Maxfield Parrish and Little Sugar River at Noon
Dr. Bruce Macdonald
World Cultures II HUM112
August 21, 2011
This report describes a vivid depiction of the painting Little Sugar River at Noon. In addition the report touches on the painter and illustrator Fredrick Maxfield Parrish. It goes on to describe how oil paints are developed. Finally, it further defines how this medium of art allows the painting to have texture and dimension.
The painting the Little Sugar River at Noon is a New England landscape (Parrish). It depicts a sandy beach along a river bend with a vivid blue sky and a couple of big white fluffy clouds. The little river is ...view middle of the document...
Fredrick Maxfield Parrish went on to pursue a painting-illustrator career that lasted for many decades. His paintings were created under the name Maxfield Parrish. Maxfields career was launched by being commissioned to illustrate Kenneth Grahame’s The Walls Were as of Jasper in 1897 (Parrish-House). He went on to complete many prestigious projects to include “Little Sugar River at Noon” (Parrish). His production of landscapes and fantastical settings were recurring themes, which were often reproduced in posters and calendars. Parrish was famous for the dazzlingly luminous colors that marked his artwork; the shade cobalt blue was coined “Parrish Blue” in acknowledgement of his prolific use of the dazzling color (Alumbo member, 2007). He achieved this result by means of special techniques involving several coats of oil and varnish applied to his paintings. This technique was termed as glazing. Maxfield Parrish was one of America’s most beloved and popular artists until the turn of the century. He defined the “Golden Age of Illustration” (Virginia Fine Arts Museum, 1996). Parrish continued painting until he was about 90 years old and he died at the age of 96 on March 30, 1966 in Windsor, Vermont (Parrish-House).
Finally, oil painting is the process of painting with pigments that are bound with a medium of drying oil. Oil colors are made by mixing dry powder pigments with selected refined linseed oil to a stiff paste consistency and grinding it by strong friction in steel roller mills (Encyclopædia Britannica, 2011). Other oils are occasionally used include poppy seed oil, walnut oil, and safflower oil. These oils give various properties to the oil paint, such as different drying times. Additional differences from the other oils are also visible in the sheen of the paints depending on the oil. Painters are known to often use different oils in the same painting depending on the specific pigments and effects desired. Consistency of color is...