|Sunshine Through the Oaks - Jack Wilkinson Smith|
I wish I could be with all the artists enjoying the Plein Air Convention out in California, but I can't. Life's challenges have landed me far from home and studio without possibility of travel. So I'm consoling myself this week, studying the works of past California Impressionists.
Every time I look at early plein air paintings, I wonder what it is that makes them look so different from today's. I don't think it's the expertise. There are many very accomplished plein air painters today turning out visually stunning work. But these older paintings always make me wish I could wander into them and experience for myself what these artists saw and felt that made them so able to capture a sense of place and time with such depth. I can feel the spirit of the places they portrayed. Could it just be that they didn't hurry the piece? Or is it that the sense of community among artists they enjoyed,was especially conducive to their creative genius?
I have a thing about California Impressionism, - the colors, the light, the dense pieces of paint so different from the more diffuse shapes of French Impressionism, the spiritually of it, the love for the land, the guileless honesty of the works.There are so many artists I could focus on, but these three works are by Jack Wilkinson Smith. His paintings of surf and rocks, full of force and vitality immediately caught my attention when I first came upon them in an art book.His home base was in southern California but he traveled throughout California painting all kinds of terrain.
I studied this next one to see what I like about it.
|Deserted Corral - Jack Wilkinson Smith|
|Winter's Mantle - Jack Wilkinson Smith|
If your tax refund will put a bit of spare change in your pocket, all three of these paintings are available at Bonhams spring auction of California and Western Paintings on April 28th.