Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Edgar Whitney's on Location Set Up...

Dear Wes, Here is a piece of blog:
(Blogspot Photo and text by Frank Webb)

This image shows Ed's gear used on location. The right side shows a masonite panel that sits on folding legs and is within reach of Ed from his seat on a 16 inches high campstool, At top center is his palette box that has only a two inch alley between color banks for gathering color. This palette was originated by Eliot O'Hara and the idea is that the painter should mix color on the paper and not so much on the palette.You will notice that the palette is separate from the box and is slanted in two directions to keep sullied color from the mounds of fresh paint. This box was made by Grumbacher and I believe it was item no. 964. The palette box shows an array of brushes. His workhorse of a brush is shown at bottom, center. It is a two inch flat squirrel hair, Grumbacher Mottler. The rectangular, cellulose sponge is used for adjusting the amount of charge in the brush by touching the sponge after charging. Ed's water pan is shallow. This facilitates his banging his brush on the bottom to speedily clear away the paint in his brush.
Not shown in this picture is Ed's painting board which he usually placed on top of his half sheet painting bag. This was placed on folding legs and was therefore level with his gear to his right. In future blogs I expect to show other images that might help to focus on the production and the aesthetics of watercolor.
On a philosophic note: One day Ed asked me to shared my shortest definition of art. I thought a moment and then replied,
"Embodied meaning"
This was a quote from Louis Reid. Ed then shared his favorite shortest definition which was from Santayana,
"Pleasure objectified"
Conversation with Ed was often peppered with quotes and aphorisms.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Sandy Sandy thinks Whitney was Dandy...

Happy summer all! Its nice to feel a renewed sense of interest in our Whitney effort as we enter the prime workshopping season. I acknowledge having back-burnered the effort for a while myself...funny how a new one-year old daughter in our household seems to keep me off the computer and away from the watercolor slab a bit more than I anticipated. But..with the Cheap Joe Tradeshow and workshops around the corner I am having to rally my rusty instructional skills. I look forward to help from a number of persons who have expressed interest in tracking down new contributers to the site over the next while. Especially any great Whitney workshop stories and photos. Sandy Sandy (yep that is her real name) provided another Whitney testimonial and a few great quotes from others about Whitney. Also, a great photo of a very happy Frank Webb. I hope to set up a linked page soon that will compile the many Edgar Whitney quotes that have provided inspiration and insight for multitudes of painters. Don't give up on us and keep checking back. If anyone has any insight into the status of Mr. Robert Conlan, or a means of contacting him we would love to gain his support and possible contributions for archiving.
From Sandy Sandy...
I'm proud to call myself: "third generation Edgar Whitney". Years ago, I was permanently changed by his book,"Complete Guide to Watercolor Painting". It provided many insights into my craft and the principles of design. His writings continue to inspire and direct me. I am also grateful to have studied under some of his star pupils
including; Tony Couch, Joan Rudman, Tony Van Hasselt, Mel Stabin and Frank Webb. All these people carry on with Ed's Creed in their own way, as I do in mine. Today, over twenty years after his death, Whitney's spirit, enlightenment and craft are still gaining momentum and flourishing in the hearts, minds and work of in his many disciples. "Once students had passed through his hands,they were never the same again, and seemed to become completely indoctrinated with his ideas and convictions." ~ Ron Ranson.

From Sandy Sandy's blog...
Dear Friends ~
Edgar A. Whitney spent twenty-five years in commercial art before
devoting himself full time to painting and teaching. He taught at Pratt
Institute in NYC and lectured at New York University. Twenty years
after his death, his book, "Complete Guide to Watercolor Painting"
continues to be one of the foremost and extensive manuals on philosophy,
design, and watercolor technique. In his golden years, Ed demonstrated
and taught workshops from Maine to Florida, producing many extraordinary
modern day watercolor masters while establishing himself as a legend in
the art world hall of fame.

Quotes On Ed Whitney:

"I wish Edgar Whitney was around today. He was so much more than
a teacher of watercolor technique." ~ Monte Guynes

"His critiques were always good theater. He would use any device,
a gesture, description or word to drive home a point." ~ Frank Webb

"On finishing a workshop, Ed would conclude by ending on a philosophical
note. Remember you're the elite who have chosen to spend your time and
money on esthetics he'd say. Others can cheat you, a craft cannot. It's the
only area in life where you get back what you put in." ~ Joan Rudman

Thanks Sandy and sorry for the really bad title pun!

Whitney Demo on the Rocks, Kennebunkport 1979

Whitney Demo on the Rocks, Kennebunkport 1979
photo courtesy Shirley Langraf