Thursday, February 18, 2010

A LIVING MASTER OF THE CLASSICAL TRADITION




End of an Era
Oil on canvas
Private collection
From ARC


Spring Thaw
Oil on canvas
Private collection
From ARC


Well known for his portraits and landscapes painted from nature in the traditional manner, Mr. Whitney’s paintings hang in over 550 public and private collections throughout the United States and abroad. These include the Anchorage Museum of Art and History, the Anderson House Museum, the Newark Museum, the Springfield Museum of Art, the Pentagon, the U.S. Department of Labor, Harvard University and the Catholic University of Portugal. He is the youngest artist in history to have a painting in the permanent collection of the State Capitol of Massachusetts.
Born in 1946, Richard graduated Phi Beta Kappa from the University of New Hampshire. He studied with Sidney F. Willis and with the noted Boston painter R. H. Ives Gammell for five years. He has won over forty regional and national awards; his work has been seen on national cable television and has been the subject of numerous newspaper and magazine articles.
(Richard R. Gandy at classicalrealism.com)
Known for his realistic portrait paintings and also for New Hampshire landscapes, Richard Wheeler Whitney, born 1946, was recognized by Town and Country magazine as one of the top twelve portrait painters in America. Sotheby's Auction House of New York City named him a "living master of the classical tradition". Among his portrait subjects are five state governors, a Secretary of the Navy, and a former Presidential Press Secretary.
(AskART)


The Honorable Mitt Romney
Former Governor, State of Massachusetts
Oil on canvas
Private collection
From ARC





Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney
All images from daylife


Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney (above) unveils his official portrait during a ceremony on the Grand Staircase at the Statehouse in Boston Tuesday, June 30, 2009. Romney's portrait was painted by New Hampshire artist Richard Whitney for $30,000 in private donations and will hang in the lobby of the third-floor Governor's Office.
(daylife)


The Honorable John H. Sununu
Governor of New Hampshire
State House, Concord, New Hampshire
Oil on canvas 49" x 39"
From MastersofPortraitArt.com


The Honorable Walter Peterson & Mrs. Peterson
Governor of New Hampshire
Franklin Pierce University
Oil on canvas 42" x 50"
From MastersofPortraitArt.com


Governor Hugh Gallen
Source Originally from crescentpond.com
From Wikimedia


Governor John King
Source Originally from crescentpond.com
From Wikimedia


James Webb, Jr.
Secretary of the Navy 1987 - 1988
Collection of The Pentagon, Washington, D.C.
Oil on canvas 40" x 50"
From MastersofPortraitArt.com


According to Bill Vose of Vose Galleries, Boston, "Richard Whitney is one of the best living artists of our generation." With work in over 650 collections, Richard is nationally known for his corporate commissions as well as portraits of public officials and academic leaders. Typically, Richard requires 2 sittings of 3 to 4 hours each. While the artist prefers to work from life at the start of the portrait, he will also work from photographs.
Each client has the opportunity to review the pose before the portrait is complete. If the painting is complex, Richard prepares a compositional sketch for review. Many clients enjoy traveling to Richard's 81-acre retreat in southern New Hampshire, well known for its picturesque setting but Richard is also available to travel to the clients home or office. Completed portraits are usually delivered in 3 to 6 months, but in case of a rush, Richard can usually deliver a painting in just under one month.
(Copley Society)


Deborah
oil on canvas
Private collection
From ARC


Leo Kraszeski
oil on canvas
Private collection
From ARC


Dr. Nelson Kiang
Oil on canvas
Private collection
From ARC


Dr. J. William Littler
Oil on canvas
Private collection
From ARC


Dean and Roberta Smith
Oil on canvas
Private collection
From ARC


People enjoy looking at things that they can relate to," said Richard Whitney. "They don't want to have to read a book to understand what a work of art means." A champion of the classical representational style and often referred to as "one of the best living painters of our generation," artist Richard Whitney describes above the fundamental reason that realism in art is essential.
True art is not merely decoration, but a means by which an artist can express himself and at the same time communicate something to the observer. For that to occur the observer needs to understand what he is looking at. As an artist, Whitney feels he has no choice but to paint in the realist style.
"I am fascinated by the beauty of the real world around me," he said. "I must capture it in my works, instead of making something up."
In keeping with this philosophy, Whitney stresses the importance of "learning to see." To paint something realistically, he pointed out, you must be able to see it. That sounds simple enough, but it isn't just seeing. It is observing every detail with a keen and sensitive eye; a well trained eye.
Whitney also believes that painting from life, as much as possible, is vital for the artist to be able to find his interpretation of a subject's reality and therefore create a great portrait. A photograph contains too much detail, showing both the beautiful and the ugly aspects of a subject. If you only paint from the photo, you loose the ability to pick and choose which details you should include to create the most beautiful as well as most accurate representation of the subject. . .the details that will emphasize the subject's most characteristic aspects. While a camera is purely objective, the artist has the luxury of being more subjective. There is also the element of time to consider.
"In a photograph, you only get to see one moment in time," Whitney said. "You get to the soul of your subject by combining the many different moments that you observe in a live sitting. By doing this you can create something that is better than anything you actually saw."
Whitney's works exemplify this, delicately balancing subject observed and subject idealized. His painting of his daughter, Emily Rose, seems so real, one could easily expect the young woman to speak or blink her soft blue-grey eyes.
(Jennifer Kornegay at ASOPA)


Emily Rose Whitney
Collection of the Artist
Whereabouts Unknown, Stolen in 1996
Oil on canvas 12" x 9"
From MastersofPortraitArt.com


"Painting is in my blood," he said. Also in his blood is a love and respect for nature. At his home and studio on a pond in Stoddard, New Hampshire, he has created a haven called Studios at Crescent Pond that is a world away from hustle and bustle. Here, he and his wife and fellow artist, Sandy Sherman, have proved their devotion to the preservation of the natural world by providing and maintaining a habitat that attracts and shelters local wildlife. In 1996, The National Wildlife Federation recognized the Studios at Crescent Pond property as a Backyard Wildlife Habitat, and visitors are welcome to come and enjoy the tranquility every Saturday.
Whitney is most famous for his portraiture. However, Whitney also paints landscapes to take a break from portrait painting, and the idyllic countryside surrounding the Studios at Crescent Pond provides plenty of inspiration.
(Jennifer Kornegay at ASOPA)
Whitney is the author of 'Painting the Visual Impression' and a co-author of the book 'Realism in Revolution: The Art of the Boston School.' His paintings have also been reproduced in the book 'Edmund C. Tarbell and the Boston School of Painting.' Whitney has traveled and painted in Europe, Japan, Alaska and the Caribbean and has lectured and conducted workshops throughout the United States. He is listed in a dozen reference books including, Who's Who in American Art, Who’s Who in America, and Who’s Who in the 21st Century.
(VOSE GALLERIES LLC)



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