winslow homer watercolor paintings
Homer’s career as an illustrator lasted nearly twenty years. He contributed illustrations of Boston life and rural New England life to magazines such as Ballou’s Pictorial and Harper’s Weekly  at a time when the market for illustrations was growing rapidly and fads and fashions were changing quickly. His early works, mostly commercial wood engravings of urban and country social scenes, are characterized by clean outlines, simplified forms, dramatic contrast of light and dark, and lively figure groupings—qualities that remained important throughout his career.  His quick success was mostly due to this strong understanding of graphic design and also to the adaptability of his designs to wood engraving.
Before moving to New York in 1859, Homer lived in Belmont, Massachusetts with his family. His uncle’s Belmont mansion, the 1853 Homer House, was the inspiration for a number of his early illustrations and paintings, including several of his 1860s croquet pictures. The Homer House, owned by the Belmont Woman’s Club, is open for public tours.
Born in Boston, Massachusetts, in 1836, Homer was the second of three sons of Charles Savage Homer and Henrietta Benson Homer, both from long lines of New Englanders. His mother was a gifted amateur watercolorist and Homer’s first teacher. She and her son had a close relationship throughout their lives. Homer took on many of her traits, including her quiet, strong-willed, terse, sociable nature; her dry sense of humor; and her artistic talent. Homer had a happy childhood, growing up mostly in then rural Cambridge, Massachusetts. He was an average student, but his art talent was evident in his early years.
Winslow Homer (February 24, 1836 – September 29, 1910) was an American landscape painter and printmaker, best known for his marine subjects. He is considered one of the foremost painters in 19th-century America and a preeminent figure in American art.
As with the Bahamas series, Homer ignored all but the essentials and concentrated on capturing the effects of light and color. The simplified color scheme of white hull and sails, red-shirted crew, and gray-blue sea and sky produce a scene of sunlit clarity. A sense of continuous movement is created by cropping the top of the masts and furled sail. The Key West watercolors are among the artist’s most luminous and vibrant works.
A Good Shot, Adirondacks, 1892, watercolor, Gift of Ruth K. Henschel in memory of her husband, Charles R. Henschel, 1975.92.5
Some praised the subject matter as quintessentially American, while others thought it rude and commonplace. A writer for the New York Daily Tribune called the watercolors “memorandum blots and exclamation points.” He goes on: “[the paintings are] so pleasant to look at, we are almost content not to ask Mr. Homer for a ﬁnished piece.”
He wasn’t wholly unfamiliar with watercolors. His mother was a skilled amateur watercolorist and likely introduced him to the medium at an early age.
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Winslow Homer: A collection of 534 paintings (HD) *UPDATE (added almost 400 new more paintings than previous video)