Wednesday, March 9, 2011
Thread of a Master: Lockwood De Forest
The Master Craftsman Lockwood De Forest came through Santa Barbara at the turn of the 20th Century leaving behind him a legacy of landscape paintings depicting the Santa Barbara area in it's primal state. My favorite of these are his Moonlight Nocturnes; painted on location, without any aid of light to see his canvas other than the moon.
Last October, (thanks to my patron and Art Collector, Gary Breitweiser,) I was privileged to attend an "Initiatives in Art and Culture Seminar" focused on the Arts and Crafts Movement in New York, in New York City. On one of the walking tours I visited the Park Avenue Armory where De Forest carved his name into an armoir, Honoring his contribution to the 17th Regiment National Guard who served in that location. Lockwood had a hand in decorating one of the rooms as well with Imported teak wood from India. He used the same theme, and wood to design and decorate the front of his house in Mid-Town Manhattan.
Last week I became aware Lockwood had his home in Santa Barbara at 1815 Laguna Street. Just before teaching my Wednesday landscape painting class, having only moments to explore where this location was, I saw the house. From the street, through the pouring rain, I could barely make out the upstairs window; carved in Indian Tradition, with Elephants in the framework. This was cool!!
The next evening at Sullivan Goss, and American Gallery, During the art walk on First Thursday, I was honored to meet Kellum de Forest, the grandson of Lockwood. He was there at the Gallery celebrating the show, 40 Days and 40 Nights- Paintings by Lockwood De Forest. I especially enjoyed sharing with him the paintings honoring his Grandfather, and discussing the subtleties of Lockwood's vision and sensibilities around his night vision.
I felt a thread and been connected, and once again I felt inspired to paint with purpose.
Top Photo: Room designed by Lockwood de Forest; with windows by Tiffany
Second Photo: Lockwood De Forest's name on 17th Regiment Honor Roll
Third Photo: Lockwood De Forest's Home in New York
Fourth Photo: Lockwood De Forest's Home in Santa Barbara
Bottom Photo: Van Stein and Kellum De Forest at Sullivan Goss