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Singer Letters : Painting with Words

uniformed man seated, leaning against a tree and working on a watercolor painting

Painting with Words

Arthur wrote letters to his wife that described some of his work as he was creating it, which gives us insight into the areas where he worked, and what he hoped to convey in his art. Here are some examples.

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Christmas card showing a large green tree and an aerial view of a town, with the word NOEL above it

October 20, 1944

I guess I’ve been too busy just making pictures to have given much thought to Christmas cards, like George did. I’m afraid a design I might make would be too sophisticated to go over very big. I have some swell ideas for Xmas cards, however, even at this late date.

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watercolor portrait of the face of a balding mustached white man

November 29, 1944

Last night the movie was a stinker so as I told you I stayed upstairs and wrote three letters. After that I worked on a portrait of Harry Gottesman. Harry is a swell guy and he has been sitting for me for a few nights while I experiment.

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a winter scene of a town with snow on the ground, from a high vantage point

January 17, 1945

I worked until I had to return and as I worked a little five year old boy was by my side every minute. He was one of the prettiest looking kids that I’ve ever seen and I thoroughly enjoyed his company. And what a face for a portrait – no wonder Renoir was so inspired by little French children.

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watercolor portrait of the face of a man in uniform against floral wallpaper

January 19, 1945

I’ve always wanted to do a watercolor portrait of Sgt Timberman and I finally got to it last night. The lights went out before it was completed but I finished almost all of the head. It’s the best so far! You’ll see it soon. I enjoyed doing it very much.

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a chair under a skylight in a stone room with art hanging on the walls

April 13, 1945

We were out for more than three hours when the day began to grow gray. We finished our work and returned to the quarters. When we got back we had a swell feast on the contents of the packages both of us had received. Then I went up to the attic and did some work on a picture I had just started a couple of days previously.

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