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Image of the Day, November 23, 2011

By Donna Poulton

Happy Thanksgiving!

Credit: The Library of Congress

J.S. Pughe (1870-1909), A Thanksgiving Truce, Photomechanical Print, November 22, 1902

The image depicts Theodore Roosevelt sharing a toast with a bear and other guests, all of whom are animals. The bear proposes “(with deep feeling) – Here’s hoping that when next we meet, we see you first,” a reference to Roosevelt’s penchant for big game hunting. Teddy Jr. is wearing a buckskin and can be seen in the lower right sharing the  ‘kids’ table with a bear cub.

The photomechanical print was comprised of a series of finely printed dots to create the image of A Thanksgiving Truce for “Puck” magazine, America’s first magazine devoted to political satire, cartoons and humor.


Image of the Day, November 22, 2011

“When as a young man of 18, I came east to study art, there were on the same train with me a group of Crow Indians on the way to Washington, D.C. Their chief was a mammoth person over six feet tall and weighing 265 pounds.  All of them were big fellows and had the dignity of a Caesar.” -- Cyrus Dallin

Cyrus Dallin working on his sculpture of Massasoit. Credit: The Springville Museum of Art

Happy 150th Birthday, Cyrus Dallin! - A native of Springville, Utah, Cyrus Dallin was regarded as one of America’s foremost realist sculptors and was one of the founding artists of the Springville Museum of Art. Born in a little log cabin in 1861, Dallin left Springville as a young man to study art in Boston and in the celebrated academies in Paris. In 1890, Dallin made his home in Massachusetts, where he produced most of his works, but made numerous trips back to visit his native Utah. Though Dallin received many prestigious commissions and awards throughout his life, he said that “my greatest honor of all is that I came from Utah."(Text courtesy of the Springville Museum of Art.)


Painting of the Day, November 21, 2011

By Donna Poulton

“Figuring out the value of shadows and how much color to put in the shadow are demands I enjoy as an artist.” -- David Meikle

Utah artist, David W. Meikle’s stylized western landscapes are tightly focused, revealing his graphic design background.  His painting View of Zion Canyon is set at a vertiginous height depicting both the high walls of the canyon and the atmospheric perspective of the purple mountains in the distance.

Credit: Permission from David Meikle.

David W.  Meikle, View of Zion Canyon, 2004, oil on canvas, 36 x 42 in.


Painting of the Day, November 20, 2011

By Donna Poulton

“I am still convinced that a literal naturalistic painting can still satisfy the passions of an intellectual mind.”  Clyde Aspevig

Montana artist, Clyde Aspevig was first introduced to painting when bedridden from a horse-riding accident.  He lists John Singer Sargent, Anders Zorn, and Winslow Homer as artist he studies and aspires to.  His large-scale work Winter Glow is a luminescent example of the simplicity, pattern and pulse he finds in nature.

Credit: © Clyde Aspevig

Clyde Aspevig, Winter Glow, c. 1910, oil on canvas, 48 x 48 in.


Paintings Without Color: The Grisaille

By Donna Poulton

Known as ‘dead coloring’ by the old masters, grisaille paintings are characterized by the use of monochromatic (one color) paint.  Typically the paint used is a tone of black, but artists also use indigo blue, sepia or brown.  Starting in the sixteenth century the technique was used as ‘underpainting’ to help artists define light and dark areas of the painting before adding color.

Credit: Coeur D’Alene Art Auction

Thomas Moran (1837-1926),  Avalanche in Cottonwood Canyon, c. 1895, oil on board, 14 x 11 in.

Grisaille paintings are often offered for sale by western art auctions and galleries today. Oftentimes you’ll hear viewers wondering why the artist “didn’t finish the painting.” The simple answer is the works are finished. Newspapers and magazines in the latter part of the 19th century and early 20th needed black and white images for their publications—especially as they tried to fill the high demand of their readership for images of the West.

Credit: Coeur D’Alene Art Auction

Frederic Remington (1861-1909), He Made his Magazine Gun Blaze…, 1900, oil on canvas, 40 x 27 in.

In order to create the truest color, with the highest sense of drama, illustrators such as Thomas Moran, Frederic Remington, Charles Russell, Maynard Dixon, Frank Tenney Johnson, Herbert Buck Dunton, and William H.D. Koerner painted their illustrations for print using the tonal variations of black and white paint.

Credit: Christie’s New York, Rockerfeller Center

Frederic Remington (1861-1909), He Was the Law (Billy the Kid), c.1901, oil on canvas, 27 x 40 in.

Credit: Christie’s Los Angeles

Maynard Dixon (1875-1846), Go Get One, 1912, oil on board, 27 x 19 in.

Credit: Bonhams & Butterfields San Francisco

Maynard Dixon (1875-1846), The Car Was at His Hip-Almost, 1913, gouache on paper, 29 x 20 in.

Credit: Christie’s Los Angeles 10.29.08

Herbert Buck Dunton (1878-1936), Follerin’ the Tracks, 1907, oil on canvas, 30 x 18 in.