[Alexander John Drysdale, Bayou Teche Country 1, 1927, The Roger H. Ogden Collection.]
Clear, bright skies aren't in Atlanta's weekend forecast so I attempted to find beauty in the murkiness. Thoughts of haze brought to mind early-20th-century landscape painter, Alexander John Drysdale. Although clouds are common in his work, some of Drysdale's paintings are described as lucent. But there is always a fuzziness.
[Alexander John Drysdale, Green Trees, 1915 The Roger H. Ogden Collection.]
Originally from Marietta, Georgia, Drysdale came to New Orleans as a young teen with his dad. There he studied with Ida Haskell and Paul Poincy at the Southern Art Union. According to a 1992 Morris Museum of Art catalog, A Southern Collection, the artist's work was often undervalued because of his tendency to repeat formulaic compositions. What art historians write about most is Drysdale's unorthodox medium: oil paint diluted with kerosene to achieve his signature hazy, fluid landscapes. (He applied the paint with cotton balls and brushes.) Along with this mistiness, a predominantly blue-green palette also characterizes his paintings.
[Lisa diStefano, Untitled Landscape, mixed media on canvas, 12 x 40 x 4 inches, courtesy Ann Connelly Fine Art.]
Aspects of Lisa diStefano's contemporary abstracted Louisiana landscapes have been compared to Drysdale's, hence the juxtaposition I offer here. There is a similar dreaminess, but in general I see a different energy in diStefano's work -- something brighter and less somber. Many more examples of her landscapes can be seen here.
[Lisa diStefano, Untitled Landscape, acrylic on canvas, 42 x 54 inches, courtesy Ann Connelly Fine Art.]
[Lisa diStefano, Untitled Landscape, courtesy Ann Connelly Fine Art.]