Day 353- Pierre-Auguste Renoir- “The pain passes, but the beauty remains”

It’s Day 353 and I was a little nervous about today’s artist.  First of all, his style is the most challenging (to me at least) and his artwork is so wonderful.  I kept describing his paintings as whispers…since they are so soft looking.  I find this type of impressionistic painting so difficult to do since I tend to paint bolder lines than this.  Please join me in honoring Pierre- Auguste Renoir today.

Pierre-Auguste Renoir

Pierre-Auguste Renoir

Dance in the Country (Aline Charigot and Paul Lhote), 1883- Pierre-Auguste Renoir

Dance in the Country (Aline Charigot and Paul Lhote), 1883- Pierre-Auguste Renoir

Pierre-Auguste Renoir (25 February 1841 – 3 December 1919) was a French artist who was a leading painter in the development of the Impressionist style. As a celebrator of beauty, and especially feminine sensuality, it has been said that “Renoir is the final representative of a tradition which runs directly from Rubens to Watteau.”

Pierre-Auguste was the father of actor Pierre Renoir (1885–1952), filmmaker Jean Renoir (1894–1979) and ceramic artist Claude Renoir (1901–69). He was the grandfather of the filmmaker Claude Renoir (1913–1993), son of Pierre.

Pierre-Auguste Renoir was born in Limoges, Haute-Vienne, France, the child of a working-class family. As a boy, he worked in a porcelain factory where his drawing talents led to his being chosen to paint designs on fine china. Before he enrolled in art school, he also painted hangings for overseas missionaries and decorations on fans.  During those early years, he often visited the Louvre to study the French master painters.

In 1862, he began studying art under Charles Gleyre in Paris. There he met Alfred Sisley, Frédéric Bazille, and Claude Monet. At times, during the 1860s, he did not have enough money to buy paint. Although Renoir first

Pierre-Auguste Renoir

Pierre-Auguste Renoir

started exhibiting paintings at the Paris Salon in 1864, recognition did not come for another ten years, due, in part, to the turmoil of the Franco-Prussian War.

During the Paris Commune in 1871, while Renoir painted on the banks of the Seine River, some Communards thought he was a spy and were about to throw him into the river when a leader of the Commune, Raoul Rigault, recognized Renoir as the man who had protected him on an earlier occasion.

In 1874, a ten-year friendship with Jules Le Cœur and his family ended, and Renoir lost not only the valuable support gained by the association, but also a generous welcome to stay on their property near Fontainebleau and its scenic forest. This loss of a favorite painting location resulted in a distinct change of subjects.

Le Moulin de la Galette- Pierre-Auguste Renoir

Le Moulin de la Galette- Pierre-Auguste Renoir

Renoir experienced his initial acclaim when six of his paintings were hung in the first Impressionist exhibition in 1874. In the same year, two of his works were shown with Durand-Ruel in London.

In 1881, he traveled to Algeria, a country he associated with Eugène Delacroix, then to Madrid, to see the work of Diego Velázquez. Following that, he traveled to Italy to see Titian’s masterpieces in Florence and the paintings of Raphael in Rome. On 15 January 1882 Renoir met the composer Richard Wagner at his home in Palermo, Sicily. Renoir painted Wagner’s portrait in just thirty-five minutes. In the same year, after contracting pneumonia which permanently damaged his respiratory system, Renoir convalesced for six weeks in Algeria.

In 1883, Renoir spent the summer in Guernsey, creating fifteen paintings in little over a month. Most of these feature Moulin Huet, a bay in Saint Martin’s, Guernsey. Guernsey is one of the Channel Islands in the English Channel, and it has a varied landscape that includes beaches, cliffs and bays. These paintings were the subject of a set of commemorative postage stamps issued by the Bailiwick of Guernsey in 1983.

While living and working in Montmartre, Renoir employed Suzanne Valadon as a model, posing for him (The Bathers, 1885–87; Dance at Bougival, 1883) and many of his fellow painters while studying their techniques; eventually she became one of the leading painters of the day.

In 1887, the year when Queen Victoria celebrated her Golden Jubilee, and upon the request of the queen’s associate, Phillip Richbourg, Renoir

La Grenouillere (Bathing at la Grenouiller) -Pierre-Auguste Renoir

La Grenouillere (Bathing at la Grenouiller) -Pierre-Auguste Renoir

donated several paintings to the “French Impressionist Paintings” catalog as a token of his loyalty.

In 1890, he married Aline Victorine Charigot, who, along with a number of the artist’s friends, had already served as a model for Le Déjeuner des canotiers (Luncheon of the Boating Party, 1881), and with whom he had already had a child, Pierre, in 1885. After his marriage, Renoir painted many scenes of his wife and daily family life including their children and their nurse, Aline’s cousin Gabrielle Renard. The Renoirs had three sons, Jean Renoir became a filmmaker of note, Pierre Renoir, became a stage and film actor.

The Two Sister on the Terrace- Pierre-Auguste Renoir

The Two Sister on the Terrace- Pierre-Auguste Renoir

Around 1892, Renoir developed rheumatoid arthritis. In 1907, he moved to the warmer climate of “Les Collettes,” a farm at Cagnes-sur-Mer, close to the Mediterranean coast. Renoir painted during the last twenty years of his life even when he was wheelchair-bound and arthritis severely limited his movement. He developed progressive deformities in his hands and ankylosis of his right shoulder, requiring him to change his painting technique. It has often been reported that in the advanced stages of his arthritis, he painted by having a brush strapped to his paralyzed fingers, but this is erroneous; Renoir remained able to grasp a brush, although he required an assistant to place it in his hand. The wrapping of his hands with bandages, apparent in late photographs of the artist, served to prevent skin irritation.

In 1919, Renoir visited the Louvre to see his paintings hanging with those of the old masters. During this period, he created sculptures by cooperating with a young artist,Richard Guino, who worked the clay. Due to his limited joint mobility, Renoir also used a moving canvas, or picture roll, to facilitate painting large works.

Renoir’s portrait of Austrian actress Tilla Durieux (1914) contains playful flecks of vibrant color on her shawl that offset the classical pose of the actress and highlight Renoir’s skill just 5 years before his death.

Renoir died in the village of Cagnes-sur-Mer, Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur, on 3 December 1919.

Renoir’s paintings are notable for their vibrant light and saturated colour, most often focusing on people in intimate and candid compositions. The female nude was one of his primary subjects. In characteristic Impressionist style, Renoir suggested the details of a scene through freely brushed

La Roge- Pierre-Auguste Renoir

La Roge- Pierre-Auguste Renoir

touches of color, so that his figures softly fuse with one another and their surroundings.

His initial paintings show the influence of the colorism of Eugène Delacroix and the luminosity of Camille Corot. He also admired the realism of Gustave Courbet and Édouard Manet, and his early work resembles theirs in his use of black as a color. Renoir admired Edgar Degas’ sense of movement. Another painter Renoir greatly admired was the 18th-century master François Boucher.[14]

A fine example of Renoir’s early work and evidence of the influence of Courbet’s realism, is Diana, 1867. Ostensibly a mythological subject, the painting is a naturalistic studio work; the figure carefully observed, solidly modeled and superimposed upon a contrived landscape. If the work is a ‘student’ piece, Renoir’s heightened personal response to female sensuality is present. The model was Lise Tréhot, the artist’s mistress at that time, and inspiration for a number of paintings.

In the late 1860s, through the practice of painting light and water en plein air (outdoors), he and his friend Claude Monet discovered that the color of shadows is not brown or black, but the reflected color of the objects surrounding them; an effect today known as diffuse reflection. Several pairs of paintings exist in which Renoir and Monet worked side-by-side, depicting the same scenes (La Grenouillère, 1869).

A Girl with a Watering Can, 1876- Pierre-Auguste Renoir

A Girl with a Watering Can, 1876- Pierre-Auguste Renoir

One of the best known Impressionist works is Renoir’s 1876 Dance at Le Moulin de la Galette (Bal du moulin de la Galette). The painting depicts an open-air scene, crowded with people at a popular dance garden on the Butte Montmartre close to where he lived. The works of his early maturity were typically Impressionist snapshots of real life, full of sparkling color and light. By the mid-1880s, however, he had broken with the movement to apply a more disciplined formal technique to portraits and figure paintings, particularly of women, as in The Bathers, created during 1884–87. It was a trip to Italy in 1881, when he saw works by Raphael and other Renaissance masters, that convinced him that he was on the wrong path, and for the next several years he painted in a more severe style in an attempt to return to classicism. Concentrating on his drawing and emphasizing the outlines of figures, this is sometimes called his “Ingres period”.

After 1890 he changed direction again. To dissolve outlines, as in his earlier work, he returned to thinly brushed color. From this period onward he concentrated on monumental nudes and domestic scenes, fine examples of which are Girls at the Piano, 1892, and Grandes Baigneuses, 1887. The latter painting is the most typical and successful of Renoir’s late, abundantly fleshed nudes.

A prolific artist, he created several thousand paintings. The warm sensuality of Renoir’s style made his paintings some of the most well-known and frequently-reproduced works in the history of art. The single largest collection of his works—181 paintings in all—is at the Barnes Foundation, in Philadelphia.

Biography is from wikipedia.

“The pain passes, but the beauty remains.”
― Pierre-Auguste Renoir

I hope you enjoy my piece today.  It was quite a challenge, but I think I pulled it off. 🙂 It’s a self-portrait of myself as a child. I will see you tomorrow on Day 354.

Best,

Linda

Petite Fille dans le Manteau Rouge Chinois- Tribute to Pierre-Auguste Renoir Linda Cleary 2014 Acrylic on Canvas

Petite Fille dans le Manteau Rouge Chinois- Tribute to Pierre-Auguste Renoir
Linda Cleary 2014
Acrylic on Canvas

Side-View Petite Fille dans le Manteau Rouge Chinois- Tribute to Pierre-Auguste Renoir Linda Cleary 2014 Acrylic on Canvas

Side-View
Petite Fille dans le Manteau Rouge Chinois- Tribute to Pierre-Auguste Renoir
Linda Cleary 2014
Acrylic on Canvas

Close-Up 1 Petite Fille dans le Manteau Rouge Chinois- Tribute to Pierre-Auguste Renoir Linda Cleary 2014 Acrylic on Canvas

Close-Up 1
Petite Fille dans le Manteau Rouge Chinois- Tribute to Pierre-Auguste Renoir
Linda Cleary 2014
Acrylic on Canvas

Close-Up 2 Petite Fille dans le Manteau Rouge Chinois- Tribute to Pierre-Auguste Renoir Linda Cleary 2014 Acrylic on Canvas

Close-Up 2
Petite Fille dans le Manteau Rouge Chinois- Tribute to Pierre-Auguste Renoir
Linda Cleary 2014
Acrylic on Canvas

Close-Up 3 Petite Fille dans le Manteau Rouge Chinois- Tribute to Pierre-Auguste Renoir Linda Cleary 2014 Acrylic on Canvas

Close-Up 3
Petite Fille dans le Manteau Rouge Chinois- Tribute to Pierre-Auguste Renoir
Linda Cleary 2014
Acrylic 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 284- Vincent van Gogh- Painting his Dreams

It’s Day 284 and I finally am paying tribute to Van Gogh!  It was a very challenging piece to create for a number of reasons…intimidation, difficulty, different materials and the fact that I’m not that great at painting in the impressionistic style.  I did my best though.  Join me in honoring Vincent Van Gogh today!

Vincent Van Gogh- Self Portrait with Straw Hat

Vincent Van Gogh- Self Portrait with Straw Hat

The Church at Auvers- Vincent Van Gogh

The Church at Auvers- Vincent Van Gogh

Vincent Van Gogh, Painter (1853–1890)

Vincent van Gogh is considered the greatest Dutch painter after Rembrandt, although he remained poor and virtually unknown throughout his life.

Vincent van Gogh was born on March 30, 1853, in Groot-Zundert, Netherlands. Van Gogh was a post-impressionist painter whose work, notable for its beauty, emotion and color, highly influenced 20th century art. He struggled with mental illness, and remained poor and virtually unknown throughout his life. Van Gogh died in France on July 29, 1890, at age 37, from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Vincent van Gogh was born Vincent Willem van Gogh on March 30, 1853, in Groot-Zundert,

Skull with Burning Cigarette- Vincent Van Gogh

Skull with Burning Cigarette- Vincent Van Gogh

Netherlands. His father, Theodorus van Gogh, was an austere country minister, and his mother, Anna Cornelia Carbentus, was a moody artist whose love of nature, drawing and watercolors was transferred to her son. Van Gogh was born exactly one year after his parents’ first son, also named Vincent, was stillborn. At a young age—his name and birthdate already etched on his dead brother’s headstone—van Gogh was melancholy.

At age 15, van Gogh’s family was struggling financially, and he was forced to leave school and go to work. He got a job at his Uncle Cornelis’ art dealership, Goupil & Cie., a firm of art dealers in The Hague. By this time, van Gogh was fluent in French, German and English, as well as his native Dutch.

Starry Night- Vincent Van Gogh

Starry Night- Vincent Van Gogh

In June of 1873, van Gogh was transferred to the Groupil Gallery in London. There, he fell in love with English culture. He visited art galleries in his spare time, and also became a fan of the writings of Charles Dickens and George Eliot. He also fell in love with his landlady’s daughter, Eugenie Loyer. When she rejected his marriage proposal, van Gogh suffered a breakdown. He threw away all his books except for the Bible, and devoted his life to God. He became angry with people at work, telling customers not to buy the “worthless art,” and was eventually fired.

Van Gogh then taught in a Methodist boys’ school, and also preached to the congregation. Although raised in a religious family, it wasn’t until this time that he seriously began to consider devoting his life to the church. Hoping to become a minister, he prepared to take the entrance exam to the School of Theology in Amsterdam. After a year of studying diligently, he refused to take the Latin exams, calling Latin a “dead language” of poor people, and was subsequently denied entrance.

The same thing happened at the Church of Belgium: In the winter of 1878, van Gogh volunteered to move to an impoverished coal mine in

Still Life Vase with Twelve Sunflowers- Vincent Van Gogh

Still Life Vase with Twelve Sunflowers- Vincent Van Gogh

the south of Belgium, a place where preachers were usually sent as punishment. He preached and ministered to the sick, and also drew pictures of the miners and their families, who called him “Christ of the Coal Mines.” The evangelical committees were not as pleased. They disagreed with van Gogh’s lifestyle, which had begun to take on a tone of martyrdom. They refused to renew van Gogh’s contract, and he was forced to find another occupation.

In the fall of 1880, van Gogh decided to move to Brussels and become an artist. Though he had no formal art training, his younger brother Theo, who worked as an art dealer, offered to support van Gogh financially. He began taking lessons on his own, studying books like Travaux des champs by Jean-François Millet and Cours de dessin by Charles Bargue.

Vincent Van Gogh

Vincent Van Gogh

Van Gogh had a catastrophic love life. He was attracted to women in trouble, thinking he could help them. His cousin, Kate, was recently widowed, and when van Gogh fell in love with her, she was repulsed and fled to her home in Amsterdam. He then moved to The Hague and fell in love with Clasina Maria Hoornik, an alcoholic prostitute. She became his companion, mistress and model.

When Hoornik went back to prostitution, van Gogh became utterly depressed. In 1882, his family threatened to cut off his money unless he left Hoornik and The Hague. Van Gogh left in mid-September of that year to travel to Drenthe, a somewhat desolate district in the Netherlands. For the next six weeks, he lived a nomadic life, moving throughout the region while drawing and painting the landscape and its people.

Van Gogh’s art helped him stay emotionally balanced. In 1885, he began work on what is considered to be his first masterpiece, “Potato Eaters.” His brother, Theo, by this time living in Paris, believed the painting would not be well-received in the French capital, where impressionism had become the trend. Nevertheless, van Gogh decided to move to Paris, and showed up at Theo’s house uninvited. In March 1886, Theo welcomed his brother into his small apartment.

In Paris, van Gogh first saw impressionist art, and he was inspired by the color and light. He began studying with Henri de Toulouse-

Van Gogh's Chair- Vincent Van Gogh

Van Gogh’s Chair- Vincent Van Gogh

Lautrec, Pissarro and others. To save money, he and his friends posed for each other instead of hiring models. Van Gogh was passionate, and he argued with other painters about their works, alienating those who became tired of his bickering.

Van Gogh became influenced by Japanese art and began studying eastern philosophy to enhance his art and life. He dreamed of traveling there, but was told by Toulouse-Lautrec that the light in the village of Arles was just like the light in Japan. In February 1888, van Gogh boarded a train to the south of France. He moved into the “little yellow house” and spent his money on paint rather than food. He lived on coffee, bread and absinthe, and found himself feeling sick and strange. Before long, it became apparent that in addition to suffering from physical illness, his psychological health was declining; around this time, he is known to have sipped on turpentine and eaten paint.

A Wheatfield with Cypresses, Vincent Van Gogh, 1889

A Wheatfield with Cypresses, Vincent Van Gogh, 1889

Theo was worried, and offered Paul Gauguin money to go watch over van Gogh in Arles. Within a month, van Gogh and Gauguin were arguing constantly, and one night, Gauguin walked out. Van Gogh followed him, and when Gauguin turned around, he saw van Gogh holding a razor in his hand. Hours later, van Gogh went to the local brothel and paid for a prostitute named Rachel. With blood pouring from his hand, he offered her his ear, asking her to “keep this object carefully.” The police found him in his room the next morning, and admitted him to the Hôtel-Dieu hospital. Theo arrived on Christmas Day to see van Gogh, who was weak from blood loss and having violent seizures.

The doctors assured Theo that his brother would live and would be taken good care of, and on January 7, 1889, van Gogh was released from the hospital. He was alone and depressed. For hope, he turned to painting and nature, but could not find peace and was hospitalized again. He would paint at the yellow house during the day and return to the hospital at night.

After the people of Arles signed a petition saying that van Gogh was dangerous, he decided to move to the Saint-Paul-de-Mausole asylum

Vincent Van Gogh

Vincent Van Gogh

in Saint-Rémy-de-Provence. On May 8, 1889, he began painting in the hospital gardens. In November 1889, he was invited to exhibit his paintings in Brussels. He sent six paintings, including “Irises” and “Starry Night.”

Death and Legacy

On January 31, 1890, Theo and his wife, Johanna, gave birth to a boy and named him after van Gogh. Around this time, Theo sold van Gogh’s “The Red Vineyards” painting for 400 francs.

Also around this time, Dr. Paul Gachet, who lived in Auvers, about 20 miles north of Paris, agreed to take van Gogh as his patient. Van Gogh moved to Auvers and rented a room. In May 1890, Theo and his family visited van Gogh, and Theo spoke to his brother about needing to be stricter with his finances. Van Gogh became distraught about his future, thinking that Theo meant he was no longer interested in selling his art.

On July 27, 1890, van Gogh went out to paint in the morning as usual, but he carried a loaded pistol. He shot himself in the chest, but the bullet did not kill him. He was found bleeding in his room. Van Gogh was taken to a nearby hospital and his doctors sent for Theo, who arrived to find his brother sitting up in bed and smoking a pipe. They spent the next couple of days talking together, and then van Gogh asked Theo to take him home. On July 29, 1890, Vincent van Gogh died in the arms of his brother. He was 37 years old.

Painter on the Road to Tarascon, August 1888, Vincent van Gogh on the road to Montmajour, oil on canvas, 48 × 44 cm., formerly Museum Magdeburg, believed to have been destroyed by fire in World War II

Painter on the Road to Tarascon, August 1888, Vincent van Gogh on the road to Montmajour, oil on canvas, 48 × 44 cm., formerly Museum Magdeburg, believed to have been destroyed by fire in World War II

Theo, who was suffering from syphilis and weakened by his brother’s death, died six months later in a Dutch asylum. He was buried in Utrecht, but in 1914 Theo’s wife, Johanna, who was a dedicated supporter of van Gogh’s works, had Theo’s body reburied in the Auvers cemetery next to Vincent.

Johanna then collected as many of van Gogh’s paintings as she could, but discovered that many of them had been destroyed or lost, van Gogh’s own mother having thrown away crates full of his art. On March 17, 1901, 71 of van Gogh’s paintings were displayed at a show in Paris, and his fame subsequently grew enormously. His mother lived long enough to see her son hailed as an artist and a genius.

Today, Vincent van Gogh is considered the greatest Dutch painter after Rembrandt. He completed more than 2,100 works, consisting of 860 oil paintings and more than 1,300 watercolors, drawings and sketches. Several of his paintings rank among the most expensive in the world; “Irises” sold for a record $53.9 million, and his “Portrait of Dr. Gachet” sold for $82.5 million.

After more than 100 years since van Gogh’s death, more of his artwork was released. A

Bedroom in Arles, 1888, Van Gogh Museum

Bedroom in Arles, 1888, Van Gogh Museum

painting of a landscape entitled “Sunset at Montmajour” was discovered and unveiled by the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam in September 2013. Before coming under the possession of the Van Gogh Museum, a Norwegian industrialist owned the painting and stored it away in his attic, having thought that it wasn’t authentic. The painting is believed to have been created by van Gogh in 1888—around the same time that his artwork “Sunflowers” was made—just two years before his death.

Biography is from www.biography.com.

I hope you enjoy my tribute today and I’ll see you tomorrow on Day 285!

Best,

Linda

Self-Portrait with Straw Hat- Tribute to Vincent Van Gogh Linda Cleary 2014 Acrylic on Canvas

Self-Portrait with Straw Hat- Tribute to Vincent Van Gogh
Linda Cleary 2014
Acrylic on Canvas

Side-View Self-Portrait with Straw Hat- Tribute to Vincent Van Gogh Linda Cleary 2014 Acrylic on Canvas

Side-View
Self-Portrait with Straw Hat- Tribute to Vincent Van Gogh
Linda Cleary 2014
Acrylic on Canvas

Close-Up 1 Self-Portrait with Straw Hat- Tribute to Vincent Van Gogh Linda Cleary 2014 Acrylic on Canvas

Close-Up 1
Self-Portrait with Straw Hat- Tribute to Vincent Van Gogh
Linda Cleary 2014
Acrylic on Canvas

Close-Up 2 Self-Portrait with Straw Hat- Tribute to Vincent Van Gogh Linda Cleary 2014 Acrylic on Canvas

Close-Up 2
Self-Portrait with Straw Hat- Tribute to Vincent Van Gogh
Linda Cleary 2014
Acrylic on Canvas

Close-Up 3 Self-Portrait with Straw Hat- Tribute to Vincent Van Gogh Linda Cleary 2014 Acrylic on Canvas

Close-Up 3
Self-Portrait with Straw Hat- Tribute to Vincent Van Gogh
Linda Cleary 2014
Acrylic on Canvas

Day 236- Claude Monet- Never Finished

It’s Day 236 and I had a nice relaxing day.  Spent quite a bit of time on my tribute today since the artist is one of the most renown artist’s in history!  Join me in honoring Claude Monet today.

Claude Monet- Self Portrait

Claude Monet- Self Portrait

Poppy Field near Giverny 1885- Claude Monet

Poppy Field near Giverny 1885- Claude Monet

Oscar-Claude Monet (French: [klod mɔnɛ]; 14 November 1840 – 5 December 1926) was a founder of French Impressionist painting, and the most consistent and prolific practitioner of the movement’s philosophy of expressing one’s perceptions before nature, especially as applied to plein-air landscape painting. The term “Impressionism” is derived from the title of his painting Impression, soleil levant (Impression, Sunrise), which was exhibited in 1874 in the first of the independent exhibitions mounted by Monet and his associates as an alternative to the Salon de Paris.

Monet’s ambition of documenting the French countryside led him to adopt a method of painting the same scene many times in order to capture the changing of light and the passing of the seasons. From 1883 Monet lived in Giverny, where he purchased a house and property, and began a vast landscaping project which included lily ponds that would become the subjects of his best-known works. In 1899 he began painting the water lilies, first in vertical views with a Japanese bridge as a central feature, and later in the series of large-scale paintings that was to occupy him continuously for the next 20 years of his life.

From the late 1860s, Monet and other like-minded artists met with rejection from the conservative Académie des Beaux-Artswhich held its

Waterlilies Giverny- Claude Monet

Waterlilies Giverny- Claude Monet

annual exhibition at the Salon de Paris. During the latter part of 1873, Monet, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Camille Pissarro, and Alfred Sisley organized the Société anonyme des artistes peintres, sculpteurs et graveurs (Cooperative and Anonymous Association of Painters, Sculptors, and Engravers) to exhibit their artworks independently. At their first exhibition, held in April 1874, Monet exhibited the work that was to give the group its lasting name.

Impression, Sunrise was painted in 1872, depicting a Le Havre port landscape. From the painting’s title the art critic Louis Leroy, in his review, “L’Exposition des Impressionnistes,” which appeared in Le Charivari, coined the term “Impressionism”. It was intended as disparagement but the Impressionists appropriated the term for themselves.

Field of Corn- Claude Monet

Field of Corn- Claude Monet

Claude Monet was born on 14 November 1840 on the 5th floor of 45 rue Laffitte, in the 9th arrondissement of Paris. He was the second son of Claude Adolphe Monet and Louise Justine Aubrée Monet, both of them second-generation Parisians. On 20 May 1841, he was baptized in the local parish church, Notre-Dame-de-Lorette, as Oscar-Claude, but his parents called him simply Oscar. (He signed his juvenilia “O. Monet”.) Despite being baptized Catholic, Monet later became an atheist.

In 1845, his family moved to Le Havre in Normandy. His father wanted him to go into the family grocery business, but Monet wanted to become an artist. His mother was a singer.

On 1 April 1851, Monet entered Le Havre secondary school of the arts. Locals knew him well for his charcoal caricatures, which he would sell for ten to twenty francs. Monet also undertook his first drawing lessons from Jacques-François Ochard, a former student of Jacques-Louis David. On the beaches of Normandy around 1856 he met fellow artistEugène Boudin, who became his mentor and taught him to use oil paints. Boudin taught Monet “en plein air” (outdoor) techniques for painting. Both received the influence ofJohan Barthold Jongkind.

On 28 January 1857, his mother died. At the age of sixteen, he left school and went to live with his widowed, childless aunt, Marie-Jeanne

Claude Monet - A Pathway in Monet's Garden A Pathway in Monet's Garden

Claude Monet – A Pathway in Monet’s Garden A Pathway in Monet’s Garden

Lecadre.

When Monet traveled to Paris to visit the Louvre, he witnessed painters copying from the old masters. Having brought his paints and other tools with him, he would instead go and sit by a window and paint what he saw. Monet was in Paris for several years and met other young painters, including Édouard Manet and others who would become friends and fellow Impressionists.

In June 1861, Monet joined the First Regiment of African Light Cavalry in Algeria for a seven-year commitment, but, two years later, after he had contracted typhoid fever, his aunt intervened to get him out of the army if he agreed to complete an art course at an art school. It is possible that the Dutch painter Johan Barthold Jongkind, whom Monet knew, may have prompted his aunt on this matter. Disillusioned with the traditional art taught at art schools, in 1862 Monet became a student of Charles Gleyre in Paris, where he met Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Frédéric Bazille and Alfred Sisley. Together they shared new approaches to art, painting the effects of light en plein air with broken color and rapid brushstrokes, in what later came to be known as Impressionism.

The Poppy Field near Argenteuil- Claude Monet

The Poppy Field near Argenteuil- Claude Monet

In January 1865 Monet was working on a version of Le déjeuner sur l’herbe, aiming to present it for hanging at the Salon, which had rejected Manet’s Le déjeuner sur l’herbe two years earlier.  Monet’s painting was very large and could not be completed in time. (It was later cut up, with parts now in different galleries.) Monet submitted instead a painting of Camille or The Woman in the Green Dress (La femme à la robe verte), one of many works using his future wife, Camille Doncieux as his model. This painting and a small landscape both were both hung.

The following year Monet used Camille for his model in Women in the Garden, and On the Bank of the Seine, Bennecourt in 1868. Camille became pregnant and gave birth to their first child, Jean, in 1867. Monet and Camille married on 28 June 1870, just before the outbreak of the Franco-Prussian War, and, after their excursion to London and

Claude Monet

Claude Monet

Zaandam, they moved to Argenteuil, in December 1871. During this time Monet painted various works of modern life. He and Camille lived in poverty for most of this period. Following the successful exhibition of some maritime paintings, and the winning of a silver medal at Le Havre, Monet’s paintings were seized by creditors, from whom they were bought back by a shipping merchant, Gaudibert, who was also a patron of Boudin.

The first Impressionist exhibition was held in 1874 at 35 boulevard des Capucines, Paris, from 15 April to 15 May. The primary purpose of the participants was not so much to promote a new style, but to free themselves from the constraints of the Salon de Paris. The exhibition, open to anyone prepared to pay 60 francs, gave artists the opportunity to show their work without the interference of a jury.

Renoir chaired the hanging committee and did most of the work himself, as others members failed to present themselves.

Venice Twilight- Claude Monet

Venice Twilight- Claude Monet

In addition to Impression: Sunrise (pictured above) Monet presented four oil paintings and seven pastels. Among the paintings he displayed was The Luncheon (1868), which features Camille Doncieux and Jean Monet, and which had been rejected by the Paris Salon of 1870. Also in this exhibition was a painting titled Boulevard des Capucines, a painting of the boulevard done from the photographer Nadar’s apartment at no. 35. Monet painted the subject twice and it is uncertain which of the two pictures, that now in the Pushkin Museum in Moscow, or that in the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City was the painting that appeared in the groundbreaking 1874 exhibition, though more recently the Moscow picture has been favored.  Altogether, 165 works were exhibited in the exhibition, including 4 oils, 2 pastels and 3 watercolors by Morisot; 6 oils and 1 pastel by Renoir; 10 works by Degas; 5 by Pissarro; 3 by Cézanne; and 3 by Guillaumin. Several works were on loan, including Cézanne’s Modern Olympia, Morisot’s Hide and Seek (owned by Manet) and 2 landscapes by Sisley that had been purchased by Durand-Ruel.

The total attendance is estimated at 3500 and some works did sell, though some exhibitors had placed their prices too high. Pissarro was asking 1000 francs for The Orchard and Monet the same for Impression: Sunrise, neither of which sold. Renoir failed to obtain the 500 francs he was asking for La Loge, but later sold it for 450 francs to Père Martin, dealer and supporter of the group.

After several difficult months following the death of Camille, Monet began to create some of his best paintings of the 19th century. During the

Camille Monet on a Bench- Claude Monet

Camille Monet on a Bench- Claude Monet

early 1880s, Monet painted several groups of landscapes and seascapes in what he considered to be campaigns to document the French countryside. These began to evolve into series of pictures in which he documented the same scene many times in order to capture the changing of light and the passing of the seasons.

At the beginning of May 1883, Monet and his large family rented a house and 2 acres (8,100 m2) from a local landowner. The house was situated near the main road between the towns of Vernon and Gasny at Giverny. There was a barn that doubled as a painting studio, orchards and a small garden. The house was close enough to the local schools for the children to attend and the surrounding landscape offered many suitable motifs for Monet’s work. The family worked and built up the gardens and Monet’s fortunes began to change for the better as his dealer Paul Durand-Ruel had increasing success in selling his paintings. By November 1890, Monet was prosperous enough to buy the house, the surrounding buildings and the land for his gardens. During the 1890s, Monet built a greenhouse and a second studio, a spacious building well lit with skylights.

Monet wrote daily instructions to his gardener, precise designs and layouts for plantings, and invoices for his floral purchases and his collection of botany books. As Monet’s wealth grew, his garden evolved. He remained its architect, even after he hired seven gardeners.

Monet purchased additional land with a water meadow. In 1893 he began a vast landscaping project which included lily ponds that would

The Studio Boat- Claude Monet

The Studio Boat- Claude Monet

become the subjects of his best-known works. White water lilies local to France were planted along with imported cultivars from South America and Egypt, resulting in a range of colours including yellow, blue and white lilies that turned pink with age. In 1899 he began painting the water lilies, first in vertical views with a Japanese bridge as a central feature, and later on the series of large-scale paintings that was to occupy him continuously for the next 20 years of his life. This scenery, with its alternating light and mirror-like reflections, became an integral part of his work. By the mid-1910s Monet had achieved:

a completely new, fluid, and somewhat audacious style of painting in which the water-lily pond became the point of departure for an almost abstract art

—Gary Tinterow

Monet’s second wife, Alice, died in 1911 and his oldest son Jean, who had married Alice’s daughter Blanche, Monet’s particular favourite, died in 1914. After Alice died, Blanche looked after and cared for Monet. It was during this time that Monet began to develop the first signs of cataracts.

The Artists House at Argenteuil- Claude Monet

The Artists House at Argenteuil- Claude Monet

During World War I, in which his younger son Michel served and his friend and admirer Clemenceau led the French nation, Monet painted a series of weeping willow trees as homage to the French fallen soldiers. In 1923, he underwent two operations to remove his cataracts. The paintings done while the cataracts affected his vision have a general reddish tone, which is characteristic of the vision of cataract victims. It may also be that after surgery he was able to see certain ultraviolet wavelengths of light that are normally excluded by the lens of the eye; this may have had an effect on the colors he perceived. After his operations he even repainted some of these paintings, with bluer water lilies than before.

Monet died of lung cancer on 5 December 1926 at the age of 86 and is buried in the Giverny church cemetery. Monet had insisted that the occasion be simple; thus only about fifty people attended the ceremony.

His home, garden, and waterlily pond were bequeathed by his son Michel, his only heir, to the French Academy of Fine Arts (part of the Institut de France) in 1966. Through the Fondation Claude Monet, the house and gardens were opened for visits in 1980, following restoration. In addition to souvenirs of Monet and other objects of his life, the house contains his collection of Japanese woodcut prints. The house and garden, along with theMuseum of Impressionism Giverny, are major attractions in Giverny, which hosts tourists from all over the world.

Partial biography is from wikipedia.

“I’m never finished with my paintings; the further I get, the more I seek the impossible and the more powerless I feel. ”
– Claude Monet

I hope I did Claude Monet justice today.  Impressionism is one of the styles of painting that I for some reason find very difficult.  That’s why I had been avoiding him and Van Gogh.  After today, I’m feeling a little better about it.  I hope you enjoy my piece and I will see you tomorrow on Day 237!

Best, Linda

Field of Poppies- Tribute to Claude Monet Linda Cleary 2014 Acrylic on Canvas

Field of Poppies- Tribute to Claude Monet
Linda Cleary 2014
Acrylic on Canvas

Side-View Field of Poppies- Tribute to Claude Monet Linda Cleary 2014 Acrylic on Canvas

Side-View
Field of Poppies- Tribute to Claude Monet
Linda Cleary 2014
Acrylic on Canvas

Close-Up 1 Field of Poppies- Tribute to Claude Monet Linda Cleary 2014 Acrylic on Canvas

Close-Up 1
Field of Poppies- Tribute to Claude Monet
Linda Cleary 2014
Acrylic on Canvas

Close-Up 2 Field of Poppies- Tribute to Claude Monet Linda Cleary 2014 Acrylic on Canvas

Close-Up 2
Field of Poppies- Tribute to Claude Monet
Linda Cleary 2014
Acrylic on Canvas

Close-Up 3 Field of Poppies- Tribute to Claude Monet Linda Cleary 2014 Acrylic on Canvas

Close-Up 3
Field of Poppies- Tribute to Claude Monet
Linda Cleary 2014
Acrylic on Canvas

Day 229- Jacques Pellegrin- Depicting the Time

It’s Day 229 and I had a great time painting today.  I found this artist a while back and was trying to figure out a fun way to emulate his work.  I think I did!  Join me in celebrating Jacques Pellegrin today.

Jacques Pellegrin

Jacques Pellegrin

Sunday at the Cafeteria by JACQUES PELLEGRIN

Sunday at the Cafeteria
by JACQUES PELLEGRIN

Jacques Pellegrin (born 17 June 1944) is a French painter.

Jacques Pellegrin paints portraits, landscapes and still lifes. He started to paint at age eight. When he

Summer in the South of France Jacques Pellegrin

Summer in the South of France
Jacques Pellegrin

was eleven years old, he carried off the first prize from the Aix-en-Provence city hall. His style connected first to classic and realist art movements, but then he discovered Impressionism.

After studying to be a translator in Munich, he obtained a German (language) licence in Aix-en-Provence. Teaching was quickly forsaken in favour of living a life of chance as a free artist.

In 1980 he devoted himself to painting and studied German Expressionism. Pellegrin was influenced by Fauvists and French Expressionists such as Vincent van Gogh, André Derain,Albert Marquet, Kees van Dongen, and Henri Matisse. He also followed artists of the Provence and Marseille schools, including Auguste Chabaud, Louis-Mathieu Verdilhan, and Pierre

The green dress by JACQUES PELLEGRIN

The green dress
by JACQUES PELLEGRIN

Ambrogiani. His fundamental guideline: to paint and depict his epoch, his time.

He frequently uses strong colors and underlines his figures with a thick, black stroke. Each painting

The Virgin of Longchamp by JACQUES PELLEGRIN

The Virgin of Longchamp
by JACQUES PELLEGRIN

tells a story, an anecdote, a memory. At the same time, strongly anchored in his epoch, when Pellegrin raises up the past, he does not emphasize nostalgia, only affection.

He is mentioned in the Benezit Dictionary of Artists (1999 and 2006).

Biography is from wikipedia.

I hope you enjoy my piece in honor of this artist today!  You don’t even have to imagine how fun it was to paint with this much color today.  It was enjoyable to just go bold and vibrant not only with the colors, but with the lines and characters. 🙂  I will see you tomorrow on Day 230!

Best, Linda

Monster Cabaret- Tribute to Jacques Pellegrin Linda Cleary 2014 Acrylic on Canvas

Monster Cabaret- Tribute to Jacques Pellegrin
Linda Cleary 2014
Acrylic on Canvas

Side-View Monster Cabaret- Tribute to Jacques Pellegrin Linda Cleary 2014 Acrylic on Canvas

Side-View
Monster Cabaret- Tribute to Jacques Pellegrin
Linda Cleary 2014
Acrylic on Canvas

Close-Up 1 Monster Cabaret- Tribute to Jacques Pellegrin Linda Cleary 2014 Acrylic on Canvas

Close-Up 1
Monster Cabaret- Tribute to Jacques Pellegrin
Linda Cleary 2014
Acrylic on Canvas

Close-Up 2 Monster Cabaret- Tribute to Jacques Pellegrin Linda Cleary 2014 Acrylic on Canvas

Close-Up 2
Monster Cabaret- Tribute to Jacques Pellegrin
Linda Cleary 2014
Acrylic on Canvas

Close-Up 3 Monster Cabaret- Tribute to Jacques Pellegrin Linda Cleary 2014 Acrylic on Canvas

Close-Up 3
Monster Cabaret- Tribute to Jacques Pellegrin
Linda Cleary 2014
Acrylic on Canvas

 

Day 226- Irving Shapiro- Artist and Educator

It’s Day 226 and today I wanted to work with watercolors again.  I’m still learning techniques and am constantly learning more as I’m painting.  Join me in honoring Irving Shapiro today.  I was really drawn to his style of watercolors. 🙂  Below is his short bio and some notes about his techniques.  I’ve also included his obituary from the Chicago Tribune at the bottom.  I could not find a photo of this man so I did the best I could!

How to Make a Painting- by Irving Shapiro Thinking about getting this one!

How to Make a Painting- by Irving Shapiro
Thinking about getting this one!

Irving Shapiro (1927 – 1994)

Irving Shapiro

Irving Shapiro

” A slightly false statement, yet fresh, is much better than a tiresomely truthful one”. My mentor, Irving Shapiro, on watercolor painting.  from An Interview with Eric Weigardt – Watercolorist

Irving Shapiro went out into nature to make sketches, color samples, and black-and-white photographs for his watercolors. Then, back in his studio, he would begin his large paintings. He believed that only the fewest of pencil lines should be used to give guidelines to the composition, which he designed in his head. First, he applied the main color washes to define the large areas of the painting. He preferred risking mistakes while being bold and fresh with the paint, rather than risking getting bogged down in static details.

This painting shows a glimpse of the grasses, plants, and dead limbs that carpet the floor of a forest

Forest Floor- Irving Shapiro

Forest Floor- Irving Shapiro

in summer. The artist used the white of the paper and dark washes to show sunlight piercing the forest canopy to cast shadows of the leaves.

Irving Shapiro
Irving Shapiro was born in Chicago. He studied painting at the Art Institute and the American Academy of Art, both in Chicago. He taught art at the Academy from 1945 until he retired. Many artists working in watercolor today mention Shapiro as one of their teachers.

Watercolor

In progress...

In progress…

The characteristic of watercolor painting that sets it apart from other types of painting is its transparency. Watercolor consists of a thin mixture of paint pigment (from a tube or a solid block) suspended in water. As the brush lays down the paint, often on wet paper, the color spreads rapidly, leaving a transparent layer of color on the paper. A watercolor painting is built of controlled areas of wash.

Techniques
White areas of a watercolor painting are made by covering them with a layer of liquid rubber calledmasque instead of by using white paint. The masque is pulled off after the painting is finished and dried. That is how the tiny twigs of Forest Floor were done.

A dry brush technique paints stronger color onto dry paper. Artists use this for adding details such as the small, dark twigs in the background of this painting.

Tools
Shapiro used 300 or 400 pound paper, heavy enough to stay flat without stretching or taping down.

Irving Shapiro

Irving Shapiro

He used numbers eight and twelve round sable brushes and flat camel’s hair brushes one and two inches wide. He chose these colors for his palette: alizarin crimson golden, light vermilion, cadmium orange, light cadmium yellow, mauve, cobalt violet, thalo-blue, ultramarine, cerulean, lemon yellow, sap green, thalo green, yellow ochre, burnt sienna, burnt umber, sepia, and Payne’s gray.

Shapiro, Irving. “Irving Shapiro Says Watercolor Has Gender”American Artist. April, 1959. Pp. 60, 92.

From the Chicago Tribune below.

Irving Shapiro

Irving Shapiro

Irving Shapiro, 67, an artist, educator and author, was associated with the American Academy of Art for 50 years and served for many years as its director and president.

A resident of Highland Park, he died Tuesday in Whitehall North Convalescent Home in Deerfield.

His watercolors have been exhibited throughout the United States, Europe and, most recently, in China. His works hang in galleries, in hundreds of corporate offices and in private collections.

Mr. Shapiro in 1992 was given the Artist’s Achievement Award in Watercolor by the American Artist Magazine. He has won the High Winds Medal and the Mary Litt Medal at juried shows of the American Watercolor Society and was one of the youngest artists ever admitted to signature membership in that organization.

In addition to teaching and to his administrative responsibilities at the academy, he has lectured in

Irving Shapiro Signature

Irving Shapiro Signature

the U.S., Italy, France and Switzerland. Six of his demonstrations in watercolor painting have been videotaped and distributed widely.

His book, “How to Make a Painting: Planning, Procedures and Techniques in Watercolor,” has been translated into eight languages.

Mr. Shapiro has served on the boards of the Palette and Chisel Academy of Art, the Municipal Art League, the Midwest Watercolor Society and the American Watercolor Society, New York.

“He was a very dignified gentleman,” his wife, Syril, said. “He was an educator all his life and a man with the soul of an artist.”

Survivors, besides his wife, include three daughters, Paula Winter, Diane Golin and Gail; a son, Dan; a brother; and nine grandchildren.

Services for Mr. Shapiro will be 11 a.m. Friday in Shalom Memorial Park, U.S. Highway 12, Palatine.

~

I hope you enjoy my piece for today!  I’m happy with it, but I still have a ton to learn when it comes to watercolors.  I really want to try my hand at a huge piece.  Maybe something photographic or more abstract.  It’s definitely a medium I love working with, but it still has it’s mysteries.  It’s going to be fun experimenting for sure!  I’ll see you tomorrow on Day 227!

Best, Linda

The Wild- Tribute to Irving Shapiro Linda Cleary 2014 Watercolor on Canvas

The Wild- Tribute to Irving Shapiro
Linda Cleary 2014
Watercolor on Canvas

Side-View The Wild- Tribute to Irving Shapiro Linda Cleary 2014 Watercolor on Canvas

Side-View
The Wild- Tribute to Irving Shapiro
Linda Cleary 2014
Watercolor on Canvas

Close-Up 1 The Wild- Tribute to Irving Shapiro Linda Cleary 2014 Watercolor on Canvas

Close-Up 1
The Wild- Tribute to Irving Shapiro
Linda Cleary 2014
Watercolor on Canvas

Close-Up 2 The Wild- Tribute to Irving Shapiro Linda Cleary 2014 Watercolor on Canvas

Close-Up 2
The Wild- Tribute to Irving Shapiro
Linda Cleary 2014
Watercolor on Canvas

Close-Up 3 The Wild- Tribute to Irving Shapiro Linda Cleary 2014 Watercolor on Canvas

Close-Up 3
The Wild- Tribute to Irving Shapiro
Linda Cleary 2014
Watercolor on Canvas

Day 115- Fernand Léger- Objects as Main Characters

It’s Day 115 and I am very excited to be painting today.  My daily painting that is and not really excited about painting my ceiling of the art/laundry space, but I know in the end it’ll look much better than the dirty banana cream color it currently is.  I can’t wait to start on the walls and trim!  It’s a gloomy rainy day, but my tribute to Fernand Léger certainly isn’t!  Join me in honoring him today.

Fernand Léger

Fernand Léger

Joseph Fernand Henri Léger (French: [leʒe]; February 4, 1881 – August 17, 1955) was a French paintersculptor, and filmmaker. In his early works he created a personal form of cubism which he gradually modified into a more figurativepopulist style. His boldly simplified treatment of modern subject matter has caused him to be regarded as a forerunner of pop art.

 

LE JEUNE HOMME AU CHANDAIL- Fernand Leger

LE JEUNE HOMME AU CHANDAIL- Fernand Leger

Léger was born in ArgentanOrneLower Normandy, where his father raised cattle. Fernand Léger initially trained as an architect from 1897 to 1899, before moving in 1900 to Paris, where he supported himself as an architectural draftsman. After military service in VersaillesYvelines, in 1902–1903, he enrolled at the School of Decorative Arts after his application to the École des Beaux-Arts was rejected. He nevertheless attended the Beaux-Arts as a non-enrolled student, spending what he described as “three empty and useless years” studying with Gérôme and others, while also studying at the Académie Julian. He began to work seriously as a painter only at the age of 25. At this point his work showed the influence of impressionism, as seen in Le Jardin de ma mère (My Mother’s Garden) of 1905, one of the few paintings from this period that he did not later destroy. A new emphasis on drawing and geometry appeared in Léger’s work after he saw the Cézanne retrospective at the Salon d’Automne in 1907.

In 1909 he moved to Montparnasse and met such leaders of the avant-garde as Archipenko,Lipchitz, Chagall, Joseph Csaky and Robert Delaunay. His major painting of this period is Nudes in the Forest (1909–10), in which Léger displays a personal form of Cubism that his critics termed “Tubism” for its emphasis on cylindrical forms.

In 1910 he exhibited at the Salon d’Automne in the same room (salle VIII) with Jean Metzingerand Henri Le Fauconnier. In 1911 the hanging

Les grands plonguers noirs, Fernand Léger (1944)

Les grands plonguers noirs, Fernand Léger (1944)

committee of the Salon des Indépendantsplaced together the painters that would soon be identified as ‘Cubists’. Metzinger, Gleizes, Le Fauconnier, Delaunay and Léger were responsible for revealing Cubism to the general public for the first time as an organized group.

The following year he again exhibited at the Salon d’Automne and Indépendants with the Cubists, and joined with several artists, including Henri Le Fauconnier, Jean Metzinger, Albert Gleizes, Francis Picabia and the Duchamp brothers, Jacques Villon, Raymond Duchamp-Villonand Marcel Duchamp to form the Puteaux Group—also called the Section d’Or (The Golden Section).

Composition Aux Trois Femmes-1927- Fernand Leger

Composition Aux Trois Femmes-1927- Fernand Leger

Léger’s paintings, from then until 1914, became increasingly abstract. Their tubular, conical, and cubed forms are laconically rendered in rough patches of primary colors plus green, black and white, as seen in the series of paintings with the title Contrasting Forms. Léger made no use of the collage technique pioneered by Braque and Picasso.

Léger’s experiences in World War I had a significant effect on his work. Mobilized in August 1914 for service in the French Army, he spent two years at the front in Argonne. He produced many sketches of artillery pieces, airplanes, and fellow soldiers while in the trenches, and painted Soldier with a Pipe (1916) while on furlough. In September 1916 he almost died after a mustard gas attack by the German troops at Verdun. During a period of convalescence in Villepinte he painted The Card Players (1917), a canvas whose robot-like, monstrous figures reflect the ambivalence of his experience of war. As he explained:

…I was stunned by the sight of the breech of a 75 millimeter in the sunlight. It was the magic of

Le Grande Julie, Fernand Léger (1945)

Le Grande Julie, Fernand Léger (1945)

light on the white metal. That’s all it took for me to forget the abstract art of 1912–1913. The crudeness, variety, humor, and downright perfection of certain men around me, their precise sense of utilitarian reality and its application in the midst of the life-and-death drama we were in … made me want to paint in slang with all its color and mobility.

This work marked the beginning of his “mechanical period”, during which the figures and objects he painted were characterized by sleekly rendered tubular and machine-like forms. Starting in 1918, he also produced the first paintings in the Disk series, in which disks suggestive of traffic lights figure prominently. In December 1919 he married Jeanne-Augustine Lohy, and in 1920 he met Le Corbusier, who would remain a lifelong friend.

The “mechanical” works Léger painted in the 1920s, in their formal clarity as well as in their subject matter—the mother and child, the female nude, figures in an ordered landscape—are typical of the postwar “return to order” in the arts, and link him to the tradition of French figurative painting represented by Poussin and Corot. In his paysages animés (animated landscapes) of 1921, figures and animals exist harmoniously in landscapes made up of streamlined forms. The frontal compositions, firm contours, and smoothly blended colors of these paintings frequently recall the works of Henri Rousseau, an artist Léger greatly admired and whom he had met in 1909.

Three Women 1921- Fernand Leger

Three Women 1921- Fernand Leger

They also share traits with the work of Le Corbusier and Amédée Ozenfant who together had founded Purism, a style intended as a rational, mathematically based corrective to the impulsiveness of cubism. Combining the classical with the modern, Léger’s Nude on a Red Background (1927) depicts a monumental, expressionless woman, machinelike in form and color. His still life compositions from this period are dominated by stable, interlocking rectangular formations in vertical and horizontal orientation. The Siphon of 1924, a still life based on an advertisement in the popular press for the aperitif Campari, represents the high-water mark of the Purist aesthetic in Léger’s work. Its balanced composition and fluted shapes suggestive of classical columns are brought together with a quasi-cinematic close-up of a hand holding a bottle.

As an enthusiast of the modern, Léger was greatly attracted to cinema, and for a time he considered giving up painting for filmmaking. In 1923–24 he designed the set for the laboratory scene in Marcel L’Herbier’s L’Inhumaine (The Inhuman One). In 1924, in collaboration with Dudley Murphy, George Antheil, and Man Ray, Léger produced and directed the iconic and Futurism-influenced film, Ballet Mécanique (Mechanical Ballet). Neither abstract nor narrative, it is a series of images of a woman’s lips and teeth, close-up shots of ordinary objects, and repeated images of human activities and machines in rhythmic movement.

Fernand Leger (1881-1955) | L'Anniversaire

Fernand Leger (1881-1955) | L’Anniversaire

In collaboration with Amédée Ozenfant he established a free school where he taught from 1924, with Alexandra Exter and Marie Laurencin. He produced the first of his “mural paintings”, influenced by Le Corbusier’s theories, in 1925. Intended to be incorporated into polychrome architecture, they are among his most abstract paintings, featuring flat areas of color that appear to advance or recede.

Starting in 1927, the character of Léger’s work gradually changed as organic and irregular forms assumed greater importance. The figural style that emerged in the 1930s is fully displayed in the Two Sisters of 1935, and in several versions of Adam and Eve. With characteristic humor, he portrayed Adam in a striped bathing suit, or sporting a tattoo.

In 1931, Léger made his first visit to the United States, where he traveled to New York City and Chicago. In 1935, the Museum of Modern Art in New York City presented an exhibition of his work. In 1938, Léger was commissioned to decorate Nelson Rockefeller’s apartment.

During World War II Léger lived in the United States. He taught at Yale University, and found inspiration for a new series of paintings in the novel sight of industrial refuse in the landscape. The shock of juxtaposed natural forms and mechanical elements, the “tons of abandoned machines with flowers cropping up from within, and birds perching on top of them” exemplified what he called the “law of contrast”. His enthusiasm for such contrasts resulted in such works as The Tree in the Ladder of 1943–44, and Romantic Landscape of 1946. A major work of 1944, Three Musicians (Museum of Modern Art, New York), reprises a composition of 1930. A folk-like composition reminiscent of Rousseau, it exploits the law of contrasts in its realistic juxtaposition of the three men and their instruments.

The part of Chart (1917) - Fernand Lege

The part of Chart (1917) – Fernand Lege

Upon his return to France in 1945, he joined the Communist Party. During this period his work became less abstract, and he produced many monumental figure compositions depicting scenes of popular life featuring acrobats, builders, divers, and country outings. Art historian Charlotta Kotik has written that Léger’s “determination to depict the common man, as well as to create for him, was a result of socialist theories widespread among the avant-garde both before and after World War II. However, Léger’s social conscience was not that of a fierce Marxist, but of a passionate humanist”. His varied projects included book illustrations, murals, stained-glass windows, mosaics, polychrome ceramic sculptures, and set and costume designs.

After the death of his wife in 1950, Léger married Nadia Khodossevitch in 1952. In his final years he lectured in Bern, designed mosaics and stained-glass windows for the Central University of Venezuela in Caracas, Venezuela, and painted Country OutingThe Camper, and the series The Big Parade. In 1954 he began a project for a mosaic for the São Paulo Opera, which he would not live to finish. Fernand Léger died at his home in 1955 and is buried in Gif-sur-Yvette, Essonne.

Léger wrote in 1945 that “the object in modern painting must become the main character and overthrow the subject. If, in turn, the human

Composition with the three figures - Fernand Leger

Composition with the three figures – Fernand Leger

form becomes an object, it can considerably liberate possibilities for the modern artist.” He elaborated on this idea in his 1949 essay, “How I Conceive the Human Figure”, where he wrote that “abstract art came as a complete revelation, and then we were able to consider the human figure as a plastic value, not as a sentimental value. That is why the human figure has remained willfully inexpressive throughout the evolution of my work”. As the first painter to take as his idiom the imagery of the machine age, and to make the objects of consumer society the subjects of his paintings, Léger has been called a progenitor of Pop art.

Biography is from wikipedia.

I really enjoyed my painting today.  I also liked the result a lot!  I feel like I captured his essence and spirit of his style. 🙂  I hope you like my piece today and I’ll see you tomorrow on Day 116.  Best, Linda

Femme Dans La Nature- Tribute to Fernand Leger Linda Cleary 2014 Acrylic on Canvas

Femme Dans La Nature- Tribute to Fernand Leger
Linda Cleary 2014
Acrylic on Canvas

Side-View Femme Dans La Nature- Tribute to Fernand Leger Linda Cleary 2014 Acrylic on Canvas

Side-View
Femme Dans La Nature- Tribute to Fernand Leger
Linda Cleary 2014
Acrylic on Canvas

Close-Up 1 Femme Dans La Nature- Tribute to Fernand Leger Linda Cleary 2014 Acrylic on Canvas

Close-Up 1
Femme Dans La Nature- Tribute to Fernand Leger
Linda Cleary 2014
Acrylic on Canvas

Close-Up 2 Femme Dans La Nature- Tribute to Fernand Leger Linda Cleary 2014 Acrylic on Canvas

Close-Up 2
Femme Dans La Nature- Tribute to Fernand Leger
Linda Cleary 2014
Acrylic on Canvas

Close-Up 3 Femme Dans La Nature- Tribute to Fernand Leger Linda Cleary 2014 Acrylic on Canvas

Close-Up 3
Femme Dans La Nature- Tribute to Fernand Leger
Linda Cleary 2014
Acrylic on Canvas

Close-Up 4 Femme Dans La Nature- Tribute to Fernand Leger Linda Cleary 2014 Acrylic on Canvas

Close-Up 4
Femme Dans La Nature- Tribute to Fernand Leger
Linda Cleary 2014
Acrylic on Canvas