Landscape with Snow (1888)

Landscape with Snow (1888)
Painted in February of 1888, Van Gogh painted the dreary furrowed fields of winter. A lone figure with his dog trudge toward home. Located in the Guggenheim, I was moved to view this painting this past weekend.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Pierre-Auguste Renoir

Happy Birthday to Pierre-Auguste Renoir!! Wow! How to write about such a master? I have been reading a book about Renoir (born 1841, in France) written by his son Jean Renoir. It is filled with wonderful anecdotes about Renoir’s life. One I particularly like is a quote about life, “You must let yourself go along in life like a cork in the current of a stream.” He did not believe in tempting fate. Renoir was known to walk extremely long distances; in fact he often walked with a fellow painter from Paris to a town 38 miles away, taking 2 days to do so. Renoir is known as an Impressionist painter of incredible talent. The painting I have chosen to include here, The Luncheon of the Boating Party (1880-81) is filled with friends and partners of Renoir, in fact Renoir himself. This painting is perhaps the last in his “Impressionistic” phase. Unlike typical Impressionist figures, these are clearer; the painting has more structure compositionally. The standing man on the left is Renoir with his future wife, Aline Charigot, in the foreground playing with the little dog. Well-known artist and patron Gustave Caillebotte is seated on the right with the straw hat. The women are painted in the style that Renoir was to become known for: plump, rosy faced, smiling and seemingly carefree. The friends party together, finding life and love. Following this painting, Renoir went through a dry spell, not painting for 4 years, then returned to paint, focusing on nudes. His son describes his technique of beginning with a white ground,  adding small curving strokes of pale blue and pink, gradually building up the figure, adding deep red madder and yellows last. Renoir was stricken with rheumatism in his later years, which horribly crippled his hands and fingers, but he painted until his last day in 1919, finally laying down his brush to say, “I think I am beginning to understand something about it”

While I am by no means famous, since it is my birthday today also, I thought I'd post some information about my art. I work in watercolor, collage, found object sculpture, ceramics and artist books. Currently I have been working on a series of garden scenes with portions of architecture. I have posted one below for your enjoyment!

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