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Winslow Homer and the Sunday Painter


The estimable Seth Lipsky of the New York Sun brings us news of an exhibition of Winslow Homer’s work, currently at Maine’s Portland Museum.

The show includes some of Homer’s most beautiful oil paintings and a marvelous selection of wood etchings and watercolors, displayed in a setting where it is easy to linger without being jostled by crowds. The show is up on the centennial of Homer’s death. It’s a time when many of us sense that his attention to the craft of painting — to the underlying drawing, the interplay of value and line, the sudden and surprising use of color, and the criticality of composition — has rarely been at a higher premium.

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Winslow Homer: Artists Sketching in the White Mountains (detail)

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Self-described Sunday painter, Mr. Lipsky brings us, too, an anecdote of another Sunday painter who once met Mr. Homer so very long ago.

One of our favorite stories about painting concerns an amateur who, alone on a desolate stretch of coast, was working at a French easel, trying to capture the surf, when he became aware of someone behind him. He turned around and the stranger asked whether the painter would mind whether he watched.

Speaking of Sunday painters, here is a gem, below, painted – probably on a Sunday – by a 20th century figure every student of history would know. (I’m betting that Steven Givler already knows who it is.)

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Sunset Over the Atlas Mountains, ca 1935

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. 2010/08/15 07:15

    I do indeed. It’s the same man who said, “There’s nothing so exhilerating as being shot at – and missed.”

    I’ve seen those same mountains, although I imagine he painted them from Morocco, while I saw only the foothills of the eastern end of the range while I was in Tunisia.

    And now back to my studio. I’m hoping today I’ll finish the painting I’m working on all week. Thanks for the link!

  2. 2010/08/15 22:16

    I see your V and I raise it one stogie! PS I’ll be in Norfolk VA soon for about 2 months. Are you anywhere near there?

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