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Cruising the Mississippi

28 Sep

The Headless Combine

16 Mar
International combine without a head near Keokuk, Iowa

Combine near cornfield

International combine without a head near Keokuk, Iowa

Combine in sepia

 

Pelicans on the Mississippi

14 Mar
Pelicans on the Mississippi River near Keokuk, Iowa

Plenty of Pelicans

Pelicans on the Mississippi River near Keokuk, Iowa

A Pair of Pelicans

Art that inspires

7 Feb

Click on any photo above to launch the gallery.

Two of my inspirations have always been great artwork and great athletes.

I dabble in both art and athletics, and I wish I had more talent for both. I find that both can inspire me to be a better person, to broaden my horizons, to stretch myself.

The gallery above features some of the artwork and artists who inspire me. As you can tell, I enjoy Regionalism, a movement led by Grant Wood, Thomas Hart Benton and John Steuart Curry, and practiced by others, including the lesser known John Bloom.

Bloom, like Wood, was from Iowa. My wife and I bought a print of Bloom’s in the early 1980s while at an art show in Stone City, famous for an art colony in the early 1930s. More recently, we found a treasure trove of Bloom’s work at Mississippi Fine Arts in East Davenport, Iowa. A reproduction of Bloom’s “Tennis” (shown below) is available at the gallery.

The gallery maintains an informative site on Bloom, and the gallery owner was instrumental in encouraging Bloom to continue his artwork in his later years and in making Bloom’s work better known.

Many Iowans may be more familiar with Bloom’s wife, Isabel, who was a sculptor and whose works can be purchased at many locations across the state and elsewhere.

I also like the style of the Hudson River School, which is exemplified in the gallery above by Albert Bierstadt and Thomas Moran. I enjoy these two practitioners because so much of their work featured the West. Moran accompanied one of the earliest organized expeditions to Yellowstone, and his fantastic work of that area was instrumental in convincing Congress to establish the national park.

And as a lover of the West, I’m most thrilled when artists of either of these movements — Hudson River School or Regionalism — tackled Western subjects.

Travel is another one of my passions, and here’s a link to a developing Hudson River School Art Trail, where you can see the locations that inspired the artists. I’ll be especially excited when they add the Wyoming locations. I’ll need to put this excursion on my bucket list.

Part of the purpose of this blog is to serve as my own personal repository. I’ve wanted a place to file information so I can easily find it when I need it. So this gallery can be found on a permanent basis at this link under the “Art” menu.

Do you have a favorite artist? Do you have a favorite artwork? Leave me a comment to share your favorites.

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