Archive for January 7, 2013

Artist of the moment….David Johnson….

David Johnson was from the Hudson river school of painters. We might refer to them as the Hudson River 2.0 group. This was the second wave of great plein air artists to come from the area. He painted spectacular sunsets and was known for painting luminosity. This is the effect of lighting the landscape.

Some key characteristics of this style were to use aerial perspective. This means that objects get lighter in tone and more blue in color as viewer looks further into the painting. Also the end result is that very little brushwork remains. Johnson was trying to keep brushwork to a minimum and tried to blend all edges similar to Leonardo Da Vinci.

He was born in 1827 in New York city.

For his collegiate education Johnson attended the National Academy of Design for two years. He then studied with such noted Hudson River painters such as Jasper Crosby.


David Johnson passed away in 1908 at age of eighty years old.

Price range information:  David Johnson worked in oils and they range from $500 to $722,500.

The artist was also known for his paintings of rocks. I love to look at the various ways and end results artists use in depicting rocks. I would like to share some of my favorite painters of rocks. First off is Braldt Bralds. He was born and raised in the Netherlands. He has built a superb collector following for his paintings of cats. But I first admired the artist for his wonderful portrayal of rocks. Bralds is great at depicting different textures. Below is an example of his rocks .

Braldt Bralds


Another artist painting wonderful rocks would be Albert Handell. Handell enjoys painting forests. He has some DVDs out about painting the landscape in pastels or in oils. He makes wonderful trees and rocks using a variety of brushes and painting knives. Handell is a member of the Oil Painters of America and I have seen his work in person more than 10 times and love looking at his portrayal of foliage and rocks. A great example of  Handell’s style is below.  The work is a pastel and check out his wonderful layering of complimentary colors on his rocks.

Near the Stream Bedalberthandell


Another artist painting great rocks is Lynn Boggess. This artist is well known for his large canvas sized landcapes. He uses cement painting trowels rather than brushes and his works have  great texture to them. Boggess paints plein air and his rocks also have great textures. Here is an example of Lynn Boggess and his painting style of highly textured and colored rocks.



Another great artist who paints wonderful rocks would be Stephen Stavast. This artist enjoys painting rocks and riverbed objects. Sticks, leaves, water, and many varieties of rocks are found in his still life paintings. This rtist really brings color and variety to his rocks.



Hope these artists get you inspired to try a landscape or even a small painting of a rock!



Artist of the moment….Robert Gwathmey….

Robert Gwathmey was born in Richmond, Virginia in the year 1903. Though his style is associated with African Americans, Gwathmey himself was white. Gwathmey was known for creating pictures of the rural south and for painting the very human side of people of color.

The artist had a difficult childhood for reasons beyond his control. Gwathmey’s father was a railroad engineer. While still a child his father was killed in a train wreck whilst on the job. To pay the bills the older kids took jobs. This led Robert Gwathmey to see the social inequalities of his own local neighborhood.

For his collegiate education Gwathmey attended several schools. He attended the North Carolina State College, the Maryland Institute of Design, and the Pennsylvania Academy of the Arts.

Which artist does Gwathmey remind me of the most? It  would be Ernest Crichlow. The now deceased African American painter who painted people of color with remarkable patterns and backgrounds. Below is an example of Crichlow’s style of art. Crichlow lived from 1914 to 2005. Along with artists Norman Lewis and Romare Bearden, Crichlow founded the the Cinque Gallery which gave a venue to disadvantaged artists.


Robert Gwathmey was married to professional photographer Rosalie Gwathmey. The couple had a son who became a  famous architect named Charles Gwathmey. So here we have another painter/ photographer couple similar to Georgia O’Keefe and Alfred Steiglitz. Rosalie Gwathmey enjoyed photographing people of color much in the same manner her husband enjoyed painting people of color. Below is an example of a gelatin silver print of hers. She was quite famous in the photography world and is included in the Smithsonian Museum of Art collection.


Most gelatin silver prints by Rosalie Gwathmey are selling from $2,000 to $3,000.

Price range information on Robert Gwathmey:  The artist was very prolific and made many lithographic prints that sell from $300 to $1200. Color lithographs can reach $2,000. Watercolors can range from $3000 to $9000. Works in oils range from $8000 to $72,000.

Charles Gwathmey was the couples only son and was born …… He went on to become famous for his designs of rather large industrial buildings. His company has helped design many such locales in New York city. Below is a clip of a large building that was designed by Charles Gwathmey and his firm.

Below I found a great example of a loft designed by Gwathmey and Seigel in New York city. The loft has 2 bedrooms and 2.5 baths. The cost is $2.7 million U.S. dollar$. His designs come at a hefty price!  Charles Gwathmey gained much publicity for his renovation of the Guggenheim Museum in New York.


Robert Gwathmey passed away in 1988 at the age of 85 years old.

What a very interesting family and legacy!