Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Oil Painter with a Watercolor Fetish

I started oil painting this past summer, and I wouldn't give it up for anything. It's my favorite time of the week. But, I LOVE watercolors!

I don't know if it all started here, but a few years ago I bought a set of Pottery Barn books (They make one for every room of the house. I highly recommend owning a set; there are a lot of basic design principles in them, and they are very user-friendly.). When I opened the living room book, I immediately wanted the sofa and the paint horse painting.

Pottery Barn Watercolor Paint Horse

Fabulous, yes?!?

Incidentally, I've never actually been able to find a painting like this (Believe me, I've looked). I suppose I'll have to try painting a horse in oil myself (eek!).

So anyway, this turned me on to art - my favorite subject being animals. (I've already painted all my dogs.) Then, about 2 years ago I discovered the art of William Matthews. He says, "I've found that people tend to respond either to watercolor or to oil. I liked Wyeth, Sargent, Homer - for me it was always watercolor. That light touch. The transparency. The vulnerability of the medium."

William Matthews Negotiations

William Matthews Cows in Snow

I definitely want a copy of that first one, titled "Negotiations," to hang over a bed.

And then, of course, there's Winslow Homer. My favorite works of his were from the tropics.

Winslow Homer Tropics

Winslow Homer Wild Boars

Taking painting lessons has definitely opened my eyes to the art world. Crazy as it sounds, I never cared that much for real art before (A print here. A print there. Just fill the space and make it look good). But as I've settled into my style, I've learned more about me and what I love. I'm not going to go crazy and spend lots of money on custom art, but I feel like I can finally appreciate it. It enhances a room so much, and, like my numerous collections, gives a house a personalized touch.

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