Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Bernie's Ramblings: Shepherd's Battery... Fort Fisher... Living History/Plein Air Demo

Bernie Rosage Jr steps back in time at Fort Fisher.
Saturday, January 12, 2008, I had the privilege of attending the 143rd Anniversary Commemoration of the Second Battle at Fort Fisher. The Living History program included artillery and infantry demonstrations, period music, fort tours, and a living history/plein air demo by yours truly. I have migrated from soldier to civilian in my hobby of Civil War reenacting... actually I have taken on the role of a period artist. My impression is based on a combination of two artists... Alfred Waud (probably the most noted of period sketch artists) and Winslow Homer who painted scenes from the war and became one of America's most famous painters. One of his most famous works was "Sharpshooter on Picket Duty" pictured below.

Alfred Waud

Winslow Homer

"Sharpshooter on Picket Duty" by Winslow Homer
After a down pour the sun came out and I set up my French easel and began to paint. I positioned myself to paint Shepherd's Battery with the palisade making for an interesting composition. Shepherd's Battery was where the main brunt of the attack occurred 143 years ago. Here I am posed (seated) with my pards at Shepherd's Battery in 2004.

Fort Fisher during the war was known as the Gibraltar of the South. It was important to the southern cause because it protected the mouth of the Cape Fear River where blockade runners would travel to deliver supplies to Wilmington. From Wilmington they were distributed throughout the Confederacy. When the fort fell January 15, 1865... it only took 3 months for the Confederacy to collapse.

I spoke with several people about the history of plein air painting and how the invention of the metal paint tube in the mid 1800's made it possible for painters to go outside and paint "en plein aire" for the first time... a French term which means "in open air".

"Shepherd's Battery"... 9x12" Oil on gallery stretched canvas, painted en plein aire at Fort Fisher, Carolina Beach, North Carolina. 1-12-2008
SOLD... Thanks Carl!
(Click on painting to enlarge)

I met many interesting people while painting like Carl (who restores old paintings), a nice lady from Belgium, Mrs Marshburn from the Fort Anderson site... to name a few. If you were there please sign the comment section of this post... I'd love to hear from you.
Another GREAT day spent reenacting and plein air painting....

70 7101 6/6/105

No comments: