Artists of the Brandywine Valley
Excerpts from a new book by Catherine Quillman.
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Robert C. Jackson
Nationally known trompe l’oeil practitioner Robert Jackson was educated at the University of Delaware, where he studied not art, but electrical engineering. Today Jackson’s still life paintings are found in museums and major collections, including that of the Brandywine River Museum, which purchased “Target the Artist” (2009), his tribute to the late Andrew Wyeth, following a major exhibit that of trompe l’oeil practitioners from across the country. Jackson is also a traditional studio painter. He works meticulously in oil, completing one painting at a time and working directly from still life objects. As he sees it, he creates painting challenges, and much like any traditional still life painter, chooses objects—apples, balloons and vintage toys are typical—not only for their textures and colors, but for their dramatic potential. They become “protagonists,” he says, when he displays them on his collection of antique bottle crates instead of what he terms “nice tabletop arrangements.” In the end, viewers can enjoy what has gone missing in still life painting: humor.
Sarah Yeoman was born in Lawrenceville, New Jersey, and spent her childhood summers in the Adirondacks. While her husband, Wilmington native Paul Skibinski, is a mixed-media artist, Yeoman reports that she “has watercolor flowing in her veins.” Well-known for exquisitely detailed landscapes, animal portraits and giant florals, Yeoman is largely self-taught. She has had an unusually diverse education, which has included the study of music, sculpture and metal-smithing at Penland Craft School in Penland, North Carolina. As a watercolorist, she says she has an almost Zen-like approach, creating imaginative (but also painted on location) scenes that “convey the immediacy and undeniable presence of the artist.” That might be a down-among-the-thistles view of Ashland Hollow, the community garden she shares with several other horticulturally minded artists in Delaware.
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