Saturday, March 27, 2010

Seascape book report.

Fredrick Waugh above from artrenewal.org
One of the comments I received last night was this;

I purchased two books recently; the first is Paint the Sea in Oils by E. John Robinson which I found to be very helpful. It is available on Amazon. The second is one I found on Alibris, published in 1975, called How to Paint Successful Seascapes by Roger Curtis. I wonder if you have any thoughts on these two books particularly the Curtis book since you and he have a similar Rockport experience.

I guess I will start with a list of some of the books on seascape and some opinions on those. The E. John Robinson book is available and I think it is useful. A lot of good information is in there and it is one of the better books . There is much good information on designing foam patterns and understanding the form of a wave. I don't believe that any book on the market is ideal and I suggest you read as many as you can and try to synthesize them.. ( I know that's a tall order, but there is no John Carlson for seascape painting).

The commenter also mentions Roger Curtis. Rogers son, David, was my roommate when I studied with Ives Gammell. I went for a visit to his home and met his father the year that book was published I believe in 1975. I haven't seen a copy of it in many years and can't say much about it. If you have it, and like it, let me know.

The classic text is : Borlase Smart's Seascape painting step by step. Smarts book is the best I guess, but it is a bit odd in my opinion. Smart's palette seems very strange to me and the whole thing is sort of pre Beatles English poofter. Still there is a lot of good information to be extracted from it. It reminds me a little of Rickenbacker guitars and Humble Hawks. Sometimes the British can be very, well,........foreign. Sometimes not. In this instance they are a little quaint. Still this is probably the best available text.

Walter Foster, those people who sell the thin "how to" books in the art supply stores published a book on Waugh paintings that is still in print. It is the only available source of Waugh reproductions commonly available. Waugh had a collector named Ulrich who made his large collection available to Walter Foster. If you want to study seascape, this thin book is a must.

There is really no Waugh book currently available. I read a bio of him years ago form the library. It seems unfindable now. Some of you who like to hunt books might find it. It has a hard cover and must be 20 or 30 years out of print. Perhaps your local library can find it within their system for you.

Jack Coggins wrote a book entitled "The Marine Painters Guide" It is a good all around text for the beginner marine painter.Tthat really means boats, and harbors and sailing craft more than surf painting. Jack does however, throw in one chapter on surf painting and it is OK, but not exhaustive.

There are also about 50 titles with free and easy in the name. There are stacks of really amateur texts for the most amateur market. Particularly from the great era of amateur watercolor from 1950 to 1985. I have no idea why there would be so many weak books for absolute tyro's, but there are. Avoid em!










18 comments:

Philip Koch said...

Hey, that is a nice Waugh on this new post! Thanks for showing it.

Jan Blencowe said...

Thanks for the book report, you get an "A"! I just ordered 2 of the books on your list. Found good used copies at amazon via your links.

I ordered the E. John Robinson book and the quirkey English dude whose name escapes me right now!

I love art books!

JT Harding said...

Thanks. I'll check out these books. I'll be painting on Cape Cod most of the summer and may have a chance to meet Robert Hunter who also studied under Ives Gammell.

billspaintingmn said...

Good report Stape! Thanks!
That Waugh is new to me, doesn't it seem alive?!
I can hear/feel the slurp of it.
(How do you pronounce his name?)

barbara b. land of boz said...

Stapleton, thank you for the book
list. Which book taught you the most about the anatomy of the wave?
Your way of teaching us how to
construct the wave was amazing. I can walk myself through the process by recalling what you said as you painted. Lind S. sent me photos (also e-mailed to you I believe) of the wave action that really allows you to see the stop action.

Thank you one more time for all the hard work you do in writing this blog.

barbara b.

JRonson said...

Looks a romantic painting from turner ou constable, nice job ;D

ARMAND CABRERA said...

Stapleton,
Great post on one of my favorite painters. the book on Waugh was written in '69 by George R. Havens. Not many color pictures but in the back it has Waugh's thoughts on painting seascapes from a how to book he had written but was never published. It was supposedly ten chapters on "Sea Painting" The information is very good though and worth the read if you can find a copy. They ten to go for around 200 bucks now but every once in awhile one will show up on ebay for 30 bucks or so.

Best.

Stapleton Kearns said...

Philip:
It is one of my favorites.
.................Stape

Stapleton Kearns said...

Jan:
I am going to mention another soon that I forgot.
............Stape

Stapleton Kearns said...

JT;
Say hello to Hunter for me.
.................Stape

Stapleton Kearns said...

Bill;
Waugh rhymes with claw.
..............Stape

Stapleton Kearns said...

Barbara:
The Robinson book or the Smart book are about equal. Neither is authoritative the way Carlson is for landscape.
....................Stape

Stapleton Kearns said...

JRonson;
Maybe, but that's a stretch.
...............Stape

Stapleton Kearns said...

Thanks Armand;
I wish I had a copy of that. I do have some excerpted quotes I intend to trot out soon.
...............Stape

Jim Nolan said...

Stape - I think most would find the Curtis book interesting. He has a couple of chapters on design and composition which, given my limited experience, were very helpful. A few colored plates but mostly black and white. On p. 154 he has a section on " Accidents" and says they "...are often superior to anything you might have consciously planned. They're part of the real joy of painting - and, believe it or not, about 80% of marine work is composed of them." I cannot imagine that anyone following this blog would agree.
I have another book of his "Color in Outdoor painting" in which he describes his color pool method using 32 problems to be solved. I thought it somewhat unusual. These two books together with Gruppe's on Brushwork and Color, and Strisik's on Landscape Painting each have one thing in common - they are edited by Charles Movalli. I recall in one of your blogs last fall he was included in the list of the many artists you were associated with while at the Rockport Art Museum. It would appear that he was THE man of letters in Rockport. What kind of artist was he?
BTW you are to commended on the quality of your writing. You can precis your comments, beliefs, experiences, artistic knowledge, and ideas into each sentence and paragraph in a style similar to the quality British publications, e.g. the Economist.
I echo the appreciation expressed in the other comments = great posts

Chris said...

First, thanks very much for your informative and entertaining blog. Your generosity and knowledge is appreciated.

On topic, I have a book by Stanley Woodward called 'Marine Painting in oil and watercolor'. The edition I have is from 1967, but it was originally published in 1947. Publisher Watson-Guptill. It seems like a good intro. to the subject, but I haven't studied it. Ever seen it?

Chris

Jim Nolan said...

Stape - I think most would find the Curtis book interesting. He has a couple of chapters on design and composition which, given my limited experience, were very helpful. A few colored plates but mostly black and white. On p. 154 he has a section on " Accidents" and says they "...are often superior to anything you might have consciously planned. They're part of the real joy of painting - and, believe it or not, about 80% of marine work is composed of them." I cannot imagine that anyone following this blog would agree.
I have another book of his "Color in Outdoor painting" in which he describes his color pool method using 32 problems to be solved. I thought it somewhat unusual. These two books together with Gruppe's on Brushwork and Color, and Strisik's on Landscape Painting each have one thing in common - they are edited by Charles Movalli. I recall in one of your blogs last fall he was included in the list of the many artists you were associated with while at the Rockport Art Museum. It would appear that he was THE man of letters in Rockport. What kind of artist was he?
BTW you are to commended on the quality of your writing. You can precis your comments, beliefs, experiences, artistic knowledge, and ideas into each sentence and paragraph in a style similar to the quality British publications, e.g. the Economist.
I echo the appreciation expressed in the other comments = great posts

March 27, 2010 9:16 PM

climber-man said...

Great Post, I highly recommend Robinsons book "Paint the Sea in Oils Using Special Effects" also. It is probably the most sought after and well written book on seascape painting. The others are good too.

-Brian
http://www.Lear2Paint.info