Friday, February 26, 2010

#035 These People Create: N. C. Wyeth

I have long considered N. C. Wyeth to be one of my inspirations, but until yesterday I never realized the magnitude of his work. Working on a discussion for my class, I stumbled upon the official Catalogue Raisonné website that features virtually every painting, drawing and illustration done by this amazing artist. The most interesting to me were the various magazine illustrations done for publications such as Ladies Home Journal, and Progressive Farmer. These were fascinating and covered a wide range of genres & periods. Another surprise was the numerous Bible stories illustrated by Wyeth, which were very unique in their concept and rendering.

It seems to me that Wyeth's work resembles the work of Dutch masters in color and the treatment of light. It was so insightful to see some of his work other than the famous Treasure Island, Kidnapped, and Pilgrim paintings that he did. Discovering this diverse and lively portfolio was like opening a treasure box, and it gave me a fresh motivation to be active in understanding light, color, composition & figure. I would be honored to follow in the footsteps of such a patriarch of modern illustration.


N. C. Wyeth (1882-1945)
The man with the hatful of cards picked a hand out of his reserves, put the hat on his head and raised Bill a hundred. Bill came back with a raise of two hundred, and as the other covered it he shoved a pistol into his face observing: "I'm calling the hand that is in your hat."
Oil on canvas, 32 x 40 in. (81.2 x 101.5 cm)
Private collection

N. C. Wyeth (1882-1945)
Marget was cheerful by help of Wilhelm Meidling
Oil on canvas, 40 x 32 in. (101.5 x 81.2 cm)
Private collection

N. C. Wyeth (1882-1945)

There she was, the Dancing Bess , holding a taut bowline to the eastward. And there were the two frigates, but they might as well have been chasing a star.
Oil on canvas, 45 1/2 x 37 1/2 in. (115.5 x 95.2 cm)
Location unknown

Please visit the N. C. Wyeth Catalogue Raisonné and click "Catalogue Search".

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

#034 Values

I have never been known to draw still lifes much, and if you asked anyone their favorite paintings they usually don't say, "Oh there's this still life I just love" (do they?), but anyway, this week it was my fate. I fully sketched and rendered the four basic building blocks of life. Yes, these shapes are what you and everything else around you consist of.
In related news, I got charcoal dust all over my white MacBook, and my five-week old brand new pair of AE jeans. Art just gets into your life that way.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

#033 Raw Materials

It's a weird, cloudy, sleety, sleepy day today. I got to bed at 2:30 this morning. I have begun classes again. I'm excited. These are the raw materials with which I begin to learn to see the world in a new way. I have to drop everything I think I know about drawing. I have to re-learn how to hold a pencil. Wow. I am drawing ellipses today. Pages of them. And I'm loving it.