This wonderful painting is Celia Thaxter’s Garden, painted in 1890, by Childe Hassam. That’s pronounced “Child HASSam”, for those of you (like me) who want to know how to say it right.
And of course, Celia’s garden was on the New Hampshire island of Appledore, one of the Isles of Shoals. Hassam spent more than 30 summers travelling out to the Isles of Shoals to paint, and Appledore became quite a famous artists’ colony. And I just signed up for a rughooking retreat this coming Sept. on Star Island, another of NH’s beloved Isles, six miles off the NH coast! Whee!
This is a good painting to look at while letting the right side of your brain interrogate the left side. Do you like it? How do the main lines (“the bones”) balance each other? Where are the darkest and lightest areas, and the most colorful? Remember the “rule of thirds”, using a tic tac toe grid to consider compositions? Where do the “thirds” fall on this painting? And intuitively, what emotions come to you from this painting?
But the real point of this entry is to send you all a link to a film made by the North Carolina PBS station about Childe Hassam and the Isles of Shoals. It’s 28 minutes long and I’m posting it at the beginning of a weekend, hoping you will have time to enjoy it soon. It’s about this great American painter, about impressionism, marine biology, American art history, putting together an art exhibit, about sunrises and moonrises, and yes, about the Isles of Shoals.
So maybe while I am out walking my dog you can settle down with another cup of coffee and watch it – it is well worth your time. Here is the link:
And many thanks to my friend Dev for sending it to me. The painting above is in the collection of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City (www.metmuseum.org) and if you want to know more about the hooking retreat on Star Island in September, go to www.starisland.org or contact Pam Bartlett at The Woolen Pear, online at www.redhorserugs.com.
And enjoy this beautiful spring weekend!