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Water Color Exhibits of Western Artists Shown At Art Gallery
Boise art lovers walked in on one of the finest water color exhibits ever shown in Idaho when the gallery opened today with a showing of western artists.
Easily outstanding are the magnificent creations of Paul Whitman of Carmel, CA whose water colors cover the far wall of the south gallery.
They are in two groups; one painted in Chichicastenango, Mexico, including Market Place, Barber Shop and Worship, the later a beautifully composed and delicately handled depiction of a cathedral entrance in the land of the Aztecs. Market Place leaps out from the wall at you with a photographic quality that is almost startling.
The California scenes from Whitman’s brush have captured the gray-green serenity of the central coast. They are Adobe in Carmel Valley, Monterey Cypress, and Barn and Pigs.
The wall at the right of Whitman is covered with the unusual water colors of one of America’s most unusual young artists – Eyvind Earle, who blew into New York on a bicycle this spring carrying an armload of paintings he made en route from Hollywood. At the age of 21 he sold the most canvases at New York’s recent modern exhibit.
Of Eyvind Earle it might be said that he paints the heart of what he sees – in perfect contrast to the simple detailed photography of Whitman.
There are other water colors in the gallery; E. J. Bird’s Windy Monday relieves the monotony of the north gallery with its bright, fresh color.
Waldo Midgley has a fine delineation of the Mormon Temple in Salt Lake City.
Milton Wassmer’s quaking asp is brilliant.
Ethel Shauser has some mist-mantled snowy peaks.
In the foyer Veria Birrell’s Monterey Bay scenes are pleasant but undistinguished.
There are some flowers and still life of which the same might be said.
It is a well-balanced exhibit and one that should attract crowds for some time.
One attendant asked me today: “I wonder if the good Boise people know all these paintings are for sale?”
Earle paintings at Museum moody, nostalgic, lonely
By Douglas Hale, Ph.D.
We live in such trouble times!
Students, with success stuffed down their throats by selfish parents who want them to get ahead, students from poverty backgrounds forced to go to college by brutal grants and scholarships riot, invade and damage academic buildings, and in other ways indicate what delicate little psyches they have.
Some even drop out and hip it for a while on checks from home or panhandling, until flushed out into the open, for free medical attention, by hepatitis, or worse.
Artists’ hearts, we are told by art authorities, bleed for these unfortunates, and their work ought to express the sadness that the public cannot find time for- does not have the talent for – expressing. In passing, that most of those who write so well about art have never lifted a brush, except Tom Sawyer, is all to the good: too much understanding and we might have next to nothing on the subject.
SOME ARTISTS, however, seem to think that art is made to enjoy, not to make the viewer suffer vicariously. If Eyvind Earle, exhibiting his paintings at the Martin Gallery, Scottsdale, is trying to make anyone unhappy, his show is a miserable failure. Some of the Earle pictures are moody, nostalgic, sad, lonely, and so on, but all moods achieved are through aesthetic effort, not subject matter. Escape art? Could be. But does vicarious suffering really help the world’s unfortunates?
Judged by his work, Earle is a mood painter, an artist of many facets, He has his severe side, evidenced by his straight – lined barn scenes, hard edged, but not in the cliché sense of that expression, and exemplifies by such as “Patterned Barns,” “White Barns,” “Long Barns,” and so on. Sometimes he takes this puritan mood further into the country and the result is “Purple Mesas,” etc.
ALMOST AS SEVERE moods produced are such careful-loose landscapes as “Zig-Zag Ridge,” “Z Hills,” “Mustard Fields” and others. In watercolor we have “Purple Hills,” “Shoreline,” “Desert Mountains.”
In most of these paintings the artist does not show, or, to be fair, not give way much to color sensitivity, tending to depend more on strong value relationships. This is especially so when he works in what might be called – and perhaps unfairly- his Nipponese manner.
Long ago – surely long ago (could not have become that skilled overnight) – Eyvind Earle became enamored of space and its uses. It shows in many of his paintings but is most easily discernable in such pieces as “Afterglow,” “Reflections,” “winter Trees,” perhaps “Blue Forest.” Far Eastern influence? Maybe. Perhaps Earle just saw the same things, reacted in a similar way.
But now and then, to show, surely, that he is a colorist, is not a cautious soul, the painter uses an emotional palette, cuts loose, as in “Pink and Orange Floral,” or even more subtly, more emotionally, as in deliciously hued “Green and Purple.”
Is this artist really a man of moods, changeable? We did not ask him, even ask about him. To judge a man by his earned run average, his paintings, or whatever he does, is, we feel, the best way. An artist shows what he shows. What he might say about his work or what might be revealed about him, although it might be interesting, is unimportant, so long as he can paint. And that Eyvind Earle can do.
A chat with Eyvind Earle
‘Art?…I don’t know what it’s all about’
By April Daien
The California-based painter, Eyvind Earle, here for an exhibit of his works at the Martin Gallery, Scottsdale, had his first one-man show in France at the age of 14; a sellout exhibition in New York at 23; and, at the same age, a watercolor incorporated into the permanent collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
But he spoke humbly and thoughtfully about his work, “My style is probably best defined as designed realism,” he said, “but it’s also a combination of all the art I like most in my life. There’s much of the Oriental, the Gothic, the Persian in it, as well as the color of moderns like Van Gogh.”
“When I was 10, and for 4 years thereafter, my father, also a painter, made me paint everyday for hours,” he said. “I eventually ran away, but it was good discipline for me, and for that age. Beethoven and Mozart were forced to do this. I learned a good deal by watching my father. He was a very, very technically advanced painter who studied with Whistler and Bouguereau. Just seeing him mix the colors is something I’ve never forgotten.”
After parting from his father, Earle continued on his own.
“But by 18, I realized that academic art like my father’s was almost not to be recognized as art. By academic art I mean that which attempts only to imitate the work of a camera by recording a subject exactly, and without design or stylization.I always like and remembered a Chinese saying: ‘Never put anything down on canvas until a year after you see it – so that all you paint is the memory of it.’ I make notes when I see something I like, but I don’t copy it. If I work on location, it becomes too academic. Of course, an artist should be able to imitate with ease anything in the world which he sees and likes, to be unlimited and unhampered by technique. But I believe that art is interpretation, and that the only way to create anything really valid in an artistic sense is to let the subconscious or the super-conscious – whatever it is – inspire and guide you. If you seek only to imitate, you are seeking outside yourself, and you can never find anything.”
He lit another cigarette. “Walt Whitman has the same goal and philosophy. He was a quiet advanced human being. I would not – for one moment – compare my work in art to his poetry, but I think we’re striving for the same thing. Gerard Manley Hopkins had the same realization eventually – only not as young as Whitman.”
When questioned about his art, how he conceives it, Earle said, “At this point, having painted for so many years and so constantly, if I close my eyes, I see the finished painting before I start it. I’m seldom able to complete exactly what I see, but I put down as ably as I can what I get a glimpse of. It’s as though I see it for a second and a half, then it fades and I have just the memory. Once the image is planted, I being to paint – usually in the early morning. The more I work, the clearer this becomes. By the time I’m halfway through the painting, an idea suddenly comes to me of what to do again. But I have to work constantly and immediately. If I delay even a week, the image disappears.”
Earle, who describes himself as having “very very strong religious convictions, “but not of the sort that is very easy to define…unless you go to the East Indian Vedanta,” said that, like Hopkins and Whitman, Emerson “fits in quite well with my philosophy. Art is basically a search for the truth, and one can do this through many media: sound, color or writing – like Emerson. They all aim at the same center,” he said. “The five senses are stepping stones to realizing something – a truth – which is beyond those senses. But art isn’t only realization, it is also communication: the artist tries to communicate values and truths. Thus, it is important that we make use of the media in ways which are comprehensible to others.”
He led into a discussion of contemporary trends in art: “We’re going through a period where each artist – and there are hundreds of thousands – is trying to think of a new thing to do instead of just expressing himself. This has led to much experimentation – felt sculpture, for example. But such trails belong in an experimental art class, not a gallery. In all of history,” he continued, “only very small numbers of composers, artists, writers and poets have distinguished themselves. The same is probably true today. But most contemporary artists are just beginners; they lack discipline. They observe trends like sheep, and by the thousands. They follow instead of seeking within themselves to express what they believe.”
He cited Van Gogh as exhibiting the quality of sincerity and introspection which he values. “Van Gogh lived such an altruistic, beautiful life,” said Earle. “He wanted to help humanity and I believe that, as a result, he has probably ended up the greatest colorist the world has ever known.”
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