Friday, February 22, 2013

Maynard Dixon

Quantum Sufficet
by Maynard Dixon 1921
American b. 1875 - d. 1946

O, I am Maynard Dixon,
And I live out here, alone
With pencil and pen and paint brush
And campstool for my throne
King of the desert country
Holding a magic key
To the world's magnificent treasure
None can unlock but me!
At times come terrible moments
When desire fill full my soul,
And women and wine and cities
Seem a compelling goal; - 
But I wake with a start to my desert
And it's lovely vistas unfurled, -
I'd rather be Maynard Dixon,
Than anyone else in the world!

Dixon was a great Painter and pretty good Poet.  I especially like his paintings from his early and mid career.  The painting shown above is in the Denver Art Museum.  I recently spent some time studying it in person...a real pleasure and the photo does no justice to the painting.  Here are some of my notes from my time with it:

Change in value and temp on shapes as they have both sun and shadow.
Varigated colors within one brushstroke - Door frames are a great example.
Big, flat color shapes.  
Complementary colors.
Expertly but simply defined forms like the horses, modeled with a few unblended strokes of color or the door frames painted with one stroke each in thick, variegated paint.

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