Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Dwight William Tryon, mystery and memory

10x10 pastel on gray BFK

I was down at the Freer Gallery of Art the other day, there to get my hit of Whistler, and I was led astray. It was  Dwight William Tryon who captured my heart and made me go NUTS! These small images can't possibly do justice to what was there. Tryon is often considered a Tonalist, although his palette is much lighter in value.. He painted with close values, thick paint and very soft edges. He believed in "less is more" and mystery.
Later I read that he marked these words to remind himself as he worked in his studio:
The value of memory sketches lies in the fact that so much is forgotten! In time we must learn to leave out in our finished pictures these things which we now leave out through ignorance or forgetfulness. We must learn what to sacrifice.”
Ah ha! That says it all doesn't it?

I have posted a recent value study. To keep the values closer I chose gray paper. My goal was to play with edge and shape. It was inspired by sketches done last summer at one of my favorite fields on Whidbey Island.


Donna T said...

Who needs color when you can do all of this with values?! This is wonderful, Loriann, love the mood and mystery too. Did you scratch those lines in the field after putting on the pastel? They work so well to lead our eyes in. Thanks for the info on Tryon. I've never met a tonalist I didn't like so I'll check him out!

loriann said...

Hi Donna and thank you! Be sure to go visit the Freer while you are still here. You will love the Tryons and Whistlers.
To answer your question, I scratched the lines in at the very end.

SamArtDog said...

D.W.Tryon (try on) was clearly a worshipper of trees. These remind me of Orthodox Greek icons; so precious and mysterious. These are tree icons.

How appropriate! A magical tree gnome was here today and transformed my venerable 80-year-old plum tree from a snarl of snags into a graceful beauty. When not working as an arborist, he and his buds compete in international tree-climbing contests. Makes me feel good to know there's people like that out there.

Okay, he was also quite gorgeous.

Lisa McShane said...

This one is lovely!

Tryon & the Tonalist Team are wonderful. I envy you your proximity to great museums.

loriann said...

Thanks Lisa! Come visit me sometime. DC does have a plethora of amazing museums and galleries.

Katherine van Schoonhoven said...

Beautiful! You are wise to take yourself to museums and galleries where you can study first class artwork! I love reading your blog -- your experimentation and questioning approach is inspiring.

loriann said...

Hi Katherine and thanks! I do feel fortunate.... but then so are you. You live in the most beautiful place!

loriann said...

Hi Sam!

I just received the email telling me you commented...sorry I didn't want to ignore YOU! Sounds like you had a good day admiring trees, buds and other things.
Tryon's paintings made such an impressions on me. I immediately bought a book filled with pictures of his paintings. Beautiful.

PS I didn't know there was such a thing as tree climbing contests.

Brian McGurgan said...

What a coincidence, Loriann - I was just doing some reading on Tryon and then saw your post. I bet it was nice seeing these paintings in person. Lovely value drawing!

Kaylyn said...

This breaks my heart...I was on the mall last fall for a single day and ran out of time to see the Freer. Should have started there. I think I would have wept seeing these paintings in person. I'm nearly there looking at dinky images on my computer.

Thank you so much for sharing your visit.

loriann said...

Hi Kaylyn! The only answer to that is come on back...let me know when you'll be in town. They are exquisite!

loriann said...

Hi Brian, Tryon's work is amazing. Rigth up there next to Whistler and Inness. There must be some works of his up by you. If I remember right he was from Hartford. I wonder if the Wadsworth Atheneum has any?