Reviews for Breaking waves :Winslow Homer paints the sea (J/Book)

Kirkus
Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Emphasizing 19th-century American artist Winslow Homer’s life in Prouts Neck, Maine, this picture book explores Homer’s love of painting the ocean. Winslow Homer was a successful American artist in his lifetime, and when he was 47, he left New York City to move to a southern Maine peninsula jutting out into the Atlantic Ocean. Here, in his converted carriage house/studio, he spent his time observing the sea and painting its moods. Rather than a biography, this book presents a contemplation on the fascination Homer felt for the Atlantic and the rocky shore—the inspiration for his well-known seascapes. Interspersing Homer’s actual words with imagined daily activities, Burleigh’s text brings readers into the artist’s sensibility and creative process. The watercolor-and-gouache illustrations (a medium that Homer also employed) stay within Homer’s palette in their color choices and are rendered in a loose, sketchy style. Both the style and the palette choice are effective creative decisions, delivering to the story a cumulative ambiance of an artist at work indoors and out, sketching, planning, seeing, and trying. Limiting the storyline to Homer in Prouts Neck effectively encapsulates Homer’s fascination with painting the sea while underscoring his dedication to his art. Extensive backmatter gives further detail about Homer’s life and travels, taking care to note his paintings that include African Americans (subjects not usually included in 19th-century American fine art). Quite authentically Homer. (Informational picture book. 6-10) Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

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