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Thomas Cole

Thomas Cole

(1801 - 1848)
Born: Bolton-le-Moors, England
Style: Romanticism
Famous Works:
  • Destruction (from The Course of Empire) (1836)
  • The Notch of the White Mountains (Crawford Notch) (1839)
  • River in the Catskills (1843)
Thomas Cole's artwork represents the height of American art in the nineteenth-century. Founder of the Hudson River School, Cole is heralded for his romantic landscapes of upstate New York. Cole's family emigrated from England to the United States, specifically Steubenville, Ohio, in 1818. It was here that Cole learned the craft of portraiture from a traveling artist, though his interest would quickly shift to landscape painting. A visit to the Hudson Valley marked a turning point in Cole's career, fueling a series of paintings, two of which would end up on loan to the American Academy of Fine Arts in 1826. It was here that Cole's work was noticed by artist John Trumbull, who introduced Cole to several future patrons. The beauty of the Hudson Valley stunned Cole, who reacted to the vast majesty of the rolling hills, wide skies, and flat valleys. Cole started a new means of depicting landscape in which he transformed the English formulas of landscape painting into a method more appropriate to his new homeland. In Cole's work beams of sun radiate down from parting clouds, as if signaling the beatification of God for the land and its people. This benign view of human existence also had a social bent. Cole was concerned with the rapid growth of the country, and the destruction of the frontier. No where is this concern more evident than in the artist's The Course of Empire series, which depicts the stages of human settlement and the resulting effects on the natural world. Cole's vision included the often accompanying poetry he wrote for his paintings. The work of the Hudson River School was popular from 1825 to 1876, the Centennial celebration.
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I've been using Koh-I-Noor Rapidograph Technical Pens since 1969. My aunt bought me my first set when I was 12 and I have used them daily ever since. I love the fact that I can mix my ink colors to match my watercolor or my wardrobe and use "Pelikan Drawing Ink A" almost exclusively. Though the inks made by Koh-I-Noor and Winsor Newton are satisfactory. If you are a beginner, I would NOT recommend purchasing anything smaller than an 0 (0.35 mm). Even as a professional I find cleaning a 4x0 to be a challenge. I work most often with a 2x0, and find them to produce the smoothest flow, if kept clean.
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I have been using Fluid paper for a few years now and find that it's a great value for the price. The quality is suitable for beginner to intermediate level painters. Very easy to work with, accepts watercolor paints, pencils, aqua crayons and markers well.
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