As has been my custom on the Thanksgiving holiday, not only do we give thanks for everything we have, but I like to share works of art with you. Sometime the paintings have a theme to them, and other times they have been included just for being both masterful and magnificent treats to look at.
For Thanksgiving in 2009, I covered the art of James Bama, an American artist born in 1926. As a younger man he was an illustrator, but he moved to the west and began a second career. His works are most often described as photo-realistic. I love his work, and he was my first choice for a Thanksgiving tribute. You can find my post on Bama here: Happy Thanksgiving – 2009.
in 2010, I mixed the modern with past with regard to the subjects. The artists however, are definitely in the present. I went with Steve Hanks and Alfredo Rodriguez, Tim Cox, and Martin Grelle. It was an eclectic mix of trappers and hunters, frontiersman and Indians, and people caught up in the Gold Rush of the mid 19th century. Steve Hanks was included for the sheer beauty of his famed watercolor paintings. That post can be found here: Thanksgiving 2010.
Last year, I focused on a single artist – Robert Duncan. Duncan’s works bring memories of when we were children. It was a kinder and gentler world when I was a kid, and Duncan’s works capture the essence of those innocent days. Though I didn’t grow up on farm, there were farms nearby. The paintings are displayed in a video accompanied by the classic music, Sunshine on My Shoulder, by John Denver. You can find this post here: Happy Thanksgiving 2011.
This year, I’ve decided to bring forth, in honor of Thanksgiving, a number of paintings made by a number of different artists. I hope you will enjoy these works as much as I do.
Leading off we have a quartet of great pieces of art by Alfredo Rodriguez. While these paintings are not specific to the holiday of Thanksgiving, they do represent how the artist feels about being grateful, and appreciative. The first one (above) is called They Are Coming Duke. A man and his dog are watching for the arrival of their family. Note the continuity of the stripes on his pants despite the folds and creases, and the intricate work done for the dog’s fur. Below, a lonely old-timer prepares his food. This one is called First Meal of the Day. I love the rich color of his shirt, the hanging powder horn, and his gun belt which seems awfully close to the fire.
Directly above we have a third classic by Alfredo Rodriguez. He calls this one Counting His Blessings. As you can see, this isn’t about food, instead we have an old prospector who has just discovered that his panning for gold has brought for some dividends. Is it the same prospector as the one in First Meal of the Day? Might be. While you ponder that – check out the wear and tear on his boots. The last Alfredo Rodriguez painting (below) is called Grateful Hearts. This one portrays simple homesteaders about to sit down for a meal of a cooked bird.
Next out of the chute is a portrait. The (above) painting is called The Pearl of Sante Fe. The artist – Carrie Ballantyne. As soon as I saw it, I knew that it would have to be, make that – must be – included in this Thanksgiving post. There’s something about the way the hat, the braid, the scarf, the drop earring, and the woman’s expression that just captivates. Note the lack of a background.