Monday, July 02, 2012

Painting Famous Places

On the left is Otter Creek, Mt. Desert, Frederic Edwin Church, 16 3/4 x 24, 1850. On the right my small plein air study of the same locale in 2011, 6x8 in.(click on the image to see it larger)

On the left, Thomas Cole's Lake with Dead Trees,1825 on the right my own plein air study, 8x10, of South Lake, 2010. (click on the image to see it larger)

On the left  Thomas Cole's View Across Frenchman's Bay from Mount Desert Island After a Squall 1845, on the right my Sea of Time, 24x24, (also a view across Frenchman's Bay, but looking back towards Mt. Desert), 2011 (click on the image to see it larger)

It's always interesting to paint views that other artists in the past have also painted. Even more than a century or two later these places still draw artist to them. Certain places (because of their light, usually) are simply a magnet for artists. And as an artist, one simply feels that at some point in your career you must make a pilgrimage to some of these places to experience it and paint it for yourself. By so doing you enter a great fraternity and sorority of fellow painters and become part of a group that painted that place and across the centuries and miles you share that bond. The Roman Compagna and Provence are like that, but closer to home their are places, light and views that have become part of our painting tradition.  Monhegan Island, Kaaterskill Falls, and Mount Desert Island are but a few that I have painted.

"Did you know...that here in Maine we get more sun than most places in the northern hemisphere; and that it shines with the same intensity that it does in Florence, Italy? "Sunny Italy", as it has long been known, has produced some of the greatest artists of the ages, partly because of the light that enhances their work. Maine has the same sun." ~ John Cole, In Maine, 1974.

So Maine has the light of Italy but the rugged, raw ancient strength that is only found on the northern east coast of America. Quite an intriguing mix to paint, don;t you think?

As I gear up for painting in Acadia in just three weeks I've been exploring paintings of that region. Here are a few both old and new that I've been looking at....

Frederic Edwin Church, Fog Off Mt. Desert, 1850 (click on the image to see it larger)

Jervis McEntee, Mount Desert Island, 1864 (click on the image to see it larger)

 Marsden Hartly, After the Storm, Vinalhaven, 1938-39 (The McEntee and the Hartly have quite a few similarities for all their stylistic differences!) (click on the image to see it larger)

George Luks, Hannaford's Cove, 1922 (click on the image to see it larger)

 JohnWhalley, Damariscotta Harbor, 2004, image courtesy Spainerman Gallery
(click on the image to see it larger)

Andrew Wyeth,  Little Caldwell's Island, 1940 (click on the image to see it larger)

Arthur Chartow, Sunup, Cadillac Mountain, 2001, please take a moment and visit his website for more beautiful paintings Arthur Chartow Website
(click on the image to see it larger)

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