Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Painting at Boscobel

Last Friday Lauren and I went painting at Boscobel, an elegant Federal period house museum set on lovely landscaped grounds with breathtaking views of the Hudson River. I was picking up two drawings from a show at the museum called, Hudson River Contemporary: Works on Paper, (catalog) organize by James McElhinney from the Art Students League. Here are the two drawings from the show, but what Lauren and I were really excited about was the fantastic 'Claudian' view of the Hudson River, which we both painted.

Koeppel, Kaaterskill Clove, ink heightened with white

Koeppel, Hudson Valley, ink
When I say that the view is Claudian, I'm talking about it being 'setup' both by its natural backdrop and its composed foreground landscaping to resemble the Classical Landscape. Particularly as it was developed by Claude Lorrain. The key features are a dominant foreground tree arching over a 'stage' where the figure story is told, and then one large swoop of space around the other side of the picture to a very deep space (usually mountains and water). This compositional structure has been very popular through all subsequent ages of landscape painting because of its poetic and philosophical significance as a metaphor. The metaphor is the transition that the mind goes through in the discovery of Beauty from being focused on the human detail and worldly action of the foreground (all of which is fleeting) to the elusive unifying atmosphere of the deep space which is irridescent and intangible. The goal ultimately is to realize that the two things are in fact the same. This trancendental principle was later adapted by the Hudson River School to reflect American scenery as discussed a little here.

Here are the sketches that Lauren and I did to try to capture this view. I feel like they're both fairly romantic, but that was also an inherent quality of the view. I've also begun a larger 30x24 vertical adaptation of the composition that I may even go bigger with later. The first day of intitial lay-in of the compostion is shown below. I added a Large Oak which would originally been a part of the view if it hadn't been 'subtracted' by hurricane Irene.

Erik Koeppel, "View from Boscobel", 10x16 inches, oil on panel

Lauren Sansaricq, "View from Boscobel", 10 x 16 inches., oil on panel

Erik's Sketchbook page of Boscobel view

Erik's 30x24 painting, Day 1
Thank you for reading. More painting trips will be posted soon.

Our websites : Erik Koeppel  and Lauren Sansaricq

1 comment:

  1. Magnificent! Read the article in American Artist Magazine. The Hudson River School of painting is one of the most beautiful and thanks for adding to it. Waiting to here of workshops.