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January 25, 2014

Studying Under the Masters - Antoni Gaudi

Week 2 of Studying Under the Masters:

Artist Junelle Jacobsen presented Antoni Gaudi this week, master architect of Barcelona, Spain.  I never visited Barcelona, but was familiar with Sagrada Familia, his still unfinished Basilica, and some of his other whimsical, energetic, colorful building ornamentation.  There were 15 videos presented (approx. 4 hours), and we learned about Gaudi as a person, as an architect and artist and then saw wonderful examples of his work, both in photos and video.  Junelle then encouraged us to sketch from some of his architecture, paint some of his stained glass in watercolor, abstract his architecture in a painting, and use some of the characteristics of his art/architecture in our own composition.  And we watched her do all of this.   Junelle even translated a Gaudi mosaic in paper for her final art project of the week.

My Week: 

It was great fun to do more research on Antoni Gaudi and watch numerous YouTube videos.  I also looked at Pinterest Boards displaying many photos from Barcelona. 

I sketched a sculpture I loved from a façade on Sagrada Familia and was disappointed to find out that the sculptor was Subirach and not Gaudi.  I also sketched 6 towers from the roof of Casa Battllo - but didn't add the colors.

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I painted one stained glass window complex from Sagrada Familia in watercolor.

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I painted the Nativity façade of the Sagrada Familia in watercolor, making it more abstract and looser than the actual building.

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At the end of this week I couldn't think of anything I could paint and "use the style of" Gaudi's architecture.  And then I thought of New York City water towers that exist on the top of all tall buildings in the City.  What if they were all redesigned by Gaudi?  What a whimsical colorful city we could have.  I took a quick photo yesterday on 23rd St and this morning made it into a Gaudi Water Tower. 

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I am loving this 9 week class.  Each artist is following the same basic structure and providing us with lots of information.  We can feel their enthusiasm and watch them draw, paint, sculpt, collage etc on some of the videos.  And then we can gather all of this together in our brains and create our own art.

Next Week:  Cezanne with Teresa Sheeley. 

Students may still enroll.  Some of the students are planning to work on one artist per month because we have access to the class information and videos for 2 years.

January 21, 2014

Matisse, A Purple Coat, and the 1913 NYC Armory Show

I am posting the paintings that I did over the weekend, ending my week studying under Jeanne Oliver and Matisse, her master artist.  This was week 1 of 9 weeks of online study with 9 contemporary artists and the Master they wanted to study ("Studying Under the Masters").

In my copy of a Matisse painting which I posted previously, I was drawn to paintings in which he had his models wearing the purple coat from his "working library."  Here is a photo of the actual coat that was in the 2005 Matisse exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.  I saw it then, paired with a painting, and never forgot it.  When I found my copy of the photo, I immediately wanted to share it - I think it tells so much about how Matisse's love of textiles influenced his art.

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After painting a copy of a Matisse painting, "Lady in a Purple Coat," my assignment was to use what I learned to paint my own composition.  I resketched one of my figure drawings from the Society of Illustrators and placed her in an environment that made me think about painting Matisse - ish. 

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Matisse at The Armory Show in 1913: 

On Saturday my husband and I went to the NY Historical Society to see "The Armory Show at 100" exhibit. 

The Armory Show in 1913 contained nearly 1400 paintings, drawings, prints, and sculptures - showcasing American artists and introducing a new generation of Modern European Artists that shocked visitors to the exhibit.  Matisse sent 13 paintings (including The Blue Nude and Red Studio), 3 drawings, and 1 sculpture and was the artist that created the most outrage!! 

The Historical Society was able to borrow almost 100 of the original pieces and they have prepared a very scholarly introduction and discussion to the politics of mounting the exhibit and the public reaction that shaped Modern Art as we know it.  Much of the information is available online.

This is an extensive discussion of the Armory Show:  http://armory.nyhistory.org/about/ 

And here is the European Painting section which includes the "outrageous" "beast" Matisse (for my Jeanne Oliver classmates): http://armory.nyhistory.org/category/artworks/ 

And then look at the painting by American artist Robert Chanler in which his parodies the Fauves:

http://armory.nyhistory.org/parody-of-the-fauve-painters/  

While at the exhibit, I sketched a Redon and painted my sketch when I returned home.  Odilon Redon was featured in my Figure Drawing class at FIT this Fall and I never paid attention to him before.  So here is my version of Redon's oil on paper painting called "Silence." 

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January 17, 2014

Studying Under the Masters - Matisse Copy

Class members are expected to copy an original Matisse painting in order to learn the characteristics of his style by doing it.  I watched Jeanne Oliver paint her original Matisse on videos and then chose "Woman in a Purple Coat" from 1937 for my painting.  I loved seeing that purple coat in the 2005 Metropolitan Museum of Art Matisse exhibit and there are at least 3 Matisse paintings of models in that coat on Google Images.  Since I paint with watercolors and have little interest in painting with acrylics at this time, I started with light colors and slowly built up to the dark ones.  I wasn't entirely sure that I could make such a huge transition, and my inner critic told me I was crazy to try using watercolors.  I took 2 photographs during the paintings and one of the final.

Here is the drawing and some paint added (Fabriano Artistico 140 lb hot press paper and Winsor Newton watercolors).

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Here is my work in progress at the end of last evening - out of focus, but can't go back!

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This morning I needed to tweak a few areas, especially the upper left corner, but I decided that I learned as much as I needed and it was time to move on to an original painting using style elements that I learned from Matisse. 

This painting is on 9 X 12 paper which is larger than I work in watercolor - so I was out of my comfort zone for sure. 

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On Monday we begin a week of study with Junelle Jacobsen on on Antonio Gaudi.  I know his architecture from photos, but nothing else, so this should be a steep learning curve for me. 

January 14, 2014

Studying Under the Masters - My New Class

Today was the first day of the first week of the Jeanne Oliver Course that I am taking online.. <jeanneoliver.ning.com>           WOW! 

Jeanne selected Henri Matisse as her Artist and I've already watched over 2 hours of wonderful videos and haven't yet watched more than half of them. 

Each week, for 9 weeks, a different artist selected by Jeanne will present "her Master" through videos and exercises.  We will learn more about the artist, analyze technique, and then paint in the style of their artist.  The goal of the class is to study individual artists so completely and to practice their specific techniques enough that we can use this information to develop our own voice and style.

Matisse is one of my favorite artists and I have sketched from his paintings and drawings in museum exhibits many times (22 times according to my sketchbook index), so listening to her and seeing how she is studying him in depth is fascinating.

Here is the last Matisse painting entry in my sketchbooks - Matisse's oil painting of Lady in Blue, 1937.

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Jeanne is creating a pattern book for herself from Matisse's paintings in the last video I viewed today. I wanted to have at least one sketchbook page to honor the beginning of this wonderful 9 week class. So I went back to images that I made at a 2005 Matisse Exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. 

Matisse: The Fabric of Dreams   His Art and His Textiles    June 23–September 25, 2005

"This is the first exhibition to explore Henri Matisse's (1869–1954) lifelong fascination with textiles and its profound impact on his art. It features forty-five painted works and thirty-one drawings and prints displayed alongside examples from Matisse's personal collection of fabrics, costumes, and carpets. The exhibition marks the first public showing of Matisse's textile collection—referred to by the artist as his "working library"—which has been packed away in family trunks since Matisse's death in 1954."

He used patterns from the first piece of fabric in his collection in many of his paintings (a blue and white toile that he called "Toile de Jouy").   

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And here a color painting of my 2005 pen and ink sketch, some patterns from the Indigo and white toile: 

 

 

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And lastly, here is a painting in which this textile pattern is a major part of the background.

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It is probably not too late to sign up for this online class for anyone that is interested.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

January 11, 2014

Beginning of a New Year

I am celebrating my 20th weekly ballet class after my return to my favorite form of exercise.  I always loved dance - of all kinds - and took ballet classes once or twice a week during many years of my adult life.  But I "lapsed" when I retired and during the summer decided that I had to return - at least for the entire barre part of the class.   

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My friend Teri, a mixed-media artist, told me about two online Art Journal groups she joined for 2014.  I looked carefully at both of them and decided on a "Documented Life" project. 

https://arttothe5th.squarespace.com/ 

I love memoirs and have many ways that I document my life and those in my family - including all of my ancestors back for several hundred years. 

Each week there is a prompt posted, and members create a journal page in a modified Moleskine Weekly Planner.  I love the idea of a weekly prompt, and for years did the weekly Everyday Matters challenge.  But I wanted to draw/paint in ink with watercolor on my favorite watercolor paper.  I tore a sheet of Fabriano Artistica  140 lb extra-white Soft Press paper into folios, made signatures with two folios per signature (i.e. 8 pages), and started the prompts on the first signature.  I have the pages in the signature numbered so I can bind the book, in order, at the end of the year. 

Week 1:  Front Door

I live in a New York City apartment building and sketched and painted the small hall off the elevator and my front door.

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Week 2:  A Selfie

I debated about drawing a self-portrait, but recently did that for my FIT Figure Drawing class.  So instead I sketched and painted "The Selfie of My Dreams."

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