Eternal Summer: The Art of Edward Henry Potthast by Julie Aronson



Eternal Summer: The Art of Edward Henry Potthast by Julie Aronson

Henry Potthast is a new artist to me. I found this book in the NGA bookstore and being that I had been pondering about improving my sketching skills of Naomi when she it out playing, this book happened to be just the right kind of inspiration.

My goal this summer is to get outside more with her and to record these moments of Naomi in our yard with paint and watercolor. She is growing up so fast that I want to record this era with something more visceral than just a ton of photos


Now back to why this book inspired me to purchase it and bring it home. First off, the book has a great essay on Henry Potthast’s painting training and techniques he employed, that are supported with several images from his sketchbooks.


Then in the catalogue, instead of just having finished images, there is a collection of his working sketches alongside his completed paintings, with helpful descriptive annotations. I learn new painting techniques from the written word as much as I do from analyzing an image. So this book is a perfect balance for me.


{sketch on the left, and final "studio" painting on the right}


{sketch on the right, and final "studio" painting on the left}


What is also helpful with this book is the comparisons you get to employ when analyzing Potthast's work, you can look at his working sketches, in pencil, watercolor, or oil pastel/crayon, and then see how he assimilated the initial idea and refined it to express more specifically what was special about the moment. This is why I love drawing and painting so much, because as the artist, you can shift reality some to better define what is important.


{two studio paintings that still keep the sense of vitality as his field sketches}


{sketch on the left, and final "studio" painting on the right}


{studio painting and detail of  another painting}


{detail of a painting, and most likely a field sketch}

Eternal Summer: The Art of Edward Henry Potthast