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Old 04-27-2004, 11:38 AM   #1
Mike McCarty Mike McCarty is offline
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Nicolai Fechin - Taos, NM.




The current April issue of American Art Review has a feature article on Nicolai Fechin, one of my favorite artists of the past.

Born in Kazan, Russia in 1881, Fechin studied with Ilya Repin. In 1914 his daughter Eya, featured on the cover, was born.

Fechin arrived in New York in 1923 and in 1927 he moved to Taos, New Mexico where he lived until 1933. Fechin died in 1955 in California. In the 1970's Eya returned to Taos where she and her mother restored their old house which is now a museum. She lived there until her death in 2002.

About twenty years ago I came very close to owning one of these Fechin portraits. In one of my more foolish moments I instead took three other paintings, totalling about the same money.

This Thursday I will be traveling to Taos and staying in the "Fechin Inn."
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Old 04-27-2004, 11:47 AM   #2
Garth Herrick Garth Herrick is offline
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Wow! Really nice brushwork. Have a great time on your pilgrimage Mike, I'd like to see these some day too.
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Old 05-03-2004, 12:48 PM   #3
SB Wang SB Wang is offline
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Thanks, Mike M:
Fechin was called as "the genius of 20 century" by Repin.
He has influenced American artists probably more than any other living artist in that time.
But he lived in a wrong time, and not in his homeland. His name is not in art history book, not been properly recognized in both countries.
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Old 05-05-2004, 02:38 PM   #4
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Mike,

Thanks for the alert on the magazine. I was not aware of the article but was able to find a copy at the local Barnes and Noble Book Store.

I visited the Fechin home in 1989 and had the good fortune to do so when a number of his paintings were on display and Eya was present to greet visitors and sign a reprint of an old article on the master.

Have a good trip and give us a report upon your return.
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Old 05-05-2004, 04:03 PM   #5
Mike McCarty Mike McCarty is offline
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If I may get the bad news out first -- neither of my paintings placed in the money at the Taos SOPA annual portrait competition.

I must admit that I had no idea, beyond the fact that I liked his paintings very much, as to the full scope of this man prior to my visit.

I stayed at the Fechin Inn just behind the Fechin home, which is now a museum. In the six years that he lived in this home he not only produced many fine paintings but renovated and added onto the house. He designed and hand carved the furniture for the house, in addition to the the window treatments, pillars and doors. It is written that he was the Leonardo Da Vinci of his time.

This first set of photos are of the house / museum. The second photo shows the bedroom he created for his daughter Eya. The next is an example of the hand carved doors which are prevelant throughout the house.
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Old 05-05-2004, 04:18 PM   #6
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This next set of photos are of his studio located just behind the house. You may be able to see through the beautiful North facing window, Mt. Wheeler, the tallest peak in New Mexico.
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Old 05-05-2004, 04:34 PM   #7
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These next photos are of Taos. The first is as you approach the Sange de Cristo mountains from the East. As you travel towards these mountains you see nothing but prairie land, populated by deer, prong horned antelope and buffalo. This goes on unchanged for about 100 miles.

You then must manuver through the mountains to get to the Taos valley. The last image is of the town of Taos, surrounded on three sides by mountains and on the west by the Rio Grande gorge.

It's said that of the 6,000 residents, 3,000 are artists.
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Old 08-27-2007, 06:20 PM   #8
Allan Rahbek Allan Rahbek is offline
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Mike,
I would wish to go there one day on a pilgrimage. Fechin is a free spirit and his paintings are so powerfully, no wonder that he inspires the best of living masters.
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Old 08-27-2007, 08:28 PM   #9
Mike McCarty Mike McCarty is offline
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Allan,

You're first image is a real marvel.

Taos is a beautiful locale with an interesting meld of cultures. Good food, fishing, and dare devil white water rides down the Rio Grande gorge (I actuall did this). Santa Fe is also real nice, situated just a short drive to the south.

I was also in Taos the year before and took this shot in front of Mt. Wheeler, which stands guard over the town of Taos. I hope to paint this before I die.

A New Mexico pilgrimage sounds real nice.
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Old 08-14-2009, 10:46 PM   #10
Celeste McCall Celeste McCall is offline
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Visit to Taos yesterday

I just returned from Taos where we visited the home of this master artist. I believe him to be one of the foremost painters ever.

I think that I learned so much from looking at his techniques and reading the book about him and how he described ART in that book.

His techniques were very interesting to read about but I was most intrigued by his insistence upon three things:
  • Creating form before painting.
  • The overall unified execution of the canvas.
  • The infusion of the artist's artistic vision into the work.

Needless to say, I'm so grateful for seeing the place and the paintings. It was wonderful.
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