I keep going back to sketch in the Dixon show of American paintings. I think (hope) it has one more week for me to get back and sketch a little more. It's frustrating in some ways. You have to use dry media in the gallery (European museums are much more forward thinking about copying with paint), so I can't mix colors and gray things down a bit as I would like to. Dry colors (pencils, watercolor crayons, etc.) tend to be a bit more candy colored overall, so these colors are off a good bit, most especially on the lovely, subtle Inness. He's one of my favorites. But it's still deeply profitable as an artist to spend time looking at a painting deeply enough to sketch it even if the sketch is never what I hope it would be.
The colors were reasonably right for the Sloan, though (above). Sloan mostly painted cityscapes and was instrumental in the Ashcan school. I was drawn to this landscape, a summer holiday with his wife, precisely because he brought that fuller bodied intensity to a pastoral landscape. His colors are almost shocking side by side with the oranges and greens and a deeper blue green sea than I managed to convey here. It's an arresting piece, and I love the brushwork in it as well.
Martha Kelly is an artist and illustrator who lives and works in Memphis, Tennessee.
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