Tuesday, July 20, 2010

botany walk with Craig Holdrege

On July 13th we took a hike through Kaaterskill Clove with Craig Holdrege to learn about the local flora and fauna. The Clove was a favorite painting spot of the Hudson River School painters and it still inspires us today.

A Gorge in the Mountains, painted in 1862 by Sanford Robinson Gifford, 48 x 79 7/8 in. oil on canvas

Kindred Spirits, painted in 1849 by Asher B. Durand

Meeting up at the trail head

learning about Hemlock, Yellow Birch, Red Oak, Beech, and Ash.

"... in your studies of foreground objects ... you will be most successful in the more simple and solid materials, such as rocks and tree trunks, and after these, earth banks and the courser kinds of grass, with mingling roots and plants, the larger leaves of which can be expressed with even botanical truthfulness and they should be so rendered, but when you attempt masses of foliage or running water, anything like an equal degree of imitation becomes impracticable. It should be your endeavor to attain as minute portraiture as possible of these objects, for although it may be impossible to produce an absolute imitation of them, the determined effort to do so will lead you to a knowledge of their subtlest truths and characteristics, and thus knowing thoroughly that which you paint, you are able the more readily to give all the facts essential to their representation. So this excessively minute painting is valuable, not so much for itself as for the knowledge and facility it leads to." -- Asher B. Durand, Letters on Landscape Painting, 1855

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