Eric Sloane’s Ski Paintings

Not much of this going on around here as of late….

Eric Sloane, N.A.
Sunlight and Shadow
Oil on Panel
23.50″ x 31.50″
c. 1950

Photo from Wil Mauch’s Symbols of American Spirit: 50 Years of the Eric Sloane Museum

Some admirers of the works of Eric Sloane are startled to discover that the artist painted more than a few ski scenes during the early 1950s.  Eric’s sister Dorothy explained to me that Eric received a large, “coffee table book” in full color of scenes of Switzerland some time in the late 1940s and was captivated by photographs of the Alps.  What followed, according to Dorothy, was a period in which Eric produced scenes similar to Sunlight and Shadow.  Some of the paintings were set in Europe, while others were set in New England or the Rocky Mountain region of the Western United States.

       It would seem as if Sloane’s fascination with painting ski scenes was short lived, probably not more than a few years at most. – Wil Mauch, Symbols of American Spirit: 50 Years of the Eric Sloane Museum.

Eric Sloane: October Colors

October Colors by Eric Sloane, N.A.

“…whereas I used to add a tiny barn or farm building to give further identity to a cloudscape, I was now using a touch of sky merely to enhance more elaborate farm scenes.”
– Eric Sloane

October Colors
19″ x 33″
Oil on Masonite

Notice Eric’s use of the word “cloudscape” in his quote above, a word the artist said that he coined. The treatment of the sky in general, and clouds in particular, is critical to ascertain authenticity of the artist’s works.

I’ve often wondered who was the first to ascend into the air for the purpose of painting the clouds. I know Eric was doing so as early as at least 1930. But I’ve seen enough early air show/contest posters from Europe in which the artwork was rendered by someone who had clearly been in a balloon or airplane to be able to create the effect of air, sky, and cloud so effectively from a pilot’s perspective.


Photo used by permission, from Wil Mauch’s Aware: A Retrospective of the Life and Work of Eric Sloane.

To learn more about the Friends of the Eric Sloane Museum and our mission to assist in the preservation and interpretation of the Eric Sloane Museum and its collection, see www.friendsoftheericsloanemuseum.org. While you’re there, please consider making a donation online to our new hands-on classroom project.

Eric Sloane New England Saltbox

Eric Sloane, N.A.
Untitled
23″ x 35″
Oil on Masonite

While unfortunately not titled, we know that this scene depicts an early American “saltbox” house, so referenced because of the resemblance to, well, a saltbox. In 18th and 19th century America, the saltbox was present in nearly every kitchen. Usually made of wood and with a slanting lid to make adding and removing salt easier, the saltbox did indeed resemble the shape of the “saltbox” home. Incidentally, most 18th and early 19th century American homes faced south to take maximum advantage of the winter arc of the sun,
yielding more heat and light into the house. The rear – or north facing – side of the house was sloped so that the cold northern winds would blow over the house. Few if any windows were present on the north side of these early homes.

With thanks to Wil Mauch of Weather Hill Farm. Photo used by permission, from Wil Mauch’s Aware: A Retrospective of the Life and Work of Eric Sloane.
To learn more about the Friends of the Eric Sloane Museum and our mission to assist in the preservation and interpretation of the Eric Sloane Museum and its collection, see www.friendsoftheericsloanemuseum.org. While you’re there, please consider making a donation online to our new hands-on classroom project.

Beautiful Eric Sloane Cloudscape


Working on this beauty today, a massive oil on canvas by Eric Sloane, N.A. The fact that it is on canvas helps to identify the date of creation as pre-1950, and the subject matter suggests an even earlier date of creation. The title is charming, written in Eric’s hand underneath his signature, lower left: Overhead Years Ago. A cleaning, re-varnish, and restoration of the amazing mid-century modern frame, and this one will be ready for a new owner.

Eric Sloane The Morton Salt Building Mural

Eric Sloane painted this stunning cloudscape mural in the office of the President of Morton Salt, 1958.
Photo courtesy of Wil Mauch, from his biography of Eric Sloane. Learn more about how the Friends of the Eric Sloane Museum supports and promotes the legacy of Eric Sloane through a robust partnership with the Eric Sloane Museum by visiting us at www.friendsoftheericsloanemuseum.org

Eric Sloane : Morton Salt Building Mural

Eric Sloane’s 1958 Mural in the President’s Office, Morton Salt, Chicago, IL

Eric Sloane painted this stunning mural for the President of Morton Salt in 1958. Rumor has it that, when the building was demolished, an undisclosed collector paid an equally undisclosed sum to have a team of “specialists” cut the mural intact from the wall. I’ve never been able to track the truth of the rumor down, nor am I aware of anyone who has seen the mural since this photo was taken.

Eric Sloane painting at his easel

         Eric Sloane at work at his Carter Road studio in Warren, Connecticut.  You’ll see straight away that Sloane re-purposed ends of primed Masonite for his multiple palettes.  A quart of oil or latex “barn red” paint (not artist’s oil paint) is visible at bottom right.  Eric loved buying those from the hardware store.  His composition is about 65% complete.  Eric will work more on the sky to give it greater depth and atmosphere, as well as providing more detail to the land.  You can readily see that it will be a stunner when completed.

      Circling back that can of paint – it’s a cleaner/restorer’s nightmare.  I’ve been cleaning and restoring works by Eric Sloane for more than a decade and there is only two things that make me nervous – nicotine from cigarettes and latex paint in an oil painting.       Photos from Wil Mauch’s Aware: A Retrospective of the Life and Work of Eric Sloane.