Thursday, February 4, 2016

"Zen Time"

6 x 6"
oil on panel

A couple of weeks back, I was refreshing my memory about William Merritt Chase (for this post) and came across 'The Ten' - a revered group of artists that included Chase.  I jotted down several names that I was familiar with and love their work, one of which is John Henry Twachtman.

I always stop in my tracks when I come across Twachtman's paintings, very much like another member of The Ten, Willard Metcalf - they both painted landscapes that are so calming, so still, so very Zen.  I especially love their snow scenes.  They painted loose, painterly, seemingly quick - most likely they were outdoors painting plein-air.

In the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Twachtman's 'Arques-la-Bataille' hangs in front of a bench for all the right reasons.  The scene is calm, the color palette is soothing and low-key - a good painting to get lost in.

Twachtman was an American artist, from Cincinnati - traveled and studied abroad with fellow artists and discovered like-minded painters who took on the Impressionistic style of the times, which was in the mid-to-end of the 1800's.

It's also my moment of Zen to paint these images - taking rich greens and blues and lavenders and greying them down a notch.  It made for a mellow day of painting.

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