Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Jacob Collins talks about his Eastholm Project

The Hen Islands from Eastholm, 2008
Oil on canvas, 50 x 120 inches

One of the most educational lectures we've had so far has been this presentation by Jacob Collins about his Eastholm Project. He showed us all the studies he did to prepare for the studio painting and he talked about the different questions he encountered along the way. For instance, when you do a small plein air painting, a smooshy brush stroke can describe the water in a beautiful way. But when you take that study back to the studio and try to recreate the scene on a 7 foot wide canvas, you have a lot more space to fill and need more specific information to describe the water. At the heart of this approach is an insatiable curiosity about the world around us and a desire to understand not just the way things look, but the way they are. Jacob talked about looking up topographical maps to understand the distances between land masses; studying the movement of water and how light reacts on water forms; different cloud patterns and why they form; and learning about the geology of the area to understand why the rocks all tilt at a certain angle. All the studies from this project can be viewed online at the Hirschl & Adler website.

Cloud Study II, 2007
Oil on panel, 3 1/4 x 12 inches

Ocean Waves with Storm Clouds, 2007
Oil on canvas, 9 x 12 inches

Field Study, Foggy View from the Ice House, 2007
Oil on panel, 6 x 8 inches

Maple Leaf, 2007
Oil on panel, 5 x 7 inches

Hen Islands, 2007
Graphite on paper, 8 x 13 1/2 inches

"There can be no dissent from the maxim, that a knowledge of integral parts is essential for the construction of a whole - that the alphabet must be understood before learning to spell, and the meaning of words before being able to read" --From Asher B. Durand's 1855 Letters on Landscape Painting