Sunday, November 15, 2015

Columbia Demo and Impressionism

                                         The Storm Lifts off the River watercolor 18x24

 This was the demonstration painting I did at the In Bocca al Lupo Fine Art gallery yesterday. While I`m often told these demos are helpful to others, they sure seem repetitive to me. Yet some of the same people keep watching. To describe the way I work sounds disingenuous, 'I keep moving the paint around until it looks like what I want', but it`s true. So many of my color choices and marks are close to random. Little experiments happening all over the surface. Eventually they coalesce into something like what I remember.
This painting was based on a 20 year old drawing;

                                                               Gorge Sketch

 I was probably with some out of town friends when we pulled off the road into a turnout. While admiring the view, I did this sketch in a tiny book I used to take everywhere in my pocket. The spot is on Highway 14 in Washington and one of the few places one can see an open expanse unobstructed by trees.
This watercolor was painted from the sketch back in the 90`s sometime;

                                                            Columbia Study

                                                         Leaf Light oil on panel 12x12

Also new. This magnificent tree grows on a golf course I walk by. I think it`s interesting that I`m always astonished at the vivid color of Fall. As if I haven`t ever seen it! I bet everyone has that experience.

 It`s blasphemy and I thought I was all alone with my submerged feelings but just recently I learned I`m just one in a large tribe of politically incorrect art lovers who believe Renoir sucks. Yes he does! Look at my comrades;

 Now this is not a great time to be beating up on anything French.
France was our country`s first ally and its noble culture will not be damaged by acts of cowardly violence. Lovers of peace and freedom worldwide, mourn with the French and share their rightful anger.

But Renoir is awful.
Not so crazy about Monet either. There, I said it.
For the best impressionism, look to America even if one of the Americans was in France like Mary Cassat. Now that was a painter! Has anyone ever depicted the mother and child bond as well?

                                                            Mary Cassat

And Daniel Garber was a master of color and light but certainly under celebrated.

                                                           Daniel Garber

My favorite and the most ambitious American impressionist was Frederick Childe Hassam.

                                                      Frederick Childe Hassam

                                                     Frederick Childe Hassam

                                                        Frederick Childe Hassam

France gave birth to impressionism but Americans brought it to fruition. My humble opinion!

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RH Carpenter said...

You gave me the first laugh of the week with Renoir Sucks and the protesters!!ha ha I love your paintings - all of them - but I know you know what you are doing, it's just all subconscious; but you know composition and what draws a viewer into a painting even if you cannot articulate it (or don't want to do so). Now I must go back and look at Renoir and Monet and see if I agree or disagree. I do agree with Mary Cassat and Childe Hassam and had not heard of the one artist (who I will look up now). You always open my eyes to new things! Have a wonderful week, be safe, be productive, be happy.

Libby Fife said...

I like that tip on Garber so thank you. And I have been lucky enough to see some of Hassam's work here in Sacramento at the Crocker Museum. (The museum is a rare gem.) Now, you know that Monet and Renoir were my first introduction to art when I was a kid. I think many people start there and can easily reference "Impressionism" from that starting point. I am not sure I am ready to picket those two but I would picket against subjects such as lemons, cups and saucers, and avocados. Just saying.

As for the people that watch your demos repeatedly, I'd hazard a guess that they get something new each time. It's good stuff.

The tree is glorious! And I am glad that you continue to be astonished at the colors of Fall. Let's hope we all remain excited about everyday wonders.

Thanks for the post!

Mitch said...

Thanks for the lead to Daniel Garber. He's fantastic, and totally unknown to me before now. I want to spend some time studying his paintings.

As for people who never tire of watching you demo, I think you underestimate how much people are fascinated by magic. And watching you hover over your canvas with a brush, reaching for beautiful color, pushing it around, mopping it back off, and then somehow ending up with a beautiful painting at the end of an hour or two, well I can't tire of that. Your visual memory is astonishing, and your ability to invoke feeling even years after you have seen something that inspired you is just spooky.