Sunday, August 7, 2011
Here I am again. Thank you for tolerating my reduced schedule on the blog, again I am not going away, just spacing things out so I can paint more. I wrote almost a thousand posts in a row without missing a day. I need to adopt a less driven system for a while., but I may return to that when winter comes. If you are new to reading this blog, I would point you towards the archives. I began this with the intention of writing down everything I thought an artist ought to know. That turned into a big project. The first 400 or so posts are like an art school, I started with the materials and worked outwards from there. If you want to get the most from the blog I suppose the best way is to go back to the beginning and read forward from there.
The blog has been described as a rabbit hole. There is no good way to know what is in it in order, but a reader is working to build an index to the site, an enormous task, and I am grateful to him for undertaking that effort. When it is ready I will post a link to it. I am afraid it will take him a very long time.
John Pike was an American watercolorist, who was born in Boston in 1911. Pike was a student of Richard Miller, and Charles Hawthorne. Pike did a lot of magazine illustration and ran a watercolor school in Woodstock, New York, the same town as John Carlson's summer extension of the Art Students League. He died in 1979.
I bring John Pike to your attention because he wrote a wonderful book on painting, "John Pike Paints Watercolors". There is an Amazon link below if you want a copy. I have read my copy many times. The book was originally published in 1978 right before the authors death.
Pikes paintings are far less direct than my own work, he is a broad watercolorist. There was a school of American watercolor that existed up until about his death that had a look to it and many practitioners. Someday there are about 10 blog posts to do on that, but that is a ways out there. Many of them were from California, although Pike was not. Watercolor now seems to be a drug on the market ( I always wondered why that means hard to sell, you would think the opposite) and few of my galleries show them anymore. The best watercolorists I know are now painting in oil. I am sure That is cyclical though and watercolor will come back.
As I am exclusively an oil painter it might seem odd that I am recommending a watercolor "how to" book. But this book is useful to anyone painting in any medium. The book is mostly demos.
Each of the demonstrations in the book begins with the charcoal drawing from which it was made and most of the plates are in color so you do get a good look at how the paintings were made.
Pike shows how he progresses from sketches to the paintings which are done in the studio from them. The second half of the book is a gallery of his paintings, and he was very good. The paintings are in a style that seems a little dated today, but they are very well done and if there were no art instruction in the book I would recommend it on the strength of his art. I have little interest in books about painting by people who don't do it well.
This was in the comments from the last post. I thought it was great and am posting it here.
Maineland said...Something that works for me. I make all my appointments on Wednesdays. Dentist, hair cut, car repairs. I used to do this for environmental reasons now that and so I don't have to cut into studio time.
THERE is a great idea. Thanks Maineland whoever you are. That seems so obvious. If I had to guess, I would guess that this is an idea from a mom managing small children a home and operating on a tight budget. They are a special class of experts with expertise in time management and accustomed to the challenge of pecking away at tasks that are open ended and larger than can actually be accomplished.