Thursday, March 31, 2011

Michael Bergt, Egg Tempera Master at Saks Galleries Join Us For A Reception and Salon April 2nd at 1:00pm

Michael Bergt

Here is an artist who is very serious indeed, one who believes that ART, his own certainly, should prod, should point out, should arouse thoughts, should make the viewer cogitate. Even if unwillingly. the works must definitely not be merely decorative, merely pleasing, merely a background for an owner, nor something that can be passed by with a 'How Nice!', 'How charming!', 'How well it fits!', 'What color, what pattern!' No. He is concerned with the state of our world.

"Repetitiousness is not for him. His subject matter is varied, influenced by what is happening in the world around us daily. Therefore, some are frightening, grim, sad, as in much Renaissance tempera painting where we are given martyrdoms, crucifixions, hellfires.

Michael says, "My last major series was the "Shunga Series." I realized while working on that sequence how important it is to build on a vision and to refine a direction. With my current works I see a similar thread that ties them all together. While the Shunga Series dealt with juxtaposing erotic Japanese prints with mostly the portrait studies of an Asian/Caucasian model I've moved past both of those references. I continue to deal with the figure, erotic elements, and patterning but now most of the reference material comes from India and the Middle East."

Join us at Saks Galleries for an exceptional look at five major egg tempera painters. The exhibition can be viewed at Saks Galleries in Denver's exclusive shopping district Cherry Creek North through April 16th.

The reception and salon will be hosted by the gallery. Master Egg Tempera painters, Olga and Aleksey Ivanov, will present,"Egg Tempera, History and Technique" as well as a demonstration - April 2, 2011 at 1:00pm. Please join us for this extraordinary exhibition.

First image: Bergt, "Coalescence" 16 x 20 egg tempera
Second Image: Bergt, "The Arch" 6 x 9 egg tempera gold leaf panel
text on this blog should be credited to Michael Bergt's website

Saks Galleries is pleased to present Master Artists O&A Ivanov, Afternoon Reception and Salon April 2nd at 1:00pm

We have been blogging these past three weeks about "Living Artfully", how we as individuals view the beauty that surrounds us in our everyday lives. Yesterday, I had the privilege of listening to Olga and Aleksey Ivanov, while they were preparing a run through of this Saturday's reception and salon at Saks Galleries in Cherry Creek on the "History and Technique of Egg Tempera." starting at 1:00pm.

These two are first generation immigrants in America and like myself, have a unique sensibility to living in this country. We've had an option of choosing our country and because of that we embrace everything about it, never taking anything for granted. They call their lives in Russia, "a past life" experience. They fell in love while attending university in Moscow. Both were studying art history and technique of the masters from the Renaissance. It was, in Aleksey's broken English, "very difficult living this." Their lives, while challenging, were surrounded by elegant architecture, astonishing church frescoes, an abundance of masterful art and religious icons providing enough creativity to last two lifetimes.

The two lifetimes are Olga and Aleksey, who paint on the same canvas together, always. There are countless hours in the design of each painting before they even get to the stage of preparing the boards. They build their own panels, preparing it with marble gesso, carefully placing the linen where texture and smooth surface are needed. They break the yolk and mix with pigment in the traditional ways taught from their past lives. The work is tedious using tiny brush strokes. The details are mesmerizing, luminous and refreshing.

It's not just how the tempera is applied or the luminosity, it's the stories these two share with us. The intimacy of how each story unfolds. Every painting they have produced in the past five years, since I met them, I remember. Like the fairy tales or Greek myths we listened to as children, we remember. The work is "heady", but we don't have to have degrees in Mythology to enjoy the journey these two master artists take us on each
time they bring out the brushes.

The painting to the left is entitled, "Outside of Eden". Aleksey says of this particular work..."The “Thistle” has a reputation to be able to banish melancholy and has been the symbolic flower of Scotland since pre-Christian times.

In religious scripture, the thistle is a symbol of man's fall from grace. When Adam and Eve were cast away from the Garden of Eden they entered a wilderness where "thorns and thistles" grew.

Our painting "Outside of Eden" is a symbolic anthem for a gorgeous Colorado valley where we see graceful thistles every summer growing strong and naturally. We liken the time of year of when the thistle appear in the valley to what it must have looked like through Adam and Eve’s eyes outside of Eden. We wanted to show beauty of the real world as they would see it – through blooming, captivating thistle."

The painting to the right is entitled "Parrot Tulip." Olga says of the painting, ..."Parrot Tulip" was inspired by Botticelli's painting "Primavera", the young female symbolizes spring, beauty and blooming. This is a traditional concept of "Flora". The Parrot Tulip is our favorite flower and we paint her often. The decoration on the dress was followed from motifs of William Morrison. Silver and gold leaf were used for background."

We invite you to join us at Saks Galleries and experience the graceful works and humble words of Olga and Aleksey as they take us on a journey, a brief art history and demonstration utilizing the incredible egg! artfully, dejon austin malley

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Master Egg Tempera Artist Fred Wessel at Saks Galleries like working with Butterfly Wings and Dandruff Denver, Colorado

Join us at Saks Galleries for a Special Egg Tempera Exhibition now through April 16, 2011

friend of mine hates gold leaf,” said Wessel. “He likens it to working with dandruff and butterfly wings. You can not have a whisper of breeze or it will blow away. And egg tempera also requires infinite patience. Painting with it is like spinning cobwebs of colors; I build up the surface with tiny multiple strokes, one on top of another. But in spite of the problems, I feel right at home using almost forgotten materials.”

Some of Wessel’s showpieces are smaller than his past works, especially with his figural studies. These smaller works shine like precious gems among the larger compositions. An intimate relationship between the painting and the viewer is established, and the viewer can only feel in awe of their beauty and involved detail. In the Renaissance, many artists were influenced by the Neo–Platonicnotion that one attains a degree of enlightenment through the ardent and sincere pursuit of beauty. Renaissance Masters such as Raphael Sanzio and Michelangelo Buonarroti were deeply influenced by these Neo–Platonic aspirations. Thus, through their art, they attempted to convey a human life dedicated to the ideal elements of love, beauty and grace through their work. Similarly, through Wessel’s use of warm tones and the rendering of the youth's graceful hair and lovely expression, one is reminded of these Renaissance Neo–Platonic objectives.

This week at Saks Galleries we will feature five master egg tempera painters each with a unique approach to this historic medium used since the 1st century. A favorite of Michelango, Raphael, Bottecelli and Andrew Wyeth.

On Saturday April 2, meet two of the masters, Olga and Aleksey Ivanov at 1:00pm at Saks Galleries in Cherry Creek, Denver, Colorado. Learn how the mediums history continues to entice the viewer and delight patrons.

See this exceptional presentation now through April 16th during our
"Impressions of Spring" exhibition.

“Five Masters of Egg Tempera: Historical and Contemporary Celebration”

A Special Presentation hosted by

Saks Galleries

Exhibition, Sale and Salon

Afternoon Reception and Salon Saturday, April 2, 2011 at 1:00 pm

View Works March 25 - April 16, 2011

Please join us as we celebrate one of the most significant mediums in Art History

Gary Milek

Finely detailed egg tempera paintings depicting the Vermont countryside, rich gold leaf and egg tempera landscapes, and watercolors featuring botanically-correct flowers and herbs, characterize the work of nationally-known artist Gary Milek. Painting from a deep respect for the natural world around him, Milek uses 15th century techniques to recreate the New England landscapes that surround his homestead in Vermont.

While Gary Milek’s art is collected throughout the world, he is a regional painter, having painted the New England landscape for more than 30 years. His work can be viewed at his studio and shop, Cider Hill Gallery, in Windsor, Vermont, as well as at fine art galleries throughout New England. Many of his images are available as giclée limited edition prints. Commissioned paintings can be arranged by contacting the artist.

Gary paints on masonite, beginning with cherry wood or oak cribbing for the back of the panel to keep it rigid and protect it from warping. He believes that the preparation of this surface is of greatest importance, and has spent decades developing the method he finds best. In all, Milek applies eight coats of hot gesso, a thick mixture he concocts from whiting and titanium added to hot rabbit skin glue. When the final coat is sufficiently dry, he sands the panel to an ivory smooth finish. The panel must cure for a few days before it is ready to apply the egg tempera.

To prepare egg tempera, Milek gets a fresh egg, separates yolk and white, and takes the yolk in his hand until the white is almost completely dried. He then punctures the yolk and removes the membrane to prevent it from getting into the paint. A natural emulsion, he adds water to the egg yolk to bring it to a paintable consistency, and then mixes in the powdered pigments he needs for a particular painting.

Gary is one of five masters presented in this exhibition. Join Saks Galleries as we celebrated this most historical medium. Learn how the masters blend egg yolk and pigment to a gesso primed board to reflect light back through the paint giving the colors extraordinary luminosity.

Saks Galleries presents A Year of Living Artfully.

Join us for Exhibitions, Special Events, Salons, Receptions and Demonstrations. We are a full service gallery providing professional appraisals on fine art, both European and American, Native American jewelry, pottery and textiles.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

A Very Brief History

Tempera has been a medium of choice by masters such as Michelangelo, Botticelli, Raphael, and Andrew Wyeth for its rich beauty and depth. Tempera was the primary method of painting from the 1st century until after 1500 when it was superseded by the invention of oil painting.

The art technique was known from the classical world, where it appears to have taken over from encaustic painting and was the main medium used for illuminated manuscripts in the Byzantine, Medieval and Renaissance periods. All of the known surviving Michelangelo panels are all egg tempera. The medium has been discovered on early Egyptians sarcophagi and many of the Fayum mummy portraits. 
The medium allowed for great experimentation, binders such as glue, honey, even milk were included. As the medium evolved artists used wax and oils based paints. 

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Egg Tempera Exhibition at Saks Galleries

If you have been to Italy. . . ..and the Uffizi Gallery, you have seen the delicate rich beauty of the Renaissance egg tempera paintings

 Saks Galleries is hosting an egg tempera show featuring four national masters of the egg tempera technique which will hang from March 25th thru April 15th
"Tapestry with a Dragon" by Aleksey and Olga Ivanov

You don’t want to miss the show or the salon. . . planned for     April 2nd . . . at 1:00 at Saks Galleries where Russian artists,
Aleksey and Olga Ivanov will discuss and demonstrate the art of Egg Tempera.

Karen Sluss

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Living Artfully – Where to begin planning a room with art

Often while working with our Saks Galleries clients they have many questions about how to place or arrange art in a room. For the next few days I will to share some ideas that I hope you can use as you think about living artfully at home.

Begin thinking about your space or room by choosing the “star”. There are many elements or pieces to designing a room and a home, but I recommend that you select the piece of art or item that is most important to you. This piece will be the
“star” of your room, and other pieces of the design will be planned to support the stars in the room.

Here are a couple of examples.

This dramatic sculpture by Colorado artist Wayne Salge could be the “star” in our room. The simple and clear lines of “Absaroka” capture the energy of a rearing horse, with a sophisticated elegance. Consider the best viewing height for the piece, and the background color or texture that will complement the darkness of the bronze and highlight the lines of the horse.

 Just as easily, this stunning painting “Arrangement With Amaryllis” by Denver master artist Quang Ho could be the “star” in the room. The rich red color and the depth of the tones in the painting will need special lighting to be fully appreciated.  This painting would be beautiful in a room with warm tones, and earthy natural textures.

Living artfully means that you can and should mix sculpture and two dimensional art in the same space. Here are the two pieces photographed together, an artful contrast in style, medium, and subject.

Tomorrow……keep it simple.

Have a question about your room?  Email me an image and your question.

Kathy Montgomery, FASID

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Living Artfully – “At Home”

For the next few days we want to share and explore how to live “artfully” at home. Whether we humans consciencously think about how important it is to include art, sculpture, music and creativity in our daily lives, we at Saks Galleries believe that it is life-enriching for all of us.

For most of us  “HOME” is our personal shelter, a sanctuary, a retreat, where we regenerate, rest, relax. Our home is a reflection and collection of those elements that bring us joy, comfort, inspiration and protection. We surround ourselves at home with elements that create an environment that welcomes and “feeds” our whole self, body, mind and spirit.

So look around in your home. What about your Home environment provides you joy, inspiration, comfort? Is it the color, are there plants and natural materials? What about your home is artful, creative? What feeds your mind and spirit in the design or elements in your home?

As a professional interior designer for many years, art has always been a source of personal inspiration for my work with clients in both residential and commercial environments. The best design is one that begins with art and a client that has a goal to understand the value that artistic creation brings to our health and well-being. 

At Saks Galleries this year especially, we are focused on learning how to live artfully.  In our front window we have started a series of displays that will give our gallery visitors ideas about how to design a room that incorporates paintings and sculpture artfully.

Art Consulting is a new program and service offered at Saks. If you want to learn more about how to incorporate art in your home or office, please stay tuned to this blog for upcoming design ideas.

Living Artfully – 

Kathy Montgomery, FASID

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Living Artfully – Chapter Five

The wrap up

It’s been a pleasure to write the blogs this week for Saks Galleries. Being here at the gallery everyday, I truly appreciate that my life is filled with passion. Art Passion, what a great way to live life. I’m humbled by it all. This place feeds the soul, the visual delights, the heady conversations or the simple conversations about living in the moment, it’s important. As Americans, it’s hard for us to really think about ourselves. We are a society of hard working, caring, driven people.

The conversations I heard from patrons today while Andi took a break from her demonstration, were, “…I just couldn’t do that. She’s amazing.” How beautiful.” Or my favorite - …I’m not creative at all.” But what I know after all these years of living and working in the art world, we are all creative. We just need to give ourselves permission to explore. We need to stay passionate, stay connected. We need to be present and stop long enough to live artfully. Enjoy life.

Our dialogue started out this week with a question, how do we live Living Artfully? My job is a constant artful endeavor at Saks Galleries, with new works being delivered by our artists, new exhibitions and salons to develop each week. But what if I didn't have this position, what then? I'd still search for the grace in life, still absorb the light, work at filling my life with joy.

Kim English
Silver Plume
9.5" x 11"
This week was a good one.

Master Sculptor, Andi Mascareñas had people laughing and exploring sculpting with a live model. Even Quang Ho dropped by to visit, we hear he is taking a class with Andi.

Michelle Torrez will be dropping by the Gallery in Cherry Creek March 26th with her own set of creative ideas on painting “in the moment”.

Jill Soukup has a few fresh paintings for us to enjoy while she is working on her first book, “Jill Soukup a Twenty Year Perspective”.

And check out this beautiful Kim English entitled, "Silver Plume" 9.5 x 11 oil

Next Week’s Blogs by Kathy Montgomery, FASID

“Living Artfully in Your Environment”

Several really useful tips on creating a beautiful space both at home and in the office by Saks Galleries in-house Art Consultant. Please drop in to chat with Kathy.

To another week of living artfully - dejon austin malley

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Living Artfully – Chapter Four

Spring is in the Air

Michelle Torrez American Expressionist at Saks Galleries

“At One with the Wind”
12 x 12 oil

Michelle Torrez is definitely working her way into becoming one of America’s iconic painters. A few years ago, one of America’s leading art collector magazines stated that very thing. She is one of America’s best expressionist artists and is presented by Saks Galleries.

A trip to her studio, for me, is likened to a trip to my Uncle Lionel’s candy store, called Austin’s Sweet Shop, when I was a kid living in London. I’m totally engulfed in the

swirls of bright colors on her palette, the smell of fresh brush strokes on the canvas and how intoxicating the light streams in from the windows, as it plays on the finished paintings. I go often to bring back the sweets to the gallery to share – I can’t help it, I’m addicted to her work and can’t wait for the next serving.

The latest of her confections is presented in “Impressions of Spring” a twelve -week transitional exhibition now through May14 at Saks Galleries. She promised to have more in the next week or so. Just before her demonstration, Saturday, March 26th here in the gallery. Come early as people usually line up to enjoy.

More Michelle – Michelle Torrez’ video at and more information on Michelle Torrez Demonstration March 26 at Saks Galleries as well as other master artists demonstrating at Saks Galleries.

Don’t forget to Vote for Saks Galleries 5280 Top of the Town – just click the icon on our home page. Go Vote.

….to living artfully – dejon austin malley

Living Artfully – Chapter Three

Andi Mascareñas – Master Sculptor Demonstrates Fired Clay Process

By now you have caught the rhythm of the blogs this week - our take on “Living Artfully”. Saks Galleries has long been a community-minded entity, encouraging contemporary master artists to explore beauty and inspire us to live passionately. In the past year and a half we have presented some of the most inspired artists.

We had a series of staff discussions on how to give back to the community. So we developed a series of master workshops by renowned artists. Internationally respected artists such as Quang Ho, Karen Vance and Jay Moore provided a wealthy of knowledge to the participants. Massive quantities of living artfully. Then…

We expanded to demonstrations and quickly move forward to petite salons, fun hands-on lectures about the historical role egg tempera played in the chronological development of fine art. Check out our home page at Saks Galleries scroll to the educational icon and click to the information page on lectures. You’ll also note an upcoming salon, “The Art of Collecting Art” by Mikkel Saks. Don’t miss either.

Andi Mascareñas, Four of Hearts, Fired Clay

To read more on Andi Mascareñas
click here.

This Saturday, Saks Galleries presents Master Sculptor, Andi Mascareñas, who will discuss sculpting in the moment, how the flow of inner light guides her, how the ballet and dancers inspire her work.

All patrons and artists are encouraged to come by and meet Andi. Get to know her - sculptor, painter, teacher. Stay for light refreshments and enjoy the transitional exhibition now through May 14th, “Impressions of Spring”. This 12-week transitional exhibition features master artists exploring the awakenings of spring to its full bloom.

Kim English, Andi’s husband, has a solo exhibition, entitled "Observations" at Saks Galleries Cherry Creek Denver in May 2011. artfully – dejon austin malley

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Inspirations to Living Artfully - Take Two

March 10, 2011

New Work by Jill Soukup at Saks Galleries

Day two in our blog on how we are “Living Artfully” in 2011.  If you haven’t emailed us your thoughts on the subject of lifestyle, just click on the Saks Galleries blog spot page, scroll down to the post a comment section and share. You can even subscribe - receive the daily blog about 'fresh art' arriving at Saks Galleries or when the next special event unfolds.  It’s that easy.

                                                                                  "Bull Assured "                  oil 36 x 34

Just arrived.  Jill Soukup’s latest arrival is entitled “Bull Assured”.  It is a masterful, 36 x 34 oil, depicting a powerful sentient being.  Full of strength and confidence and in the corporate world or the world of everyday challenges, we all can relate.

Jill says of this piece, The bull in this painting is from the Zapata Ranch adjacent to the Great Sand Dunes of Colorado. The ranch is run by an amazing family, in conjunction with the Nature Conservatory. They manage about 1500 bison that roam the land almost as they did 100 years ago—as close to their natural past as possible—possibly why this bull seemed so confident and comfortable in his environment. In technical terms with this piece it was about a simple composition where I could focus on and push texture.”

And to Living Artfully?  How does Jill Soukup, the artist, reflect our mantra? Simple, she is confidant – her work - recognizable. We are always assured of Jill’s artful brushwork.  There is purpose, a deliberate certainty to her unique approach. Her painting technique is dynamic - completely engineered.  No wonder she is one of the most sought after painters in the west.  We are extremely happy to present Jill Soukup at Saks Galleries.

Visit the gallery to view this piece and all of Jill Soukup’s current works.  Saks Galleries will present a solo exhibition for Jill in January 2012. 

                                                                         here’s to living artfully everyday - dejon austin malley

Inspirations to Living Artfully in 2011

Here at Saks Galleries we are devoted to living artfully, particularly this year. It’s our mantra!  It's hard not to live artfully in our environment, surrounded by beautiful impressions of life.  From sweeping western landscapes, fiery reclining femmes, expressions of captivating eastern coastlines, urban reflections, to inviting and touchable sculpture.  It’s all here, everyday. What a beautiful place.

Art reflects all faucets of our being and humanity. After all, when archeologists dig in whatever they dig out – It’s artifacts, right? But what does this maxim mean, “Living Artfully”?   

We want to know what you think and how it relates in your life.  Email us and share your thoughts.

I’ve heard living artfully doesn’t just reflect our passions and desires – the idea is that it encompasses our whole being, feeds the soul, drives us to creativity in every spectrum of our lives.  It should even, I’m told, relate to how we wash the dishes – seriously.  There’s an art to it.  I’m working on that.

Visit the gallery either at the Cherry Creek Denver location or our website Saks Galleries. Visit often. Inspire us all – How will you live this year artfully? Perhaps visit the museums, mediate outside while the hint of spring is surrounding us this week?  You could drop by Saks Galleries when we are presenting demonstrations, lectures and salons, come to a reception, buy a piece of art, adopt an artist.

Whatever you will – “Living Artfully” is our goal.  Stay tuned for more inspiration.
                                                                                                                   blog by- dejon austin malley