Friday, May 4, 2007

"Passed" Painter of the Day

Since joining the blogging world a few weeks ago, I have met some wonderfully sweet people who have lovely blogs (see "Lovely Blogs to Visit"). Oh, let me take a moment to say, if you would like to link blogs (I think that is the term), please let me know!
These lovely blogs are inspirational for the heart, mind and soul, and they reflect each person's interests. One of my interests is painting and I enjoy 18th and 19th century portraiture, in particular. So, as a way of keeping me on a "blog" schedule of sorts, I thought I would introduce or at least aquaint those who are interested with a deceased artist and call it "Passed" Painter of the Day on Fridays.....which is subject to move to another day of the week due to my crazy schedule!

This Friday's artist is John Brewster, Jr. (1776-1854). John was born deaf and was one of 7 children of Dr. John and Mary Brewster. He learned to read and write and eventually paint. He started painting portraits in the 1790's and went to live with his brother's family in Maine in 1796 . . . this was his "home-base" as he traveled from Maine to Massachusetts, Connecticut, and eastern New York, supporting himself solely by painting portraits and miniatures.
In 1817, at age 51, he enrolled himself into a newly established school for the deaf: the American School for the Deaf in West Hartford. Here he hoped to learn how to communicate by using signs, writing (which he had already been taught how to do), using artificial speech, and reading lips.
He returned to Maine in 1820 and his painting took on a "renewed enthusiasm and vitality," according to Nina Fletcher Little, contributing author to "American Folk Painters of Three Centuries," © 1980, Jean Lipman and Tom Armstrong, editors (this is a wonderful book if you enjoy this sort of thing!). He painted at least 10 portraits that year. In his later years, 1835 and until his death in 1854, not much is known. His family didn't leave him anything in a will, so they must have thought him to be self-sufficient. He died at age 88 leaving a legacy of realistic and "picture-perfect" portraits (at least in my opinion!).
The above right photo is one of Mr. Brewster's portraits entitled "Child with Peach." Isn't she sweet?
Here is my interpretation of John Brewster Jr.'s "Boy with Finch" currently for sale on American Folk Art.

~Hope you all have a wonderful weekend~


gina said...

Hi again, Suzanne!

I love your "Painter of the Day" idea! I'm going to link to your blog if you don't mind. My son returns tonight from a semester in France, the last month of which he spent studying art, going to museums, sketching and critiquing art. He found his inner artist, to my utter delight! I love your blog and am in the process of reading all your posts. Again, welcome to the neighborhood!

Anonymous said...

Hi Suzanne,
Thank-you for this informative post.
I love art. And by studying the masters and their ways, we learn some of the secrets to their genius.

Looking forward to more of your posts on painters.

Rosemary said...

That is so interesting. I love learning about art.
Thank you for looking at my blog and your nice comments.

Southern Heart said...

I enjoyed this interesting post, and will look forward to learning about a new painter each week. Lovely work, also...both his, and yours!

I hope that you have a wonderful weekend,


Suzanne said...

Thanks everyone. I hope it is informative and not boring! But I just love reading and even imagining about these artists and their lives.

I guess I'm a romantic at heart!


Katie said...

I really love your blog and came upon it in some sort of roundabout way - I really love your art!! And your idea to feature a "passed" artist is really great as I am way into history (love the 18th century). Thank you for sharing!

Tweetums said...

Thanks for the Bio. I love learning new things - especially about people.