One of the best of those observational painters is Stapleton Kearns, a New Englander who would have been at home painting alongside Aldro Hibbard or Willard Metcalf.
Stape runs a great art blog that he'll be turning into a book, and in the latest post he reviews my video on painting concept art on location. He says:
"It is divided into two chapters, the first has James on location painting a street scene. He adds a flying car, and shows how he uses a small toy on location to do it. I can't imagine putting a flying car in one of my pictures, but who am I to say, having featured the occasional burning phone booth? The value of this is watching a master of drawing slice up a location picture like a roast. It is an excellent demo of outdoor painting skill, done with a bit of humor."
Since Stape says he can't imagine his painting with a flying car, I have taken the liberty of putting one flying across one of his paintings. He would point out that I have made the mistake of putting the key element in the middle of the composition, a classic compositional error. But the driver of the flying car is there because he is just trying to steer between those trees, and he is dealing with a stiff spring crosswind.
Stape was doing plein-air painting before most folks used the French word for it. Back in those days we usually called it "outdoor painting" or "on-the-spot painting." Plein-air was a term we read about in old art books, and we used the term when we wanted to sound pretentious. When we really wanted to sound pretentious, we'd half-close our eyes, tilt our heads back, and say we were painting en plein air.
|Back row: Tom Kinkade, Stapleton Kearns, Kevin Eugene Johnson? James Warhola, |
James Gurney, Tom Kidd, and Jeanette Gurney. Paul Chadwick and Elizabeth Moon
in lower left.
Stapleton Kearns runs a painters' snow camp in March, which I recommend for the hardy. He says "I will work you like a borrowed mule," and he means it. You can find info about it in his latest post.
Here is Stape's review of "Fantasy in the Wild." And here is his post about the burning phone booth.
Gumroad link for my video.