Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Great American Impressionists of the West

From time to time, it does a heap of good to explore new territory and last week that is just what this farmer did.  It was time to saddle up and head west.  While in Miami last December for Art Basel, I learned of another art fair in California that was fit for a visit.  The Los Angeles Fine Art Fair. 

It is true, I have made many a pilgrimage to Northern California but the southern parts have always been out of reach.  And that is mighty peculiar, for in recent years the great American Impressionist Painters of the early 20th Century, most of whom embody the beauty of the wild Southwest, have captivated me.  And so it was.

Edgar Payne "Canyon De Chelley"

It was an enormous privilege to see first hand works by the likes of Granville Redmond, whose masterpiece "Blue Lupine and Poppies" exhibited carefully thought out degrees of tonalism. 

Granville Redmond

Another painter I was drawn to was Edgar Payne.  Payne's "Hilltop Shadows" showed thoughtful depth and atmosphere that was almost other-worldly.  This piece was only one of several iconic works by Payne throughout the fair.

Edgar Payne "Morning Light"

William Wendt stopped me dead in my tracks.  Not only is the palette good enough to eat, but his manner of laying down color is what struck me.  There is an organized rhythm to his brushwork that is akin to a tapestry.  Two stand out pieces of Wendt's were, "The New Bridge" and "Ranch in the Valley". 

William Wendt

Perhaps the piece that struck me most of all was a very small, modest work by George Gardner Symons.  "By the Pond", measureing at 6" x 9", is an outstanding example of plein air painting with loose, lyrical strokes.  It captures a single moment without being overworked and displays the kind of liberated brushwork many of us strive for.  It is truly a gem.

George Gardner Symons "By the Pond"

1 comment:

  1. Looks like an amazing show filled with all sorts of inspiration! Happy to hear you enjoyed your visit to SoCal.