Nature, Landscape and Our Surroundings
raditional landscape painting is a very complex process that we never think about when we observe the final product. An artist must choose a site and decide what are the most important elements to portray. In order for the work to be effective, we should feel the air and the sunlight, the wind and temperature. The choice of composition – what an artist puts in and where – affects the emotion elicited.
Norwalk’s landscape has provided inspiration for the many artists who have lived in the area. From its wooded surroundings with many streams and rivers to its working harbor to its islands and beaches on the Long Island Sound, there were always numerous picturesque sites available for artists interested in depicting the landscape.
These works from the collections capture some of the varied media that artists have used – including prints, watercolors, pastels and oil paint. The styles are just as varied and specific sites have been interpreted by many artists. Compare these works by John H. Taylor 57 in watercolor, Dorothy Randolph Byard 59 in pastel, and by an unidentified artist 54 in oil, who all portray the Guthries Mill area on the Silvermine River – from three different perspectives.
Louise Stevens creates a delicate watercolor of Charles Creek 60 that evokes a still, calm day with a view of a sailboat in the distance. In contrast, Helen Hamilton, daughter of Hamilton Hamilton, uses impressionistic brushstrokes to describe the Silvermine River 61 flowing around the trunks of trees and rocks as it rushes downstream.