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Kentucky Fishing Scene

Watercolor and gouache on paper
Support size: 14 x 21 1/4 inches
Circa 1912

As published in: Scenic Impressions: Southern Interpretations from the Johnson Collection

As exhibited in: Scenic Impressions: Southern Interpretations from the Johnson Collection, 2015–2018, Dixon Gallery and Gardens, Memphis, Tennessee; Morris Museum of Art, Augusta, Georgia; McKissick Museum of Art at the University of South Carolina, Columbia; Telfair Museums, Savannah, Georgia; Knoxville Museum of Art, Tennessee; Rosalind Sallenger Richardson Center for the Arts at Wofford College, Spartanburg, South Carolina

The Kentucky River Valley was Paul Sawyier’s muse, inspiring a trove of impressionistic watercolors that would be the artist’s chief success. It is quite possible that the locale portrayed in Kentucky Fishing Scene is Elkhorn Creek, one of Sawyier’s favorite plein air destinations.

Sawyier had a remarkable facility with watercolor, which he used successfully to capture the fleeting quality of bright light and reflections. He worked rapidly, often augmenting his highlights with gouache, an opaque form of watercolor.

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