Posts Tagged ‘Donald Langosy’

One year ago it was my pleasure to share, in his own words and images, a glimpse into the life of painter Donald Langosy. Through his 14-page Story of My Art, that I condensed into roughly six blog posts, Mr. Langosy shared his amazing creative journey that involved the likes of Ezra Pound, William Blake, his wife Elizabeth and of course there is Shakespeare. His work is unique and quite inspiring as can be seen in the new book Donald Langosy: The Poet’s Painter. This book of 99 poems by Eric Sigler illustrated with full-color reproductions of the 99 paintings by Mr. Langosy that inspired the poet.


Available online from a variety of vendors as listed below. If I have one criticism, after having seen firsthand the scale of some of these paintings, it is that I wish the book was physically bigger. Meanwhile I hope there will be an art opening one day so that more people can view his work up close and meet both painter and poet!



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i keep sitting down to write you about this painting… and each time i draw a blank… it is a favorite of mine… a poster of it welcomes you into my studio …” — Donald Langosy, 2016

detail from nymphs and satyr by bouguereau

detail from nymphs and satyr by bouguereau

Of late I’ve become quite bold in asking people to share with me in words and sometimes images the beauty that they experience. I want to understand why a certain piece of music heard, a poem read, or a moment in a certain field can move them so deeply. In painter Donald Langosy’s case, I wanted to know why he was so moved by Bouguereau’s Nymphs and Satyr (1873), a painting held in the collection of the Clark Art Institute in Williamstown, MA. I’d learned from Langosy’s daughter that, as with Titian, it was a work of art Langosy might like to see in person one day.  And so I asked him to please tell me why, and as I waited for his words, I did a little bit of my own research into this Bouguereau.

Adolphe William Bouguereau (1825-1905) was a French figurative painter noted for producing rather luminous works with Classical, mythological and religious themes. His work was very popular with the European and American public during his lifetime. He received top prices for his work. He not only painted portraits, but he also decorated private homes, churches and public buildings.

Pieta, 1876

pieta, 1876

Quite prolific, he apparently produced over 800 finished paintings. In addition, beginning in the 1860s he taught at the Academie Julian in Paris. Among his many students over the years he would teach Henry Ossawa Tanner and Ellen Day Hale. As I read criticism about his work from across the different decades, both the words beautiful and escapist were applied. During the height of Bouguereau’s career there was a new movement starting in the French art scene, Impressionism. Many within this new school were not enamored of Bouguereau’s work and actively belittled it. Despite the controversy surrounding his subject matter, so polished and dreamy during an age of great turmoil, few denied the mastery of his technique.

sadly,” notes Langosy, “Bouguereau is remembered for his unending number of paintings of little girls and poetically posed young virginal women…. which is unfortunate… for it distracts from his many accomplishments…like this one, which is among the finest masterpieces ever painted…

…compositionally outstanding…. but outstanding because of the remarkable brush work… which is brilliant because of his command of color and line….. the sensual twirl feeling of the nymphs… the satyr in a diagonal angle attempting to brace himself against their attempts to over power him… Bouguereau’s subtle sense of line accenting the individual rhythms of the different poses…

…rhythm of line is what creates three dimension on a two dimensional plane…. and then there are the leaves and grass and the water… egads!….i’m speechless… i haven’t written enough about this painting… but now you will understand why it took me this long to write

And that is how I came to learn of nymphs, satyrs and appreciate the work of Bouguereau through the words of Donald Langosy.


Additional Readings & Images







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donald langosy in the studio

donald langosy in a studio from the early days

For the past six Thursdays it has been been my pleasure to share the words and images of painter Donald Langosy. In collaboration with his daughter, he produced a unique 14-page memoir visually chronicling his evolution as an artist. I was allowed to share that memoir on this blog interspersed with additional words and images by Langosy.

Last Thursday’s post – story of my art – shakespeare and the joy of being, revealed that Mr. Langosy was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 2003. Has it affected how he expresses himself as an artist? Of course. But decrease in mobility and even fine motor skills has in no way decreased his creativity or even his productivity. As he has stated he does not allow MS into his studio, but he has welcomed visitors on occasion.

donald langosy in the studio present day

donald langosy still in the studio present day

I have been lucky enough to sit in his space and at his side and see his works-in-progress upon the easel, the canvases stacked against the wall, his sculptures tucked in high nooks, and what I especially love (and I tell him each time) the books, the books, the books, on so many different subjects, collected over the years! And no matter how crammed the space becomes with paintings and books and new technologies to enable him in his work, there is always space for the grandchildren.

grandchildren in the studio

grandchildren in the studio

Below are a few more images. Please enjoy this virtual peek inside the studio, present and past, of Donald Langosy.

Photos provided by Zoe Langosy.

View The Story of My Art: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6.

View four decades of Langosy’s work at http://www.donald.langosy.net/

See what’s current on Langosy’s Facebook page.

His contact: Zoe Langosy at zlangosy@me.com.

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Previously in The Story of My Art: “painting with the moments

And now (click on images for larger view) …

details of elizabeth

images of elizabeth

self-portraits of donald

self-portraits of donald

And once freed, what happened? Find out in the next chapters of this artistic journey on Thursday June 23rd. 

Meanwhile, view details of the Marilyn Monroe painting here and view Mr. Langosy’s art at http://www.donald.langosy.net/ and https://www.facebook.com/The-Art-of-Donald-Langosy-270498092961524/photos/?tab=album&album_id=442071359137529

Contact: Zoe Langosy at zlangosy@me.com.

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Detail from Early Work by Donald Langosy

untitled, detail from early work by painter donald langosy

In a crumbling building in a hipster city, a private collector has many early works of Mr. Langosy. It was my privilege to view them recently, and of all the works, this one stood out to me greatly, a father holding his child, his large hand cradling while a small hand reaches up. This detail from a study of a painting never completed captured fatherhood for me. I was reminded of my father, a large man, and how he used to hold my hand. Except for an occasional wild tale, my father was mostly a silent man, conveying a lot through touch. He didn’t often say “good job” or other words of praise.  It was a pat on the top of one’s head or his hand resting on your shoulder. Then you knew you’d done well. With Father’s Day approaching, he comes to mind of course. His hand I can hold no more but the memories are enough. And for those memories I am thankful.

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Previously in The Story of My Art: “becoming an artist confident”

And now (click on image for larger view) …

The next chapter in this artistic journey is Thursday June 16th. 

Meanwhile, view Mr. Langosy’s art at http://www.donald.langosy.net/ and https://www.facebook.com/The-Art-of-Donald-Langosy-270498092961524/photos/?tab=album&album_id=442071359137529

Interested in his work? Please contact his daughter Zoe at zlangosy@me.com.

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Previously in The Story of My Art: “and then I met Elizabeth”

And now …

The next chapater in this artistic journey is Thursday June 9th.  Meanwhile, learn more about Langosy’s art by contacting Zoe at zlangosy@me.com.

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Sometimes when I am in a room with a group of people, someone will say, “Be careful what you say. We have a writer in our midst and she always sees a story.” I don’t know that I always see a story, but in this case I do.  It is the story of a man and a woman, two artists in their own right, who formed a union. A painter-poet and his writer muse.  Donald and Elizabeth Langosy.

I have permission to call him Donald but, since I am friends with his daughter Zoe, my southern upbringing drives me to refer to him as Mr. Langosy . Now, Elizabeth has made clear, that since we are writing colleagues, I am to call her Elizabeth.  And when she tells you to do something, what else is there to do but what she said in that gentle but oh so firm way of hers. She has that way about her, like a force of nature. Perhaps that is what drew Donald to her. That is his story to tell and, in part, that is what he has begun to do in the pages that his daughter helped him put together, The Story of My Art by Donald Langosy.

In these 14-pages a veil is pulled aside and we the viewer become privy to the bright life of a talented man and his love for a talented woman. We see how that love has enabled and empowered him to produce a body of work that is dynamic, vibrant, sometimes humorous, sometimes sad, and always provocative.

Below are two pages from The Story of My Art. Click on each image for a larger view. Over the course of the next six Thursdays the rest of the story will be shared. Join me on a journey …

For more information about Langosy’s art, contact Zoe at zlangosy@me.com.

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Ingres Serenades The Memory Of His Late Wife's Youth by Donald Langosy

Ingres Serenades The Memory Of His Late Wife’s Youth by Donald Langosy

Walking into the studio of artist Donald Langosy is like venturing into a secret garden soaked in light and shadow.  At first, all that one can do is gaze at the surrounding forest of color-filled canvases in all sizes.  Then the individual scenes emerge, often mysterious, sometimes dark and yet filled with light and motion at the same time.  By his subject matter, it is clear his passions for family, friends and for the artists across the disciplines who continue to inspire and influence his work.  The drama, the intensity and indeed the mischievous humor, come through each piece.  Last year I asked him how music influenced his work (view here).  This year I asked if he’d share an update on recent works.  Thankfully, he shared these images and the following words about what’s new, his creative process and where he finds goodness and beauty in this world.


Here are recent paintings as requested.  The Titania Paintings are from my Shakespeare series:  Midsummer Night’s Dream.  This is an ongoing series of 50″x42″ canvases that were actually painted end of last year.

Titania Sleeping by Donald Langosy

Titania Sleeping

I thought [the above painting of artist Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres serenading his young wife] would lead into a series showing artists with their model/muses and so I began …

Mr. and Mrs. William Blake in their Garden Reading Paradise Lost by Donald Langosy

Mr. and Mrs. William Blake in their Garden Reading Paradise Lost

“... but my intentions veered with …

John Milton Composing Paradise Lost by Donald Langosy

John Milton Composing Paradise Lost

… and now I find myself beginning two large canvases that will deal with thoughts that have emerged out of the garden of eden…

And as for Mr. Langosy’s muse, his wife, Elizabeth…

Celebrating Elizabeth Turns Fifty is a painting that has been buried in my stacks for over a decade…it now shines over my shoulder as I work… reminding me that while evil and ugliness might have its moment it is rejected and fades… but goodness and beauty, an eternal delight,  endures….

Celebrating Elizabeth Turns Fifty by Donald Langosy

Celebrating Elizabeth Turns Fifty by Donald Langosy

Learn more about this artist at his Facebook page, The Art of Donald Langosy.

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Over the past few years, one of the great pleasures in my creative journey has been making the acquaintance of the Langosy family.  Collaborating with illustrator Zoe Langosy has helped me view my photography in new ways and develop an evolving appreciation for collage.  Her sister Hadley is a creative web designer but it is her photography that moves me with the ethereal beauty of her images. Mother Elizabeth Langosy is an editor and writer whose words always make me think more deeply about the craft of writing.  As for my most recent Langosy inspiration?  That would be patriarch, Donald.  Each time I have the honor of visiting the Langosy home, I enter and fall into the worlds he has created on canvas. I only slightly exaggerate.

The canvases, of which there are many, loom large.  Each frame contains a story with a single moment captured.  Just barely.

In just about every painting I’ve seen there is an act in progress, a transformation taking place.  There is motion.  Whimsy abounds …

… as does a celebration of nature …

… and of travels …

… and most definitely of love.  As he will tell you immediately in person and notes in his writing, his wife is his muse and often his model.

I have always admired artists that meld light and color to tell a powerful story.  While I do love Mr. Langosy’s use of color, what especially inspires me about his work is the poetry in his paintbrush.  Even before I read his artist statement and learned of his literary beginnings, I could see the love of myth,magic and lore on his canvases.

On the Isle of Prospero by Donald Langosy

Given that he’s been painting since the 1970’s, it takes time to view Mr. Langosy’s work.  I hope quite soon that he has a major public exhibition but until then view his paintings, sculpture, and more online:  The Art of Donald Langosy An Obsure Moment Justified

Enjoy! 😉

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