CHILDREN PLAYING ON THE BEACH

Mary Cassatt was the “new woman” of the 19th century – a highly-trained artist who never married.  During the Impressionist Period, when female artists were generally dismissed with contempt and confined to painting indoors, she competed admirably with established male artists.  She even developed a close friendship with Edgar Degas while living and working in France, and the two became close collaborators for a long period of time.

By 1866, Cassatt had established herself as a uniquely skilled painter of mothers and children.  Many believe Children Playing on the Beach was a tribute to her sister, who died in 1882, and was perhaps inspired by a trip she took with her ailing mother to Spain, where the two sought the healing power of the seaside climate.  Whatever the muse, this work was clearly special to her.

Children Playing on the Beach (original and copy in progress)
Children Playing on the Beach, 1884, Mary Cassatt (original and copy in progress)

Children Playing on the Beach is very special to me. It was a favorite of my late husband, who never got to see it in person, and after it was relocated to Gallery #85, I simply couldn’t resist copying it.

I also love this work because it’s one of the best demonstrations of Cassatt’s superior skill with color and process.  Palettes were quite limited at that time, and yet she’s able to bring out so many shades that the painting almost appears to echo contrasting moods.  For example, the subtle blues of the ocean and sky effectively convey the feeling of cool, possibly dreary weather over the sea, while the vivid blues she uses in the girls’ dresses evoke a feeling of warmth, sunshine and happiness.  She was an absolute genius with color.

As most paints do, Mary Cassatt’s have aged over time.  I could have chosen to copy Children Playing on the Beach using my interpretation of the colors she used in 1884, but instead I chose to create a copy as close to the current version as possible. As always, it will be a challenge because matching color is one of the most difficult tasks a copyist faces.

I’ve learned a great deal from Mary Cassatt. Her remarkable use of color as well as her ability to manipulate brush and paint to create beautiful strokes is inspirational. Join me in Gallery #85 where I’ll be working on copying another wonderful Impressionist painting The Harbor at Lorient, 1869, by Berthe Morisot.

 

 

 

New Exhibit at the Delaplaine

The Frederick County Art Association will open its Member Exhibit with a reception this Saturday, January 4th from 3 to 5 pm at the Delaplaine Visual Arts Center, 40 S. Carroll Street in Frederick, Maryland.  I have entered two works into the exhibit, “Young Dancer” and “Bridge at Argenteuil” after Monet.  I hope to see many of my friends and family at the reception.  It is also First Saturday in downtown Frederick which offers many activities to be enjoyed all over town, not to mention great restaurants and shopping.  So bundle up, come out and enjoy the town as well as great art during the opening of several new exhibits at the Delaplaine.

Young Dancer
Young Dancer
The Bridge at Argenteuil after Claude Monet
The Bridge at Argenteuil after Claude Monet

On Tuesday, January 7th I will be putting the finishing touches on my copy of Vincent van Gogh “Roses” at the National Gallery of Art.  I’m also very excited to see for the first time the NGA’s newest acquisition of van Gogh’s painting “Green Wheat Fields, Auvers,” which has not been seen publicly since 1966 and was painted months before the artist’s death in 1890.  It hangs right next to “Roses” in gallery #83 so I will be able to admire it all day long.

On Tuesday, January 21st I will begin work on Paul Cezanne’s “Landscape near Paris” in the Impressionist gallery.  This masterpiece is a bit different from the ones I’ve previously copied.  It is a very loose oil painting done in thin washes almost like a watercolor. It will be a new challenge for me.  I will keep you posted on the progress.

Happy Holidays

Happy Holidays from Frederick, Maryland 2013
Happy Holidays from Frederick, Maryland 2013

I would like to share a quote from Fritz Scholder, an artist whose work has been exhibited at the Institute of American Indian Arts Museum in Santa Fe, New Mexico.  His words captured my attention, especially at this time of year when we’re all caught up in the hustle and bustle of the holidays.  My hope is that this message will be inspirational to everyone .

Spend time patting a dog or cat.  Look up and down.  Believe in the unknown, for it is there.  Live in many places.  Live with flowers and music and books and paintings and sculpture.  Keep a record of your time.  Learn to write well.  Learn to read well. Learn to listen and talk well.  Know your country, know the world, know your history, know yourself.  Take care of yourself physically and mentally.  Be good to yourself.  You owe it to yourself.  Be good to those around you.  And do all of these things with passion.  FRITZ SCHOLDER, MAY 12, 1983

For me it is a learning process.  Something I will continue to work on for the rest of my life.  

Dan and I wish all of you a very happy and blessed holiday season and a healthy 2014.  

Holiday Ornaments

It seems as if the holidays began in October.  I’m not the only one thinking this way;  others have expressed the same feeling.  This past Tuesday it felt strange not to be at the National Gallery of Art working on my copy of Vincent van Gogh’s “Roses.”  It was grandparents day at our granddaughter Caroline’s school, a yearly event we attend with joy and pride.  I’ll be back at the NGA next Tuesday and expect to be closer to completion of my copy.

This year I decided to create holiday ornaments depicting scenes of Frederick, Maryland.  Each ornament is hand painted in acrylic and shows a popular landmark around downtown.  The scenes are painted on glass ornaments from photographs I’ve taken and been collecting throughout the years.  Someone asked me to do a portrait of their home on an ornament so I thought painting Frederick scenes would be a fun project.  I’m going to try to paint a small facial portrait on one.  That will be a challenge!  Although, last year for a class assignment, our teacher asked us to paint a portrait the size of a quarter.  I didn’t think it was possible but I managed to pull it off. We’ll see what happens.

The Frederick ornaments may be seen in the gift shop of The Delaplaine Visual Arts Education Center, 40 South Carroll St., Frederick, MD (301)698-0656.

I wish all of my friends, family and followers a very happy and safe Thanksgiving.

Holiday Cards

 

These images are of cards from past years and are available for purchase at “The Candy Kitchen” 52 N. Market St. Frederick, Maryland, and at the “Delaplaine Visual Arts Education Center” 40 S. Carroll St. Frederick, MD beginning in October.  They may also be special ordered through this web-site.  See HOW TO PURCHASE/COMMISSIONS.