Wednesday, February 26, 2014

20 Favorite Paintings #5, Mountain Home Church by Harry Louis Freund

Mountain Home Church

Harry Louis Freund was a Missouri born, Arkansas based painter.  Most certainly my favorite non-contemporary Arkansas painter.  He is often identified with the Regionalists Grant Wood, Thomas Hart Benton, and John Steuart Curry.  Like them, he painted many murals and scenes that were immediate to his surroundings.  Unlike them, he never gained a great deal of national prominence, which is very unfortunate because I feel the integrity of his work exceeds those of his contemporaries with the possible exception of Wood.  Freund did not tend to practice as much of the visual exageration that can be seen in the work of Curry and Benton.  You can read more about him here.

It should come as no surprise that I identify with the Regionalists in spirit if not totally in style and mannerism.  In Freund, I find not only a Regionalist, but an Arkansas Regionalist, and one whose style I find to be very pleasing.  In many ways he is almost a way marker for me.

In this particular piece, I like how he captured all of the "stuff" around the building without over detailing.  It has that appearance of quickly done well with only enough to tell you what's going on.  The trees are well massed but not in the modern day plein air tendency which would have you mass the entire tree shape and then pop in the sky holes.  He has clearly here built the trees as skeleton structure with the massing taking place over that.  The trees at the edges of the picture may be done more in the modern manner but it is hard to tell without seeing the actual piece.  There is also a lot the appearance of dry brushing here so I wonder if he worked this one in layers.

There is another Freund piece of a typical Ozark farmstead which I like a sight bit better than this one but I cannot find any pictures of it.  If I do ever find a picture of that, I may devote another Favorite Paintings post to it.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Hollywood and Highland

Hollywood and Highland
11X14, Oil on Canvas
Private Collection
Another old one from my other blog.  I have been seriously considering redoing this one as a 16X20.  There is a whole lot I really like about this compositionally but it is severely dated in both technique and some drafting.  I think this can be a great painting so I look forward to painting it again once I have completed work for my upcoming show.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Bright Fall Day, Long Pool, Pope County

Bright Fall Da, Long Pool
9X12, Oil on Panel
This was a commission I did for Christmas.  The only stipulations placed upon it were that it be of Long Pool in Pope County.  I rarely paint high color fall scenes so I took this opportunity to stretch and give it a try.  The customer was very happy with the result and so was I!

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Sharum Cemetary, Randolph County

Sharum Cemetary
8X10, Oil on Panel
This is a plein air piece from a few weeks back.  I did this the same day as Clover Bend but I often take a while to photograph work.  I sometimes like taking on a subject matter that challenges both me and the viewer.


Friday, February 21, 2014

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Red Oak and Fossils

Red Oak and Fossils
10X12, Oil on Wood
Here's another transfer from my other blog.  I hope to get all of the content moved over to here soon so I can shut that one down.

I enjoy painting leaves. They are, however, more difficult than they look. These particular leaves started curling shortly after I began the painting. By the time I was done, the color had faded from nice red to the much more dull orange and the one on the right had curled almost double upon itself.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Clover Bend, Lawrence County

Clover Bend
6X8, Oil on Panel
I believe perhaps Clover Bend is names after a bend in the nearby Black River but I'm not entirely sure.  There is a historic community school there from the WPA era.  Possibly a precursor to the WPA community in Dyess made somewhat well known as the boyhood home of Johnny Cash.  I think I am going to go visit that on Monday.  This is a plein air painting I did 2 weeks ago.  The weather was chilly and drizzly.  I know a lot of plein air painters who would not have even bothered to paint that day but I think if you only paint on sunny days all of paintings will wind up looking more or less the same.  There is challenge to this flat light that I like.


Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Natural Dam, Crawford County

Natural Dam
8X10, Oil on Panel

Sometimes, a plein air painting will sit and gather dust for quite some time before I either decide it's done or figure out what it is I want to really to do with it.  This is one of those.  I painted this after I dropped off paintings for a solos show at the Van Buren Center for Arts and Education toward the end of 2012.  It has sat in a corner ever since then.  I got tired of some of other things I was working on one night and just decided I had nothing to lose by throwing some more paint at this one.  I don't like to leave paintings totally abandoned so I'm glad I was finally able to make myself happy with this one.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Lit From Within, St. Francis County

Lit From Within
10X15, Oil on Panel
This was from a picture I took on my way to a 25k trail race at Village Creek State Park near Wynne a few weeks ago.  The sun was rising behind me and the contra glow rising from the ground made me think the earth was glowing and giving off it's own light.  Thus the name, "Lit From Within."
63 of 75

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Impression of Bridal Veil Falls, Cleburne County

Impression of Bridal Veil Falls
6X8, Oil on Panel
About 2 and a half weeks ago I took a trip up to Heber Springs to deliver a new batch of paintings to Ellen Hobgood Gallery and I took the opportunity to stop off at this local landmark to paint.  It was a very cold morning and the box canyon this fall is in does not have a very easy way in.  Luckily I was using my new Guerilla Painter box and ultra light tripod so it was at least manageable to get everything down in one trip.  I set up on the side of the canyon that got some sunshine in hopes of staying somewhat warm as I did not really dress appropriately for the cold.  I managed to tough it out for about and hour before I realized I just wasn't going to finish it there.  Because of the wet painting, it took 2 trips to get everything out and I was freezing by the time I hit the car.  Made me retire to the warmth of the coffee shop in Heber while I waited for the gallery to open.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Fuzzybutt Falls, Searcy County

Fuzzybutt Falls
11X14, Oil on Panel
Fuzzybutt Falls is a fairly easily accessible fall in the Ozark National Forest.  It's tucked back into a box canyon near Six Finger Falls.  The stream here feeds Falling Water Creek.  I can only speculate as to why it is called Fuzzybutt Falls and perhaps I would rather not know.  Still, beautiful little water fall.