November 10, 2010

The Boston School’s legacy of beauty.

Q: How can a school of art create inspiration?  

A: When it compels you to keep the tradition alive.

After recently visiting The Fenway Studios Open Studios and reading The Boston School by Blue Tree press, I’ve become inspired to paint in the tradition of The Boston School method.  Going forward, I plan to channel the masters and use their works of art as my inspiration for new translations of this little known, but powerful school of art.

Like those before me who passed this tradition down from teacher to student, in an unbroken chain for over 160 years, I want to keep this tradition moving forward.  So what is the Boston School?  In my words, it is American-born methodology that combines the great skill of classical French realism with the effects of light and atmosphere achieved by the French impressionists.  Atlantic Monthly Magazine described it as a “systematic cooperation of sentiment and skill.”

Robert Douglas Hunter, Arrangement with Copper and Brass Pot, 2009, Oil on Canvas
The Boston School methods were originally taught at The School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, MA.  The first Boston School artists were known as "The Ten American Painters" (also known as “The Ten”) and included the famed Edmund C. Tarbell and Frank W. Benson.  Since New York was in the throws of Modernism, The Ten chose to make their own market for this new blend of art and began to hold their own exclusive annual exhibits.  They even started their own Guild called the Guild of Boston Artist’s to forge an independent stronghold for their beliefs and a sanctuary for their faith in the power of art and importance of beauty.  

Sam Vokey, Lilies, 2010, Oil on Canvas
The Guild is still active today and claims many modern practioners of the Boston School tradition including Robert Douglas Hunter, Melody Phaneuf & Sam Vokey among others.

September 4, 2010

A blog about artists and their inspiration

In a previous post I've theorized that the there are four key ingredients to an artist; Lifestyle, Influences, Technique, and Inspiration. Collectively, these traits produce works of art that appeal to people and organizations with like minds. In this blog, I will concentrate on how important inspiration is for the artist, whether they be a painter, interior designer, sculptor, musician, or craftsman.  Mostly I'll focus on representational painters but I firmly believe in cross-pollinating ideas so we can learn and apply good ideas from related industries.  Inspiration comes in many forms, sizes, and ways.  It it both fleeting and steady.  It can make the difference between an average execution and one that seems divinely inspired. If we can learn more about inspiration, we can harness it to help us be more prolific and masterful.  

I welcome the opportunity to hear from readers on what they'd like to learn about, get comments on articles, and contribute to the discussion.  My plan is to feature deceased artists and interview living artist about their own ideas about inspiration.

Thanks for becoming a regular reader.  Please feel free to email me or leave your ideas by commenting below!


June 2, 2010

An Artist Who Collects Art

You may not know this about me, but I have been silently collecting the art of other living artists. Why, you ask?

Well, it's for several reasons..

1. I put my money where my mouth is. If I ask collectors to buy my paintings, why not also support those who are working artists like me. 

< Charles Pompilius
2009, Oil on Linen Panel, 7.75 x 5.75

2. I'm inspired by the artists I collect. Having a piece of fine art from a modern day master inspires me to create masterpieces of my own.

3. Fine art is an asset. My art collection is on my balance sheet and I know that the art I collect will continue to increase in value.

< Jeremy Lipking
Angela Sleeping
2007, Graphite on Paper, 24 x 18"


April 16, 2010

Practice makes perfect

Introducing a new series of paintings for the seashore lover in all of us. Two new paintings and more to come.
They say practice makes perfect so I've been quietly perfecting the art of beach-themed floral still lifes.
Spring Break
2010, Oil on Linen, 14 x 11"
Available at my Daily Paintworks Gallery
Buy at my Daily Paintworks

Beach Bums
2010, Oil on Linen, 12 x 12"


April 9, 2010

Buy a painting. Get a book!

JT Harding | b. 1963 by Sensual Realism | Make Your Own Book

Buy an original Harding in 2010 and receive a copy of this hand-signed book FREE!

February 5, 2010

What do these painting have in common?

be successful in this business you have to be known for a signature style and have a series of work with a similiar theme/subject matter.

My questions to you are...what is my signature style AND what do all of the posted painting above have in common?

December 31, 2009

December 20, 2009

Two works sold at first annual Open Studio event.

Thanks to everyone who joined me at my first Open Studio held on December 5th, 2009. It was an intimate group of friends and acquaintances talking about art and life and eating, drinking, and laughing.

Inviting people into the space where I create my original works allows people to get a better sense of the history behind my paintings and have a more meaningful experience with the artist.

Fall Pumphouse @ Morris Arboretum
2009, Oil on Canvas on Board, 9 x 12"

It was also a great time for attendees to purchase art for the upcoming holidays. In fact, the two paintings featured in this post were purchased for this very reason.

I plan on having at least two open studios in 2010, so if you would like to be notified, just sign up for my eNewsletter.

Best wishes to everyone for a Happy Holiday!

Conched Out
2009, Oil on Canvas on Board, 12 x 12"


November 14, 2009

How to paint a cat

I wanted to provide some insight into my process for painting pet portraits (which is pretty much my process for all my paintings).

The willing subject is my male cat BoBo. If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to leave them or email me. And, if you are interested in a pet portrait of your very own pet, contact me today!

1) Grisaille underpainting establishes masses of light and shadow.

2) Color block-in to establish initial color relationships and light key.

3) Refinement of color relationships including color variations in light and shade areas.

4) Adding subject specific details and modeling the form.

5) Final details including definition of hard and soft edges, eye and whisker details, and final signature.

BoBo in Repose (Private Collection)
2009, Oil on Canvas on Board, 11 x 14"

Signed upper left - Harding 09'

October 20, 2009

Artist challenged to paint commissioned work of daisies

Montauk Daisies
2009, Oil on Canvas on Board, 16 x 12"

Signed lower left. Harding 09'

For clients who want to own an original Harding painting, yet want a specific subject portrayed, I offer a commission service.

Montauk Daisies is a good example of this. The client loved what they saw in another painting I did of Roses, yet their favorite flowers were Daisies.

So much so, they even have daisies painted on their fingernails. Since the fall was coming I found Montauk Daisies, which typically bloom in October. The name of these daisies conjured up images of fresh-picked flowers at a seashore beach house. So I placed the setup on a windowsill, poured sand in the bottom of the vase, and put two seashells in the foreground. Sun, streaming in through the window, completed the feeling of warmth I wanted to convey.

Currently, I am also working on commissioned paintings of a young gymnastic star and a cityscape painting of the Philadelphia sports complexes.

Have you always wanted an original painting of a family member, pet, or favorite vacation spot? Challenge me to paint what you have in mind today.


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