Thursday, December 23, 2010

Merry Christmas from Dixie!

I want to take the time to wish everyone a blessed Holiday Season... may the light of the season shine on you and warm your heart. Talk to ya'll next year!

Friday, December 17, 2010

From the field to the studio...

"Standing Artist"
circa 1845-47
John Kensett
My love of history and art mesh as one when it comes to plein air painting, especially early American plein air painting history as exercised through the Hudson River School. The Hudson River School wasn't a school but an art movement during the mid-19th century embodied by a group of landscape painters whose aesthetic vision was influenced by romanticism. The paintings for which the movement is named depict the Hudson River Valley and the surrounding area, including the Catskill, Adirondack, and the White Mountains; eventually works by the second generation of artists associated with the school expanded to include other locales. Hudson River School paintings reflect three themes of America in the 19th century: discovery, exploration, and settlement. The paintings also depict the American landscape as a pastoral setting, where human beings and nature coexist peacefully. Hudson River School landscapes are characterized by their realistic, detailed, and sometimes idealized portrayal of nature. 
Thomas Cole's Sketch Box
circa 1840

The artist Thomas Cole is generally acknowledged as the founder of the Hudson River School. Cole took a steamship up the Hudson in the autumn of 1825, the same year the Erie Canal opened, stopping first at West Point, then at Catskill landing where he ventured west high up into the eastern Catskill Mountains of New York State to paint the first landscapes of the area. The first review of his work appeared in the New York Evening Post on November 22, 1825

Cole's close friend, Asher Durand, became a prominent figure in the school as well. With the advent of photography, the need for realistic renderings gave way to the sublime as landscapes took on a more spiritual feel. There was no need to capture what a scene looked like, photography could do that, more emphasis was put on the mood, light, and feeling the artist gained from the scene and being in nature. This was the goal of the second generation Hudson River School painters (my favorites) like Frederic Church, John Kensett, and Sanford Gifford.

John F. Kensett
in his studio, 1864.
In gathering the visual data for their paintings, these artists would travel to rather extraordinary and extreme environments, the likes of which would not permit the act of painting in some cases. During these expeditions, plein air sketches and memories would be recorded and the paintings would be rendered later, upon the artists' safe return home. They would do their finished works in the studio from their sketches.

I recently returned from my own painting expedition in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina in September. I was accompanied on this journey with two of my artist friends, Mitchell Morton and Stephen Greer. The three of us and several other plein air artists had the pleasure of studying at the Florence Thomas Art School under the master artist, Tony Griffin.  

Artist Tony Griffin giving plein air
demo at the Florence Thomas Art School.
A blog post a mile long could be wrote about Tony concerning his art training, his artwork, and his workshop but I'll save that for another day. Of all the gems I brought home from his workshop the greatest was this... to capture the essence of the scene! With Tony's guidance I learned to simplify... before his workshop, I was putting too much emphasis on getting a finished painting. Tony taught me that plein air painting is a a gathering of color notes, a simplified composition, and a spiritual experience. I can still hear him saying... "Observe, Mix, and Apply" while I work at my easel. Thanks Tony! 

Bernie plein air painting along the New River.

Taking what I have learned from Tony Griffin and the Hudson River painters I now use my plein air pieces as studies for studio works. I am not so concerned about getting a finished painting in the field anymore. Below is one of the plein air paintings I did during the workshop. The scene is set along the New River in one of Tony's hidden spots.

Plein air oil sketch by Bernie Rosage Jr.
Along the New River, Glendale Springs, NC.
September 2010.
Below is the finished studio piece worked from the above sketch with the exercise of a little artistic license.
"Blue Ridge Afternnon"... 11x14" acrylic on canvas by Bernie Rosage Jr., 2010.

Thanks for dropping by... would love to hear your comments.

1) The Painted Sketch: American Impressions from Nature 1830-1880

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Jean Wenner ~ Artist, Art Advocate & Friend will sorely be missed.

Jean Wenner, founder and former Director of the Council for the Arts passed away December 14, 2010. She truly enriched her community and left a positive legacy in her memory. Her impact on Onslow County concerning the Arts is beyond measure as a pioneer with vision for the arts in our community. She was dedicated to her family and extended family of friends and artists. She opened doors and created many opportunities for countless local artists (myself included) who will forever be grateful for her dedication. She was an accomplished artist whose work crowns many collections throughout the country.
Click HERE to see some of her artwork.
The community has lost a great artist and art advocate... Tami, Olivia, and I have lost a great friend. I am so glad that she got to see the "Jean Wenner Art Library and Studio" named in her honor for her many, many contributions to the arts and our community. She can never be replaced but she will always be remembered!
There is a great tribute to Jean in the Daily News paper... Community mourns the loss of Jean Wenner

The Four Brush-ka-teers minus Two strike again last night!

Dean and Mitchell couldn't make our bi-monthly paint out this week... Stephen and I were forced to carry the banner (or I should say "brush") in their stead. Stephen was in charge of the still life this week which proved to be a great exercise in painting brass.

Here's my painting from the session... 10x12" oil on linen by Bernie Rosage Jr.

Here is Stephen's painting... 14x11" acrylic on canvas by Stephen Greer Sr.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Our State Magazine highlights Ashe County...

The Blue Ridge Mountains are Heaven on earth to me... Ashe County is one of my favorite spots to kayak, hike, fish, visit with old friends, and PAINT. I have probably painted over 50 paintings in the Fleetwood area alone. One of my favorite spots is the Cooper Farm along the New River in Fleetwood. Mr Cooper's barn with it's colorful quilt pattern was highlighted in the October 2010 Issue of Our State Magazine.

Below is a plein air painting that I painted this summer of Mr. Cooper's barn (photo from magazine on left)while on vacation in Fleetwood. You can see me painting there in the video below...

"Mr Cooper's Farm"... 8x10" acrylic on canvas, en plein aire by Bernie Rosage Jr., 2010.
We had a great time vacationing in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina this summer. Plein air painting, hiking, swimming, tubing, picnicking, art galleries, festivals, concerts, story-telling, and relaxing were the order of the day! Hope you enjoy this video of our adventure...

YouTube link to our video... Blue Ridge Vacation

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

"My Oath" by Bernie Rosage Jr.

"My Oath"... 10x8" acrylic on canvas. Alla prima from life by Bernie Rosage Jr., 2010.

I painted this painting from life during one of our "Brush-ka-teer" sittings recently. It is a rewarding experience to paint with three other artists who are my prayer partners. I have special plans for this painting as a gift to someone I am thankful for. When Dean set up this still life I immediately thought of Psalms 119:105. Verses 105 and 106 were key verses in Pastor Jason's sermon last week at FBC and thus the title.

Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.
I have taken an oath and confirmed it, that I will follow your righteous laws.
Psalms 119: 105,106

Thursday, November 18, 2010

"Across the Field at Fort Branch" plein air by Bernie Rosage Jr.

"Across the Field... Fort Branch, Hamilton, NC"... 8x10" acrylic plein air by Bernie Rosage Jr., 11-2010. (525)
Plein air works for me are small studies done on location to gain color notes, composition, and the overall "feel" of a scene. Most times I do not do any extra work on them in the studio... if I do it is usually a few tweaks so the piece still qualifies as a true plein air being done 90% on location. Many times I take these small studies and use them as reference for larger studio works... I plan to do that with this one.
Thanks for dropping by...

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Bernie's Ramblings: Veterans and my children's grandfathers...

A special thank you to all the veterans who have served under the flags of this country!
Here is a special tribute to all my children's grandfathers on Veteran's Day... oddly enough... two of their grandfathers fought against each other at the Battle of Cold Harbor during the War Between the States. Let us always remember the sacrifices our grandfathers and ALL veterans have made...

1st Maryland Regiment holding the line at the Battle of Guilford

G-G-G-G-Great Grandfather
Pvt Dudley Lee (1759~1815)
6th Maryland, Continental Line
1st Maryland, Continental Line
The American Revolution
On 6 June 1778 Dudley Lee passed in the vicinity of Taneytown, Frederick Co, MD, as a draft substitute in Colonel Otho Holland William's Regiment, the 6th Maryland. That unit served in New Jersey and New York as part of Washington's army. Dudley continued to re-enlist for the remainder of the war. In August of 1780 he mustered in the 1st Maryland Regiment. This was essentially the same regiment, having been reorganized. By this time, the 1st Maryland was in the Carolinas, under the command of General Nathanial Greene. The regiment took part in most of the major actions of Greene's Southern Campaign.
General George Washington relied heavily upon the Marylanders as one of the few reliable fighting units in the early Continental Army. For this reason, Maryland is sometimes known as "The Old Line State."

G-G-G-Great Grandfather
Pvt Nicolas Lee (1803~1888)
Company H, 3rd Maryland Potomac Home Brigade, US Army Volunteers, War Between the States
Enlisted at the age of 59 and fought throughout the war. Was captured by Stonewall Jackson at Harper's Ferry and released on a prisoners exchange. Fought in several skirmishes and battles... the most famous being the Battle of Monocacy.

G-G-G-Great Grandfather
Pvt Lewis Everette Humphrey (1828~1890)
Company K, 61st North Carolina Infantry, CSA, War Between the States.
The Tarheels of the Old North State, including over 1300 men from Onslow County, have earned their page in history with their deeds of valor, contributions, and dedication to the Confederate Cause of 1861 - 1865. Among those 1300+ was private Lewis E. Humphrey, Company K, 61st North Carolina Infantry. Lewis enlisted in April 1862 at the age of 34 in the Confederate army. He left behind no slaves... only a wife and five small children to tend the family farm. New Bern (30 miles from his home) had just fallen to Union forces and rumors of an Conscription Act forced him to leave the world he knew and embark on a journey that would eventually bring him back home 2 1/2 years later via a discharge for disability after the Battle of the Crater (late 1864).
Defense of Charleston
Battery Wagner
Drewy's Bluff
Cold Harbor
The Crater

G-G-Great Grandfather
Capt Christopher Columbus (CC) Lee (1840~1932)
Company A, 7th West Virginia Infantry, 2nd Army Corps, The Gibraltar Brigade, Army of the Potomac, US Army Veteran Volunteers, War Between the States
Mustered in as a private and moved up the ranks mustering out as Captain of Company A. The 7th West Virginia suffered such heavy casualties that it was reduced from a regiment of ten companies to a battalion of four companies by wars end. CC was wounded on May 3, 1863 at the Battle of Chancellorsville. As Sargent... he was urging his men forward when a ball struck him in the face and exited through his open mouth... He wore a beard from that point on. He was furloughed home and missed the Battle of Gettysburg. CC was present for every major campaign with the exception of some of the Wilderness Campaign when he was hospitalized in Washington with malaria and almost died.
From Romney to Appomattox... engaged in every major battle that the Army of the Potomac participated in... detailed list HERE.

G-Great Grandfather
Raymond Lee Humphrey (1892~1970)
World War I
Activated: August 1917 (National Guard Division, the components of which were drawn from 26 States and the District of Columbia).
Overseas: November 1917.
Days of Combat: 264.
Casualties: Total 14,683 (KIA-2,058; WIA-12,625).
Commanders: Maj. Gen. W. A. Mann (5 September 1917), Maj. Gen. Charles T. Menoher (19 December 1917), Brig. Gen. Douglas MacArthur (10 November 1918), Maj. Gen. C. A. F. Flagler (22 November 1918).
Raymond was a proud veteran and always celebrated Armistice Day (as he always referred to it)while he was alive. Here he is pictured with a cake for such a celebration... notice the Rainbow Division rainbows. His regiment was the furthermost allied unit in German territory when the Armistice was called at 11:00 AM on the 11th day of the 11th month, 1918. The honor gave his regiment head of column as they headed toward Germany. While marching into Belgium... being the first friendly liberators the Belgians saw in their county in years... the 167th regimental band struck up the tune "Dixie" as they entered the first town.

Great Grandfather
Oscar Harvey Lee (1895~1973)
Seaman Second Class, U.S. Navy, World War I
(Pictured on the far left)
Oscar Lee was the recipient of the Navy Cross of Valor for service in World War I. The medal was presented by Josephus Daniels, Secretary of the Navy, for the president, on November 11, 1920, for services during the war as set forth in the following letter:
Lee, Oscar H.
Seaman Second Class, U.S. Navy
U.S.S. Wanderer
Date Of Action: April 17, 1918
The Navy Cross is awarded to Seaman Second Class Oscar H. Lee, U.S. Navy, for extraordinary heroism as a member of the crew of boats sent out from the U.S.S. Wanderer to the rescue of men from the SS Florence H, which vessel, loaded with explosives, was burned in the harbor of Quiberon on the night of the 17th of April, 1918. Almost immediately after the outbreak of fire the water in the vicinity of Florence H was covered with burning powder boxes, many of which exploded, scattering flames throughout the wreckage. The crews of the Wanderer's boats drove their boats into the burning mass without thought of danger to themselves and, assisted by boats from the other ships present in the harbor, succeeded in saving the lives of many men who, but for the help so promptly and heroically extended, must have perished in the wreckage.
Oscar Lee's name is in the Hall of Fame in Washington for his naval activities, and his image is in bronze in the Maryland State Hall of Fame.

Great Grandfather
Joseph Robert Humphrey (1920~1946)
32nd Regiment, 7th US Infantry Division, World War II. Pacific Theater.
Aleutian Islands, Attu & Kiska
Eastern Mandates, Kwajalein
Philippines, Leyte
Ryukyu Islands, Okinawa
Wounded in the Battle of Okinawa... see report below...
The attack against Okinawa was launched on Easter Sunday, April 1, 1945. Nobody suspected at the time that it was to be the last beachhead, indeed the last campaign, of World War II.
The 7th, assigned to XXIV Corps, pivoted at the east coast and started on the drive south. Soon it experienced the heaviest Japanese artillery fire of the Pacific war, absorbing more than 40,000 rounds of high explosive in two weeks. The 32d Infantry was on the Division's left on the Nakagusuku Wan (later Buckner Bay); the 184th Infantry under Colonel Roy A. Greene was on the right. Colonel Frank Pachler's 17th Infantry soldiers were in close support. Finn's 32nd Soldiers met a strong Japanese force on Skyline Ridge, which became the scene of bitter conflict. In assessing the Division's accomplishments in the Okinawa campaign, the staff reckoned that the Hourglass men had killed between 25,000 and 28,000 Japanese soldiers, and had taken 4,584 prisoners--more than half of them soldiers of the Japanese regular army, including more than a hundred officers up to the rank of major. The Division suffered 1,116 killed, and nearly 6,000 wounded, to make the total of its World War II casualties 8,135.

Cpl Bernard V. Rosage (1938~___)
Headquarters Battery, 3rd Battalion, 10th Marines, 2nd Marine Division, United States Marine Corps, 1958-1962

Monday, November 08, 2010

Bernie goes back in time...

I donned 1860's period attire two weekends in a row portraying a civilian plein air artist. Last weekend Olivia and I attended the Civil War reenactment at Fort Branch. The weekend before Olivia, my grandson, Christian, and I attended a Living History program at Hammocks Beach State Park. The three of us are pictured above.
Here I am working from my small cigar box pochade box painting an old house on the grounds of Fort Branch near Hamilton, NC. Marsha Harris took this photo of me while I was painting.

Here's the 6x8" finished painting from the sitting. Olivia met some friends and they all played in the old house while I painted it.

I met some nice people as well and had many interesting conversations while painting. One was Tom Whelan, a photographer who was kind enough to share these photos with me. Thanks again Tom!

As I was painting I used the "Complementary Color" technique where I paint the opposite color to what I see in the first stage. The spectators that dropped by while I was working this stage must have scratched their heads and asked themselves, "What kind of drug is this guy on?"

I chose an more intimate setting for my painting on Sunday morning. This 8x10" painting is a view across the field where the battle took place later that afternoon.

At the Hammocks Beach Living History program I portrayed a younger Claude Monet and gave a demo on plein air painting.
In 1863 Monet discovers Manet's painting and paints "en plein air" in the Fontainebleau forest for the first time. My age and impression are closer to Monet as seen in his self portrait painted in 1886 posted here.

The day was full of excitement!

I gave my finished painting to Charlie Wilton who commanded the artillery battery in above photo.
Two GREAT weekends spent with old and new friends, Olivia, and Christian, topped with plein air painting... PRIMO!

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Demo for the Art Academy at WOHS...

For the third semester in a row I have had the honor to speak to the Art Academy students at White Oak High School. White Oak holds a special place in my heart... I graduated there in 1979. In fact, three of my four children did also. Blanche Johnson was my art teacher at WOHS in the 70's and cultivated my interest in art. I wish she was living today so we could share thoughts and paint together.
I always enjoy speaking to the art students (over 100 in the Academy) because they are genuinely interested and ask great questions. A special thanks to all of them for making me feel at home with their kindness and respect. Debra Pylypiw and Brandi Criscitiello have done an awesome job instructing these students.

Here they are filtering in the auditorium for my demo.
I choose to do a quick (25 minute) demo in acrylics to show them the technique of working in complementary colors. We spoke about plein air painting, editing the scene, painting the major shapes, and working shapes within the major shapes. I have included the painting from the demo after I tweaked it a bit in the studio.
"Country Road" - 11x14 acrylic on stretched canvas - Bernie Rosage Jr. - 10/29/2010 - Art demo for WOHS Arts Academy

Blowin' the Blues!

I am passionate about: God's Love, my family, my wife, my children, my grandchildren, art, history, and the BLUES!

"Blowin' the Blues!" - 8x8 - acrylic on canvas panel - Bernie Rosage Jr. - 2010 - painted alla prima from life

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Civil War Living History Event ~ Saturday, October 30th

Join me and several Civil War reenactors at Hammocks Beach State Park , 1572 Hammocks Beach Road, Swansboro, NC., this Saturday (10am-5pm) and watch history come alive! See artillery, cavalry, and infantry soldiers in 1860's period uniforms as they give demonstrations throughout the day. The event is FREE to the public!
I will portray a period plein air artist... here I am at Fort Fisher a few years ago.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Jacksonville Commons Plein Air Series...

"A Stroll in the Park"... 6x8" acrylic en plein aire by Bernie Rosage Jr., 10/24/2010.

My wife, Tami, is an avid runner and loves to run the 3 mile loop around the Jacksonville Commons. Our daughter, Olivia, usually joins in on the fun by following/leading with her bike. I exercise my creative muscles by plein air painting while they are off really exercising! This allows me 45-minutes to an hour for some small 6x8" quick studies. I sat on a park bench and tried my new homemade cigar pochade box for this one.

Stage one... the block in. Sometimes I will block my plein air paintings in the complimentary colors as seen here.

Last weeks painting...

"The Park"... 6x8" acrylic on linen panel, en plein aire, by Bernie Rosage Jr. 10/9/2010.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Mump, Mumps!

"Mump, Mumps!"... 8x10" acrylic on canvasboard, alla prima from life, Bernie Rosage Jr., 10-18-2010.

My oldest daughter, Lyndsey (now 26), used to always call pumpkins... "Mump, Mumps". To this day... the Rosages' refer to pumpkins as "Mump, Mumps". I did this painting last night alla prima from life with my pards... the Brush-ka-teers!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Congrats to my Mom and Dad... married 50 years today!

Bernie and Maggie Rosage Sr., married October 15, 1960.

Here they are today... 50 years later... Looking Good!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Had some PLEIN air FUN this weekend!

Enjoyed the beautiful weather this weekend plein air painting and cooking out! Saturday after work I met Tami and Olivia at Richard Ray Park... Tami was planning her daily run around Jacksonville Commons while Olivia led the way on her bike. This gave me about 45 minutes to turn out this small 6x8" painting. BTW... LOVE my new pochade box!

"The Park"... 6x8" acrylic on linen panel, en plein aire, by Bernie Rosage Jr. 10/9/2010.

Sunday was gorgeous and I spent the afternoon painting with my friends from OOPS... (Onslow Outdoor Painters Society). We painted at the Octagon House (1850) in Cedar Point.

My painting buddy, Olivia, at her easel. She and I opted for a marsh scene looking across the White Oak River.

"View from the Octagon House"... 5.5x10" acrylic on linen, en plein aire, by Bernie Rosage Jr., 10-10-10.