In this downloadable video artist Scott Waddell shares his personal form based approach to portrait painting. Covering a painting process that took 9 hours to complete, this 48 minute long video shows Scott creatinga preliminary drawing done in graphite on paper, how he transfers this drawing to his linen and ultimately the execution of the painting using oil paints. Throughout the video Scott offers insightful narration describing his thought process and the artistic concepts he utilizes while working.Read more...
Although Scott had a special interest in genre scenes portrayingthe black experience, portraiture and mural painting were his principallivelihood. In The Crisis Advertiser of 1919, Scott ran an ad offeringto paint portraits from photographs, particularly of \"your son or yourbrother who is 'over there,''' referring to the soldiers serving abroadin the years after World War I.
Yet Scott's success as an artist does not lie in commissionsfrom such advertisements. It is his more than thirty portraits of prominentAfrican Americans, including his famous paintings of Washington and Carver,that helped to make Scott a leading black artist. Among these historic portraits is a posthumous painting of abolitionistFrederick Douglass (fig. 10), shown in a pensive profile as if the burdenof the world were on his shoulders. Scott depicts Douglass, with white hairand beard, in the latter part of his life, probably between 1871 and 1891.During this period Douglass served as territorial legislator of the Districtof Columbia, recorder of deeds, and consul general to the Republic of Haiti.Scott captures the essence of this strong-willed leader, who was instrumentalin convincing President Abraham Lincoln that African Americans should beallowed to fight against slavery as soldiers in the Civil War.
During the 1950s Pope Pius XII consecrated the first blackbishops of the Roman Catholic Church. To celebrate this event, Scott paintedPope Pius XII and Two Bishops, about 1953 (fig. 23). The pope, inhis white vestments, is centrally positioned above the bishops. His triangular-shapedmiter extends to the edge of the canvas, emphasizing his stature and power.The unadorned, geometrical background and the painting's triangular compositionrecall the style of Renaissance portraiture. Scott's positioning of thethree bishops clearly suggests the trinity, symbolizing unity in diversity.This painting, a key work in Scott's career, not only epitomizes classicaltenets, but also expresses the artist's vision of the future of race relations.
Lucille Morehouse, the art critic for The IndianapolisStar, saw in John Wesley Hardrick a young man of exceptional talent.She wrote the above critique on the occasion of a 1913 exhibition that includedstudents from the John Herron School of Art. Hardrick was then twenty-oneyears old and had been attending the art school for almost three years.The young artist's goal at that time was to study under one of the world'smasters. But Hardrick married young, and his family grew quickly, leavinghim unable to take advantage of the opportunities he was offered to studyabroad. Hardrick remained in Indianapolis, painting the landscape and thepeople around him. The artist's distinctive impressionist style made himone of the city's prominent landscape painters, and his skill in capturingappearance and personality made him a sought-after portraitist.
Despite his prolific production of landscapes, Hardrickalways considered himself first and foremost a portrait painter. In comparingHardrick's landscapes with his portraits, Lucille Morehouse noted, \"Thecolored friends who posed were real personalities, and they are alive onthe canvas, but the landscape and woodland settings are formed altogetherfrom the artist's imagination.\" His skill in the field of portraiture can be attributed to OttoStark, his teacher at both Emmerich Manual Training High School and Herron.Stark had a strong interest in figure painting, which he passed on to hisstudents. He replaced the traditional boring method of copying lithographswith drawing exercises designed to encourage students to express themselvesin an inventive way using various media. Hardrick was the beneficiary of Stark's innovative teaching methodsas well as his expertise as a figure painter.
Portrait of a Woman, 1932 (fig.27), painted in one sitting, is a strong characterization of a ninety-year-oldwoman. It won first prize for an oil portrait and the outstanding paintingprize at the 1933 Indiana State Fair. The likeness is a convincing expression of individuality, setin an unadorned gold background that accents the sitter's facial features.An otherwise straightforward portrait is given a dramatic twist by the figure'ssideward glance. Through this simple gesture, Hardrick extends the subjectbeyond the confines of the canvas, suggesting that an unseen figure hascaptured the sitter's attention.
Hardrick often incorporated flowers and foliage in hisportrait studies, creating compositions of charm and beauty. In LittleBrown Girl, 1927 (fig. 31), and Lady in Red, also known as Beforethe Party, about 1931 (fig. 32), he uses floral backgrounds to enhancehis figures. In both works red, a symbol of joy and energy, is the dominantcolor of the clothing and foliage. Hardrick leads the viewer's eye around Lady in Red usingthe curves of the figure's back and arm, which culminate in her hands restingon her knee. Swirls of blue in the background echo the contours of the figure.Her direct gaze implies she is a woman of determination and spirit. Unlikethe lady in red, the little brown girl casts her eyes away from the viewer.With vinelike flowers encircling her youthful features, the young girl isa demure contrast to the debonair woman. Little Brown Girl was oneof five paintings by Hardrick to receive the bronze second-place medal inthe 1927 Harmon Awards competition.
Hardrick was fond of painting portraits of his family.His subjects recall the work of Indiana-born artist William Merritt Chase,who liked capturing his children in the middle of a game or chore. Dollyand Rach, about 1930 (fig. 34), is a portrait of Hardrick's youngestdaughters. Rachel, about age eleven, is seated on the sofa, while her youngersister, Georgia, about five years old, stands with her arm outstretched.On the large cushioned seat a crumpled pillow adds a brilliant crimson highlight,to which the viewer's eye is drawn. At first glance it appears Rachel is holding her sister's hand,but she is actually putting on her watch. Hardrick caught his daughtersin this delightful pose and asked them to stay still while he sketched them.In just a short time the artist sent the girls off to play and completedthe painting from his quick drawing and his keen memory.
Besides his portraits of Indianapolis's African-Americancommunity, Hardrick also painted many of the city's prominent white citizens.Dr. C. H. Winders, a white Indianapolis minister and executive secretaryof the American Church Federation, posed for Hardrick during a paintingdemonstration. The artist was asked to give a demonstration of his rapidportrait painting technique at the opening of his one-man show in 1931 atthe Phyllis Wheatley YWCA. It lasted an hour and a half and resulted inthe completion of the sitter's head and a sketch of the figure. Dr. Winderswas so pleased with the results that he agreed to subsequent sittings atthe end of the week to complete the life-size, half-length portrait. A reporternoted, \"The canvas will show Mr. Hardrick's skill in handling the fleshtones and textures in an example of portraiture of a member of the whiterace, in contradistinction to the work he has done in the many portraitsof the darker-skinned race to which he belongs.\"
After the 1940s Hardrick's work consisted mainly of landscapesand a few portraits. He often painted by day and drove a cab at night. AlthoughHardrick was always compelled to labor at jobs unrelated to his art, hispaintings typically suggest a restful environment distant from his workadayworld. Hardrick was a model for the younger generation of aspiring African-Americanartists and endeavored to pave the way for their progress. His career spannedmore than sixty years, during which time he not only exhibited in his hometownand around the Midwest, but also in San Diego, Atlanta, and New York. Thescope of his reputation became apparent when he was asked to supply informationfor E. Bénézit's Dictionnaire critique et documentairedes peintres, sculpteurs, dessinateurs and graveurs, an internationaldictionary of artists. Hardrick had proven it was possible to achieve recognitionwithout leaving Indiana. His ability to succeed as an artist, sometimesin the face of daunting odds, is vividly apparent in the abundant landscapesand portraits he produced, expressing his passion for nature and love forhis people.
6 Unfortunately, this 1916 portrait of Booker T. Washingtoncould not be located. It is in the collection of the George Washington CarverMuseum, Tuskegee Institute, Alabama, but repeated searches by the institutionfailed to uncover the painting.
2009 Inside Out, Hespe Gallery.After over 10 years of working as an artist, I've realized times have changed, so I've decided to share briefly some events and thoughts of the development of my career that I deem to be noteworthy -10 years ago I was freshly finished with school, eager and very hungry to make a living creating art full time. Before the sophistication of the internet, an artist relied upon a solid portfolio of slides of their best artwork. I scraped all my hard earned pennies in order to hire professional photographers to shoot the highest quality images to record all of the artworks I have created. I went to the best in San Francisco, Almac Camera. I can't keep count of the number of slides I have, or remember how many portfolios of these I created, nor can I recall the last time I used such to submit to a gallery. Regardless it has the standard way to submit your artwork for years.I have always been skeptical about whether or not tiny 35mm slides did any justice to the artwork. What are the chances that you could get your portfolio of slides in the hands of the director, who had to have excellent eye vision, and that he or she would view the image facing correctly forward and right side up, and would actually spend the time of the day to squint and review all the micro sized images Over and over I submitted my slides for review and would always include a SASE for return. After all these portfolios were time consuming to make, and I made with great care, and they were not at all cheap. So, if not returned, where the hell did my slides end upI may never know. Now, the convenience of my website replaces those portfolios of slides. My slide duplicates are kept for my records and are tucked away safely. And as for the rest of them, it remains a mystery. It is sad for me to think there is a whole generation that will never experience slides, cold calls, mailings, fax machines and all the rest of fun grunt work that is involved when you are self employed.Persistence eventually paid off, as well as making a switch from 35mm to a large format slide. A tattoo parlor expressed interest in my artwork and showcased it. All of my friends and family came out to the opening and I even sold a painting or two which was a sure sign of success, but far from reassuring that I could make a living painting full time. Here is a card from one of my very first shows.I met an art consultant in 2003. At the time, I was departing from painting a typical genre; landscapes, still lifes, figures, and portraits. Instead, I wanted to paint scenes of the surrounding city, a subject that was personal and meaningful. The art consultant advised me to immediately stop the painting of moody bleak cityscapes which were \"unfavorable\" and \"unmarketable\", and to paint happy little still lifes, brightly primary colored baskets of fruit and flowers. If I were to do so in less than a year they promised me a career painting full time. Well, after some thought I quickly realized that I would be miserably slaving away painting lame little still lifes to barely make ends meet, with \"happy\" the farthest thought from mind. Aw HELL NO!! Needless to say that was the last consulting on art I received from the art consultant.Many galleries have closed the door when I came around knocking. However in 2005 I was offered an opportunity to show at one of the hottest spots for art in San Francisco, 111 Minna. This show was immensely important for it was a turning point and truly put my artwork and every feat to test if I were to sink or swim. I scraped by and made it happen. The show was a success and opened many doors.A very big step for me was in 2007 when I began working in Gallery Henoch, NYC. It was very humbling to be included amongst so many great talented artists and to put it simply an employee, Gli157 said to me, \"I have made it to the big leagues\". Although that statement holds a lot of truth, I never stopped to give it much thought since after all I am still faced with the challenge of creating an image on a blank canvas.2008 Premiere NYC exhibition, Gallery Henoch.Since 10 years is so monumental and because I wanted to kick off the holiday season, I have decided to do a give-away. The first 3 people to send an email w/ following information will receive a prize in the mail (Hint: it is in this posting, and is not a painting or a print), from me to you. Send an email and include -1. your name2. mailing address3. a brief statement about one of your first memories or experiences with art and how it influenced or had an impact on you. 153554b96e