Posts Tagged ‘images’


I really enjoyed Terry Allen’s Lithograph ” Cursor” at the Akron Art Museum on my last visit.



A fun thought provoking exhibit I attended this summer at the Akron Art Museum.


Close-up view of the center of an iris.


Pink or magenta peony late spring 2014


I recently visited the Cleveland Museum of Art to view the joint exhibition with the Phillips Collection -Van Gogh Repetitions .  The two institutions have joined together to develop a ground-breaking exhibition that presents new insights into the art of Vincent van Gogh through a study of his répétitions—a term the artist used to describe a distinctive genre of works in his oeuvre.


Currently there is considerable debate even among experts over how Van Gogh produced his repetitions. It is known that he used a perspective frame to compose some paintings, a squaring technique to enlarge painted compositions and Buhot paper to transfer some drawings to lithographic stone. The exhibition curators and conservators are working closely together to investigate the various means Van Gogh employed to produce repetitions.


“Paintings have a life of their own that derives from the painter’s soul”; so states Vincent Van Gogh in his writings and through his work in this exhibition, “Van Gogh: Repetitions.”   This exhibit fleshes out  the creative process over his mastery of post-Impressionist colors and forms accessible to followers and students of all levels.


“Repetitions” is an impressively exhaustive effort to gather so many of these intimately related pieces in the same gallery for the first time. I felt honored to be able to observe and experience this work together in one place -almost like walking into Van Gog’s studio; allowing me to explore all of these paintings together makes for exciting art that welcomes viewers into the process!



Another view of the Richmond United Methodist Church in Richmond township.  This church is on a corner surrounded by cornfields.


On May 10, 1973 at 6:01 p.m. a tornado suddenly struck Willard, Ohio, impacting the lives of everyone in the community, causing several millions of dollars of damage, destroying many homes and causing the loss of life of six individuals in one family who were taking shelter in a garage a few houses away from our home.   Although I was ten years old at the time, this event signaled the end of my childhood and awoke me to the fact that our lives can be forever changed in a matter of moments.  It was one of those events that will be forever burned into my memory.  My family had been eating at a local restaurant (The HiHo) which would be destroyed twenty minutes after we left; returning home a neighbor alerted my dad to the fact that a tornado was approaching our house from the fields in back of our home.  When my dad alerted our family to the imminent danger, we had only a few moments to be hustled into the basement of our house by my parents, because the tornado was almost upon us.

001The Tornado-1The Tornado, by Kevin Casto, 2010

When my family emerged from the basement after the terrible sound had passed, an unbelievable sight awaited us; it was like a war had been declared on our neighborhood, and everyone was in shock.  My family and our close neighbors had little damage, but others a few houses away were devastated.  For some reason the tornado changed directions before reaching our property and headed in another direction.  The National Guard soon arrived and set up a command post at the school across from our house.  This became an event etched in my memory as a kid as most of our community was left in shock for years over this event.

I chose an 18 x 24 inch masonite panel for my painting.  I created several pencil sketches and then transferred my ideas onto the panel with pencil, adding gesso washes and acrylic.  I attempted to incorporate simple shapes in a child-like manner with primary, secondary and neutral colors.  I tried to emphasize line and doubles in a way similar to the artist William H. Johnson did in much of his later work. This painting was created as a graduate school project while working on my Masters in Art Education at Boston University.   My desire was to incorporate action and a sense of sudden danger without losing the sense of story in the image.  This was a great project to help me understand that major event in my life through a visual expression.


Vincent van Gogh,1889, Half Figure of an Angel (after Rembrandt).

The fourth week of advent is over and has seemingly retreated into our collective forgetfulness.  The Christmas music has ended, the wrapping paper is gone, most of the lights have been turned off. What are we left with?


The Adoration of the Shepherds, 1609, by Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio.

Christmas is really the celebration of a spectacular event where Heaven invaded a quiet, remote village to a rather poor couple in a barn/cave housing animals.

NG 2396

The Nativity, William Bell Scott, 1872.

The coming of the Christ, born in a rural area and visited by shepherds smelling of animals, is so very unlike the glitter, lights, wrapping papers, food, shopping and presents that we in the United States have come to associate with the celebration of the season.


John Giuliani, Guatemalan Nativity, 1990s.

Can you remember what you received for Christmas? Do you remember what you were given last year?  Did it fulfill you?


Nativity, Marc Chagall, 1950.

So the word of God became a human being and lived among us. We saw his splendour (the splendour as of a father’s only son), full of grace and truth. And it was about him that John stood up and testified, exclaiming: “Here is the one I was speaking about when I said that although he would come after me he would always be in front of me; for he existed before I was born!” Indeed, every one of us has shared in his riches—there is a grace in our lives because of his grace. For while the Law was given by Moses, love and truth came through Jesus Christ. It is true that no one has ever seen God at any time. Yet the divine and only Son, who lives in the closest intimacy with the Father, has made him known. -Book of John, Phillips Translation


Adoration of the Shepherds, 1622, by Gerard (Gerrit) van Honthorst.

It’s amazing how God has used the tiny, simple and common things to proclaim himself.  As I enter a new year, a year closer to the second coming of Christ, I pray that I can focus on what God has placed in my path:  the tiny, simple and common things used to proclaim him.  How many missed him the first time he came?  How many missed him this year?  How many times have I missed him?

Four Friends, Kevin Casto, 1983, Photograph

When I think of this image made in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania back in the Spring of 1983, I first think of the song Bookends by Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel.

Time it was, and what a time it was, it was
A time of innocence, a time of confidences
Long ago, it must be, I have a photograph
Preserve your memories, they’re all that’s left you

Sometimes a photograph can leave you with a joyful memory or regret and loss.  Many times you can wonder about what became of the person frozen in that moment in time.  What would it be like to travel back in time to tell yourself one thing that you know now?  Would it be a good thing…I suppose not.

It’s an interesting thing to interact with a memory that is an image upon your heart.  This image is part of the portfolio I carry around of who I am visually – a self-portrait.  It’s part of a foundational time in my life artistically and spiritually.  Thanks friends for those special days!