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collections > permanent collection > paintings > david armstrong
 
David Armstrong David Armstrong
(American, 1947-1998)
Pasture Spring, 1976
Watercolor on paper, 43” x 29”
Gift of Harold H. Stream III (85.003)

Known for his large and highly detailed watercolor paintings, David Armstrong combines intense observation with the introspective poetry of Andrew Wyeth and his own mentor, Eric Sloane.  A mood of quiet strength pervades works such as Pasture Spring, which depicts an anonymous corner of farmland dominated by a grand old tree. Faintly anthropomorphic, the tree raises its branches skyward, as if supporting the heavens themselves.  Tacked to its mighty trunk, a faded sign and a tumbledown fence contrast the enduring power of nature with the evanescent workings of Man, a theme that sympathizes with Armstrong’s own efforts as a conservationist.

Born in Kent, Connecticut, in 1947, Armstrong turned to art as a result of boyhood rambles on his father’s sheep farm.  His training included a summer at Maine’s Skowhegan School of Painting in 1966, followed by coursework at Bucknell University and Indiana University.  After graduating with the degree of MFA from the latter in 1971, Armstrong went on to a successful career that included museum exhibitions at the Pennsylvania State Museum and the Butler Institute of American Art in Youngstown, Ohio.