Sunday, June 19, 2016

Thank You Mr. Rand

For artists who use acrylic, w/c, oil, gouache, anything that squeezes from a tube; we owe a debt of gratitude to a fellow who has received far too little appreciation.

Few things have changed the way we artists work than a sweet little doohickey created by John Goffe Rand.

Without his clever invention we would not have had a little group called the Impressionists. Abstract art would have been a mere glimmer in Hilma Af Klint’s eye.
Kilma Af Klint 1907 The Ten Biggest No. 2, Tate Etc. Issue 27, Spring 2013, courtesy
Landscape painters would still be wistfully looking out windows. Yellowstone would still be waiting for Thomas Moran. 

Most recently, daily painters would find it impossible to make their quota.

Mr. Rand’s gift to artists and art lovers?

An apparatus for preserving paint. A collapsible paint tube.

My stash. Notice the lack of pig bladders.
For centuries artists would grind their own pigment, mixing it with oil to make just enough paint to get them through the day. More recently clever artists would use pig bladders, stuffing them full of pre-mixed pigment, and poking a pin through the skin when they needed paint. Working anywhere away from a studio was difficult and impractical. And pigs didn't like it much either.
A bladder used to carry paint
©Tate Photography, London, 2003 

And then…the tube. Claude Monet knew a good thing when he saw it and promptly hauled his easel, brushes and shiny new paint tubes out into the French country side. 

The artist herself enjoying painting outdoors.
No longer were painters restricted to interior images or creating landscapes from memory. Easels were set out right smack dab out in fields, gardens and beaches. Light itself was the subject.

©2016 Patricia Scarborough 12x16 The Last of the Hot Days

Mr. Rand, thank you. This deceptively simple gadget has allowed me access to a way of life that has been fulfilling, and I am deeply grateful.

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