There was an interesting article in the June issue of “Pastel Journal” titled “History Reclaimed” about John Pierce Barnes (1893-1954), an impressionist artist, who was discovered recently. The pastel paintings that they show on the Pastel Journal website are stunning. In order to avoid any problems I haven’t included any pictures of his paintings here.
You can read the story in the following link, about how the curator of his paintings, Katherine Stanko, learned that the paintings existed and had been in storage since the artists death or maybe longer.
“THE RESURRECTION OF ARTIST JOHN PIERCE BARNES, RCA Worker and Impressionist Painter” By Hoag Levins is here:
What inspires me the most is how wonderful his color choices were and his bold strokes. Many pastelists blend the heck out of their work and it thrills me to see unblended work from the 1920’s. It is also pretty easy to put together his very simple plein air palette from his work, which, of course, I had to do. It seems to be very limited, which is great for going out on location. Possibly, he had a small landscape set – I don’t know what was available in the ’20’s. I managed to fit all the colors into a small 5″x4″ box – it doesn’t get better than that!
Since I don’t keep the names of my colors, and now realize I have way too many colors, yet, not enough of these colors, I’ve made a color chart of what his palette probably was.
If it would stop raining I’d take them for a test ride.:)
This was a quick study that I did some time ago. Since I’m working on something else right now, I’m not able to post that painting until it’s finished. Pastels go through an ugly stage that I don’t share with anyone. My husband used to pass by my works in progress and think the paintings were horrible, but then would be surprised when he saw the finished product. He would be seeing the first layer of pastels. Although all the layers contribute to the final painting, they sort of disappear eventually – or visually mix together. So the first layer is usually the undertones, the shadows and might not even be the right shape yet. It’s all very scratchy and scrawly. It’s a different story when using an underpainting though and one of these days, when I have a chance, I’ll post that process.
Hopefully the new painting will have the same energy that this does. However, there won’t be any bouganvillas in it, but plenty of other flowers.
This is from Adams Ranch in Ft. Pierce, FL where the live oaks grow undisturbed. They are huge trees with far reaching limbs. A bit farther down this dirt road on the ranch is a picnic area with a giant tree house.
I’m getting ready to start a new commission and while taking stock, making sure there were plenty of pastels in the box and planning my approach this painting came to mind.
The new painting won’t have a path with dappled light but many of the colors will be the same, as well as the size.
The magnolias are blooming like crazy this year – or more than they have in the past – I tend to exaggerate. We have two trees in the yard. One in the front and one in the back.
They are the big trees with the big flowers. They smell great! Some magnolia trees in the neighborhood are dwarf trees with the big flower, which is nice because the flowers are lower. With the big tree it’s hard to even get a good photograph of the blooms because they are so high. However, once in awhile, if you can catch it at the right moment (the flowers peak on one day and then they’re done!) blooming on a lower branch you’ll be able to at least have a photograph to work from.
This is the first year in many that I haven’t been able to attend the “Artist Day” or I think it’s currently called “Brush with Nature” day at Adams Ranch in Ft. Pierce, FL. Unfortunately my husband had recent surgery and I’m not comfortable with leaving him for a whole day yet. So, today I’ll post some of my paintings from Adams Ranch, and believe me I have a few. The ranch is a wonderful place to paint and is a working ranch that is just huge (about 50,000 acres) with way more cows than people. My kind of place. Once a year they allow artists to occupy a section of the ranch and the cows watch us paint all day. Entertaining for all of us!