Welcome to my Art Blog! I paint or draw most weekdays and sometimes finish a painting a day. I fondly call them my "Postcards from Paradise" because it's such a beautiful place the Lord made here for us.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

More on the Fechin Show

When I arrived at the Frye Museum to see the Fechin paintings I noticed one of the plein air painters from Portland only a few steps ahead of me. I recognized her because we've both participated in the Hood River paint out eventZa and I talked throughout the show at different times about various pieces. We each had our favorites and overlapped on many of our observations. She commented that Fechin's colorful portrait "Albidia" was very Sargent-like. Indeed, it was.

I also wound up talking with Diana, a fellow artist, while looking at "Manicure Lady". It turned out we both knew her brother-in-law, who happened to have helped me create my website a few years ago. It's a small world sometimes.

None of the people I talked to, however, had noticed the patch on "Manicure Lady" which I described in my blog post yesterday. I still have not found any information to answer my questions, but am thinking there is a story behind it.

I had several favorites in the show, two of which I posted yesterday. These two below also captivated my mind and heart. "Eya" (left below) was one of several works in the exhibit that Fechin had painted of his daughter. This small piece was arresting for several reasons. (The photo doesn't do the painting justice, which is typical of most of the images I could find online of Fechin's work.)

The glowing areas of light around the young girl's mouth and that one stroke of light paint applied heavily in the little valley by the right side of her nose really made me stop and think. The downcast eyelids and lashes are painted thinly but textured, and that one heavy dab of light cuts over the darker area perfectly to make the highlight. The effect is quite astonishing.

There were a number of landscapes in the exhibit, but "Winter Landscape, Taos" (below right) was the one I wanted to study. The combined heavy paint of the snow with the thinner blue shadows dug in really made this piece come alive. Also, the way the artist drew in detailed lines on thicker paint was so perfect (such as the wheel spokes and that window screen at the back of the shack), especially when observed from a distance.

I wish the paintings were nearby somewhere so I could look at them again and again!

Underpaintings: Color Palettes: Nicolai Ivanovich Fechin (1881-1955)


suzanneberry said...

i am in awe!!!!

Diana Moses Botkin said...

Oh, dear Suzanne, I am too. If you get a chance to see Fechin's work in person, you will be amazed. The photos simply do not do justice to his deftly applied paint.

Celeste Bergin said...

I will see Za tomorrow! (She is such an amazing artist..I told her someday people are going to be taking buses to Seattle to see HER exhibit at the Frye!) Anyway...I agree with you, Fechin is outstanding and I wish I could look at his paintings forever!

Diana Moses Botkin said...

Hi Celeste! I'm wondering how many of the artists at the Columbia Gorge paint out will be PILING on paint à la Fechin this year!

hmuxo said...

I visited his website, Diana, and I couldn't believe what I saw! thank you so much for sharing his work..
It's the kind of work that I would absolutely love to see in person.. maybe someday I will...a huge inspiration.!!

Diana Moses Botkin said...

Yes, Hilda, truly inspiring! Seeing Fechin's work in person is so much more revealing than viewing a reproduction or an image online. I hope you're able sometime to see his actual paintings.

Gregg Caudell said...

hey Diana, saw the Fechin show. Can't express the admiration I have for that artist. near tears. what strikes me most is that he painted that well from day one as a student of Repin. I then went to SAM and studied Rembrandt's Self Portrait, probably his most outstanding work, done when he was in his 60's, 3 years before he passed, having lost 5 children and two wives and in poverty. Fechin still remains my immortal favorite. His charcoals...such finesse.

Gloria E. Moses said...

Fechin's paintings are so amazing, and you wrote two wonderful blogs about the work. All those little jewels of colors. I hope you solve the mystery and find out what the extra canvas is about!

Karen Bruson said...

Love that snowscape.

Diana Moses Botkin said...

Gregg: Fechin's work is quite amazing and even life-changing. I have thought of little else since spending nearly the whole day last Saturday at the Frye trying to absorb as much as possible. You are right that he had it from the start but then his work got even better. The drawings are indeed wonderful!

Gloria: I am going to have to do some research and see what I can find out about that patch.

Karen: I love that snowscape too. It is one of the paintings I would like to see again and again.