DAILY ART FIX: Mythmakers: Winslow Homer And Frederic Remington

Art world links which caught my eye…

“The Stampede” by Frederic Remington (1861-1909), 1908. Oil on canvas. Gilcrease Museum, Tulsa, Okla., gift of the Thomas Gilcrease Foundation.

Frederic Remington “The Stampede”

Two great American painters went through their artistic peaks around the same time, despite a great difference in their ages and locations. A 2021 exhibit highlighted what they shared.

Winslow Homer and Frederic Remington are both mythic American artists. Their artworks represent what – for differing groups of art critics and consumers – have come to be seen as defining products of an “American art.” Homer is seen to represent the East Coast, with his crashing waves and stoic Atlantic fisher folk, and Remington the West, with his roughneck ranch hands and romanticized Native American braves. While Homer’s work was slow to catch on at first, he became one of the most respected artists of his day, and he is now universally lauded among the arts intelligentsia as a centrally important figure in the history of American art. Remington, by contrast, enjoyed wide popularity as a young artist, but since his early death his reputation has fallen among the curators, critics and academic art historians who are the keepers of the canon. It is partly for this reason that the two artists’ work has never before been considered together in a major exhibition, despite their surprising number of commonalities. Seeking to redress that oversight – and, to some extent, both artists’ “mythic” status – the Amon Carter Museum of Art, Portland Museum of Art (Maine) and Denver Art Museum have co-organized “Mythmakers: Winslow Homer and Frederic Remington,” on view at the Amon Carter through February 28.

Read the full article here: ANTIQUES AND THE ARTS – Mythmakers: Winslow Homer And Frederic Remington

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I don’t fundraise off of my blog. I don’t ask for Patreon or Paypal donations. If you’d like to support the Remodern mission, buy a book. Or a painting

Learn more About My Art: Visionary Experience

My wife Michele Bledsoe has written her own inspirational book, Painting, Passion and the Art of Life.

Remodernism Video: BEFORE THERE WAS FAKE NEWS, THERE WAS FAKE ART

Visit other posts for more commentary on the state of the arts.

Please send any inquiries to info@remodernamerica.com. Thank you!

DAILY ART FIX: Lincoln and Grant Meeting, Sketched from Life by Artist Winslow Homer

Art world links which caught my eye…

homer lincoln drawing

Winslow Homer: “Untitled [Sketch of Abraham Lincoln and his son Tad with Ulysses S. Grant], 1865.”

After the Battle of Petersburg in 1865, President Abraham Lincoln visited the area to see General Ulysses S. Grant – a future President himself. Artist Winslow Homer, serving as a journalist at the time, captured a sketch from life of the two men while they were together in a railway station. Looks like Lincoln had shaved off his beard at the time.

Read the full article here: GRAPHIC ARTS COLLECTION – Winslow Homer at Petersburg?

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I don’t fundraise off of my blog. I don’t ask for Patreon or Paypal donations. If you’d like to support the Remodern mission, buy a book. Or a painting

My wife Michele Bledsoe has written her own inspirational book, Painting, Passion and the Art of Life.

Remodernism Video: BEFORE THERE WAS FAKE NEWS, THERE WAS FAKE ART

Visit other posts for more commentary on the state of the arts.

Please send any inquiries to info@remodernamerica.com. Thank you!

PAINTINGS: “The Determined Sailor” and the Art of Perseverance

Determined Sailor036

Richard Bledsoe “The Determined Sailor” oil on canvas 48″ x 36″

circa 2006

I must admit, there was a point I didn’t keep very good records. So I find myself uncertain of the exact timing of a certain troubled interlude in my life. The best I can reckon it, it probably ran from about 2004 to 2005.

I graduated with my BFA in painting from Virginia Commonwealth University in 1993. In all the years since, I’ve never stopped painting; but during this dark period, my production slowed to a crawl. I had become fascinated with working on wood panels, a  rigid, unyielding surface to paint on. When things were clicking I had made some really inspired pieces in this format, but during this ebb of my artistic energy I couldn’t overcome the resistance of the medium, and even worse, the resistance in my spirit.

I made some truly terrible paintings during this period. If I get really brave some day, I will post those incompetent, blighted images. There are a lot of unfinished panels, and even the ones I called completed are in no way resolved. I haven’t gotten rid of them. They live in my garage now, safely out of sight.

But worst of all, the visions ceased. The basis of my art, the fully formed pictures that come out of nowhere, the profoundly meaningful images that are revealed to me in unexpected flashes, stopped appearing. It was like losing the key to Wonderland.

It could have been the end of my art. Things were really that bleak and frustrating. But it’s not the way I chose to approach life, to be a passive recipient, battered by forces out of my control.  Once I saw the real jeopardy I was in, I took action.

I decided no more wood panels. I went back to first principles, and constructed a canvas  in the same format I had been taught in my first semester of Beginning Painting, back in 1991: a wooden frame 3 feet by 4 feet, the canvas stretched by hand, and stapled, and gessoed.

For the image I also reached back to an earlier time. I remembered an idle doodle I had once drawn in ballpoint pen on the back of a flier, during a dull afternoon of gallery watching many years before. That was the icon I needed now.

The result of this effort at renewal became the painting “The Determined Sailor.” This was how I felt then. There’s also some Popeye in there, and some Winslow Homer. So much gets poured into each painting, it’s impossible to summarize all the inferences and connotations.

The example of this sailor I summoned worked. I found my way back into my art. In time the visions began to creep up on me again. Now the problem I have is I have too many ideas, which is a great problem for an artist to have.

That was probably about 10 years ago. For several of those years the painting hung in my studio, but ultimately it sold. A lady who had overcome some major difficulties in her own life saw the image online, and was so taken with it she made it her computer screen saver.

Naturally her husband sought me out, and bought it as a surprise for her.

I miss the painting, but the way it found a new home and family remains one of the most touching experiences of my art career.

“A true art is the visible manifestation, evidence and facilitator of the soul’s journey. Spiritual art does not mean the painting of Madonnas or Buddhas. Spiritual art is the painting of things that touch the soul of the artist. Spiritual art does not often look very spiritual, it looks like everything else because spirituality includes everything.”

-The Remodernism Manifesto