Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Animal Artwork by Francis Quirk

In our exploration of the art work of Francis Quirk, we have seen that his most popular subject is portraits; he clearly was a student of the human form. And of course he loved his marine paintings with many works featuring sailboats and coastal Maine. And he executed a few landscapes.

But there are relatively few depictions of animals as the entire subject. Of course he did include dogs in portraits including Labrador retrievers, Irish setters, poodles and dachshunds . In these paintings, the pet may have been important tot he sitter, but to Quirk they seem to be elements added for visual interest like the plants he frequently included. 

Below are the four artworks we have found that focus solely on animals. The first is a watercolor of horses moiling in a group. It has a more modern and expressive style than many of Quirk's disciplined studies. Of course the medium lends itself to a more expressive approach. It may have been executed when he was at his Arizona home.

image of horses, watercolor painting of horses by Francis J. Quirk
Group of Active Horses by Francis J. Quirk

The Second work is a pastel of a dachshund that is quite well done. 

Dog image, Dachshund image by Francis Quirk
Dachshund Image by Francis Quirk 

The final works are watercolors of a draft horse and two goats. They were probably executed in Maine near Quirk's summer home in Saco. Both include a full background with traditional farm buildings. It seems that he was trying to capture more than the animal as he includes a wagon wheel and old structures in both images. These give the works an antiquated feel as if they are capturing the end of a bygone era that has now fully slipped away. 

One can imagine Quirk heading off on a summer day to paint in the sunshine.

Horse Image, Horse Painting, water color of Maine Draft Horse
Draft Horse Watercolor by Francis Quirk
Goat Image, Watercolor Painting of Mother Goat and Kid,
Two Goats in Field Watercolor by Francis Quirk

Monday, May 15, 2017

Pastel Portrait of Edgar Lee Masters Found!

We have previously written several posts about Francis Quirk's portrait of Edgar Lee Masters, which now is in the collection of  the National Portrait Gallery. Quirk was friends with the author space who rented a room from Quirk while he was teaching at Ogontz College. 
Edgar Lee Masters Image
Oil Portrait of Edgar Lee Masters in the National Portrait Gallery

The portrait is stunning and we had the opportunity to see it up close when we the Gallery graciously allowed us into their archives for that purpose. 

Through a Pennsylvania friend of Quirk, we have learned of a pastel study for that painting and are sharing with you the image below.  The background is a different shade, but the pose and figure are essentially the same. This pastel ultimately belongs in the collection of the National Portrait Gallery or Lehigh University.

Image of Edgar Lee Masters
Pastel Portrait of Edgar Lee Masters (Probably a study for the oil portrait in the National Portrait Gallery) by Francis J. Quirk