Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Ives Admires William Paxton - Mostly

Portrait of Louise ConverseThe Red Fan

What do you do when you absolutely love somebody's work, but find them a bit difficult as a personality? RH Ives Gammell in his book, The Boston Painters (1900-1930), had nothing but praise for William Paxton's paintings, but his admiration was tempered by the artist's lack of social graces.

We find Mr. Gammell describing Paxton's personality with phrases like "social maladroitness, brash exterior, and tactless outbursts. " (It is interesting that Paxton and Philip Hale were good friends, since Mr. Hale seems also to have caused some significant problems with some articles that he wrote as the art critic for the Boston Herald and Boston Evening Transcript.)

As Mr. Gammell writes: "Many of Paxton's acquaintances never suspected the fine intelligence and delicate sensibility immediately beneath the brash exterior of this sharply apparelled, rotund man whose bald head and tiny black goatee evoked the race track."

Then having expressed this, he begins to list William Paxton's admirable artistic accomplishments:

He was Literary: "Paxton and his close friend Philip Hale were the only painters in the Boston coterie who could properly be called cultured. He was well-read in both English and French literature and had a comprehensive understanding of several arts allied to painting."

He Had a Broad Interest in Art: "When it came to painting itself, his interest covered its entire range whereas most of his Boston colleagues ignored artists, however renowned, whose aims differed from their own. Indeed, in all matters pertaining to his profession his thirst for knowledge was insatiable."

He Possessed Unsurpassed Visual Acuity and Technical Ability: "William Paxton crowned the edifice of nineteenth century Impressionism by carrying their logical principles to their logical conclusion. His unsurpassed visual acuity combined with great technical command enable him to report his impressions with astounding veracity. Of all the painters whose color perception had been sharpened by plein air study, he was the most accurate draftsman and he never slackened his efforts to render both shape and color just as they appeared to his artist's eye. His best indoor paintings are distinguished by an ambient lucidity we do not find to a like degree in the pictures of other men. Let no one confuse this with photographic imitation, which it in no way resembles. Effects of this kind are only captured when the artist visualizes the depicted scene as an entity all of whose colors are accurately observed in their mutual relationship, a singularly difficult feat only understood by the talented after years of study."

He Was a Master of Composition: "Paxton was likewise a master of composition, that twin supporting pillar of the painter's craft without whose assistance even the finest representation will not elevate a painting to the status of art. Paxton was the most diligent and the most original. As the painting progressed, steadily improving the abstract pattern created by his light and dark shapes. More often than the others he successfully created handsome arabesques with the silhouettes made by his darks, an art of which Vermeer was a supreme master."

Girl Arranging FlowersLady on Staircase

He Captured Light: "The intrinsic nature of the objects he elected to paint meant comparatively little to this artist. His interest centered in the light and dark patterns and the intriguing color schemes they created in unison. Above all he was fascinated by the pellucid atmosphere and light which enveloped, transfigured and unified them. And this ambiance he captured with a truth and subtlety undreamed of before pleinairism had rendered the vision of painters more acute than ever before." *

A Short Bio: "William McGregor Paxton was born in Baltimore in 1869. At 18, he won a scholarship to attend the Cowles Art School, where he began his art studies with Dennis Miller Bunker. Later he studied with Jean-Léon Gérôme in Paris and, on his return to Boston, with Joseph DeCamp at Cowles. There he met his future wife Elizabeth Okie, who also was studying with DeCamp.
Paxton taught at the Museum School from 1906 to 1913. His compositions were most often idealized young women in beautiful interiors. Paxton gained fame for his portraiture and painted both Grover Cleveland and Calvin Coolidge, and was made a full member of the National Academy of Design in 1928. He was working on his last painting, a view of his living room with his wife posing for him, when he was stricken with a heart attack and died in 1941 at the age of 72." **

* The Boston Painters (1900-1930) by RH Ives Gammell
** Wikipedia on William MacGregor Paxton

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Making It More Like: Tarbell

Edmund Tarbell . Reverie, 1913

RH Ives Gammell, who wrote The Boston Painters ( 1900-1930) had high regard - both personally and artistically - for Edmund Tarbell, a man who was considered by many to be the finest painter of his time. He writes:

"The last time I talked with Ned Tarbell we were standing side by side during the preprandial* ceremonies of a club dinner. His face was ravaged by the illness which would soon carry him off, but his mind was alert and, as we raised our cocktail glasses together he toasted, "Well, here's hoping I can make one that really looks like it before I'm through." Those words from the lips of a dying painter attest his untiring struggle to communicate the delight he took in aspects of the visible world and his deep-seated conviction that a painter's function was to 'draw the Thing as he see It for the God of Things as They are,"** although Kipling's fine but hackneyed verses would have been inconceivable on his lips. When I heard these words read at Tarbell's funeral a few months later I wondered whether they would have pleased him in that context, for he was not literary.

Edmund Tarbell
Three Sisters, A Study in June Sunlight

Although he was not literary, he had a rare perception of beauty, which is the poetry of painting. It was this indefinable quality which caused his fellow painters to regard Edmund C. Tarbell as the head of the Boston School, even to name him the most eminent American painter of his generation - which not a few proclaimed him to be. Edmund Tarbell at the top of his form painted pictures which are permeated by a unique blend of rare qualities in which carefully ordered composition, lovely color schemes exquisitely rendered and subtle depictions of the interplay of light and atmosphere combine to delight the eye. These visual impressions are put on canvas with a personal touch which makes every inch of the painted surface treasurable. He loved to reiterate that he was only trying to "make it like," an oversimplification which takes account of neither his initial selection nor his individual way of seeing "it," a way which was no one else's.

Oh, the little more, and how much it is!
And the little less, and what worlds away!
~ Robert Browning, By the Fireside

A Short Bio
Edmund C. Tarbell (called Ned as a boy), was born at West Groton, Massachusetts in 1868 and raised by his paternal grandparents. As a youth, Tarbell took evening art lessons from George H. Bartlett at the Massachusetts Normal Art School. Between 1877 and 1880, he apprenticed at the Forbes Lithographic Company in Boston and because of his natural talent entered the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, studying under Otto Grundmann. He matriculated in the same class with two other future members of the Ten American Painters, Robert Reid and Frank Weston Benson.

In 1883, his fellow student Benson and Edmund Tarbell continued their studies in Paris as pupils of Lefebvre and Boulanger. What this exactly means is more thoroughly discussed in the blog on Cecilia Beaux' experience at l'Academie Julian. To summarize, Lefebvre and Boulanger would come in once a week, pause momentarily at each student's easel to say a few words, and then rattle away in their carriage till the following week.

(This - I think - is not an entirely bad thing although it is not the type of education that we are used to. It provides space for the student to develop his own critical processes using the principles that his teacher sets briefly before him. This takes a fair amount of self-motivation and effort, and requires the student to be fully engaged with his lessons.)

The most valuable painting instruction which Tarbell received in Paris was in an afternoon painting class taught by William Dannat who had first studied in Munich then under Bastien-Lepage.

Tarbell studied in Europe about five years, then returned to Boston where he married and joined the teaching staff of the Museum School in Boston - along with his friend Frank Benson. When the director, Otto Grundmann, died unexpectedly the following summer, Tarbell and Benson took full charge of what had become a nationally renowned art school. It was to flourish under their direction for twenty-three years.

My Daughter Josephine

Tarbell was a popular teacher. He gave his pupils a solid academic art training. Before they learned to paint, they had to render plaster casts of classical statues. So pervasive was his influence on Boston painting that his followers were dubbed "The Tarbellites."

After he left the school in 1913, he co-founded The Guild of Boston Artists, and served as its first president through 1924. In 1919, he was selected as principal of the art school at the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington, DC which he led until 1926. In 1927, he was elected as a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

In his latter years, he and his wife spent their summers in New Castle, New Hampshire and their winters in Boston. He regularly went to the Tavern Club for lunch, capping the meal with a game of billiards, at which he excelled. Exalted by virtually every award in the bestowal of his fellow artists, well remunerated by the sale of his pictures, represented in the leading art museums of the United States, Edmund Tarbell's sundown was splendid and serene. When the Depression reduced the pressure of his portrait commissions, he told me how glad he was at long last to paint the pictures he had never found time to carry out. He had the satisfaction of knowing that those whose opinion he valued most, which is to say of the painters most knowledgeable in their art, placed him at the very summit of contemporary painting."

"Making It More Like"
This phrase was Edmund Tarbell's motto and one of the sayings passed down to the students of RH Ives Gammell. It refers to part of the methodology used by Boston School painters. As they begin their work, they make the drawing and painting as correct as possible the first time, then as the work proceeds, continue to make it more right...and more right...and more right!

* Mr. Gammell's Vocab Word of the Day: Preprandial - Done or taken before dinner or before the main course, ex. a preprandial glass of sherry

** When Earth's Last Picture Is Painted, 1892 by Rudyard Kipling

When Earth's last picture is paint...ed and the tubes are twisted and dried,
When the oldest colours have faded, and the youngest critic has died,
We shall rest, and, faith, we shall need it -- lie down for an aeon or two,
Till the Master of All Good Workmen shall put us to work anew.
And those that were good shall be happy; they shall sit in a golden chair;
They shall splash at a ten-league canvas with brushes of comets' hair.
They shall find real saints to draw from -- Magdalene, Peter, and Paul;
They shall work for an age at a sitting and never be tired at all!

And only The Master shall praise us, and only The Master shall blame;
Andd no one shall work for money, and no one shall work for fame,
But each for the joy of the working, and each, in his separate star,

Monday, April 18, 2011

Ives Meets Joseph Rodefer DeCamp

Joseph Rodefer DeCamp . Sally, 1907

RH Ives Gammell - who has a group on Facebook - was a key figure of mid-twentieth century art. He learned from and associated with a number of the finest Boston painters in the early 1900s, and shares his experiences in his book, The Boston Painters (1900-1930). Today he introduces us to artist Joseph Rodefer DeCamp (1858-1923).

A Short Bio
Born in Cincinnati in 1858, Decamp began his art studies when he was fifteen, became one of the Duveneck Boys when twenty, and spent most of his life in Boston both as a teacher and as one of the finest portrait painters in the States. Interestingly, he was guided in that direction as the result of a fire which engulfed his studio.

"In desperate straits, the poor man walked into the St. Botolph Club lounge the next day, and announced that all his paintings had been destroyed. "I have a family to support," he told them. "I'll paint anybody's portrait for $100." Partly out of friendliness, several men took him up at once and were delighted with what they got in return. Soon the demand for DeCamp portraits was so great that they commanded the top current market price and their vogue never declined.

First Encounter
Gammell had been sent to see DeCamp by his instructor William Sargeant Kendall. Kendall wanted his seventeen year old student to show his work to the man whom he considered to be the finest trained painter then residing this side of the Atlantic. Gammell still vividly recalls DeCamp's "Come in!" as he stood at the head of the stairway before descending to his studio.

What DeCamp Had to Say
Momentous episodes of that caliber etch themselves indelibly in the minds of aspiring young painters and today, more than sixty years later, I can still picture DeCamp reaching into a portfolio for some photographs of paintings by Velasquez. First he selected the celebrated bodegone* representing an old woman cooking eggs, and pointed to the rigorous insistence with which each detail had been worked out. Then he took up the Rokeby Venus and said with a characteristic sweep of his long fingers across the broadly modelled forms, "But before he got through he made them like this."

Diego VelázquezOld Woman Cooking Eggs, 1618Diego Velázquez
The Toilet of Venus, 1651

(This is exactly what my teacher is trying to instill into my way of thinking, also using Velázquez as the example. 'Breadth of treatment' is the term he uses. Let the eye sweep over the forms - even letting it have the option of taking in the whole canvas instead of having to halt over and over again like a car on a street with too many stop signs. Try opening enlargements of the two paintings above side by side. See how your eye stops here - and here - and here, etc. in the beautifully drawn painting Old Woman Cooking Eggs - which is early Velázquez - then see how it easily it sweeps over The Toilet of Venus - which was done years later.)

Another piece of advice Gammell received from Joseph DeCamp had to do with his approach to painting - a methodology that depended on an artist's ability to draw well. DeCamp was one of the best draftsmen of his day, and even as a young man could draw quite correctly when he arrived in Munich to learn from Duveneck. He was better prepared than his classmates to assimilate his teacher's rare faculty for expressing form with paint. This is something very different from coloring a carefully established drawing and which presupposes a power of discernment not many painters ever attain. All his life DeCamp considered this essentially painterly quality to be a major asset of the painter's self-expression.

To illustrate this, as Gammell and Joseph DeCamp strolled together through the Louvre, DeCamp would pull up before a Hals, a Rembrandt, a Fragonard, a Gericault or some other master, major or minor, and expatiate on how the artist had 'made it out of paint.' Something that does not work well unless the artist has a mind concerned with drawing well as he paints. As Gammell expresses, 'Unless a painting's flourishes are underpinned by very strong draftsmanship, spirited brushwork slips into mere bravura which only emphasizes the vacuity of a second-rate painter's statement.'"

Joseph Rodefer DeCamp . The Blue Mandarin Coat, 1922

In Spanish art, a bodegón is a still life painting depicting pantry items, such as victuals, game, and drink, often arranged on a simple stone slab, and also a painting with one or more figures, but significant still life elements, typically set in a kitchen or tavern.

To see more of his work, click here

• Quotes are from RH Ives Gammell's book, The Boston Painters (1900-1930)

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Frederic Vinton Reaches His Goal

The River Loing at Grez, France

Frederic Vinton’s experience is encouraging. He knew what he wanted, and for many years very patiently took small steps in that direction until finally there came the time when he was ready to make the definitive move.

Even as a boy in the 1840s, Frederic wanted to be an artist. Happily, at fourteen, he was able to show his sketches to well-known artist William Morris Hunt who had commented, “You’ve as much art as I had when I started; go ahead.” His next step then was to attend the Lowell Institute which had just become the first school in Boston to teach freehand drawing class. It was taught by sculptor, painter, anatomist, and teacher, Dr. Rimmer. But Frederic also needed a professional career so he worked as a bookkeeper at a bank. For over fifteen years, he trod the pathway of balancing job and studies, and saving his money for a definite purpose. Finally at twenty-nine, he left his bookkeeping position and sailed to Europe for full-time art training. There the years spent slowly solidifying his abilities and artistic thought-processes paid off.

Friendships that he had made back in Boston influenced his direction. One fellow art enthusiasist, Edwin Blashfield, presented him to his own instructor in Paris, the great Leon Bonnat with whom Vinton began his studies. The following spring another friend, Frank Duveneck, persuaded him to move to Munich where he studied with Wilhelm von Diez. (William Merritt Chase was also there at that time,) Vinton stayed for about a year before returning to Paris. Avoiding Bonnat - whom he had left - he applied for admission to the atelier of Jean Paul Laurens. He was the first foreigner accepted there as a pupil. In 1878 after three years abroad, Frederic returned to Boston and opened his own studio. He immediately distinguished himself by painting a striking portrait which launched him on his long career as an accredited painter of eminent Boston gentlemen. He had arrived! His impressive works - about 200 - still hang in the board rooms of banks and hospitals, court houses, and state capitols. They are striking characterizations, well composed, and admirably drawn.

Alexander Moseley, 1880s

Vinton was exceptionally fortunate to have been mentored by William Morris Hunt, and to have studied with Rimmer, Bonnat and Jean Paul Laurens. He learned many great things from them, but a teacher’s propensities are also passed on. Vinton never successfully overcame the bias imposed on his perception of color by this succession of teachers who all saw the world rather brownly. The distinction that RH Ives Gammell makes between Frederic Vinton and the younger Boston painters is in how they colored the flesh tints, especially the halftones and shadows. Those artists educated just a few years later on in Europe were influenced by the Impressionists and their new color discoveries.

Frederic seemed to have been a very social person. He opened up his studio for years to pull together artists, men of letters, musicians and individualists of diverse kinds to form the Tavern Club. (Dennis Bunker and Frank Duveneck were two of the artists although they attended in different years).

When he was thirty-six, Frederic took a sabbatical from his portrait painting to travel with Robert Blum (one of my favorite Cincinnati artists) and William Merritt Chase to Spain. “The three artists spent time in Madrid and Toledo, and Frederic studied portraiture by studying Velázquez’s previous work and making painstakingly executed copies. The leading Boston painters were to follow his example during the ensuing years.”*

Vinton continued his artistic career until his death on May 20, 1911. Most unfortunately, he had picked up a virus at a dusty ballpark while attending a game and died the next week of bronchial trouble leaving his wife and son behind.

La Blanchisseuse
(click on the image for a description of this painting)

RH Ives Gammell’s Thought for the Day: “The factors most operative in determining the progress of the art or in precipitating its decline throughout the centuries have always depended on the contacts established between its accomplished practitioners and their talented juniors. To be genuinely fruitful, associations between teacher and disciple must be close and prolonged. Transmission of this formidably intricate craft consists of very much more than passing along technical know-how. It is basically an inculcation of a way of seeing interwoven with a philosophy of self-expression in visual terms, the two things being intimately related.”

The Boston Painters, 1900-1930 by RH Ives Gammell
Wikipedia on the Lowell Institute
Frederic Vinton's Obituary

Monday, April 11, 2011

Frank Benson Makes an Impression

Frank W. Benson (1862-1951) . Portrait of My Daughters, 1907

Frank Benson's Good Impression
"Mr. Benson cut a very imposing figure indeed. Standing something over six feet, with greying hair and mustache, he was always impeccably clad. After returning from his studies in Paris [1889], the promising newcomer on the Boston art scene was approached by a visitor of about his own age. Diffidently the stranger expressed great admiration for the pictures on display and for one canvas in particular which at the time he could not afford to buy. He went on to say that he was about to open a tailoring establishment in the city and offered to clothe the artist for the remainder of his life, charging him only the cost of the materials used, if in exchange he were permitted to take the coveted painting. The youthful entrepreneur's name was F. L. Dunne whose firm for over half a century was regarded as the finest - certainly the most expensive - men's tailor in New. England. Frank Benson lived to be eighty-nine, but the astute Mr. Dunne felt that the trade attracted by his handsome and celebrated customer left his establishment on the profitable end of the bargain he had made."

Frank Benson was one of the Boston Painters, a celebrated group of artists in the early 1900s. Lilian and Philip Hale, Dennis Bunker, Edmund Tarbell, Joseph DeCamp, Frederic Vinton, and William Paxton were also members of this celebrated group who were cheered on by Isabella Stewart Gardner. After some unfortunate circumstances, however, they found themselves deliberately ignored and even buried by the art scene of the 1930s. The first I heard of them was through a couple of friends who trained under men who were trained by this group of artists.

The Reader, 1910

Two Impressing Impressionistic Principles
The author of The Boston Painters, RH Ives Gammell, took a sabbatical from his studies with Philip Hale "to take the last portrait class Benson would ever criticize so that he might benefit from at least a sample of his teaching method. He said that it was a privilege for which he never ceased to be grateful." Here is a description of the class, and two of Benson's most important lessons:

"This commanding personage delivered his class criticisms in measured tones sufficiently loud to be distinctly heard by the entire roomful of students - perhaps fifteen young people. By and large he limited his instruction to expatiating on two fundamental principles of impressionist painting.

The First Principle: Summarily stated, the first of his two working principles underscored the desirability of maintaining from the very start of a painting the relative degrees of definition which the various shapes comprised in a chosen field of vision present to eyes which have been focused so as to embrace the entire area to be depicted in a single glance. For it is this overall aspect which the impressionist is bent on rendering since it alone conveys the 'sense of beauty and mystery which enchants us when we look at nature,' to use an unforgettable phrase of Frank Benson's. To transcribe this 'impression instantanee,' as Claude Monet called it, constitutes the gist of Impressionism.

The Second Principle: And Benson's second principle came as a corollary to the first. When the colors in the given prospect are observed simultaneously in a mutual relationship, instead of being examined separately, they appear entirely transformed. This esthetically important optical phenomenon eludes the beginner's eye even more stubbornly than its above mentioned fellow partner.

The comprehensive, broadly focused look registers a superior visual truth whose splendor has overwhelmed most of us from time to time unawares as we gazed at nature in certain exceptionally receptive moods. The impressionist painter's task is to carefully analyze this truth and transpose it permanently to canvas."*

Very simply put - and I am completely open to correction, he instructed the artist to look at his subject as a whole, not as individual parts; to ask himself, "What hits me when I initially look at this?" and "How do each of the colors relate to each other?" and then create that same impression in the painting...that's all!

*from The Boston Painters by RH Ives Gammell, 1986 . edited by Elizabeth Ives Hunter

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Speaking of Reading

William Paxton (1869-1941) . The Morning Paper

You will have noticed
that I have a lot of guest artists stopping by my blog. The posts on Diversions pretty much come from whatever I am reading at the time. Right now The Boston Painters by RH Ives Gammell is occupying a little of my evenings so Frederic Vinton, Edmund C. Tarbell, William McGregor Paxton and their friends will be making an appearance in the next week or so.

I was gratified to get Sir Joshua Reynold's stamp of approval on using some of my "leisure time" in the reading of good books. Of course, I would do this with or without his approbation, but I set aside a little time each evening as I ride my reclining bike (stationary) or on lazy, hazy weekend afternoons while lying on the sunlit carpeted artroom floor.

Speaking of reading, I have been making up a list of some titles from FB and 3D friends that may interest you. Tom Dunlay discovered a site online which has free downloadable publications. Tom was a student of RH Ives Gammell - as was my teacher, Carl Samson. It's cool to get the names of some of the titles that they as students were encouraged to read. I'm sure there are more, but these are a great start:

  1. Velasquez : R. A. M. Stevenson . Author: R. A. M. StevensonPublisher: G.BELL & SONS, LTD.
  2. The Training of the Memory in Art and the Education of the Artist . Author: Horace Lecoq de Boisbaudran, translated by L. D. Luard . (teacher of Rodin, L'Hermitte and other famed French artists)
  3. The Classic Point of View, Six Lectures on Painting (1911) . Author: Kenyon Cox (1856-1919) . Required reading in the classes of RH Ives Gammell
  4. Eugène Fromentin, Painter and Writer, 1883 . Author: Gonse, Louis . . Required Reading in the classes of RH Ives Gammell
  5. Frank Duveneck (1918) . Author: Heermann, Norbert
  6. The American Magazine of Art . 1916

    Other Recommended Books
  7. Background with Figures, Autobiography of Cecilia Beaux
  8. The Boston Painters . Author: RH Ives Gammell
  9. Life in the Studio (Lilian and Philip Hale) . Author: Nancy Hale
  10. Oil Painting Techniques and Materials . Author: Harold Speed
  11. The Practice and Science of Drawing . Author: Harold Speed
  12. Alla Prima . Author: Richard Schmid

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Lilian Hale's Self-Portrait

Black-Eyed Susans

"There is a real sadness to her work," someone commented after viewing some of Lilian Wescott Hale's paintings. It is true. Thus I was particularly interested when the subject of Lilian's coldness came up in her daughter Nancy's biography, The Life in the Studio:

"After my mother died, I felt I should go through my mother's drawings; there had been inquiries from would-be purchasers. I needed to see which, if any, I felt ready to part with. In addition to drawings glassed and framed with cards from old exhibitions still pasted to the backing, there were big black French portfolios full of drawings, some of which I hadn't seen for years and years, many only partly finished. As I drew out each sheet of Strathmore board, propped it against a chair, and viewed it, all the pictures seemed to have taken on a curious new dimension that at first baffled me.

On Christmas Day in the Morning, 1924

Here was the shed behind our house in Dedham. Tortuous black branches on which a few black berries cling are shown in relation to its slanting, white-laden roof, the whole vignetted on the white paper so that the scene seems drowned in winter. Here was the house across the road seen from the windows of our upstairs hall. Upon the boughs of the hemlock on the front lawn, bent down by snow, snow is still falling; but inside the window, in the foreground, blossoms of a bowl of freesias are touched faintly with sanguine chalk, giving a sense at once of inwardness and of warmth. Next came the profile of a little Irish girl my mother used often as a model: tiptilted, naive, sharp black against the strong light from the window where she is sitting.

Spring Morning, 1908

What seemed so new? Looking at the old, familiar scenes and faces made me long for something, but it wasn't the past. It was something here in the pictures themselves. What I was discovering, throughout the long series of drawings, was a likeness: a self-portrait that my mother had not the least awareness she was making.

The unconscious revelation about herself that I began to take in as I viewed my mother's drawings right after her death had to do with the choice of subjects - those little girls, like flowers; those interiors, snug, sheltering, unpeopled; and everywhere those repeatedly pictured, exquisite falls of snow. It was all true, especially the snow.

Coldness was puzzling, coming from that tall, beautiful, glowing creature who enchanted all who met her in warm moods. She was a loving mother, an adoring wife, yet all my life I had known the change that could take place in her and, as a child, I would be stricken with fear. It was as if she had gone away and forgotten me. She wasn't merely thinking about something else; she had ceased to feel my presence.

She herself never would admit she was cold. 'No I'm not!' she'd protest. 'I was being very cordial!" I used to talk it over with my Aunt Nancy. 'I know," my aunt said. 'Lily's always been that way, even when she was little. Your grandmother was deeply hurt when she asked Lily whom she loved best and Lily said Annie Langer...Of course, the reason for that,' Aunt Nancy said, hastening as ever to absolve her sister of blame, 'was that your grandmother was utterly prostrated during the years Lily was little, so it fell to Annie to take the care of her. Lily was actually the most sensitive of us all.'"

Lilian had grown up in the shadow of the gray cloud that hovered over her family. It was not a happy situation. Her nine year old sister, Dolly, had died while visiting relatives. Her mother was often "prostrated." Her father had been deeply hurt in business and had become an invalid with his daughters helping to care for him. In their minds, the idea of suffering was looked upon approvingly; it deserved high praise in that Victorian household. "'So-and-so is a great sufferer,' Grandmother would announce approvingly, and even my mother looked respectful.'

Boy by the Ocean

In the core of anguish, ice. Out of ice, art - starting up again like perpetually blooming roses from an old, winter grave. The private, interior world in which my mother hid was at the same time just what, in her pictures, she set forth for display.

Coldness was not a moral question in my mother, neither good nor bad. It was more the basis for survival." *

*The Life in the Studio by Nancy Hale . Little, Brown and Company, 1957