Landscape Painting

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C. Scribner's Sons, 1920 - Landscape painting - 254 pages
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If you are at all serious about being an artist, this book is still germane to the craft. Carefully thought out, practical, yet philosophical, it is well worth reading, even if the syntax is slightly out-dated. There are some truths about art, theories about composition and color values and perspective, that have not changed since the cave paintings. These theories have survived fads and styles, just as Harrison Birge's wisdom has survived. I was encouraged, instructed, enlightened. I made copious notes as if taking a class, which was the intent of the original lectures. Birge was a natural teacher. Definitely recommend! 

Contents

I
1
II
12
III
31
IV
47
V
65
VI
78
VII
89
VIII
99
XII
141
XIII
147
XIV
154
XV
158
XVI
164
XVII
178
XVIII
189
XIX
199

IX
107
X
123
XI
131

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Page 211 - Art has nothing to do with things as they are, but only with things as they appear to be, with the visual not the actual, with impressions, not with realities.
Page 218 - Lord! to see! and we will find the means of expression. It is a simple platitude to say that an artist can always paint as much as he sees. All of the fumbling, and struggle, and hard work connected with a picture comes of the effort to see just a little more, just a little better. Technique truly is mere child's play. It is a question, moreover, if too much technique is not a serious handicap to any artist — if indeed it does not tend to [218] degrade him to the level of the mere hand craftsman.
Page vii - THIS little book represents the fulfilment of a promise to put into permanent form certain impromptu talks on landscape painting given before the Art Students' League of New York at its summer school...
Page 219 - ... connected with a picture comes of the effort to see just a little more, just a little better. Technique truly is mere child's play. It is a question, moreover, if too much technique is not a serious handicap to any artist — if indeed it does not tend to degrade him to the level of the mere craftsman. At any rate, Millet's previously quoted saying, to the effect, that technique should never open shop for itself, but should always hide modestly behind the ideas to be expressed, is one of the...
Page 74 - There is probably no better way of training the eye to simplicity of vision, than studying moonlight, for in moonlight effects, the broad masses alone are visible, and the shadows lie all over the picture in one big soft value.
Page 225 - Even the homely robin and the linnet have modest little notes of their own which are pleasant to the ear of a dewy April morning. Of all the songsters in creation there is only one, I believe, whose lay is universally condemned — and that is the parrot." The greater the artist, I think, the more certain is he to cling religiously to nature, not only for his inspiration, but for the actual material of his creations.
Page 224 - ... but the blackbird's lay is sweet, and the thrush and the oriole fill the woods with melody. Even the homely robin and the linnet have modest little notes of their own which are pleasant to the ear of a dewy April morning. Of all the songsters in creation there is only one, I believe...
Page 156 - ... moods of nature. He who paints the body alone may be an excellent craftsman, but the true artist is he who paints the beautiful body informed and irradiated by the still more lovely and fascinating spirit — he who renders the mood.
Page 232 - Rembrandt were as truly impressionists as were Manet or Monet or Sisley — because, in the canvases of these great masters of the Renaissance, there rings the true note of personality — proof positive of their honesty, their reverence, and their humility before nature. To tell the truth, the so-called French impressionists were far more accurately termed luminarists, or painters of light. Their special achievement in art was a purely technical triumph — the discovery that by the use of broken...
Page 232 - French impressionists were far more accurately termed luminists, or painters of light. Their special achievement in art was a purely technical triumph — the discovery that, by the use of broken color in its prismatic simplicity the pulsating, vibrating effect of light could be transferred to the surface of a canvas. But they were neither the fathers of impressionism nor were they especially distinguished in this line. As a matter of fact they were somewhat deficient in the quality of personal vision,...

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