Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Bewitching Secrets of Watercolor

The title is not mine, but a direct quote from "Watercolors of Winslow Homer: The Color of Light" by Martha Tedeschi, et al., from a show at the Art Institute of Chicago.

In my last post I mentioned 'reveling in materials' as a motivation of myself and I think of many artists. You can say all you want about artists thoughts and writings, even my own thoughts and writings, but often it comes down to something much more simple: a great enjoyment in experimenting with the materials of art. My guess is that the same can be said for music.

In any case I was struck by this quote when I neared the end of the book today:

One can find here a metaphor for Homer's sustained relationship with watercolor itself. It was in this medium that the artist had conveyed his most immediate expressions and experiences while also clearly reveling in the beautiful effects that it alone allowed him to pursue. Over three decades of focused work and travel he had discovered the bewitching secrets of watercolor's unique marriage of color, water and light.

Homer was the master of 'reveling in the beautiful effects' of watercolor while at the same time being true to light, water, subject. It would be hard to find a better example for someone who wants to work in watercolor.


Anonymous said...

You're so right about the great inspiration of Winslow Homer- who was a master of oils and could create the most luminous watercolors. John Singer Sargent was another example of a dark-to-light artist who could shine equally in light-to-dark.

Great post!

Ken Januski said...

Thanks Debbie,

I can just never get enough of Winslow Homer, especially the watercolors. As soon as I look at one of them I want to be both outside and outside painting!

I keep telling myself that I should also look more at Sargent but I still haven't gotten around to it. I guess better to have too many artists you want to spend more time looking at than too few.

Thanks for stopping by!