Archive for October 15, 2012

Artist of the moment…..Fantastic Photographer Ansel Adams….

Lets talk about this artist. Most of my friends and family have at least one print of his in their house.

A quick interview with Ansel Adams and Roy Firestone. See the artist and hear him in his own words.

Ansel Adams was born in 1902 in San Francisco, California. Adams is known for taking spectacular black and white photographs of the American west. He enjoyed taking pictures at the National Parks such as Yosemite and Yellowstone National Park. Adams was similar to Georgia O’Keefes husband photographer Alfred Steigliz, in that both took photography to another level as a business thru their skill and keen marketing efforts. Even today Adam’s work is reproduced on calenders, posters, and post cards.

His parents were of the upper class and he was an only child. His father’s family ran a lumber company. In an odd twist, Adams came to hate these companies that ruined one of his favorite things in life, the redwood tree. It was with his family in 1916 that the artist first visited Yosemite National Park and took many pictures with a Kodak Brownie Box Camera.

For his tools Adams mainly used large format cameras as he liked the end result of their high resolution.

And the most interesting thing about Adams I learned was that his nose was broken during an aftershock of the Great Earthquake of San Fransisco, California in 1906. He was only four years old and unharmed after the initial quake. He was knocked into a wall in the garden. Doctors felt he should have his nose reset when he reached adulthood, but he never did and his nose remained crooked his entire life.

Both father and son loved to study astronomy. His father was a paid treasurer for an astronomy come for twenty five years.

His father help to push Ansel’s love of art and encouraged his photography. His mother did not approve of his photography and as a result the two had a distant relationship.

Growing up the artist was hyperactive, and didn’t have patience to play sports but loved to be out of doors and explore the world. At the age of twelve his father removed him from school and educated him at home.  Also at this age Ansel Adams fell in love with the piano. His memory was so adept it was said he could listen to a piece at night before bed, and play it from memory the next morning.  He chased the dream of becoming a professional musician until 1920. At the age of eighteen,  Ansel Adams decided to pursue a career in photography.

In 1928 Adams was married. His first large commercial portfolio of prints was made in 1927. He felt he had made his photographs to reflect how he felt about an image, rather than just capturing a likeness.  This portfolio brought Adams many new wealthy fans who hired him to take photographs of their land and portraits of their family.
Published first large scale book with his photographs called Taos Pueblo in 1931. Also in this year the artist was given an exhibition at the Smithsonian. Ansel Adams opended his own art and photography gallery in 1933. His first child came in 1933, followed by another two years later.

Ansel Adams did some work with color photography but felt color distracted the photographer from taking a great picture.  Adams also loved the control he had in the development state of his process of photography using black and white vs. color images.

In 1984, Ansel Adams died following a heart attack at the age of eighty two.

Price ranges: Various prints are available in all price ranges. His Gelatin Silver Prints range from $500 to $60,000. Other items like calenders and post cards, commercial items can be found for less than $10.

In closing, I admire this artist and his images are easy to remember. Even I have never been to Yosemite National Park, thru Ansel Adams I feel as though I have been there!

Take some great pictures on your next outdoor adventure!


Artist of the moment….Walter Launt Palmer….

This artist is well known for painting wonderful landscapes with snow. He captured perfectly the glowing light and myriad of colors that can be found in snow.

A montage of more of the artist’s landscapes and fabulous snow pieces set to orchestra music.

The artist was born in Albany, New York in the year 1854. He grew up in an artistic family whose friends including some great painters of the American landscape such as Frederic Church, James and William Hart, and Edward Gay. In his teens the artist mentored with Charles Elliot for painting portraits. He was student of Church for painting landscapes. Under the tutelage of these two great artists at the tender age of eighteen years old his work was selected for exhibition with the National Academy of Design.

In 1873 the artist traveled throughout Europe with his family visiting Scotland, France, Germany, and Italy. Whilst in Europe he took some lessons from Carolus Duran, John Singer Sargent’s mentor. Walter Palmer got to meet other artists working in Europe such as the aforement John Singer Sargent and William Merritt Chase.

Palmer returned to the United States and was an official protege of Church and shared a studio with him for three years.

Palmer kept great records of all the artwork he produced. This was something he learned directly from Frederic Church. According to his records his most successful paintings were those of Venice and of course his snow paintings.

Palmer often times painted from memory. This would allow him to match colors and generate moods and feelings in his artwork rather than just rendering something.

Palmer passed away in 1932 at the age of 76 years old.

Walter Palmer was very diverse in his mediums working in oils, pastels, watercolor, and gouache.

Price ranges: For watercolors the artist’s work goes from $2,000 to $20,000. Oil paintings range from $198,000 for a 30 by 40 inch work down to $1,800 for a smaller work sized 10 by 8 inches.  For pastel works the range is $3,600 t0 $60,000.

For his artistic influences the artist followed the works of the Hudson River School. He also admired John Ruskin for experimenting by painting snow with blue shadows.

This artist is one of the best I have seen for painting snow. After first learning to paint snow in grey tones, I also found that painting snow with blue shadows, made for wonderful vivid paintings. Other painters of snow I admire are Aldro Hibbard, Len Chmiel, Richard Schmid, Lynn Boggess, and the father son duo of Guy Carleton Wiggins and Guy Arthur Wiggins.

Below is a snowscape by Lynn Boggess. He uses cement trowels to apply his paint and works directly from life.