Philadelphia Museum of Art


Philadelphia Museum of Art


This weekend S. and I traveled to Philadelphia for a little getaway and the first place we visited was the Philadelphia Museum of Art. A museum I have wanted to visit for a long time because lately we have been watching a Teaching Company lecture series given by William Kloss titled Masterworks of American Art where a lot of the paintings highlighted in the series can be found at this museum.

We were both eager to view the Thomas Eakins pieces that are part of the collection. Here are a few images I took while in the museum...

Thomas Eakins

Thomas Eakins detail
A beautiful detail of the hand and how lost and found edges are used to such great effect by Eakins

Thomas Eakins
I sat in front of this portrait of J. Harry Lewis for the longest time, I was so struck by how expressive the face is even with more than half of it being in shadow.

Thomas Eakins

Thomas Eakins detail
{detail of the taffeta fabric}

While the museum has several interesting and special exhibits going on we chose to focus on the regular admission galleries making sure to visit the exhibit on George Inness in Italy which is ending May 15th. Even though I do not often paint landscapes, they are really one of my favorite types of paintings. I love how you can get lost in them and how there is such a variety of capturing different scenes and weather conditions.

George Inness

George Inness detail
One thing I learned from this exhibit is that George Inness was a master of varying paint thickness to create affect. In this paiting of Lake Nemi the paint application goes from thin layers where you can see the neutral underpainting ground to a thick impasto like this detail shows.

George Inness

George Inness detail
I was also struck by his use of color, even though Inness was a tonalist, passages in his paintings show the use of intense color.

It was a great day spent in the museum, here are a few more links that may be of interest for further investigation on Thomas Eakins and George Inness
complete works of Thomas Eakins

complete works of George Inness

Back from Texas

Dirt Road
{dirt road near Castroville, TX}


I am back from Texas and want to share with you some of the "art" highlights of my trip. The trip was prompted because I wanted to attend my cousin's wedding and to catch up with family in both Castroville and San Antonio. Luckily there was time enough to mix in a few art related excursions.

On Thursday I visited La Villita in downtown San Antonio. I knew Susan Carlin had a small gallery there and made a special point to visit her. She has been such an inspiration for me over the past few years and it was an opportunity I did not want to miss out on. {though I must admit I am more often a lurker than a commenter... that will have to change now that I have met her!}

Susan Carlin & her new gallery
{Susan Carlin in front of her new digs, Nueva Street Gallery}

Susan was in the midst of moving from her old gallery space to a new one also located within La Villita. She was scheduled to reopen the next day! And she still spent time with me talking about the past year and her postive experience of owning her own gallery space. She is such a generous soul!

Some of Susan's Work
{some of Susan's work}

View of Susan's Gallery

{Inside her new gallery, I love the bank of north windows...}

The next day I visited the McNay Art Museum in the Alamo Heights area of San Antonio. It was a super relaxing and invigorating at the same time, if that is possible? Well, that is how I felt after spending almost 3 hours viewing the different galleries.

Central Fountain
{the inner courtyard at the McNay Museum}

I am learning that it is close to impossible to leave the architect in me behind when I visit places, half of the photos taken at the McNay ended up being architectural oriented... {here is a link to all the photos taken}

Tile Flooring
{some amazing floor tile at the McNay}

Saturday was my last full day in San Antonio. I had plans to have lunch with my cousin, and during our initial conversation she brought up that Sara Winters is one of her good friends. So after we spent some time catching up, we invited her to join us for lunch as well. She came with her little boy, who behaved very well for a little one. I enjoyed meeting her and getting to hear the good news that she had sold a painting that weekend! I feel it is the little rewards of sharing your passion for something that makes the world so full and joyful and when someone rewards you with wanting to own your art, that feeling is just magical...

The six days went by fast. I am ready for a break, but I have already been diving into the studio. Tomorrow I will share with you the progress I made on the Vase of Flowers copyist piece today while at the NGA.

Until then, have a wonderful evening, Liz

A Longhorn!!!
{longhorn at sunset}


How are you on this Monday afternoon? DC is having a bout of cool gray weather, I am hopeful that the weather predictions of warmer and sunnier days starting Wednesday are true! Until then I will make the most of the time by working inside.

Yesterday was a gray day also and it dampened my desire to paint, so instead I decided to get out some different steel quill pens and experiment some.

20100328 ink dwg 1

20100328 ink dwg 2

20100328 ink dwg 3

These three drawings were copied from the Metropolitan Museum of Art online Works of Art database. I have such a high respect for asian art and their use of line.

Friday Inspiration: Museums, videos and links

06 2009 Friday Inspiration.jpg
{ A postcard and peonies on my desk in the studio}

Hello, before the weekend begins here are a few things that have been holding my attention this week.

} Now that I am making a more concerted effort to draw and watercolor in my sketchbooks, I have been contemplating making my own. Roz first inspired me to think about this option and I have been watching some book binding tutorials on Youtube starting with this one.

} I discovered this collection of watercolor paintings by Nina Johansson {1} {2} {3} I am particulary inspired by her use of pattern, view, and tonal quality in each painting.

} This Friday is the third week of Artomatic, and during the week I have connected with some local artists that are also bloggers all thanks to the open atmosphere Artomatic enables. It has been nice getting to know Elizabeth Seaver, Liz Holm, and Tracey Clarke more this week.

} I also visited the Freer Gallery on the Mall. Finally seeing the Peacock Room and then more Whistler etchings and paintings. The museum also has a wonderful painting by SergeantBreakfast in the Loggia” His ability to capture the quality of light and warm glow of the morning sun, took my breathe away. I want to paint like this!

Have you come across anything especially inspiring? If so please leave a comment and share what it was, I always love hearing what has your attention. Have a great weekend, Liz

Boston Sketchbook {Part 2}

05 2009 Boston skbk 6.jpg


I am back with some more sketchbook pages from Boston. These are all from my last day in Boston, I was really inspired to draw and observe that day. On the previous days I was more caught up with thoughts and musing about different ideas on how best to go about developing my art career. I spent a lot of time thinking and I feel it in my bones that some decisions were made, though in a lot of ways I think the ideas still need time to crystallize into more definable goals… Does this ever happen to you? After making decisions in your gut, you still need to take time and let them settle so your brain can understand them more. Right now that is where I am at.

While in Boston I visited the Boston Public Library, the Museum of Fine Arts Boston, and the Isabella Gardner Museum.

These two layouts are from the Isabella Gardner Museum

This sketch was from a long wait at a bus stop.

The Museum of Fine Arts had a great special exhibit on Titian, Tintoretto, and Veronese. If you are fortunate to visit Boston this summer, try to make time to visit this exhibit, it was really great seeing so many strong paintings in one grouping and to learn how the individual artists were influenced by each other. And for a more eclectic museum visit go to the Isabella Gardner museum. This place had some truly remarkable pieces, including the Sergeant painting El Jaleo. It really knocked my socks off.

That is all I have to share now, see you tomorrow with a post about the Artomatic show and photos of my wall there. Tomorrow is the last day to set up before the opening this Friday, May 29th.

Jan Lievens @ NGA

steve in east wing1.jpg

Today Steve and I had an opportunity to visit the National Gallery of Art. We really wanted to see the Jan Lievens exhibit. It was really a wonderful exhibit, I took a few photos (without a flash of course).

I love this etching and the following one. The facial features are so interesting and the ability to hatch just captivates me...

I loved so many of his paintings, the ability to capture so many different emotions and genres. Steve pointed out how some paintings would utilize muted palettes and others very vibrant. I had been focusing most on technique and brushwork quality. I really loved the painting of "Man in Oriental Costume" the use of a magical light source, the warm rich colors of the man's robe and the cool neutral background. The muted turban and feathers.

Here is a detail of the cap and chain. I love texture and daubs of paint to represent the glint of gold.

Here is Steve standing outside of the Pompeii exhibit. Which was our second destination after the Jan Lievens exhibit. I did not get any photos of that exhibit, I was just really enjoying the show and did not think about it until after we walked out of the gallery.