Dusk in the Valley by Jean Schwartz
24 x 36 in.
Oil on linen panel
Dusk is a favorite theme in Jean Schwartz’s paintings. It is the time of day when the sun is sinking below the horizon and the sky offers a luminous, atmospheric light. Paintings of dusk and dawn have a long tradition in American painting, particularly with the Hudson River school and the Tonalists. Jean is an enthusiast of both.
“I love the way the colors deepen, shadows elongate and details are obscured as the sun is about to set or right after it has dropped from view and the sky glows. Edges are less defined and there is a poetry and sense of mystery to the landscape at those times. It is so fleeting and that is what makes it a challenge when painting on site.
For me observation is the most valuable tool in creating paintings of sunrise or dusk and I often rely on just my memory to create studio paintings. When I do paint this time of day en plein air I find it best to start earlier in the evening, block in the painting anticipating as much as possible and then finish in the moments I am waiting for. Often I prefer to do just small thumb nail sky studies in oil in my sketch book.”
The landscape depicted in Dusk in the Valley is the farmland outside the historic village of Waterford Virginia which is less than an hour from Jean’s home. She spends part of every week in the area and the wide open spaces are a welcome respite in this time of COVID. “I love the way the land gently rolls away toward the Blue Ride Mountains and the many lovely old barns and historic homes.”
In keeping with this theme of dusk, Jean will have a painting on exhibit in the Salmagundi Club’s Moonrise, Sunrise Exhibition from August 31-September 18, 2020. The Club is located at 47 5th Avenue, NYC. Go to www.salmagundi.org for show information or to view the exhibit online.
Besides the Salmagundi Club, Jean is a juried member of the Washington Society of Landscape Painters, OPA, ASMA and is an elected fellow of The American Artists Professional League.
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