Saturday, June 29, 2019

Winslow Homer and the development of marine art

For fans of Winslow Homer - and those who love making or viewing paintings of the sea 

In August two exhibitions about Winslow Homer (1836-1910) open in Massachusetts
Below I also look at 
  • Seaside Art Colonies - created by artists who love to paint the seas and the coast; and 
  • some of the sketches I made while visiting places associated with well-known artists who live or lived in New England - including the Prout's Neck Home of Winslow Homer.

Homer at the Beach: A Marine Painter’s Journey, 1869-1880 - at Cape Ann Museum

This is an exploration of the marine paintings of the renowned American artist Winslow Homer - and how he developed as a marine painter.

The exhibition includes 50 original works and will include loans from some 40 public and private collections.  
In 1869, Winslow Homer (1836–1910) exhibited his first picture of the sea. He was an ambitious New York illustrator — not yet recognized as an artist — and freshly back from France. Over the next 11 years, Homer’s journey would take him to a variety of marine destinations, from New Jersey to Maine, but especially — and repeatedly — to Gloucester and other parts of Cape Ann.
It was on Cape Ann that Homer made his first watercolors and where he discovered his calling: to be a marine artist. And it was in Gloucester in 1880, at the end of these 11 years, where he enjoyed the most productive season of his life, composing more than 100 watercolors of astonishing beauty. Homer’s journey forever changed his life and the art of his country.
Venue: Cape Ann Museum, 27 Pleasant Street, Gloucester, MA (c.45 minutes northeast of Boston)
Hours: Tuesday through Saturday from 10am. to 5pm Sundays from 1-4pm
Admission: $12.00 adults, $10.00 Cape Ann residents, seniors and students. Youth (under 18) and Museum members are free.

Winslow Homer: Eyewitness at Harvard University Art Museums

His work as an artist-correspondent, enabled Homer to develop habits of seeing and pictorial strategies that informed his work in other media.
During the Civil War (1861–1865), American artist Winslow Homer (1836–1910) served as a correspondent for Harper’s. His sketches of soldiers, both in battle on the front lines and in quieter moments back at camp, were reproduced to accompany the journal’s accounts of the conflict. Homer worked for Harper’s just as new technologies were making it possible to rapidly reproduce newsworthy images on a large scale. Working together with Harper’s editors and engravers, he employed a range of pictorial strategies to reassure skeptical readers that his illustrations were not fabrications, but eyewitness observations “drawn on the spot.”
Venue: University Research Gallery, Harvard Art Museums, 32 Quincy St, Cambridge, MA 02138, USA
Dates: August 31, 2019 - January 5, 2020
Hours: daily, 10am–5pm (closed on major holidays)
Admission: Adults, $15; seniors (65+), $13

Seaside art colonies

In the past many marine painters have set up home in a place by the seas that they liked to paint - and ended up living in what became a seaside art colony!

This is my blog post about Seaside Art Colonies - in the UK and USA  which provides a summary listing of seaside art colonies around the UK and USA - and also lists the artists associated with them.

My photo of the sign about the Rocky Neck Art Colony in Gloucester
I've made a bit of an effort to visit these in the past and at the time of writing the post....
To date my list includes: Newlyn, Lamorna, St Ives, Walberswick, Kirkcudbright, Chelsea, Monterey, Carmel, Gloucester and Cape Ann - plus others whose names escape me - although I suspect they're probably places like Prout's Neck which are associated with only one artist

New England: my marine sketches & New England artists

Back in 2006, I made various journeys across New England to visit and sketch at places associated with artists.


This was my post about Winslow Homer's home at Prout's Neck and the beach near his home.

Scarborough Beach, Prout's Neck, Maine
- with Winslow Homer's home in the background (I think)
8" x 10" pencil and coloured pencil in Moleskine sketchbook
copyright Katherine Tyrrell

The Wyeths are associated with Maine too


The tree without a name
9" x 12", coloured pencil on Saunders Waterford HP
copyright Katherine Tyrrell

I also visited Rocky Neck (on the periphery of Gloucester), the oldest working art colony in the USA and Rockport.


Tuesday 19th September - "The grass is greener in Vermont" (1 sketch) - this is about my visit with Bert Dodson, author of Keys to Drawing, in his studio - when he was working through proofs for his second book Drawing with Imagination - strategies for creativity.

How much nerve does it take to sketch a man who writes books about drawing!

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