Wednesday, September 29, 2021

Thomas Moran: An Artist for All Time

While I don't know how I first heard of Thomas Moran, but I'm so excited to share the artist with you. First, a little background... Thomas Moran (1837-1926) began life in England, but at some early point in his youth, his family left for the New World.


After serving as apprentice in woodblock printing and finding it tedious, Moran established himself as a first-rate watercolor illustrator and colorist. While regarded as being part of the Hudson River Artists, Moran greatest influence was actually the paintings of J.M.W. Turner.


Moran's illustrations were so highly regarded that he rose to chief illustrator for a monthly literary magazine. It was his position and interest in the West that would eventually lead him all the way to California. 


His first big trip to the West was when he accompanied U.S. government surveyors to Yellowstone. It was there that Moran found so much inspiration for his oils, watercolors and prints. This exposure helped him gain the reputation of being a top landscape artist. It became very much in demand to own a "Moran" lithograph print.



It would be Moran's paintings, along with William Henry Jackson's photographs, that caused the public to insist that President Grant name Yellowstone as the first National Park.



Moran would continue to be awed by the vastness of the West including the Grand Canyon, Grand Tetons, Yosemite and the Colorado River - all of which he painted to memorialize their wild beauty.







In addition to his art in collections of major galleries, Mount Moran in the Grand Tetons is named in honor of him, oh, and one more small recognition... his painting is in on the right of a photo-op between Israeli President Peres and our President Obama at the White House. 

Thank you to the person who first introduced me to his art and to his role in creating the views that helped save these spectacular vistas for the generations.


Wednesday, September 22, 2021

A Bit of Fall-Fun

Fall is my absolute favorite time of year. A certain lightness of being comes over me in the less oppressive heat and the calming of allergies in the Fall. With that in mind, I thought it might be fun to see how many artists you can guess just based on one of their paintings of Autumn. 

Clues are; (1) There's only one for each artist and (2) They're all 19th century Impressionists. Try your hand at it and check your answers at the bottom.








Answers are: (1) Degas, (2) Monet (3) Renoir (4) Sisley (5) Pissarro (6) Van Gogh

Tuesday, September 14, 2021

A Great Media Change: Philippe Faraut

If a man has trained to be a woodcarver and fine French furniture builder, the question would be, "how did he become famous for his human sculpted portraits and figures not even made of wood? 



Try as I might, I did not find that time or circumstances of Philippe Faraut's (1963-) transition. Yet, transition, he did. Somewhere along the way, he learned human anatomy & physiology, how to build armatures and model in clay, wax, stone porcelain and bronze.





However he did it, he has been able to break down the processes required in order to teach others. He conducts workshops, provides videos and write books on his techniques.




Faraut and his wife live in the Eastern United States now where his announcement of an upcoming workshop sells out right away. 



I think he must be an exceptional student and observer, which goes a long way to explaining his remarkable ability to transition.