Monday, February 11, 2013

In the Seventies with Chuck Sovek/ Flashback Fridays with Claudia Post

In the Seventies with the late artist, Charles Sovek by Claudia Post

Continuing my "Flashback Fridays" my memories of people places and things related to my life as an artist.

This is an acrylic plein air painting by the late Charles Sovek before painting on location became so wide spread and popular.  It was painted at a quarry in Lanesville, Ma. on Cape Ann Island during the fall of the late seventies. The home in the back ground was the home of the sculptor Paul Manship, the creator of the gorgeous gold sculpture at the bottom of Rockerfeller Plaza and in his yard was a magnificient casual sculpture garden displaying his various art works. On the left standing was my dear friend the late Michael Stoffa, artist and painter of Rockport for over 40 yrs. On the right sitting with pastels is me with the reddish color hair. This painting was given to me the following Christmas by Chuck as a gift and I gave him a large set of Rembrandt Pastels to encourage him to work in the medium.

I treasure this old painting today. I just had it reframed by my framer Joel Marzi, Essex House of Framing in Centerbrook, Ct. so that it reflects the respect and dignity of the work itself and preserve the painting with museum standard framing. I am a stickler about archival supplies and framing.

This is the sculpture by Paul Manship in NYC that we have all been brought up with throughout our youth. It was his white house by a quarry that is in this painting by Sovek.

So back in the Seventies, when Charles Sovek and I were wandering around the yard of Paul Manship admiring his many sculptures, I took this photo of him in front of one of our favorites. It is three giant black bears.

I took this photo of Chuck as we admired the art and played in the yard. This sculpture has recently been acquired by the Metropolitan Museum of Art as I discovered last year when I brought two of my students and my friend artist Jan Blencowe to the museum and we had lunch next to the Sculpture Garden there and I was totally surprised to find the three bears sitting right near our dining table.
It brought back so many memories.


In the late seventies, I dated the late artist Charles Sovek for a period of about one and half years during my first 10 yr. period of being a single woman with 3 children to raise. Chuck was also divorced at the time with two children and he was the first serious artist I spent time with man to woman as well as artist to artist.  He was an instructor at the time at Paier Art School (now a college status) and was working on his first book. He also attended the same art college that I did out in Los Angeles, Ca. called The Art Center College of Art, still a very reputable and outstanding art institution for serious talented artists to attend. We had much in common. In the photos above, Chuck and I were visiting and spending time on Cape Ann Island , the south shore of Massachusetts, where many hard working and famous artists resided. I knew it well and had good friends there and I introduced Chuck to the art colonies there as well as the many many areas around the island to paint. We stayed with the late Michael Stoffa, who had an apartment at the time overlooking Motif #1 on the harbor in Rockport (before the big snow storm that took the Motif down).

This was the view from Michael's apartment that year. He was such a genuine, giving artist, teacher and friend. He spent the later part of his life in Rockport, painting every day and running his gallery on Main St. and married his student Dorothy Ramsey a wonderful artist and person. They were authentic spiritual people and I was always welcome to their home and to paint with them.
Michael died some years ago and Dot continued for years with the gallery on Main Street across from the Rockport Art Association until she sold it and still remains in Rockport today.  They were very involved with the RAA in fact Michael was President of the RAA for a number of years. There were some wonderful old artists back then who painted daily and communicated and influenced one another. Emile Gruppe, Don Stone, Paul Strizak, a young Charles Movalli and Betty Lou Schlemm, Roger Curtis , Tom Nickolas Sr., and so many many more great artists.
This is an old photo of Lanesville in a sweet little area.  Michael used to bring me out to his favorite locations to paint . It was like him sharing what inspired him and teaching me to see what he was "feeling" about what he "saw". He was a great teacher and shared generously.  I was just a young single mom fighting her way in the art works to discover what worked for me. Michael knew this and respected me.  I needed to support my children and myself but also needed to be true to myself as an artist. I figured things out as I went along.
I knew that if I were creative , that I could be creative in life too.
I introduced Chuck to Michael Stoffa and they found much in common and Chuck was stimulated and excited with his newly found location and friend.
This is a photo of them painting together in Gloucester, Ma. It was cold so Chuck always used an old sock with a hole in the end where he could stick out his painting brush. Michael was well known for his style of hat that he wore. You could always find him in a landscape that way!
Yep, he smoked back then .
The guys are painting on the dock with the town of Gloucester in the background.
More old Gloucester Fishing boats. I can smell the ocean and the fish from here! Gortons fishery right down the street and Fitz Hugh Lane's big stone house high on the hill overlooking the harbor where we painted his work. And the smell of Virgillios Italian Bakery too.
Old boats like these where what Emile Gruppe lived for.
Here is Charles Sovek posing for me at the end of the dock.
I will continue to post old photos and write interesting memories in the next blog. In the meantime, why not google some of these well known established artists and learn about them and their work.

1 comment:

  1. Claudia,

    What a wonderful tribute to the artists who have touched your life--and you, theirs! These are precious memories. Thank you for sharing them with us.