I discovered Winslow homer paintings through fly fishing...(he was an avid angler for necessity, too)
I was interested to know about fly fishing art and so I made a webpage about Homer here.
A Summer Night, 1890 Oil on Canvas, 76,7 x 102cm, Paris, Musée d'Orsay
On the Stile, c. 1878, watercolor, gouache, and graphite on paper. There is a sense of spontaneity and simplicity but what a nice watercolor! A simple, well executed drawing colored with transparent watercolors. I wonder if the children were posing or, as I presume, Homer painted them quickly and finished the details from memory. Homer was an illustrator of the events during the American Civil War (often painting in oil and doing drawings which were then lithographed by others) and so his skills as draftman were coonsiderably enhanced by the dayly practice of sketching from life. Besides, he only strated using colors in 1861 - he was 25.
Homer begun using watercolors in 1873 (when he was 37) to give a change to his monotonous career as an illustrator, reportedly.
The watercolors "...suggested but not literally described". Yes, this is a huge difference from so many "excellent" watercolors that I have seen and which are clearly reproducing a drawing on top of a photograph: the details, especially the higlights in these modern watercolors are so clear and real, so perfect, that the final painting, unlike this one, looks like a watercolor photograph...
Hound and Hunter, 1892, oil on canvas, Gift of Stephen C. Clark
Winslow Homer took a week to paint the hands (see detail below). This is one of his most famous painting. It raised scandal for the rude killing scene of an animal which Homer had to explain was already dead. Hounding was a way of killing deers with dogs forcing the animal into the water and then shoot or club it to death. Critics to this way of hunting would not "see" that this killing was to feed the hunters and not just be a leisure activity...
Of his work, Henry J. James wrote this:
"We frankly confess that we detest his subjects...he has chosen the least pictorial range of scenery and civilization, and has resolutely treated them as if they were pictorial...and, to reward his audacity he has incontestably succeeded".
Sketch for “Hound and Hunter,” 1892, watercolor on paper,
Incoming Tide, Scarboro Maine, 1883, watercolor on paper
Back from a trip to the UK, Winslow Homer settled in what was nearer to the British coast landscape: the area near the Prout's Neck peninsula, in Maine. He started painting the ocean and waves and loved the rough weather conditions.