Another big snowstorm... I am using this enforced idleness by looking through my collection of art books and rediscovered this book of James Wyeth paintings, which I bought several years ago on a trip to Rockland Maine after visiting the Farnsworth Art Museum and Wyeth Center, based on an exhibition at the center in 2005.
It's a enchanting book. The paintings of gulls, ravens, some domestic fowl and a vulture are breathtaking. It's a pity this book is out of print, although still available from private sellers on Amazon.com at a higher price than what I think I would have paid. Anyway, I have to share my pleasure in looking at these plates and I am taking the liberty of reproducing some images here, which I believe is permissible under the copyright law if it's done in the context of a book review*.
The book contains many more plates of an artist with a keen insight into bird behavior. These gulls are depicted as individuals and yet are also representatives of their species. The book also includes essays by Bernd Heinrich on Ravens, by Richard Harris Podolsky on Gulls and by Victoria K Woodhull on Barnyard Birds.
* I will however write to the Farnsworth Art Museum for permission and remove the images if this is not granted. Since these images have turned up on Google Search and have been downloaded, I have added "COPYRIGHT PROTECTED" to interfere with the unauthorized use
....these are gorgeous.....the backgrounds are gorgeous, the birds, incredible. I'll have to watch for this book in the used book stores. Thanks for posting. I'm always looking for new bird books...ReplyDelete
Oh you are so lucky to have seen that exhibit (and have this book)!!! I love James Wyeth's bird paintings. So painterly yet totally accurate. Thank you for posting these, I really enjoyed seeing them.ReplyDelete
Looking at this and my art books made me realize how really important art is in my life. So I signed up for a life drawing class in town.ReplyDelete
Hilke, I'm finally catching up on blog reading. In June, Farnsworth had a special exhibit of Wyeth's seven deadly sins - if you are coming to the CBC pot luck, I'll bring it. So many good photos recently, really grabbing - I'd like to learn about HDR photography and what it is - your images are stunning. And how I wish I could get free for some coastal & PI birding. Soon I hope.ReplyDelete
Chris, thanks for your comments. I will be at the CBC pot luck and would love to see the Wyeth catalog. I signed up for Bryan Pfeiffer's trip to the coast on Jan 2nd and 3rd. I am not sure yet where I am going to meet up with the group. How about you coming along?ReplyDelete
I love the character and personality in these images. You see such intelligence and expressiveness in photographs, too, but all too often, we rush to repudiate anything that suggests 'thinking' or 'feeling' in a bird or an animal. Clearly Wyeth was less afraid of being labeled sentimental and unscientific.ReplyDelete
I agree, but fortunately these attitudes are changing. For a scientific view on animals thinking and emotions see Temple Grandin's book "Animals Make Us Human"ReplyDelete
Those are excellent. He has such a loose painterly style but perfect control of the results. I think these are much more revealing of the subject's character than most photographs.ReplyDelete
@Harold Stiver: I agree. You have to wait long for the perfect moment to get a photograph as revealing as these paintings.ReplyDelete