BOOKLIST Starred Review

Issue: May/June, 2009, and Editor’s Pick for 2009

In this beautifully shot 13-part series, landscape painter and art historian David Dunlop journeys to various European and American locations where some of the world’s most influential artists lived or visited. In the first title, Van Gogh’s Asylum at St. Remy, France, Dunlop walks the grounds of the asylum of St. Paul de Mausole where the troubled artist did much of his best work. Setting up his easel as he views the surrounding countryside, Dunlop describes van Gogh’s life and artistic techniques as he applies the acclaimed artist’s characteristic heavy brushstrokes and rich color palate to create a scene that echoes van Gogh’s style.  As he paints, Dunlop’s running commentary is filled with fascinating tidbits about the artist’s personal struggles. Meanwhile, adult students, who accompanied Dunlop on the trip, are creating their own paintings. Dunlop tactfully adds color and texture to enhance one student’s work. In the next title, Monet’s Waterlillies at Giverny, France, Dunlop talks about the origins of Impressionism as he tours Monet’s home. He works at his easel in front of the well-known pond and describes the beginnings of Impressionism. The instructor again critiques the work of a student and enthusiastically shares Monet’s techniques and philosophy of painting. Using a similar format, Dunlop and company travel across France and back to America to introduce other influential artists, including Cezanne, Renoir, Inness, Kensett, Turner, and Church. This stunning series holds wide appeal for armchair travelers, budding artists, and art students. Each 27-minute program can be purchased separately for $29.95.  Candace Smith

VIDEO LIBRARIAN Review   3.5 Stars

Issue: May/June, 2009

Offering a fascinating and inspirational look at how great artists created their works, the PBS-aired Landscapes through Time follows art historian and painter David Dunlop (Painting Landscapes with David Dunlop) as he travels with his students to various locations in the United States and Europe to set our easels up in the same places that famed painters set up their own. Along the way, Dunlop shares historical, social, and technical context, while offering insights into the mechanics of shape, form and texture. Dunlop is a warm, encouraging, engaging, and knowledgeable instructor who interacts well with his students as they explore landscapes created by a number of iconic artists, including van Gogh, Monet, Cezanne, Renoir, J.W.M. Turner, and a handful of American impressionists and landscape artists. What impresses most here is not just Dunlop’s considerable painting skills or vast knowledge of art history and techniques, but also his unbridled enthusiasm and love for the subject.Sure to inspire viewers to find their own creative sparks on canvas,this is highly recommended. Aud: H, C, P. (C. Block)