I went to a fantastic Coastal Landscapes show yesterday at the Whatcom Museum in Bellingham. I’ve always loved the arts and crafts era of western landscapes, and this was a great mix of California painters with some up the coast to Washington from the turn of the last century into today. I was delighted to see so many women represented. The first piece is by Mary DeNeale Morgan. It was my absolute favorite for light, tree shapes, color, and brushwork, and I hope to see more of her work in the future. Many of the paintings had super glossy varnish, and it was tricky to get photos without glare, so forgive funny angles and bits of glare.
A block away, right next to my favorite second hand bookstore with an enormous art department (Henderson’s) is a neat little letterpress/stationery store. Jude found a super nifty Kaweko mechanical pencil with a thick tower of graphite, fully retractable, instead of a skinny little lead. I love sketching in pencil but also hate having to remember a sharpener. I was delighted and headed back to the museum for further sketching while he took a longer lunch break and waited for me to surface again. A kind guard offered me a stool, since the benches are never next to the paintings I truly want to sketch.
That was all the sketching I had the time and energy for, but two other favorites from the show were this exquisite woodblock print by Elizabeth Colbourne from 1933 and the large landscape by Euphemia Fortune (VERY bad glare, but the best name ever! She was in a recent Dixon show of American Impressionists). If I were home I would be going back with colored pencils and sketching weekly in this show. It’s delightful.
Martha Kelly is an artist and illustrator who lives and works in Memphis, Tennessee.
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