Sunday, August 1, 2010

3SIXTY5 for Friday, July 30: Stargazer (a tribute to Maxfield Parrish)

Maxfield Parrish, like Norman Rockwell, was better known as an illustrator than a "serious" painter. Yet his skill, depth of feeling, ability to convey same, and talent for creating a whole, self-contained universe, confirm that he was a genius. He is best known for his emotionally charged scenes unfolding before  dramatically lit, breath-taking landscapes of mythological beauty. Some of them crossed the line into kitsch, but at his best his work conveyed a primal beauty that you could not help but respond to. Some contemporary painters can match his skill; none can capture his special magic. For my little tribute, I borrowed the figure from his painting of a young woman sitting on rocks at the seashore, looking at the evening star, which is one of my favorites. I hope she'll feel somewhat at home in my own, less naturalistic artwork.

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