Edgar Payne

Edgar Alwin Payne

By
Armand Cabrera

Edgar Payne was born in Missouri in 1883. His parents were farmers. Edgar’s early life was spent helping out on the family farm. At the age of twenty he left home and spent a few years doing odd jobs to survive. In 1905 he moved to Houston with two of his sisters and earned his living house painting. His interest in art led him to open a scene painting studio in Dallas. By 1907 he had moved to Chicago briefly taking classes at the art institute. He continued to make his living from scene painting and began selling his paintings at the palette and chisel club.
Edgar Payne’s first trip to California was in 1909. It was here he met his future wife Elsie Palmer. They married in 1912

By 1912 Edgar was receiving much more attention for his easel work and he had a show of 65 paintings at the palette and Chisel club in May of 1913. All of the paintings were sold.
The Payne’s moved to Laguna Beach California in 1917. It was from Laguna Beach that Payne began his many painting trips to the Sierras and the Southwest. In 1922 he traveled to Europe for two years with his family. Edgar painted many pictures of fishing life and mountain scenes while overseas.
It was Payne’s practice to make many sketches on location and make larger finished pictures back in his studio from those smaller works. It was because of this his paintings tend to have a repetitive look compositionally. This is especially true of his Sierra scenes.

His book on painting ‘Composition of Outdoor Painting’ is still in print today because of its no nonsense approach to the craft of painting.
Edgar Payne died in 1947 after a long fight with cancer.

Bibliography

The Composition of Outdoor Painting
Payne Studios
Edgar Payne

The Payne’s, Edgar and Elsie
Payne Studios
Rena Neumann Coen

Edgar Payne 1882-1947
Goldfield Galleries Exhibition Catalog
Nancy Moure

Quote

Learning the art of painting is not an easy task. It takes a great deal of intelligence, keen analysis, study and practice. ~ Edgar Payne

John Carlson

John Fabian Carlson
(1875-1945)

By
Armand Cabrera

John Fabian Carlson was born in Sweden—the son of a tailor. The Carlson family immigrated to New York when John was nine. At fifteen, Carlson studied in the evenings with Lucius Hitchcock at the Albright School in Buffalo. He worked as a lithographer during the day to help support his family until he was 28. He then moved to New York, having received a one-year scholarship to attend the Art Students League. At the League, he studied with Frank DuMond. In 1904 Carlson won a prize to study with Birge Harrison at Woodstock.


When the Arts Student League opened summer classes in 1906 in Woodstock, Carlson recommended Harrison be hired as the schools first teacher. Harrison, in turn, hired Carlson as his assistant. Carlson remained Harrison’s assistant until 1910. Upon Harrison’s retirement, Carlson succeeded him as director in 1911. He kept the director’s job until 1918. He then served two years as co-director of the Broadmoor Art Academy in Colorado from 1920 to 1922. Carlson then returned to open the John F. Carlson School of Landscape Painting in Woodstock where he worked until his death in 1945. Carlson won many awards in his lifetime and was elected full Academician to the National Academy of Design in 1925.

Carlson’s romantic realism is still an inspiration to this day. He had the ability to organize and simplify nature in such a poetic and personal way that is beautiful to behold. His design and color sense only heightened the lyrical quality in his art. He had a special affinity for trees and forest interiors. Most of his large canvases were painted in the studio from smaller outdoor sketches. Carlson’s book, Carlson’s Guide to Landscape Painting, is the bible for beginning painters and serious professionals. His thorough, honest approach and clear ideas set forth in the book have trained many painters. The 75+ years the book has stayed in print has proven its veracity to continued generations of artists.

Bibliography

John F. Carlson N.A.
1874-1945
Exhibition Catalogs 1, 2, 3
Vose Galleries Boston, MA 1978, 1980, 1981

The Carlsons
Exhibition Catalog
Jim’s Antiques Fine Art Gallery
Lambertville, NJ 2000

Quote
We are all living in a neurotically impatient age, when everyone strains to attain to virtuosity without having had to do the accompanying labor. I repeat labor. For all great men have been prodigious workers: in fact, they appall us with their energy and enthusiasm. They challenge obstacles with something akin to fury, where a weak man would shun an effort. ~ John F. Carlson

Edward Seago

Edward Seago

1910-1974

By
Armand Cabrera

Edward Brian Seago was born in Norwich, England. A heart condition caused him to be homeschooled and spend a considerable amount of time at rest. It was his mother, an amateur watercolorist, who encouraged Seago to paint. Although primarily self-taught, Seago received some instruction from Bertram Priestman. As a young man, Seago lived a dual life—spending time with the circus performers and gypsies and accepting patronage from prominent society. It was his connection to society that helped Seago achieve the financial success he deserved. His affiliations with prominent art dealers, especially Tom Baskett of P. and D. Colnaghi Galleries, gave Seago the steady promotion of his work, which was lacking in the prewar years. Following the war, the gallery had solo shows of Seago’s works, alternating annually with his watercolors and oils.


At a time when most artists chased so-called “modern art principals”, Seago tenaciously clung to his own idea of painting. Ignored by critics and the art establishment of the time, the public increasingly embraced his honest depictions of East Anglia and his travels abroad. Seago’s influence can be seen in a new group of British painters, including Trevor Chamberlain, Ron Ranson, and David Curtis.

Seago was a member of the Royal Society of British Artists from 1946 and the Royal Watercolors Society from 1959. He exhibited in London, Glasgow, New York, Toronto, Montreal, Los Angeles, Oslo and Brussels.

Bibliography

Edward Seago: The Landscape ArtJames W. Reid
Sotheby’s 1991

Edward Seago
Ron Ranson
David and Charles 1987

QuoteYou can have technique without art, but I do not believe you can have art without technique.~Edward Seago

Winslow Homer

Winslow Homer


By
Armand Cabrera

Winslow Homer was born on February 24, 1836 in Boston and raised in nearby Cambridge. At nineteen, Homer was apprenticed to a lithographic shop. He found the job monotonous, so at twenty-one, Homer left to launch himself into a career as a freelance illustrator.

Although self-taught, Homer excelled in drawing. After moving to New York City Harpers Weekly, the most prominent American Magazine at the time, hired the young artist as an illustrator. At the outbreak of the Civil War, Harpers Weekly sent Homer to the Virginia front. Instead of depictions of battles, Homer focused on the daily life of the troops. His honest portrayal of the soldiers has become one of the best historical records of how they dressed and lived.

Illustration did not artistically satisfy Homer for long. Soon after the end of the war, he began to seriously pursue painting as his main source of income. Homer took lessons from Frederick Rondel, a Boston genre painter. After a month of the most basic training, Homer completed his instruction, bought some oil painting supplies and ventured into the outdoors to paint directly, observe and learn from nature.

Homer’s earliest paintings are genre scenes of American rural life. The unique quality of these scenes is found in Homer’s ability to paint the motif simply and directly with an eye for light and color. His fidelity to painting from life obviously enhanced this facility.

Homer lived a dual life as illustrator and artist until he was almost forty. Then at the height of his illustration career—he stopped. Homer turned his full attention to oil and watercolors. He continued to work from nature and develop his technical skill. Homer’s work simplified and became even more powerful. His watercolors show an ability and sureness of handling that few artists ever realize. Most of these pieces were painted outside of Maine and many were painted during his winter travels away from his studio.

In 1883, Homer moved from New York City to Maine and built a studio on Prout’s Neck. This was his home for the rest of his life. In 1910, Winslow Homer died in his studio at the age of 74.


Bibliography

Winslow HomerLloyd Goodrich
Whitney Museum of American Art 1973

Winslow Homer WatercolorsHelen A. Cooper
Yale University Press 1986

QuoteA painter who begins and finishes indoors, that which is outdoors, misses a hundred little facts…a hundred little accidental effects of sunshine and shadow that can be reproduced only in the immediate presence of Nature.
This making of studies and then taking them home is only half right. You get composition, but you lose freshness; you miss the subtle and, to the artist, the finer characteristics of the scene itself.~ Winslow Homer

Wilhem Kuhnert

Wilhem Kuhnert
1865-1926
By
Armand Cabrera
Wilhelm Kuhnert was born in Germany on September 28, 1865. At the age of seventeen, he traveled to Berlin to stay with relatives and enroll at the Royal Academy of Berlin. While at the Academy, he studied Animal Painting under Paul Meyerheim and Landscape Painting under Ferdinand Bellerman. Although considerable attention was paid to studying anatomy, the students would sketch captive animals in a zoo and then make formal paintings in their studio—making up the environments from the artists’ imagination. Kuhnert decided to change this. After seeing some African animals at a fair, the young artist vowed to travel to Africa and paint animals in their native habitat.


Upon leaving the Royal Academy, he acquired a studio in Berlin. While Kuhnert was sketching at the Berlin Zoo, he was introduced to Hans Meyer, the first European to climb Kilimanjaro. Meyer was impressed with Kuhnert’s ability and promised the young artist the chance to illustrate his next book. Kuhnert told Meyer of his goal of traveling to Africa to paint the animals in their natural settings. Meyer suggested he travel to East Africa and even gave Kuhnert his safari equipment.

Good to his word, Meyer commissioned Kuhnert to illustrate Brehms Tierbuilder, a dictionary of animals from around the world. With the proceeds from the book, Kuhnert traveled to Africa in 1891.

At that time, the East African Colony was a vast, unexplored territory for most Germans. Kuhnert traveled the only way available—accompanied by a score of men to act as guides and carry the hundreds of pounds of gear and supplies needed for such a journey. A year later, he returned to Germany with dozens of paintings, sketches and drawings of the African animals, people and places.
In 1893, Kuhnert’s paintings went on display at the Berliner Art Exhibition and he took the Medal of Honor. The public responded to his truthful depictions of the great continent. At only 28 years of age, Kuhnert’s success seemed assured.

He married in 1894 and moved to a larger studio. The attraction of Africa could not keep him home, so in 1905, he left his wife and daughter and returned to what he called “The Promised Land”. After a year on the continent, rather than returning home, he traveled to Ceylon. Unable to stand his long absences, his wife left him in 1907. Kuhnert finally returned to Germany in 1908.

He returned to Africa once more in 1911. Two years later, he remarried. In 1920, Kuhnert published two books on African Wildlife—“Im Lande Meiner Modelle” (in the Land of My Model) and “Mein Tierre” (My Animals). He died February 11, 1926 at the age of 60—five months after his second wife had passed away.

It is believed Kuhnert’s body of work totaled 5,500 paintings—primarily animals, but also portraits and landscapes. Today, there are less than a thousand known works in existence. The rest of his paintings were destroyed or lost in World War II.

Bibliography

The Animal Art of Wilhelm KuhnertTerry Weiland
Live Oak press 1995

Quote

Wilhelm Kuhnert’s Achievements can be measured by more than just aesthetics. His Greatest merit was that he was the first artist to paint wild animals in their natural habitat. ~Fritz Meyer-Schoenbrunn in his introduction to Kuhnert’s second book, Meine Tiere (My Animals)