Monday, August 2, 2010

Summer Reading

Despite the horrendous heat (102 today!), my zinnias continue to show their happy faces to the sun. When I am not in the studio with the little window AC cranked up, I'm enjoying rereading Asher B. Durand's Letters on Landscape, first published in 1855.

Here's a sample:

"Go first to Nature to learn to paint landscape...take pencil and paper, not the palette and brushes, and draw with scrupulous fidelity...I know you will regard this at first thought as an unnecessary restriction, and become impatient to use the brush, under the persuasion that you can with it make out your forms, and at the same time produce colour, and light and shade. In this you deceive yourself, as many others have done, till the evil has become irremediable; for slovenly and imperfect drawing finds but a miserable compensation in the evident efforts to disguise or atone for it, by the blandishments of color and effect..."


Caroline Simmill said...

I agree with Durand Deborah, we can learn a great deal through tonal studies in monochrome. It also gives us the freedom to be expressive and take note of detail too. I think this is a wonderful reference for imaginative painting works that are to follow. Lovely flowers Deborah, here the weather brings us blue skies with beautiful soft grey clouds that are dancing across the highlands, hopefully taking away the rain at last.

Jacki Newell said...

That sounds like an interesting book. I agree with what he says.
I love zinnias too. I plant them from seeds every year. They grow so fast and can handle these hot summer days so well. I love to paint them. I am out of town now and am hoping my zinnias have not burned up from lack of water, because I have alot more painting that i would like to do.
I really enjoy your work.