Before I was taking photos I painted. It came naturally. There are few painters that I LOVE! Ones were I can stop and look @ the stroke marks for...I can say hours...but it has never been hours. For several minutes. I love and appreciate all types of art work, but I have never been one of those people @ the gallery gazing at an image. If I linger longer than a minute, it means I like it, if I write the name down I really like it. Maybe it's lack of patience on my brain, or maybe just by seeing the piece already has fulfilled something. Whatever the case, that is what I do.

Here are two of my favorites.

Edward Hopper
American, 1882 - 1967

Edward Hopper was one of the foremost American realists of the twentieth century. In etchings, watercolors, and oil paintings, he portrayed ordinary places--drugstores, apartment houses, and small towns. Both commonplace and mysterious, these haunting images led many to praise him as the most American of painters.

Hopper's career blossomed during the 1920s, when critics were calling for a distinctly American art. By the 1930s he was hailed as one of the great American Scene painters, along with Grant Wood and Thomas Hart Benton. Hopper insisted, however, that his work was primarily an expression of his personal feelings rather than an attempt to portray a national experience.

Hopper was born in Nyack, New York. As a child he enjoyed the solitary pleasures of reading and drawing. After high school, he studied illustration and then fine arts, attending the New York School of Art from 1903 to 1906. His teachers there were Kenneth Hayes Miller, William Merritt Chase, and Robert Henri, the latter a realist painter who urged students to depict all aspects of urban life. Early in his career, Hopper had to rely on the sale of his etchings and illustrations for income. But at age forty-two, he achieved success with an exhibition of watercolors portraying New England towns and was able to devote the rest of his career to painting.

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The dashing and often daring portraits of John Singer Sargent (1856 - 1925) shape our vision of British and American high society at the turn of the century. Elegant and full of panache, these paintings convey glamour and status while capturing the individuality of each sitter with a rare immediacy. Portraiture, however, was only one aspect of Sargent’s career; he was also a prolific landscape and figure painter, who found inspiration in his travels throughout Europe and North Africa. John Singer Sargent marks the first occasion since the memorial exhibitions mounted after his death that so many of the artist’s works are shown together. In addition to some of his finest portraits, the exhibition includes impressionist landscapes, experimental figure compositions, and a group of luminous watercolors from the last two decades of Sargent’s life

Born in Florence, Italy, in 1856 to American parents, John Singer Sargent spent his youth in the cosmopolitan societies of Rome, Vienna, Geneva, London, and Madrid. He received little formal education, but his artistic talent was recognized and encouraged from an early age. When he was eighteen his family moved to Paris so that Sargent could enroll in the studio of the fashionable portrait painter Carolus-Duran. Regarded as a modernist, Carolus-Duran taught his students to paint in a realist mode and to adopt a free, spontaneous style in contrast to the academic approach, which emphasized preliminary drawing. Sargent quickly acquired a remarkable facility with the brush, and had his first success at the Paris Salon of 1879 when his portrait of Carolus-Duran was awarded an honorable mention. Determined to be more than a portrait painter and eager to show his versatility, Sargent also worked on ambitious compositions based on his travels, during which he sought not only subject matter but also different light and atmosphere. A journey to Morocco in 1880 inspired the exotic Fumée d’ambre gris (Ambergris Smoke), a sensitive evocation of Moorish rituals, costume, and architecture. The striking color scheme of white on white gives the painting a mysterious luminosity and links Sargent’s aesthetic sensibility to the fin-de-siècle taste for the rarefied and the enigmatic.

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