Friday, August 6, 2010

J. P. Wilson's Plein Air Oils

Michael Anderson of Yale's Peabody Museum is publishing a book online about the work of James Perry Wilson, who I believe to be one of the most resourceful landscape colorists of the 20th century.

Mr. Anderson writes:
"James Perry Wilson loved to paint. He loved to paint dioramas, architectural subjects, and more than anything else, he loved painting outdoors en plein air.

"In sharp contrast to his diorama painting or architectural work however, Wilson painted other works in a single day on transportable 8"X10" mahogany panels or 12"X16" canvasboards.

"These small works, done apparently for the sheer love and challenge of painting, reflect the same skill and intelligence seen in his diorama work with the addition of a working spontaneity. They guide us directly to the heart of James Perry Wilson and where his passion lay.

"There is a palpable quality of joy in Wilson’s paintings. He expresses his awe of nature through paint. This is a meticulously observed landscape that emanates his love of color in nature and his depiction of light and atmosphere."

For the full chapter, follow this link to JPW's Plein-Air Painting. I highly recommend this link, and be sure to scroll down a little past halfway to read JPW's notes on atmospheric colors. This is like a whole textbook on plein air practice by a painter who thought more probingly about light and color than almost anyone.
Previous GJ posts about J.P. Wilson, Part 1 and Part 2


Tommy Scott said...

I have been blown away by the first one alone. This guy is crazy good with color and value!

Karla said...

The atmospheres represented are terrific. It's as if you can feel the air just by looking at the painting. Fantastic!

etc, etc said...

What an amazingly skilled landscape painter. No Wikipedia page, no published monograph that I could find. In contrast, a search at Amazon books returns over three thousand different titles on Monet...sad.

shawn hebrank said...

Michael Anderson taught me how to taxidermy birds for study skins in the basement of the Peabody Museum. He's such a diverse and interesting person, so I'm sure this book will be very well done.
thanks for the links!

Kurt said...

Wonderful link. Will follow each chapter with excitement.

James Gurney said...

Etc, Etc: What you say is so true. There's a herd mentality with publishing, so that we get glutted with literally thousands of titles on Picasso, Monet, and Van Gogh, while Michael Anderson has been having a hard time (so far) finding a traditional publisher for this incredible work of scholarship. Let's hope he gets it into print! Note publishers: there is demand!

There are a few Yale pamphlets that talk about his approach to painting diorama backdrops, for which he is most famous. Also, Steve Quinn's book "Windows on Nature" talks a bit about this work. Arthur Guptill's book "Color in Sketching and Rendering" from the 30s has a couple reproductions of his architectural work. There are also a few magazine articles. On the web, S. Quinn of the American Museum of Natural History has some audio and pictures:

Mary Bullock said...

Thanks for the link to the book site - can't wait for it to be published!

The Surfin' Squid said...

Beautiful landsapes, thanks for sharing.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the link. It is obvious that Wilson ranks among artists who really, really loved to paint. He was a top notch landscapist. Could be compared to the likes of Monsted.

kathycg06 said...

Very nice, link between description and the photos are perfectly matched. -------------------

Mike said...

Excellent link thanks