By Julia Einstein
Coordinator of Youth and Family Programs
I’m pleased to present a view into the studio practice of Savannah Walz, Josephine Luka, and Julie Orrego, our Yourspace Summer Interns from Deering High School, Casco Bay High School, and Portland High School. Yourspace, a three-week studio art and Museum summer internship program, provides six of Portland’s most talented young artists at Deering High School, Casco Bay High School, and Portland High School with access to the renowned works of art at Portland Museum of Art, experience with professional art educators, intensive art-making, and a paid internship to help prepare them for their futures.
A Closer Look at Winslow Homer
By Josephine Luka, Deering High School
Before coming to the Portland Museum of Art, I had absolutely no idea who Winslow Homer was. It was a surprise to me when, after our second session at the Museum, Julia Einstein (Coordinator of Youth and Family Programs) and Dana Baldwin (Director of Education) took our group to the Winslow Homer Gallery to talk about some of the artist’s paintings. When Dana asked us to look at Winslow Homer’s painting Weatherbeaten for a few minutes and list some of the stuff we noticed, I thought, “Oh, this should be easy.” After about two minutes passed, I had no idea what to write. Another minute passed and I still had nothing written down on my paper. So, I decided to take an even closer look at the painting. At last, I began to notice and write about the ocean in the painting. It isn’t just one tone of blue, but many shades. I started to notice how the sky wasn’t gray as I thought before, but a purplish pinkish color. I noted how jagged Homer’s rocks are in comparison to seascape paintings I’d seen by other artists. Surprisingly, when about five minutes passed and Dana called for our attention, I was sad because I was beginning to find the details in Homer’s painting. Sharing as a group, most of us spoke about either the paint or the jagged rocks and some didn’t really have much to say. Julia spoke about a little yellow triangle of paint at the bottom of the painting and called our attention to it. Homer’s little yellow triangle reminded me of Japanese artist, Hokusai, who always paints Mt. Fuji in all his paintings as a tribute to Japan.
Following Homer’s Footsteps
By Savannah Walz, Casco Bay High School
As we all sat around Winslow Homer’s painting, Weatherbeaten, it gave me a chance to really see it differently. I looked at the waves and thought about the colors I hadn’t noticed before. I also got a chance to hear other people’s opinions and thoughts on the painting. Julie (Orreggo, Portland High School) mentioned the color of the jagged rocks and how rich it was. I couldn’t help but agree with her. Cleo (Barker, Deering High School) talked about the color of the sky and how realistic it was. When Cleo said that it just made me wonder: How many times Homer must have watched the ocean and those rocks to get that color? How much did he study this spot before making this painting? He must have studied the spot quite often to get the feel. Later in the day we visited Homer’s studio. I thought it was cool for me to see the place where so many famous paintings were made. There was something very cool about walking the same steps he did. When I was there, I wondered what it looked like when he was still alive. How did he set it up? Did he keep it neat or was it really messy? Studying Homer’s work gave me a chance to see what kind of artist he was. In a way, Homer gave me inspiration. Looking at his work really helped me grow as an artist.
Recreating the Wave
By Julie Oreggo, Portland High School
When I had the chance to experiment with paint, I was eager to recreate Winslow Homer’s wave. Want to know why? I was eager because I wanted to capture the blue of the waves and the pink of the sky. That’s right, there is pink in the grey sky! Want to know what was the hardest thing to do? It was making the blue fade into the pink. I found out it isn’t as hard to show brush strokes with acrylic paint as compared to when I used watercolor paint. I experimented with techniques as I dragged my brush from the blue of the wave across the whole painting. When I was done, I felt like I did a good job, but I could’ve blended the colors much better and probably could’ve used a darker pink for the sky.