George Van Hook
We enjoyed a call recently from award-winning plein air and figurative painter George Van Hook
. This summer, he will be attending both the Billsboro Plein Air Festival
in Geneva, New York, and the Adirondack Plein Air Festival
in Saranac Lake, New York.
Born and raised near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, his family owned a farm in Bucks County, home of the Pennsylvania impressionists. Another early local influence was the “Brandywine Tradition”, the illustrative work of Howard Pyle and the generations of Wyeths. He has spent many summers painting in the mid-coast area of Rockland, Maine, Rockport Harbor, and on North Haven Island where his wife’s family owned property adjacent to the famous Boston artist Frank Benson.
Van Hook’s love of the European tradition also began early. He spent two summers during high school filmmaking throughout France and England. This allowed him to visit many of the great museums, and further increased his commitment to become a professional artist.
Following college, he left for Paris and spent nearly a year copying at the Louvre and travelling through France, Italy and Holland making numerous paintings en plein air
. He returned to California, where he continued painting the landscape and figure out of doors. After marriage and the start of a family, George returned to the East Coast, eventually settling in Cambridge, NY, a beautiful nineteenth century village in the Hudson Valley.
“The experience of seeing is the most important part of the process. My aim is to translate that experience onto the canvas. My eyes are so much better at that than the lens of the camera
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