Posts Tagged ‘tonalist’

Artist of the moment………Charles Warren Eaton


Charles Warren Eaton was an American painter who worked in a tonalist style. Charles Warren Eaton was born in Albany, New York in the year 1857. Eaton was renown for his landscapes and for his depictions of eastern white pine trees.

His family was not well off financially and young Charles began working at the age of nine.

A friend took a painting class and this inspired Charles Warren Eaton to become a painter. He moved to New York City at the age of twenty two and would attend the Art Student’s League and also the National Academy of Design.

Eaton worked in oils and was also a master painter of watercolor and produced a small number of lithographs and pastel works. He was an original member of the American Watercolor Society.

The artist’s career ended quietly and with few sales due to the economic tough times in America which included the Great Depression.

Charles Warren Eaton passed away in 1937.

Below we view a painting by Eaton that get’s an appraisal on the Antique’s Roadshow:

Price range information: Works range from $5,000 to $100,000.

If you enjoy tonalist paintings check out my posts on artists Granville Redmond and Russell Chatham.




Artist of the moment…….Thomas Alexander Harrison

Thomas Alexander Harrison was a brother of the Birge Harrison, the aforementioned artist who painted wonderful snow scenes. Thomas Harrison was born in the year 1953 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania who was renowned for his paintings of the sea and marine scenery.

For his artistic education Thomas Harrison attended the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. In addition Harrison studied at the San Francisco School of Design and the Ecole des Beaux Arts located in Paris, France.

After college he found a career as a mapmaker. He was employed by the United States government.

Over his career Harrison won many prestigious awards from the famed Paris Salon.

Thomas Harrison passed away in 1930 in Paris, France.

Price range information : Works range from $5,000 to $50,000.

A third brother who was a professional painter was Butler Harrison. Butler Harrison specialized in painting the figure, but I couldn’t find any examples.


Artist of the moment……Birge Harrison

Lovell Birge Harrison was an American painter born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in the year 1854. Harrison was renowned for his landscapes and paintings of the western genre. Harrison was a tonalist painter. If you enjoy tonalist works make sure and check out my entry on Montana painter Russell Chatham.

For his artistic education Birge Harrison attended the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in 1874. Here he was able to study from master figure painter Thomas Eakins.

Deciding he needed more schooling he took off for Paris and  with the help of John Singer Sargent decided to study under the famed Carolus-Duran at the famed Ecole des Beaux-Arts.

Harrison met his future wife when he was doing some summer landscapes. She too was an artist named Eleanor Ritchie. His first wife would die whilst expecting the couples first baby. Harrison remarried and moved to Plymouth, Massachusetts.

By 1910 Birge Harrison had become famous for landscapes of the winter season.

Harrison was a member of the National Academy of Design.

Birge Harrison passed away in 1929.

Price range information: Sorry none available.

In the next few posts I will cover his brother, T. Alexander  Harrison.

Birge Harrison also was great at design with clouds.

Artist of the moment…….Tonalist painter Leon Dabo….

This artist was known for his paintings of the Hudson River. His work reminds me of American tonalist Russell Chatham. Both used so many layers of grey in their skies it gives the real effect of dappled light. The artist was very gifted at capturing reflected light.  The artist also made wonderful floral works of art.

His compositions appear to be quite simple, but he was a master at capturing the vastness. Its as if he makes a small canvas appear larger by his great use of space. In many works their is little detail and little more is depicted than sky, water, or sand. Very peaceful and serene. If you enjoy this artist be sure and check out Rick Fleury, another great painter of space and the ocean.

Two other artists known for painting vast panoramic scenes would be Rackstraw Downes and Keith Jacobshagen. Both keep the horizons low in the composition and layer on many layers of light paint in their skies.

A clip of some works done by the artist set to wonderful string music.

The artist was born in 1864 in Saverne, France.  One of eight children. Had a brother named Scott who became a highly collected artist as well.

Father was a professor at university level and moved the family to Detroit, Michigan in preparation for the Franco- Prussian war in 1870. Fourteen years later his father died and the family moved to New York City. Leon found work in the architecture industry. Leon worked hard to help support the family so his brother Scott could hone his talents and become a successful artist.  Scott was thought to be the better talented artist.

Eventually Leon met a great mentor in the artist John LaFarge. With some assistance from LaFarge, Dabo was able to study in France, Germany, Italy, and England. In London, England he met James McNeill Whistler.

In 1890 he came back to the United States and was painter of murals. He then moved to painting landscapes. His work was immediately liked by the art critics in the United States but the artist was well liked in France. Once he became a success in France the artist was very successful in United States.

The artist always seemed to be at odds with his brother. Perhaps jealousy or anger at Leon’s success Scott Dabo even accused his brother of mishandling funds from Scott’s sales (Leon sometimes was his brothers agent) and even copying Scott’s style. In the end the critics loved Leon’s work more and he was able to charge more for his works.

The artist spoke several languages and was used by the French and British armies to root out spies in World War 1. After this the artist didn’t produce many works. “Materialism” was too much a part of society in the U.S. and the artist thought women could change this. Dabo spoke to more than ten different women’s groups per month.

In his later years he taught students in Connecticut as well as France. He died in 1960 aged 95 in Manhattan.

For both flowers and for landscapes this artist is one of my favorite painters. Another artist who became somewhat of an historian by studying art in different countries.

low price range:  Many pieces at auction go for less than $5,000. Medium used oils.

high price range:  43,000.  Medium used oils.



Artist of the moment….Granville Redmond…

The artist was born Granville Seymour Redmond  in March of 1871 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania . I find this artist to be one of the most inspirational forces out there. An artist who was also great at acting and counted Charile Chaplin as a friend. Redmond even appeared in silent movies alongside Chaplin. Chaplin learend a great deal about mime work from Redmond.

Redmond appeared in many films directed by Chaplin. Such as City Lights, You’d Be Surprised, A Woman of Paris, The Idle Class, The Kid, Sunnyside, A Day’s Pleasure, and A Dogs Life (A clip from this movie is in the video section above)

Redmond was born able to hear but slightly before turning three years of age he contracted Scarlett Fever. As a result he was unable to hear the rest of his life, but he didn’t let being deaf get in the way of being a successful artist working in movies as well as painting and drawing. Chaplin not only got acting jobs for Redmond but also made him a painting studio on one  of the film lots.

The artist’s family moved out west to so that he could attend a special elementary and high school that was made for deaf students.  After graduating he went to the San Francisco School of Design. He won an award and as a result he was able to study in Paris, France at the Julien Academy. He is known as one of the great California Impressionist Painters.

On line and land based galleries: Karges Fine Art in Carmel, California.

A short clip from a gallery in Carmel. The director of the movie talks about a variety of artists from the area.

A clip from the movie A Dog’s Life starring Charlie Chaplin. Redmond acted alongside Chaplin in this movie.

He was married in 1898 to a former student of a deaf college in Illinois. The couple had three children together.

The artist passed away in 1935.

low price range: Pencil and chalk work on paper for a few thousand dollars.

high price range: $517,000 For a tonalist landscape painting of California titled “California Landscape with Oaks, Poppie, and Lupine.

Including in museum collections at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Orange County Museum of Art, and the Irvine Museum.

A link to the artist’s website:

This artist is just great to read about when you are upset because you just can’t get something right. A great example of an artist who overcame deafness and acted in silent movies. The man helped Charlie Chaplin master his craft!  His use of color and tone was remarkable.  Also interesting is his lively brush work with a wide variety of strokes and a weaving of paint similar to Van Gogh’s landscapes in style but not thickness of paint.

Happy painting!