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 319- Raoul Dufy- Painting With His Heart

It’s Day 319 and I thought, “Why not paint a vase of flowers?”.  I’m still a little under the weather so it was nice to paint something cheerful.  Join me in honoring Raoul Dufy today.

Raoul Dufy

Raoul Dufy

Interior with Indian Woman - Raoul Dufy

Interior with Indian Woman – Raoul Dufy

Raoul Dufy (French: [ʁa.ul dy.fi]; 3 June 1877 – 23 March 1953) was a French Fauvist painter. He developed a colorful, decorative style that became fashionable for designs of ceramics and textiles, as well as decorative schemes for public buildings. He is noted for scenes of open-air social events. He was also a draftsman, printmaker, book illustrator, Scenic designer, a designer of furniture, and a planner of public spaces.

Raoul Dufy was born into a large family at Le Havre, in Normandy. He left school at the age of fourteen to work in a coffee-importing company. In 1895, when he was 18, he started taking evening

Bouquet of Flowers 1937- Raoul Dufy

Bouquet of Flowers 1937- Raoul Dufy

classes in art at Le Havre’s École d’Art (municipal art school). The classes were taught by Charles Lhuillier, who had been, forty years earlier, a student of the remarkable French portrait-painter, Ingres. There, Dufy met Raymond Lecourt and Othon Friesz with whom he later shared a studio in Montmartre and to whom he remained a lifelong friend. During this period, Dufy painted mostly Norman landscapes in watercolors.

Raoul Dufy

Raoul Dufy

In 1900, after a year of military service, Raoul Dufy won a scholarship to the École nationale supérieure des Beaux-Arts in Paris, where again he crossed paths with Othon Friesz. (He was there when Georges Braque also was studying.) He concentrated on improving his drawing skills. The impressionist landscape painters, such as Claude Monet and Camille Pissarro, influenced Dufy profoundly.

His first exhibition (at the Exhibition of French Artists) took place in 1901. Introduced to Berthe Weill in 1902, Dufy showed his work in her gallery. Then he exhibited again in 1903 at the Salon des

Independants. A boost to his confidence: the painter, Maurice Denis, bought one of his paintings. Dufy continued to paint, often in the vicinity of Le Havre, and, in particular, on the beach at Sainte-Adresse, made

Raoul Dufy

Raoul Dufy

famous by Eugène Boudin and Claude Monet. In 1904, with his friend, Albert Marquet, he worked in Fecamp on the English Channel (La Manche).

Henri Matisse’s Luxe, Calme et Volupté, which Dufy saw at the Salon des Indépendants in 1905, was a revelation to the young artist, and it directed his interests towards Fauvism. Les Fauves (the wild beasts) emphasized bright color and bold contours in their work. Dufy’s painting reflected this aesthetic until about 1909, when contact with the work of Paul Cézanne led him to adopt a somewhat subtler technique. It was not until 1920, however, after he had flirted briefly with yet another style, cubism, that Dufy developed his own distinctive approach. It involved skeletal structures, arranged with foreshortened perspective, and the use of thin washes of color applied quickly, in a manner that came to be known as stenographic.

Raoul Dufy- Still Life 1941

Raoul Dufy- Still Life 1941

Dufy’s cheerful oils and watercolors depict events of the time period, including yachting scenes, sparkling views of the French Riviera, chic parties, and musical events. The optimistic, fashionably decorative, and illustrative nature of much of his work has meant that his output has been less highly valued critically than the works of artists who have addressed a wider range of social concerns.

Dufy completed one of the largest paintings ever contemplated, a huge and immensely popular ode to electricity, the fresco La Fée Electricité for the 1937 Exposition Internationale in Paris.

Dufy also acquired a reputation as an illustrator and as a commercial artist. He painted murals for public buildings; he also produced a huge number of tapestries and ceramic designs. His plates appear in books by Guillaume Apollinaire, Stéphane Mallarmé, and André Gide.

In 1909, Raoul Dufy was commissioned by Paul Poiret to design stationery for the house, and after 1912 designed textile patterns for Bianchini-Ferier used in Poiret’s and Charvet’s garments.

In the late 1940s and early 1950s Dufy exhibited at the annual Salon des Tuileries in Paris. By 1950, his hands

Raoul Dufy

Raoul Dufy

were struck with rheumatoid arthritis and his ability to paint diminished, as he has to fasten the brush to his hand. In April he went to Boston to undergo an experimental treatment with cortisone and corticotropin, based on the work of Philip S. Hench. It proved successful, and some of his next works were dedicated to the doctors and researchers in the United States. In 1952 he received the grand prize for painting in the 26th Venice Biennale. Dufy died at Forcalquier, France, on 23 March 1953, of intestinal bleeding, which is a likely result of his continuous treatment. He was buried near Matisse in the Cimiez Monastery Cemetery in Cimiez, a suburb of the city of Nice.

Biography is from wikipedia.

What I wish to show when I paint is the way I see things with my eyes and in my heart. (Raoul Dufy)

I hope you enjoy my piece for today.  I will see you tomorrow on Day 320.

Best,

Linda

Vase of Flowers- Tribute to Raoul Dufy Linda Cleary 2014 Watercolors and Acrylics on Canvas

Vase of Flowers- Tribute to Raoul Dufy
Linda Cleary 2014
Watercolors and Acrylics on Canvas

Side-View Vase of Flowers- Tribute to Raoul Dufy Linda Cleary 2014 Watercolors and Acrylics on Canvas

Side-View
Vase of Flowers- Tribute to Raoul Dufy
Linda Cleary 2014
Watercolors and Acrylics on Canvas

Close-Up 1 Vase of Flowers- Tribute to Raoul Dufy Linda Cleary 2014 Watercolors and Acrylics on Canvas

Close-Up 1
Vase of Flowers- Tribute to Raoul Dufy
Linda Cleary 2014
Watercolors and Acrylics on Canvas

Close-Up 2 Vase of Flowers- Tribute to Raoul Dufy Linda Cleary 2014 Watercolors and Acrylics on Canvas

Close-Up 2
Vase of Flowers- Tribute to Raoul Dufy
Linda Cleary 2014
Watercolors and Acrylics on Canvas

Close-Up 3 Vase of Flowers- Tribute to Raoul Dufy Linda Cleary 2014 Watercolors and Acrylics on Canvas

Close-Up 3
Vase of Flowers- Tribute to Raoul Dufy
Linda Cleary 2014
Watercolors and Acrylics 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 261- William Tillyer- Edenic Visions

It’s Day 261 and I really was in the mood for doing another watercolor piece.  I loved this artist’s style.  Join me in honoring William Tillyer today!

William Tillyer

William Tillyer

William Tillyer,  The Age of Anxiety / The Kerry Sunset

William Tillyer,
The Age of Anxiety / The Kerry Sunset

William Tillyer (born 1938 in Middlesbrough) is an English artist. His work has been shown frequently in the UK and internationally since 1970.

He studied art in his home town from 1956-9, moving south to London in the 1960s to study at the Slade School of Art. It was there he encountered William Coldstream

William Tillyer The North York Moors, Falling Sky, 1985

William Tillyer The North York Moors, Falling Sky, 1985

and Anthony Gross, among others. Following his time at the Slade, Tillyer took up a French Government Scholarship to study gravure under Stanley William Hayter, at Atelier 17 in Paris.

On his return to London, Tillyer began to make radically experimental work which raised questions about the relationship of art to the world – man to nature.

William Tillyer, 'Northern Arizona 3' 1984

William Tillyer, ‘Northern Arizona 3’ 1984

Wandering between the conceptual intrigue of works like Eight Clouds and the Minimalist assertions of works like Red Interior, Tillyer developed a range of means by which to deepen the external references of his work.

Consistently searching for new means by which to explore his thoughts, the 1970s saw Tillyer return to print-making with renewed vigour. He won international

William Tillyer Haute Alps, 1983

William Tillyer
Haute Alps, 1983

acclaim at the Second International Print Bienalle in Kraków, and found the support of Bernard Jacobson, who has been his dealer ever since.

With these prints Tillyer used a variety of techniques, from etching to five tone screenprinting, to create lattices, which through the gradation of tone themselves depicted what Pat Gilmour, the head of the Print Department at the Tate, described as ‘a cool and unpeopled world…in which to reflect the surrounding flux of nature’.

William Tillyer The Balcony 25

William Tillyer The Balcony 25

Such concerns have continued to underpin Tillyer’s practice to the present day, the artist balancing formal and technical experimentation against the demands of subject matter – demanding multiple reactions from the viewer.

His most recent series reveals the artist returning to some of the earliest themes of his career, isolating John Constable’s cloud studies, as a motif through which to explore his own thoughts about the English Landscape today.

In 2010 a major monograph on his watercolours was published by 21 Publishing covering almost 40 years of his practise. In the extensive text American art critic and poet John Yau writes “However beautiful they are, and many of them are extremely beautiful, almost painfully so, Tillyer’s watercolours never lead us away in favour of an Edenic vision”

In 2013 Mima (Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art) in Middlesbrough will be giving Tillyer his first major retrospective exhibition

William Tillyer Beach and Sea, Seaton Carew, 1956

William Tillyer Beach and Sea, Seaton Carew, 1956

since 1996.

Biography is from wikipedia.

The more I experiment with watercolor the more I learn…AND the more I realize how tricky watercolors can be!  Next time I’d like to do them on paper and then mount it on a canvas.  I hope you enjoy my piece today and I will see you tomorrow on Day 262!

Best,

Linda

 

Dark Horizon- Tribute to William Tillyer Linda Cleary 2014 Watercolor on Canvas

Dark Horizon- Tribute to William Tillyer
Linda Cleary 2014
Watercolor on Canvas

Side-View Dark Horizon- Tribute to William Tillyer Linda Cleary 2014 Watercolor on Canvas

Side-View
Dark Horizon- Tribute to William Tillyer
Linda Cleary 2014
Watercolor on Canvas

Close-Up 1 Dark Horizon- Tribute to William Tillyer Linda Cleary 2014 Watercolor on Canvas

Close-Up 1
Dark Horizon- Tribute to William Tillyer
Linda Cleary 2014
Watercolor on Canvas

Close-Up 2 Dark Horizon- Tribute to William Tillyer Linda Cleary 2014 Watercolor on Canvas

Close-Up 2
Dark Horizon- Tribute to William Tillyer
Linda Cleary 2014
Watercolor on Canvas

Close-Up 3 Dark Horizon- Tribute to William Tillyer Linda Cleary 2014 Watercolor on Canvas

Close-Up 3
Dark Horizon- Tribute to William Tillyer
Linda Cleary 2014
Watercolor on Canvas

Day 260- A.R. Penck (Ralf Winkler)- Totemic Forms

It’s Day 260 and I seem to have some sort of mild eye infection or an allergic reaction happening in my left eye.  I woke up with it red and crusty.  Yuck!  Besides that, I had fun painting my piece in tribute to A.R. Penck today!

A.R. Penck

A.R. Penck

A.R. Penck- Nittardi Label

A.R. Penck- Nittardi Label

Ralf Winkler, alias A.R. Penck (born 5 October 1939) is a German painter, printmaker and sculptor.

He was born in Dresden, Germany, and studied together with a group of other neo-expressionist painters in Dresden. He became one of the foremost exponents of the

“Painting by A.R. Penck (Ralf Winkler): City of Memories, 2005 (Acrylic on canvas)”

“Painting by A.R. Penck (Ralf Winkler): City of Memories, 2005 (Acrylic on canvas)”

new figuration alongside Jörg Immendorff, Georg Baselitz and Markus Lüpertz.

Under the East German communist regime, they were watched by the secret police and were considered dissidents. In the late 1970s they were included in shows in West Berlin and were seen as exponents of free speech in the East.

A. R. Penck (d.i. Ralf Winkler) - Ohne Titel

A. R. Penck (d.i. Ralf Winkler) – Ohne Titel

Their work was shown by major museums and galleries in the West throughout the 1980s. They were included in a number of important shows including the famous Zeitgeist exhibition in the well-known Martin Gropius Bau museum and the important New Art show at the Tate in 1983.

In the 1980s he became known worldwide for paintings with pictographic, neo-primitivist

A.R. Penck- Woodcut

A.R. Penck- Woodcut

imagery of human figures and other totemic forms. He was included in many important shows both in London and New York.

Penck’s sculptures, though less familiar, evoke the same primitive themes as his paintings and drawings. They use common everyday materials such as wood, bottles, cardboard boxes, tin cans, masking tape, tinfoil, and wire, and are crudely painted and assembled. Despite their anti-art aesthetic and the rough-and-ready quality of their construction, they have the same symbolic, archetypal anthropomorphic forms as his flat symbolic paintings.

A.R. Penck

A.R. Penck

The paintings are influenced by Paul Klee’s work and mix the flatness of Egyptian or Mayan writing with the crudity of the late black paintings by Jackson Pollock. The sculptures are often reminiscent of the stone heads of Easter Island and other Oceanic art.

A keen drummer, he was a member and with Frank Wollny co-founder of the free jazz group Triple Trip Touch (aka T.T.T. or TTT) and took every opportunity to play with some of the best

A.R. Penck Systembild—neue alte Welte, 2007

A.R. Penck
Systembild—neue alte Welte, 2007

Jazz musicians of the late 1980s including Butch Morris, Frank Wright, Billy Bang, Louis Moholo and Frank Lowe, organising events at his country mansion in Heimbach in 1990 involving installations by Lennie Lee, performances by Anna Homler and paintings by Christine Kuhn.

A.R. Penck lives and works in Berlin, Düsseldorf, Dublin and New York.

Biography is from wikipedia.

~

I hope you enjoy my piece today!  I will see you tomorrow on Day 261!

Best,
Linda

Zufällige Symbole- Tribute to A.R. Penck Linda Cleary 2014 Acrylic on Canvas

Zufällige Symbole- Tribute to A.R. Penck
Linda Cleary 2014
Acrylic on Canvas

Side-View Zufällige Symbole- Tribute to A.R. Penck Linda Cleary 2014 Acrylic on Canvas

Side-View
Zufällige Symbole- Tribute to A.R. Penck
Linda Cleary 2014
Acrylic on Canvas

Close-Up 1 Zufällige Symbole- Tribute to A.R. Penck Linda Cleary 2014 Acrylic on Canvas

Close-Up 1
Zufällige Symbole- Tribute to A.R. Penck
Linda Cleary 2014
Acrylic on Canvas

Close-Up 2 Zufällige Symbole- Tribute to A.R. Penck Linda Cleary 2014 Acrylic on Canvas

Close-Up 2
Zufällige Symbole- Tribute to A.R. Penck
Linda Cleary 2014
Acrylic on Canvas

Close-Up 3 Zufällige Symbole- Tribute to A.R. Penck Linda Cleary 2014 Acrylic on Canvas

Close-Up 3
Zufällige Symbole- Tribute to A.R. Penck
Linda Cleary 2014
Acrylic on Canvas

Day 256- William Blake- Art is the Tree of Life

It’s Day 256 and today’s artist is one that I was very intimidated to pay tribute to.  His style of painting is so complex and in a weird way…foreign, almost alienesque to me that I didn’t even know where to begin.  Instead of stressing out about emulating his style exactly, I decided to just do a piece inspired by him.  I love his subject matter and I’m a huge fan of his writing and poetry as well.  I’m sure you know him.  Please join me in honoring William Blake today.  His biography is quite extensive so I just pasted parts regarding his artwork.

William Blake

William Blake

William Blake: The Ancient of Days, 1794

William Blake: The Ancient of Days, 1794

William Blake (28 November 1757 – 12 August 1827) was an English painter, poet and printmaker. Largely unrecognised during his lifetime, Blake is now considered a seminal figure in the history of the poetry and visual arts of the Romantic Age. His prophetic poetry has been said to form “what is in proportion to its merits the least read body of poetry in the English language”. His visual artistry led one contemporary art critic to proclaim him “far and away the greatest artist Britain has ever produced”. In 2002, Blake was placed at number 38 in the BBC’s poll of the 100 Greatest Britons.  Although he lived in London his entire life (except for three years spent in Felpham), he produced a diverse and symbolically rich oeuvre, which embraced the imagination as “the body of God” or “human existence itself”.

Although Blake was considered mad by contemporaries for his idiosyncratic views, he is held in high regard by later critics for his expressiveness and creativity, and for the philosophical and mystical undercurrents within his work. His paintings and poetry have been characterised as part of the Romantic movement and “Pre-Romantic”, for its large appearance in the 18th century. Reverent of the Bible but hostile to the Church of England (indeed, to all forms of organised

Jerusalem The Emanation of The Giant Albion by William Blake

Jerusalem The Emanation of The Giant Albion by William Blake

religion), Blake was influenced by the ideals and ambitions of the French and American Revolutions. Though later he rejected many of these political beliefs, he maintained an amiable relationship with the political activist Thomas Paine; he was also influenced by thinkers such as Emanuel Swedenborg. Despite these known influences, the singularity of Blake’s work makes him difficult to classify. The 19th-century scholar William Rossetti characterised him as a “glorious luminary”, and “a man not forestalled by predecessors, nor to be classed with contemporaries, nor to be replaced by known or readily surmisable successors”.

William Blake was born on 28 November 1757 at 28 Broad Street (now Broadwick St.) in Soho, London. He was the third of seven children, two of whom died in infancy. Blake’s father, James, was a hosier.  He attended school only long enough to learn reading and writing, leaving at the age of ten, and was otherwise educated at home by his mother Catherine Wright Armitage Blake. Even though the Blakes were English Dissenters, William was baptised on 11 December at St James’s Church, Piccadilly, London. The Bible was an early and profound influence on Blake, and remained a source of inspiration throughout his life.

William Blake Pencil Drawing

William Blake Pencil Drawing

Blake started engraving copies of drawings of Greek antiquities purchased for him by his father, a practice that was preferred to actual drawing. Within these drawings Blake found his first exposure to classical forms through the work of Raphael, Michelangelo, Maarten van Heemskerckand Albrecht Dürer. The number of prints and bound books that James and Catherine were able to purchase for young William suggests that the Blakes enjoyed, at least for a time, a comfortable wealth. When William was ten years old, his parents knew enough of his headstrong temperament that he was not sent to school but instead enrolled in drawing classes at Pars’s drawing school in the Strand. He read avidly on subjects of his own choosing. During this period, Blake made explorations into poetry; his early work displays knowledge of Ben Jonson,Edmund Spenser, and the Psalms.

In 1788, aged 31, Blake experimented with relief etching, a method he used to produce most of his books, paintings, pamphlets and poems. The process is also referred to as illuminated printing, and the finished products as illuminated books or prints. Illuminated printing involved writing the text of the poems on copper plates with pens and brushes, using an acid-resistant medium. Illustrations could appear alongside words in the manner of earlier illuminated manuscripts. He then etched the plates in acid to dissolve the untreated copper and leave the design standing in relief (hence the name).

This is a reversal of the usual method of etching, where the lines of the design are exposed to the acid, and the plate printed by the intaglio

Abel- William Blake

Abel- William Blake

method. Relief etching (which Blake referred to as “stereotype” in The Ghost of Abel) was intended as a means for producing his illuminated books more quickly than via intaglio. Stereotype, a process invented in 1725, consisted of making a metal cast from a wood engraving, but Blake’s innovation was, as described above, very different. The pages printed from these plates were hand-coloured in water colours and stitched together to form a volume. Blake used illuminated printing for most of his well-known works, including Songs of Innocence and of ExperienceThe Book of ThelThe Marriage of Heaven and Hell and Jerusalem.

From the Book of Job- William Blake

From the Book of Job- William Blake

Although Blake has become most famous for his relief etching, his commercial work largely consisted of intaglio engraving, the standard process of engraving in the 18th century in which the artist incised an image into the copper plate, a complex and laborious process, with plates taking months or years to complete, but as Blake’s contemporary, John Boydell, realised, such engraving offered a “missing link with commerce”, enabling artists to connect with a mass audience and became an immensely important activity by the end of the 18th century.

Blake employed intaglio engraving in his own work, most notably for the illustrations of the Book of Job, completed just before his death. Most critical work has concentrated on Blake’s relief etching as a technique because it is the most innovative aspect of his art, but a 2009 study drew attention to Blake’s surviving plates, including those for the Book of Job: they demonstrate that he made frequent use of a technique known as “repoussage”, a means of obliterating mistakes by hammering them out by hitting the back of the plate. Such techniques, typical of engraving work of the time, are very different to the much faster and fluid way of drawing on a plate that Blake employed for his relief etching, and indicates why the engravings took so long to complete.

Blake returned to London in 1804 and began to write and illustrate Jerusalem (1804–20), his most ambitious work. Having conceived the idea of portraying the characters in Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales, Blake approached the dealer Robert Cromek, with a view to marketing an engraving. Knowing Blake was too eccentric to produce a popular work, Cromek promptly commissioned Blake’s friend Thomas

The Great Red Dragon and the Woman Clothed with the Sun- William Blake

The Great Red Dragon and the Woman Clothed with the Sun- William Blake

Stothard to execute the concept. When Blake learned he had been cheated, he broke off contact with Stothard. He set up an independent exhibition in his brother’s haberdashery shop at 27 Broad Street in Soho. The exhibition was designed to market his own version of the Canterbury illustration (titled The Canterbury Pilgrims), along with other works. As a result, he wrote his Descriptive Catalogue (1809), which contains what Anthony Blunt called a “brilliant analysis” of Chaucer and is regularly anthologised as a classic of Chaucer criticism.[47] It also contained detailed explanations of his other paintings. The exhibition was very poorly attended, selling none of the temperas or watercolours. Its only review, in The Examiner, was hostile.

Also around this time (circa 1808), Blake gave vigorous expression of views on art in an extensive series of polemical annotations to the Discourses of Sir Joshua Reynolds, denouncing the British Academy as a fraud and proclaiming, “To Generalize is to be an Idiot”.

William Blake

William Blake

In 1818 he was introduced by George Cumberland’s son to a young artist named John Linnell. A blue plaque commemorates Blake and Linnell at Old Wyldes’ at North End, Hampstead. Through Linnell he met Samuel Palmer, who belonged to a group of artists who called themselves the Shoreham Ancients. The group shared Blake’s rejection of modern trends and his belief in a spiritual and artistic New Age. Aged 65, Blake began work on illustrations for the Book of Job, later admired by Ruskin, who compared Blake favourably to Rembrandt, and by Vaughan Williams, who based his ballet Job: A Masque for Dancing on a selection of the illustrations.

In later life Blake began to sell a great number of his works, particularly his Bible illustrations, to Thomas Butts, a patron who saw Blake more as a friend than a man whose work held artistic merit; this was typical of the opinions held of Blake throughout his life.

The commission for Dante’s Divine Comedy came to Blake in 1826 through Linnell, with the aim of producing a series of engravings. Blake’s death in 1827 cut short the enterprise, and only a handful of watercolours were completed, with only seven of the engravings arriving at proof form. Even so, they have evoked praise:

‘[T]he Dante watercolours are among Blake’s richest achievements, engaging fully with the problem of illustrating a poem of this complexity. The mastery of watercolour has reached an even higher level than before, and is used to extraordinary effect in differentiating the atmosphere of the three states of being in the poem’.

Blake’s illustrations of the poem are not merely accompanying works, but rather seem to critically revise, or furnish commentary on, certain spiritual or moral aspects of the text.

Because the project was never completed, Blake’s intent may be obscured. Some indicators bolster the impression that Blake’s

The Angels Appearing to the Shepherds- William Blake

The Angels Appearing to the Shepherds- William Blake

illustrations in their totality would take issue with the text they accompany: In the margin of Homer Bearing the Sword and His Companions, Blake notes, “Every thing in Dantes Comedia shews That for Tyrannical Purposes he has made This World the Foundation of All & the Goddess Nature & not the Holy Ghost.” Blake seems to dissent from Dante’s admiration of the poetic works of ancient Greece, and from the apparent glee with which Dante allots punishments in Hell (as evidenced by the grim humour of the cantos).

At the same time, Blake shared Dante’s distrust of materialism and the corruptive nature of power, and clearly relished the opportunity to represent the atmosphere and imagery of Dante’s work pictorially. Even as he seemed to near death, Blake’s central preoccupation was his feverish work on the illustrations to Dante’s Inferno; he is said to have spent one of the very last shillings he possessed on a pencil to continue sketching.

Blakes’s last years were spent at Fountain Court off the Strand (the property was demolished in the 1880s, when the Savoy Hotel was built). On the day of his death, Blake worked relentlessly on his Dante series. Eventually, it is reported, he ceased working and turned to his wife, who was in tears by his bedside. Beholding her, Blake is said to have cried, “Stay Kate! Keep just as you are – I will draw your portrait – for you have ever been an angel to me.” Having completed this portrait (now lost), Blake laid down his tools and began to sing hymns and verses. At six that evening, after promising his wife that he would be with her always, Blake died. Gilchrist reports that a female lodger in the house, present at his expiration, said, “I have been at the death, not of a man, but of a blessed angel.”

George Richmond gives the following account of Blake’s death in a letter to Samuel Palmer:

He died … in a most glorious manner. He said He was going to that Country he had all His life wished to see & expressed Himself Happy, hoping for Salvation through Jesus Christ – Just before he died His Countenance became fair. His eyes Brighten’d and he burst out Singing of the things he saw in Heaven.

The Ghost of a Flea- William Blake

The Ghost of a Flea- William Blake

Catherine paid for Blake’s funeral with money lent to her by Linnell. He was buried five days after his death – on the eve of his 45th wedding anniversary – at the Dissenter’s burial ground in Bunhill Fields, where his parents were interred. Present at the ceremonies were Catherine, Edward Calvert, George Richmond, Frederick Tatham and John Linnell. Following Blake’s death, Catherine moved into Tatham’s house as a housekeeper. She believed she was regularly visited by Blake’s spirit. She continued selling his illuminated works and paintings, but entertained no business transaction without first “consulting Mr. Blake”. On the day of her death, in October 1831, she was as calm and cheerful as her husband, and called out to him “as if he were only in the next room, to say she was coming to him, and it would not be long now”.

On her death, Blake’s manuscripts were inherited by Frederick Tatham, who burned some he deemed heretical or politically radical. Tatham was an Irvingite, one of the many fundamentalist movements of the 19th century, and opposed to any work that smacked of blasphemy. John Linnell erased sexual imagery from a number of Blake’s drawings.

Since 1965, the exact location of William Blake’s grave had been lost and forgotten as

William Blake

William Blake

gravestones were taken away to create a lawn. Blake’s grave is commemorated by a stone that reads “Near by lie the remains of the poet-painter William Blake 1757–1827 and his wife Catherine Sophia 1762–1831”. The memorial stone is situated approximately 20 metres away from the actual grave, which is not marked. Members of the group Friends of William Blake have rediscovered the location and intend to place a permanent memorial at the site.

Blake is recognised as a saint in the Ecclesia Gnostica Catholica. The Blake Prize for Religious Art was established in his honour in Australia in 1949. In 1957 a memorial to Blake and his wife was erected in Westminster Abbey.

Partial biography from wikipedia.

I hope you enjoy my piece in honor of William Blake today.  I did the best I could.  I am having some minor regrets with the use of my materials.  I kind of wish I had started with watercolor as opposed to acrylic…and then went from there, but alas!  It is done and I hope I at least captured a bit of his spirit!  I will see you tomorrow on Day 257!

Best,

Linda

Demon in the Sun- Tribute to William Blake  Linda Cleary 2014 Acrylic on Canvas

Demon in the Sun- Tribute to William Blake
Linda Cleary 2014
Acrylic on Canvas

Side-View Demon in the Sun- Tribute to William Blake  Linda Cleary 2014 Acrylic on Canvas

Side-View
Demon in the Sun- Tribute to William Blake
Linda Cleary 2014
Acrylic on Canvas

Close-Up 1 Demon in the Sun- Tribute to William Blake  Linda Cleary 2014 Acrylic on Canvas

Close-Up 1
Demon in the Sun- Tribute to William Blake
Linda Cleary 2014
Acrylic on Canvas

Close-Up 2 Demon in the Sun- Tribute to William Blake  Linda Cleary 2014 Acrylic on Canvas

Close-Up 2
Demon in the Sun- Tribute to William Blake
Linda Cleary 2014
Acrylic on Canvas

Close-Up 3 Demon in the Sun- Tribute to William Blake  Linda Cleary 2014 Acrylic on Canvas

Close-Up 3
Demon in the Sun- Tribute to William Blake
Linda Cleary 2014
Acrylic on Canvas

Day 232- Nathan Oliveira- Magic Material

It’s Day 232 and I didn’t start painting until this evening.  I also wasn’t sure what artist I was going to pay tribute to.  I have a large list and a bunch I know I want to do, but then I found this artist and fell in love with his watercolors and paintings in general.  I’ve been really wanting to experiment with watercolors so I decided to honor Nathan Oliveira today!

Nathan Oliveira with his painting- “Standing Figure"

Nathan Oliveira with his painting- “Standing Figure”

Nathan Oliveira, “Standing Figure with Striped Pants,” 1975, oil on canvas.

Nathan Oliveira, “Standing Figure with Striped Pants,” 1975, oil on canvas.

Nathan Oliveira (December 19, 1928 – November 13, 2010) was an American painter,

Nathan Oliveira- Blue Head

Nathan Oliveira- Blue Head

printmaker, and sculptor, born in Oakland, California to immigrant Portuguese parents.

Since the late 1950s Oliveira has been the subject of nearly one hundred solo exhibitions in addition to having been included hundreds of group exhibitions, in important museums and

galleries worldwide. He taught studio art for several decades in California beginning in the early 1950s when he taught at the California College of the Arts (formerly California College of Arts and Crafts) in Oakland.

Then, after serving as a visiting artist at several universities, he became a Professor of Studio Art at Stanford University.

In 1999 Nathan Oliveira was awarded the Distinguished Degree of “Commander” in “The Order of the Infante D. Henrique,” awarded by the President of Portugal and the Portuguese government, for his artistic and cultural achievements.

Nathan Oliveira

Nathan Oliveira

In 2002 “The Art of Nathan Oliveira,” a major traveling retrospective of Oliveira’s work, organized by

Nathan Oliveira, Figure # 3, watercolor on paper

Nathan Oliveira, Figure # 3, watercolor on paper

the San Jose Museum of art, and guest curated by Peter Selz opened. The exhibition was accompanied by a monograph, “Nathan Oliveira,” by Peter Selz with an introduction by Susan Landauer and essay by Joann Moser, published by the University of California Press.

Oliveira graduated from San Francisco’s George Washington High School. He studied at the California College of the Arts in Oakland where he earned a BFA in 1951 and an MFA in 1952. While attending CCAC he took an eight-week summer course in painting at Mills College taught by the German Expressionist Max Beckmann.

After graduation Oliveira taught art at several colleges, including the California College of the Arts, The California School of Fine Arts (now The San Francisco Art Institute) The University of Chicago, UCLA and Stanford University.

  • "Standing Figure", 1965- Nathan Oliveira

    “Standing Figure”, 1965- Nathan Oliveira

    1952–53 Printmaking Instructor, The California School of Fine Arts, San Francisco, CA

  • 1952-53 Watercolor Instructor, California College of the Arts, Oakland, CA
  • 1955–56 Chair of Graphic Arts, California College of the Arts, Oakland, CA
  • 1961-62 Visiting Professor in Painting, The University of Chicago, Chicago, IL
  • 1962-63 Visiting Professor in Studio Art, University of California, Los Angeles, CA
  • 1963-64 Visiting Professor in Studio Art, Cornell University, Ithica, NY
  • 1964–96 Professor of Studio Arts, Stanford University, Stanford, CA

During his Stanford years Oliveira held summer positions as a visiting artist in Colorado

Nathan Oliveira

Nathan Oliveira

and Hawaii. Nathan Oliveira also served as a member of the Honorary Board of Humane Society Silicon Valley in Milpitas, California from 2007 until his death in 2010.

Biography is from wikipedia.

“For me painting is that magical material, that beautiful stuff that was invented, the ground-up pigments in oil which makes it very malleable. It can be manipulated and changed, darkened, lightened, given different hues and colors, so that by manipulating this material somehow I can find that figure I’m looking for, that figure that represents all the issues I’m bringing up and addressing.”- Nathan Oliveira

I hope you enjoy my piece today!  I really enjoyed creating it.  I will see you tomorrow on Day 233!

Best, Linda

Three Figures Dancing- Tribute to Nathan Oliveira Linda Cleary 2014 Watercolor on Canvas

Three Figures Dancing- Tribute to Nathan Oliveira
Linda Cleary 2014
Watercolor on Canvas

Side-View Three Figures Dancing- Tribute to Nathan Oliveira Linda Cleary 2014 Watercolor on Canvas

Side-View
Three Figures Dancing- Tribute to Nathan Oliveira
Linda Cleary 2014
Watercolor on Canvas

Close-Up 1 Three Figures Dancing- Tribute to Nathan Oliveira Linda Cleary 2014 Watercolor on Canvas

Close-Up 1
Three Figures Dancing- Tribute to Nathan Oliveira
Linda Cleary 2014
Watercolor on Canvas

Close-Up 2 Three Figures Dancing- Tribute to Nathan Oliveira Linda Cleary 2014 Watercolor on Canvas

Close-Up 2
Three Figures Dancing- Tribute to Nathan Oliveira
Linda Cleary 2014
Watercolor on Canvas

Close-Up 3 Three Figures Dancing- Tribute to Nathan Oliveira Linda Cleary 2014 Watercolor on Canvas

Close-Up 3
Three Figures Dancing- Tribute to Nathan Oliveira
Linda Cleary 2014
Watercolor on Canvas

Day 137- Sam Francis- Increasing Light and Darkness

It’s Day 137 and today I’m spending most of my afternoon and evening at my friend Natasha’s wedding!  I’ll be filming it so that’s fun. Had to work on my painting last night and this AM so join me in celebrating Sam Francis today.

Sam Francis

Sam Francis

 

Sam Francis

Sam Francis

Samuel Lewis Francis (June 25, 1923, San MateoCalifornia – November 4, 1994, Santa MonicaCalifornia) was an American painter and printmaker.

Sam Francis was born in San Mateo, California, the son of Katherine Lewis Francis

Sam Francis "Untitled, From One Cent Life

Sam Francis
“Untitled, From One Cent Life

and Samuel Augustus Francis, Sr. The 1935 death of his mother, who had encouraged his interest in music affected him deeply, but he later developed a strong bond with his stepmother, Virginia Peterson Francis.

Francis served in the United States Air Force during World War II before being injured during test flight maneuvers. He was in the hospital for several years, and it was while there, after being visited by artist David Park in 1945, that he began to paint. Once out of the hospital he returned to Berkeley, this time to study art. He received both his BA degree (1949) and MA degree (1950) from University of California, Berkeley, where he studied botany, medicine and psychology.

Reefs - Sam Francis

Reefs – Sam Francis

Francis was initially influenced by the work of abstract expressionists such as Mark Rothko, Arshile Gorky and Clyfford Still. He later became loosely associated with a second generation of abstract expressionists, including Joan Mitchell and Helen Frankenthaler, who were increasingly interested in the expressive use of color.

He spent the 1950s in Paris, having his first exhibition there at the Galerie Nina Dausset in 1952. While in Paris he became associated with Tachisme, and had his work championed by art critics Michel Tapié and Claude Duthuit ( the son-in-law of the painter Henri Matisse).

Between 1950 and 1958 Francis spent time and painted in Paris, the south of France,

Sam Francis

Sam Francis

Tokyo, Mexico City, Bern and New York. His artistic development was affected by his exposure to French modern painting, Asian culture and Zen Buddhism in particular. His paintings of the 1950s evolved through a series of stages, beginning with monochromatic abstractions, followed by larger richly-colored murals and “open” paintings that feature large areas of whiteness. After his 1953 painting “Big Red” was included in the 1956 exhibition “Twelve Artists” at the Museum of Modern Art, New York, Francis began a rapid rise to international prominence.

Sam Francis

Sam Francis

Francis painted large murals for the Kunsthalle, Basel in 1956-8 and for the Chase Manhattan Bank, New York in 1959.

Between 1960 and 1963 created several series of works, including the “Blue Balls” series. Consisting of biomorphic predominantly blue forms and drips, these works referenced the pain that resulted from the renal tuberculosis that he suffered in 1961.

Francis returned to California during the 1960s and continued painting, mainly in Los Angeles, but also in Tokyo where he lived primarily in 1973-4. In 1965 Francis started a series of paintings that featured large areas of open canvas, minimal color and strong line. His work evolved further after he began intensive Jungian analysis with Dr. James Kirsch in 1971 and began paying careful attention to his dreams and the unconscious images they suggested.

Francis’ works of the early 1970s have been referred to as Fresh Air pictures. Created by adding pools, drips and splatters of color to wet bands

Tokyo 1974- Sam Francis

Tokyo 1974- Sam Francis

of paint applied with a roller, these works re-asserted the artist’s interest in color. By 1973–4 many of Francis’ paintings featured a formal grid or matrix made up of crossing tracks of color. Many of these matrix works were large in scale, measuring up to twenty feet long.

Sam Francis

Sam Francis

After 1980 the formal structure of the grid gradually disappeared from Francis’ work. He was extremely active as a printmaker, creating numerous etchings, lithographs and monotypes, many of which were executed in Santa Monica at the Litho Shop, which Francis owned.

In 1984 Francis founded The Lapis Press with the goal of producing unusual and timely texts in visually compelling formats.

During the last year of his life, suffering from prostate cancer and unable to paint with his right hand after a fall, in a final burst of energy he used his left hand to complete a dazzling series of about 150 small paintings before he died. He was buried in Olema, in Marin County, California.

Sam Francis was married five times, and was the father of four children. He was married from 1947 through 1952 to Vera Miller, a high

Untitled 183- Sam Francis

Untitled 183- Sam Francis

school girlfriend, then to California painter Muriel Goodwin (1955–58) then to Japanese painter Teruko Yokoi with whom he had a daughter, Kayo. In 1966 he married Mako Idemitsu, with whom he had two sons: Osamu and Shingo.

He married his last wife, painter Margaret Smith, in a Shinto ceremony in Japan in 1985. Their son Augustus, born in 1986, is also an artist.

Biography is from wikipedia.

I spent last night and this morning working on this piece.  It was challenging working with such watery paints.  I had to wait for layers to dry over night and then apply more coats.  I was going to do something simpler when I thought what I was doing wasn’t working, but decided to keep working on it.  I hope you enjoy this piece and I’ll see you tomorrow on Day 138.  Best, Linda

Spring Wind- Tribute to Sam Francis Linda Cleary 2014 Acrylic on Canvas

Spring Wind- Tribute to Sam Francis
Linda Cleary 2014
Acrylic on Canvas

Side-View Spring Wind- Tribute to Sam Francis Linda Cleary 2014 Acrylic on Canvas

Side-View
Spring Wind- Tribute to Sam Francis
Linda Cleary 2014
Acrylic on Canvas

Close-Up 1 Spring Wind- Tribute to Sam Francis Linda Cleary 2014 Acrylic on Canvas

Close-Up 1
Spring Wind- Tribute to Sam Francis
Linda Cleary 2014
Acrylic on Canvas

Close-Up 2 Spring Wind- Tribute to Sam Francis Linda Cleary 2014 Acrylic on Canvas

Close-Up 2
Spring Wind- Tribute to Sam Francis
Linda Cleary 2014
Acrylic on Canvas

Close-Up 3 Spring Wind- Tribute to Sam Francis Linda Cleary 2014 Acrylic on Canvas

Close-Up 3
Spring Wind- Tribute to Sam Francis
Linda Cleary 2014
Acrylic on Canvas

Day 127- Allan D’Arcangelo- Icons That Matter

It’s Day 127 and I am feeling so pooped today.  I think it’s hormonal and also some low level anxiety.  Ugh.  I guess it’s just one of those days! I’m sure I’ll feel better when I go to improv tonight.  I still did my painting of course and it was challenging, but fun to come up with the design.  Join me in celebrating Allan D’Arcangelo today.

Allan D'Arcangelo

Allan D’Arcangelo

Allan D'Arcangelo

Allan D’Arcangelo

Allan D’Arcangelo (June 16, 1930 in BuffaloNew York – December 17, 1998 in New York CityNew York) was an American artist and printmaker, best known for his paintings of highways and road signs. His reputation as a Pop artist was established in 1963 with his series of paintings of American highways and signs, an example of which includes US Highway 1, Number 5.

A veteran of dozens of solo exhibitions beginning in the late 1950s, D’Archangelo

Allan D'Arcangelo

Allan D’Arcangelo

taught Fine art at Cornell University, Brooklyn College, and the School of Visual Arts during the 1960s and he also taught painting in several other institutions throughout his career.

During the early 1960s, Allan D’Arcangelo was linked with Pop Art. “Marilyn” (1962) depicts an illustrative head and shoulders on which the facial features are marked by lettered slits to be “fitted” with the eyebrows, eyes, nose and mouth which appear off to the right in the composition. In “Madonna and Child,” (1963) the featureless faces of Jackie Kennedy and Caroline are ringed with haloes, enough to make their status as contemporary icons perfectly clear.

Allan D'Arcangelo

Allan D’Arcangelo

D’Arcangelo is better known for his pictures of highways and roadblocks, which pictured deep perspectival vistas in a simplified, flat plane, the view as seen from the driver’s seat as one zooms along the seemingly never-ending American highway in most any state. Next came a series “Barriers,” in which cropped, abstracted imagery of road barriers were superimposed over the one-point perspectival highway vistas.

These were a move further towards concern with abstract, two-dimensionality without negating

Allan D'Arcangelo

Allan D’Arcangelo

the element culled from seen aspects of the American landscape. The series called “Constellations” (there are 120 in all) further abstracted the view of road barriers into perspectival, jutting patterns thrusting across the canvas against a white ground. The element of the seen is never obliterated and always primary in D’Arcangelo’s dialectic, as amply evidenced in his return to highway imagery in the 1970s.

Allan D'Arcangelo

Allan D’Arcangelo

For several years during that decade, D’Arcangelo slowed down his formerly prolific output. In the Spring of 1982, he had his first one-man exhibition in New York in five years. The new pictures were rather scenic landscape vistas, simplified and showing his ongoing concern with jutting perspectival space, now inhabited by flatly painted images of highway overpasses, a jet wing, grain field, electric lines.

Indications of the American industrial scene seem more related to the hand-painted,

Constellation II 1971 by Allan D'Arcangelo

Constellation II 1971 by Allan D’Arcangelo

pristine look of Charles Sheelerthan to the pop of, say, Roy Lichtenstein In form, there is also a reminiscence of field paintings in the simplicity and emblematic quality of these works. Now, as before, the main element in D’Arcangelo’s pictures is the post-abstraction search for, as he put it, “icons that matter,” monumental archetypes of the contemporary American expansive landscape highway.

Allan D'Arcangelo

Allan D’Arcangelo

His paintings are in the permanent collections of the Tate Gallery in London, the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York, the Denver Art Museum in Colorado, theWalker Art Center in Minneapolis, the Butler Institute of American Art in Youngstown, Ohio, and many other public and private collections worldwide.

Biography is from wikipedia.

Although today’s painting was challenging it was still enjoyable to paint.  I think anything I painted today would’ve been challenging.  I’m feeling pooped and anxious and sorry to be girly, but I’m definitely starting my period soon.  Well, I hope you enjoy my piece today and I’ll see you tomorrow on Day 128!  Best, Linda

Intersection- Tribute to Allan D'Arcangelo Linda Cleary 2014 Acrylic on Canvas

Intersection- Tribute to Allan D’Arcangelo
Linda Cleary 2014
Acrylic on Canvas

Side-View Intersection- Tribute to Allan D'Arcangelo Linda Cleary 2014 Acrylic on Canvas

Side-View
Intersection- Tribute to Allan D’Arcangelo
Linda Cleary 2014
Acrylic on Canvas

Close-Up 1 Intersection- Tribute to Allan D'Arcangelo Linda Cleary 2014 Acrylic on Canvas

Close-Up 1
Intersection- Tribute to Allan D’Arcangelo
Linda Cleary 2014
Acrylic on Canvas

Close-Up 2 Intersection- Tribute to Allan D'Arcangelo Linda Cleary 2014 Acrylic on Canvas

Close-Up 2
Intersection- Tribute to Allan D’Arcangelo
Linda Cleary 2014
Acrylic on Canvas

Close-Up 3 Intersection- Tribute to Allan D'Arcangelo Linda Cleary 2014 Acrylic on Canvas

Close-Up 3
Intersection- Tribute to Allan D’Arcangelo
Linda Cleary 2014
Acrylic on Canvas