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Subject: New York Trip
From: Kathie Roskom" 
d kr> 
Date: Wed, 08 May 2002 

[Editor's Note -- Kathie visted The Frick in New York as well as the a conference entitled "The American Society of Portrait Artists presents A Unique International Study Conference on The Contemporary Portrait."  (short version:  ASOPA Contemporary Portrait Conference), and writes of her trip]


I had a great trip to New York, although too short.  The works at the Frick seem to be much better lit than they were when I was there 15 years ago.  It was a rainy day so I can't attribute it to more light coming in through the skylights.  At any rate, I spent more time visiting my favorite paintings there than I had planned. 

Thus, I had less time at the library.  However, my plan was just to get a sense of what they have so that I would know how to prepare for a serious research trip in the future.  It sounds like you've been there so you'll understand that I was a bit overwhelmed!!  I went through a few books written in the early 1900's.  My favorite was a short, 80 page, book by Martin Birnbaum called "John Singer Sargent, A Conversation Piece."  That's exactly what it was; I could picture this man sitting in his parlor relating stories to his friends about Sargent.  The book also included 32 b&w plates, many of which I've never seen before.  They were primarily from the collection of Grenville Lindall Winthrop, who was the subject of the book's dedication.  I'll attach one of the stories from the book:

    “Sargent never surrounded himself with an aura, and violently disliked a note of flattery which he could instantly detect.  DeGlehn’s story of a visit to Sargent with Claude Monet bears this out.  It seems that the two guests remained all day, lunching and dining with Sargent.  Naturally they spent part of their time in their host’s studio, filled at the time with some of the sensational Wertheimer portraits.  DeGlehn was amazed that Monet hardly looked at them and he not only resented the Frenchman’s attitude but mentioned the matter to Sargent.  “But he hates this sort of painting” declared Sargent, to whom, however, Monet ever remained a great friend. 

    Indeed, Sargent himself enjoyed poking fun even at his best works.  “The Idiots of the Mountain” was the way he referred to the exquisite picture known as “The Cashmere Shawl”, all posed for by his beloved niece Rose-Marie Ormond Michel who perished in Paris when the Germans bombed the church of St. Gervais.” 

    (Excerpt from “John Singer Sargent, A Conversation Piece” By Martin Birnbaum,  New York, Wm E. Rudge’s Sons, 1941, 80pp pp40-41  )

They also have an incredible file of photographs of his works (other artists as well, of course)!  They're all b&w shots, but include provenance record of the work, so could prove invaluable when we're trying to figure out who has owned a piece.  I looked for Madame Subercaseaux, hoping it might shed some light on that controversy, but they didn't have it.

I'll probably go back to NYC in a month or two, so feel free to let me know if there is any research you would like me to do while I'm there.

Ormand's talk was fine but nothing extraordinary.  He talked about several of the portraits from the book currently in production:  Lady Agnew, Mrs. Hugh Hammersley, Beatrice Gallette, Wertheimer Sisters, Sitwell Family, W. Graham Robertson, etc..  He focused his comments on the "paintings" not any particular information about the "painter."

The highpoint of the conference was the slide lecture by Richard Schmid, which was the reason I went in the first place.  He is my favorite living artist.  If you're not familiar with his work check out his website:     He was clearly influenced by Sargent, and what was clear from his lecture is that he really loves painting.  I talked to him for a little bit.  He's the down-to-earth interested in other people type not the haughty stuck-on-himself type.  By the way, his book "Alla Prima" is wonderful both for painters and for those of us who just enjoy the results.

Bye for now,



From Natasha

<big smile>

Subject: Accolades
From: Louis Loeb 
l bs> 
Date: Wed, 29 May 2002 

Dear Natasha:  Finding your site was like finding a gold mine.  It simply is wonderful. Is this a labor of love?  If so, you are to be esteemed beyond words.  I am a tour guide at the Boston Public Library, home, of course, to the great murals, restoration of which is soon to begin.  Again, my great thanks to you.  Louis Loeb

From: Natasha

Thank you so much.

Subject: The JSS Gallery and Discussion Group
From: Sharon Himes 
sh ar>
Date: Thu, 18 Jul 2002 

Thank you for this wonderful Sargent gallery. We have been using your site as a base for our discussions on the artist in the ArtCafe.Net Excite Art Loft chats this summer. 

Sharon Himes

From: Natasha

Hey Sharon, I really appreciate all your support and thanks for becoming a Friend of the JSS Gallery.

I have over the last year or so been to the ArtCafe site a number of times and this would be a good time to let people know about it. It's geared for the artist, and as you say there are chat groups that meet about once a week. I'm adding it to my Links page.

So glad you are enjoying the site


Subject: Accolades
From: James Johnson 
J HJ > 
Date:  Fri, 26 Jul 2002 

Thank you for such a well planned and extensive site on the works of JSS.  Like you, I've been drawn to his works since I first saw the original of Carnation, Lily, Lily, Rose.  I now try to view it every time I am in London and also whenever it is on the road. 

I have been looking for the portrait of Earl of Dalhousie for several years.  I first saw it at an exhibition in Washington, DC, but didn't buy the program or pay much attention to the name.  Suddenly I had the opportunity to have my portrait taken and that was the style I wanted, however no one could find this mysterious portrait of a tall young man in a cream linen suit with columns.  And now I have. 

Thank you very much for providing such a esoteric but invaluable resource for today's fans of the works of JSS. 

Best regards, 

James Johnson 

Thank you for the delightfully pleasing and amusing note and good luck on your portrait: Earl James Johnson <wink>.


Subject: Accolades
From: Nancy G. Turner 
Date:  Fri, 6 Sep 2002 

I have spent extensive time browsing your website on John Singer Sargent and just want to say how much I appreciate all the work that has gone into it.

I was not familiar w/the work of JSS (obviously I have been living somewhere in a cave!).  But two days ago, I was in an antique/junk store in Jacksonville, Florida and spotted a framed picture that would not have been noticed by some due to all the "clutter" around it.  But I was drawn into this painting which was labeled "A Watercolor".  There was matting around it and I could see no signature.  Through the watercolor one could see pencil lines but I could not tell if it was an original or a print. 

I purchased the "Watercolor" for $39.95 & brought it home.  I could not wait to dismantle it so I could inspect it more closely.  I found out that it was an old print--it had a signature and all I could make out of the signature was "John" although the rest of the signature was there and the print was not damaged.

Today I took the print to Michael Van Horne who is an artist in Fernandina Beach, Florida & who also has a framery.  He identified the signature immediately and said that it was an old print that may have originally been a study by John Singer Sargent.  He exclaimed about the beauty of it and said  that it was too bad it was not an original because if it had been, it would have been worth a fortune. 

 Anyway, I have since done a search on the internet and finally found your website which is just magnificent and addresses the man's work in such depth.  I found the print that I had purchased. It is that of "Campo dei Frari, Venice" 1880.  Again, I want to thank you so much for the extensive work you have done.  God bless you, Natasha. 

Nancy G. Turner
Yulee, FL


Thank you Nancy so much for your comments. It means everything to me to hear you've enjoyed the site, and I so very much appreciate your appreciation as well as love to hear your story in how you came to know JSS's work.

All my best,


Subject: Accolades
From: Marc Frant 
Date:  Wed, 18 Sep 2002 

Thank you for your impressive web site, you gave me an immense pleasure wandering around for a full day !!!!

Marc Frant

Your pleasure is truly mine in hearing from you and others.

-- Nat

Subject: Accolades
From: Ted Colyer" 
t    ed@tedc> 
Date: Thu, 19 Sep 2002 


Terrific site! You've done a wonderful thing here. I've waited for several years for a site like this on Sargent's work. I had no idea of the sheer number of paintings. I'm blown away by it and the job that you've done. Congratulations! 


Thanks Ted
Subject: Accolades
From: Michael Wilhite 
w il> 
Date: Tue, 22 Oct 2002 

A well-designed website - a real pleasure.  I plan to return often to enjoy the work of JSS and the rich context you have provided for it.

Subject: Accolades
From: Adrian Wynne-Morgan 
w ynne_mo> 
Date: Wed, 27 Nov 2002 

Dear Natasha, 

I'm in awe! Not only is it a superbly produced, comprehensive and user-friendly site but it's about the artist who has held me in thrall for over 25 years. 

I can't begin to conceive of the effort that has obviously been spent on creating this. You have my heart-felt congratulations. A fitting digital tribute to this great man. 

Many thanks 

Adrian Wynne-Morgan. 
London, UK 


Subject: Accolades
From: Lora Premo 
l pr> 
Date: Tue, 03 Dec 2002 

 . . . I absolutely cannot get enough of this site. I am actually just doing historical research, and was looking for specific pictures in lieu of photos, but I am now completely hooked on Sargent as an artist. Amazing!! I'll be back, many times!


Subject: Accolades
From: Vittorio Colfiore Milan, Italy.
c olf>
Date: Tue, 03 Dec 2002 

Your Site is the best I have ever seen in Internet. Thank you for having me allowed to discover one of the greatest painters in the World. I'm sixty five and I had never seen Jhon Singer Sargent before (incredibly but true). Best compliments and Happy New Year from Milan,Italy. 


Thanks -- another from Italy -- I love it!
Subject: Accolades
From: Dave Peak 
d ave.p> 
Date: Tue, 03 Dec 2002

Dear Natasha

Having trawled through your gallery with enormous pleasure, I just couldn't possibly leave without sending at least some form of acknowledgement and thanks for all your work over the four years spent in putting it all together.  Three (or four?) years ago I visited to the Sargent exhibition at the Tate in London.  I went with no great expectations... I was going to see the work of a painter whose style was consigned to history in 1914.  I was wrong.  I went round the exhibition... then went round again.  I don't know how many times I did the circuit, or how many hours I was there -- but I was bowled over.  What impressed me most was his ability to capture the absolute essence of the subject being painted.  Their souls laid bair and their personalities revealed.   I don't need to explain this to you at all... but I thought you'd like to hear from someone else who fell under the spell. Anyway, eventually I had to leave to drive the hundred miles home, but not before spending maybe ten minutes with Lady Agnew and maybe an equal amount of time with an early picture of a gypsy girl with a red headscarf.  It was actually difficult to leave... I mean, would I ever see these pictures again?  Lady Agnew I did see again at the Scottish National Gallery last summer -- and was still captivated. 

Anyway, many thanks once more for your efforts.

Kind Regards

Dave Peak
Earlsdon, Coventry, UK

Thanks Dave
Subject: Accolades
From: Peter Schroder
p eter> 
Date: Sun 16 Feb 2003 

Dear Ms. Wallace,

An American friend told me of his liking of JSS, he fell in love with, like many others, [with the painting of] Dr. Pozzi. This certainly is a striking painting, but I most liked the comments to this painting and your explanation, on who and what he is and was, we both speculated on those hands and the way they were held. Your explanation of those slender hands and the way he holds them that way, is excellent. This is certainly a website I'll return to.

With kind regards,
Peter Schroder

From Natasha

Thank you Peter, so much. I agree with you that the strength of my site is in the input from others such as the outstanding comments by Adam Sutcliffe and Linda Hollander. It has been people like that which has made all the difference in the world.


Subject: My thoughts on Sargent
From: "Len Hart" 
le nh> 
Date: Mon, 28 Apr 2003 

Sargent's portrait of Mrs. Sears can be found in the MFAH in Houston. It occupies a gallery near a small but representative selection of paintings by William Meritt Chase. Chase lacked Sargent's virtuoso brush work but saying so is akin to saying Michelangelo should have stuck with marble. No "Holy Family" and no "Sistine Ceiling".

In my ways, I find Sargent's "Study" of Madame X [Tate Gallery] more satisfying than the "fussy" finished X in the Metropolitan.  The study alone is worth a visit to the Tate.

Thanks for a GREAT Sargent site...and keep up the great work!


Thanks Len 
Subject: Thanks
From: Sjrp rj 
Date: Fri, 25 Apr 2003 

Natasha--I'm finishing up a paper on Sargent for a History of U.S. Art class, here at the University of Hawaii.  I'd seen Sargent's "Gassed..." in 1999 in  Washington D.C. and found it profoundly moving. 


No reproduction does it justice--remember it's 20'x9'.  The books that include this painting usually have it so small one can't see any detail. This is the ONLY site where I can zoom in and study the details--like the football match in the background. It's been a big help and I appreciate it.  Thanks and Aloha.  :)

From Natasha

I know exactly what you mean. I'm never satisfied with images but it was the best I could find -- 

Subject: Accolades
From: Simon Heath 
s imon>
Date: Fri, 04 Jul 2003 


I am writing from Australia (doesn't mean that much with email but it gives the letter some perspective perhaps) and would just like to thank you for such a brilliant website! It is clear, has beautiful reproductions of his paintings considering the limitations of the web and is a just representation of his life.

Please don't stop the great work!

Thanks, Simon Heath

From: Natasha

Thanks Simon,

Work has not stopped -- though a break from it is taken from time to time to recharge the batteries and get new perspective.

It's always nice to hear from fans and friends as it gives me strength to press on.

Subject: Accolades
From: Bob Tannenbaum <
b t0> 
Date: Sun, 6 Jul 2003 


thank you for all the beauty. it is the fourth of July and this was the best firework of them all. life has gifts to bestow if you wait for it to be generous, and you have given me such pleasure tonight. I have always maintained that great art, no matter the subject, is always sensuous. if it isn't, it doesn't appeal to me. 

Bobby t.

Subject: Accolades
From: Kris Radford <
ra dfor>
Date: Tue, 23 Sep 2003

Keep up the good work! - It is sites like yours that make the Internet important.

Subject: "Terrace at Hill Hall"
From: Lorraine Webber <
lrw  eb>
Date: Mon, 6 Oct 2003 

I went to the Hunter Museum in Chattanooga, TN, on Friday and saw a painting by Mr. Sargent entitled \"Terrace at Hill Hall\".  It was painted in 1910 as a wedding gift for one of his friends.  It was a delightful piece - simple and elegant.  Captured play of light and wind on the leaves behind the urn.  Your sight is wonderful, and it is a joy to see so many of Mr. Sargent's paintings.

Thanks, I went to the website but they didn't have anything  on this painting. You wouldn't happen to have a postcard of it by chance?
Subject: Accolades
From:  Taeko Dohi
re 7t->


I was reading a book \"Strapless\" and wanted to see more pictures. Then found this site and impressed and overwhelmed. The quality of the pictures are very good, too. Better than the book I have. Thank you very much.

Subject: Just wanted to say hello
From: Joseph Paul Dolderer
Joe _dol

It has been a difficult but exciting adventure discovering my talent and still remains a constant war perfecting it as best as my eye and hand will.  As a growing painter I\'ve opened my eyes to the unique world of color and style that exists beyond m imagination alone.  Sargent has not only become a worthy historical interest, but as well a painter that captured spirit in every possible subject that his eyes and hand transferred into sheer beauty.  He is more than a
timeless mentor- Sargent was and still remains the greatest painter that has ever lived in more ways than I could name.  From the first time I ran across his work at a library I fell in love with his style, the tone and value; the very glow of life in his paintings.  Now i have seen his work amongst various exhibitions and fell even more in love with his work as I viewed them in person.  I suppose i want to tell you that this site is an excellent source of images and
history and I have often come across it during my research. 

Thank you for sharing what you know and for the images that truly
make me run to my  easel.
Joseph Paul Dolderer

Thank you Joseph and good luck with your art.
Subject: Accolades and Major Paintings
From:  Andy Curran
<An  dy.Cu> 
Date: 11/20/2003

Hello Natasha,

First of all, thank you for a website featuring so much great work by an extremely talented and prolific artist.  I am struck by how the quality of Sargent's work is consistently high throughout his life.  It's helped me to appreciate the difficulty in singling out particular works as "major".  Even so, the paintings included here have struck a chord with me. 

The first, 'A Tramp', is a consumate work of portrait art: the excellent
handling of an unforgiving medium combined with the compassionate portrayal of this world weary man result in an evocative, masterful painting. 


As a painter, 'The Pavement' inspires my awe; Sargent has brought this damp, dark scene alive for us through his subtle use of color and perceptive rendering of light.

What a great painter!  Thanks again for assembling such a large body of wonderful work.


Andy Curran

I love your picks, Andy


Subject: Accolades and stuff
From:  "Jonathan Whitney" 
jon athan_wh it> 
Date: Sat, 15 Nov 2003 

Dear Natasha,

I often peruse your wonderful John Singer Sargent site and learn something fascinating each time that I do. 

JSS is undoubtly my favorite artist and his portraiture is just breathtaking. Not long ago I became acquainted with Danielle Raphael who has two ancestors that were painted by JSS. I am also blessed to live in the NYC area so I am definitely planning on attending the Sargent's Women display at the Adelson Gallery.

On your site I discovered the wonderful sketch of Edward Wyndham Tennant by JSS and vowed to locate a copy of the memoir his mother Pamela, Lady Glenconner wrote after his tragic death in WWI. You have to love Ebay because that is where I located a perfectly immaculate copy of the book. Inside are several wonderful photogravures of this poetic young man. JSS captured him brilliantly in his 1915 sketch.

I just wanted to say thank you for your hard work and dilligence with the JSS site.

Happy Holidays,
Jon Whitney

From:  "Jonathan Whitney" 
jon athan_wh> 
Date: Wed, 26 Nov 2003 

It was my pleasure to give praise where it is due and your site certainly deserves much praise for it's content and style. 

(See Jon Whitney's thoughts on show)

Well I am off to Quebec for the holiday...I hope you have a great time as well. 

Let me know if you wish to use an image of Bim on your sight? 


Jon Whitney 

From Natasha

Thanks Jon,

I loved your note and lament that I, myself, am not going to be able to see the Sargent's Women show in New York. I would LOVE if you would share your thoughts of the show -- if you feel so inclined and let us all (of those who couldn't fly to New York) know how it was presented.

All my best


From Natasha

What a great holiday greeting -- thank you very much!  I went to Quebec when I was very little, but not to little not to remember how beautiful it was. Have a good one and thanks for making my day.


Subject: Watercolour 
james  bo  i> 
Date: Friday, December 5, 2003 

As a Watercolourist I have long admired the direct, painterly and masterful application of Singer Sargent in his Watercolours. I always recall my Australian tutors emphasizing the importance he gave to each stroke. Yet the application of each is free and expressive. Many Australian Watercolourists and their teachers have been influenced by this painter. Thank you for providing this collection and the opportunity to enjoy it and benefit from it 

Kind Regards

Subject: Major Paintings
From: Brian & Maureen Leach 
<br im>
Date: Thursday, January 22, 2004 


there is not one painting of John Singer Sargent that would pick above all others. However, some 10 years ago I took up painting at the age of 52 after dabbling for the previous forty years, having minor successes each time I infrequently turned my hand to painting and with the urgency of my family and friends that I should take it up. A book I borrowed from the library on John Singer Sargent's works included many that you have listed, but I was particularly interested in the watercolour studies (since that was the medium that I was using at the time), I particularly liked the crucifix with the subtle use of complementary colours, a study of a fountain and a Venetian gondola. I do not remember the names for these paintings since the book has long since been returned, but I remember copying the paintings as a means of better understanding the immediacy that JSS achieved in those watercolours as opposed to the comparatively lengthy commissioned portrait paintings. I would love to see at your website some more of those watercolours.

Best regards,

Brian Leach 

Thanks Brian and good luck with your art.
Subject: Accolades and stuff
From: Brian Phelps 
b ri a 
Date: Wednesday, February 11, 2004 

Hi Natasha,

You do a WONDERFUL job of putting the art in context. It's really amazing. I've learned so much in my brief perusal of your site.

You ought to put a PayPal "Donate" button on your site, right alongside your contact link at the bottom left, or along side a link to the area that recognizes your contributors. 



Thank you Brian

Subject: Accolades 
From: James R Jensen 
jr jen>
Date: Mon, 16 Feb 2004 

This is an extraordinary creation. Thank you.  I share your appreciation with this artist. 

You indicate that you are not an artist?  What has caused you to devote such enormous amounts of energy into that website? Really remarkable. The amount of information available there is astonishing.  How long have you worked on this project?

One of the things I appreciate about your remarks is their balance and fairness.

Jim Jensen

Thursday, February 19, 2004 


Thanks for your reply.  Actually, I do understand your drive at a level that I will explain, since you asked.  I'm one of the first group you describe, as I think you suspected.  My dad was a good amateur artist who loved Sargent.  He never sat me down to teach me about art ever, but I learned as kids do.  At the most basic level that explains my love of Sargent.  However, as you know, adults develop their own sense of things so I own this artist as a prize I have collected based on my own experiences with John Singer Sargent.

For example, at one point Dad worked at Harvard so I had the good fortune of going to Isabella Stewart Gardner's home various times and got to see "El Jaleo" live.  As you point out in one of your interviews, nothing replaces the face-to-face experience.  Isn't that about the finest residence you could imagine?  I'd go there on Sunday afternoons to hear chamber concerts with my favorite high school girlfriend, etc.  Second, I also did some  "research" as a high school student -105 page history of Jazz- using dad's library card at Weidner which introduced me to more Sargent. Third, I also went to the Fogg and so on.  He's been part of the firmament for a long time that envelopes me.

The reasons I turned to Sargent again are two.  First, while going through my dad's estate recently, now that mom is in an Alzheimer unit and I am in charge of the small estate, I ran across one of the large Sargent volumes you show on your site, the one with Lady what's her name on the cover [maybe Lady Agnew].  The images are mindboggling, so that piqued my interest.  I've systematically digested the whole damn thing and wish for more.

The second reason for a renewed interest in John SS takes me into the same sphere you are in while you create the JSS website, though the precise subject matter of my own project diverges.  I am writing an enormously detailed history of myself, something that us retired 60 year olds tend to do - nothing else to do I suppose, but it's been a remarkable project.  I lived all over so I set a goal in 1999 of writing a 'volume' of my life for each different locale I've lived in, in chronological order, and to give each year's volume to my 5 adult children for their Christmas presents - some trepidations, not being sure of the reception. You have no idea the impact the first 8 volumes (I've obviously written several volumes some years) has had on those "kids".  I am astounded.

The project is remarkably similar in several ways to your website.  As I go back to my childhood, I have dredged up family pictures, maps, advertisement, political information, toys, games, weather, posters, books, anecdotes, food products, topography, etc. so what the kids get is an elaborate absolutely personal history told first-person about living on a 2-acre farm without plumbing, burning coal, bathing weekly in a wash tub in front of the cook stove in the kitchen each Saturday night, living in Alaska, in Boston, in Finland, in the Amazon, etc. etc.  I backed the history up to my great grandfather who is the one who emigrated from Denmark, tell more about his only surviving son who was my grandfather, then describe the romance and life of my parents and introduce me at the right point.  The "kids" -the 'baby' is 22- are enthralled. Individually and without solicitation they volunteer experiences they have had as they read. I hoped but didn't really expect that to be the casee.

For me, the thing -I named it "Uphill - Both Way" to describe how it felt to be raised by these harsh sometimes loving parents- is actually a mortuary gift from me to my children.  The day will come when I am pushing up daisies and I feel an enormous need to leave something behind for these 5 people to hold and remember me and be touched again by me.  I was a bad parent, and  I was a good parent and I still counsel and console these kids aged 22 to 32.  The middle child, a girl, who is sort of my 'favorite' which I'm not supposed to have, is the only one who won't read UBW anymore after one volume.  She explained why. She said that when she reads it, she can hear my voice, she can hear me laugh, can hear the catch in my voice when I tell an emotional event, and so on and she can't really do it right now.  So, she said, she is saving it to read after I die.  That's a wonderful thing.  I am absolutely thrilled - and almost want to die now so she can do it!!

So my own journey into an expansive creativite process where I collect photos and stories of a personal nature has the added benefit for my tribe of being a family heirloom that will survive me in paper and digital form and each child is receiving all volumes on CD so that they can add their own stories if they are inclined.  Shirt-tail relatives love it, etc.

I just changed web hosting agents so don't have my site restored but if you'd like a peek at some of this amateurish, and very personal writing, go to <>.  You'll see a directory of 9 volumes but only  Vol. 1 and Vol. 5 are currently populated.  You can get the flavor of this exercise that has grown to 2,000+ pages and 2,000 images/illustrations just to get me to age 14.  (I'm having difficulty with those PDF files and I would appreciate it if you'd let me know if you can actually open any of them.  Some people can, some can't and I can't figure out why.)

[Editor's note -- they may not have the latest and greatest Adobe Reader. I would recommend giving a link to Adobe for downloading]

I am writing "Volume 9 - Boston" this year, hence my hunt for the lovely Sargent portrait of Isabella in her Arab costume that led me to your incredible site.  I need that to show my kids when I tell the story of my visits to her home.  Thank you so much.  Your site is extraordinary and reflects the same completely abandoned immersion of self into a project that I recognize personally.

I experienced a wholly unexpected change inside of me last nite.  I started last Friday I think it was perusing the thumbnails and checking some of the paintings. I have to say that my heart is really undone by his earlier work, the lush iridescent pearly handling of light and expression just stuns me.  Anyway, as I worked through the paintings in chronological order it suddenly became startlingly clear last night -early 1900's- how dramatically his style had changed.  I have never persnally observed that transformation in an artist from youth to maturity like that.  If I had done all of it in one night I don't think I would have had that experience but I did the exploration over 4 or 5 evenings, 2-3 hours a night, and then slept and worked in between.  That meant that my 'image' of him was fixed each night.  Last night I suddenly was startled at the fineness of his water colors, sort of Wyeth-like dry-brush details, that were not at all present in the early work, and the vanishment of the early over-whelming reflections of drapes and face features.   Thanks for that gift.  I didn't know I was capable of doing that although I understood that people talked learnedly about it. . . . 

 . . .  Thanks from the bottom of my heart for your selfless gift that has attracted contributions from descendants of subjects of paintings, and so on, which enrich the JSS history immensely.  My wife and I . . . just sit and browse through [the paintings] on the screen, being stunned and enthralled at the brilliance of this man.

Best Regards,
Jim and Deanna Jensen
Beaverton, Oregon where it rains a lot and is lovely green

From Natasha:


Thank you. . . . thank you very much for your kind words

I have been working on the JSS Gallery since November of 1998 (five years and counting). Thanks for asking.

The “WHY” seems to be the million dollar question. I’m asked it a lot and I’ve answered it a lot – none to my satisfaction. It is as unanswerable as it is prima fascia.

I’ve been thinking about this. There are two kinds of people that ask me WHY: those that have been touched, and for whatever reason, want to confirm some inner emotional response; and those that have looked and searched and just can’t figure out my “angle” which must drive them nuts.

To the former, I turn my head, meet their eyes and bridge that distance which separates us. I always feel a slow smile creep across my lips. They either drop their jaw or raise an eyebrow as if to ask, “Really?”  I just nod -- They get it.

To the latter, I shrug. Nothing I say will ever satisfy them.

To the very core, Jim? 

WHY -- because I'm human.

I would love to hear your interest in Sargent’s art?

My best to you


My goodness Jim. Thank you. Thank you both.

I am very flattered on so many levels and yes I did sort of figure you were of the first order of people that ask me WHY. I’m glad to learn that I was not mistaken.

What a beautiful letter!! I’ve had a bit of time to look through your writings and I can see why your children love it so much. You are a good writer. It flows easily. Yes we are of kindred hearts – total emersion – like you say. That is a beautiful gift you are giving them.

Thank you Jim and Deanna for everything! For enjoying it. For the financial help. And for "getting it"!!! 

Yours in kindred heart 


Welcome to the friends of the JSS gallery


Subject: Accolades and stuff
From: Ron Webb 
<de sign> 
Date::  Monday, May 10, 2004 

Hi Natasha,

Thank you so much for building and maintaining your site. I find it soooo very much of an inspiration, originally as a resource for Sargent’s work, and then your efforts....

I am 54, in a bit of a transition from an utterly unsatisfying and now floundering life as a commercial artist. While traveling down the steps from the dot COM bomb, and the tremendous decline of work, to the 9/11 thing. I find myself in a struggle to redefine myself; my thoughts have always gravitated back to art, my original source of bliss and serenity.

Having had an epiphany a year ago that that’s where I should go, I have been on the hunt for inspiration, and motivation. Seeing an exhibit of Sargent’s work In LA just set a direction for my path. I am, however slowly, moving toward my first works. Have my supplies, paper and have work up a few ideas. . . . 

Being able to see his work, from time to time helps so much. My aw of him is his quick and accurate strokes, especially in watercolor. Expressing so much in such a simple grouping of strokes is still such an amazing thing. Seeing the actual “Dock at San Vigilio” for the first time just sent me reeling, the water, rocks, with surface reflections and light distortion all depicted with such simple brush work had me fixed for some time, “How in the. So my quest will go.

To keep time to minimum, just thank you! If things go well, you will see support from me flow.

Ron Webb 

Ghosts in My Path

Prelim, workup called “Ghosts in My Path”

Thanks Ron and good luck with your art.




Copyright 1999-2004 Natasha Wallace all rights reserved