Friday, March 20, 2015

Helen Loggie: Orcas Island by Pencil and Etching Needle

Helen Loggie
Portrait of the Artist as a Young Woman
1895-1976
Helen Loggie was a nationally recognized artist who lovingly portrayed her native Washington State. She recorded the dense vegetation, gnarled trees, meadows, and surrounding areas from her home on Orcas Island with passion as she spoke of the "earth which was somehow part of every drop of my blood and every thought in my brain." 

The daughter of a prominent lumberman, Loggie was raised in the lumber and fishing town of New Whatcom. She wrote that she "never saw a gallery or an art school until I was a sophomore in college." She attended Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts during the years 1915 to 1917 and at the Art Students League in New York from 1917 to 1919 where she studied under Robert Henri with the intention to study portraiture. During her years of study at the League, she created urban realist scenes of everyday life in New York that were a popular genre at that time. She continued to study privately with John Taylor Arms, with whom she later collaborated over a twenty-five year period, and spent time working in France and Italy from 1926 to 1927, where she created an extensive body of sketches and paintings. 

Helen Loggie
Carriage Entering a City Park
ca. 1918
Etching
Lambiel Museum, Seattle Washington
Helen Loggie
Wooden Madonna
ca. 1926
Graphite
9 13/16 x 7 3/8
Lambiel Museum, Seattle Washington
Loggie returned to Washington and settled in Bellingham where she maintained a second home on Orcas Island, and where she spent much of her time. She claimed, "I’m a Northwest artist, and the cathedrals of the Northwest are the trees."

Helen Loggie
Unk and Es
ca. 1918
Etching
Lambiel Museum, Seattle Washington
Helen Loggie
Shuksan in Winter
ca. 1935
Etching
The Lambiel Museum, Seattle, Washington
Although Loggie worked on other subjects, such as a long series on the circus, she devoted much of her time to trees in landscape settings, mostly the rugged coastline of Washington. In 1969, an article in American Artist magazine featured a portfolio of her nature series done in carbon pencil, which combines the smoothness of graphite and rich blacks of charcoal. Her last etching, Hosanna, was created in 1960. 

Her exhibition history includes one-woman shows at the Seattle Art Museum in 1939; the Smithsonian Instituion, the National Museum, Washington, D.C. in 1944; the Norfolk Museum, Norfolk, Virginia in 1965; Whatcom Museum of History and Art, Bellingham, 1979; and Western Washington University, Bellingham, 1993. 
Helen Loggie
The King Goblin
ca. 1936
Carbon Pencil Drawing
The Lambiel Museum, Seattle Washington
Her participation in various group exhibitions included the Paris Exhibition, 1937; Venice Biennial, 1940; Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C. 1940; Whitney and Metropolitan Museums, New York, 1942; Library of Congress, 1942, 43 and 52; National Academy of Design, New York, 1949-1969; and the Royal Society of Painters, Etchers, and Engravers, London, 1954.

Helen Loggie
Baby Islands
ca. 1940
Etching
9.5 x 6.65 inches
The Lambiel Museum, Seattle Washington
Loggie received awards from the Library of Congress, Pennell Competition of 1943, the Chicago Society of Etchers in 1956, and the National Academy of Design in the years 1955, 1960, 1964, and 1969.
One of her most prestigious awards was the election to the National Academy of Design as an Associate in 1949, and as a full Academician in 1971. The following year, Loggie was recognized by her home state and receive the Washington State Arts Commission Governor's Award for lifetime achievement in art.

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Sources
American Women Modernists, The Legacy of Robert Henri, 1910-1945, Marian Wardle, ed., Brigham Young University Museum of Art in Association with Rutgers University Press, New Jersey, 2005, p. 24.
An Encyclopedia of Women Artists of the American West, Phil Kovnick and Marian Yoshiki-Kovnick, University of Texas Press, Austin, 1998, pp 191-192.
Seattle Met, Helen Loggie, the Orcas Artist, http://www.seattlemet.com/travel-and-outdoors/everything-guide-to-the-san-juan-islands/articles/helen-loggie-the-orcas-artist-august-2014. Retrieved March 21, 2015.
Helen Amanda Loggie, http://www.askart.com/askart/l/helen_amanda_loggie/helen_amanda_loggie.aspx, Retrieved March 21, 2015.
The Lambiel Museum, Loggie Gallery, http://lambielmuseum.org/loggie/loggie-07.html, retrieved March 21, 2015.