Mary Cassatt: Favorite Mediums and Subjects

19 May
My watercolor version of Mary Cassatt’s Oil painting “Young Woman Sewing in a Garden” from 1886

By the late 1870s Cassatt was producing a body of work that was far from the Salon conventions.  She was using strong brushwork and color in the Impressionist style and selecting a familiar theme of young women or children in relaxed or quiet poses.  She had a passion for structure in her compositions.

Cassatt, like Degas, enjoyed the freedom of pastel, creating a number of works.  The two artists began experimenting with layers, steam, turpentine and fixative to keep their layers pure rather than chalky.

In 1880 the Impressionists were planning to publish a journal of original prints called “Le Jour et La Nuit”.

Cassatt spent time working on engravings which she hadn’t done since her studies in Parma ten years earlier.  Unfortunately funding ran dry and the journal was never published but the preparation had pushed Cassatt to once again delve into intaglio printmaking.

Mary Cassatt chose women and children as her primary subject for her work.  What is your favorite subject?

***

 “Cassatt” Jay Roudebush, Crown Trade Paperbacks, NY 1979

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