Friday, November 22, 2013

Higgins Armory

James and Jeanette Gurney painting at the Higgins Armory. Photo by Greg Shea
Yesterday Jeanette and I joined a group of artist friends to paint at the Higgins Armory in Worcester, Massachusetts, the only museum in America devoted entirely to armor.

I was attracted to this pairing of 16th century German field armor poised for combat. What struck me first was the chiaroscuro: light-on-dark on the left, and dark-on-light on the right.

I also liked the sense of action, and I thought I would develop that idea, imagining the scene taking place with real people outdoors.

I started the painting in watercolor, and finished in casein. It's 5x8 inches and took about five hours. I shot video of the process, so I'll edit that together for a future post.

Our group, from left to right included: Sean Murray, Ken Laager, Jeanette Gurney, Marc Holmes, James Gurney, Greg Shea, Richard Scarpa, Chad Smith, Garin Baker, Joe Salamida (in helmet), John Caggiano.

The Higgins Armory will be welcoming any artists who want to sketch from the collection this Saturday in non-oil media. Although Jeanette and I won't be there, other artists will be gathering. Don't miss seeing the collection before it closes forever at the end of the year. Edit: I have heard that the museum officials have changed their mind and will not be able to allow artists to come on Saturday after all. Sorry for the confusion.


Novice Naturalist said...

I am hooked on your videos. Looking forward to this one.

Tom Hart said...

What a great lesson in taking a reference as a starting point, and manipulating it (using your considerable skill) as a means to an end, not an end it itself. I love this, and seeing the changes you made to serve the concept. Can't wait for the video!

Erik Davis-Heim said...

Whoa the armory is closing?! Do you have any idea what they're doing with the collection?

Monika Baum said...

Wonderful, simply wonderful!
(Surprised to see Marc, I took a workshop with him in Barcelona this year… is the art world really that small?)

Keith Parker said...

That looks super fun! If I lived close I'd definnately have to check that out.

David Glenn said...

This looks cool. Why is the knight on the right wearing a skirt?

Chad said...

Good times!
Looking forward to Zorn and NYC.


Anonymous said...

Definitely looking forward to the video from this session! Hopefully I can crib some notes and work them into an armored miniature.

Lisa said...

Wonderful art with such life from a static reference! @ Erik, the Armory's collection will become part of the Worcester Art Museum. It's a shame though, as the Armory has such interesting architecture and fantastic family programs specific to the arms and armor it hosts.