Saturday, June 28, 2014

Copying the Masters - Campaspe by J.W. Godward

 I've been in a bit of a painting slump for the last month or so.  Things have gotten very busy at the office and I've had less time for the studio.  I find, too, that when things are busier and more intense with the business, it is much more difficult to switch mental gears and paint.

Anyway, the Sacramento Fine Arts Center announced a show "Influenced by the Masters" and I thought that was an intriguing idea and a 'guided' way to get a little painting in.  I've copied Masters before.  It's a fabulous exercise - humbling too, I might add.   Several years ago, I copied "Classic Beauty" by John William Godward, an English artist (b 1861- d 1922) and so I went back to his works to search for another painting to copy.   I found "Campaspe" in the Art Renewal Center ( ) library, which is an incredible place.  I highly recommend it.  The original is a very tall and vertical painting, but I wanted something a little less challenging, so I turned it into a horizontal of just a portion of the original.  If you haven't painted from the Masters, you should.  It's a wonderful learning experience....and it will give you new-found respect for what they were able to do.

Because I wanted to copy the style of the painting as much as possible (it isn't possible!) I did a fair amount of glazing on this painting, something I typically don't do. Where Godward captured exquiste form and detail, I was forced to suggest it - both by time and ability.   But wow, this is fun to do.  How these brilliant painters did the incredible work they did is beyond me.  I can only marvel and appreciate.

The plein air frame was the only gold frame I had at hand.  The painting gets submitted today, so it will have to do.  Actually, I kind of like it.

Copy of a portion of Campaspe by J.W. Godward    Oil on stretched linen  12 x 16
Here is John William Godward's exquisite work

Campaspe   John William Godward

 By the way, Campaspe was a mistress of Alexander the Great and a prominent citizen of Larissa.  She was reportedly a model for several great works. In this painting by Giovanni Battista Tiepolo, the ancient Greek artist Apelles paints Campaspe as Alexander keeps a watchful (and suspicious?) eye on the proceedings. 
Giovanni Battista Tiepolo

Painting from the Masters is just an all around great experience.  Try it!

My Art Site: Bruce Hancock Fine Art

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Sutter Creek Scene - Plein Air

Howard Rees and I met up in Sutter Creek on Friday to enjoy the beautiful summer weather and get some plein air painting in.  The morning couldn't have been more pleasant.  We went to the small park which is pinched between a parking lot and a small stream which bisects the town.  If you didn't know it was there, you'd probably never find it.

I have been working in my studio very sporadically on a copy of a painting by John Godward.  Other than that I haven't been behind the easel much for several weeks.  It was good to get out there once again.

This is the rear of a group of buildings which border the creek.  I was on one side of the water, in the park, looking across.  I've painted the main building's the home of Pizza Plus, definitely great pizza!  And cold beer. 

Sutter Creek Scene   12 x 16 oil primed linen panel. 
To PURCHASE or BID on this original plein air oil painting, CLICK HERE

My Art Site: Bruce Hancock Fine Art