Joseph McGurl, Journey through Time and Space, Plein Air Italian Landscapes
oil on panels, 49 x 58 in. (each panel 9 x 12 inches)
"Journey through Time and Space, Plein Air Italian Landscapes" is a nine painting collection by Joseph McGurl, a leader in the current American landscape school. McGurl is one of the few contemporary realists who does not include the use of photography in his art. He is a devoted plein air painter which allows him to connect with the landscape on a personal level and gain a deeper understanding of his subject. Rather than relying on photography, McGurl often works on site, exploring the light, form, space, and color through paint.
In the picture below, you can see his site size painting method and how when his drawing and colors are accurate, it blends into the scene. He doesn't always follow what he sees this closely, but sometimes there is not much about the subject that needs changing.
Joseph McGurl was born in Massachusetts in 1958. He grew up working with his father, James McGurl, who is a muralist and his most influential teacher. He graduated from Massachusetts College of Art with a dual major in painting and education and also studied in England and Italy. After college, he worked for a period of time as a yacht captain, sailing the east coast from Maine to the Caribbean. In search of a more solid training in drawing, he sought out Robert Cormier, a devotee of the French Academy methods, and for two years he studied figure drawing under him. Joseph synthesizes academic figure drawing skills with sight-size landscape painting resulting in a new and unique approach to addressing the landscape.
Mr. McGurl's paintings have been included in several museum exhibitions in Massachusetts, New York, California, and Rhode Island as well as being exhibited in numerous group museum exhibitions which travelled throughout the country. He has had retrospective solo shows at the Cape Cod Museum of Art, The Cahoon Museum of American Art, and the Saint Botolph Club of Boston. The Arnot Art Museum's Representing Representation, a survey of the most significant representational work being done today, included his work as an example of contemporary landscape painting. He is in the collections of the New Britain Museum of American Art, The Cape Cod Museum of Art, The Mellon Collection, The Forbes Collection, Sen. John Kerry, and the Cahoon Museum of American Art. McGurl has been designated a Living Master by the Art Renewal Center in New York. He has been elected to the Guild of Boston Artists, was a Copley Master with the Copley Society of Boston, and is a signature member of the prestigious Plein Air Painters of America. His many awards include the Guild of Boston Artists Gold Medallion, The Art Renewal Center's International Salon First Place in Landscape, American Fine Art Magazine Award of Excellence, and the John Singleton Copley Award for Artistic Achievement.
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