Monday, December 1, 2008

Winslow Homer: Watercolor Genius

Here is Winslow Homer's watercolor, For to Be a Farmer's Boy, again. Aside from using this painting for a Happy Thanksgiving post, I also sent it out to some friends and family as a Thanksgiving email. Numbers of people sent replies about what a beautiful painting it is. I have always found it mesmerizing. But when I chose it about a month ago as the painting for Thanksgiving greetings, I was stunned by looking at the cabbages--the middle row of turquoise in the painting. As far as I know, watercolor is an unforgiving medium. How Homer managed to paint these cabbages, which somehow convey the essence of growing cabbage, is beyond my imagination, since the light (white space) seems to fall on them perfectly in their dance across the page. Then there are the colors themselves. Evidently some of the red pigment has been lost from this painting, and the sky originally contained a beautiful sunset. This must have made this painting breath-taking. It is a painting that conveys God's bounty, especially against the blue of the hills of the behind. This boy looks proud to be a farmer, but he is also in harmony with the nature of his space.

(Click on the paintings to get a better view of them.)

Here are two other watercolors that Homer painted in the year, both of them remarkable. In the first, the corn takes its turn to come alive.

Among the Vegetables, also known as Boy in a Cornfield

At the Well

1 comment:

Merisi said...

Beautiful paintings!

Some years ago, I saw a retrospective of Homer's work at the National Gallery in Washington, DC. The beauty, the variety, the sheer number and size of many of his paintings left me breathless. I think to remember that I spent three hours walking through the exhibition, leaving with the desire to come back.

Thank you for sharing these paintings with us, I will leave through the exhibtion catalogue tonight.