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Clyde Aspevig's White Cliffs Of The Missouri

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Clyde Aspevig’s painting “White Cliffs of the Missouri”, found in the “Northwest Cowboys in Art” collection at the Tacoma Art Museum is an oil painting on canvas that is about 2½ by 3 feet in size. This piece portrays white cliffs on the Missouri river, found in central Montana along the upper Missouri River. Lewis and Clark traveled through these cliffs during their expedition in 1805, making it a historical monument. Lewis kept a journal about this journey and marveled about the beauty of the sandstone cliffs. I like this painting because of the feeling and memories it reminds me of. The water and rocks remind me of all my childhood memories of swimming in the water and hiking mountains. The bright and light colors create a cheerful and…show more content…
This painting is so realistic and painted with such precision and detail that he must’ve wanted us to see this place exactly how he did, with great beauty and light. The local colors are vibrant and cool yet still make you smile because it reminds you of a warm summer day. The use of two contrasting colors, the blue of the water and sky and the tan of the cliffs and couds, make the tan color stand out creating such a visually pleasing and dynamic effect. The organic fluffy clouds and the ripples in the water convey a peaceful sense to the scene. The pompous cliffs stand solidly contributing to the historical importance of this location. The artist captures the illusion of depth through atmospheric perspective; as the object gets farther it encompasses less detailed contributing to the descriptive nature of it. Since the left side of the painting is much heavier than the right this painting is asymmetrical. Your eye tends to gravitate towards the cliffs on the left because of their size and bright color which emphasize the cliffs. This emphasis creates a focal point that the viewer is immediately compelled to look at.
A work that I am not particularly fond, also found in the “Northwest Cowboys in Art” exhibit is “Rain and Runoff” an oil on linen by Ed Mell. This piece was at the Tacoma art museum and is also about 2½ x 3 feet in size. The subject of this painting is an abstract illustration of rain and its runoff, but because of the abstract nature it is hard to make out the rain and other objects in this painting. The common theme of his artworks has to do with weather and
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