Hudson River Museum
Yonkers, New York
A River Journey: Paintings of the Hudson by Don Nice
September 22, 2000 through January 21, 2001
Twenty watercolor paintings by Garrison artist Don Nice, painted directly from the stern of a boat, re-create the experience of the Hudson River, from New York Harbor to the Adirondacks. These watercolors are on view in the exhibition A River Journey: Paintings of the Hudson by Don Nice from September 22, 2000 through January 21, 2001 at The Hudson River Museum. (left: New York, 1999, watercolor, 22 x 30 inches, Courtesy of Babcock Galleries, NY)
Nice explores the forces of nature on the river, while recording this 1999 boat excursion up the Hudson. The works depict the Hudson's islands, mountains, waterfalls as well as human additions to the landscape including West Point, Nutten Hook Foundry and the Esopus Lighthouse.
"Nice's fluid brushwork and sensitive touch capture the Hudson in all its moods: an overcast misty morning, a bright sunlight-filled afternoon. a striking sunset and a passing storm." commented Ellen Keiter, Museum Curator of Exhibitions. (left: Hook Mountain, 1999, watercolor, 22 x 30 inches, Courtesy of Babcock Galleries, NY)
On Friday, October 20, 2000, Nice will be giving a private tour of A River Journey during the Members Only Tour and Cocktail Reception.
On a warm summer day in July 1999, artist Don Nice invited me to join him on a painting excursion out on the Hudson River. It was the beginning of a week long boat journey that would take the artist from New York City to Glens Falls. Nice could hardly wait to start, setting up his paints and makeshift easel in the stem of the boat before we even left the dock. With his bare feet tapping to a Willie Nelson CD, Nice completed three paintings during our five-hour sail upriver: New York, Palisades and Hook Mountain. (left: West Point, 1999, watercolor, 22 x 30 inches, Courtesy of Babcock Galleries, NY)
We traveled slowly, often drifting with the current so Nice could paint. It was choppy on the water, but he claimed that the rocking of the boat made it easier, not harder, for him to work. It's important for Nice to feel connected to the site he is painting. In a very physical way, the boat enabled him to experience the power of the Hudson and its shifting tides. (left: Nutten Hook Foundry, 1999, watercolor, 22 x 30 inches, Courtesy of Babcock Galleries, NY)
It was fascinating to watch Don Nice at work. He paints almost intuitively, his fluid brush strokes demonstrating the confidence of someone who knows the River intimately (Nice has lived along the shores of the Hudson for 31 years). I realized that while his images depict recognizable mountains, buildings and historical vistas, they also express something more personal. Each watercolor is a special tribute to the River, an artistic celebration of its physical beauty and rich history. Nice successfully captures the spirit of the Hudson River in all its changing moods, from an overcast misty morning to a bright sunlit afternoon to the purple sky of a passing storm. (left: Stillpoint, 1999, watercolor, 22 x 30 inches, Collection of Christine McChesney; (right: Stockport Island, 1999, watercolor, 22 x 30 inches, Collection of Chris and Diana Cunningham)
Read more in Resource Library Magazine about the Hudson River Museum
Please click on thumbnail images bordered by a red line to see enlargements.
This page was originally published in Resource Library Magazine. Please see Resource Library's Overview section for more information. rev. 4/4/11
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