Friday, February 01, 2019

Arty Farty Friday ~ Venezuela

It's not often that news stories precipitate a change of decor chez Twilight and Anyjazz, but worsening news of the plight of ordinary people in Venezuela, due to a game of political Monopoly being played by governments (US government included) has done just that.

In 2015 I wrote a post about a bargain piece of artwork I had found during a trip in Texas. After some research, and with help of a commenter friend, "mike", it was discovered that the signed and titled limited edition print is of a watercolour by Bart Forbes; it is titled "Venezuela". The painting was, very probably, painted as part of a commission by Exxon-Mobil, the world's largest publicly traded international oil and gas company.

This week I've taken down the framed print from its place beside my computer, replaced it with another of my "bargains". I don't wish to celebrate, in any way, what is happening in Venezuela at present, which has got to be, at root, due to the country's oil reserves.

Anyway - to re-cap - here, again, is my 2015 post on the painting titled "Venezuela".

During a short trip to north Texas in late April I bought a signed limited edition print (97/780) of a watercolour painting by Bart Forbes, the picture measures around 25" x 30" in its frame. It was being sold 50% off (original price was only $25). A bargain, I thought, even though the painting's backing was damaged and the framing needed some strengthening, it had once been well-framed, and with expensive non-reflective glass. It was the subject matter of the painting that had first caught my eye though.

Painting's title, written in the artist's own hand is "Venezuela". I hadn't deciphered that until I got a closer look. I did appreciate, or suspect, that the painting was a kind of potted history of the oil industry. Yeah - I know, it's in bad books these days due to environmental destruction and contribution to climate change. However, in a similar way to coal, for use of which our predecessors were eternally thankful I feel sure, oil was another natural resource which catapulted civilisation forward at an amazing rate - possibly too fast - but that's another story.

In the painting, starting top left, is a representation of the forest where basics of oil were laid down aeons ago, to the right of that is a basic oil derrick. At bottom left oil has become the means of easy travel in the 1920s and 30s. The inset illustration shows a couple of oil men standing before a fully fledged oil field. At far bottom right - hmmm - was that patch foggy darkness a depiction of oil itself - or a prophecy, I wonder ?

The picture hasn't translated to computer screen too well, the frame is not black, it's a mid-brown wooden frame. The painting's colours are more subtle yet more distinct, a little sharper than shown. It does have a generally faded look but I don't think it has faded, I think it's in an intended washy water colour style, in shades of aquamarine and grey, with just one splash of a pinkish shade. Click on image for a slightly bigger version.

Husband has now replaced and strengthened the picture's two layers of backing and fixed remaining frame problems - good as new! It now hangs to the right of my compuer desk.

Bart Forbes, I have now discovered was born on 3 July 1939 in Altus, Oklahoma, now lives in Dallas Texas. Wikipedia has a short piece on the artist; there's a 2 minute video featuring Mr Forbes:

More images of his paintings, including lots of sports subjects, can be seen via Google Image.


Wisewebwoman said...

I'm sure glad I enbiggened. What an extraordinary work! No wonder you love it!


Twilight said...

Wisewebwoman ~ I don't know why it has attracted me so, but it has! It'll go back on the wall once the dust settles over there - if it ever does, and peacefully.