Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Staring down an elk....

I've had a couple particularly fun paintings on my easel in the last several days....

Ms. Elk  16" x 20" oil on linen by Shirl Ireland
(My subject is in the collection of the Yellowstone Heritage and Research Center.)

The road from Mammoth to Old Faithful opened for the season...
I was in there bright and early to catch the sunrise on canvas.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Birds, Bikes & Bison

 Around here, birds, bikes and bison are definitely signs that Spring has sprung....

Spring biking season in Yellowstone is short, but VERY sweet. We try to take advantage every year. After the roads have been plowed, but before they are opened to vehicle traffic, they are opened to bikes. We rode to Indian Creek in Yellowstone this year. It's so much fun to have Yellowstone 'to yourself on a beautiful spring day'....

With Spring, we've been thinking BIRDS. John has a couple great bird sculptures 'in the works'...
kingfisher in clay - (to be bronzed)

kingfisher detail

osprey dive in clay - (to be bronzed)

osprey detail

Our Yellowstone Zoo
- photos from our windows -
Some great birds have been around our property lately. I saw my 'first crane of the year' on the property this week and we had a couple herons visiting. Also, the osprey are back fishing in the Yellowstone River. We've seen them catch a few fish already - always an amazing sight!

Some of my better bird photos from this week....

A Great Blue Heron

fishing in the Yellowstone River
catching 'a big one'!

and swallowing that big fish whole -
look close, that's the tail sticking out of his bill!

My 'first sandhill crane of the year' flying by our property...

An osprey flying by - they've been fishing here a lot lately!...(and I WILL get a good photo of a dive)

And much easier to capture in a photo than birds flying by -
but still VERY exciting to see around the property - LOTS of bison....
We had a small bison herd making it's way right through our driveway earlier today. This time of year you need to check first before you run outside!

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Joaquin Sorolla - WOW, what an exhibition!

We've recently returned from the Joaquin Sorolla art exhibition in Dallas, Texas -
Sorolla and America

Here's the link.... The Show leaves Dallas on April 19, but heads to San Diego for the summer.

An amazing show and one of my favorite painters - so a post of Sorolla is warranted. My generalization of his work... HUGE plein air canvases with fabulous brushwork.
A self portrait in the Show.
 My favorite pieces at the Show were his beach scenes... 

Here's a photo of him plein air painting on the beach....

WOW - huh? Look at the size of that canvas!

Sorolla 101:

He was born in Valencia on February 27, 1863. He was orphaned at the age of 2. From an early age it was clear that Sorolla had a passion for art. Instead of academic study, the young Sorolla would spend his school days making drawings in his copybooks and by the age of 15 he was winning major prizes for his paintings at the Academy of Valencia.

His extraordinary talent was brought to the attention of Antonia Garcia, a famous Valencian photographer, whose daughter, Clotilde, Sorolla would later marry.

By his mid 20s Sorolla had firmly established himself on the national stage and by 30 he had displayed paintings in salons and international exhibitions in Madrid, Paris, Venice, Munich, Berlin, and Chicago. By the turn of the century Sorolla was recognised as one of the western world’s greatest living artists, receiving gold medals in several major international exhibitions.

Sewing The Sail - a very famous painting of Sorolla's

Over the first decade of the 20th century Sorolla’s output was incredible, both in quality and quantity. As well as painting many striking portraits, his new found wealth enabled him to devote himself more fully to painting where and what he wanted. Throughout this decade Sorolla was completing hundreds of paintings each year, often huge canvases painted direct on the beach.

In 1909, the Hispanic Society of America hosted an exhibition of Sorolla’s works in New York City. Of the 356 paintings on show a total of 195 were sold.

 In 1911 Sorolla started work on a major commission to produce a series of vast panels celebrating the life and customs of the different regions of Spain for the Hispanic Society’s new headquarters in New York. This enormous and exhausting endeavour was to dominate the next 8 years of Sorolla's life, although he still managed to find time to paint some of his most stunning beach scenes.

Sorolla suffered a paralyzing stroke in 1920 and died three years later.

More links:
Sorolla's home and museum in Spain....

And if you want to know even more. Buy the book from the Sorolla and America exhibition. We bought it and I'm working my way through all 534 pages! Definitely an artist you need to know from art history.