John Singer Sargent: Life Imitates Art August 20, 2011

The Old Salt  Photo: T. Van Stein
         Cruisin' with my boys down to the Tall Ships Festival at the Channel Islands Harbor, We went aboard this one small Tall Ship. There near the stern of the ship was this man, sitting there with this straw hat affectively shading himself from the Sun.

It brought to mind a painting I saw one time in a Book called, "Sargent Abroad" which showed watercolors and oil paintings by the Master Artist John Singer Sargent.  All the paintings in the book were from travels in Europe and North Africa.

I was always amazed at how Sargent would crop the human figure in his paintings; placing them coming in to the format from below or from the sides of the format. He was merely using the figure, (or part of the figure) as an abstraction, a compositional device.  The lines and form of his subjects were of primary importance in order to move the viewers eye around the composition. Size and relative scale of shapes, dynamic diagonal lines, and harmonious color consistently made up his works of art.

I don't have to act from this photograph and create a painting to sell, but I suppose I could I. The most important thing is for me to recognize where I receive my inspiration from; the Master himself.  His art inspires imitation, or in my case, try to create an even better variation.

After all, we are living in the biggest room in the universe; the room for improvement.

La Dogana,  by  John Singer Sargent  1907