An artist for over 70 years and a teacher for more than 60, painter Henry Hensche (1901–92) employed Monet’s Impressionist tradition of seeing and painting color under the influence of light, and he taught his students to "see the light, not the object." In this book, his student and biographer John Robichaux examines the artist’s basic painting philosophy and methodology, as expounded in his famous classes and workshops on Cape Cod.
A prolific artist and inspiring teacher, Hensche touched countless lives as he challenged pupils to understand how they could make their paintings better by having a particular vision of color — whether in a still life, landscape, or figure painting. One of his many students, Robert Longley, claims that Hensche "showed us that there was no shortcut to great art. His specific teachings on color and light are useful tools in the creation of art, but of greatest importance was Henry's relentless quest for beauty."
Brimming with practical advice for amateurs and professionals alike, Hensche on Painting is intended to help further develop artists' own visual sense of nature.
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"If you are looking for painting techniques you will not get it from me," and "If there IS a Hensche Method (and there isn't) it's simple - paint the large masses of light and dark to their colour relationships in the Light Key in which they are seen." Huh? "You don't paint what you see, you paint what you've been TAUGHT to see..." This slim book comprises words obtained through personal conversations and taped interviews (mostly in 1988) by John Robichaux who reveals the basic philosophy and methodolgy of Henry Hensche. Henry was big on Hawthorne who turns out to have been his teacher. Hensche was the studio assistant to Hawthorne. The author Robichaux gives fair warning: He says when you read the words of Henry Hensche "you will not understanding everything." Much emphasis has been placed on the Light Key which is the colours an artist sees in any setting, influenced of course by the prevailing light. "Obviously, you can't see an object except as it exists in the light in which it is seen." Got that? Well yeah...but what Ron Wilson really got out of these musings is Hensche's tip "give your viewers something more than decoration. Give them something that will raise their level of vision. let them see a new beauty through your eyes." That's more like it (Ron). Hensche: "Get the Light Key and the details will take care of themselves. They are not important and eventually you will see how they make your paintings look foolish. Your paintings will look like craft paintings." Here's the bit that Ron the Reader really likes "You cannot fully develop your vision by painting in a studio all of the time. You must get outside to learn to paint correctly." Hensche wanted Hawthorne's story to be told and seemed so frustrated with everyone's lack of understanding of what Hawthorne had accomplished. Sometimes Hawthorne made students use knives to paint so that they avoided lines in nature - only a colour note touching another colour note. OK ,so after reading Hensche and Hawthorne, Ron Wilson went outside one afternoon and studied the ambiant light (the Key Light) at Cattle Point, Vancouver Island. Ron avoided lines and concentrated on the actual relationships of one colour spot to another. Done is good.