Revisiting the Monument, working with Dad

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I return to work tomorrow after a nice holiday break, so I am trying to build up an inventory on in-progress works so I can tinker with them during the weeks ahead.

I liked that Washington Monument painting I did a month or so ago for my Dad, and wanted to give it a try again in a different composition. The clouds and the mist were really interesting. Above is the beginning of the new one.

I want to keep a lot of paintings going on at the same time so I, and you my readers, don’t get bored with any of them and so I keep some momentum going. This one is taking on a pretty old style feel, but once the bent pines come in, it will get a little more interesting.

With the last few works I am shifting my approach to get a little more patient, to build the works up more. My drawing skills are improving, as are my abilities and confidence with the paint. Last year I was trying to work more aggressively, and I will retain that, but I think I worked a little too fast, was too free, and so might have missed some opportunities. A little more deliberation this year will be important.

Today I was working side by side with my Dad, who is getting back into fine art. He’s going to be working this up into a conte crayon drawing, but here’s his underdrawing.

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Thanks for reading.

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Thoughts on Andrew Wyeth “Looking Out, Looking In” at the National Gallery

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On Monday my dad and I took lunch at the National Gallery to see the Andrew Wyeth Exhibit, “Looking Out, Looking In.” The National Gallery had recently acquired “Wind From the Sea,” so they built an exhibit around his paintings of windows. The reviews appeared mixed, but that wasn’t the point at all for me. This exhibit was mostly watercolors, with very little attention paid to his tempera works. Fine with me. His watercolors, especially when viewed up close, are truly incredible. It’s hard from prints to get a full understanding of just how rough and aggressive his watercolor painting style was, how much he paint he laid on in the dark areas, how thick his abstract applications were, even though they were always well structured. This gave me a greater appreciation of his work.

Looking back to my commentary a few posts ago on the Jamie Wyeth exhibit at the MFA in Boston, I used Andrew Wyeth as a bit of a counterpoint for Jamie, saying I prefered the range in Jamie’s work. The National Gallery show, by nature of its subject, stuck within a narrow range, but that hardly mattered when looking at the works up close. There was so much to admire, so much to learn from. I’ve been fortune to be able to see Sargent last summer and both Wyeth’s this year. They’ve all really helped with my painting.

Coming out of the museum, we could see the Washington Monument enshrouded in clouds and steam on a cold rainy day. Really perfect to see Wyeth’s work on a day that used his color palette, and perfect inspiration for a quick vertical painting.

Thanks for reading.

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