Monday, March 21

Finishing an Acrylic, Attending an Art Lecture & Judging Paris

A Photo for You to Celebrate Spring
Maybe because it's vernal equinox (Spring). Maybe because the full moon was at its perigee. I don’t know, but I had a very busy weekend.

I put finishing touches on an acrylic-on-paper work I have been putzing over for the last couple of weeks. I’m pretty sure there will be more changes and additional brushstrokes; however, I’m going to let it “rest” a while before showing it because I need to see it with  fresh eyes after painting it hour after hour.

It’s a cityscape in the museum district here with a bicyclist going from left to right across a street with several cars in the background in addition to a prominent water feature in the form of three shooting fountains in the distance. I enjoyed working on this one. The time of day was very late afternoon and/or the beginning of dusk, so the light was subdued, and there is not a lot of change in values.

Also over the weekend I attended an art discussion/lecture at the Watercolor Art Society-Houston. John Salminen, the well-known and award-winning watercolorist is in town to judge the 34th International Exhibition at WAS-H and to conduct a workshop. He is an entertaining speaker, and his talk was interesting and informative as he showed slides of his most beautiful work. He talked about the locations, the lighting, and the subject matter along with some of his techniques and style tips. I enjoyed it. He has won the highest awards from both the American Watercolor Society and the National Watercolor Society. If you’re not familiar with his work, just Google his name.

And (drum roll, ta-da) I finally finished a book I have been reading since New Year’s. It’s the Judgment of Paris-The Revolutionary Decade That Gave The World Impressionism by Ross King. What a great book, that is, if you like history and/or art history. It’s hard to imagine how much time and effort the author put into this book.

The book is almost 400 pages of detailed information about what was happening in the 1860s up until about 1874 as it relates to the art world in France, especially Paris. Of course, the story is about what many of the impressionists-to-be were doing at that time as their careers were just beginning. There’s a lot about the conservative Salon and Ecole des Beaux Arts and how their actions affected the painters. One painter who plays a large part, but one that I had never heard of, is Ernest Messionier. It seems he was the most famous and wealthy French painter during that time but was subsequently purged and completely forgotten. I bet you never heard of him either.

In addition, however, it is almost a history text on the social and political times in France including the devastating effects of the Franco-Prussian War not only on the art world and artists but on the people of Paris. After I finished it, I felt as if I had just completed a university history class. Just thought I’d share my opinion. Now I can start my next book.

Happy Painting!

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