Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Salmagundi in the Seventies/Chuck Sovek and Me

Flashback Fridays continues/Salmagundi Club in the Seventies

Charles Sovek, Claudia Post, Paul De Lorenzo, Richard and Naomi Clive

This was taken back in the seventies of Charles Sovek beginning a portrait demonstration using me as his model. I introduced Chuck to Salmagundi Club way back then when I was one of just a few women artist members there. It was an all male artist club with a downstairs pool room and bar and smoking was allowed and even encouraged. My sponsors back in the seventies were Dana Gibson Noble (a Connecticut Seascape painter who graduated from Yale), Maryanne Maier and Patricia Yaps both seascape painters as well. Dana was the nephew of the famed illustrator Charles Gibson the originator of the "Gibson Girl". Dana called me "the kid"back then as he first saw my work in pastel when I was just 17 yrs old and in local state art competitions. When I dated Charles Sovek during the seventies I brought him to Salmagundi Club and he followed up with membership there. There were nights we would stay there late and he would play the piano for me in the big exhibition room. He played beautifully and the music echoed in the large space. 
Charles accepted an invitation from the then President of Salmagundi  Artist Richard Clive (who followed Raymond Goldberg), to do a portrait demonstration at the club. He asked me to model and I wore my hair up and used a lovely handmade shawl that my mother knitted for me over my shoulders.
It was an oil demonstration and Chuck believed in working from the outside to the inside of the portrait. He believed in and worked to accomplish simplicity and  minimun of brushstrokes.
This was me smiling but couldn't pose that way for the duration.
This was the actual pose and expression. I would have much preferred being at the easel painting!
You can see how he concentrated to put down only the values and colors that were absolutely necessary to paint. He worked diligently to compare value to value and color to color.
We had a nice crowd of interested people that night and you can see that an exhibition was going on in the background too.
Charles was a good teacher and had strong beliefs about how one should see, express themselves and to paint. I was more classical in my approach and drawing was paramount to me. I worked in pastels, oils and some acrylics.
He looked like a musician here, moving his hands around like a conductor while he spoke
Here is a more complete study however I had only black and white "film" for these shots. But you can see how accurate his values are, even though he was painting with intense color alla prima.
His hands were beautiful for a man even though one hand was deformed. He was elegant when playing the piano and painting
Both he and I went to The Art Center College in California. At this time in the seventies he was an instructor at Paier Art School , now officially a college and we went to many functions together. I remember going to a Christmas Party one year with Chuck to the senior Dean Keller's home in Hamden Ct.  Dean Keller was the official portrait painter for Yale University for many years. Then Artist Joe Funaro took over and since then has passed away.
This lady with the white hat was Naomi Clive and next to her was her husband artist Richard Clive who was the then President of Salmagundi Club. I was very friendly with both of them for years before they passed on. Richard and Naomi bought a home/studio at Rocky Neck Art Colony in their older years and I visited them and they visited my at my home/studio in Cheshire Ct. where I started an art school that grew so fast and big, I got scared . When I was told I had to incorporate and become more of a business person, I folded! I was an artist and wanted to paint!
Richard Clive did some lovely little figure paintings of me in oil on mat board and some wonderful still life work. I still have one of his still life paintings today. I also have a little detailed drawing of a tree that I love and remember what he said. He said "Trees were like beautiful women dancers!" I could see and understand that, especially when all the leaves are gone.
Richard left me one of his one armed chairs that he always used for models in his studio and I still use it today and fondly remember him each time I do.
I will write another blog on Richard Clive and our friendship another time. It is very interesting.
This is the late artist and classical portrait painter, Paul De Lorenzo at the Salmagundi Club the night of the demonstration. I admired his incredible work and at the time he was commissioned to paint the former President of Salmagundi Raymond Goldberg. The portrait was superb and meticulously painted. Everything that Paul painted was that way. I was truly inspired with his sensitive portrayal of his subjects. It was before I knew about Ives Gammel and his school of painting passed down from William Paxton. His teachings were going to generate some of the best contemporary realists of our time. It was Charles Movalli who suggested I study with Gammel after studying with Daniel Greene however I was a single parent supporting my family with my are and had to work non stop to do this.
I am sad to see the world lose artist  Paul DeLorenzo who was one of your finest painters. I was coincidentally just downloading this photo of him to send to Paul on facebook (I had just friended him one month ago) and to use it for this blog.
Also coincidentally while going through these old memory photos of Sovek etc. I was emailed by an artist who read a previous blog of mine, Bruce Bundock from Kingston, NY who used to paint in a painting group at Chuck's studio on Riverside Dr. in Westport, Ct while I dated him. In that group was Howard Munce, Christie Gallagher, and Suzanne Lemieux. 
 This is a portrait of Artist Bruce Bundock by Charles Sovek during one of those painting groups. Check out Bruce Bundock today at Sent to me today!
Drawing done by Bruce Bundock, artist who used to go to Sovek's artist group weekly . This is the back of Chuck Sovek and model inside Sovek's studio in the seventies. I remember well.
Thank you Bruce for contacting me yesterday and sending me these images to share.

1 comment:

  1. These stories and photos are so wonderful Claudia!! It's fun for me to see this history- and I so wish I had had the opportunity to know Sovek earlier than I did. Still grateful for the (even thouugh short) time I did get to meet & study with him. Thanks for posting these!