road is an oil painting by Cynthia Angeles of Washington, DC. Although the road appears straight in the image, the trees are overwhelming and the human tiny. The future, implied by possible twists and turns beyond the horizon, is unknown. Undaunted, people keep going. That’s what we do, and sometimes we have a great time doing it. There may be regrets, but also no turning back and few do-overs. Ms. Skeen added, “To me, this painting represents the indomitable human spirit, and in particular, the spirit of Barebrush Artists.”
The second personage portrait, Salvador Dali II by Featured Artist Angelique Moselle Price of Nashville, TN, is a whimsical, mixed media take on the eccentric artist showing the tips of his mustache transformed into flowers.
Other portraits include a watercolor by Barebrush Featured Artist, Jacqui Morgan, Mimi Vang Olsen with her Daughters. Featured Artist, Roger Cummiskey offers a delightful “abstract” child’s colored drawing, Papli by Milly, inspired by James Joyce’s Ulysses.
Central to the calendar in spirit and in fact is Ying Yang by Malorie Shannon of St. Augustine, FL. Looking closely at all of the works is a joy. One might laugh out loud at the humorous symbolism of the pinhole camera print, Bridget_L_10-11-09--3AE by Barebrush Featured Artist, Dan McCormack of upstate New York and the satire of D.I.Y. #2, an oil still-life by Barebrush Featured Artist, Donelli DiMaria of New Mexico. Animals are well represented in Best-of-the-Rest: Duke and True, a drawing of greyhounds by Barebrush Featured Artist, Jon Rettich of New York City; roosters, Trio De Gallos, an acrylic by Guadalupe Herrera of Houston, TX; and an oil, Box Turtle by Gil Conradis of Melbourne, FL. Chuck Miller, of Corsicanna, TX, gives us more good-natured humor with an oil, Size 9, in his words, “Showing more than is actually there to see.”
Ms. Skeen concluded:
I am very proud and also in awe. It’s been a while on this path, but I feel that maybe the journey has just begun.
Three artists are making their calendar debut: Laura Warburton of Toronto, Canada with an abstract, Beside Myself; Gary Manzo of Sault Ste. Marie, Canada, with a digital offering, Double Sailor; and Steven Gorney of New York City, a pastel, Henry in a Straw Hat.