Feb 262015
 
William Glackens, Portsmouth Harbor, New Hampshire (1909)

William Glackens, Portsmouth Harbor, New Hampshire (1909)

A week ago, my friend, Josephine, and I went to visit the Minnesota Marine Art Museum on the recommendation of my cousins, Jere and Cherie (see Jacques Art Center, Aitkin, MN).  We’d heard there were French Impressionists there, but there was so much more.  Besides a representative painting of just about every French Impressionist, there is large room of Hudson River School and Luminist paintings, which were my favorites, as well as Fauve and Post-Impressionistist and paintings of modern marine art masters.  The great majority of the paintings have some connection with water or the sea.  I’ve included below just a sampling of what may be seen there.  I couldn’t get images of many of my favorites, and of course, so small a format as a blog often does no justice to large paintings.  I highly recommend it.  It’s worth the drive!

Thomas Moran, Near Southhampton (1891)

Thomas Moran, Near Southhampton (1891)

William Bishop, The Battle of Trafalgar, 21st October 1805

William Bishop, The Battle of Trafalgar, 21st October 1805

In addition to this dramatic, large painting of the Battle of Trafalgar, the Museum Collection contains a long, long letter from Nelson to Lady Hamilton (see my Blog from February 7, 2013), and his onboard, shaving table, a very cunning piece of furniture with compartments for all his personal care items.  Pretty cool!

William Trost Richards, Conanicut Island, Rhode Island (1885)

William Trost Richards, Conanicut Island, Rhode Island (1885)

Jack Gray, Schooner Bluenose (1959)

Jack Gray, Schooner Bluenose (1959)

Eugene Boudin, Villerville, Rivage Maree Montante Octobre (1893)

Eugene Boudin, Villerville, Rivage Maree Montante Octobre (1893)

Camille Pissarro, Le Quai du Ponthuis, Pointoise (1876)

Camille Pissarro, Le Quai du Ponthuis, Pointoise (1876)

Pierre-August Renoir, La Fete du Pan (1879)

Pierre-August Renoir, La Fete du Pan (1879)

Jack Gray, East Ironbound Winter (1961)

Jack Gray, East Ironbound Winter (1961)

Camille Pissarro, Le Louvre, Apres-Midi (1902)

Camille Pissarro, Le Louvre, Apres-Midi (1902)

Alfred Sisley, Le Coup de Vent, Matin de Mai (1890)

Alfred Sisley, Le Coup de Vent, Matin de Mai (1890)

Jean-Baptiste Camille Corot, Brume Matinale au Marais (1871)

Jean-Baptiste Camille Corot, Brume Matinale au Marais (1871)

Paul Signac, Les Andelys, L'ile a Lucas (1886)

Paul Signac, Les Andelys, L’ile a Lucas (1886)

After the Museum, we had a bite to eat at the Blue Heron Coffee House, 162 W 2nd St, Winona.  Just what we needed before we got back on the road home.  It’s open until 6:00.  We’d dined out the previous evening in Eau Claire, after visiting the best antique store I’ve been to so far between Wisconsin and Minnesota, the Antique Emporium at 306 Main.  It is distinguished by being not only large, but being filled with objets d’art.  Everything has been collected by the owner, so although there’s a great selection, all the contents have a consistent quality.  Josie and I had dinner at the Bijou Bistro entirely to ourselves, since there was a blizzard in progress outside.  Everyone else just went home.  It’s at 2629 E. Clairemont Ave, Eau Claire.  We both had tenderloins with a mushroom sauce over garlic potatoes and asparagus.  It was divine!  I will now plan on having dinner in Eau Claire when I’m on the way to Minneapolis or Aitkin.

Flourless Chocolate Cake, Bijou Bistro

Flourless Chocolate Cake, Bijou Bistro

 Posted by at 11:00 am
Feb 202015
 
First Snow, Oil on Canvas, 16x20.

First Snow, Oil on Canvas, 16×20.

This is the painting I did for the Fall Art Tour Brochure.  It’s a little different, for those who pick up a copy of the brochure.  I’ve changed the position of the legs in the figure on the left.   She was actually striding with her left leg forward and her right foot behind.  I thought it looked a bit posed — not because it actually was — but with her smile and glance sideways and her feet so close together from the viewer’s perspective, it just struck me as a bit false looking.  I decided to change it.

When I was painting this canvas, I was sicker than a dog.  I had a sore throat, a terrible cough.  I give myself credit for persevering — I had a deadline.  As usual, the painting is better than its photographic image, but what I particularly like is the fuzzy, hazy hills in the distance.  Ah!  Beautiful Spring Green!

 Posted by at 10:54 pm
Feb 152015
 
Burro likes coffee

Burro and Starbucks, Oil on Canvas, 8×10

This cute little burro’s name is Jennie.  She is one of the denizens of hobby farm, where my daughter exercises horses as one of her jobs.  The farm is located in the beautiful hills surrounding Spring Green, WI and is the setting for several of my paintings this year.  Besides horses, there are goats, a Pot-Bellied Pig, chickens and a French Bulldog.

A week or so ago, my daughter texted me that there was a woman plein-air painting in Mineral Point (at Pendarvis) when it was 13 degrees out.  Alas!  I so would like to do that, but have the challenge of almost zero circulation in my fingers and toes once they become cold.  Winter is really about the most scenic season for landscape paintings.  There is the high contrast between the snow and the trees, the violet and blue shadows.  Streams may have snow shoals in them, a  mist rising from the warmer water,  patches of green showing along the banks in spring. I love winter landscapes.  However, being out in cold weather for me entails vigorous exercise, as on cross-country skis or snow shoes, not standing 6 inches deep in snow with a wind blowing against my head.

I’ve thought about getting a van, not a minivan full of comfortable seats, but one with “french” doors on the end, wherein I could set up an easel and chair.  I’d be out of the wind and try to sidle the vehicle hindermost to the view.  Every now and then I could clamber behind the steering wheel and start the engine for warmth.  I do have a pickup.  I could try some tailgate painting, but it wouldn’t be as comfortable.   I’d still need a source of heat though, so I must give that additional thought.

Many great landscape artists painted in their studios from sketches and studies, using their memories and familiarity with the outdoors to inform their works.  I’m afraid that, at the moment, is my method,….until I get that “plein-air” van.  (I’ve also thought of a portable ice-fisherman’s hut.)

 

 Posted by at 1:30 pm