Sunday, July 29, 2012

No Payne No Gain

This week's sketches involve animal metaphors! Enjoy.

"The pickpocket was a sly fox."

"Mr. Swineson was a greedy pig."

 "Kathy was a curious cat. And she annoyed the heck out of Scotty."

"She was such a chicken when it came to crossing the road. Then again, things always ended up badly when she did."

 "The elf had eagle eyes. His keen vision was a force to be reckoned with."

This past Saturday, I visited the Pasadena Museum of California Art which was exhibiting the work of master landscape artist Edgar Payne. The exhibit runs until October 14 and was worth the hour-and-a-half drive. Unfortunately, I was not able to take photos of the artwork, but here is a sample taken from google: 

His work is phenomenal, often described as impressionistic, but I think this description is misleading since from afar, the images are quite realistic if not a little idealistic. It is only when you are close to the canvas that you can see his brushstrokes, which are often uniform in width for many paintings regardless of the depth of the object. This can flatten forms that do no have strong shadows like the canyon above, but otherwise, Payne's work effectively portrays spacious scenes. 

When I first saw his work, I thought of how much it reminded me of environmental concepts for movies, video games, etc. Or, should I say conceptual art reminds me of Edgar Payne's work? The two share in common an affinity for composition, color, and dramatic light. Also, conceptual art is  often rendered loosely in a way where brush strokes are visible. 

I was also reminded of the art of some golden age illustrators, such as Howard Pyle (directly bellow) and Maxfield Parrish. The greatest similarity I found with the artists was in the color schemes, which included a wide range of colors, but relatively low saturation.

These artists also had a thing for the golden hour.

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