2016 Plein Air Retreat in the Catskills – September 5-10

The Greenville Arms Inn, built in 1889, is pictured below on the left and the studio is on the right. This is where I stayed during the retreat. It is a year-round historic Upstate New York bed and breakfast inn in Greene County.  My friend and fellow painter, Susan  and I painted for a week around the area where the Hudson River artists created their masterpieces.

The Catskills area is associated with the Hudson River School, a mid-19th century American art movement embodied by a group of landscape painters whose aesthetic vision was influenced by romanticism. The artist Thomas Cole is the founder.

Most of the finest works of the Hudson River school were painted between 1855 and 1875.  Below is a photo of Olana, Frederic Church’s home. Church was a former student of Thomas Cole and a leading Hudson River artist.

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3 water colors of kitchen gardens and barn which are located on the lower level of the estate.

 

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Afternoon on the grounds of Church’s Estate – oil on panel – 6×6

The next day, the great summer weather continued and the view of Rensselaerville Falls at Huyck Preserve was wonderful relief from the heat. There is easy access to the falls at 3 elevations; stream level, mid and top.

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Rensselaerville Falls – oil on panel – 10×10

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Rensselaerville Falls Afternoon – oil on panel – 10×10

 

Susan painting at the Falls: -take a look at her work by going to the link below.

https://reduction-print.blogspot.com/2016/09/a-plein-painting-trip-to-catskills.html?showComment=1474240536245#c1807125174269907852

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The Huyck Preserve is home to a biological research station. We witnessed this first hand as a drone passed overhead during lunch time. The pilots explained they were measuring tree growth from the past spring until now.

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Lincoln Pond Trail – oil on panel – 10×10

Lincoln Pond Trail studies – oil on panel – 5.75 x 9 each

The Catskills in the morning – Rug Road – a wonderful place to stop and admire the view.

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View from Rug Road

Myosotis Lake, at Huyck preserve is a place to picnic, kayak, swim and relax.

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View of the spillway on Myosotis Lake – oil on panel – 10×10

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Cabin on Myosotis Lake – oil on panel – 6×6

Cedar Grove was the home and studio of Thomas Cole. A tour of the house and grounds is worthwhile. The Historic Society provides a map of the sites that the Hudson River artists most painted.

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Thomas Cole’s studio

Kaaterskill Falls (below) were a favorite subject of many of the Hudson River School painters.

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The Kaaterskill Falls was a mere trickle this time of year.

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The majestic hotel no longer stand but is the spot for some beautiful panoramas.

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Painted on the former grounds of the Catskill Mountain House. View of Kaaterskill High Peak – oil on panel – 10×10

Something completely different on the last day we made a brief visit to the Storm King Art Center which is one of the world’s leading sculpture parks. If you only have a few hours, the  1 hour tram ride around the grounds is highly recommended.

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