Category Archives: Blog

The Monday Palaver: Yvonne Jacquette speaking with James Lancel McElhinney

(Recorded by Argot Studios for the Newington Cropsey Cultural Studies Center webcast, published here under fair use for educational and critical purposes)

DSC04134Yvonne Jacquette DC MooreYvonne Jacquette, Courtesy D.C. Moore Gallery (published under fair use, etc.)Yvonne Jacquette (1934- )

A longtime admirer of her work, I sat down with distinguished American painter Yvonne Jacquette (1934-)at Argot Studios, to record a webcast for the Newington Cropsey Cultural Studies Center website on Tuesday, January 25, 2011 at 4pm. A few months before–October 19 & 21, 2016, I had conducted an in-depth oral history interview with Yvonne for the Smithsonian Archives of American Art.

VOICES IN CONTEMPORARY ART: James Lancel McElhinney in conversation with Marie Watt. Denver Art Museum. June 15, 2016

Marie Watt

James Lancel McElhinney


Link to video:

On the evening of June 15, 2016. VoCA (Voices in Contemporary Art) sponsored a public program at the Denver Art Museum. I sat down with Native American artist Marie Watt (Seneca) to discuss her work, which was on view in the exihibition “Why We Dance: American Indian Art in Motion”


This suite of seven high-quality digital prints, drawn from James Lancel McElhinney’s Hudson Valley painting-journal is being prepared for A Spring release. More details will follow.

The concept is to use digital media to “break” McElhinney’s book while leaving the original intact. Seven loose sheets will be presented in a fine solander “clamshell” box, with essays and other texts in an accompanying chapbook. Each print is 11×14 inches, with individual page spreads reproduced exactly the same size as the original painting journal, presenting each image as a trompe l’oeil of an open book.

To receive updates or to inquire about how you might obtain a copy, please send a message to:, subject line “Hudson Suite”

Here is a preview: a look at the artist’s proofs



North Gate


Storm King


Crows Nest


Western Highlands




South Gate



West Point

The Late Jack Beal in Conversation with James Lancel McElhinney

Self-Portrait as "Envy", Jack Beal. 1977

This recording was created in 2010 for the Newington Cropsey Cultural Studies Center by Paul Ruest of Argot Studios and is reproduced here under fair use for educational and critical purposes.

Walter Henry “Jack” Beal was born in Richmond, Virginia on June 25, 1931 and passed away in Oneonta, New York on August 29, 2013. Trained at what later became Old Dominion University, University of Illinois Chicago and at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Beal moved to New York in 1956. He was at the forefront of a resurgence of figurative painting during the 1960-70s. As debates raged around the polemics of style, Beal’s work explored the no-man’s land between representational imagery and bold shapes and saturated colors associated with formalist abstraction. He was elected an associate member of the National Academy of Design in 1976 and became a full academician in 1983. Beal was commissioned to produce four monumental murals by the U.S. Department of Labor. The paintings were installed in 1977. His later work focused more on visual narratives in a more naturalistic style. MTA commissioned Beal to produce two large mosaic murals as part of the renovation of the 41st Street Port-Authority subway station. The work was completed in 2003.

Nearing winter’s end in 2010, I drove with Paul Ruest of Argot Studios from Manhattan to the eastern margins of Oneonta, New York. Leaving the Thruway, we headed west into the Catskills along U.S. Route 28. Passing over terrain covered with snow, we crossed Rondout Creek at Phoenicia. Skirting its turbulent waters through Shandaken and Big Indian the road climbed past Pine Hill to Arkville, out of the Hudson Valley watershed and into Delaware County. In 1973 Beal and his wife, painter Sondra Freckleton had moved from SoHo to a farm in Franklin, New York, which is where we found them.

Beal’s estate is represented by George Adams Gallery, 531 West 25th Street, First Floor, New York, New York, 10001.

The Monday Palaver: The Arts in Conversation

Starting on Monday February 13, I will be launch a weekly podcast. The first fourteen weeks with be drawn from the archives, interviews I conducted over the years for the American Arts Quarterly, shared under fair use for critical and educational reasons, at no charge.
A new series of weekly interviews will commence on Monday, May 1.
To receive updates, please write to me at



Download (PDF, Unknown)

Painting in journals for me began with my recovery from a serious illness which left me hypersensitive to oil paint. During my hospitalization, confined to working in sketchbooks, I produced my first journal-painting. Later, learning to work in acrylics was a glorious challenge. I loved that it forced paintings to be in constant dialogue with drawing, but the vexing business of having to save paint every time I mixed a new color drove me into the arms of watercolor. For many years I had resisted it. Perhaps it was because I subscribed in some way to the market prejudice against works on paper and watercolor as an inferior medium. Common wisdom (an oxymoron if ever there was one) cautioned that watercolor was difficult and unforgiving. This of course was pure nonsense. As my journal practice developed, I became more invested in its nimbleness and mobility.  Filling books with paintings suddenly made more sense to me than producing art for the wall–and freed me from an economy of art that was inextricably tied to real estate and conspicuous consumption. It gave me a kind of freedom. It also freed me from any hope of showing and selling. In the end I realized that the wall must have its due, and engaged in numerous conversations with people who were kind enough to provide invaluable advice regarding my cockamamie pocket-paintings, including Charlie Bergman, Eric Brown, Joseph Goddu, Barney McHenry, Steve Miller, Bridget Moore, David reel and Dick Solomon, who observed the problem at hand was “how to get the genie out of the bottle”.

Steps are being taken. Scans of page-spreads are being transformed into limited-edition suites of high-quality digital prints that will be published as “broken books”–unbound sheets with a chapbook set within a solander box. Each page-spread will be presented as an open book, resting on the page as a trompe-l’oeil image. The owner can either keep the pages together in its loose binding–or frame, and display them on the wall. If you wish to receive updates or find out how to order one of these suites, please write to:,  subject line “Prints”