Day 342- Odilon Redon- Ambiguous Realms

It’s Day 342 and I had a good time with today’s piece.  I was torn on what style I wanted to paint in because the artist did so many styles.  I decided to do a charcoal based piece because I wanted to experience charcoal a bit more before this project ended. 🙂  Thanks to my friend Mark Rachel for recommending today’s artist.  Please join me in honoring Odilon Redon today.

Odilon Redon

Odilon Redon

Cyclops- Odilon Redon

Cyclops- Odilon Redon

Odilon Redon (born Bertrand-Jean RedonFrench; April 20, 1840 – July 6, 1916) was a French symbolist painter, printmaker, draughtsman and pastellist.

Odilon Redon was born in Bordeaux, Aquitaine to a prosperous family. The young Bertrand-Jean Redon acquired the nickname “Odilon” from his mother, Odile. Redon started drawing as a child and at the age of ten he was awarded a drawing prize at school. He began the formal study of drawing at fifteen, but at his father’s insistence changed to architecture. Failure to pass the entrance exams at Paris’ École des Beaux-Arts ended any plans for a career as an architect, although he briefly studied painting there under Jean-Léon Gérôme in 1864. (His younger brother Gaston Redon would become a noted architect.)

Back home in his native Bordeaux, he took up sculpture, and Rodolphe

The Winged Man (The Fallen Angel) - Odilon Redon

The Winged Man (The Fallen Angel) – Odilon Redon

Bresdin instructed him in etching and lithography. His artistic career was interrupted in 1870 when he joined the army to serve in the Franco-Prussian War.

At the end of the war, he moved to Paris, and resumed working almost exclusively in charcoal and lithography. He called his visionary works, conceived in shades of black, his noirs. It was not until 1878 that his work gained any recognition with Guardian Spirit of the Waters; he published his first album of lithographs, titled Dans le Rêve, in 1879.

The Eye- Odilon Redon

The Eye- Odilon Redon

Still, Redon remained relatively unknown until the appearance in 1884 of a cult novel by Joris-Karl Huysmans titled À rebours (Against Nature). The story featured a decadent aristocrat who collected Redon’s drawings.

In the 1890s pastel and oils became his favored media; he produced no more noirs after 1900. In 1899, he exhibited with the Nabis at Durand-Ruel’s.

Redon had a keen interest in Hindu and Buddhist religion and culture. The figure of the Buddha increasingly showed in his work. Influences of Japonism blended into his art, such as the painting The Death of the Buddha around 1899, The Buddha in 1906, Jacob and the Angel in 1905, and Vase with Japanese warrior in 1905, amongst many others.

Baron Robert de Domecy (1867–1946) commissioned the artist in 1899 to create 17 decorative panels for the dining room of theChâteau de Domecy-sur-le-Vault near Sermizelles in Burgundy. Redon had created large decorative works for private residences in the past, but his compositions for the château de Domecy in 1900–1901 were his most radical compositions to that point and mark the transition from ornamental to abstract painting. The landscape details do not show a specific place or space.

Only details of trees, twigs with leaves, and budding flowers in an endless horizon can be seen. The colours used

Portrait of Violette Heymann- Odilon Redon

Portrait of Violette Heymann- Odilon Redon

are mostly yellow, grey, brown and light blue. The influence of the Japanese painting style found on folding screens byōbu is discernible in his choice of colours and the rectangular proportions of most of the up to 2.5 metres high panels. Fifteen of them are located today in the Musée d’Orsay, acquisitioned in 1988.

Domecy also commissioned Redon to paint portraits of his wife and their daughter Jeanne, two of which are in the collections of the Musée d’Orsay and the Getty Museum in California. Most of the paintings remained in the Domecy family collection until the 1960s.

Le Silence- Odilon Redon

Le Silence- Odilon Redon

In 1903 Redon was awarded the Legion of Honor. His popularity increased when a catalogue of etchings and lithographs was published by André Mellerio in 1913; that same year, he was given the largest single representation at the New York Armory Show.

Redon died on July 6, 1916. In 1923 Mellerio published Odilon Redon: Peintre Dessinateur et Graveur. An archive of Mellerio’s papers is held by the Ryerson & Burnham Libraries at the Art Institute of Chicago.

In 2005 the Museum of Modern Art launched an exhibition entitled “Beyond The Visible”, a comprehensive overview of Redon’s work showcasing more than 100 paintings, drawings, prints and books from The Ian Woodner Family Collection. The exhibition ran from October 30, 2005 to January 23, 2006.

The Fondation Beyeler in Basel, Switzerland is showing a retrospective from February to May 2014.

Redon’s work represents an exploration of his internal feelings and psyche. He himself wanted to “place the visible at the service of the invisible”; thus, although his work seems filled with strange beings and grotesque dichotomies, his aim was to represent pictorially the ghosts of his own mind. A telling source of Redon’s

Little Flowers (Human Heads), 1880. Charcoal on paper- Odilon Redon

Little Flowers (Human Heads), 1880. Charcoal on paper- Odilon Redon

inspiration and the forces behind his works can be found in his journalA Soi-même (To Myself). His process was explained best by himself when he said:

“I have often, as an exercise and as a sustenance, painted before an object down to the smallest accidents of its visual appearance; but the day left me sad and with an unsatiated thirst. The next day I let the other source run, that of imagination, through the recollection of the forms and I was then reassured and appeased.”

The mystery and the evocation of Redon’s drawings are described by Huysmans in the following passage:

“Those were the pictures bearing the signature: Odilon Redon. They held, between their gold-edged frames of unpolished pearwood, undreamed-of images: a Merovingian-type head, resting upon a cup; a bearded man, reminiscent both of a Buddhist priest and a public orator, touching an enormous cannon-ball with his finger; a spider with a human face lodged

Head on a Stem- Odilon Redon

Head on a Stem- Odilon Redon

in the centre of its body. Then there were charcoal sketches which delved even deeper into the terrors of fever-ridden dreams. Here, on an enormous die, a melancholy eyelid winked; over there stretched dry and arid landscapes, calcinated plains, heaving and quaking ground, where volcanos erupted into rebellious clouds, under foul and murky skies; sometimes the subjects seemed to have been taken from the nightmarish dreams of science, and hark back to prehistoric times; monstrous flora bloomed on the rocks; everywhere, in among the erratic blocks and glacial mud, were figures whose simian appearance—heavy jawbone, protruding brows, receding forehead, and flattened skull top—recalled the ancestral head, the head of the first Quaternary Period, the head of man when he was still fructivorous and without speech, the contemporary of the mammoth, of the rhinoceros with septate nostrils, and of the giant bear. These drawings defied classification; unheeding, for the most part, of the limitations of painting, they ushered in a very special type of the fantastic, one born of sickness and delirium.”

Redon also describes his work as ambiguous and undefinable:

“My drawings inspire, and are not to be defined. They place us, as does music, in the ambiguous realm of the undetermined.”

Biography is from wikipedia.

I was really drawn to Redon’s charcoal or “noir” drawings.  So I decided to focus on that style.  I hope you enjoy my piece for today and I’ll see you tomorrow on Day 343.

Best,

Linda

Chefs sur Arbres et de Fleurs- Tribute to Odilon Redon Linda Cleary 2014 Charcoal, Ink and Graphite of Canvas

Chefs sur Arbres et de Fleurs- Tribute to Odilon Redon
Linda Cleary 2014
Charcoal, Ink and Graphite of Canvas

Side-View Chefs sur Arbres et de Fleurs- Tribute to Odilon Redon Linda Cleary 2014 Charcoal, Ink and Graphite of Canvas

Side-View
Chefs sur Arbres et de Fleurs- Tribute to Odilon Redon
Linda Cleary 2014
Charcoal, Ink and Graphite of Canvas

Close-Up 1 Chefs sur Arbres et de Fleurs- Tribute to Odilon Redon Linda Cleary 2014 Charcoal, Ink and Graphite of Canvas

Close-Up 1
Chefs sur Arbres et de Fleurs- Tribute to Odilon Redon
Linda Cleary 2014
Charcoal, Ink and Graphite of Canvas

Close-Up 2 Chefs sur Arbres et de Fleurs- Tribute to Odilon Redon Linda Cleary 2014 Charcoal, Ink and Graphite of Canvas

Close-Up 2
Chefs sur Arbres et de Fleurs- Tribute to Odilon Redon
Linda Cleary 2014
Charcoal, Ink and Graphite of Canvas

Close-Up 3 Chefs sur Arbres et de Fleurs- Tribute to Odilon Redon Linda Cleary 2014 Charcoal, Ink and Graphite of Canvas

Close-Up 3
Chefs sur Arbres et de Fleurs- Tribute to Odilon Redon
Linda Cleary 2014
Charcoal, Ink and Graphite of Canvas

Day 330- Roy Lichtenstein- Forming Art

It’s Day 330 and I was excited about today’s artist.  Join me in honoring Roy Lichtenstein today!

Roy Lichtenstein

Roy Lichtenstein

Roy Lichtenstein

IllustratorPainter (1923–1997)

Little Big Painting- Roy Lichtenstein

Little Big Painting- Roy Lichtenstein

Roy Lichtenstein was an American pop artist best known for his boldly-colored parodies of comic strips and advertisements.

American artist Roy Lichtenstein was born in New York City on October 27, 1923, and grew up on Manhattan’s Upper West Side.

In the 1960s, Lichtenstein became a leading figure of the new Pop Art movement. Inspired by advertisements and comic strips,

Girl In Mirror- Roy Lichtenstein

Girl In Mirror- Roy Lichtenstein

Lichtenstein’s bright, graphic works parodied American popular culture and the art world itself. He died in New York City on September 29, 1997.

Early Years

Roy Fox Lichtenstein was born on October 27, 1923, in New York City, the son of Milton Lichtenstein, a successful real estate developer, and Beatrice Werner Lichtenstein. As a boy growing up on Manhattan’s Upper West Side, Lichtenstein had a passion for both science and comic books. In his teens, he became interested in art. He took watercolor classes at Parsons School of Design in 1937, and he took classes at the Art Students League in 1940, studying with American realist painter Reginald Marsh.

Still Life with Cow Skull- Roy Lichtenstein

Still Life with Cow Skull- Roy Lichtenstein

Following his graduation from the Franklin School for Boys in Manhattan in 1940, Lichtenstein attended The Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio. His college studies were interrupted in 1943, when he was drafted and sent to Europe for World War II.

After his wartime service, Lichtenstein returned to Ohio State in 1946 to finish his undergraduate degree and master’s degree—both in fine arts. He briefly taught at Ohio State before moving to Cleveland and working as a window-display designer for a department store, an industrial designer and a commercial-art instructor.

Commercial Success and Pop Art

In the late 1940s, Lichtenstein exhibited his art in galleries nationwide, including in Cleveland and New York City. In the 1950s, he often took his artistic subjects from mythology and from American history and folklore, and he painted those subjects in styles that paid homage to earlier art, from the 18th century through modernism.

Lichtenstein began experimenting with different subjects and methods in the early 1960s, while he was teaching at Rutgers University. His newer work was both a commentary on American popular culture and a reaction to the recent success of Abstract Expressionist painting by artists like Jackson Pollock and Willem de Kooning.

Girl with Tear I- Roy Lichtenstein

Girl with Tear I- Roy Lichtenstein

Instead of painting abstract, often subject-less canvases as Pollock and others had had done, Lichtenstein took his imagery directly from comic books and advertising. Rather than emphasize his painting process and his own inner, emotional life in his art, he mimicked his borrowed sources right down to an impersonal-looking stencil process that imitated the mechanical printing used for commercial art.

Lichtenstein’s best-known work from this period is “Whaam!,” which he painted in 1963, using a comic book panel from a 1962 issue of DC Comics’All-American Men of War as his inspiration. Other works of the 1960s featured cartoon characters like Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck and advertisements for food and household products. He created a large-scale mural of a laughing young woman (adapted from an image in a comic book) for the New York State Pavilion of the 1964 World’s Fair in New York City.

Melody- Roy Lichtenstein

Melody- Roy Lichtenstein

Lichtenstein became known for his deadpan humor and his slyly subversive way of building a signature body of work from mass-reproduced images. By the mid-1960s, he was nationally known and recognized as a leader in the Pop Art movement that also included Andy Warhol, James Rosenquist and Claes Oldenburg. His art became increasingly popular with both collectors and influential art dealers like Leo Castelli, who showed Lichtenstein’s work at his gallery for 30 years. Like much Pop Art, it provoked debate over ideas of originality, consumerism and the fine line between fine art and entertainment.

Later Career

By the late 1960s, Lichtenstein had stopped using comic book sources. In the 1970s his focus turned to creating paintings that referred to the art of early 20th century masters like Picasso, Henri Matisse, Fernand Léger and Salvador Dalí.

In the 1980s and ’90s, he also painted representations of modern house interiors, brushstrokes and mirror

Drowning Girl- Roy Lichtenstein

Drowning Girl- Roy Lichtenstein

reflections, all in his trademark, cartoon-like style. He also began working in sculpture.

In the 1980s, Lichtenstein received several major large-scale commissions, including a 25-foot-high sculpture titled “Brushstrokes in Flight” for the Port Columbus International Airport in Columbus, Ohio and a five-story-tall mural for the lobby of the Equitable Tower in New York.

Lichtenstein was committed to his art until the end of his life, often spending at least 10 hours a day in his studio. His work was acquired by major museum collections around the world, and he received numerous honorary degrees and awards, including the National Medal of Arts in 1995.

Personal Life and Death

Roy Lichtenstein. Portræt / Portrait, 1977

Roy Lichtenstein. Portræt / Portrait, 1977

Lichtenstein married twice. He and his first wife, Isabel, whom he married in 1949 and divorced in 1967, had two sons, David and Mitchell. He married Dorothy Herzka in 1968.

Lichtenstein died of complications from pneumonia on September 29, 1997, at the New York University Medical Center in Manhattan.

Biography is from www.biography.com.

I hope you enjoy my tribute today.  I’m trying to get a little ahead so that I can relax tomorrow on Thanksgiving.  I hope you all have a great holiday and I’ll see you tomorrow on Day 331!

Best,

Linda

Regret- Tribute to Roy Lichtenstein Linda Cleary 2014 Acrylic on Canvas

Regret- Tribute to Roy Lichtenstein
Linda Cleary 2014
Acrylic on Canvas

Side-View Regret- Tribute to Roy Lichtenstein Linda Cleary 2014 Acrylic on Canvas

Side-View
Regret- Tribute to Roy Lichtenstein
Linda Cleary 2014
Acrylic on Canvas

Close-Up 1 Regret- Tribute to Roy Lichtenstein Linda Cleary 2014 Acrylic on Canvas

Close-Up 1
Regret- Tribute to Roy Lichtenstein
Linda Cleary 2014
Acrylic on Canvas

Close-Up 2 Regret- Tribute to Roy Lichtenstein Linda Cleary 2014 Acrylic on Canvas

Close-Up 2
Regret- Tribute to Roy Lichtenstein
Linda Cleary 2014
Acrylic on Canvas

Close-Up 3 Regret- Tribute to Roy Lichtenstein Linda Cleary 2014 Acrylic on Canvas

Close-Up 3
Regret- Tribute to Roy Lichtenstein
Linda Cleary 2014
Acrylic on Canvas