Frederic Remington

May 22, 2012
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Frederic Remington was one of the most well known artists of his time. His work defined the American West. He created paintings and sculptures that showed action and drama of the west. The subjects he included are: cowboys, Indians, the military, and horses. In some of his great work its not the whole painting to look at it’s the minor detail that he includes.

Remington was born in Canton, New York in 1861. Remington grew up loving the west and was always involved with horses. In grade school he was a trouble maker, and never showed any interest of being an artist. He never went to school except for drawing and sports. Remington entered Yale University at a young age. Even though he was in art classes he didn’t enjoy them. Remington spent most of his time playing football; he also won a national championship.

When he got out of college he went working as a cowboy and prospecting for gold in Arizona. He roamed on a cattle trail from Canada to the Mexican border and became an expert in handling horses and a six-gun. After a few years he decided to run a sheep farm in Kansas. But he lost it all after a huge storm destroyed it. He knew he had nothing to lose so he bought a horse for fifty dollars and went exploring. Remington came along at the right time to be an illustrator. When he was riding with the U.S Calvary he would get the soldiers to pose for him. While he traveled he illustrated what he saw and brought it back to his studio and turned it into paintings. When he illustrated he wanted to get close to things as possible. So when he illustrated a battle he wanted to get as close as he could. He couldn’t wait to see the exciting action of battle, but all he saw were dieing men. This experience changed the way he thought about war, so he turned away form painting. In his spare time he wrote books and articles the people liked it so much he turned into a magazine illustrator. Over time Frederic Remington became the best know artist of the West. He has many paintings all over the U.S and the world. They are enjoyed by everyone.
Over a period of less than twenty years Remington produced a huge body of works: illustrations, paintings, sculptures, fiction and nonfiction- the west. The majority of his work was centered around the west. Remington was able the make you feel the details rather than see them. They showed action of battles between cowboys, Indians, and the U.S cavalry. When everything was still in the picture it makes you wander what will happen next. Remington allows your imagination create the action. On his trips he developed a shorthand method of recording his impressions. He made black and white drawings on what he wrote notes about the colors he saw. When he drew in his studio he used models, props, photos, and skeletons to help him paint. The active diagonals of the picture gave a feeling of action, even though the composition is symmetrical. Remington used Basel paintings, illustrations, printmaking, and sculpture to help him paint. He used different styles like: Bronze, Gouch, Ink Drawings, Mixed-Media, oil point, poster painting, and water colors. Through many of years he has changed his style many of times, and all these different styles have brought something new to his painting.

Remington has created many of works like: Marching in the Desert, The Snow Trail, and A Dash for Timber to name a few. The one that strikes me most is The Blanket Signal. “In this painting Remington created a solem mod by the isolation of the horse and the rider and the featureless landscape.” The haze which casts a pale shadow on the rocky slope, forms a strong constant to the dark browns and reds of the scouts clothing. Remington portrayed horses as hard working animals; in the painting it stands patiently, every mussel tight under a coat of shiny sweat. Remington told the dignity of the silent scout speaking by gesture to an unseen comrade.

When Remington died in 1909, he had accomplished many great paintings and sculptures which are know today by many. He will be forever known as the greatest artist of the west.





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