Editor's note: The following 1994 article was published
on August 19, 2004 in Resource Library with permission of Thomas
Daives, New Canaan, CT. If you have questions or comments regarding the
article please contact Mr. Daives by writing to the author at 58 Beacon
Hill Lane, New Canaan, CT, 06480.
Sharing Your Paintings
"It's Better Than
Selling Hot Dogs"
by Thomas Davies
An art major, obviously delighted with his choice of a
sunset marine by Frederick Waugh diagnosed the artist's approach,
- "The painting I chose to work with is entitled 'Sunset
Surf.' As an art major at KLHT, I have focused my work on marine art. This
fact, combined with the artist's ability to re-create his subject matter
in such a dramatic fashion, made this painting especially appealing to
me. The artist uses a complicated repetition of diagonal wave patterns
to convey a sense of movement in the water. These patterns are created
by the various colours the artist uses to highlight the waves. The complex
middle ground of this painting is balanced out by the warm colors of the
strong background and the almost serene foreground. This is an incredible
work of art that creates a distinct mood. One almost feels as if he/she
is sitting on a rock by the sea, listening to the waves crash on the rocks
and watching an incredible sunset."
In wrestling with their individual piece, students would
discuss the particular style employed. The analysis of a William Lester
Stevens described the basic principles of Impressionism; .
- "Stevens' oil painting 'Cape Ann Landscape' is a
very impressionistic study of a group of trees. He used impasto paint application
in broken colors. Impasto refers to a painting done with thick paint. The
colors are high key and complementary. They are applied with impressionistic
brushstrokes. For example, he uses no more than three brushstrokes to create
his cows in the background. Through the entire picture Stevens applies
the paint loosely and he overlaps many of the colors. The painting's impressionistic
style is what I find most attractive. It reminds me of a Monet painting.
I love the way the tree absorbs the sunlight."
The village scene by Jonas Lie also reflects an impressionist
- "The oil on canvas 'New England Village' by Jonas
Lie is a very warm and welcoming painting. It is very easy to get a feeling
of spring and freshness. The dramatic use .of color makes up for the lack
of detail. The painting is almost inviting the viewer to walk down the
village road. The complementary shadows on the road bring out a brightness
that are perfect examples of impressionism."
The spontaneity of impressionism appears to have rubbed
off on the student's perception of the artist Max Kuehne and his New York
- "Kuehne studied with Robert Henri and Robert Miller.
In his earlier days he went on European expeditions. He loved to go to
museums, especially the Prado. He was influenced by Monet and Seurat, as
seen by his impressionistic techniques. He was a man who set high goals
for himself; he would not be happy until he got the painting to his liking.
I saw Kuehne as a spontaneous man who didn't like to live in a uniform
fashion, as can be seen by his impressionistic style."
- "Kuehne gives you the feeling that you could be
looking out of a window over the Hudson River. I liked this painting because
the artist uses great detail. I also liked having the feeling that you
could just walk into the picture. To me, the picture says: "Welcome
to my world; please come in and look at it. -- If you look long enough,
you will see what I saw in this beautiful impressionistic piece."
In addition to talking styles of paintings, the different
schools became a focal point. Not only is Philip Leslie Hale described in
perceptive terms, but the Boston School approach as well;
- "Boston School painting was growing at the turn
of the century, and Hale advanced it greatly with his experimental style
in neo-impressionism and symbolism. The school of painters in Boston worked
extensively with the human figure. The main focus was in the depiction
of elegant and leisure-class women. Hale was a key figure in advancing
the development of modifying the more traditional realism, instead of the
relatively free impressionism. "
- "Hale used convergence to focus the viewer upon
the face. The angles of the clothing lead to the hand, which leads to the
face, as well as to the angle of her left shoulder. The strokes of the
cloth also help lead the viewer to the face, with longer flowing strokes."
- "Though the 'Female Figure' is typical of the Boston
Painters and Hale as well, I think Hale caught a mood with the painting.
The softness and colors of the painting only make you question the thoughts
of the model. It draws the curiosity of the viewer, and nothing is answered.
Only Hale and the model will ever know the truth of her thoughts and Hale's
interpretation of them, but this is part of how the painting draws you
in, with mystery."
In an effort to stretch the powers of observation of a
few students, two pieces were included that were not "pretty"
or "obvious". In fact they were chosen to be challenging in subject
matter and in visual image and technique. An Aaron Gorson Pittsburgh
Steel Mill piece generated a strong response, both positive and negative;
- "Gorson's paintings documented the industrial growth
of an era, an era of mass production. He shows how artists have moved away
from natural landscapes to industrial landscapes.
- The background of 'Pittsburgh Steel Mill' is the focus
of interest in this painting. The diversity of the light of the furnaces
and the dark shades of the smoke and the smokestacks create the area of
interest in this work. One can capture Gorson's fascination of the crackling,
burning fire and the withering and meandering clouds of smoke.
- The mood created by the color scheme and the layout of
the painting is one of fascination, fascination of industrialism. In the
late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, industrializing was a big
step for America. Some hated it, some didn't think one way or another about
it, and some were fascinated by it. Aaron Gorson conveys his fascination
with the billowing clouds of smoke and the hot furnaces.
- Personally, I do not particularly care for this piece
of art. As I observe this piece in the late twentieth century, it disgusts
me to see such widespread air pollution, where-as if I were observing it
seventy years earlier, I might have a different opinion of this piece."
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