Friday, May 11, 2007

"Passed" Painter of the Day

Let me first explain my title, a bit of a pun..."passed", as in "gone on", "passed away", "deceased", get the idea. Sort of a play on words with my blog name, "Past", as in yesterday, history....well, ok, just didn't want you all to think I couldn't spell, (witch kan happin).

This weeks painter is Ammi Phillips. He, yes "he", (
I thought it was a woman for the longest time!), lived from 1788 to 1865 in and around Connecticut, Mass. He was named for his uncle, who had been named for the family's pastor. He was, in every sense of the word, a true itinerant portrait painter. He was self-taught and his style was influenced by past artists who had lived in his area, as well as, artist who were his contemporaries. Ammi's style developed and changed, and historians have categorized his works, ie; "Realistic Portraits 1820-1828", to identify these different periods. He traveled to homes to paint people in their familiar surroundings, and was well-known for it.

One interesting tidbit I found out about Ammi, was that he drew, or sketched his subject onto the canvas before he began painting. On one of his paintings, a sketch of a man's head
can be seen. It was nice to read this, because this is how I paint too. I'm not "free" enough to paint without a direction and plan. On the left is a portrait of a little girl and her kitten that was painted my Ammi.

Ammi's first wife, Laura gave him four children. She died in Feb. 1830 when the children ranged in age from 5 to 15. He married Jane Ann in July of the same year. She was twenty years younger than Ammi. He apparently enjoyed his new marriage, because he stayed close to home, not traveling about the country as he had done in the past. With Jane Ann he had three more children.

Ammi was a prolific painter, much in demand, and well respected for his art. He seemed to know what people wanted in a painting and was so successful in pleasing his clientele that he was able to provide for his family on the income from his portraits. What a way to earn a living: loving what you do and having it be appreciated by others.

~Have a Happy Mother's Day~


Lana said...

Suzanne, I thought Ammi was a woman for a long time too! This was an interesting read today ~ and I always enjoy your sense of humor. I'll be talking to you later...

The Feathered Nest said...

Interesting as always! Did I tell you I was a Art History major for a brief time? So I really enjoy these posts!


Southern Heart said...

I enjoyed hearing about Ammi, and enjoyed seeing his work, too---I like his style very much.

Your Friday posts are very interesting!


Suzanne said...

Well, Manuela...I *hope* these are interesting and not like your having to sit through class!

I do enjoy Art History...but probably not enough to get another

Ammi is one of my favorite portrait artist, I like his style too, Andrea. with you later, Lana.
Everyone have a great weekend!


Dana said...

Oh Suzanne! What interesting Art History Lessons ... I'm loving these ... thank you! Being relatively new to the "primitive" realm, I had not heard of Ammi. I liked the things you shared ... thanks for doing so. I do hope you have a wonderful and blessed Mother's Day! Hugs, Dana

Anonymous said...

Happy mothers day.

~~kattz*cottage~~ said...

Hi Suzanne!
What beautiful work you do! I love your paintings & you are so very talented! I enjoyed your blog & thank you for visiting kattz*'s nice to meet you!
Happy Mother's Day!