Sunday, October 13, 2013

Pleissner's Watercolor Setup

Ogden Pleissner (1905-1983) was an American watercolorist who painted Europe after World War II and became best known for his sporting artwork.

His plein-air watercolor setup was perfect for working large. The wooden tripod easel can expand to hold very large boards, and the angle can be tilted to allow washes to move. The palette has its own tripod to keep it right next to the painting, and it can be tilted as well. A big porcelain bowl holds the rinse water. The umbrella has its own stand, not attached to the easel.
Here's another photo taken the same day with the umbrella removed. He holds his extra brushes in his left hand and dangles a cloth off the right side of the easel.

One of Pleissner's plein-air watercolors: Old Mill, Winchendon, Massachusetts, c. 1960, 16 x 26 inches, courtesy Adelson Galleries.
The second photo is from the Archives of American Art, which has Pleissner's papers.
The Pleissner Gallery at the Shelburne Museum in Burlington, VT has many originals and studio effects.


c'est Jeff ici said...

Thanks for the idea of a separate tripod for the palette.

Steve said...

Pleissner did wonderful work. The Shelburne Museum in Vermont has a permanent exhibit of his work; the Pleissner Gallery. Along with many of his paintings, they moved his studio intact onto the Museum grounds. It's a similar set up to visiting Norman Rockwell's studio at the Rockwell museum.

I've seen the top photo of Pleissner at work -- in the book of his collected works. Where did you find the second photo from the same day?

James Gurney said...

Steve, thanks for mentioning the Shelburne exhibit. It's a great place to see both his watercolors and oils. Been a while since I've been up there. The image is from the Archive of American Art, which has his papers:

Erik Davis-Heim said...

That is a pretty incredible little painting.

Cornelia Emery said...

Little? It's 16x26 inches