2002 - Volume 33, Issue 1
Living History at The Whaley House!
The Theatre at the Whaley House is getting a new "old" look! Celebrated Old Town banjoist Chris Ownby will be painting a 19th century stage backdrop for San Diego's oldest professional theatre, a scenic landscape, such as was documented on period stages. Wearing 19th century clothing, he will use traditional painting methods, first blocking in the painting using raw umber and white, and then adding the color in a glaze on top of this "underpainting." Some of the artists, whose work he will be using as influences, are American Thomas Cole (1801-1848), British Thomas Gainsborough (1727-1788), French artists Jean-Honor'e Fragonard (1732-1806) and Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot (1796-1875).
Mr. Ownby's background is in art and music. He has worked both as a graphic artist and as a fine artist using oil on canvas, and was featured in American Artist Magazine in 1989. His paintings are owned by art collectors from California to New York. He also worked as a full time musician for 12 years, and has been a reenactor for more than 20 years. While living in the South, he portrayed a Civil War sketch artist for Leslie's Illustrated Newspaper, and also did portraits in oil of other reenactors. In Old Town San Diego State Historic Park, he portrays a musician who came to California during the Gold Rush period.
During the months of April and May, Chris will be at the Whaley House as a volunteer, painting the stage backdrop and playing music of the 1860's, such as that performed by the Tanner Troupe. Please drop by for the free concerts and to see the work in process, Mondays, Thursdays and Fridays, beginning at 10am.
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