Olana, the estate of Hudson River School painter Frederic Church, wrapped up its annual plein air paint-out on October 18 with a reception, exhibition, and live auction. The pieces created during the three-day event showed why Church's estate is considered one of the crown jewels of New York's historical sites.
Eugene Boudin (1824-1898) is rightly considered one of the forerunners of French Impressionism, and his influence was quite direct. As Claude Monet's first teacher, he persuaded the teenager to paint en plein air. Read an excerpt of Joseph Skrapits' article on this important artist here, and read the complete article in the May, 2013 digital edition of PleinAir magazine.
In the January 2013 issue of PleinAir, art historian Laurene Buckley, Ph.D., introduces readers to the artist once called the "discoverer of Monet." Ohio-born Theodore Wendel (1859-1932) abandoned the "Munich palette of muted browns and gray-greens" and championed the "blue-green of Monet's Impressionism" when he created plein air landscapes.
New England's Aldro T. Hibbard was a tough man with the charisma to lead a new and vibrant art community in Rockport, Massachusetts. Bob Bahr wrote about the legendary plein air painter for the November 2012 issue of PleinAir magazine, and we offer a portion of that article here.
One of the most flamboyant, controversial, and influential artists of the 19th century was James McNeill Whistler. The etchings he made from copper plates he drew on while strolling the streets of Venice, London, Paris, and Amsterdam became his best sources of financial support.
If you want to develop a style of bold brushwork and rich color, there is perhaps no better group of paintings to study than those created by Franz A. Bischoff. Although he was known as the "King of the Rose Painters," his landscape paintings make him a sovereign among plein air artists.
One of the most highly respected members of the Southern California art community, Jack Wilkinson Smith, was born in Patterson, New Jersey, worked in Chicago, Illinois, and studied under Frank Duveneck in Cincinnati, Ohio before settling in the state he called “nature’s own paradise of scenic splendor and variety.
Like many women artists who married their teachers, Helen Savier DuMond’s promising art career was eclipsed by that of her famous husband, Frank Vincent DuMond (1865-1951). Nevertheless, her training in New York and Paris and her exception skills as a plein air painter earned her a place in exhibitions at the Paris Salon, the Corcoran Gallery, the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, and the National Academy of Design.
In the midst of a snow storm, Edward Willis Redfield would strap a 50” x 56” canvas to a tree, thin his paint with linseed oil to keep it from freezing, and use his gloved hands to paint a scene near his home in Bucks County, Pennsylvania. He firmly believed that paintings should be completed “in one go” and directly from nature.
Maurice Brazil Prendergast (1858-1924) was introduced to painting “pochades,” or plein air paintings, on wooden panels by Canadian painter James Wilson Morrice when the two men traveled to French seaside resorts. The idea of creating paintings of people enjoying leisurely activities on beaches and in parks captivated Prendergast’s imagination, and he pursued those subjects throughout his career.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York purchased one of Ogden Minton Pleissner’s plein air paintings when the artist was only 27 years old and that launched him on a career as a respected but struggling artist and teacher. During the 1930s and 1940s, he creating oil paintings on location in Dubois, Wyoming where a friend owned a ranch, and other times he left his studio in New York to paint and fish with his teacher, Frank Vincent DuMond.
“A Good Time Coming,” 1862
In London, in 1841, the relation between technology and art history was dramatically changed with the invention of the screw-top collapsible paint tube by an American portrait artist, John Goff Rand (1801-1873). Rand’s invention was monumental because it made on-site oil sketching convenient for every artist, and encouraged new possibilities of artistic expression.
Frank Brangwyn was born in Bruges Belgium, in 1867. In 1874, his family moved to England. Frank Brangwyn received some artistic training in the workshops of William Morris, but received no formal artistic education. At the age of seventeen, one of Brangwyn’s paintings was accepted at the Royal Academy. His canvas, “Funeral At Sea”, painted in 1890, won a Medal of the 3rd Class at the 1891 Paris Salon.