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Posts Tagged ‘Maxfield Parrish’

Maybe it’s a morning for daydreaming. There’s a sharp crispness in the air this morning that reminds me of autumn mornings, gloriously cool and bright. But we’re lingering in July with the gauzy summer days of August still before us, so there is still a bit of time before those fall mornings arrive. So I’ll daydream of those days ahead.

I guess this leads me to today’s musical selection. I thought I’d carry on the daydreaming theme with a classical piece from Claude Debussy. It is titled Reverie which is just another way of saying daydream.  I chose this version from Eugene Ormandy and the Philadelphia Orchestra because it features a nice slideshow of Maxfield Parrish paintings, all of which easily fall into the category of daydreams.

Give a look and a listen. Let your mind float for a bit and have a good day.


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Maxfield Parrish- Daybreak

Maxfield Parrish- Daybreak

I saw this year’s schedule for the Fenimore Art Museum in Cooperstown and was excited to see that on it there was  an exhibit of work from the great Maxfield Parrish. Titled Maxfield Parrish: The Art of Light and Illusion, this show opens May 23 and features 45 pieces– paintings, prints and sketches– as well as some of the props for which he was well known for using.  Here is how the Fenimore describes Parrish’s career on their site:

As one of the most popular American artists of the twentieth century, Maxfield Parrish created fantastic images of fairy-tale figures and idyllic landscapes in a style that was all his own. Through a prolific career that spanned from the 1890s through the 1960s, Parrish became one of America’s first truly “public” artists. The mass reproduction of his paintings—originally intended as book and magazine illustrations, advertisements, calendars, and murals—ensured his reputation as one of the most widely-known figures in the history of art. It has been said that in 1925 a lithograph of his most well-known painting Daybreak [seen at the top of this page] could be found in one out of every four American homes.  Parrish’s magical artwork continues to capture the imagination and inspire today’s artists, musicians, and filmmakers.

Maxfield ParrishI have written here before that he was an influence on my work, especially in the luscious quality of color that he used in almost all of his work.  I liked his better known works, such as Daybreak, here at the top, but it was his lesser known work, quiet landscapes with compositions that intensified the quietness of the solitude they portrayed, that were my favorites.  But I have never seen many of his pieces in person and am really looking forward to being able to closely examine them in the intimate space of the Fenimore.  There is something about seeing the hand of the artist on the surface of a painting that makes me feel somehow connected to the artist, that allows me to imagine them at work at that particular moment when they made that mark.

If you have seen much of my work you will probably recognize Parrish’s influence that I took from the painting below, Aquamarine.  The shape of the tree and the promontory on which it stands, the proportions  of sky and sea, and the way the land sits on the horizon all found their way into my own vocabulary.  More than those obvious elements was the emotional tone that I saw in it and wanted for my own work.

Just great work and a show to which I am really looking forward to seeing up close.

maxfield-parrish-aquamarine

 

 

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Photo by Sean Hacker Teper/ National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest

Photo by Sean Hacker Teper/ National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest

This photo, taken by Sean Hacker Teper, was one of the finalists in the 2014 National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest.  This photo, taken at the End of the World swing in Banos, Ecuador, captures a man on the swing overlooking an erupting Mt. Tungurahua on February 1st of this year.   Shortly after the photo was taken, the area was evacuated because of an incoming ash cloud.

This photo captured my eye immediately.  It reminds me of a Maxfield Parrish painting with the blue of its sky and the way the sunlight illuminates the spewing ash cloud and the trees in the foreground.   The swinging man’s posture along with the color and airiness give this a sense of whimsy and delight that makes an interesting contrast to the sense of fear and wonder produced by the erupting volcano.

To see the rest of the top photos from this contest, click here.  There are some amazing shots.

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Yesterday, I pulled  a book off the shelf about the work of the great illustrator/painter Maxfield Parrish.  I’ve always been drawn to his work and feel that it’s been a definite influence on my own.  I had someone who had seen my show at the Fenimore Art Museum say that he was attracted to my work because they were the paintings he wanted to paint.  Looking at the work of Maxfield Parrish, I think I understand what he means.  Below is a reposting of a blog entry from January of 2009 that I think really summarizes what I see in his work and how I have incorporated some of these things into my own.

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parrish-christmas-morning-1949Today I want to just show the influence of Maxfield Parrish on my work. He is certainly well known for his fairy tale-like scenes of scantily-clad young women or children in fantastical settings but I have always loved his other, lesser known work, particularly his landscapes and homescapes. 

There’s an intensity and warmth of color that I find completely compelling, drawing you in immediately and immersing you in a luxurious blanket of warm tones. For instance, in the piece above, Christmas Morning 1949, even though it is a wintry, snowy scene there are warm tones in the snow fields. It changes how you look at and feel about the scene, differentiating it from the normal, obvious winter landscape. 

parrish-hunt-farm1I am also visually excited by the way Parrish used gradience in the colors of his skies, taking a deep rich color at top and drawing it down in lighter fragments of the colors that make up the original color. It creates a brilliant effect. 

The trees often took a central part in his compositions as well, something to which I was obviously attracted. Many were boldly colored and powerful. 

The houses were mainly long range and very idyllic, warm interpretations. More home than house. There was never a specific story conveyed in these homes, just an overall feeling that was formed by their part in the overall picture. parrish-hill-top-farm-winter

I have also been influenced by the way Parrish put his compositions together, how all the elements were placed to create mood. The way the trees fill the picture plane. The way the houses are shown, never in full view. More about feeling and inference rather than representation. 

I could go on and on about his work and all the little things comprising his magic that I’ve tried to incorporate into my own work but the images tell the story much better. Enjoy…

parrishevening-shadows1parrish-the-reservoir-at-villa-falconieri-frascati1

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Maxfield Parrish

Parrish  Christmas Morning 1949Today I want to just show the influence of Maxfield Parrish on my work.  He is certainly well known for his fairy tale-like scenes of scantily-clad young women or children  in fantastical settings but I have always loved his other, lesser known work, particularly his landscapes and homescapes.

There’s an intensity and warmth of color that I find completely compelling, drawing you in immediately and immersing you in a luxurious blanket of warm tones.  For instance, in the piece above, Christmas Morning 1949, even though it is a wintry, snowy scene there are warm tones in the snow fields.  It changes how you look at and feel about the scene, differentiating it from the normal, obvious winter landscape.Parrish Hunt Farm

I am also visually excited by the way Parrish used gradience in the colors of his skies, taking a deep rich color at top and drawing it down in lighter fragments of the colors that make up the original color.  It creates a brilliant effect.

The trees often took a central part in his compositions as well, something to which I was obviously attracted.  Many were boldly colored and powerful.

The houses were mainly long range and very idyllic, warm interpretations.  More home than house.  There was never a specific story conveyed in these homes, just an overall feeling that was formed by their part in the overall picture.Parrish Hill Top Farm Winter

I have also been influenced by the way Parrish put his compositions together, how all the elements were placed to create mood.  The way the trees fill the picture plane.  The way the houses are shown, never in full view.  More about feeling and inference rather than representation.

I could go on and on about his work and all the little things comprising his magic that I’ve tried to incorporate into my own work but the images tell the story much better.  Enjoy…

parrishevening-shadows1parrish-the-reservoir-at-villa-falconieri-frascati1

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