Saturday, April 25, 2009

View from Olana


about 7x21 pastel on watercolor-Uart paper
I am visiting Olana, the home of Frederic Church. He was part of the Hudson River School, pupil of Thomas Cole. I have long loved his and Sanford Gifford's work. Today it was amazing to walk in the footsteps of these great artists.
His house designed as a sort of middle eastern oasis is exactly as he left it-same furniture, paint and all! I was able to stand in his studio and feel the great man's presence as I looked at his living landscape outside his window.
When the clock struck 6pm I knew it was time to paint. The winds were blowing so hard that I not only had to hold down my easel but my water kept blowing all over everything-over and over. Then my painting took flight -that's when I cried "uncle" and finally dismantled the easel. The painting was finished on the ground.
I photographed it in the fading light of evening so it is and awful jpeg. You can't even see the sky colors. I will photograph again tomorrow morning and repost. The repost is above.Now you can see the sky... a little.

10 comments:

Jala Pfaff said...

You are such a trouper with the weather. We should all be so tough. :)
Lovely, my dear.

Janelle Goodwin said...

I can see from the landscape, that it must be a beautiful view you were seeing. Wish I was there to see it. Sounds like you're painting the magic hours.

Brian McGurgan said...

It's a beautiful stretch of river there near Olana and you've captured it wonderfully in this painting. I hope you had a great weekend up there near my old stomping grounds.

loriann said...

Hi Jala and Janelle,
The views were awesome and very inspiring. The weather warm -90, if windy. Summer is on the way. And yes Janelle...magic hours excite me! I think it is the same for you!

Hi Brian,
Olana and the surrounding countryside is amazing. Where did you grow up? (Lucky you!) I am so accustomed to painting my Potomac River - the Hudson River is so different. Wide, deep and with surrounding mountains..nice! The Potomac is much narrower and very shallow. It has a hill or two nearby.

Jala Pfaff said...

Such a wonderfully wide open feel (love the format!), expansive...like you can breathe...it's great. Had to check back for the wonderful new photo!

loriann said...

Thanks for checking back Jala! I do love the super long format too.

Brian McGurgan said...

I like the wide format as well and have been wanting to do more horizontal drawings like this myself.

Loriann, my family lives near Chatham, which is about 25 minutes drive northeast from Olana and the Rip Van Winkle Bridge. They are close (five miles) to the border with Massachusetts. From an open field next to my parents' home you can look down into the Hudson River Valley and see the distant river like a silver dashed line at the valley's floor. From that perspective, the Catskill Mountains rise up behind the valley and it's really very beautiful all year around. The Hudson River is stunning from end to end - whether the Pallisade cliffs opposite northern Manhattan down here in the city or the more secluded spots north of Albany. Each bend and stretch of the river presents unlimited opportunities for painting and the colors and feel of the valley changes dramatically from season to season. One could devote a lifetime to painting just a small part of it, I'm sure. Your painting suggests all of those possibilities wonderfully, Loriann.

loriann said...

Thanks Brian...I will be back for an extended period, probably in June. I love the Hudson! What a beautiful place to grow up, I bet the landscape resides in your soul.

Takeyce Walter said...

wish I'd known that you were up this way! I would have come out to paint with you. Beautifully done!

loriann said...

Hi Takeyce! I will be back, probably in June. Let's hook up then.