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LarrySeiler
01-11-2002, 11:04 PM
I purchased a book, written in 1938.... by Charles Hawthorne, artist and founding art instructor of the Cape Cod school... entitled, "Hawthorne on Painting"... got it on Amazon.com for about $5...

As a painter more recently converted to painting the majority of my paintings outdoors and on location, I have come to greatly identify with things he has said. By recent, I painted instudio for nearly 20 some years, and outdoors for about the past six years.

I like some of the quote he has such as-

"Painting is just getting one spot of color in relation to another spot of color--after you have covered acres of canvas you will know."

"Remember, no amount of good drawing will pull you out if your colors are not true. Get them true and you will be surprised how little else you will need."

"Have the courage to set down the colors you see there--overdo in color rather than be weak. See brilliant color, then paint it a little more brilliant than you see it."

On observing and painting flesh tones outdoors on a beach-
"To see a beautiful flesh tone against brilliant sand and to be able to recognize that a piece of muc color from the palette put against a brilliant yellow on the canvas will give the illusion of flesh on the beach--that takes an understanding which comes as a result of study."

Hawthorne does not think from what I've read, that drawing is that necessary for great painting. He warns that we need to use color to see form rather than see and make a form that we thereafter color in.

The question has come up as to whether my near 20 years indoors as a wildlife artist has not well equipped me now to paint painterly outdoors on location.

From my hindsight, I see that working indoors made me a careful observer, a reasoner, a seasoned draftsman with abilities to render and establish values, and able to understand color from a convergent analysis mode of thinking. Painting outdoors however, has nearly made me cynical now of many of the priorities I had formerly. I see now that for many many years I was an artist. Perhaps a good artist. I believe now however, that I am a better painter.

Painting outdoors. Seeing color as light reveals it. Time restraints of limiting light allowing only urgent spontaneous necessary strokes of color has shown me that a painting can be made with no other conscious thought but to see a color, its size and shape, and to make a mark that imitates it in all its brilliance.

Well...that's where its at for me anyway.

Larry

lori
01-11-2002, 11:15 PM
sounds like an impressionist at heart.

some of the quotes could be construed the same way as impressionist's painting light.

nice read, thanks for sharing it.

lori

domsanto
01-12-2002, 01:38 AM
Nice post, really made me think. Thanks.

LarrySeiler
01-12-2002, 08:41 AM
Originally posted by lori
sounds like an impressionist at heart.

some of the quotes could be construed the same way as impressionist's painting light.
lori

What's revelationary to me, is I guess I can better relate to that gulf that came to exist between the Impressionists and the critiques of the Paris Salons.

It was no doubt easier to criticize painters that might not have had studio academic training that just took up painter's boxes and went out to paint, insisting to be taught by nature alone. However, when an artist with such background finally endeavors to make the effort to develop the habit of painting outdoors...you do really begin to see color and painting "in a different light!" hee hee heeee pun intended.

It helps me better see also as an art teacher that has no choice but to try and understand artists, why there is friction and constant disagreement about what painting is, what it should accomplish, etc;

If your art is representational and done indoors, you will tend toward rendering, drawing, and values. Time and constant analysis I imagine calls more upon left brain involvement. There is less time and place for such analysis painting outdoors in limited light.

While drawing has its merits and its place, I can understand what Hawthorne and the Impressionists are saying. Painting, as simply described as placing one spot of color next to another is beginning to make even more sense to me...and seems to be the better way of approaching painting out of doors.

As Hawthorne describes, its more like letting the painting happen, less fighting with it. Thus, indoors....I rendered, using paint like a drawing tool. Outdoors, I paint spots of color, and let all sense of- drawing, form, rendering be thought to be seen in the viewer's mind. Simple. It works.

When you "experience" it working...it would be very difficult to yield to the demands of the Salon critiques. -Larry

bluochre
01-12-2002, 12:58 PM
it's my pleasure, larry, to read that you've found HAWTHORNE ON PAINTING, a tiny work by his wife. i have found hawthorne's words to be immeasurably important in developing and growing as a painter.

i have studied at the school hawthorne founded in 1900. the traditions of hawthorne persist to this day. to add to your recent find of the hawthorne book, may i suggest the following book, HENSCHE ON PAINTING by john w robichaux. it might not be an east book to locate, though it is also a small work, about the same size as the hawthorne book.

i mention the hensche book simply because henry hensche was a student of charles hawthorne. hensche, i believe, was the 'avant garde' of the two of these men. hensche is the man who really refined the teaching process for seeing color. and, in his paintings, he achieved the light key as had never been done before. i am saying that it was hensche's teaching which made hawthorne's words practical.

hensche developed a process for painters to grow in their knowledge and use of color. his legacy is remarkable for this alone.

there are many living individuals who are masters of the hawthorne/hensche model. their books are readily available at amazon or through various artist's book clubs.

i am pleased you have found hawthorne's words ! i hope you'll discover hensche's process.

bluochre

lori
01-12-2002, 03:29 PM
Originally posted by lseiler


What's revelationary to me, is I guess I can better relate to that gulf that came to exist between the Impressionists and the critiques of the Paris Salons.

It was no doubt easier to criticize painters that might not have had studio academic training that just took up painter's boxes and went out to paint, insisting to be taught by nature alone. However, when an artist with such background finally endeavors to make the effort to develop the habit of painting outdoors...you do really begin to see color and painting "in a different light!" hee hee heeee pun intended.

alot of the impressionist DID have academic training, they just rebelled against it. have you ever read the masterpiece by emile zola? this is a fictional account of the impressionists that is actually based on cezanne. its a great read, i bring this up because it gives a good psycological account of what was happening to the impressionists and the salon battle. especially informative because it was written from true accounts, since they were all there at the time. i recommend it highly.

While drawing has its merits and its place, I can understand what Hawthorne and the Impressionists are saying. Painting, as simply described as placing one spot of color next to another is beginning to make even more sense to me...and seems to be the better way of approaching painting out of doors.

i think indoors too. i don't think that this type of painting is ONLY condusive to outdoor painters. infact, the method you describe is exactly how i paint...indoors. i admit to a certain facination to actually painting outside, infact i have always wanted to go and paint outside, the problem is that my average painting is about 6' x 7', and i am so used to creating in this format that i can't imagine painting smaller, which is what i would have to do.

but someday, you may bump into me out there...lol.


As Hawthorne describes, its more like letting the painting happen, less fighting with it. Thus, indoors....I rendered, using paint like a drawing tool. Outdoors, I paint spots of color, and let all sense of- drawing, form, rendering be thought to be seen in the viewer's mind. Simple. It works.

well as i said earlier, i don't believe this is an outdoor painting trait. i remember a painting teacher telling me, "paint with your paints, don't draw with them!" something that i always tried to remember...

When you "experience" it working...it would be very difficult to yield to the demands of the Salon critiques. -Larry


i definitely agree!

kyrle
01-12-2002, 04:19 PM
Larry im a very newbie to this forum. I have just completed a dip in fine art as a mature student, and am very interested in the drawing /painting debate. I am just now beginning to understand paint that is deriving the form thru paint. I have been drawing all my life and never painted. its taken me some time to realise that having facility in drawing does not necessarily mean one can automatically paint.the difference between drawing with paint and painting with paint is of tremendous importance to me. Your post was really useful to me ..many thanks for a really great site one i will continue to use as long as its available to me.
kyrle

LarrySeiler
01-13-2002, 11:23 AM
Originally posted by bluochre
it's my pleasure, larry, to read that you've found HAWTHORNE ON PAINTING, a tiny work by his wife. i have found hawthorne's words to be immeasurably important in developing and growing as a painter.

i have studied at the school hawthorne founded in 1900. the traditions of hawthorne persist to this day.

wow....that sounds really cool....quite fortunate.


to add to your recent find of the hawthorne book, may i suggest the following book, HENSCHE ON PAINTING by john w robichaux. it might not be an east book to locate, though it is also a small work, about the same size as the hawthorne book.

I'll spend some time lookin' for it....


there are many living individuals who are masters of the hawthorne/hensche model. their books are readily available at amazon or through various artist's book clubs.

i am pleased you have found hawthorne's words ! i hope you'll discover hensche's process.

bluochre

thanks bluochre....

I came upon such somewhat by accident, well...in that in my own painting development I simply began to discover some of these things on my own. In my painting demo's online, I have said many similar things in my own words and from my own experience.

Of course...in time you meet other artists who paint similar, whose world is opening to them, and then you discover who influenced their progress. Here I come to discover that Hawthorne, and others have mastered what I am set out to master...so, its like joining a fraternity. A great community of prior existence that validifies and offers support/encouragement.

As an older art teacher, we spend so much emphasis on European histories, that American Impressionism is virtually hardly known among educators. For the past six years or so, I have been feeding on "American Art Review" and learning. I am convinced the finest Impressionists and colorists were right here in America. It seems little by little they are getting their due, being discovered and understood. First by the artists, then by the public. Such discovery comes as traditions are rekindled.

thanks for making your intro and suggestions...! Curious what your prime subject interests are. I know that portraiture and landscapes were Charles main work.

-Larry

LarrySeiler
01-13-2002, 11:39 AM
I bookmarked some places to look for used copies of Hensche's, but...I did find a great website, or so it would appear, and will spend some time there.....

http://www.thehenschefoundation.org/

Larry

bluochre
01-14-2002, 05:29 AM
you are so correct, larry, in your assessment of the american impressionists. i do believe that it was wm merrit chase at the art students league (ny) that influenced the focus on seeing/color/plein air ! what treasures we have, whether from the connecticut impressionists, the cape cod groups, or eventually from the california impressionists. all brilliant colorists, right.

hensche's landscapes and still lifes on the hensche foundation site are jewels of such pure color. he primarily painted with a knife, having achieved such control ! a few years ago i viewed one larger work (hensche) which he painted with a regular dinnerware knife. the placement of colors, one next to the other, and the control of the edges, made the viewing experience for me, one to not fade quickly.

i read diane johnson's notation about susan sarback's book in the thread about being mud conscious. susan does detail the hensche approach to color because she studied with hensche. her book does give you some specifics about color theory and mixing you might find helpful.

age can slow us down, but working directly in nature offers us such profound and humbling moments.

bluochre

blondheim12
01-14-2002, 12:29 PM
Hensche looks like a fauvist to me.
Love,
Linda

llis
01-14-2002, 04:31 PM
I delight in impressionistic works. I think the very thing I enjoy the most is understanding how some impressionists, take for instance Monet, took color and conveyed so much with so little detail.

It's amazing to me how some painters can convey so much by a mear touch of paint. Monet and others could paint a landscape and prove it was a sunny, summer day about 2 o'clock just by the color choices and value placement. The greens are so much more than green. The blues so much more than just blue. Sigh.

Now when I look at works, I ask myself, can I tell what time of day it was? Does the color say 2 o'clock? What a goal to strive for.

llis
01-14-2002, 04:35 PM
Originally posted by blondheim12
Hensche looks like a fauvist to me.
Love,
Linda

Shucks Linda, *grin*

I had to look it up.

Main Entry: fau·vism
Pronunciation: 'fO-"vi-z&m
Function: noun
Usage: often capitalized
Date: 1922
: a movement in painting typified by the work of Matisse and characterized by vivid colors, free treatment of form, and a resulting vibrant and decorative effect

LarrySeiler
01-14-2002, 06:01 PM
Originally posted by llis
Now when I look at works, I ask myself, can I tell what time of day it was? Does the color say 2 o'clock? What a goal to strive for.

Okay Llis...puttin' myself on the spot here.
The piece isn't finished, but its essence is captured. Guess what time of day this was, where the sun was in relationship to me?

http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?threadid=28972

Larry