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.