I am in Chicago for my nephew's wedding. I was not really thrilled about spending my Christmas break in Chicago but it is turning out to be a good thing.
Today we visited the famed Art Institute. I was able to immerse myself in amazing art, visit with family and get lost in the process. The AIC is huge. Their collection is at least equal to if not better than the MET in my opinion. I could have spent at least another day there but the family was done.
My focus today was on the structure and composition of the great painters starting from around the mid-19th century. I was not particularly interested in the Impressionists today although I thoroughly enjoyed Monet's London scenes and Irises. I wanted to focus primarily on the structures and composition of post-impressionist painters. I have decided that I want my thesis to more fully explore the lesser known painting movements such as Symbolism along with some of the fie American and Canadian painters that I feel were neglected from the annals of Art History.
I was struck, literally boiled over by the huge canvasses of Vuilliard. While researching them I learned that they were created to be "painted tapestries". I am the painting nerd who takes photos of the details to see how they handled foliage. Vuilliard did lots of foliage.
I am also interested in the symbolists, the Klimts, the Munchs, the art Nouveau of Mucha and the similarity of these artists to the Group of Seven. There is a stylized method which these artists employ that I think is beautiful.
I will always have a sweet spot for Van Gogh. I was astonished to find two paintings of his that I had never seen...the Drinkers and the Poet's Garden.
I studied Cezanne's compositions and gradations as well as Inness, under the recommendation of Bob. I think I get it now.
I am also quite intrigued by the art that is hanging in our little Airbnb. The textures are great. Mostly non-representational but they are giving me ideas. I thought they might be encaustics at first but alas I believe they are acrylic with the help of some texture gels and such. Something I want to explore when I begin my practice at the studio.
I took photos. I want to revisit some old paintings with a squeegee or some other such tool. The oils I will have to top with more oils but I have that great set that Annelise gave me.
I have ordered some acrylics but I was disappointed in the size. I am ordering some student grade acrylics in at least quart sizes for quick studies. I don't think they will be a problem with the integrity of the surface as long as they are the base layers.
Friday, December 30, 2016
Friday, May 20, 2016
This is Orange and Blue. I painted this large 28x28 close-up of marigolds that were growing in my garden. I am intrigued by marigolds because they are overlooked and considered "common". I don't think the average person pays much attention to them.
I planted them because they are a natural type of pest control. At the time I didn't think they were particularly beautiful until I tried to paint one. This painting was a labor of love and observation. I started with direct observation in the garden. I picked them before the first heavy frost. I photographed them before they wilted. It took months. The yellow-orange color was elusive. I couldn't quite get-it right. I finished it with a Thio violet glaze.
I am intrigued by the symbolism and spirituality associated with the humble marigold. It was named for "Mary's gold", implying most likely the blessed mother. The Mexican people use them for El dia de los Muertos. They decorate shrines and graves with marigolds which are in peak season in late October and early November. They are celebrated in India.
The exploration of certain flowers and plants has lead to more exploration. I find myself researching symbolism in flowers and trees. I think I'm going to continue on this path awhile.