Simon Palmer

Simon Palmer, English landscapes in watercolor, gouache and ink
Simon Palmer is an English landscape painter who has a fascinating approach somewhere between naturalistic and quite stylized.

He appears to slightly compress both linear and atmospheric perspective, giving an impression of flatness the belies the textures he gives to his foliage and tree forms.

This is emphasized by his muted palette, primarily consisting of earth colors and low chroma greens. He paints in watercolor with additions of gouache and pen and ink.

His approach seems particularly well suited to his subjects of tree-lined country lanes, estate entrances, and those edges where wooded and developed areas meet.

I can’t find a dedicated web presence for Palmer, but I believe he is officially represented by JHW Fine Art.

There are somewhat larger images on the Portland Gallery website.

There is a collection of his work, The Art of Simon Palmer, that was published in the UK in 2011, but I don’t know how easy is is to order from the U.S.


Eye Candy for Today: John William Hill watercolor landscape

Landscape: View on Catskill Creek, John William Hill, watercolor
Landscape: View on Catskill Creek, John William Hill

Watercolor and gouache; roughly 10 x 15 inches (25 x 38 cm); in the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Use the “Download” or “Enlarge” links under the image on their site.

British-American artist John William Hill was noted for his scientific illustrations of birds and other animals, as well as his landscape and still life subjects.

I like the way his rhythmic strokes of color give his depictions of foliage both texture and a sense of movement. He’s also given the rocks a surprising degree of solidity and texture considering their economical notation.

There appears to be a small animal to the left of the figures (images above, third down), but I’m uncertain what it is.


William Trost Richards small watercolors at PAFA

A Mine of Beauty: William Trost Richards small watercolors at PAFA
American painter William Trost Richards, known for his seascapes and landscapes, was also a fantastic watercolorist. While traveling abroad in the late 19th century, he sent a series of small watercolors of his travels back to a patron, George Whitney, who was sponsoring his travels and looking to review scenes for possible larger commissions in oil.

Richards and Whitney called them “coupons”, a joking reference to the idea that they were a kind of promissory note against future work that Richards would do in return for Whitney’s support of his travels. They were somehow largely kept together after Whitney’s death, and in 2012 the collector in possession of them, Dorrance Hamilton, donated them to the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts.

The watercolors were put on display in 2012 (my review here), but, like most works on paper, they are not ordinarily on view.

There is another rare chance to see them now, as the Academy has an “Encore” showing of them. If you can go, get there early enough to let your eyes acclimate to the dimmed light in the gallery. They are in the Furness building with the permanent collection.

These watercolors are astonishingly beautiful, and only slightly more amazing given their small size — most are roughly the size of a postcard. Many were painted in England, along the coast and in London.

For those who can’t get to the show, or would like a preview, you can view them online on PAFA’s website. There isn’t an online gallery specifically for them, but you can go to the Search the Collection page and enter “Richards” for the artist’s last name and “watercolor” for the keyword. That will turn up a few other of Richard’s watercolors, but most will be from this set.

Hopefully, this link will work for you.

Encore Presentation Of A Mine Of Beauty: Landscapes By William Trost Richards will be on view at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in Philadelphia until July 30, 2017.

For more, see my post from 2012 on A Mine of Beauty: Landscapes by William Trost Richards.


Gurney Journey at 10

James Gurney's Gurney Journey art blog at 10
Congratulations to James Gurney for 10 years of authoring his superb blog, Gurney Journey.

What started as a modest intention to chronicle his travels on a book tour — in a way mirroring the journaled adventures of the character Authur Denison in Gurney’s popular illustrated adventure series, Dinotopia — has grown over time into not only a superb blog among art blogs, but one of the most in-depth and useful sources of art information and instruction on the web.

Gurney has been unstintingly generous in sharing his experience as an illustrator, author, plein air painter, instructor, model maker, videographer, and restless experimenter and investigator of artistic topics.

Over the course of time his posts on painting techniques, equipment, paints, color theory, drawing, and related topics have been turned into instructional books, YouTube videos, and most recently, a series of full-length instruction art videos.

Gurney has been a proponent of misunderstood and often overlooked painting mediums like gouache and casein, and Gurney Journey remains one of the definitive sources on the web for information and instruction in their use.

Long time readers of Lines and Colors will know I’ve long enjoyed Gurney Journey and recommended it often, along with Gurney’s other projects.

For those who may be new to Gurney Journey, I will recommend that you take a look at the post he did in 2016 on the landmark of 4,000 posts. In it he links to a quick overview of some of the most prominent topics. You can also explore using the list of topics in the blog’s left column, or the search feature at the upper left of all pages.

If you take the plunge, I will issue my Timesink Warning, and point out that I fell down that rabbit hole myself for a couple of hours while preparing this post, bookmarking along the way numerous articles I had forgotten about for future reference.


Eye Candy for today: Aurthur Robinson watercolor of Alfred Gilbert sculpture commission

Aurthur Robinson watercolor of Alfred Gilbert sculpture commission
Drawing for Alfred Gilbert’s project for the tomb of a the Duke of Clarence, Aurthur Robinson

Watercolor, roughly 24 x 35 inches (89 x 61 cm). Link is to zoomable version on the Google Art Project; downloadable version on Wikimedia Commons; original is in the Musée d’Orsay.

This is a painting by English painter Aurthur Robinson commissioned by sculptor Alfred Gilbert as part of an album to record an elaborate commission for the tomb a royal. The tomb took longer than expected to complete and the watercolor album was never finished, but we have this beautiful example of Robinson’s work for the project.


Eye Candy for Today: Christian Schussele illustration of sea life

Ocean Life, Christian Schussele, watercolor and gouache
Ocean Life, Christian Schussele

Watercolor and gouache, roughly 19 x 28 inches (48 x 70 cm), in the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

This illustration was painted by 19th century painter Schussele for inclusion in a scientific pamphlet, and likely under the guidance of the pamphlet’s author, James M. Sommerville, an amateur naturalist.

Sommerville was also an artist and was a trustee of the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, where Schussele was a professor in drawing and painting.

Schussele’s sensitive but bold rendering of the strange undersea life makes for a lively tableaux of complex and colorful forms.