Monday, January 4, 2016

A Letter from Leyendecker


Illustration Magazine recently posted a wonderful letter written by  J.C. Leyendecker,  in which he briefly describes his painting process to a fan.

I find it really wonderful that such a prominent artist, even in his own day, would take the time to write a letter to aspiring artist, and on Christmas Day no less!




14 comments:

  1. if there was ever an artist I'd wish to watch a demonstration of, its Leyendecker (and George Stavrinos)

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  2. So in those days, how did they replicate the painting to be printed on the magazine cover? Nowadays we have scanners and digital files, but back then?

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    1. They would photograph it and create very large negatives or transparencies.

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  4. I am telling everyone this, from professional to the average person, through Facebook or blogs such as this. If you are a Leyendecker fan and live in California goto Stockton and visit the Haggin Museum. They house one of, if not the largest collection of Leyendecker paintings. It is amazing to see, and to stand just inches away form some of the greatest painting ever created.

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  5. Just as a piece of trivia, according to Norman Rockwell who knew the Leyendeckers, Joe and his brother Frank, they had their own "secret" medium that they used. After Joe passed away and Frank was down on his luck, Frank gave a bottle of it to Norman out of gratitude. Norman tried it but found it too "slick" for him to use.

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    1. That can't be true. Frank died some 27 years before JC.

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  6. Oops - Sorry, I mixed up who died first. But the rest of it is true according to "My Adventures as an Illustrator" by Norman Rockwell, Chapter 9, "The mansion on Mount Tom Road." Frank gave Norman a bottle of their medium before he died.

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    1. I seriously enjoy thinking about J.C. and Norman both living in New Rochelle and visiting each other. Must have been nice.

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    2. Oh to be a fly on the wall when they discussed painting! :-)

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  7. Someone told me something Leyendecker says. "Select the one that tells the story most clearly". An artist look up to told me that Art is a tool for the story, if you don't have a clear idea of the story, it will show in your work. Until recently it never really stuck until now. This letter is amazing, if only it helps alleviate a lot of my anxiety when composing a piece.

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    1. I love your statement Philip:
      Art is a tool for the story, if you don't have a clear idea of the story, it will show in your work.
      I was wondering have you ever twited that?

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