Monday, October 8, 2012


Friday, Sweetie and I went over to Northern Kentucky University to see the Photo Show there.  Called Reporting Back: A Survey of Documentary Photography, it was contained in 2 galleries in the Fine Arts Center.  Fourteen photographers had their work shown, with subjects from a woman's co-op in India to the fading cowboy life in the southwest.  Well worth taking a look if you're in the area, the show runs to October 26th.  The hardest photos to look at were the bedrooms of soldiers killed in Iraq.   The items in the bedrooms showed how young the soldiers were when they left home for the last time.

Sunday, we went back to NKU to the library to see the watercolor show, Kentucky Impressions: Paul Sawyier Original Works.  WOW!  This man knew his stuff and I was thrilled to see so many beautifully painted watercolors.  The show is on 2 floors - the Eva Farris Reading Room and the Schlachter University Archives (which is only open after 1 pm).  My sister was sitting the show (she works in the library at NKU), and she appreciated the visit since she only had 4 people come by to see the show during her 4-hour stay! 

Paul Sawyier (1865-1917) was born in Ohio but his family moved to Frankfort, Kentucky when he was five year's old.  His family had money and he had an art tutor come to the house to teach Paul and his sister; Paul continued with his art, studying at the Cincinnat Art Academy and then the Art Student's League in NYC.

He mainly painted landscapes after viewing the 1893 Chiago World's Fair (where some of his paintings were in the State of KY display) and seeing the French Impressionists style of painting.  After seeing the Impressionists, he stopped painting portraits and he focused on Frankfort area waterscapes and landscapes in an impressionistic style. 

Of course, Paul had to work to earn a living as his artwork was not selling for high prices.  He never married and spent most of his life taking care of his ailing parents.  When they died, he spent the next 5 years of his life on a houseboat and painting scenes of the Kentucky River. 

Check out the date of his death - he was only 52.  He painted over 3,000 originals in his life, mainly watercolor (from 1887-1917).  His portraits (done early in his life) were in pastel or oil and he painted about 200 oils while living in New York. 

If you love watercolor and want to see a true master of the medium, visit the show, which runs to December 7th!

One thing Sweetie and I both noticed - the elegant and beautiful matting and framing done on each watercolor. 


Lisa Le Quelenec said...

Thank you for sharing, the Paul Sawyier exhibition looks very interesting. I hadn't heard of him before. I have googled his paintings to see some more.

The photographic exhibition sounds very moving.

suzanneberry said...

hi rhonda! thank you for sharing these amazing landscapes! just stunning.

and thank you too for your very kind words on my blog. i'm putting one foot in front of the other and some days it works really well. you're so right, what a blessing he was and continues to be. thanks for the birthday wishes. he's always with me.

take care.

hw (hallie) farber said...

These watercolors are inspiring; thanks for posting. Sounds like you had a wonderful Friday.

vandy said...

This looks like a fabulous exhibition - truly inspiring. I love going to galleries for the sheer visual banquet of images. So often I come back inspired to pick up my brushes again.

Thanks for sharing this, Rhonda.

Debbie Nolan said...

Dear Rhonda - what amazing photos of a great artist. Such wonderful information - I am going to have to check him out. Thanks Rhonda for sharing. Looks like you had great fun. What inspiration one gets attending art shows.

CrimsonLeaves said...

What a fabulously fascinating post, Rhonda! I think the art you've shared is beautiful and I will have to find the time to look up this artist. It sounds like you and Jerry had a wonderful couple of days!

RH Carpenter said...

I'm glad you all enjoyed the paintings - he truly was a master watercolorist and I'd never heard of him. He's only famous in central Kentucky but now his paintings sell for $10,000 to $90,000 dollars so all of the paintings has security alarms on them. It's a shame he struggled with making a living during his short lifetime.

Suz, it's always good to hear from you. One day at a time is all you can do right now. Be well!

renate said...

Hello Rhonda:) Lovely post:) Thanks for sharing! I hope my paintings will be worth that amount of money before I'll die. hahaha what a joke!

Mick Carney said...

Oh what a pleasure it is to be introduced to the work of someone you don't know, particularly when they are as good as this. Thanks.