Wednesday, July 8, 2009

From Walden to Olana

I spent the second part of my childhood growing up in Concord, Massachusetts.
Near Walden Pond I would enjoy walking and cross country skiing in the back woods.  Later on when I read Walden by Henry David Thoreau I was amazed by his curiosity surrounding nature.  He took string and measured the depth of the pond!  A poet and a scientist.  I admire his note taking for posterity's sake in books like "Cape Cod".
He did what many painters of the Hudson River School did when they showed they beauty of America to those that had not yet traveled. 

Frederic Edwin Church was one such painter. A few summers ago we took a trip to "Olana", where he built his house and studio. Here is a painting done from his garden.  This painting was on view at OK Harris in New York. 

"View from Olana"
Oil on panel
Private Collection 

In my mind I put these two together.  The both loved to travel and to share with others the things that they found.  I for one am glad they did.  Here is on of Church's paintings that first got my attention.  
It seemed so "modern" to me.  In part because of the subject matter and also in the manner it was painted as a study with parts left unfinished.

Here is a more finished painting that I do enjo but not as much as the studies above.

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