February 2018 Painting of the Month
by Theodore Allmendinger
This elderly woman, with a rural Pennsylvania winter landscape at her back, gazes steadily at the viewer. Her portrait is realistic with glowing flesh tones and eyes that hold the wisdom of age. Her shawl and head scarf are skillfully detailed; the artist seems to have woven, rather than painted, them. The woman stands in the very center of the painting with her body and head forming an isosceles triangle. This shape is repeated in the roofs of the building behind her. The entire work is done in shades of black, white and brown with the only exception being the touch of bright green on the porch railing.
January 2018 Painting of the Month
by George Haskey
Winter Stream is a realistic interpretation of a forest snow scene, done in the style of the Barbizon School. The artist understands light and uses it to create the misty atmosphere that outlines the bare tree branches and dry grass stalks. The mood of the composition is one of peaceful equilibrium. The bold trees to the left gracefully balance the vegetation that fades away to the right. A meandering stream gathers all the soft browns and grays of the painting and brings them to the foreground.
December 2017 Painting of the Month
The Lazy Chair
by Joseph R. Frola
The artist painted this portrait of his bachelor neighbor who had told Mr. Frola that he spent the long winter days just reading and sleeping in his chair. Everything in the picture is designed to show the warmth and security of that home: an old stove with a bucketful of coal nearby, the overstuffed chair pulled near it, a cheerful flowered floor covering and the exterior show scene from the window to remind the viewer of the harsh weather outside. Although the old bachelor lived alone, he remained in contact with the rest of the world through his radio and newspaper.
November 2017 Painting of the Month
City of Night
by Jerome Bell
The artist used a surrealistic approach in his presentation of a night view of a city. At first, the painting looks like a brightly lighted amusement park; then, at closer study, the viewer begins to see outlines of buildings, white ribbons of roads and a dark river. Near the center of the work is a small onion-shaped dome that may be the Pittsburgh church familiar to motorists who travel the Parkway. Bell used a staining technique to apply his paint in very thin layers, resulting in a smooth finish devoid of any texture.
October 2017 Painting of the Month
by Virgil D. Cantini
Power and movement are the dominant characteristics of this portrayal of a football play. In the style of German Expressionism, the artist outlined the figures wih a heavy black line as if this were a coloring book. A dark background contributes to the illusion of the figures thrusting forward out of the painting. Conflicting forces collide in the center as a blocker clears the way for his teammate with the football. The players' faces, in the days before protective masks, show the intensity of the game. The number on the jersey of the ball carrier even looks like the word "GO".
September 2017 Painting of the Month
by Mary Martha Himler
Recess, the fourth Himler in the collection, is the only one of the works to include people. This painting is full of life as it depicts a scene Miss Himler recalled from her first teaching job. A one-room schoolhouse and its two necessary outbuildings provide the background for a busy group of children, their pets and their teacher. The trees and fence curve toward the figures. Only one child stands alone; the girl in the doorway of the school gazes pensively at the activity in the schoolyard.
August 2017 Painting of the Month
by James R. Beatty
Greywing Manor, owned by the Steele family at the time of this work, still stands in New Alexandria. The artist was interested in the unusual composition of an old apple tree in front of an English-style country home. The house and sky are a pale flat backdrop to the dramatic portrayal of the tree whose arching branches stretch from one side of the work to the other. One limb thrusts forward, giving the illusion of invading the world beyond the painting. The impasto work on the bark is unique; it is so thick that pieces of bark seem to lift from the canvas.
July 2017 Painting of the Month
Maine Fishing Village
by Marjorie Laird
An art seminar in Maine led the artist to discover this little fishing village while sightseeing. The impressionist seascape achieves a sense of stillness and harmony with its play of soft tones in light and shadow. Weather-beaten houses of various pastel colors and fishing shacks scale the hillside leading down to the rocky shore. Exposed pilings of the dock indicate that it is low tide. Several seabirds hover and a sailboat is visible near an offshore island but these are the only signs of movement in this tranquil scene. A little bluebird appears near the artist's signature indicating her hope that the painting will bring happiness to its owner. Marjorie Laird has long loved the sea. She and her husband once lived on a schooner carrying cargo in Central America and then moved to Boston with visits to Cape Cod.
June 2017 Painting of the Month
by Robert D. Long
Evening Landscape is another naive or folk art painting. This artist, however, has skill beyond most self-taught painters and understands the use of light and perspective. He divides the canvas according to classical tradition and creates a balanced work of serene harmony. The sheep in the foreground are real, so round and woolly that they seem in need of shearing. Lights from the setting sun slants across the flock and dramatically illuminates them as if they were characters in a theatrical production.
May 2017 Painting of the Month
by Martha M. Morgan
Blossom Time is the first painting acquired by the Student Council for the permanent collection at Greater Latrobe High School. A large apple tree in full blossom dominates this impressionistic work. The fence in the foreground and the road to the left form an expanding angle leading to a schoolhouse with children at recess in the distance. A small girl and barefoot boy on the fence look back to the schoolhouse scene. An intricate pattern of tree shadows leads the viewer deep into the work. The artist used a soft pastel color scheme to create mood and a variety of brush strokes to create textures in the picture.
April 2017 Painting of the Month
Ohio Farm On An April Day
by Robert R. Young
An unpaved country road leads directly into the heart of Ohio Farm On An April Day. After heeding the admonition of the yellow stop sign, the viewer arrives at the old farm set back under the trees. Smoke from the chimney hangs low over the house indicating the high humidity of the atmosphere, and bare tree branches bend in the same direction as the drifting smoke. The colors are winter-subdued; however, glints of yellow on branch tips and fresh green appearing in the field signal the land's awakening from a winter sleep.
March 2017 Painting of the Month
by Bertha Gill Johnston
A casual arrangements of red tulips and gray pussy willows makes up a spring bouquet in this still life. The artist creates a harmony of complementary colors, especially red and green, which guides the viewer into the gentle curves of the arrangement. Bertha Johnston has placed flowers on a white cloth in front of a window. This enables her to work with light coming thorough the window, filtering through the crystal vase and producing blue shadows on the snowy cloth.
February 2017 Painting of the Month
by John D. Clarkson
An arc of slushy road crosses the black tracks of a railroad under sentinel-like gates and leads the viewer to the center of a small Western Pennsylvania town. Perched beside the crossing, like an oversized birdhouse, is a little green building where the gatekeeper watches. The artist has succeded in creating a wet, cold winter day. The foreground is dark and desolate but the stuctures of the town stand with their glowing lights to welcome the approaching traveller.
January 2017 Painting of the Month
by George H. Gerhardt
Winter Sunshine is a well-planned composition that uses classical symmetry to create a sense of tranquility. Two ruts through the snow lead the viewer from a shadowed foreground to the clear, lighted center of the painting. On either side of the lane, groups of trees divide the work into the desired harmony of the classical tradition. The artist selected his most vibrant color and placed it in the very center in the yellow house. He balanced it with a smaller yellow building to the right and a red one to the left. He created the deeper snowbanks by building a thickness of paint, while simply staining the canvas for the misty background.
December 2016 Painting of the Month
Pittsburgh Snow Scene
by Peggy Phillips
Pittsburgh Snow Scene won the Carnegie Institute Prize at the Associated Artists Show in 1938. The work, in the WPA styple, presents a frosty, windy street corner. Snow swirls and settles on roofs,walls and road while two little birds huddle on the branch in the central foreground. Two small children, looking like birds themselves, brave the weather. Touches of bright green, red and gold brighten the black and white winter scene. Peggy Phillips told a student reporter that she wanted to enter a new painting in the 1938 show so she did this one very quickly. In fact, she painted the birds on the telephone wires the morning she took the painting to be juried.
November 2016 Painting of the Month
by Roy Hilton
November Morning is a view from the artist's home in the Mt. Lebanon section of Pittsburgh. Roy Hilton was interested in the pattern and play of light that caused inanimate objects to stand out as separate elements. He has successfully captured that light in this composition. The sun rises in a golden glimmer through the frosty haze of a late fall morning, creating a luminosity that breaks away into the golds of the landscape and the blues and greens of the sky. The tree branches stand out against the sky, each twig separate. People live in this scene; the old milk truck and car assure us of that. However, people are not important here as design and harmony create the suspended stillness of the breaking day.
October 2016 Painting of the Month
From Land And Sea
by Wilfred A. Readio
From Land And Sea is done with a superrealistic approach, although that style did not become a popular part of the art world until 40 years later. In this still life, the artist has taken four simple objects and painted them larger than life. In doing this, he seems to be saying that something here is important and he wants the viewer to discover what it is. A dried ear of corn and three seashells comprise the soft composition of light and shadows. Graceful curves abound in the shapes of the shells and curls of corn husks. The artist has created so real a quality of dryness in the painting that the husks seem almost to crackle.
September 2016 Painting of the Month
by Raymond S. Simboli
One of the all-time favorite paintings in the collection, Young Athletes, is a realistic portrayal of two football players and a friend engrossed in an unseen game. Dirt and grass stains on their uniforms indicate that the two teammates have already been on the field. The colors in the picture are rich and warm with touches of white in the background to provide distance and light behind the boys. The central figure is the artist's older son who was killed during World War II when his plane was shot down over Italy.
July 2016 Painting of the Month
A Day at the Beach
by Robert Anthony Jones
June 2016 Painting of the Month
by Clayton F. Merrell
May 2016 Painting of the Month
by Esther Topp Edmonds
April 2016 Painting of the Month
by Raymond S. Simboli
March 2016 Painting of the Month
by (Saraf) Sara Feldman
February 2016 Painting of the Month
by Kathleen Hicks
January 2016 Painting of the Month
by Helen Lindsay Lee
December 2015 Painting of the Month
by William DeBarnardi
November 2015 Painting of the Month
High and Mighty
by Aaronel DeRoy Gruber