Monday, April 21, 2014

John Singer Sargent's Clouds

Ipad rendering of Sargent's Clouds
I always thought John Singer Sargent was British, but he's actually an American born in Florence, Italy. His parents were wealthy ex-pats travelling and living all over Europe. Sargent's childhood was full of art, culture, and constant new experiences. He new from an early age that he wanted to be an artist and chose to follow and study under one of the more controversial of the age, Carolus- Duran who believed in creating portraits without sketching first and just painting directly on the canvas when the paint is fresh. This style of painting was very different from the prevailing, studied, formal portraiture that was popular at the time.

Sargent followed this technique for the rest of his career, making beautiful, fresh, paintings in a unique style all his own. Later in his career, he worked exclusively in watercolors. The painting I've chosen for this week is one of those. It makes sense that he turned to watercolor as it's a medium that requires a quick hand and can quickly and easily go wrong. The naturalness of Sargent's technique works beautifully in watercolor.

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