Day 314- Ernst Ludwig Kirchner- Allegories

It’s Day 314 and today’s piece is a little sunnier than yesterday’s but just as fun to create!  I love the style and colors of today’s painting.  Join me in honoring Ernst Ludwig Kirchner today.  Although today’s art is sunny, the artist’s story is still a sad one.

Ernst Ludwig Kirchner

Ernst Ludwig Kirchner

Ernst Ludwig Kirchner

Ernst Ludwig Kirchner

Ernst Ludwig Kirchner was a driving force in the Die Brücke group that flourished in Dresden and Berlin before World War I, and he has come to be seen as one of the most talented and influential of Germany’s Expressionists. Motivated by the same anxieties that gripped the movement as a whole – fears about humanity’s place in the modern world, its lost feelings of spirituality and authenticity – Kirchner had conflicting attitudes to the past and present.

An admirer of Albrecht Dürer, he revived the old art of woodblock printing, and saw himself in the German tradition, yet he rejected academic styles and was inspired by the modern city. After the war, illness drove him to settle in Davos, Switzerland, where he painted many landscapes, and, ultimately, he found himself ostracized from mainstream German art. When the Nazis rose to power in the early 1930s he was also a victim of their campaign against “Degenerate Art.” Depressed and ill, he eventually committed suicide.

The human figure was central to Kirchner’s art. It was vital to the pictures that took his

Ernst Ludwig Kirchner

Ernst Ludwig Kirchner

studio as their backdrop – pictures in which he captured models posing as well as aspects of his bohemian life. For Kirchner, the studio was an important nexus where art and life met. But the figure also informed his images of Berlin, in which the demeanor of figures in the street often seemed more important than the surrounding cityscape. And, most commonly, he depicted the figure in movement, since he believed that this better expressed the fullness and vitality of the human body.

Fränzi vor geschnitztem Stuhl- Ernst Ludwig Kirchner

Fränzi vor geschnitztem Stuhl- Ernst Ludwig Kirchner

Kirchner’s Expressionistic handling of paint represented a powerful reaction against theImpressionism that was dominant in German painting when he first emerged. For him, it marked a reaction against the staid civility of bourgeois life. He would always deny that he was influenced by other artists, yet Henri Matisse and Edvard Munch were clearly important in shaping his style. Fauvism was particularly significant in directing his palette, encouraging him to use flat areas of unbroken, often unmixed color and simplified forms.

Kirchner believed that powerful forces – enlivening yet also destructive – dwelt beneath the veneer of Western civilization, and he believed that creativity offered a means of harnessing them. This outlook shaped the way in which he depicted men and women in his pictures, as people who often seem at war with themselves or their environment. It also encouraged his interest in Primitive art, in particular that of the Pacific Islands, for he considered that this work offered a more direct picture of those elemental energies. Primitive art was also important in directing Kirchner to a more simplified treatment of form. Primitive sculpture undoubtedly inspired his own approach to the medium and his love of rough-hewn, partially painted surfaces.

Ernst Ludwig Kirchner was born on May 6, 1880 in Aschaffenburg, Bavaria, and began studying architecture at the Dresden Technical

Ernst Ludwig Kirchner

Ernst Ludwig Kirchner

High School in 1901 at the encouragement of his parents. While attending classes, he became close friends with Fritz Bleyl, who shared his radical outlook on art and nature. During this time, Kirchner chose to dedicate himself to fine art rather than architecture.

In 1905, Kirchner and Bleyl, along with fellow architecture students Karl Schmidt-Rottluff and Erich Heckel, founded the artist group Die Brücke (“The Bridge.”) The aim was to eschew traditional academic styles and to create a new mode of artistic expression, forming a “bridge” between classical motifs of the past and the present avant-garde. Die Brücke expressed extreme emotion through crude lines and a vibrant, unnatural color palette.

Do Do with Large Fan- Ernst Ludwig Kirchner

Do Do with Large Fan- Ernst Ludwig Kirchner

The group would meet in an old butcher’s shop that served as Kirchner’s studio to practice figure drawing. (Studio meetings, however, would often devolve into casual lovemaking and general nudity.) Much of the artwork created by Die Brücke was a direct response to the graphic work of Albrecht Dürer and the bold color palette of the Neo-Impressionists. Kirchner held a particular interest in the woodcarvings of Dürer, and sought to modernize them with his own unique style of pared-down lines and dynamic compositions.

Ernst Ludwig Kirchner was a leading force behind the Expressionist movement in Germany. Since 1913, his work has gained international recognition, extending its popularity into America. His art captures German culture at a critical point in pre-World War I history. Although his work speaks to a specific culture, his expressive skill as a painter and printmaker has influenced generations. Many attempt to emulate Kirchner’s distorted sense of perspective. The graphic, agitated lines and highly-keyed color palette are timeless and distinct to the artist. Kirchner’s work continues to be exhibited and sold around the world. It has also been a significant influence on new generations of Expressionists, including artists such as Georg Baselitz and Jörg Immendorf.

Quotes

“My paintings are allegories not portraits.”

“The heaviest burden of all is the pressure of the war and the increasing superficiality. It gives me incessantly the impression of a bloody carnival. I feel as though the outcome is in the air and everything is topsy-turvy.. All the same, I keep on trying to get some order in my

Self-portrait as a Soldier- Ernst Ludwig Kirchner

Self-portrait as a Soldier- Ernst Ludwig Kirchner

thoughts and to create a picture of the age out of confusion, which is after all my function.”

“It seems as though the goal of my work has always been to dissolve myself completely into the sensations of the surroundings in order to then integrate this into a coherent painterly form.”

“All art needs this visible world and will always need it. Quite simply because, being accessible to all, it is the key to all other worlds.”

Biography is from www.theartstory.org.

I hope you enjoy my painting today!  I love painting with these colors and there’s this kind of abandon with painting such bold strokes and colors.  I will see you tomorrow on Day 315!  Then it’s only 50 paintings to go.  Whew.

Best,

Linda

Mädchen in Einem Grünen Zimmer- Tribute to Ernst Ludwig Kirchner Acrylic on Canvas

Mädchen in Einem Grünen Zimmer- Tribute to Ernst Ludwig Kirchner
Acrylic on Canvas

Side-View Mädchen in Einem Grünen Zimmer- Tribute to Ernst Ludwig Kirchner Acrylic on Canvas

Side-View
Mädchen in Einem Grünen Zimmer- Tribute to Ernst Ludwig Kirchner
Acrylic on Canvas

Close-Up 1 Mädchen in Einem Grünen Zimmer- Tribute to Ernst Ludwig Kirchner Acrylic on Canvas

Close-Up 1
Mädchen in Einem Grünen Zimmer- Tribute to Ernst Ludwig Kirchner
Acrylic on Canvas

Close-Up 2 Mädchen in Einem Grünen Zimmer- Tribute to Ernst Ludwig Kirchner Acrylic on Canvas

Close-Up 2
Mädchen in Einem Grünen Zimmer- Tribute to Ernst Ludwig Kirchner
Acrylic on Canvas

Close-Up 3 Mädchen in Einem Grünen Zimmer- Tribute to Ernst Ludwig Kirchner Acrylic on Canvas

Close-Up 3
Mädchen in Einem Grünen Zimmer- Tribute to Ernst Ludwig Kirchner
Acrylic on Canvas

Day 290- Kathe Kollwitz- Let Not Another Man Fall

It’s Day 290 and my friend Paul asked me if I had paid tribute to today’s artist and I hadn’t even heard of her.  I decided to do some research and she’s amazing.  I was also excited to attempt a charcoal portrait since I don’t have much experience (except my first year of art school) with that medium.  I had tons of fun and got really dirty.  Join me in honoring Kathe Kollwitz today.

Kathe Kollwitz

Kathe Kollwitz

Kathe Kollwitz- Woodcut

Kathe Kollwitz- Woodcut

Käthe Kollwitz (8 July 1867 – 22 April 1945) was a German painter, printmaker, and sculptor whose work offered an eloquent and often searing account of the human condition, and the tragedy of war, in the first half of the 20th century. Her empathy for the less fortunate, expressed most famously through the graphic means of drawing, etching, lithography, and woodcut, embraced the victims of poverty, hunger, and war. Initially her work was grounded in Naturalism, and later took on Expressionistic qualities.

Kollwitz was born as Käthe Schmidt in Königsberg (now Kaliningrad, Russia), East Prussia, the fifth child in her family. Her father, Karl Schmidt, was a radical Social democrat

Mother with Two Children- Kathe Kollwitz

Mother with Two Children- Kathe Kollwitz

who became a mason and house builder. Her mother, Katherina Schmidt, was the daughter of Julius Rupp, a Lutheran pastor who was expelled from the official Evangelical State Church in Prussia and founded an independent congregation. Her education was greatly influenced by her grandfather’s lessons in religion and socialism.

Recognizing her talent, Kollwitz’s father arranged for her to begin lessons in drawing and copying plaster casts when she was twelve. At sixteen she began

Widows and Orphans- Kathe Kollwitz

Widows and Orphans- Kathe Kollwitz

making drawings of working people, the sailors and peasants she saw in her father’s offices. Wishing to continue her studies at a time when no colleges or academies were open to young women, Kollwitz enrolled in an art school for women in Berlin. There she studied with Karl Stauffer-Bern, a friend of the artist Max Klinger. The etchings of Klinger, their technique and social concerns, were an inspiration to Kollwitz.

At the age of seventeen, Kollwitz became engaged to Karl Kollwitz, a medical student. In 1888, she went to Munich to study at the Women’s Art School, where she realized her strength was not as a painter, but a draughtsman. In 1890, she returned to Königsberg, rented her first studio, and continued to draw labourers.

In 1891, Kollwitz married Karl, by this time a doctor, who tended to the poor in

Germany's Children Are Starving- Kathe Kollwitz

Germany’s Children Are Starving- Kathe Kollwitz

Berlin, where the couple moved into the large apartment that would be Kollwitz’s home until it was destroyed in World War II. The proximity of her husband’s practice proved invaluable:

“The motifs I was able to select from this milieu (the workers’ lives) offered me, in a simple and forthright way, what I discovered to be beautiful…. People from the bourgeois sphere were altogether without appeal or interest. All middle-class life seemed pedantic to me. On the other hand, I felt the proletariat had guts. It was not until much later…when I got to know the women who would come to my husband for help, and incidentally also to me, that I was powerfully moved by the fate of the proletariat and everything connected with its way of life…. But what I would like to emphasize once more is that compassion and commiseration were at first of very little importance in attracting me to the representation of proletarian life; what mattered was simply that I found it beautiful.”

Survivors- Kathe Kollwitz

Survivors- Kathe Kollwitz

It is believed Kollwitz suffered from anxiety during her childhood due to the death of her siblings, including the early death of her younger brother, Benjamin. More recent research suggests that Kollwitz may have suffered from a childhood neurological disorder called Alice in Wonderland syndrome, commonly associated with migraines and sensory hallucinations.

Between the births of her sons — Hans in 1892 and Peter in 1896 — Kollwitz saw a performance of Gerhart Hauptmann’s The Weavers, which dramatized the oppression of the Silesian weavers in Langembielau and their failed revolt in 1842. Inspired, the artist ceased work on a series of etchings she had intended to illustrate Émile Zola’s Germinal, and produced a cycle of six works on the weavers theme, three lithographs (PovertyDeath, and Conspiracy) and three etchings with aquatint and sandpaper (March of the WeaversRiot, and The End). Not a literal illustration of the drama, the works were a free and naturalistic expression of the workers’ misery, hope, courage, and, eventually, doom. The cycle was exhibited publicly in 1898 to wide acclaim. But when Adolf Menzel nominated her work for the gold medal of the Große Deutsche Kunstausstellung in Berlin, Kaiser Wilhelm II withheld his approval. Nevertheless, The Weavers became Kollwitz’ most widely acclaimed work.

Kollwitz’s second major cycle of works was the Peasant War, which, subject to many preliminary drawings and discarded ideas in

Self-Portrait- Kathe Kollwitz

Self-Portrait- Kathe Kollwitz

lithography, occupied her from 1902 to 1908. The German Peasants’ War was a violent revolution which took place in Southern Germany in the early years of the Reformation, beginning in 1525; peasants who had been treated as slaves took arms against feudal lords and the church. As was The Weavers, this subject, too, might have been suggested by a Hauptmann drama, Florian Geyer. However, the initial source of Kollwitz’s interest dated to her youth, when she and her brother Konrad playfully imagined themselves as barricade fighters in a revolution. The artist identified with the character of Black Anna, a woman cited as a protagonist in the uprising. When completed, the Peasant Warconsisted of pieces in etching, aquatint, and soft ground: PlowingRapedSharpening the ScytheArming in the VaultOutbreakAfter the Battle (which, eerily premonitory, features a mother searching through corpses in the night, looking for her son), and The Prisoners. In all, the works were technically more impressive than those of The Weavers, owing to their greater size and dramatic command of light and shadow. They are Kollwitz’s highest achievements as an etcher.

Kathe Kollwitz

Kathe Kollwitz

While working on Peasant War, Kollwitz twice visited Paris, and enrolled in classes at the Académie Julian in order to learn how to sculpt. The etching Outbreak was awarded the Villa Romana prize, which provided for a year’s stay, in 1907, in a studio in Florence. Although Kollwitz did no work, she later recalled the impact of early Renaissance art.

After her return, Kollwitz continued to exhibit her work, but was impressed by the work of younger compatriots—the Expressionists andBauhaus—and resolved to simplify her means of expression. Subsequent works such as Runover, 1910, and Self-Portrait, 1912, show this new direction. She also continued to work on sculpture.

Kollwitz lost her youngest son, Peter, on the battlefield in World War I in October 1914, prompting a prolonged depression. By the end of the year she had made drawings for a monument to Peter and his fallen comrades; she destroyed the monument in 1919 and began again in 1925. The memorial, titled The Grieving Parents, was finally completed and placed in the Belgian cemetery of Roggevelde in 1932. Later, when Peter’s grave was moved to the nearby Vladslo German war cemetery, the statues were also moved.

In 1917, on her fiftieth birthday, the galleries of Paul Cassirer provided a retrospective exhibition of one hundred and fifty drawings by

Self Portrait with Hand on Brow- Kathe Kollwitz

Self Portrait with Hand on Brow- Kathe Kollwitz

Kollwitz.

Kollwitz was a committed socialist and pacifist, who was eventually attracted to communism; her political and social sympathies found expression in the “memorial sheet for Karl Liebknecht” and in her involvement with the Arbeitsrat für Kunst, a part of the Social Democratic Party government in the first few weeks after the war. As the war wound down and a nationalistic appeal was made for old men and children to join the fighting, Kollwitz implored in a published statement:

“There has been enough of dying! Let not another man fall!”

Beggars- Kathe Kollwitz

Beggars- Kathe Kollwitz

While working on the sheet for Karl Liebknecht, she found etching insufficient for expressing monumental ideas. After viewing woodcuts by Ernst Barlach at the Secessionexhibitions, she completed the Liebknecht sheet in the new medium and made about thirty woodcuts by 1926.

In 1920 Kollwitz was elected a member of the Prussian Academy of Arts, the first woman to be so honored. Membership entailed a regular income, a large studio, and a full professorship.

In 1933, after the establishment of the National-Socialist regime, the Nazi Party authorities forced her to resign her place on the faculty of the Akademie der Künste following her support of the Dringender Appell. Her work was removed from museums. Although she was banned from exhibiting, one of her “mother and child” pieces was used by the Nazis for propaganda.

Working now in a smaller studio, in the mid-1930s she completed her last major cycle of lithographs, Death, which consisted of eight stones: Woman Welcoming DeathDeath with Girl in LapDeath Reaches for a Group of ChildrenDeath Struggles with a WomanDeath on the HighwayDeath as a FriendDeath in the Water, and The Call of Death.

In July 1936, she and her husband were visited by the Gestapo, who threatened her with arrest and deportation to a Nazi concentration

Kathe Kollwitz

Kathe Kollwitz

camp; they resolved to commit suicide if such a prospect became inevitable. However, Kollwitz was by now a figure of international note, and no further action was taken. On her seventieth birthday, she “received over one hundred and fifty telegrams from leading personalities of the art world”, as well as offers to house her in the United States, which she declined for fear of provoking reprisals against her family.

She outlived her husband (who died from an illness in 1940) and her grandson Peter, who died in action in World War II two years later.

She was evacuated from Berlin in 1943. Later that year, her house was bombed and many drawings, prints, and documents were lost. She moved first to Nordhausen, then to Moritzburg, a town near Dresden, where she lived her final months as a guest of Prince Ernst Heinrich of Saxony. Kollwitz died just before the end of the war.

Kollwitz made a total of 275 prints, in etching, woodcut and lithography. Virtually the only portraits she made during her life were images of herself, of which there are at least fifty. These self-portraits constitute a lifelong honest self-appraisal; “they are psychological milestones”.

Partial biography is from wikipedia.

I decided just to do a self portrait and not make a commentary on anything political.  Although the more I think about it, I should’ve at least done a portrait of me in pain…crying or something.  I love the story of this artist’s life and I think her artwork is harrowingly beautiful and haunting.  I will see you tomorrow on Day 291!

Best,

Linda

Self-Portrait- Tribute to Kathe Kollwitz Linda Cleary 2014 Stain & Charcoal on Canvas

Self-Portrait- Tribute to Kathe Kollwitz
Linda Cleary 2014
Stain & Charcoal on Canvas

Side-View Self-Portrait- Tribute to Kathe Kollwitz Linda Cleary 2014 Stain & Charcoal on Canvas

Side-View
Self-Portrait- Tribute to Kathe Kollwitz
Linda Cleary 2014
Stain & Charcoal on Canvas

Close-Up 1 Self-Portrait- Tribute to Kathe Kollwitz Linda Cleary 2014 Stain & Charcoal on Canvas

Close-Up 1
Self-Portrait- Tribute to Kathe Kollwitz
Linda Cleary 2014
Stain & Charcoal on Canvas

Close-Up 2 Self-Portrait- Tribute to Kathe Kollwitz Linda Cleary 2014 Stain & Charcoal on Canvas

Close-Up 2
Self-Portrait- Tribute to Kathe Kollwitz
Linda Cleary 2014
Stain & Charcoal on Canvas

Close-Up 3 Self-Portrait- Tribute to Kathe Kollwitz Linda Cleary 2014 Stain & Charcoal on Canvas

Close-Up 3
Self-Portrait- Tribute to Kathe Kollwitz
Linda Cleary 2014
Stain & Charcoal on Canvas

 

Day 287- Henri Matisse- “Creativity Takes Courage”

It’s Day 287 and I cannot believe that I haven’t done today’s artist yet.  I could’ve sworn I had done him and I had to search my blog a few times just to make sure!  Join me in honoring Henri Matisse today.

Henri Matisse 1933

Henri Matisse 1933

Woman with a Hat- Henri Matisse

Woman with a Hat- Henri Matisse

Henri-Émile-Benoît Matisse (French: [ɑ̃ʁi matis]; 31 December 1869 – 3 November 1954) was a French artist, known for his use of colour and his fluid and original draughtsmanship. He was a draughtsman, printmaker, and sculptor, but is known primarily as a painter. Matisse is commonly regarded, along with Pablo Picasso and Marcel Duchamp, as one of the three artists who helped to define the revolutionary developments in the plastic arts in the opening decades of the twentieth century, responsible for significant developments in painting and sculpture.

Although he was initially labelled a Fauve (wild beast), by the 1920s he was increasingly hailed as an upholder of the classical tradition in French painting. His mastery of the expressive language of colour and drawing, displayed in a body of work spanning over a half-century, won him recognition as a leading figure in modern art.

Matisse was born in Le Cateau-Cambrésis, in the Nord department in northern France, the oldest son of a prosperous grain merchant. He grew up in Bohain-en-Vermandois, Picardie, France. In 1887 he went to Paris to study law, working as a court administrator in Le Cateau-Cambrésis after gaining his qualification. He first started to paint in 1889, after his mother brought him art

Henri Matisse- Portrait of Lydia

Henri Matisse- Portrait of Lydia

supplies during a period of convalescence following an attack of appendicitis. He discovered “a kind of paradise” as he later described it, and decided to become an artist, deeply disappointing his father. In 1891 he returned to Paris to study art at the Académie Julian and became a student of William-Adolphe Bouguereau and Gustave Moreau. Initially he painted still lifes and landscapes in a traditional style, at which he achieved reasonable proficiency. Matisse was influenced by the works of earlier masters such as Jean-Baptiste-Siméon Chardin, Nicolas Poussin, and Antoine Watteau, as well as by modern artists, such as Édouard Manet, and by Japanese art. Chardin was one of the painters Matisse most admired; as an art student he made copies of four of Chardin’s paintings in the Louvre.

Algerian Woman- Matisse

Algerian Woman- Matisse

In 1896 and 1897, Matisse visited the Australian painter John Peter Russell on the island Belle Île off the coast of Brittany. Russell introduced him to Impressionism and to the work of van Gogh, who had been a friend of Russell but was completely unknown at the time. Matisse’s style changed completely. He would later say “Russell was my teacher, and Russell explained colour theory to me.” In 1896 Matisse exhibited five paintings in the salon of the Société Nationale des Beaux-Arts, two of which were purchased by the state.

With the model Caroline Joblau, he had a daughter, Marguerite, born in 1894. In 1898 he married Amélie Noellie Parayre; the two raised Marguerite together and had two sons, Jean (born 1899) and Pierre (born 1900). Marguerite and Amélie often served as models for Matisse.

In 1898, on the advice of Camille Pissarro, he went to London to study the paintings of J. M. W. Turner and then went on a trip to Corsica. Upon his return to Paris in February 1899, he worked beside Albert Marquet and met André Derain, Jean Puy, and Jules Flandrin. Matisse

Harmony in Red- Henri Matisse

Harmony in Red- Henri Matisse

immersed himself in the work of others and went into debt from buying work from painters he admired. The work he hung and displayed in his home included a plaster bust by Rodin, a painting by Gauguin, a drawing by van Gogh, and Cézanne’s Three Bathers. In Cézanne’s sense of pictorial structure and colour, Matisse found his main inspiration.

Many of Matisse’s paintings from 1898 to 1901 make use of a Divisionist technique he adopted after reading Paul Signac’s essay, “D’Eugène Delacroix au Néo-impressionisme”. His paintings of 1902–03, a period of material hardship for the artist, are comparatively somber and reveal a preoccupation with form. Having made his first attempt at sculpture, a copy after Antoine-Louis Barye, in 1899, he devoted much of his energy to working in clay, completing The Slave in 1903.

Gipsy Woman- Henri Matisse

Gipsy Woman- Henri Matisse

Fauvism as a style began around 1900 and continued beyond 1910. The movement as such lasted only a few years, 1904–1908, and had three exhibitions. The leaders of the movement were Matisse and André Derain. Matisse’s first solo exhibition was at Ambroise Vollard’s gallery in 1904, without much success. His fondness for bright and expressive colour became more pronounced after he spent the summer of 1904 painting in St. Tropez with the neo-Impressionists Signac and Henri-Edmond Cross.[15] In that year he painted the most important of his works in the neo-Impressionist style, Luxe, Calme et Volupté.[15] In 1905 he travelled southwards again to work with André Derain at Collioure. His paintings of this period are characterised by flat shapes and controlled lines, using pointillism in a less rigorous way than before.

Matisse and a group of artists now known as “Fauves” exhibited together in a room at the Salon d’Automne in 1905. The paintings expressed emotion with wild, often dissonant colours, without regard for the subject’s natural colours. Matisse showed Open Window and Woman with the Hat at the Salon. Critic Louis Vauxcelles described the work with the phrase “Donatello parmi les fauves!” (Donatello among the wild beasts), referring to a Renaissance-type sculpture that shared the room with them.

His comment was printed on 17 October 1905 in Gil Blas, a daily newspaper, and passed into popular usage. The exhibition garnered

Portrait of Madame Matisse (Green Stripe), 1905- Henri Matisse

Portrait of Madame Matisse (Green Stripe), 1905- Henri Matisse

harsh criticism—”A pot of paint has been flung in the face of the public”, said the critic Camille Mauclair—but also some favourable attention. When the painting that was singled out for special condemnation, Matisse’s Woman with a Hat, was bought by Gertrude and Leo Stein, the embattled artist’s morale improved considerably.

Matisse was recognised as a leader of the Fauves, along with André Derain; the two were friendly rivals, each with his own followers. Other members were Georges Braque, Raoul Dufy, and Maurice de Vlaminck. The Symbolist painter Gustave Moreau (1826–1898) was the movement’s inspirational teacher. As a professor at the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris, he pushed his students to think outside of the lines of formality and to follow their visions.

Joy of Life- Henri Matisse

Joy of Life- Henri Matisse

In 1907 Guillaume Apollinaire, commenting about Matisse in an article published in La Falange, wrote, “We are not here in the presence of an extravagant or an extremist undertaking: Matisse’s art is eminently reasonable.” But Matisse’s work of the time also encountered vehement criticism, and it was difficult for him to provide for his family. His painting Nu bleu (1907) was burned in effigy at the Armory Show in Chicago in 1913.

The decline of the Fauvist movement after 1906 did not affect the career of Matisse; many of his finest works were created between 1906 and 1917, when he was an active part of the great gathering of artistic talent in Montparnasse, even though he did not quite fit in, with his conservative appearance and strict bourgeois work habits.

He continued to absorb new influences. He travelled to Algeria in 1906 studying African art and Primitivism. After viewing a large exhibition of Islamic art in Munich in 1910, he spent two months in Spain studying Moorish art. He visited Morocco in 1912 and again in

Marguerite - Henri Matisse

Marguerite – Henri Matisse

1913 and while painting in Tangiers he made several changes to his work, including his use of black as a colour. The effect on Matisse’s art was a new boldness in the use of intense, unmodulated colour, as in L’Atelier Rouge (1911).

Self-Portrait in Striped Shirt- Henri Matisse

Self-Portrait in Striped Shirt- Henri Matisse

Matisse had a long association with the Russian art collector Sergei Shchukin. He created one of his major works La Danse specially for Shchukin as part of a two painting commission, the other painting being Music, 1910. An earlier version of La Danse (1909) is in the collection of The Museum of Modern Art in New York City.

Biography is from wikipedia.

I decided to do a self-portrait (of course!) in the Fauvism style…which is one of my favorite styles.  It was very difficult and I spent most of my morning tweaking and laying more layers down.  The shadowing was challenging and you have to experience painting a piece like this to fully appreciate his work!  It’s much harder than it looks!

I hope you enjoy it and I will see you tomorrow on Day 288!  Another great master artist done.

Best,

Linda

Self-Portrait (Green Stripe)- Tribute to Henri Matisse Linda Cleary 2014 Acrylic on Canvas

Self-Portrait (Green Stripe)- Tribute to Henri Matisse
Linda Cleary 2014
Acrylic on Canvas

Side-View Self-Portrait (Green Stripe)- Tribute to Henri Matisse Linda Cleary 2014 Acrylic on Canvas

Side-View
Self-Portrait (Green Stripe)- Tribute to Henri Matisse
Linda Cleary 2014
Acrylic on Canvas

Close-Up 1 Self-Portrait (Green Stripe)- Tribute to Henri Matisse Linda Cleary 2014 Acrylic on Canvas

Close-Up 1
Self-Portrait (Green Stripe)- Tribute to Henri Matisse
Linda Cleary 2014
Acrylic on Canvas

Close-Up 2 Self-Portrait (Green Stripe)- Tribute to Henri Matisse Linda Cleary 2014 Acrylic on Canvas

Close-Up 2
Self-Portrait (Green Stripe)- Tribute to Henri Matisse
Linda Cleary 2014
Acrylic on Canvas

Close-Up 3 Self-Portrait (Green Stripe)- Tribute to Henri Matisse Linda Cleary 2014 Acrylic on Canvas

Close-Up 3
Self-Portrait (Green Stripe)- Tribute to Henri Matisse
Linda Cleary 2014
Acrylic on Canvas

 

Day 243- Gillian Ayres- Bright and Succulent

It’s Day 243 and I had so much fun painting today’s colorful piece!  I also went on a nice dog hike with my husband.  Such a beautiful day.  Join me in honoring Gillian Ayres today.

Gillian Ayres

Gillian Ayres

'Tivoli' by Gillian Ayres

‘Tivoli’ by Gillian Ayres

Gillian Ayres, CBE (born 3 February 1930) is an English painter.

Ayres was born on 3 February 1930 in Barnes, London, the youngest of three sisters. Ayres started school when she was six. Her parents, a prosperous couple, sent her to Ibstock, a progressive school in Roehampton run on Fröbel principles. In 1941 Ayres was sent to Colet Court, the junior school for St Paul’s, in Hammersmith, where on her eleventh birthday she finally learnt to read.  

She passed the entrance exam for St Paul’s Girls’ School the following year, and

Antony and Cleopatra- Gillian Ayres

Antony and Cleopatra- Gillian Ayres

developed an interest in art while there. Among her best schoolfriends was Shirley Williams, with whom she taught art to children in bomb-ravaged parts of London.  Ayres then decided to go to art school. In 1946, she applied to the Slade School of Fine Art and was accepted. However, at sixteen, she was too young to enrol. She was advised to apply to the Camberwell School of Art and studied there from 1946 to 1950.

High Summer World of Light- Gillian Ayres

High Summer World of Light- Gillian Ayres

Ayres worked part-time at the AIA Gallery in Soho from 1951 to 1959 before starting a teaching career.  Ayres held a number of teaching posts through the 1960s and 1970s, becoming friends with painters such as Howard Hodgkin, Robyn Denny and Roger Hilton. In 1959, Ayres was asked to teach at Bath Academy of Art, Corsham for six weeks.

She remained on the teaching staff until 1965. For much of her time at Corsham she shared a teaching studio with Malcolm Hughes.  She was a senior lecturer at Saint Martin’s School of Art, London, from 1965 to 1978 and became head of painting at Winchester School of Art in 1978. Ayres left teaching in 1981, and moved to an old rectory on the Llyn Peninsula in north-west Wales to become a full-time painter.  She moved again in 1987 to a 15th-century cottage at Morwenstowon the Devon-Cornwall border.

Her first solo exhibition was held at Gallery One, London in 1956. Ayres’ early works are typically made with thin vinyl paint in a limited

Gillian Ayres

Gillian Ayres

number of colours arranged in relatively simple forms, but later works in oil paint are more exuberant and very colourful, with a thick impasto being used. The titles of her paintings, such as Anthony and Cleopatra (1982) and A Midsummer Night (1990), are usually given after the painting is completed and do not directly describe the content of the painting, but rather are intended to resonate with the general mood of the work.

Ayres was shortlisted for the Turner Prize in 1989. She was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in 1986, and in 1991 became a Royal Academician. She later temporarily resigned from the Academy, following the broadcast of a BBC Omnibus television documentary about the preparations for the controversial Sensation exhibition hosted by the Academy in 1997 show-casing the Young British Artists.

The documentary, according to Ayres, presented an unfair view of the older members

Shalimar 5, (2011), by Gillian Ayres (detail)

Shalimar 5, (2011), by Gillian Ayres (detail)

of the Academy.  Ayres also objected to the inclusion of Marcus Harvey’s portrait of the killer Myra Hindley in the exhibition. She is represented by the Alan Cristea Gallery, London.

She was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the 2011 Birthday Honours.

Moonglade- Gillian Ayres

Moonglade- Gillian Ayres

Ayres married painter Henry Mundy in 1951. They divorced almost 30 years later but currently live together. They have two sons born 1958 and 1966.  Their younger son, Sam Mundy, is a painter.

Biography is from wikipedia.

I hope you enjoy my piece today.  I will see you tomorrow on Day 244.

Best,

Linda

Twilight in Spring- Tribute to Gillian Ayres Linda Cleary 2014 Acrylic on Canvas

Twilight in Spring- Tribute to Gillian Ayres
Linda Cleary 2014
Acrylic on Canvas

Side-View Twilight in Spring- Tribute to Gillian Ayres Linda Cleary 2014 Acrylic on Canvas

Side-View
Twilight in Spring- Tribute to Gillian Ayres
Linda Cleary 2014
Acrylic on Canvas

Close-Up 1 Twilight in Spring- Tribute to Gillian Ayres Linda Cleary 2014 Acrylic on Canvas

Close-Up 1
Twilight in Spring- Tribute to Gillian Ayres
Linda Cleary 2014
Acrylic on Canvas

Close-Up 2 Twilight in Spring- Tribute to Gillian Ayres Linda Cleary 2014 Acrylic on Canvas

Close-Up 2
Twilight in Spring- Tribute to Gillian Ayres
Linda Cleary 2014
Acrylic on Canvas

Close-Up 3 Twilight in Spring- Tribute to Gillian Ayres Linda Cleary 2014 Acrylic on Canvas

Close-Up 3
Twilight in Spring- Tribute to Gillian Ayres
Linda Cleary 2014
Acrylic on Canvas

Day 186- Alma Woodsey Thomas- Creative Spirit for All

It’s Day 186 and today and tomorrow I’m making quick posts because I still have guests in town.  Join me in honoring Alma Woodsey Thomas today!

Alma Thomas at Whitney Museum

Alma Thomas at Whitney Museum

Alma_ThomasAlma Woodsey Thomas (September 22, 1891 – February 24, 1978) was an African-American Expressionist painter and art educator. She lived and worked primarily in Washington, D.C. and the Washington Post described her as a force in theWashington Color School.

Alma Thomas was born the eldest of four children to John Harris Thomas, a businessman, and Amelia

The Eclipse 1970- Alma Thomas

The Eclipse 1970- Alma Thomas

Cantey Thomas, a dress designer, in Columbus, Georgia, 1891. In 1906 the family moved to the Logan Circle neighborhood of Washington, D.C., relocating due to racial violence in Georgia and the public school system of Washington. As a child she showed artistic interest, making puppets and sculptures at home. Thomas attended Armstrong Technical High School, where she took her first art classes. After graduating from high school in 1911, she studied kindergarten education at Miner Normal School until 1913. She served as a substitute teacher in Washington until 1914 when she obtained a permanent teaching position on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. Two years later in 1916, she started teaching kindergarten at the Thomas Garrett Settlement House in Wilmington, Delaware, staying there until 1923.

Milky Way- Alma Thomas

Milky Way- Alma Thomas

Thomas entered Howard University in 1921 as a home economics student, only to switch tofine art after studying under art department founder James V. Herring. She earned her BS in Fine Arts in 1924 from Howard, becoming the first graduate from the university fine art program. That year Thomas began teaching at Shaw Junior High School, where she taught until her retirement in 1960. While at Shaw Junior High, she started a community arts program that encouraged student appreciation of fine art. The program supported marionette

Transcendental 1965- Alma Thomas

Transcendental 1965- Alma Thomas

performances and the distribution of student designed holiday cards which were given to soldiers at the Tuskegee Veterans Administration Medical Center. In 1934 she earned her Masters in Art Education from Columbia University and studied painting atAmerican University under Jacob Kainen from 1950 to 1960. In 1958 she visited art centers in Western Europe on behalf of the Tyler School of Art. She retired in 1960 from teaching and dedicated herself to painting. In 1963, she walked in the March on Washington, with her friend Lillian Evans.

Alma Thomas died, living in the same house that her family moved into upon their arrival in Washington in 1906, on February 28, 1978.

Starry Night and the Astronauts 1972- Alma Thomas

Starry Night and the Astronauts 1972- Alma Thomas

Creative art is for all time and is therefore independent of time. It is of all ages, of every land, and if by this we mean the creative spirit in man which produces a picture or a statue is common to the whole civilized world, independent of age, race and nationality; the statement may stand unchallenged.
-Alma Thomas, 1970

Alma Thomas’ early work was representational in manner, and then and upon classes at Howard and training under James V. Herring and Lois Mailou Jones her work became more

Alma Woodsey Thomas

Alma Woodsey Thomas

abstract. Thomas would not be recognized as a professional artist until her retirement from teaching in 1960, when she enrolled in classes at American University. There she learned about the Color Field movement and theory from Joe Summerford and Jacob Kainen and became interested in the use of color and composition. Within twelve years after her first class at American she began creating Color Field paintings, inspired by the work of the New York School and Abstract Expressionism. She worked out of the kitchen in her house, creating works like Watusi (Hard Edge) (1963), a manipulation of the Matisse cutout The Snail, in which Thomas shifted shapes around and changed the colors that Matisse used, and named it after a Chubby Checker song.

Untitled Music Series- Alma Thomas

Untitled Music Series- Alma Thomas

Her first retrospective exhibit was in 1966 at the Gallery of Art at Howard University, curated by art historian James A. Porter. For this exhibition she created Earth Paintings, a series of nature inspired abstract works, including Wind and Crepe Myrtle Concerto (1973) which art historian Sharon Patton considers “one of the most Minimalist Color-Field paintings ever produced by an African-American artist.”These paintings have been compared to Byzantine mosaics and the pointillist paintings of Georges-Pierre Seurat. A friend of Delilah Pierce, Thomas and Pierce would drive into the countryside where Thomas would seek inspiration, pulling ideas from the effects of light and atmosphere on rural environments. Thomas was, in 1972, the first African-American woman to have a solo exhibition at the Whitney Museum of American Art, and within the same year an exhibition was also held at the Corcoran Gallery of Art.

Biography is from wikipedia.

I hope you enjoy my piece today!  I had a great time painting it.  It was very meditative!  I will see you tomorrow on Day 187.  Best, Linda

Full Spectrum- Tribute to Alma Woodsey Thomas Linda Cleary 2014 Acrylic on Canvas

Full Spectrum- Tribute to Alma Woodsey Thomas
Linda Cleary 2014
Acrylic on Canvas

Side-View Full Spectrum- Tribute to Alma Woodsey Thomas Linda Cleary 2014 Acrylic on Canvas

Side-View
Full Spectrum- Tribute to Alma Woodsey Thomas
Linda Cleary 2014
Acrylic on Canvas

Close-Up 1 Full Spectrum- Tribute to Alma Woodsey Thomas Linda Cleary 2014 Acrylic on Canvas

Close-Up 1
Full Spectrum- Tribute to Alma Woodsey Thomas
Linda Cleary 2014
Acrylic on Canvas

Close-Up 2 Full Spectrum- Tribute to Alma Woodsey Thomas Linda Cleary 2014 Acrylic on Canvas

Close-Up 2
Full Spectrum- Tribute to Alma Woodsey Thomas
Linda Cleary 2014
Acrylic on Canvas

Close-Up 3 Full Spectrum- Tribute to Alma Woodsey Thomas Linda Cleary 2014 Acrylic on Canvas

Close-Up 3
Full Spectrum- Tribute to Alma Woodsey Thomas
Linda Cleary 2014
Acrylic on Canvas

Day Seventy-Four- Morris Graves- Mysterious Capacities

It’s Day 74 and I have a brief rest from roofing mayhem. 🙂  Been doing little fix-it things around the house and getting quotes on painting the exterior…which will start in a couple weeks.  Thank god painting is much quieter than building a roof.  It’ll be awesome when people aren’t outside repairing my house at all.  I had a good time painting today’s tribute…let’s celebrate Morris Graves!

Morris Graves

Morris Graves

Owl on Globe, c. 1965. Tempera on Paper- Morris Graves

Owl on Globe, c. 1965. Tempera on Paper- Morris Graves

Morris Cole Graves (August 28, 1910 – May 5, 2001) was an American expressionist painter. Along with Guy Anderson, Kenneth Callahan,William Cumming, and Mark Tobey, he founded the Northwest School. Graves was also a mystic.

Born the sixth son of a Methodist family in Fox Valley, Oregon, his family moved to Seattle

Morris Graves (American, 1910-2001). Time of Change, 1943.

Morris Graves (American, 1910-2001). Time of Change, 1943.

in 1911. He was a self-taught artist with natural understandings of color and line.

Graves dropped out of high school after his sophomore year and sailed on three American Mail Line ships with his brother Russell. Upon arriving in Japan, he wrote:

“There, I at once had the feeling that this was the right way to do everything. It was the acceptance of nature not the resistance to it. I had no sense that I was to be a painter, but I breathed a different air.”

Bird and the Sea- Morris Graves

Bird and the Sea- Morris Graves

Although he attended high school in 1932 in Beaumont, Texas at the urging of his aunt, Graves returned to the Northwest before actually graduating and never got his high school diploma. He spent much of his professional life in Seattle and La Conner, Washington, sharing a studio for a while with Guy Anderson. Graves’ early work was in oils and focused on birds touched with strangeness, either blind, or wounded, or immobilized in webs of light.

In the early 1930s, Graves studied Zen Buddhism. In 1934, Graves built a small

Morris Graves

Morris Graves

studio on family property in Edmonds, Washington, that burned to the ground in 1935, and with it, almost all of his work. His first one-man exhibition was in 1936 in Seattle’s Art Museum (SAM).  In May 1937, he bought 20 acres (81,000 m2) on Fidalgo Island. In 1939, he began working on the WPA Federal Art Project, but only for a few months. It was there that he met Mark Tobey and became impressed with Tobey’s calligraphic line. Later in the year, Graves went to the Virginia Islandsand to Puerto Rico to paint.

Morris Graves

Morris Graves

In 1940, Graves began building a house, which he named The Rock, on his Fidalgo Island property, and befriended an architect, George Nakashima, who had recently visited Japan. He lived at The Rock with a succession of cats and dogs, all called Edith, in honor of poet Edith Sitwell.

In 1942, his paintings were part of the New York Museum of Modern Art’s

Morris Graves

Morris Graves

“Americas 1942” exhibit, bringing Graves national recognition.

In 1952 photographer Dody Weston Thompson used part of her Albert M. Bender grant to photo document the unique home and surroundings of Graves who she considered a close friend.

Spirit Bird- Morris Graves 1953

Spirit Bird- Morris Graves 1953

In 1954, Graves staged the first Northwest art “Happening”, sending invitations to everyone on the Seattle Art Museum mailing list:

“You or your friends are not invited to the exhibition of Bouquet and Marsh paintings by the 8 best painters in the Northwest to be held on the afternoon and evening of the longest day of the year, the first day of summer, June 21, at Morris Graves’ palace in exclusive Woodway Park.”

In September 1954, Life Magazine did an article on “The Mystic Painters of the

Morris Graves

Morris Graves

Northwest,” featuring Graves, and including Guy Anderson, Kenneth Callahan, and Mark Tobey; this changed his life.

Morris Graves: Bird Maddened by the Sound of Machinery in the Air, 1944

Morris Graves: Bird Maddened by the Sound of Machinery in the Air, 1944

His mid-career works were influenced by East Asian philosophy and mysticism, which he used it as a way of approaching nature directly, avoiding theory. Graves adopted certain elements of Chinese and Japanese art, including the use of thin paper and ink drawing. His painted birds, pine trees, and waves. Graves works, such as “Blind Bird” often contain elements of Mark Tobey, who was inspired by Asian calligraphy. Graves switched from oils to gouaches, his bird became psychedelic, mystic, en route to transcendence. The paintings were bold, applied in a thick impasto with a palette knife, sometimes on coarse feed sacks.

In the 1950s, Graves returned to oils, but also painted in watercolor and tempera. From 1954 through 1964, Graves lived in Ireland and sculpted.

Biography is from wikipedia.

It's a bird…it's a plane…no really, it's a bird. ;)

It’s a bird…it’s a plane…no really, it’s a bird. 😉

I decided to focus this blog on Grave’s bird paintings because I wanted to paint a bird. 🙂  I enjoyed this painting very much and I was excited to experiment with it.  I hope you enjoy my tribute and I will see you tomorrow on Day 75!

Best, Linda

Moon Raven- Tribute to Morris Graves Linda Cleary 2014 Acrylic on Canvas

Moon Raven- Tribute to Morris Graves
Linda Cleary 2014
Acrylic on Canvas

Side-View Moon Raven- Tribute to Morris Graves Linda Cleary 2014 Acrylic on Canvas

Side-View
Moon Raven- Tribute to Morris Graves
Linda Cleary 2014
Acrylic on Canvas

Close-Up 1 Moon Raven- Tribute to Morris Graves Linda Cleary 2014 Acrylic on Canvas

Close-Up 1
Moon Raven- Tribute to Morris Graves
Linda Cleary 2014
Acrylic on Canvas

Close-Up 2 Moon Raven- Tribute to Morris Graves Linda Cleary 2014 Acrylic on Canvas

Close-Up 2
Moon Raven- Tribute to Morris Graves
Linda Cleary 2014
Acrylic on Canvas

I paint to evoke a changing language of symbols, a language with which to remark upon the qualities of our mysterious capacities which direct us toward ultimate reality.

Read more at http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/authors/m/morris_graves.html#5b8WbXHIbgVrOwPJ.99

 

 

Day Thirty-One- Paul Klee- “One eye sees, the other feels”

Day Thirty-One and wow, today was the worst.  I was super grumpy while painting.  I’m going to be completely honest with you.  My original artist was Van Gogh…I started TWO paintings and ended up scrapping them.  Double ugh.  Then I decided to switch artists after trying my hardest to stick with Vincent.  Today I present to you…Paul Klee!

Paul Klee 1911

Paul Klee 1911

Castle & Sun- Paul Klee 1928

Castle & Sun- Paul Klee 1928

Paul Klee (18 December 1879 – 29 June 1940) was a painter born in Münchenbuchsee, Switzerland, and is considered to be a German-Swiss. His highly individual style was influenced by movements in art that included expressionism, cubism, andsurrealism. He was also a student of orientalism. Klee was a natural draftsman who experimented with and eventually got deep into color theory, writing about it extensively; his lectures Writings on Form and Design Theory (Schriften zur Form und Gestaltungslehre), published in English as the Paul Klee Notebooks, are held to be as important for modern art as Leonardo da Vinci’s A Treatise on Painting for the Renaissance.  He and his colleague, the Russian painter Wassily Kandinsky, both taught at the German Bauhaus school of art, design and architecture. His works reflect his dry humour and his sometimes childlike perspective, his personal moods and beliefs, and also his musicality.

First of all, the art of living; then as my ideal profession, poetry and philosophy, and as my real profession, plastic arts;

Insula Dulcamara- Paul Klee

Insula Dulcamara- Paul Klee

in the last resort, for lack of income, illustrations.

—Paul Klee.

Paul Klee was born as the second child of the German music teacher Hans Wilhelm Klee (1849–1940) and the Swiss singer Ida Marie Klee, née Frick (1855–1921). His sister Mathilde (died 6 December 1953) was born on 28 January 1876 in Walzenhausen. Their father came from Tann and studied at the Stuttgart Conservatory singing, piano, organ and violin, meeting there his future wife Ida Frick. Hans Wilhelm Klee was active as a music

Red Balloon- Paul Klee

Red Balloon- Paul Klee

teacher at the Bern State Seminary in Hofwil near Bern until 1931. Klee was able to develop his music skills as his parents encouraged and inspired him until his death.  In 1880, his family moved to Bern, where they moved 17 years later after numerous changes of residence into a house at the Kirchenfeld district.  From 1886 to 1890, Klee visited primary school and received, at the age of 7, violin classes at the Municipal Music School. He was so talented on violin that, aged 11, he received an invitation to play as an extraordinary member of the Bern Music Association.

In his early years, following his parents’ wishes, he focused on becoming a

Strong Dream- Paul Klee 1929

Strong Dream- Paul Klee 1929

musician; but he decided on the visual arts during his teen years, partly out of rebellion and partly because of a belief that modern music lacked meaning for him. He stated, “I didn’t find the idea of going in for music creatively particularly attractive in view of the decline in the history of musical achievement.” As a musician, he played and felt emotionally bound to traditional works of the eighteenth and nineteenth century, but as an artist he craved the freedom to explore radical ideas and styles.  At sixteen, Klee’s landscape drawings already show considerable skill.

Fire in the Evening- Paul Klee

Fire in the Evening- Paul Klee

Around 1897, he started his diary, which he kept until 1918, and which has provided scholars with valuable insight into his life and thinking.  During his school years, he avidly drew in his school books, in particular drawing caricatures, and already demonstrating skill with line and volume.  He barely passed his final exams at the “Gymnasium” of Bern, where he qualified in the Humanities. With his characteristic dry wit, he wrote, “After all, it’s rather difficult to achieve the exact minimum, and it involves risks.”  On his own time, in addition to his deep interests in music and art, Klee was a great reader of literature, and later a writer on art theory and aesthetics.

With his parents’ reluctant permission, in 1898 he began studying art at the

Rose Garden- Paul Klee

Rose Garden- Paul Klee

Academy of Fine Arts in Munich with Heinrich Knirr and Franz von Stuck. He excelled at drawing but seemed to lack any natural color sense. He later recalled, “During the third winter I even realized that I probably would never learn to paint.”  During these times of youthful adventure, Klee spent much time in pubs and had affairs with lower class women and artists’ models. He had an illegitimate son in 1900 who died several weeks after birth.

klee.dream-city

Destroyed Place 1920- Paul Klee

Destroyed Place 1920- Paul Klee

After receiving his Fine Arts degree, Klee went to Italy from October 1901 to May 1902 with friend Hermann Haller. They stayed in Rome, Florence, and Naples, and studied the master painters of past centuries.  He exclaimed, “The Forum and the Vatican have spoken to me. Humanism wants to suffocate me.” He responded to the colors of Italy, but sadly noted, “that a long struggle lies in store for me in this field of color.” For Klee, color represented the optimism and nobility in art, and a hope for relief from the pessimistic nature he expressed in his black-and-white grotesques and satires. Returning to Bern, he lived with his parents for several years, and took occasional art classes. By 1905, he was developing some experimental techniques, including drawing with a needle on a blackened pane of glass, resulting in fifty-seven works including his Portrait of My Father (1906).  In the years 1903-5 he also completed a cycle of eleven zinc-plate etchings called Inventions, his first exhibited works, in which he illustrated several grotesque characters.  He commented, “though I’m fairly satisfied with my etchings I can’t go on like this. I’m not a specialist.” Klee was still dividing his time with music, playing the violin in an orchestra and writing concert and theater reviews.

Klee has been variously associated with Expressionism, Cubism, Futurism, Surrealism,

Full Moon- Paul Klee

Full Moon- Paul Klee

and Abstraction, but his pictures are difficult to classify. He generally worked in isolation from his peers, and interpreted new art trends in his own way. He was inventive in his methods and technique. Klee worked in many different media—oil paint, watercolor, ink, pastel, etching, and others. He often combined them into one work. He used canvas, burlap, muslin, linen, gauze, cardboard, metal foils, fabric, wallpaper, and newsprint.  Klee employed spray paint, knife application, stamping, glazing, and impasto, and mixed media such as oil with watercolor, water color with pen and India ink, and oil with tempera.

Dream City- Paul Klee

Dream City- Paul Klee

He was a natural draftsman, and through long experimentation developed a mastery of color and tonality. Many of his works combine these skills. He uses a great variety of color palettes from nearly monochromatic to highly polychromatic. His works often have a fragile childlike quality to them and are usually on a small scale. He often used geometric forms as well as letters, numbers, and arrows, and combined them with figures of animals and people. Some works were completely abstract. Many of his works and their titles reflect his dry humor and varying moods; some express political convictions. They frequently allude to poetry, music and dreams and sometimes include words or musical notation. The later works are distinguished by spidery hieroglyph-like symbols.Rainer Maria Rilke wrote about Klee in 1921, “Even if you hadn’t told me he plays the violin, I would have guessed that on many occasions his drawings were transcriptions of music.”

Pamela Kort observed: “Klee’s 1933 drawings present their beholder with an unparalleled

Paul Klee painting - Ad Marginem 1930

Paul Klee painting – Ad Marginem 1930

opportunity to glimpse a central aspect of his aesthetics that has remained largely unappreciated: his lifelong concern with the possibilities of parody and wit. Herein lies their real significance, particularly for an audience unaware that Klee’s art has political dimensions.”

Among the few plastic works are hand puppets made between 1916 and 1925, for his son Felix. The artist neither counts them as a component of his oeuvre, nor does he list them in his catalogue raisonné. Thirty of the preserved puppets are stored at the Paul Klee Centre, Bern.

Read more of his biography at wikipedia.

I felt a little better switching artists, but to be brutally honest I just did not want to paint at

Grumpy painting!

Grumpy painting!

all today.  This is a first and I’m sure it won’t be the last.  Hopefully my tribute isn’t absolutely awful, because this artist is great.  He paints in so many different ways that it was challenging to pick a specific style to emulate.  I decided to look at as many of his paintings as I could and combine a number of his styles.  I tried not to obsess too much on his paintings and attempted to infuse my own style in there as well.  Whew.  I’m just happy to be done for today.

Here is my tribute to Paul Klee.  Let’s hope tomorrow is a little better and that my grumpiness fades!

xoxo, Linda

Happy birds?

Happy birds?

Painting is so hard today!

Painting is so hard today!

Churches, Sun and Moon- Tribute to Paul Klee Linda Cleary 2014 Acrylic on canvas

Churches, Sun and Moon- Tribute to Paul Klee
Linda Cleary 2014
Acrylic on canvas

Side-View Churches, Sun and Moon- Tribute to Paul Klee Linda Cleary 2014 Acrylic on canvas

Side-View
Churches, Sun and Moon- Tribute to Paul Klee
Linda Cleary 2014
Acrylic on canvas

Close-up Churches, Sun and Moon- Tribute to Paul Klee Linda Cleary 2014 Acrylic on canvas

Close-up
Churches, Sun and Moon- Tribute to Paul Klee
Linda Cleary 2014
Acrylic on canvas

Close-Up 2 Churches, Sun and Moon- Tribute to Paul Klee Linda Cleary 2014 Acrylic on canvas

Close-Up 2
Churches, Sun and Moon- Tribute to Paul Klee
Linda Cleary 2014
Acrylic on canvas