Grant Wood American Artist By Denise Jackson Grant Wood (1891 1942) was born on a farm in a small town in Iowa. He showed an interest in art at a very early age. He often drew pictures with brunt sticks his mother
gave him from her stove. Grant loved living on the family farm and enjoyed his family chores and had his own goats, chickens, ducks and turkeys. Unfortunately Grant Woods father died when he was ten and his family moved to the nearby city of Cedar Rapids.
The move was very hard on Grant. He missed his farm pets and he had trouble fitting in with the other kids in his school. Because of his good sense of humor and his drawing talent things eventually got better for Grant. After Grant graduated from high school he took art classes, taught art, made jewelry, learned carpentry, and took care of his mother
and sister, Nan. He loved making things and worked slowly and carefully. Grant was able to use his artistic skills in WWI painted camouflage on the tanks and cannons. Grant began painting like many
other artists of that time. He used short brush strokes and lots of bright colors but he wanted to find a way or style of painting all his own. He became inspired by 15th century painters Durer and Has Memling. He liked how smooth their brush strokes were and the
way they painted everyday people. Grant decided to paint the people he knew and loved like the way the old masters did. Grant thought the
people and places he knew while growing up in Iowa was as beautiful as the subjects the old Masters painted. Grant Wood painted his mother
as a strong and loving frontier woman. He placed her in a farm landscape, and paid close attention to details. People all over Iowa were proud
of Grants portrait of his mother. It was the first painting about the Midwest that seemed to be painted by someone that understood the
people there. Thomas Hart Benton John Steuart Curry Some other American artists began to paint activities in the Midwestern regions where they lived. This art became known as Regionalism. Grant Woods paintings show the love he had for the
people and customs of the Midwestern United States. Grant kept working on his new style of painting and soon created his most famous picture, American Gothic. He got his inspiration for this painting from an old American farmhouse with a European Gothic architecture style window. He chose his dentist and sister, Nan, as the farmer and his daughter.
Grant wood entered American Gothic into a big art show in Chicago and received third place. He enjoyed painting people he had known all his life and was surprised by all the attention it got. Some
people thought he was making fun of farmers while others thought he was honoring them. Grants paintings were painted during the Great Depression. It was a hard time in History for the U.S. The depression caused many people to lose their jobs and savings. It made people feel better to look at Grants paintings of
beautiful farm lands and proud, hard working families who helped make America great. Grant Wood died in 1942. After searching the art centers of Europe, Grant had finally realized that the best place to create art was right in his own backyard. To Grant there really was no place like home!
Grant Woods landscape paintings show great depth. He places the horizon line high on the canvas. Larger, more detailed items are located near the bottom of the picture with smaller, less detailed items higher on the painting. A change in color intensity as the scene moves back into space with many things overlapped, all help to show the illusion of space. Bibliography Getting to Know the Worlds Greatest
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