Welcome to the Weather Hill Farm Blog, an informal space for discussions related to many of the aspects of the life and work of Eric Sloane. I have posted a series of videos first because they serve to provide an overview of some general topics related to the life and work of Eric Sloane. Scroll down past the list of links to the videos and you’ll find posts and articles related the life and work of Eric Sloane, his art, his writing, as well as updates on happenings at the Eric Sloane Museum, work performed by The Friends of the Eric Sloane Museum, and even life as it unfolds at Weather Hill Farm.
The Friends of the Eric Sloane Museum – See what the friends are doing to help fulfill their mission to “…assist in the preservation and interpretation of the Eric Sloane Museum and its collections, to encourage and promote visitation, and to enhance public appreciation for the legacy of artist and author Eric Sloane”.
Whilst on my wall this morning, I thought a bit about the ‘hidden’ image in a Johannes Vermeer painting entitled ‘Girl Reading a Letter at an Open Window’. CNN ran the story today, though an x ray of the work more than 40 years ago originally revealed the image of cupid, painted upon the wall behind the titular girl. A fascinating story, it set me to thinking about if Eric Sloane had painted ‘hidden’ or ‘secret’ images in his paintings. The answer is ‘yes’, though not anything sinister. In fact, these ‘hidden images’ were in plain sight, usually in the form of a private joke or meaningful symbol, known and understood by both painter and recipient.
Here, we have Sloane’s ‘Into The Sky’, completed c. 1955. Painted as a gift to his new wife’s parents, you can see a cloud painted in a ring slightly right of top center (see next photo for a close up). That ring is a ‘smoke ring’, or rather a cloud Eric made to look like a ring of smoke his new, cigar smoking and smoke ring blowing father in law would make float across the room. That private joke was appreciated by the recipients, then in turn by Eric’s eventual ex-wife, then by me, who was lucky enough to acquire the painting, and equally lucky to have been told the story.
Here in north central Pennsylvania, we are lucky not to be experiencing many effects from hurricane (now tropical storm) Henri, aside from rain showers. Beginning in the Second World War, Eric Sloane became much more meteorologically minded, likely an outgrowth of his experiences flying with pilots in the 1930s. By 1941, Eric had written his first book, Clouds, Air and Wind. C. 1944-1945, Eric Sloane was commissioned to create a number of weather models as a memorial to Lt. Joseph Willetts, who was killed while flying for the U.S. Navy (see previous posts for more information). By 1951, these models were ultimately installed in The Hayden Planetarium (part of the Museum of Natural History, New York). Here is a photograph of Eric’s model of a “tropical cyclone”, or hurricane:
This video provides a glimpse of Eric Sloane’s use of canvas board and canvas in the early years of his career. While Sloane often stated that he used Masonite exclusively throughout his career, many examples exist of his work on canvas and canvas board.
This video explores Eric Sloane’s childhood and adolescence, and considers some of the artist’s earliest life experiences as pivotal in explaining how Everard Jean Hinrichs (Eric Sloane’s given name) became Eric Sloane.