I took a drive down to the Old Lyme Art Association today. I am going to write a little about that and we can return to the fitting table and some nice screw eyes and D rings tomorrow. I was invited to be in a show there called The New England Landscape, that opens on Friday Sept 25 and runs until December 5.
At the turn of the century artists began coming to paint in the summer and stay at the Florence Griswold House. The first was Henry Ward Ranger who was a seminal tonalist painter. The American impressionist painters followed and for a generation Old Lyme Connecticut was THE American Impressionist summer art colony. It drew Childe Hassam, Willard Metcalf, and numerous others including Bruce Crane who I wrote about a week or two ago.
In 1907 Metcalf did a painting of the Flo Griz, as it is affectionately called. It was of the grand house in the moonlight that was bought by the Corcoran. It made both he and the Flo Gris famous.The artists painted decorative panels about the house. It has been newly restored and it can be toured. Here is an old photo taken of Metcalf and the others on the back porch of the building.
Image from: Sunlight and Shadow by Elizabeth de Veer and Richard J. Boyle Abbeville Press 1987
Metcalf is on the end, turned to face the camera. I took a photo on that porch today, here that is;
As you who have read this blog for a while know, I enjoy finding places that the "old guys" worked and hung out. Here is another shot of the Art Association which opened in 1921.
The building was designed by a well known architect of that time, Charles Platt, who was also a painter and etcher. He had studied painting in Paris and was a friend to many of that generation of American impressionist painters.
After Metcalfs wife began an affair with his student, Robert Nesbit, Metcalf no longer came to Old Lyme, but began traveling to paint in Cornish, New Hampshire. Most of the great Metcalfs were painted there. Here is one now.
I have painted around Cornish, a number of times.. The area around the Platt house where Metcalf stayed is heavily posted and their seems to be no way for an artist to park a car or work in that area. But the Platt home where Metcalf stayed when he was in Cornish still remains and is well maintained and as elegant as it must have been a century ago.
For you art history buffs, here is tonight's weird little art historical factoid. Charles Platts wife, Eleanor was the widow of American Impressionist painter Dennis Miller Bunker. Bunker had died tragically young, shortly after their marriage.
Since I was driving down to deliver a painting I contacted Jan Blencowe, a heroine of the twitter world. I called her up and suggested that we paint together today. I told you before, I am not shy. She has built an enormous following using twitter. She has 1800 followers, I guess that's a lot.
I had never met her, but I read some of her tweets and I decided she could probably teach me some about social media as a promotion tool. She explained that there is no large city near her in that part of Connecticut, so she decided to connect with a larger audience using social media. Jan told me that galleries now find her through her presence on Twitter and elsewhere on the web. Here she is painting with me on a tidal marsh near Old Lyme. Here is a link to her web site.
We had a great time painting and talking about self promotion on the net. It was pretty gray today and I didn't make much of a painting. I tell myself that each day I will either get a painting or a lesson. Today I got a lesson.