Bob Baker, “Rainy Chicago Through a Car Window” (2014)

26 Jul

chicago1Bob Baker Rainy Chicago Through a Car Window (2014)

Note: click on image to enlarge

This is a photograph of mine that I cropped and edited to get the effect.  I like the way it turned out, thought I’d share it!

Bob Baker, “South Michigan Avenue, Chicago” (2014)

13 Jul

baker-chicago2Bob Baker, South Michigan Avenue, Chicago (2014)

Note: click on image to enlarge

Here’s my latest.  This is the view looking south on South Michigan Avenue in Chicago, between Harrison and Balbo Streets, near the Blackstone Hotel.  I’ve gotten interested in cityscapes again and I’m having lots of fun with my new Charvin paints!

Bob Baker, “Farm House With Compass Plants” (2014)

6 Jul

bob-painting-compass-plants2Bob Baker, Farm House With Compass Plants (2014)

Note: click on image to enlarge

Here’s my painting from today.  This is the farm house at Wolf Road Prairie, right near Wolf Road and 31st Street in Westchester, Illinois, near where I live.  I did several plein air  paintings last summer at Wolf Road Prairie and this summer I’m picking up where I left off.  it’s a cool spot.  The house is surrounded by native prairie compass plants. They’re very interesting plants with deep tap roots — up to fourteen feet.  Condensation forms on the leaves in summer because the plants are cooled by the ground water they soak up.  They have very pretty flowers resembling sunflowers.

Bob Baker, “Union Station, Chicago” (2014)

28 Jun

IMG_3612Bob Baker, Union Station, Chicago (2014)

Note: click on image to enlarge

Here’s my painting from today.   It depicts the covered waiting area downstairs at Chicago Union Station south tracks.  This is where you catch the Burlington Northerm-Santa Fe commuter trains that serve the Chicago western suburbs.  Lately the trains have been all screwed up.  The reasons offered are various, but you do find yourself waiting around for your train to arrive, which is what this girl was doing.

Field Trip to the Art Institute of Chicago Prints and Drawings Room

23 Jun

bellows-dance-at-the-insane-asylumGeorge Bellows, Dance at the Insane Asylum (c. 1922-23)

pd7George Bellows, Heavy Lies the Head That Wears a Brain (c. 1922-23)

Note: click on any image to enlarge

It’s been a busy week or so on the art front here in Chicago.  On Saturday, June 14, an intrepid group of art fans toured the Art Institute of Chicago with a particular focus on the modern American collection.  We had a great time!  Then, on Thursday June 19, a different group of art fans visited the Art Institute’s  prints and drawings room for a private viewing of prints, drawings and watercolors pre-selected by yours truly.  I’m posting the works we viewed as well as a photo of our group (minus myself – I was the one taking the photo!) in the prints and drawings room.

pd6In the Prints and Drawings Room of the Art Institute of Chicago

As you can see, I placed a fairly heavy emphasis on the Ashcan School and its progeny — John Sloan, William Glackens, George Luks, George Bellows, Edward Hopper and Reginald Marsh.  Because they’re irresistible I also selected some works of Claude Monet, Mary Cassatt and John Singer Sargent.  Everything was spectacular and, as you can see, the access we were given was amazing — in a class by itself.  Many thanks to the wonderful staff of the prints and drawings room of the Art Institute of Chicago.

pd10Reginald Marsh, Knights of the Road (1936)

pd11Reginald Marsh, Railroad Yards With New York Skyline (1932)

rm1Reginald Marsh, Summer in New York (1938)

While I loved it all, I think the group would agree that Bellows’ Dance at the Insane Asylum and Heavy Lies the Head That Wears a Brain made a particular impact.  Edward Hopper’s watercolors were marvelous in their brooding intensity and Mary Cassatt’s aquatints were beautifully delicate and evocative of Japanese prints.  There was an almost effortless looseness in the landscapes of Sargent and Luks.  Sloan and Glackens made the homespun seem exotic, as always, and Monet was out of this world, as one would expect.

We will be doing this again very soon.  Thanks to everyone who attended (you know who you are!) and thanks again to the terrific Art Institute staff.  What a great way to start the summer!

pd3John Sloan, Bachelor Girl (1915)

pd8William Glackens, We All Three Hugged and Kissed Each Other and Cried (not dated)

gl1William Glackens, He Knelt Beside Constance’s Bed (1904)

luks1George Luks, Landscape and Town (not dated)

pd5Edward Hopper, Gloucester Mansions (1923)

pd4Edward Hopper, Interior (1925)

cm1Claude Monet, Cliffs and Sea, Saint-Adresse (1865)

pd1John Singer Sargent, Olive Trees, Corfu (not dated)

pd2John Singer Sargent, An Artist at His Easel (1914)

mc1Mary Cassatt, title unknown

mc2Mary Cassatt, title unknown

Bob Baker, “Tulips” (2014)

31 May

IMG_3589Bob Baker, Tulips (2014)

Note: click on image to enlarge

Happy Saturday!  Here’s my painting from today, some tulips in the neighborhood.  With the nice weather I’ll be doing more plein air painting very soon, so stay tuned.


Bob Baker, “Sunrise West of Rainbow Lake, Waupaca County, Wisconsin” (2014)

11 May

IMG_3505Bob Baker, Sunrise West of Rainbow Lake, Waupaca County, Wisconsin (2014)

Note: click on image to enlarge

Here’s my latest.  This depicts a dramatic sunrise from last summer near Rainbow Lake in Waupaca County, Wisconsin.  It didn’t photograph as well as I’d prefer — a lot of blue, which is hard for the camera to digest — but that’s life!  Have a good weekend.

Bob Baker, “Eldora Street, Roxbury” (2014)

2 May

IMG_3501Bob Baker, Eldora Street, Roxbury (2014)

Note: click on image to enlarge

Happy Friday!  Here’s my latest painting, depicting Eldora Street, Roxbury, in Boston.  My mom lived on this street as a child and my sister ran across a nice photo taken c. 1986-87.

Eldora Street is only blocks away from the Basilica of Our Lady of Perpetual Help, better known as the “Mission Church,” operated by the Redemptorists.  I remember going to Mass there when I was a kid.  A bit of trivia: in 2009 the Mission Church was the site of the funeral Mass for Senator Edward Kennedy.

Bob Baker, “Fence and Sunflowers” (2014)

12 Apr

IMG_3499Bob Baker, Fence and Sunflowers (2014)

Note: click on image to enlarge

Here’s my painting from this morning.  Feels like Spring — which is what it feels like outside today!  Have a good weekend.


Bob Baker, “Maker’s Mark Distillery, Loretto, Kentucky” (2014)

30 Mar

IMG_3494Bob Baker, Maker’s Mark Distillery, Loretto, Kentucky (2014)

Note: click image to enlarge

Here’s my painting from today, depicting Maker’s Mark Distillery in Loretto, Kentucky (near Bardstown).  We were on vacation last week, took the tour and loved the place.  Highly recommended if you’re in the area — and Maker’s Mark is great bourbon too!


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