Monday, March 10, 2008

More Influences

Here is the final version of my portrait of Frederik Remington, the well-known illustrator of the Old West who lived about a century ago. His pictures of western subjects, particularly cowboys and the life of the plains tribes, have always been an inspiration to me. Growing up in Oklahoma I had many opportunities to visit the Thomas Gilcrease Museum there. They hold a large group of Remington's paintings and sculptures that I came to know as a boy. In particular, they have a number of his late works devoted to painting night scenes or "nocturnes" as he called them. A collection of his nocturnes made up a travelling exhibition called The Color of Night a few years ago. If you'd like a sample of the Gilcrease collections, you can check them out at http://www.gilcrease.org/virtual.aspx
Although some would disparage illustrators like Remington, many contemporary realists recognize that without the work of people like him as well as other 20th century illustrators such as J.C. Leyendecker, Howard Pyle, and N.C. Wyeth to name only three, it seems clear that much of the expertise in representational painting that was hard-won in the preceding two or three centuries would have been lost. Illustrators soldiered on during the age of abstraction despite the art world's fascination with any number of "isms."

As mentioned below, this painting was done as a grisaille made using warm grays--umber and white--and then glazed minimally on the face and necktie.
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