I went to the Morris Museum of Art in Downtown Augusta, GA. The gallery has exhibited some brand new art since the last time I visited. My experience when visiting the Morris Museum of Art was quite overwhelming. The gallery is quite expansive with various cultures of people walking in the corridors admiring the various genres of artwork. I must admit, the plain white colored theme of the gallery gave each and every piece of art work a form of ambience while at the same time, each piece is strategically placed to stand out at leave the admirer at awe. Out of all the art in the gallery, the painting that stood out to me the most are two pieces of Southern Impressionism art that caught my attention as I was there. The two pieces are Afternoon At The Beach, Chesapeake Bay by Gladys Nelson Smith and Portrait of Tony by Ellsworth Woodard.
Southern impressionism is a movement of art that is highly influenced by Southern artists. This type of style originated in Paris, France. Impressionism depicts the naturalism of a subject while placing the artists’ emotional state secondary. This type of art focuses on light, color and air as one personally experiences life. During the late 19th century, this movement made its way to the United States.
One of the pieces that caught my eye was the Afternoon At The Beach, Chesapeake Bay by Gladys Nelson Smith. This piece caught my eye because it depicts every definition of impressionism. The focus on the environment, light and color stood out in this portrait. When looking at this piece of art, one can see the highly feminine touch that is both eloquent and exquisite in nature. Her use of color also made this piece stand out. The way the moods of nature and the subtle calmness that most can only feel and not express. Gladys Nelson Smith studied at three of the most well known art academies which played a big role in her abilities to create art work with a feminine approach.
The Portrait of Tony by Ellsworth Woodard caught my attention because of the deep brush strokes and the use of a palette knife to show depth. This piece of art is somewhat rare for Ellsworth Woodard because he is primarily known as a watercolorist. At first glance, one would see this painting as gloomy, someone who is sad and not in tuned with life. As I sat on the bench looking at this piece of art in depth, trying to understand what the artist was feeling at the moment, this piece of art also stood out to me because it showed a struggle of how to express ideas of how one would interpret life and nature at the very moment in time.