Tonalism

Tonalism was a style of painting that emerged in the 1880s when American artists began to paint landscape forms in an overall tone of colored atmosphere or mist. It is commonly said that between 1880 and 1915, darker neutral colors such as gray, brown or blue, often dominated compositions by artists associated with the style. The dramatic effects from this style of painting can be stunning. Some of my favorite artists such as George Innis painted this way quite frequently.


This piece I completed over the weekend was my first attempt to stay true to most of the Tonalist principals. Some say there are as many as twelve principals that must be met to have a true Tonalist painting. I cannot verify that all were met with this painting but I feel I did successfully capture the emotion of the moment in a Tonalist kind of way.


This scene is based upon the view from Blue Mountain Crossing in Strouds Township, Pennsylvania near twilight hours in the fall (approximately 6:37 am on October 9th, 2020).


Much of this painting was created by using thin washes of oil paint - thinned with lots of linseed oil. Each wash was applied mostly with paper towel. Some brushwork was applied toward the very end of the painting. I hope to do more paintings like this as part of my practice. I look forward to capturing different moods by experimenting with the use of different hues.


Thanks for checking out this post... Hope you enjoy!


Be safe & be well, Tom

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