Thursday, February 7, 2013


Guest speaker, Tamera Lenz Muente (curator at the Taft Museum of Art), gave a wonderful program and talk on John Singer Sargent yesterday at the Greater Cincinnati Watercolor Society meeting!  If you missed it, you missed a really good and educational and beautiful program.  I got so many compliments on the program (I am the Program Chair and it had me smiling all the way home to know that I'd planned a program everyone in attendance enjoyed). 

If you only know of Sargent for his high society oil portraits, you are missing out on the man's mastery of the watercolor medium.  And with watercolor, he captured so many wonderful places - Venice, the Swiss Alps, the Canadian and American Rocky Mts., Florida, etc.  If you love watercolor, do visit sites dedicated to all of his paintings and featuring many of his watercolors, The Complete Works.  And this site shows many of his works and shares information about his technique, good books on his work, etc.  I found this information there:

...the book that discusses Sargent's watercolor painting "Awash In Color - Homer, Sargent And The Great America Watercolor" by Sue Welsh Reed and Carol Troyen.

You will find many of his watercolors in both of these sites and perhaps fall in love with something.  Just a couple of my favorites are:

Muddy Alligators

Light and Shadows, Corfu

La Bancheria

It doesn't get any better than this! 
And Tamera told us that he painted all these watercolors, as he travelled to well-loved places over and over again, for himself - not to sell, not to show, just for himself, when he became exhausted with painting society portraits in oils and after the Madame X debacle. 

John Singer Sargent loved watercolor - and it shows!

I want to thank Tamera for sharing her knowledge with us and for giving us something to aspire to in our watercolor work!


Studio at the Farm said...

I had no idea "Light and Shadows" and "La Bancheria" were Sargent's work. What superb watercolors!!! Thank you for the education, Rhonda. :)

Hani Hani said...

Hi RH,
I've visited your blog first time tonight. I didn't know"Notan"has become in English.I'm so surprised.As a Japanese, I'm very happy to hear Japanese words are globally used as an English, Karate, sushi,tenpura,tatami etc.

Celia Blanco said...

Thank you! How to pick just one that I love is impossible. You did an excellent job putting all this together.

Gaylynn said...

Oh, Rhonda, How I wish I could have been present for this program! I so love Sargent's watercolors. I am not surprised that you are rocking the Program Director job. :-)

RH Carpenter said...

Love his work, Kathryn, and he was a master with the medium.
Hani Hani, I'm not sure we're using the word correctly but it's been used in art circles for a while now. As you said, lots of Japanese words incorporated into our English language :)

Thanks, Celia.

Gaylynn, wish you could have been there,too. Thanks so much!

CrimsonLeaves said...

You've got me curious about the Madame X debacle. I never heard of it. Anyway, that laundry line piece is stunning!

RH Carpenter said...

Sherry, do a search and you'll find out all about it - what he thought was going to be a portrait that "made" him, broke him instead. Considered rude and scandalous at the time, it is so tame now that we have to wonder what the fuss was all about and how much was due to the subject and her reputation (or lack, thereof!).

debwardart said...

Yep, you done good (as you always do!)

RH Carpenter said...

Thanks, Deb. It's nice to get positive feedback from the group that makes me want to keep on keepin' on :)

Cathy Gatland said...

I adore these three Sargent watercolours - they're in a book I have of his too. Interesting to hear he painted them just for himself.

RH Carpenter said...

Cathy, I am amazed at all of his watercolors - and he just painted for himself and had no plans to sell or show this work. When he did show it and people wanted to buy, he refused to sell individual paintings and made them buy the bunch he'd painted in a specific place. That didn't stop the Boston Museum from purchasing 85 of his paintings from one show; and then other museums did the same, purchasing dozens at a time (they were small paintings but I don't know what the price was - one thing I read said about $250 each). Can you image that? You have a show with 88 paintings and a museum purchases 85 - and what was wrong with those last 3 paintings? ha ha