Saturday, April 13, 2013

SOLD!!! “Sock Monkey Hat” 18x24"

SOLD!!! This little painting has brought me more good luck lately. If YOU are interested in a commission please contact me. Thank you.

Billy Seccombe

Friday, April 12, 2013

Billy Seccombe Gallery Opening @ Le Salon D Art

Last night’s opening reception at Le Salon D Art at 90 Stanton St. in New York City’s Lower East Side was a smash hit.  With a steady stream of people, the reception of my work was positive and uplifting.  I had a chance to meet a number of interesting people, both artists and patrons.  It was a great evening and many thanks to Hans Kerremans and his wife Grace for allowing me the privilege of showing in their space.  By day, Le Salon D Art is a hip, trendy salon but by night the space transforms into a quant gallery setting perfect for exhibiting art.

I had the chance to speak with some remarkable artists including Jimmie Arroyo, Lacey Lewis, and Kenny Hardwork Hilaire.  It was a spectacular turn out of great people supporting the arts in one of New York’s most untouched and refreshing neighborhoods.  Located directly across from “Arlene’s Grocery” and a block behind “Katz Deli”, Le Salon D Art is nestled perfectly in the heart of one of the most artistic and perhaps under the radar spots in Manhattan.

My very talented musician cousin John Gaenzler has performed across the street at one of New York’s premiere live music venues.  The neighborhood smacks of great live music, graffiti, mural work, and one of a kind restaurants in the city.  Thank you to all for making this possible.


Billy Seccombe

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Developing a Series

Recently I have been recounting an article forwarded to me by my former high school art teacher, Kay Polito. Essentially, the article talked about developing a series or body of work and why it is important to focus upon an underlying motivation throughout that process. It is important in developing a body of work to keep in mind a few common goals throughout the creation of these works. One should focus upon a theme, a technique, color story, or a basic approach.

Suppose for a moment that you are developing a body of work for an upcoming show or even to approach a gallery and that body of work is composed of some 10 paintings. It is fair to assume that this work may take a period of months or even years to develop.  It would serve to benefit the artist through this time period to ask himself "What is my goal?" or "What am I trying to accomplish." The work will look more fluid and I think at the end of the series you will have emerged solving a problem and achieving a goal.  The work in said series would look more fluid, concise, and thought out.

Billy Seccombe

Vasari Paints - Essay Contest 2012 “Does Robust Color Make For a More Successful Paint?"

Below is the essay I submitted as part of Vasari Paint’s annual essay content in December of 2012.  I wrote this essay as a response to the question posed for the competition; “Does Robust Color Make For a More Successful Paint?”  It is roughly a two page submission which outlines my perspective.  Thank you.

Vasari Essay Contest
Billy Seccombe

"Does robust color make for more successful painting?" 

The use of robust pigments in fine art painting results in a more highly successful painting because the process of painting itself becomes simplified, or at the very least...easier.  That is, when a  full-bodied pigment is applied which is void of commercial fillers the process of color mixing becomes easier and the ability to achieve the color observed happens faster and with a greater ease.  Thus, achieving more accurate results.   With rich pigment, an observed color may be achieved with two or three steps as opposed to four or five when mixing with lower quality paint requiring considerable more time and effort on the part of the painter.  The color achieved in this manner then appears over-worked and often muddy.  It is seeming flat and void of intensity.  The fact is, fillers and synthetic pigments produce bland, flat color and as a result, the painting does not sing on the wall but rather hangs quietly with a muted and dirty overtone. 

The quality of the artist's paint eliminates wasteful actions and unnecessary over compensation in the artist’s struggle to bring forth a certain brilliance which simply cannot be accomplished through lesser means.   By applying a higher grade product the act of painting itself is reduced to a more immediate response. 

The fragmentation of stopping and starting as the artist mixes and applies the mixture to his canvas is thus shortened.  As a result, the painting occurs more rapidly and spontaneously.  Robust color helps to speed this process as it becomes one fluid motion of observation and recording resulting in a piece which is more likely to capture initial impressions and the energy of the moment or the essence of the sitter.  Moreover, the ability to capture subtle shifts in value and warm or cool tones throughout the form are made more lively and life-like as the surface become more clearly defined.

Learning how to paint with a lower quality, less pure paint stifles the art student and the path to understanding will be jagged. The art of painting is hard.  It requires skill and patience.  It is not for the faint of heart and as one attempts to create a great masterpiece he must first be armed with an arsenal of knowledge, skills, and superb materials.  To endeavor to create a painting with poor materials is akin to setting sail on a trans-Atlantic voyage in a ship made of kindling.  One cannot expect great results in a work without strength in the very medium that holds the piece together.  An artist cannot use a brush with loose bristles, or a canvas that is warped, or paint produced with fillers and waxes if he is to achieve greatness in a work.  

Additionally, in valuing the techniques of Old Master approaches and time-tested methods of drawing and painting, contemporary artists today must embrace the materials of the past if one is to truly become a great painter.  
The value of hand-made, robust pigments produced in a fashion that pays particular attention to detail and includes only the purest of ingredients assists in the creation of top-quality work as it ensures a longevity to the work itself and as it continues to thrive far beyond the artists life.  It will take on a life of it's own and the importance of pure colors will guarantee a painting that remains life-like for years to come.  

Color, after all, is the result of light and to mix color with a paint that is poorly made and without an attention to pure, robust ingredients makes the process of mixing paint and achieving accurate colors that much more difficult.   It is vital to begin with the proper materials. Thus, one begins at a disadvantage otherwise and the painting despite the artist’s best efforts, may only reach a fraction of it's fullest potential.   Robust color in painting does make for a more successful painting. 

Billy Seccombe

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Portrait Painting Demonstration

As part of my closing reception at Transformations Gallery recently, I had the great honor of holding a portrait painting demonstration for a small, intimate group on Sunday March 24th.  The demo was in the style of an alla prima painting and was approximately 2.5 hours long.   The study demonstrated an academic approach to portrait painting which is primarily used in various academic artist institutions such as the Art Students League and the New York Academy of Art.  The method is widely taught and is a quick sculptural approach to capturing the essence of the sitter.  The final result is more of a finished sketch than a polished and highly rendered painting.  Included below are selection of photos from the evening at different stages of the painting.  Thank you.

Billy Seccombe

New Look To Website:

I wanted to briefly mention that my former website which has featured my realist figure painting, has recently been replaced with a more sleek and updated site  The site has been built using a site builder specific to artists and designers alike.  That site builder is and my site will be featured on their homepage in the recent future.  Keep an eye open for updates on their site and for the below page to be seen. Thank you.

Billy Seccombe

Billy Seccombe at Le Salon D’ Art

Please join me on Thursday April 11th from 7-11pm at Le Salon D’ Art located at 90 Stanton St. in New York City’s lower east side for my opening reception “Figurative Works” which is an ongoing traveling exhibition of both my recent and past realist figure paintings.   Thank you.

Billy Seccombe

Rochester, NY Art Gallery Opening

This past weekend my realist figure paintings were featured in a one night gallery exhibition in Rochester, NY.  Formerly the Stella Art Gallery and Studio, 350 W. Commercial St. in East Rochester offered a prime opportunity to both share my work and draw close friends, family, and collectors to an evening filled with both jazz and art.  The jazz was provided my Eastman School of Music Doctoral student, Jeff McLeod.  His arrangements complimented a very successful event.  The show, entitled "Billy Seccombe - Figurative Works” is a traveling exhibition which recently was shown in New Jersey and will continue after this exhibition to Le Salon D’ Art on Stanton St. in New York City’s lower east side.   Below is a selection of photos from the evening as well as the promotional poster.  Thank you.

Billy Seccombe

Transformations Gallery - Metuchen, NJ

I had the recent pleasure of being asked to exhibit my paintings at the newly founded Transformations Gallery in Metuchen, NJ.  The gallery is part of the Borough Improvement League (BIL) located in the Old Franklin Schoolhouse and is an artist run space.  My friends Judy Weinberg, Amy Brooks, and Tyreen Reuter were gracious enough to offer me a solo exhibition in 2013 which opened on January 17th and lasted through the month of April.

It was an extremely successful event and I’m thrilled to count myself as a contributing artist in the community.  Below are some of the photos from that event along with the poster released for the opening reception.  Lastly, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention my very talented and close friend Enoch Smith Jr,  The evening would not have been complete if not for the melodic and soulful jazz performance by New Jersey-based pianist, Enoch Smith Jr.  Thank you to all for making it an exceptional gallery opening.

Billy Seccombe