Sunday, January 17, 2010

Atmosphere & Texture, Marsh Landscape in Progress, Part 7

If you receive The Poetic Landscape via e-mail and don't see the video you can view it on the blog or on YouTube.

Sanford Robinson Gifford was a leading member of the Hudson River School, and painted in a style that came to be called Luminism which is regarded as an off shoot of the Hudson River School. 

Portrait of Sanford Gifford

One of the things that Gifford is noted for in his landscapes is his use of a purple haze that permeates his landscapes with atmposphere.

Here are just two examples of his landscapes that employ the purple haze he is so well known for.

Sanford Gifford
 Autumn in the Catskills

Sanford Gifford
A Gorge In The Mountains (Kauterskill Clove)

Here's some interesting commentary I found regarding Gifford's painting Kauterskill Clove,1862,  above,...

Sanford R. Gifford allowed the summer haze of the Eastern United States to ripen into a rich autumn mist in his Kauterskill Clove. Here is a painting Leonardo or any Chinese master would have admired.

The scene faces just north of west up the Clove beyond the distant Haines Falls. The Clove is less than1000 feet deep at this point but mist so reduces visibility that the scene assumes almost cosmic dimensions.Despite the mist, Kauterskill Clove remains faithful to the American cause, for innumerable details appear when you look carefully. But the apparently documentary quality is misleading. The sun will soon set to right of center, just north of west. This makes it August, the time Gifford executed several studies. But the trees are draped in the already fading autumnal colors of mid October.

Finally, the Clove offers artists no such centrally situated ledge, while no such lake fills the Clove directly below Haines Falls.  Chapter 9 The Crowning of Nature

I think it's so interesting to note that while you might suspect the purple haze is an artistic invention it's not, it's a real phenomenon in the east. Yet, Gifford takes poetic license by turning a summer scene into an autumn one and inventing two major compositional features, both a ledge and a lake!

This past summer i was able to paint in this very area and can attest to it's beauty and purple haze!

1 comment:

AutumnLeaves said...

So interesting to read a bit about the Hudson River School and Sanford Gifford (I must say that he was quite a handsome fellow; definitely my type!). I've been following another blog, Connie Tom's, who does the Hudson River School paintings almost daily. Interesting to finally know a bit more about that from you, Jan. this piece is coming along beautifully. I hear the term "glaze" very frequently and still do not quite have a grasp of it. When I think of glazing, I think of some sort of shiny coating, much like a glazed donut, glass glaziers, cake glazing, etc. In painting, is it not more of a watered down brushing over with paint? Hmmm...anyway, loving this video series and thank you for doing them, Jan. I've mentioned them a couple of times in my own blog so they are deeply resonating with me at this point.