Saturday, July 7, 2012

"The Old Swimming Hole" as painting subject!

"The Old Swimming Hole"7x5 oil on linen
(A study for a larger composition)

“The Swimming hole” as subject has endless possibilities….it would seem, and is a theme that I believe would make a nice series of paintings. Most folks, like myself, who grew up in rural type settings knew of, or swam in the local swimming holes. City kids used the city pools. I have been thinking about environments to incorporate figures, draped and undraped, that would be something a little different for me from the last thing I painted. This is one that is interesting to me. I am of course aware and reminded of the great figure in nature paintings of Anders Zorn. Many of those paintings look like they could be swimming hole, or pond type situations. Thomas Eakins also painted several swimming holes type paintings. His paintings are so well know and recognized that it makes this a difficult subject unless it is approached from a totally different perspective. I have a few ideas. I think I am going to do a couple of paintings that could lead to a series….if I don’t get distracted, and put it to far on the back burner…..which frequently happens.
One could say that beach paintings have pretty much been done by many great artists. One could
also say that this subject is possibly forever untouchable because of the great paintings by the Spanish painter, Joaquin Sorolla. His paintings of the Valencia beaches with kids, cattle, horses, women in long dresses, etc.….all these paintings come to mind. It is impossible to tackle that subject without the comparison and bar having been raised so high that one could never expect to equal, much less surpass any of these great paintings. However, it is a great subject, and should certainly not be avoided for those reasons. If one wants to engage in that challenge, then it must be approached with a slightly different view point…’s personal view, and try not to….as difficult is that is, to be totally influenced by what came before. I believe there are still things that can be done to make this subject new and fresh. I think that must be the intent
going in. It has all been done before. What an artist brings that is different, or unique, is his or her unique point of view….in my opinion. Until next time, thanks for listening to my ramblings.