Friday, 16 December 2011

Film of Claude Monet painting waterlilies at Giverny

Below you can see a short film of the Impressionist painter Claude Monet at work on one of the paintings in his series of paintings of the nympheas (waterlilies) in the water garden at his home in Giverny in Normandy.



All plein air painters will wish to note:
  • the white suit he is wearing - which has no marks from paint!  Monet is always wearing a suit when photographed while working.  We can only assume this is summer!
  • the very large palette he is using
  • the fact that the canvas is absolutely rock steady despite what is obviously a very blustery day.
Claude Monet (on right) in his garden in Giverny 
with an unidentified visitor in 1922
Source: Wikipedia
It's preceded by a very short film of him talking with a man in the Clos Normand (the flower garden) at Giverny.  If you study the background we can see that Monet was a cat person!

The general consensus is that Monet was probably filmed in the early twentieth century.  The colour of his beard suggests he's older than he was in the famous photograph of Monet by Nadar in 1899.  He looks more like the figure photographed in the water garden in 1922 (see photo on right).

Monet was an inveterate painter of gardens and always painted the gardens of the houses he lived in (see Making A Mark - Gardens in Art by Claude Monet for previous posts I've written on this topic).

The garden at Giverny is an example of Monet creating his very own place to paint - with a separate flower garden and water garden.

I came across the film (which was uploaded to YouTube by nickwallacesmith) on the Painting Perceptions blog.  This has a post with some useful observations about Monet's habits as a plein air painter.

Saturday, 10 December 2011

Hopewell Rocks, New Brunswick - Winter Landscapes #2

Hopewell, New Brunswick, 24×12 © 2009 Michelle Basic Hendry

From a painting near the USA Canadian border in Washington on the west coast to the another place near the USA / Canadian border - but this time on the East coast in New Brunswick, Canada.

This is the Bay of Fundy in January at the Hopewell Rocks.

This is one of Michelle Basic Hendry's favourite places in Canada any time of year.  She wrote
In a place that bustles in the summer, the silence and emptiness of the Bay of Fundy on the east coast of Canada in January gives the feeling of being the first to discover it. We were visiting on the New Brunswick side and the sun was setting behind the red cliffs tipping the trees with gold and lighting up the beach. This was my first trip to the east coast and between the landscapes and the gracious people, it is one of my favourite places in the world.
The Bay of Fundy was nominated for the New Seven Wonders of the World. 
Michelle has Michelle has lived most of her life in Ontario, but has just been on a major road trip and is currently embarking on a new adventure in Oklahoma.  I guess this is when we remember one of the other major pluses of landscape painting - the memories.

Michelle has been elected by her peers to become a member of the Society of Canadian Artists and the Landscape Artists International. I think might just be getting near to painting again after her big move.  You can read her blog here http://artscapes.ca/blog-home/

Links:  The Bay of Fundy

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Remnant Snow - Winter Landscapes #1

Remnant by Casey Klahn
small pastel

This is a pastel painting of a remnant of snow by Casey Klahn (The Colorist).

Casey does fabulous landscapes in pastels and has been juried into exhibitions by the Pastel Society of America.

He also produces some of the most epic photographs of snow I see each winter (he lives in the north of Washington State near the border with Canada!).  Here's one from last year round about this time - which includes the route to his studio. he has to break in when the door freezes shut!

This artwork first appeared in this post Remnant - and came complete with musical accompaniment.

How to get your paintings of Winter posted on this blog
If you are
  1. active in blogging about your art 
  2. you're interested in having your images displayed as part of the seasonal changes. 
then all you have to do is
  • drop me a line (see side column for email) with a brief explanation about your painting (if this is not already in your blog post), 
  • identify and reference the URL of the blog post in which I can see the painting 
  • and (this is important) use Readers Winter Landscapes in the subject line of your email (This is so I can find it in the masses I get each day!) 
Places to Paint: This blog features and shares good places for painters to paint. Please note that I'm also interested in the place as well as what led you to paint it in Winter. Tell me if and why other painters might be interested in this place.

I can't promise to display all that I'm told about. Plus there is an absolute rule which is that this is for art bloggers only ie "no blog post, no feature on my blog".


[Note - the count in the title only applies to the winter landscapes submitted by art bloggers]

Saturday, 3 December 2011

Winter Landscapes by Ivan Shiskin

Winter (1890) by Ivan Shiskin
Oil on canvas, 125.5 x 204 cm
State Russian Museum, St. Petersburg | Source: Wikimedia Commons

The great Russian landscape painter, Ivan Shiskin (1838-1892) very much liked painting trees and became famous for his forest landscapes.  These are a couple of his paintings of pine trees laden with snow in winter

I'm minded to try and develop an educational resource website about Shiskin over the course of the winter months.  I've not studied any Russian landscape artists yet although I have seen their paintings - some of which I like a lot.

Who are the artists which you think are great painters of winter landscapes?

Who else do you rate highly as a painter of trees?

Which Russian landscape painters do you like?

In the wild north (1891) by Ivan Shiskin
161 x 118 cm, oil on canvas
Kiev Museum of Ukranian Art, Kiev, Ukraine

Thursday, 1 December 2011

Winter Landscapes

Street in Winter: sunlight and snow (1872) by Camille Pissaro

I'm about to start a series of  posts on this blog about Winter Landscapes.  This will be a mixture of artwork by famous artists and by art bloggers who read this blog.  Most will be paintings - but they can also be fine art prints or drawings.

Some will be full of snow and ice - but not everybody has snow and ice and sometimes that's a bit more of a challenge!  I'm interested in paintings which communicate about winter whichever part of the world you are in.

The painting above is by Camille Pissaro and captures three aspects which I find very characteristic of winter - the low piercing sunshine, trees without leaves - and the slush!

Pissaro's work is characterised as being Impressionist.  He was also influenced by two great French landscape painters Gustave Courbet and Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot.

How to get your paintings of Winter posted on this blog

If you are
  1. active in blogging about your art
  2. you're interested in having your images displayed as part of the seasonal changes. 
then all you have to do is
  • drop me a line (see side column for email) with a brief explanation about your painting (if this is not already in your blog post), 
  • identify and reference the URL of the blog post in which I can see the painting 
  • and (this is important) use Readers Winter Landscapes in the subject line of your email (This is so I can find it in the masses I get each day!)
Places to Paint: This blog features and shares good places for painters to paint.  Please note that I'm also interested in the place as well as what led you to paint it in Winter.  Tell me if and why other painters might be interested in this place.

I can't promise to display all that I'm told about. Plus there is an absolute rule which is that this is for art bloggers only ie "no blog post, no feature on my blog".

Tuesday, 29 November 2011

A Vermont Pond - Autumn Landscapes #10

The Pond on Rice Farm Road

The look of Autumn varies depending on place, the type of trees which grow there and how much rain or sun that place has had.  This pastel painting of The Pond on Rice Farm Road demonstrates that some places are still green rather than red/orange/yellow/brown.

This is what Roderica Tilley (Rodrica Tilley's Pastel Paintings) had to say about her work
It was an exquisite fall day in my neighborhood two weeks ago...and the days here have been mostly soggy for months. I spent the afternoon painting this Vermont scene amidst the birds (?) rustling in the cattails next to me and quite a few leaf peepers driving by on the dirt road.

That was two weeks ago and Black Mountain, where I live, has turned into winter rather suddenly. This is another of the Transitions series. 12 x 16 pastels.
Rodrica has recently moved from Montrose, PA where she lived for 35 years to a new home and studio in Brattleboro VT.  Her series Transitions are are seasonal landscape paintings of PA and VT and the long stretch of I-88 in NY that connects her old and new home.

You can see some of Rodrica's recent work in a group show called Fractured which opened last Friday at The Butternut Gallery and Second Story Books in Montrose, PA.  The exhibition continues until December 24.

Rodrica also has an interesting project in which she is trying to produce landscapes of all 50 states of the USA Fifty State Plein Air Painting Project.  As you can imagine with a project like this postings are periodic - I'm adding it into this blog's blogroll.

Seasonal Landscapes

This is the last in the series of autumn landscapes by art bloggers - which I have greatly enjoyed doing.  Apologies to those work was not listed.

However on Thursday watch out for the post in which I declare the new three month season of winter landscapes open!

Monday, 28 November 2011

Autumn in DC - Autumn Landscapes #9


More about Autumn in Washington DC - Kathryn Law (Kathryn Law) wrote to me
I just returned from a trip to Washington DC where I did five little paintings while taking a break from museum-crawling. We don't really get these kinds of fall colors in San Diego, where I live, so these brilliant yellows and reds just grabbed me and wouldn't let go. The one at the top of this blog post was done as I sat with aching feet, eating a sandwich, on my way from the National Gallery to the Smithsonian Art Museum. I looked to the left and there was this scene.
Kathryn has a BFA in Painting and has been a professional artist since 2002, living in San Diego. She is currently the Artist in Residence at Cabrillo National Monument.



How to get your paintings of Autumn posted on this blog

This is the ninth post in my series of Autumn Landscapes by art bloggers. If you're interested in having your images displayed as part of the seasonal changes.  I'll be starting the Winter Landscapes soon.
  • drop me a line (see side column for email), 
  • reference the blog post in which I can see the painting 
  • and (this is important) use Readers Autumn Landscapes in the subject line of your email (This is so I can find it in the masses I get each day!)
Places to Paint: Please note that I'm also interested in the place as well as what led you to paint it in Autumn.

I can't promise to display all that I'm told about. Plus there is an absolute rule which is that this is for art bloggers only ie "no blog post, no feature on my blog".

Saturday, 26 November 2011

Washington tree - Autumn Landscapes #8

White Oak, National Arboretum
Oil on Panel, 10x8"
(c) Kelly Medford, 2011

Like the last post - this is also a painting of an oak tree in Autumn.

This plein air painting of a white oak tree with splendid red/coral colour leaved leaves is by Kelly Medford (Adventures in Painting).  She painted it at the beginning of November while visiting The National Arboretum in Washington DC - and this is her original post on her blog - which is worth reading to get her experience of the day.

I'm thinking that it's probably Quercus Alba as the leaves are red and that's one of the characteristics of this tree.  (Can you tell that I roam around botanical gardens searching for the plate which tells you what a tree is!  I'm always amazed at how many different types of oak there are).

The National Arboretum looks a really splendid place - and you can take a virtual visit.  It also has a splendid web page about The Science of Colour in Autumn Leaves.  Kelly comments on her blog post.
This day I was particularly lucky, as one of the few staff members and only arborist stopped to watch me paint. He was excited that someone had stopped to paint and was particularly proud because I happened to choose the area that he was responsible for and where he had spent the last year thinning out an exotic invasive Elm. As we talked he told me about the budget cuts at the arboretum allowing them to only maintain 8 full-time staff to keep the grounds, the grounds being approximately 450 acres! I thanked him for their work, they do an amazing job of keeping up the place, it is absolutely gorgeous with a huge variety of gardens, trails and spaces.
How to get your paintings of Autumn posted on this blog


This is the eigth in my series of Autumn Landscapes by art bloggers. If you're interested in having your images displayed as part of the seasonal changes
  • drop me a line (see side column for email), 
  • reference the blog post in which I can see the painting 
  • and (this is important) use Readers Autumn Landscapes in the subject line of your email (This is so I can find it in the masses I get each day!)
Places to Paint: Please note that I'm also interested in the place as well as what led you to paint it in Autumn.

I can't promise to display all that I'm told about. Plus there is an absolute rule which is that this is for art bloggers only ie "no blog post, no feature on my blog".

Thursday, 24 November 2011

Golden Oak - Autumn Landscape #7

I absolutely adore Robin Purcell's paintings - she's one of those people who generates strong feelings in me of "if only I could paint like that!  I love looking at her paintings of landscapes of Northern California on her blog Robin Purcell - Watercolours in the Plein Air Tradition

It's a great pleasure to add in one of her plein air watercolour paintings to my series of Autumn Landscapes by art bloggers.

This is a much simpler painting than her normal landscapes.  It's subject is an oak tree.

Golden Oak by Robin Purcell
plein air watercolour, 14" x 14"
In her post Plein Air Watercolor "Golden Oak" she comments on how she's pulling back from her usual bright colours when painting oaks - and also the challenge of working out how to paint a tree close up.  She also says about the painting
Although not the traditional autumn colors," Golden Oak "was painted in October in Northern Califorrnia and is true to the Autumn Colors here. I like to paint in October because the golden tones are still here, the light is clear all day ( no morning fog or afternoon smog) and the temperatures are not too hot.
This is what Robin has to say about her approach to landscape painting
California has always been a mythic land of sunshine that stirred my imagination. A fortunate set of influences helped me arrive at my own style of interpreting the California Landscape. I was probably permanently warped by doing paint by numbers as a child. I fell hard for the work of the early California Impressionists, particularly Granville Redmond and William Wendt. Their work helped me to see the landscape as shapes. It is much easier for me to control hard edges with watercolor while painting outdoors. These factors led me to develop a style that simplifies what I see and organizes it into shimmering patches of color. I am a Plein Air Painter who goes outside to see colors and shapes from life so that I can change them in ways feel true to me and express my personal artistic vision.
I'm going to have to organise an interview with Robin!

How to get your paintings of Autumn posted on this blog

This is the seventh in my series of Autumn Landscapes by art bloggers. If you're interested in having your images displayed as part of the seasonal changes
  • drop me a line (see side column for email), 
  • reference the blog post in which I can see the painting 
  • and (this is important) use Readers Autumn Landscapes in the subject line of your email (This is so I can find it in the masses I get each day!)
Places to Paint: Please note that I'm also interested in the place as well as what led you to paint it in Autumn.

I can't promise to display all that I'm told about. Plus there is an absolute rule which is that this is for art bloggers only ie "no blog post, no feature on my blog".

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

October Marsh - Autumn Landscapes #6

Autumn Marsh by Randall David Tipton
oil on canvas, 24" x 24"

This is one of many paintings which Randall David Tipton (Painter's Process) has done of the Minto Brown Island Park and nature preserve.  This lies in the valley of the River Willamette, west of Salem in Oregon.  (see also the park on Wikiamapia)

The painting was originally posted in October Marsh on his blog.  Randall says of the park
it's a wildlife preserve, with some agriculture as well. It`s wetlands are the most colorful I`ve ever seen and they peak in November.
and
Though in the post I mention just the aesthetic challenge, in others I talk more about its wealth of color in Autumn. The park is unique in that it`s a multiple use property. It has a huge wonderful dog park, playgrounds, picnic areas, acreage is set aside for agriculture and the preserve is dense with sloughs and lagoons for water birds. It is particularly haunting in late fall when it is often foggy with just remnants of bright foliage left on the trees.
You can see more of his landscape paintings - which have a strong focus on water and trees - on his website - Randall David Tipton.  Whether he's painting in oil or watercolour he is a master of his medium and a master of colour - I suggest you have a good look at them.  I really like them and am most impressed with his portfolio.

Randall says of himself
The landscape has been my primary interest from an early age. I am mostly self taught and have been deeply influenced by the American abstract expressionists, particularly by their belief in improvisation as path to something unique and meaningful. I was fortunate to study with Richard Diebenkorn in the first master class at the new Santa Fe Institute of Fine Art.

Walking is an important part of my life and work. When I'm in the landscape, I often have a camera, notebook or sketchbook to help me remember my response. What I see and experience outdoors is the basis for most of my painting.

How to get your paintings of Autumn posted on this blog

This is the sixth in my series of Autumn Landscapes by art bloggers. If you're interested in having your images displayed as part of the seasonal changes
  • drop me a line (see side column for email), 
  • reference the blog post in which I can see the painting 
  • and (this is important) use Readers Autumn Landscapes in the subject line of your email (This is so I can find it in the masses I get each day!)
Places to Paint: Please note that I'm also interested in the place as well as what led you to paint it in Autumn.

I can't promise to display all that I'm told about. Plus there is an absolute rule which is that this is for art bloggers only ie "no blog post, no feature on my blog".

Sunday, 20 November 2011

Jackson, New Hampshire - Blogger's Autumn Landscapes #5

Autumn near Jackson, New Hampshire (2006) by Stapleton Kearns
24 by 30 inches

I often read Stapleton Kearns's blog.  He's a professional landscape painter and he has a lot of very sensible things to say.  His blog is always an interesting read.

I spotted this Autumn Landscape on his blog and asked him if I could post it on this blog - and he kindly agreed.

Turning to Winter for a moment, Stapleton is running a first Snowcamp at Sugar Hill in New Hampshire is already full.  He's running two more weekends (28-30 January / 4-6 February) in 2012 - for those who want to have a workshop about painting snow.  It's "set in an old wooden inn on a high ridgetop in the White Mountains of New Hampshire, the views from the property are unbelievable". I hope we get to see what he paints at Snowcamp!

How to get your paintings of Autumn posted on this blog

This is the fifth in my series of Autumn Landscapes by art bloggers.  If you're interested in having your images displayed as part of the seasonal changes
  • drop me a line (see side column for email), 
  • reference the blog post in which I can see the painting 
  • and (this is important) use Readers Autumn Landscapes in the subject line of your email (This is so I can find it in the masses I get each day!)
Places to Paint: Please note that I'm also interested in the place as well as what led you to paint it in Autumn.

I can't promise to display all that I'm told about. Plus there is an absolute rule which is that this is for art bloggers only ie "no blog post, no feature on my blog".

Monday, 14 November 2011

More of Van Gogh's Landscapes

Casey Klahn responded to my last post with a post on his blog The Colorist with a link to the video which follows.

It's an excellent video of stills of Van Gogh's Landscapes - many of which reflect the harvest and Autumn.  You'll note the contrast in his approach in later years to painting trees - when compared to those in the preceding post.

Saturday, 12 November 2011

Autumn Landscape by Vincent van Gogh

Autumn Landscape (October/November 1885) 
by Vincent van Gogh
oil on canvas laid down on panel, 67cm x 88cm
Location: Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge

I found this painting by Van Gogh interesting for two reasons.

First I'd never ever have guessed it was a painting by Van Gogh.  I'm familiar with his drawings from his time in the Netherlands - see Van Gogh: Drawing Landscapes (Making A Mark 14.2.07) but wouldn't immediately connect the style in those drawings to his painting of these trees

However L'Allée en Automne (Autumn Landscape) is a painting in the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge and is attributed to Van Gogh despite the apparent lack of a signature.

Second, the image of the painting in the Museum is much more subdued than the image on Wikipaintings - which is VERY red.  One wonders whether the latter is a copy from a Chinese Art sweatshop or just hyped up in Photoshop to make it look more interesting!  I've subdued this image and reproduced it at the top - but to my mind it still looks too red!

I am persuaded that the painting leans towards brown as, to my mind, all Van Gogh's Dutch paintings seem to lean towards brown.  This was BEFORE he discovered colour and whoever hyped up the wikipaintings version is probably not aware of how truly sombre his Dutch paintings are.  Whether the nature of the colour in his Dutch paintings was an actual colour choice or just a function of the paints he used - which may have lost colour over time - I'm not sure.  I rather suspect it might be a combination of the two.

We certainly all need to be aware that the art we see on the Internet is not necessarily the way the art looks in reality.  Of course, the image on the Fitzwilliam website could just be unnecessarily dull.  If that is indeed the case it certainly wouldn't be the first time I've seen a website image which doesn't look the same as the real thing.  However its colour and tone is much more like other Dutch paintings by Van Gogh that I've seen - and I think this image is much likely to be a true representation of what it actually looks like in reality.

Anybody seen the painting in the Fitzwilliam who knows the answer?

Anybody know why Van Gogh wasn't signing his paintings in 1885?

Are you surprised this is a Van Gogh?

For more about Van Gogh see my posts tagged Van Gogh on Making A Mark or my resource site set up when I was doing my project about his work Vincent van Gogh - Resources for Art Lovers

Thursday, 10 November 2011

Niagara Escarpment - Reader's Autumn Landscapes #4

November, Letting go (Sold)
oil on canvas, 24x36in

Jan Yates SCA (Jan Yates) lives on the Niagara Escarpment in Canada (a UNESCO world biosphere reserveand this is the view out of her studio window this month - see Cycle.

She's  a Canadian visual artist - inspired by Canada's Emily Carr who very much focuses on painting the natural and agricultural landscapes around her home.  She wrote in response to my post about the Painting Canada exhibition about the Group of Seven.

Jan paints almost entirely plein air in fields and farms surrounding her home on the Niagara Escarpment.  I very much like the idea that she finds November to be very stimulating
For me November brings a new cycle of inspiration and tends to be one of my most prolific months. As I write there are already a couple of ‘Novembers’ waiting on the easel in various states of ‘undress’.
words written last November and reiterated this week in Cycle
Below she describes her artistic practice in developing her work in general.
My artistic practice is fuelled by changes in our agricultural world. For the past decade in all seasons and weather I have hiked and painted in farms and fields surrounding my home on the Niagara Escarpment (a UNESCO world biosphere reserve). I have developed a body of work in direct response to climate change, specifically affecting agriculture in the Niagara region. In order to create an intimate dialogue with the earth’s growth, decay and renewal my paintings are rendered directly on the land. As well as painting plein air with oil on canvas in an immediate and visceral approach, I have started to synthesize these paintings with my encaustic works. After an outdoor painting session I gather wild seeds, old growth fragments, field flowers and vine to embed and embroider into beeswax. This process reflects a connection with the seasons and cycle of growth and also represents preservation of faith in what the land will give. I will continue to explore and cultivate this fusion and see where it will take me.
How to get your paintings of Autumn posted on this blog

This is the fourth in my series of Autumn Landscapes by readers of this blog.

If you're interested in having your images displayed as part of the seasonal changes, just drop me a line (see side column for email) and reference the blog post in which I can see the painting.

Places to Paint: Please note that I'm interested in the place as well as what led you to paint it in Autumn.

I can't promise to display all that I'm told about. Plus there is an absolute rule which is that this is for art bloggers only ie "no blog post, no feature on my blog".

Note: If you like Canadian landscapes, you might like to take a peek at Canadian Art Calendars 2012 which provides some economical options for hanging a lot of landscape art by Canadian artists

Links:

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Yukon, Canada - Reader's Autumn Landscapes #3

Title: Driving the Dempster
Medium: Mixed Media
Size: 6x8


Jackie Irvine (Jackie Irvine's Landscape Art) lives in the Yukon in Northern Canada which, for those who don't know it, is wilderness country.

Jackie paints purely for her own enjoyment - having dreamed of being a painter since she was a child.  Her painting is #6 of 100 painting in 100 days, all of which are in this same area of the Canol Road. I'm guessing that, given the location, getting out to paint gets a tad more difficult in the coming days!

Places to paint:  The area she is painting is called the South Canol Road (Canol is short for Canadian Oil - which is why the road was built). Click the link to read about it.  This blog also gives an idea of what the area is like

How to get your paintings of Autumn posted on this blog

If you're interested in having your images displayed as part of the seasonal changes, just drop me a line (see side column for email) and reference the blog post in which I can see the painting.

Places to paint: Please note that I'm interested in the place as well as what led you to paint it in Autumn.

I can't promise to display all that I'm told about. Plus there is an absolute rule which is that this is for art bloggers only ie "no blog post, no feature on my blog".

Note:  If you like Canadian landscapes, you might like to take a peek at Canadian Art Calendars 2012 which provides some economical options for hanging a lot of landscape art by Canadian artists

Monday, 7 November 2011

Autumn Landscapes - Sheffield Park

This is my personal contribution to the posts on this blog about Autumn landscapes.  Last week we travelled to Sheffield Park which is the only National Trust place I know which increases its entrance charges for the Autumn Colour season!

Sheffield Park - 29th October 2011
pen and ink and coloured pencil, 11.5" x 16"
copyright Katherine Tyrrell

The garden was originally laid out around four lakes by Capability Brown and an arboretum of native and exotic trees was subsequently established.

It contains many fine specimens of trees (eg Black Tupelos) and a high proportion of these - particularly the acer/maples and beeches turn a very fine colour in Autumn.  Hence the high number of visitors who turn out to look at the colours of Autumn.

Certainly it's a very fine place to paint in Autumn - particularly given the reflections of the colours of the trees in the water of the lakes.  The photographers are also rather keen on it.  I think I saw more heavy duty expensive cameras with huge lenses on our visit than I've seen for a very long time.

Arboretums are certainly a great place to paint and draw landscapes in Autumn!

Saturday, 5 November 2011

Dale Hollow State Park - Reader's Autumn Landscapes #2

Autumn Oak by Bill Guffey
18" x 24", oil, plein air

Bill Guffey was plein air painting in Dale Hollow State Park last Saturday - at the end of October - and captured a golden scene.

Places to Paint: Dale Hollow Lake State Resort Park is located in south-central Kentucky in the Cumberland River basin on the Obey River.

Bill lives in Burkesville Kentucky and you can see more of his paintings of American landscape on his website

How to get your paintings of Autumn posted on this blog

If you're interested in having your images displayed as part of the seasonal changes, just drop me a line (see side column for email) and reference the blog post in which I can see the painting.

Places to paint: Please note that I'm interested in the place as well as what led you to paint it in Autumn.

I can't promise to display all that I'm told about. Plus there is an absolute rule which is that this is for art bloggers only ie "no blog post, no feature on my blog".

Friday, 4 November 2011

Limousin, France - Reader's Autumn Landscapes #1

Autumn Sunlight near Verinas

I asked readers of Making A Mark to submit images of their autumn landscapes for posting on The Art of the Landscape.  The first artist to respond was Nigel Fletcher who now lives in the Limousin National Park in France - this is his bloPainting the Limousin and this is the site where you can see his November paintings for sale.

The first one he sent me is called Falling Leaves (see below).  This one is excellent at catching that point at which there leaves are all yellow and orange gold

However when I went to his blog to pick up the link I saw the little stunner which is at the image at the top of this post - Autumn sunlight near Verinas.  What I like about this one is it also catches the long low light of autumn which is so good for showing off the colours.  Plus the brilliant contrast of complimentary colours you get when you get leaves which have changed against a brilliant blue sky.  Now that's what I call making the most of natural artistry.

Autumn Leaves

How to get your paintings of Autumn posted on this blog


If you're interested in having your images displayed as part of the seasonal changes, just drop me a line (see side column for email) and reference the blog post in which I can see the painting.

Places to paint: Please note that I'm interested in the place as well as what led you to paint it in Autumn.

I can't promise to display all that I'm told about. Plus there is an absolute rule which is that this is for art bloggers only ie "no blog post, no feature on my blog".

Monday, 31 October 2011

'Painting Canada: Tom Thomson and the Group of Seven' at Dulwich Picture Gallery

Painting Canada: Tom Thomson and the Group of Seven is the latest exhibition at the Dulwich Picture Gallery  It includes the largest group of Canadian paintings ever to leave Canada!

The exhibition opened recently and is on until 8 January 2012.  It's been organised in liaison with the National Gallery of Canada and collaboration with the National Museum of Art, Architecture and Design, Oslo and the Groninger Museum.

This is by way of a preamble as I've not yet seen the exhibition - but I hope to see it very shortly!  I'll also be doing more posts about the development of Canadian landscape art.

Franklin Carmichael, Autumn Hillside, 1920,
Oil on canvas 76 x 91.4cm,
© Art Gallery of Ontario,Gift from the J.S. McLean Collection, Toronto
© Courtesy of the Estate of Franklin Carmichael
Painting Canada: Tom Thomson and the Group of Seven

This exhibition is one of those "once in a lifetime" events.  

The famous landscape paintings of Canada which feature in this exhibition were first seen at the British Empire exhibitions at Wembley in 1924 and 1925. Although both Thom Thomson and the Group of Seven are greatly revered within Canada, they are much less well known outside that country.  However they very much deserve to be better known.

Sketch for the Jack Pine by Thom Thomson
This is the first major exhibition of Canadian landscape art outside Canada and includes the largest  number of paintings (122 paintings in total) ever to travel to Europe plus Tom Thomson’s sketchbox.

Painting Canada is displayed as a journey across Canada, from East to West, framed by two grand rooms dedicated individually to Tom Thomson’s electrifying sketches and paintings of Algonquin Park and Lawren Harris’s other-worldly paintings of the Arctic and the Rocky Mountains. Between these two ‘poles,’ a selection of the best work by Thomson and the Group of Seven will be on display. A special feature of the show will be the juxtaposition, wherever possible, of the initial sketch with the finished canvas. One room will be devoted entirely to a display of these vibrant sketches, which represent one of Canada’s most impressive contributions to 20th century art.
Exhibition Catalogue
The 216 page fully illustrated catalogue is available online from the Dulwich Picture Gallery shop.  It tells the story of the beginnings of the Group of Seven and how and why they started to try and depict the landscape of Canada in paint, the challenges they faced and the journeys they undertook to find their subject matter.
Tom Thomson developed an artistic language that captured the unique qualities of the Canadian landscape - dazzling in colour and in tune with the subtle changing of the seasons. After his untimely death, Thomson’s friends organised a memorial exhibition, and followed this up by forming probably the most famous artistic force in Canadian art history: the Group of Seven. Lawren Harris, J.E.H. MacDonald, Arthur Lismer, Frederick Varley, Frank Johnston, Franklin Carmichael and A.Y. Jackson created - along with Thomson - a landscape style that to this day influences the way Canadians visualise their own country.

Highly revered in Canada, these great artists are virtually unknown outside. This spectacularly illustrated book, arranged according to the geographical areas depicted, with scholarly essays investigating different aspects of the painters’ craft, aims to redress that imbalance.
Interestingly this exhibition also has a related art blog - which also focuses on the journey across Canada. Here are some of the posts - and a quote from the first which explains what they are all about
Over the next three months and seven blog posts, Julian Beecroft will travel across Canada from Atlantic to Pacific coasts. During the course of his extraordinary journey he will introduce you to Tom Thomson, Canadian landscape painter, and the members of the Group of Seven, their paintings and something of their individual characters, as he visits and photographs the sites of paintings loaned to the exhibition coming this autumn to Dulwich Picture Gallery.
The exhibition is also going on tour to the following locations:
There is also an iPhone app associated with the Exhibition - priced at $1.99 from the iTunes store.  It's compatible with iPhone, iPod touch and iPad.  It's especially useful for visitors to the Gallery.  However it's NOT available from the iMac Store and there doesn't seem to be an Android application.
A unique, interactive exploration of Painting Canada: Tom Thomson and the Group of Seven. Featuring over 70 works and using landmark technology developed by ArtFinder, visitors to the exhibition at Dulwich Picture Gallery (19 October 2011 – 8 January) can use image recognition “snap” technology to use their app to identify the works in front of them and listen to audio commentaries accompanied by text and a room by room guide to the exhibition. Alternatively simply explore the exhibition by room and location to take a virtual tour of the show.
Painting Canada: Tom Thomson and the Group of Seven
Exhibition dates:  19 October 2011 – 8 January 2012 
Exhibition Opening hours:

  • Tue - Fri 10am–5pm 
  • Weekends & Bank Holiday Mondays 11am– 5pm
  • Closed Mondays except Bank Holidays 
Exhibition entry: £9, £8 Concessions Free entry for children and Friends of Dulwich Picture Gallery


For those interested in Canadian art 
you might like Canadian Art Calendars 2012

Sunday, 30 October 2011

Autumn Landscape: Paul Gauguin - By the Stream

By the Stream, Autumn (1885) - Paul Gauguin (1848 - 1903)

This is one of those paintings of which there are innumerable images on the Internet - but nothing which tells you much about it as a painting.  It's as if the hand-painted reproductions have taken over - and there's nothing left of the artist.

If the date of the painting is correct then it seems likely that this painting was painted by Paul Gauguin:

  • three years after the stock market crash, in January 1882, which led to Gauguin deciding to take "the bull by the horns" and become a full-time artist
  • three years after he participated in the seventh Impressionist Exhibition in March 1882
  • after he left his Danish wife and family in Copenhagen (she had returned to her home) following the difficulties the marriage experienced after he decided to become an artist despite having a growing family.
  • during a period (1883-1886) when he is struggling for financial survival and painted very little despite becoming an artist.  In fact, he probably painted as much when he was a stockbroker and Sunday painter.
It seems likely it was painted in France - possibly somewhere close to Dieppe where he spent the summer of 1885

Thursday, 27 October 2011

Plein air painting demo by Bill Guffey

Bill emailed me to say he's put a plein air painting demo up on YouTube - and here it is - enjoy the brush strokes in time to the music!

If you are also doing videos of yourself painting landscapes plein air - or even in the studio do let me know.


This plein air oil painting demonstration was filmed on October 23, 2011 at Dale Hollow Lake State Resort Park in Cumberland County, Kentucky.

The painting is 24" x 20" and was completed in about an hour and 20 minutes. I knew traveling to this location was going to be a race against the sun and time. The camera battery ran out about 10 minutes before the painting was completed. A shot of the finished painting ends this short film.

You can see more of Bill's work on http://billguffey.blogspot.com/

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Landscape Photographer of the Year 2011

Scottish amateur photographer, Robert Fulton has won the title of Landscape Photographer of the Year 2011 for his stunning picture of a Winter Field in Snow.  The Cumbernauld-based photographer is the fifth person to win the overall title and the £10,000 prize.

Robert Fulton – Winter Field, Stirlingshire, Scotland

An exhibition of the winning and commended entries in the 2011 competition is to be held at the National Theatre in London.  It opens on 5th December 2011 and runs until 28th January 2012.  

A book has also been published - see Landscape Photographer of the Year Collection: 5 (Photography)

There were thousands of entries for the award - which encompasses different perspective on the landscape including urban landscapes as well as classic landscapes.  The competition also has a number of awards including one category for young photographers.

You can see a slideshow of the various photos which won awards or were highly commended on the Telegraph website

Photograph by Oscar Stewart-Packe
Landscape Photographer of the Year 2011 - Awards

Below are the names of those who won awards.  The place names relate to the location of the landscape in the image.
  • Landscape Photographer of the YearRobert Fulton – Stirlingshire, Scotland.  Robert was 49 before he started taking photography seriously - although he'd always been interested in the visual arts.  He became a digital convert 11 years ago and is now a Scottish landscape photographer with an interest in Natural History.  He's very pleased to have won "the big one"!  The winning image is at the top of this post
  • Young Landscape Photographer of the Year:  14 year old Oscar Stewart-Packe – London.  His winning image is on the right.
Classic View:
We are looking for an image that captures the beauty and variety of the UK landscape. An iconic view; a view along a cliff-side path or of a historic village; a view down a valley; an urban skyline or snow-capped peaks; maybe showing the drama of our seasons. Recognisable and memorable; a true classic.
  • Winner Classic view:  Tim Harvey Guernsey, Channel Islands
  • Runner-up Classic view:  Angus Clyne River Tay, Scotland - this was the first photography competition Angus had ever entered
Living the View
This is a category for images of people interacting with the outdoors – working or playing in the UK landscape. Possible subjects include mountain bikers, kite boarders, walkers, shepherds or even your best friend biting into a sandwich - as long as your picture shows people within their outdoor environment.
Urban View
It’s hard to pin down an exact figure, but statistics suggest that up to 80% of the UK population lives in towns or cities. That’s a huge number, so we wanted a category that highlights the surroundings that many of us live in every day. It has always been possible to enter city skylines in Classic view and concepts in Your view (and you still can), but this category really focuses on the subject - from historic to modern - but no underground car parks, tube stations etc please – anything urban and outside is eligible. 
Your View
What does the UK landscape mean to you? A stream rushing over pebbles, a foggy day in the Peak District, fish & chips on a deserted beach, you and your friends on your first big summit. Pretty much anything goes, as long as it is in the UK and in the outdoors. Use your imagination, as you have the scope for a very conceptual and personal approach. 
Youth class (16 and under)

  • Winner Classic view - William Lee Lincolnshire
  • Winner Living the view -  Jessica Nineham Hampshire
  • Winner Urban view - Matt Woods Hampshire
  • Winner Your view - William Lee Lincolnshire

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

Videos of David Hockney painting landscapes

The third in my mini series of posts about David Hockney references his website and the page which has a number of videos of him painting landscapes


Click the link http://www.hockneypictures.com/tv_video.php and enjoy the videos!

Sunday, 11 September 2011

David Hockney's Yorkshire

Royal Academy of Art: David Hockney - A Bigger Picture (21 January - 9 April 2012)

This post is about three major new initiatives relating to David Hockney and his paintings of the landscape of the Yorkshire Wolds

First - a new exhibition by David Hockney opens on Wednesday 14th September at the Salt Mills Gallery in Saltaire.  Called 25 Trees and Other Pictures it includes three 27-foot-long pictures of Bessingby Road, Bridlington and other Yorkshire landscapes. The show, which is on the third floor, is open Wednesday - Sunday, 10:30am - 4pm, admission free.  The Gallery also displays many paintings by David Hockney all year round.

This Guardian article The north gets a peep at David Hockney's new portfolio first and the Salt Mills website (extract below) explain how Jonathan Silver started the Salt Mills Centre and amassed the largest collection of Hockney's work.
These days, David spends much of his time in this part of the world and his paintings of the East Yorkshire landscape are admired world-wide.
Home, then, has always mattered, so it wasn’t surprising that when Jonathan Silver approached David about displaying his work in the Mill, David agreed. The two had first met in the 60’s and had kept in touch, sporadically since then. The Galleries at Salts Mill are very proud of the large collection of David's wonderful work on show and deeply grateful to him for his continued support and interest.Salt Mills website - David Hockney Profile
Silver's daughter explained a little bit more of the background to Hockney's paintings of the Yorkshire Wolds which I never knew before.
Dad said to David: 'Paint Yorkshire. It's where you're from. You know it and above all you know how to celebrate it. You've done California and the Grand Canyon and those swimming pools. Now bring all that colour back home.
Second, a major Hockney retrospective exhibition - David Hockney - A Bigger Picture - will be held at the Royal Academy of Art early next year.  It covers work from the last seven years - mainly paintings but also his sketchbooks and his work on iphones and ipads and film - 150 works in total.

This is the first major exhibition of Hockney's larger landscape paintings of Yorkshire.  The galleries at the RA are large enough to hold them!
'David Hockney: A Bigger Picture' will span a 50 year period to demonstrate Hockney’s long exploration and fascination with the depiction of landscape.  The exhibition will include a display of his iPad drawings and a series of new films produced using 18 cameras, which will be displayed on multiple screens and which will provide a spellbinding visual journey through the eyes of David Hockney.
This Guardian article explains how David Hockney moves into film with Royal Academy exhibition

I'll be writing more about this exhibition as we get closer to the opening date!

Third - David Hockney has a new book out called My Yorkshire.

David Hockney - My Yorkshire
Enitharmon Editions (Published in UK: 1 Sep 2011)
The publisher describes it as follows
David Hockney is considered one of the most influential British artists of the twentieth century. In 2003, in a series of dazzlingly fresh watercolours of the rolling landscape known as the Wolds, Hockney embarked on one of the most ambitious and extraordinary projects of his career. He set about memorializing this little-known, intimate and gently beautiful part of the world. His vibrant landscapes twist and turn with ever expanding scale, reminiscent of the American West. Despite this they are remain instantly recognizable to anyone familiar with Yorkshire. The many paintings he has made in the vicinity of Bridlington since 2005 are among the most captivating and impressive of his long and distinguished career.
It's now available in the UK but is only available through importers in the USA as yet.

So lots and lots for true Hockney fans to revel in - I'm very much looking forward to getting the book and seeing his paintings.

Below I've included links to two DVDs by Bruno Wolheim about David Hockney - The Bigger Picture  which is about Hockney painting in the Wolds.  I highly recommend this DVD (see my Review:  David Hockney A Bigger Picture on making A Mark in 2009)

(on the left is the UK version and on the right is the USA Region 1 version)


Plus for more information about David Hockney in general see:  David Hockney - Resources for Art Lovers

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

David Hockney talks about landscape painting routine


I'm going to do a small series of posts about David Hockney posting landscapes. First a very short video of Hockney talking about his painting routine.

You can find out more about Hockney's landscape painting in David Hockney - Resources for Art Lovers

Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Flooding #3 - Monet's 'Vétheuil, L'Inondation'

Vétheuil, L'Inondation (1881) by Claude Monet

Following on from yesterday's post, Claude Monet also produced quite a few paintings of the Seine in flood near where lived. This particular painting - in English "Vetheuil, The Flood" - seems to have been painted in 1881 just before Monet left his house at Vétheuil.

The willow and poplar trees frequently seen on the banks of the river are clearly portrayed as being in the flood water.  The colour of the sky also seems to indicate that there has been a lot of rain.  I assume that this painting may have been done from a studio boat at the time of the flooding given the absence of any river banks in the painting.

Artists wishing to paint flooding first need to work out where these are most likely to occur.

The map of the area also indicates that the areas either side of the huge bend in the River Seine were particularly prone to flooding given that the oxbow lakes produced as the river changes its shape are still live to this day.

Reference:  



Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Flooding #2: Detecting Pissarro and Eragny-sur-Epte

Flood, Twilight Effect, Eragny (1893) by Camille Pissarro

Camille Pissarro (1830-1903) painted two versions of the floods of the River near Eragny, northwest of Paris.

This one is known as Flood, Twilight Effect, Eragny and was painted in 1893.  This is Flood, White Effect, Eragny.  That dates this to after his neo-Impressionist period of the 1880s.

Pissarro apparently used to prefer to finish his paintings in one sitting and worked plein air and painted what he saw.  Pissarro explained his technique of painting outdoors as follows
"Work at the same time upon sky, water, branches, ground, keeping everything going on and equal basis and unceasingly rework until you have got it. Paint generously and unhesitatingly, for it is best not to lose the first impression."
It's interesting to try and work out where his paintings were painted from.

This painting is confusing because it isn't possible to tell which area is flooded and whether the river is in the foreground or the background.

Using the satellite view of the current landscape around Eragny as a guide, I began to develop my landscape detective skills
  • The painting suggests Pissarro was in a position of some height - maybe the upper storeys of a house - or the side of a hill?  It was certainly his practice in later life to paint scenes while sat by an open hotel window due to a medical condition which meant he could not work outdoors except in warm weather.
  • Given the swathe of trees in the middle of the floods it seems possible that the painting was of a perspective very near to where the A15 now crosses the river.  
  • Alternatively perhaps the painting was made on the west bank looking across the fields on the western flood plain of the Seine towards Eragny - and the trees are those  normally seen on the eastern bank
  • Normally, locating the church is a good guide as the spire acts as a location marker.  In this instance it's more difficult - until you realise that the church has been completely rebuilt and no longer has a conventional spire!
So my initial conclusion was that Picasso was located somewhere near the Chemin de Chasse Maree on the west bank and was looking across the river towards Eragny.  I was still puzzled as to how he'd got the height above the fields.

That was until I found out that he died at Eragny-sur-Epte, a small village northwest of Paris!
Pissarro died in Eragny-sur-Epte on either November 12 or November 13, 1903 and was buried in Pere Lachaise Cemetery in Paris
Camille Pissarro - biography
Having located this second Eragny - Eragny-sur-Epte - on Google Maps, it then becomes very apparent that this is the "Eragny" of the paintings. The reason for this conclusion is that a very similar painting a year earlier is titled View of Bazincourt, Flood, Morning Effect - and Bazincourt, according to the map is due west of Eragny-sur-Epte.  The fact that the main street going through Eragny-sur-Epte is also called Rue Camille Pissarro rather tends to confirm this as the location where these paintings were painted.

View of Bazincourt, Flood, Morning Effect (1892)
It then becomes clear when you look at the map with a geographer's eye (did I ever tell you what my degree is in?) that the flood plain of the River Epte lies in between Eragny and Bazincourt and is marked on today's map by a line of trees.

It therefore seems very likely that these paintings were all painted from a window in Pissarro's house in Eragny-Sur-Epte and are a view of the flood plain between his house and Bazincourt on the other side of the River Epte.

Have you ever tried to work out where paintings were painted?

Monday, 29 August 2011

Flooding #1 - Sisley's Seine

The Banks of the Seine in Autumn flood by Sisley

I've been looking at the films of the horrendous flooding in Vermont - and was reminded of how often floods have been recorded in paint.

Now there's a lot of every eminent artists who live in Vermont and while I expect everybody's first thoughts are for their own safety and helping others right now, I hope we might see some paintings of the floods in due course.

This particular image is by Alfred Sisley (1839-1899) who was
a French-born English Impressionist landscape painter who was born, and spent most of his life, in France. Sisley is generally recognized as the most consistent of the Impressionists in his dedication to painting landscape en plein air (i.e., outdoors).
The Seine obviously flooded a lot in the nineteenth century as a number of the Impressionists recorded flooding.

Sisley in particular loved painting rivers and water - as can be seen from this website which holds a number of his works

UPDATE:  Charley Parker takes up the theme of Sisley painting floods - you can see more on his blog Lines and Colors - The Floods at Port Marly – Alfred Sisley

Sunday, 7 August 2011

"Forests, Rocks, Torrents" at the National Gallery, London

Forests, Rocks, Torrents at the National Gallery, London is currently displaying Norwegian and Swiss Landscapes from the Lunde Collection.



It includes 51 paintings from the private collection of Asbjørn Lunde, an American who has formed the world’s leading private collection of Norwegian and Swiss landscape paintings, primarily of the 19th century.  Most of the paintings have never been seen in the UK before, and are rarely on public view.

The idea behind the exhibition is to introduce a British audience - and, presumbaly, international visitors who visit the National Gallery - to landscapes by artists with whom they are less familiar. 
The 45 works displayed demonstrate the similarities of the Norwegian and Swiss traditions, but also the differences that climate, character, national temperament and political regimes impose on art.

Norway was engaged in a long struggle for freedom from Sweden and was poor, isolated and dependent for survival on its natural resources. Switzerland had been proudly independent for centuries and was prosperous, cosmopolitan and an early centre of industry.

How, the exhibition asks, are these realities implicated in their respective painting traditions?
The paintings are of two principal kinds:
  • small-scale landscape oil sketches and 
  • ‘finished’ paintings, some very large.
Landscape artists whose work is included in the exhibition include:
One of the most extraordinary innovators of the 19th century was Peder Balke – but only now is he re-emerging as a master of Norwegian landscape. His 'Moonlit View of Stockholm', with the spires of the city silhouetted against a stormy night sky, shows the direct influence of Dahl’s views of Dresden. Balke’s scenes of storms at sea and shipwrecks on rocky coasts are for the most part small black and white improvisations, thinly painted on board covered in smooth white ground ('Seascape').
Dahl loved Norway with the passion of a patriot. From the start of his career, he committed himself to depicting his nation, but in 1818 he moved to Dresden and began a long friendship with the German artist Caspar David Friedrich. Soon he became famous among Norwegians as their esteemed master in exile. A pilgrimage to Dresden to learn from Dahl became a necessity for any artist travelling from Norway to Italy.
  • Alexandre Calame 1810-1864 Swiss and father of the Swiss tradition of landscape painting
the artist widely regarded as the best Swiss landscapist is Alexandre Calame. His paintings owe much to the work of 17th-century Dutch landscape artists such as Jacob van Ruisdael in their portrayal of mountains, dense fir forests and raging torrents. Calame’s paintings of Lake Lucerne, such as 'Cliffs of Seelisberg, Lake Lucerne', are pervaded with a sense of nature’s grandeur and portray a harsh, majestic environment untouched by man. However, it was the theme of torrents that was central to Calame’s work, including the largest (98 x 138 cm) in the show, 'Mountain Torrent before a Storm'. This painting depicts the longest river in Switzerland, the Aare, and was acquired by Prince Yusupov of Russia.
  • Johann Gottfried Steffan 1815-1905, Swiss - one of the most important Siss landscape painters.
  • Caspar Wolf 1735-1783 a Swiss painter, known mostly for his dramatic paintings of Alps
  • Thomas Fearnley 1803-1842, Norwegian
Dahl's greatest student was Thomas Fearnley, and it is with this Norwegian master that the Norwegian and Swiss landscape traditions intersect. In 1835, on his return from Italy, Fearnley spent time in Switzerland painting. The show includes three works painted in consecutive months during this period: 'Near Meiringen', 10 June 1835; 'The Mountain Wetterhorn', 18 July 1835; and 'Valley of Lauterbrunnen', 26 August 1835. Two years later Fearnley was in England (his grandfather was a Yorkshireman) painting in London and the Lake District. His visit to the Lake District gave rise to nature studies which still surprise with their originality ('Fisherman at Derwentwater', 2 August 1837).
The links are to sites which provide images by the artist but these are not necessarily in the exhibition. The exhibition can be founbd in the Sunley Room until 18th September, Daily 10am–6pm, Friday until 9pm. Admission is free.

These are links to
From the title of the National Gallery's current exhibition, Forests, Rocks, Torrents, the most important noun has been omitted - Mountains. 

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