Dudley Summers

DUDLEY SUMMERS (1892-1975)
Dudley frequentley painted on location using a little 6 x 8 inch thumb box as demonstrated in the oil above.
He could also be found tucked away in one of the third story rooms which served as studios most private, executing watercolors from imagination or otherwise.

However, he earned his way primarily as an illustrator.

Sadly there is no publishing nformation regarding the above illustration. It is watercolor and gouache on illustration board and measures 20" x 24". What I find interesting from the technical vantage point is that supports (illustration board, etc.) which appear to be white simply are not. Hence the use of a pure white pigment for the lightest lights and the fact that the light value of the support was used in the tonal structure of the scheme.


Both in his commercial work and for his own pleasure, Dudley drew the figure. It was a practice he never gave up. Above is one such sketch.

Little of his work survives. When I was a teenager i expressed an interest in my family's visual heritage and my mother gave me a zippered portfolio of Dudley's drawings. Mostly nudes. While many of them were drawn on tracing paper other substrates were used on ocassion. Regardless of the surface, his mark is evident throughout.
Pauline, Dudley's wife, modeled for him frequently, most often in costume to aid his illustrative pursuits. My understanding is that the picture above, on the far right, depicts Pauline wearing high heeled shoes but otherwise unencumbered.
Incidentally, Dudley made a rather good living—they employed a maid named Minnie. According to my mother, Nancy, Minnie would pose at any time for "PoppaDud". The picture of Minnie at the top of this page is the only one that exists to my knowledge.
The above image is a watercolor which portrays the house on Glasco Turnpike in Woodstock in which Dudley and Pauline lived. Dudley was constantly manipulating reality in his work. The mailbox in the foreground never existed in this particular location. The mountains on the left are an invention as well.
The building depicted in the watercolor on the left has been a constant in Woodstock. It has seen many businesses come and go but the physical structure remains unchanged.
This little watercolor is one of several wherein a familiar motif—the country barn—plays a significant role.

Dudley was unlike so many watercolorists today in that rather than eschew the use of white pigment he exploited it to no end. The tan hue in the watercolor to the right is actually the substrate, in this case a paper board, on which he worked.


Making pictures for one's own pleasure is all well and good but putting food on the table is imperative. So back to work with these little sketches.


Other work coming soon.