Frances Gearhart (1869 - 1959)

I was just speaking with a friend about how much I love the crispness of the water-soluble Graphic Chemical ink while at the same time admiring the transparent, watercolor-like washes that Akua Kolors provide. I wanted to find a way to combine both looks. That conversation was a week ago, and wallah(!) another friend from my local art league gave me the story of Frances Gearhart.

See where the dark outlines are used in the foreground as outline and as shadow in the back treeline. In the farthest distance the line has been removed. The broken line work showing the reflection from the mid-ground rocks adds energy while the reflection in the foreground is flat black making the creek lazily wind 'round the stones. Also, the green gradient of the creek is perfect to show perspective. 
Ms. Gearhart was from Southern California and lived with her two printmaking sisters each of which taught in the Los Angeles public school system. They studied with other artists such as Charles H. Woodbury, Henry R. Poore and Arthur Wesley Dow. In their home they held regular gatherings for the Print Makers Society of California.

The brushstrokes in the lake are so delicate and contrast nicely against the dark, stark foreground. I like the directional cut paths at the base of the center tree.
Her success came starting in 1919 when she joined and showed with the Print Makers of Los Angeles. In 1920 the Print Makers Society of California commissioned her to make a print and in 1923. She had her first solo exhibition in Los Angeles. After that, she showed nationally in places like the Brooklyn Museum and the Smithsonian.

What can I say? Magnificent! The texture, the patterns, the shapes and colors... just wow!
Although all three sisters were contemporaries, each had their own unique take to the artwork both in subject matter and technique. But, despite these differences, they collaborated on a children's book titled, "Let's Play" which was started in 1923. The prints were created, but the manuscript remained unfinished. Today the book is held by Princeton's University Library. Forty years later, in 2009, the book was finally published.

Here are some links if you are intersted in learning more about this artist:

Frances Gearhart.com
Los Angeles Times: Behold Frances Gearhart
Art and the Aesthete, Frances Gearhart

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