Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Fritz Thaulow - Redux

Following upon yesterday's posting about my 'discovery' of Frits Thaulow and his marvelous paintings, I wanted to post a few more of my favorite works after doing further study on line yesterday afternoon. Not only could he paint water . . . but to my eye he was also a master at snow and pure landscape and interior views and giving the mundane a breath of impact and importance which speaks greatly to me and my way of attempting to pursue my creative leanings. 

His design concepts and compositional ideas were, to me, stunning . . . often simple in structure but extremely appealing in his use of strong or unusual visual angles, extremes of light and shadow and compelling subject placement. This was a man whose works distinctly encompassed the use of all the tried and true elements of compositional design, which I have often talked about here, and yet did that in a way that one feels they are simply looking upon the scenes of every day life, composed as they happened and without forethought or planning or manipulation . . . snapshots of reality. 

In these following pairs of works, I've just, again, touched the very tip of the iceberg that was a tremendous body of work that Thaulow produced during his painting years. Of particular favorable note to my eye are the first two pairings of snow scenes which not only cast a shiver as I look at them, but embody those strong points mentioned above of the use of interesting angular composition and focus upon the rather mundane and easily overlooked. The image to the right especially rings in my ears because it is a perfect example of what I often try to focus upon when constructing an idea for a new work . . . looking at the ordinary with a fresh eye, giving strength and character to subjects that are easily overlooked or taken for granted. It is a simple scene, painted with minimal palette and minimal information yet has strength and interest . . . beautifully subtle in detail yet, to my mind, overflowing with emotion.

In the next paring below the snow scenes are two more of my favorite works in this little assemblage. I am so taken with the structure and idea of the left hand work, the ship on the sea with its wonderful angular movement and the great chop of the sea; I can just about feel the tilt of the deck beneath my feet and the spray of salt across my face. What a wonderful, compelling and unique compositional structure. Thaulow's use of light and shadow in the right hand, night scene also strike deeply with me and that spark of light in the lantern absolutely brings me into the work and the deft handling of bits of reflected and direct light throughout the work, move me around it and keep my attention.

I could find many words to speak about the other images I've selected here but will leave it for your enjoyment at this point. I know I shall continue to explore more about Thaulow as time passes because his work has really dug deeply and taken hold. And, at the bottom of this posting, I've uploaded my finished 'The Old Well House', which was completed yesterday. I hope it embodies some of the character of what I find so appealing about Thaulow's work, but that too, I shall leave to the viewer to decide.

1 comment:

Kathryn Hansen said...

one of my favorites! can't quite put my finger on why...maybe because it brings back memories of WI...along with excellent composition and moodiness?!! just love it tho!!