Now and then, I'll spend the day at the UGA Library, where Simon works, and have a research day. I found this incredible book from the University of Chicago Press of artist Adolf Dietrich on one of these trips.
Adolf Dietrich (1877-1957) was a self-taught Swiss artist. In his time, he was labeled a peasant artist, though today his work is renowned. He had no training in art and worked as a day laborer in a textile mill and as a farm hand on his family's farm. He was able to enjoy fame later in life and support himself through the sales of his paintings. He remained humble through it all, staying in his small village of Berlingen away from the art centers and critics.
The look and feel of Dietrich's paintings are captivating to me. His love of nature and everyday life is apparent in his work. Each piece is crystal clear, not only through the bold colors he chose or his sharp line work but in his sincerity in representing the landscapes and nature he was drawn to.
His use of composition and scale inspires my work. His paintings' flatness is reminiscent of folk art, but he adds just the right amount of shadow and detail to create multiple planes in his work. I love finding the highly detailed insects in his landscape paintings. And his portraits convey both warmth and fascination with the eerily painted eyes and smooth skin.
Here he is, gently holding the white guinea pig that appears in his painting!
All images from Adolf Dietrich in His Time and Beyond, University of Chicago Press, 2015.