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John Bentley   ( 1880 - 1951)

John Bentley was born in Patterson N.Y. on January 3, 1880. He was a pupil of George Bridgeman, Frank V DuMond and Robert Henri. While based in Woodstock, N. Y., he made several trips to California where he painted the Monterey Peninsula and Mission Capistrano. Bentley was a WPA artist.

Now, if you look at the picture immediately to the right you may notice the extremely strong influence of Bolton Brown. Indeerd, Brown took his class to this very spot and I have three paintings all depicting the exact same imagery. All three paintings utilize the same palette, the same basic vantage point, composition, etc. I've been looking at these things since the mid 1980's and I remain confounded. Brown's color theory was innovative, convincing in practice, and remains elusive to me.

But some folks got it.

Years ago I was told a tale about Mr. Bentley. It seems he was the first owner/operator of a taxi cab in Woodstock. Enterprising fellow. He painted. He took folks around. He saved his earnings in order to purchse attire which would benefit him once he booked passage on steam ships to the South Seas. He did this at least once.

I did see a photograph of him waving happily as the ship departed.

A life well lived.

 

 


untitled oil 8 x 10
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untitled oil 8 x 10
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