Henry John Boddington

Henry John Boddington
Victorian painter Henry John Williams took his wife’s last name as Henry John Boddington to distinguish himself from the prolific Williams family of painters from which he came.

Boddington, whose only formal instruction was from his father, painter Edward Williams, developed a style rich with the textures of landscape, often revealed in dramatic almost theatrical lighting. He also gave many of his paintings great depth, carrying the backgrounds into the distance with layers of atmospheric perspective.

Boddington painted his lush, detailed landscapes of the English countryside in various locations throughout England and Wales, but did not follow many of his contemporaries in traveling to the continent or to the Mediterranean basin.

Eye Candy for Today: Gerrit van Honthorst’s The Concert

The Concert, Gerrit van Honthorst
The Concert, Gerrit van Honthorst

In the National Gallery of Art, DC; there is also a downloadable file on Wikimedia Commons.

Like many of his northern European contemporaries, 17th century Dutch painter Gerrit van Honthorst was taken with the dramatic chiaroscuro and dynamic compositions of Caravaggio.

Honrhorst, however, brought his figures into full light and brilliant color, giving them a remarkably contemporary feel to our 21st century eyes.

Tom Dickson

Tom Dickson
Originally from Hamilton, Ontario, Tom Dickson lived and worked for a time in Nova Scotia, and then in British Columbia. On summer trips to Mexico, he discovered a rich source of subject matter and inspirstional culture, and he eventually moved to San Miguel de Allende, where he and his wife, painter Donna Dickson, set up a studio and gallery, and conduct workshops.

Tom Dickson’s paintings of the streets, alleys and plazas of his adopted home are filled with the texture, light and color that abound amid the colorfully painted walls, rough cobblestones and historic stonework.

He takes advantage of the inherent geometry of the streets and buildings, and the dramatic effects of sun and shadows at play on their surfaces, to create extraordinarily strong compositions, alive with marvelous zig-zags of shadow edges and value contrasts.

The weathered textures of stone and old peeling paint are mirrored in his brusque, lively paint application, and their sense of presence is emphasized by his control of hard and soft edges.

Dickson recently suffered a setback in the form of a rare and serious autoimmune illness, Wegener’s Disease, that for a time threatened his ability to paint at all. He is beginning to manage it with treatment, however, and though it has impacted his ability to paint on location, he is working a bit more in the studio and learning to compensate for diminished motor control by working more broadly.

To my mind, he also appears to be focusing his lifetime of acquired knowledge and skill, and some of his most recent works (above, top) are among his strongest.

Ingrid Kallick

The selection of work on illustrator Ingrid Kallick’s website is not extensive, which is unfortunate, as the delightful nature of her illustrations leaves you wanting more.

Imaginatively composed, nicely textural, often intricately rendered, her work is well suited to the flights of imagination integral to her fantasy subjects.

Kallick combines traditional and digital media, starting with a pencil sketch that is scanned into the computer for digital inking and then printed to watercolor paper for the application of acrylic paint.

I’ve found a few other scattered sources — listed below — but hopefully, we’ll see more of Kallick’s work as her career progresses.

Eye Candy for Today; Harry Fenn ink drawing

Present Aspect of Gaines's Mill, Looking East; Harry Fenn; pan and ink
Present Aspect of Gaines’s Mill, Looking East; Harry Fenn

Link is to a zoomable version on Google Art Project; downloadable version on Wikimedia Commons; original is in Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum.

Clear observation and crisp, textural rendering give Fenn’s drawing of a brick-walled mill and nearby wooden houses a tactile sense of presence and place.

George Sotter

George Sotter, Pennsylvania Impressionist
George William Sotter was one of the group of painters working in and around New Hope, Pennsylvania in the early 20th century, who are referred to as the Pennsylvania Impressionists.

Along with Daniel Garber and Edward Redfield, Sotter is one of my favorites of the group.

Sotter painted rural scenes in Bucks County PA, and in Maine, and was noted in particular for his remarkable winter nocturnes. With these, he stepped outside the frequent limitations of night scenes — in which artists feel compelled to use a low value range — and produced bright, luminous works that are still definitely night, but night as it appears in moonlight, in the reflective light of snow cover, or when your eyes are totally dark-adapted. His night scenes are studies in the power of muted color and controlled value relationships.

I’m also very partial to Sotter’s handling of texture, which often gives his work more weight than Impressionist style paintings sometimes have.

Originally from Pittsburgh, where he was established as a stained glass artist, Sotter came to Philadelphia to study at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, where his teachers included Thomas Anshutz and William Merritt Chase.

In Pennsylvania, he met and studied with Edward Redfield, who rarely took on students, and the two became lifelong friends. It was at Redfield’s urging that Sotter eventually settled in Holicong, PA, near New Hope, where he and his wife, artist Alice E. Bennett, opened a studio in a converted barn.

In the yearly local exhibitions at Phillips Mill in New Hope, Sotter frequently won the “favorite painter” award, as decided by his fellow artists.

Sotter is even less well known than some of the other Pennsylvania Impressionists, and examples of his work on the web are scattered and a bit thin, but I’ve gathered what I can, below.

Art History reference has some pieces large enough to see textures, Encore Editions has a nice cross section, though a bit small. Examples on Bonhams and Sothebys are zoomable.

I don’t know of any available monographs on Sotter, but there are authoritative sections in Brian Peterson’s Pennsylvania Impressionism, and Jim Alterman’s A New Hope for American Art.