Tuesday, March 7, 2023

Art Review - "Cener Bridge in Winter" by Edward Redfield

For today's #MuseumTourTuesday, I'd like to share a write-up from my monthly newsletter about a painting by American artist Edward Redfield. The newsletter format allows me to go a bit deeper than a social media post. If you like what you read as you click through the images, be sure and sign up at the link below to receive information about upcoming workshops, events, painting tips and more.

This piece is an excellent study of dynamic brushwork. Redfield exhibits an absolute control of the medium and a discipline in paint application that should be the envy of any painter. He never mixes or blends his paints directly on the canvas, and the result is that every single stroke is decisive and intentional. His brushstrokes are so well defined that they are reminiscent of a Roy Lichtenstein pop art painting in their almost stylistic appearance. I'm not at all suggesting that this should be considered any kind of a gimmick, but rather a side effect of the artist's confidence in approach.

Redfield combines his mastery of paint application with a solid composition, subtle value changes and contrasting color temperatures to create the illusion of depth in the painting. While the warm colors suggest the low sun raking across the landscape and the faces of the buildings, it is not the high intensity orange that we are accustomed to seeing in many sunset depictions. While relatively warmer than the shaded areas, this more subdued color temperature change portrays the light of the scene while retaining the feeling of the cold of the day.

Everything works together to create a composition which guides the viewer through a truly masterful painting. Texture, value, color temperature, clearly defined edges - all leading us down the road without disregarding the beauty of the journey.
"Center Bridge in Winter" • Edward Redfield • Oil on Canvas
• 33.75" x 50" • c. 1920 • Collection of the Telfair Museums

Unlike Lichtenstein's graphic strokes, there exists a beautiful variance in color and value within the strokes themselves. This suggests that Redfield charged his brush with paint that was not completely or perfectly blended on the palette surface. Notice how the strokes on the lower half of the image above contain both a warm blue as well as lavender within the same stroke.
"Center Bridge in Winter” Detail • Edward Redfield • Oil on Canvas
• 33.75" x 50" • c. 1920 • Collection of the Telfair Museums

It should also be noted that these brushstrokes are not uniform in shape or in size. Notice the way the foreground grasses are painted in the detail above. The shape, color and texture vary depending upon the landscape before him. While it appears that the grasses were painted after the snow beneath them, the paint cuts right through the underlying brushstrokes, connecting the forms and not giving the impression that one is atop the other, but rather intertwined.
"Center Bridge in Winter” Detail • Edward Redfield • Oil on Canvas
• 33.75" x 50" • c. 1920 • Collection of the Telfair Museums

© Patrick and Kimberly Saunders, Patrick Saunders Fine Arts, 2023. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s authors/owners is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Patrick Saunders for painted works, or to Kimberly Saunders for photographs and/or videos, with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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