Monday, March 28, 2011

George Inness in Italy... a must-see for me!

"Twilight on the Campagna"
George Inness in Italy (through May 15, 2011), now at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, features ten oil  paintings that survey Inness’s Italian subjects dating from 1850 to 1879. A canonical figure in American painting,  Inness (1825–1894) is widely admired as the pioneer of Tonalism, which is notable for its soft focus and translucent layers of paint.

Twilight on the Campagna, Inness's first major work completed in italy, was recently conserved and has not been on view at the museum since 1952. I have long admired his landscapes, especially as the artist settled  in my home state of New Jersey and painted many familiar scenes in and around Monclair (The Montclair Art Museum houses an impressive collection of his work). Looking forward to viewing this latest exhibit.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Understanding Hue, Value and Chroma

If you weren't familiar with Graydon Parrish’s prominent body of work 
Graydon illustrates a point
before attending his annual summer color workshop at Grand Central Academy of Art, (GCA)

New York City, 
you wouldn't know it any better upon completion. That’s because Parrish, a realist painter in the classical tradition, is one of those rare instructors intent on helping students understand the principles of his subject, not demonstrating how talented he is, or using the teaching forum to promote his work. 

"White Roses"  by Graydon Parrish
Mind you, Parrish is an extraordinary artist, as evidenced by the body of work on his website ( and the attached painting of his (a favorite of mine) “White Roses.” 
Taking a break from color mixing!
 Munsell tools of the trade
In the forefront of adapting the 
color theories of Albert Munsell for use in traditional painting methods, Parrish introduced 15 eager workshop participants (myself included) to the functional use of Munsell's unique, numeric system for accurately describing every color that exists.  Heady stuff, to say the least, but under Parrish's competent guidance, each student completed a complex series of color-mixing  and painting exercises and came away with an arsenal  of workable solutions for identifying color by its dimensions of Hue,  Value and Chroma. 

For an in-depth overview of Graydon's color workshop, check out the April issue of The Artist's Magazine and my article entitled "Rational Color."