Tag Archives: Painting

Creative Juice #293

Creative Juice #293

Things to amaze you. Things you can do yourself.

Creative Juice #290

Creative Juice #290

Art for Easter, beautiful photographs, and lots of other creative stuff.

H is for Homer


Not for Homer Simpson; and not the ancient Greek Homer who gave us the banes of every high school student, the Iliad and the Odyssey.

The Fog Warning by Winslow Homer. Oil, 1885.

Today we’re talking about the foremost American artist of the nineteenth century, Winslow Homer (1836-1910), especially known for his sea paintings.

Long Branch, New Jersey by Winslow Homer. Oil, 1869. Oh, the light.

He grew up in Cambridge, Massachusetts, painting watercolors with his mother. At age 19, Homer began a two-year apprenticeship to a Boston lithographer, making sheet-music covers and other commercial prints. For the next twenty years, he worked as a freelance illustrator, creating engravings of social gatherings for popular magazines. Meanwhile, he studied at the National Academy of Design, and took lessons in oil painting from Frederic Rondel.

Breezing Up (A Fair Wind) by Winslow Homer. Oil, 1873-76.

Harper’s Weekly commissioned him to go to the front lines of the American Civil War, where he sketched scenes of camp life and battles, and also scenes of the women at home and how the war impacted their lives. Back home again, he painted a series of oil paintings based on his sketches.

The Bridle Path by Winslow Homer. Oil, 1868.

In 1867, he traveled to Paris for a year, where he painted scenes of peasant life. He ignored the Impressionist movement of the time, preferring to hone his own style. Upon his return to the States, his artistic subjects included farm life, children at play, and young adults courting. In 1875, he quit his illustration work, determined to earn his living with his paintings and watercolors.

The Reaper by Winslow Homer. Watercolor, 1878. I love how the daisies pop.

In the late 1870s, Homer moved to Gloucester and became something of a recluse. Living near the shore reignited his love of the sea, which he captured on canvas in all its variations of weather conditions, along with the fisherman who daily braved the waves.

The Gulf Stream, Winslow Homer. Oil, 1899.

Homer spent 1881-82 in Cullercoats, Northumberland, on the British coast. There he painted working men and women, and his style shifted and matured. His palette grew more somber; his scale grew larger.

Eagle Head, Manchester, Massachusetts (High Tide) by Winslow Homer. Oil, 1870.

In 1883, Homer moved to Prout’s Neck, Maine, where he lived in a remodeled carriage house just 75 feet from the Atlantic. There is where he painted his major seascapes. In 1884 and 1885, he wintered in places like Florida, Bermuda, and the Bahamas and painted Caribbean scenes in watercolor for Century Magazine.

Crab Fishing by Winslow Homer. Watercolor, 1883.

Homer painted through the 1890s. It’s clear that he took his own advice that he offered to other painters: “Look at nature, work independently, and solve your own problems.”

A Basket of Clams by Winslow Homer. Watercolor, 1873. Incredibly detailed.

Creative Juice #286

Creative Juice #286

Beauty to enjoy. Techniques to try.

  • Beautiful Ukraine—read and weep.
  • Painting on water.
  • Raindrops on . . . well, not roses, but on other stuff.
  • Daffodils and crocuses.
  • How to shade.
  • Practicing self-care, an author wrote down some harsh, angry words that she didn’t want to say out loud . . . and found she had written an emotional scene she might be able to use in her novel later . . .
  • I don’t particularly care for the first quilt in this post, but be sure to keep scrolling—the rest are stunning.
  • Mary had a little lamb, and here’s the rest of the story.
  • What if someone found your purse 70 years from now?
  • Slime molds are beautiful. Who knew?
  • Multimedia art project. You can watch the video to see it in progress.
  • I love Rosa Bonheur. Here’s a discussion of her most famous painting. More about Rosa Bonheur.

Creative Juice #280

Creative Juice #280

Read and recharge.

Creative Juice #279

Creative Juice #279

Lots of quilts and artwork.

Creative Juice #278

Creative Juice #278

These articles held my interest this week:

Creative Juice #273

Creative Juice #273

I challenge you to use one of these ideas this week. (Hmmm. I think I need googly eyes.)

Video of the Week #328: Make Creativity a Daily Habit




Johannes (Jan) Vermeer (1632-1675) was one of the foremost Dutch artists of the 17th century.

Girl with a Pearl Earring
My favorite Vermeer, Girl with a Pearl Earring, which also inspired the 1999 novel of the same name by Tracy Chevalier, and the subsequent movie.

He remained relatively obscure during his lifetime and until the end of the nineteenth century, mainly because he produced only about forty-five paintings (of which thirty-six are known today) during his brief lifetime, primarily for a small circle of patrons in Delft. Most Dutch painters turned out hundreds of pictures for a much broader market.

The Milkmaid
The Milkmaid by Jan Vermeer

Vermeer’s father trained as a weaver but eventually became an innkeeper and art dealer. The art business exposed Jan to the formal conventions of past and current masters. Due to his father’s debts and death in 1652, Vermeer had to essentially train himself rather than study with a master. During most of his short career, his paintings earned high commissions and he was able to support his large family (he and his wife had eleven children), but the dismal Dutch economy of the early 1670s made his last few years challenging.

Lady Writing a Letter with her Maid
Lady Writing a Letter with her Maid by Jan Vermeer

Vermeer’s paintings often feature a domestic world occupied mostly by women, whose postures, behavior, and expressions invite close study and sympathy. His works often hint at some connection between a figure and the viewer, making one feel like a voyeur.

The Astronomer
The Astronomer by Jan Vermeer
The Art of Painting
The Art of Painting by Jan Vermeer
Mistress and Maid
Mistress and Maid by Jan Vermeer. Oh, the light!
Girl Reading a Letter by an Open Window by Jan Vermeer. This painting was recently restored, revealing a painting of Cupid on the wall behind the girl.

Images and information for this article came from Wikipedia and the Metropolitan Museum of Art website. If you’d like to go down a Vermeer rabbit hole, check out the Essential Vermeer website.