Name That Painter! - Big Reveal
After all my time researching, I had great anticipation as I headed to Salt Lake for an Artfsy side trip. I was super ready to see this artists artwork in person. The long awaited day finally arrived to visit the BYU Museum of Art. BUT, it also happened to be the same day, same time, that the BYU Cougars were playing a big basketball game against New Mexico. Finding a parking spot was just about futile! The museum was only open till 5pm and here it was already 2pm! Okay let me explain...I am one of those people that has to see EVERYTHING in a museum and I knew I had to spend at least a hour with the portrait I had come so far to see.... What if something dreadful happened like they had to close the museum early or I passed out from all the fast walking to get there? With only 3 hrs left, time was ticking by waaay to fast. When we finally found a spot about 3 miles away, well maybe not that far, I was sure wishing I had on my tennies and work-out gear after lugging my bootie up that big ol' hill (all you BYU alumni - you know what I'm talkin' about).
Taking a breather here under the BYU "Y" that is covered with snow. Can you see it above our heads on the mountain - betcha can't : ) An interesting note...over one hundred years ago, a line of volunteers passed up buckets of rocks one-by-one to create the "Y". Now it is re-painted every five years by helicopter!
This is at the museum entrance. Take a look at the packed parking lot!
Once inside I was pleasantly surprised that the museum was FREE; I do soo like that word! Unfortunately there is a museum rule that you cannot take pictures of the artwork - ugh! So I did the next best thing and had my picture taken by the wall poster to the exhibit. I'm pointing to the portrait of Patience Cole...
My mission was to see with my own eyes, the portrait of Patience Cole c1840 painted by Februarys featured artist. Inside the "American Dreams" exhibit I turned the corner and there she was looking at me as if to say, "Welcome, so nice to meet you!" My first impression was that this was realism at its best!! Out of the eight other paintings in the room, Patience Cole stood out beaming with contrast and realism. With no barriers, I went right up and eyed it in about every direction possible (I'm sure security had all cameras closely zoomed on me). Painted sitting at an angle with her head tilted slightly, the words warm, gentle, and friendly spoke from the canvas as if Patience was greeting her best friend. Looking closer, I noticed how incredibly soft her features were with peachy skin and rosy cheeks, yet with each detail the clearly defined lines created contrast against the dark background. Detail work is abundant throughout this painting, from the wood grain on the arm of the chair to the intricate and delicate strokes of the lacework. Soft yet defined, it tells something about the artist.... Eying the painting at an angle I noticed the only texture came from the lacework, the rest was very smooth and glossy. Lovely and mesmerizing was my time with the portrait of Patience Cole.
I left the exhibit satisfied and grateful for the new insight I now had, that I didn't before. No picture even comes close to actually seeing the artwork in person. In my reading, I found that at the age of eighteen this artist painted a self-portrait, a tradition in her artistic family (see below). Through this painting she had high hopes that her father and uncle would approve of her skills and deem her ready to advance from student to full-fledged artist. Unfortunately, her father did not approve and rumor has it that he felt her painting was inappropriate and distasteful for her to be smiling as if she was a flirt. My, times were different then! I would instead like to call her the friendly happy painter. From every portrait she's painted you will see each subject has a slightly upturned smile. I have gained a deep admiration for this artist who, in breaking from the tradition of the day, which was all too much about seriousness, was able to add her own feminine presence to the world.
Drum roll please.... The February 2010 artist is
Sarah Miriam Peale!
May 19, 1800 Philadelphia ~ Feb. 4, 1885 Philadelphia.
Peggy Jones from Ojai, CA guessed the artist!
She is the winner of a brush and my latest pattern!
Congratulations Peggy - Wahooo!
If you are interested in seeing more of Sarah's paintings or reading about her, check out the links below.