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Monday, August 4, 2014

George Bellows

"The ideal artist is he who knows everything, feels everything, experiences everything, and retains his experience in a spirit of wonder and feeds upon it with creative lust."

American Painter
1882 - 1925

Anne in White
Do you experience the world in a spirit of wonder?  Are you surprised by the things that happen or have you become cynical and negative?  A creative leader must be like a young child soaking up life and enjoying every moment of it.  Everything that happens to us — good, bad and indifferent — is fuel for our creative lust.  I don't believe artists and writers experience the world at a deeper level then other people.  It's more they have learned to use that experience to feed their creativity.

Creativity is both sexual and sensuous. When we are painting and writing, we have a deep desire to create, to give birth.  We can feel the lust in our loins, the joy in our hearts.  How powerful is your desire to create?  Can you feel it deep within your body?  Does every part of you tingle with excitement?  Can you taste the lips of your lover?

George Bellows, an only child, was born four years after his parents married and was raised in Columbus, Ohio.  His love of drawing was kindled because he was not allowed to play outside on Sundays.  His mother did allow him to draw while she read the Bible aloud.

Dempsey and Firpo
Bellows attended Ohio State University and played on both the baseball and basketball teams.  He was considered good enough to play professionally, but he turned down a professional baseball contract.  He worked as a commercial illustrator while a student and accepted magazine assignments throughout his life.  His true love was painting so he quit school and moved to New York to study art under Robert Henri at the New York School of Art.  Edward Hopper and Rockwell Kent were fellow students

In 1910 Bellows married Emma Story in St. George's Episcopal Church.  They had two children.  Bellows died of a ruptured appendix at the early age of 43.

George Bellows was a realistic painter known for his bold depictions of urban life as well as portraits.  By the age of thirty his work hung in the Metropolitan Museum of Art.  He is ranked as one of the giants of American art.

Here is a video discussion of the boxing paintings of George Bellows.