I have a recently departed, millionaire friend (well, father of an old girlfriend, actually - Karl, Shawn) who actually owned two Maxfield Parrish paintings, and this was at the time when I was very intrigued with M.P.
His paintings seem to glow with internal light, and that is because they actually do.
Whether or not you like Maxfield Parrish, you are bound to like the technique with which they are painted. He used the Old Master method of 'glazing'. With these paintings, the tone can be very dark indeed, but they still glow. Here's how.
You begin with a stark white canvas, then you put the paint on in thinnish layers, hue after hue. You begin with the blues, wait for that layer of oil paint to dry (this can take weeks) then cover it with a layer of clear varnish, then wait for that to dry before applying the next colour, working your way through the primary spectrum as you would in a three-colour printing process. You NEVER use muddy or opaque colours - nothing but the purest of pigment suspended in the clearest of media, of which egg tempera is the best and most long lived.
This is obviously a highly labour-intensive process, and because it takes months per painting, Parrish would always have a handful of paintings on the go.
When the painting is finished, the light travels all the way through the layers of paint and varnish until it reaches the white background, then it is reflected back out through the various colours which mix themselves into a harmonious whole in your eye - just like a two-way stained-glass window.
Wonderful, no matter how bad the painting.
(I cannot wait for Google to load up an image, so please refer to the previous post)
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