Friday, February 12, 2010

More Gruppes of that same bridge, and another along with one of mine, not that I think I am Gruppes equal because I am not, not even close, but hey, i

Here is an 18" by 24" picture I did as a demo during the second snowcamp. I did a version of it during the first one, but I wanted another whack at it. I was asked in the comments if I ever did this, and the answer if yes. If I like a scene but not the picture I made there, I will try again. I am working at about a Gruppe level of finish here. Usually I work with more finish, but I do like to mix things up.

I was showing two versions of a covered bridge by Emile Gruppe, and I had a couple more handy, so here they are. Emile produced a lot of paintings. He painted for the market more than some of the others, and was repayed handsomely for his efforts. It does mean that his work can be uneven. There are some really good Gruppes, there are also some abominable ones. I am getting a little ahead of the syllabus on this , I intend to continue posting the history of American landscape painting. When I get to Gruppe, I will do a lot more on him. But that is a ways out. I intend to return to American landscape painting history soon, in fact.

This is the same bridge again. This time painted from the other side. Notice the colors that Gruppe has put on the side of that bridge. He is running compliments over top of one another. Red with green thrown on it.One of the commenters asked me if I thought it was good to retrofit a bridge that was too pristine with a more weathered look. I replied "absolutely" the picture is the thing, If it won't look good otherwise it is an essential thing to do. I am in favor of any change that makes a painting look good, and opposed to anything that keeps it from looking good.

Emile has really simplified this one. I like the soft way he has handled the transparent branches in the trees. We so often think of loose as being brutal. Here Emile is operating with great lightness and delicacy.

Their is a double Z composition here. The stream cuts to the right and gives a Z pattern, the road echos the same line and also makes a big Z. There is a nice repeated an rhythmic series of shapes in the three distant hills as they recede one behind another into space.

Across that bridge lived Tom Curtin in a little house with a storefront. He was one of the reason s all of the artists went up their to paint as they all knew him. I heard a story once about Tom Curtin putting some old paintings out in his trash. Gruppe came along, found them, finished them and signed his name to them. When Curtin found out he was furious. Maybe its just a story, I don't know. But these guys were Yankees and the depression had a big effect on them. Many of the places that they painted up in northern Vermont are relatively unchanged, although some are grown over a bit. Below is a shot of Waterville, Vermont that is totally unchanged today.

Gruppe and others made a lot of pictures in this town.


bobm said...

Great posts on Gruppe! Iam a fan of his! I like your painting as well.You have been putting out some great posts on winter painting,Thank you. I just received my Lefranc Tit. White today and have already given it a huge thumbs up!!! 15 degree's and nice and manageable with out any medium. Very pleased with price and quality. I have used 5 big tubes of different whites this winter and am most happy with the Lefranc! Thanks for the tip Sir!

Unknown said...

I like your title... and your painting ALOT.
Are you calling it finished? I think it is a complete statement. It has a really lovely feel about it.

Susan McCullough said...

Your painting is very beautiful Stapes-

DennyHollandStudio said...

Stape, you're making me want to paint snow big time. Been enjoying your posts and diligence with your blog- thank you! said...

Snow on roof tops always grab me.That last painting of Gruppe's presented here appears to be is simple but is elegantly designed. Very nice use of color too. Almost can't wait till you move up the landscape history time line.

One of the things that most amazed us watching that tree painting being painted during the demo is that we didn't see a painting out there where Stapleton did. Stapleton said that the expert landscape painters look out at any landscape and ask "What can I do with this?" they are not asking themselves "What can I paint". Such an important difference as demonstrated here.

Mary Bullock said...

I just got my Lefranc White too!

Robert J. Simone said...

The Gruppe posts seem to highlight two of the most fundamental painting truths:

1)There is no substitute for time spent behind the easel.

2)It's incumbent on the artist to imbue his/her subject with character.

willek said...

Stape's painting was a big lesson to me. He dragged us around to htat side of the property. As he set up his big easel I was looking around and saying to myuself, "Where the heck is the picture here?" and the rest was history. As we all now know, moreover, he had tried that picture the weekend before. So not only was there a picture there, but it was a strong picture at that and he knew enough to chase it. Good going Stape! said...

Actually, I'll correct myself here before Stapleton gets here.. The question most artists asks when beginning a painting is "How can I make it look like that” Where the experts ask "What can I do with that"

Jim Polewchak said...

Got my easel "tuned up" and painted on a private estate today. I spent the first hour in my normal boots and was cold after a short while. Made a trip to the Jeep and got the Cabela's and spent the rest of the day in comfort. Snow painting is even more addictive than shooting cannons!

Stapleton Kearns said...

Thanks. It is my favorite white. I don't know why Lefranc is not better known, they make a good paint and it is affordable.

Stapleton Kearns said...

Finished and sold.

Stapleton Kearns said...

Thank you.

Stapleton Kearns said...

It may snow in San Fran soon! The whole nation seems to be getting snow.

Stapleton Kearns said...

That last Gruppe is very decorative isn't it.The history thing is retu8rning soon.

Stapleton Kearns said...

Let me know how you like it.

Stapleton Kearns said...

Those are good points.

Stapleton Kearns said...

The longer I paint, the more pictures there are that need painting.

Stapleton Kearns said...

Yes that is correct.

Stapleton Kearns said...

Fill those "normal" boots with cement and fire them out of your cannon.

Cate Kashem said...

I love the story (even if it's just a myth) of Gruppe finishing the paintings and selling them. Now I understand why my Dad insists I cut any nonredeemable failure to pieces before throwing it away.

Incidentally, I have a deal with a "found object" artist acquaintance that I will give her scraps of my discarded paintings for use in her sculptures. That way the work has a new life but not a false one :)