Day 343- Maurice Sendak- Beautiful Things in the World

It’s Day 343 and I have to say that I’m super duper excited about today’s artist.  He’s one of my favorite people ever and was such an influence on me as an artist and writer.  Please join me in honoring Maurice Sendak today!

Maurice Sendak

Maurice Sendak

Maurice Sendak

Maurice Sendak

Maurice Bernard Sendak (June 10, 1928 – May 8, 2012) was an American illustrator and writer of children’s books. He became widely known for his book Where the Wild Things Are, first published in 1963. Born to Jewish-Polish parents, his childhood was affected by the death of many of his family members during the Holocaust. Besides Where the Wild Things Are,Sendak also wrote works such as In the Night Kitchen and Outside Over There, and illustrated Little Bear.

Sendak was born in New York City in the borough of Brooklyn to Polish Jewish immigrant parents named Sadie (née Schindler) and Philip Sendak, a dressmaker. Sendak described his childhood as a “terrible situation” due to the death of members of his extended family during the Holocaust which exposed him at a young age to the concept of mortality. His love of books began when, as a child, he developed health problems and was confined to his bed. He decided to become an illustrator after watching Walt Disney’s film Fantasia at the age of twelve. One of his first professional commissions was to create window displays for the toy store F.A.O. Schwarz. His illustrations were first published in 1947 in a textbook titled Atomics for the Millions by Dr. Maxwell Leigh Eidinoff. He spent much of the 1950s illustrating children’s books written by others before beginning to write his own stories.

His older brother Jack Sendak also became an author of children’s books, two of which were illustrated by

'My Brother’s Book' by Maurice Sendak, 2013

‘My Brother’s Book’ by Maurice Sendak, 2013

Maurice in the 1950s.

Maurice was the youngest of three siblings. His sister, Natalie, was nine years older than he, and his brother, Jack, was five years older than he.

Sendak gained international acclaim after writing and illustrating Where the Wild Things Are, edited by Ursula Nordstrom at Harper & Row. It features Max, a boy who “rages against his mother for being sent to bed without any supper”. The book’s depictions of fanged monsters concerned some parents when it was first published, as his characters were somewhat grotesque in appearance. Before Where the Wild Things Are, Sendak was best known for illustrating Else Holmelund Minarik’s Little Bear series of books.

Sendak later recounted the reaction of a fan:

A little boy sent me a charming card with a little drawing on it. I loved it. I answer all my children’s letters – sometimes very hastily – but this one I lingered over. I sent him a card and I drew a picture of a Wild Thing on it. I wrote, ‘Dear Jim: I loved your card.’ Then I got a letter back from his mother and she said: ‘Jim loved your card so much he ate it.’ That to me was one of the highest compliments I’ve ever received. He didn’t care that it was an original Maurice Sendak drawing or anything. He saw it, he loved it, he ate it.
Where The Wild Things Are- Maurice Sendak

Where The Wild Things Are- Maurice Sendak

Almost fifty years later, School Library Journal sponsored a survey of readers which identified Where the Wild Things Are as top picture book. The librarian who conducted it observed that there was little doubt what would be voted number one and highlighted its designation by one reader as a watershed, “ushering in the modern age of picture books”. Another called it “perfectly crafted, perfectly illustrated … simply the epitome of a picture book” and noted that Sendak “rises above the rest in part because he is subversive”.

When Sendak saw a manuscript of Zlateh the Goat and Other Stories, the first children’s book by Isaac Bashevis Singer, on the desk of an editor at Harper & Row, he offered to illustrate the book. It was first published in 1966 and received a Newbery Honor. Sendak was delighted and enthusiastic about the collaboration. He once wryly remarked that his parents were “finally” impressed by their youngest child when he collaborated with Singer.

His book In the Night Kitchen, originally issued in 1970, has often been subjected to censorship for its drawings of a young boy prancing naked through the story. The book has been challenged in several American states including Illinois, New Jersey, Minnesota, and Texas. In the Night Kitchen regularly appears on the American Library Association’s list of “frequently challenged and banned books”. It was listed number 21 on the “100 Most Frequently Challenged Books of 1990–1999”.

His 1981 book Outside Over There is the story of a girl, Ida, and her sibling jealousy and responsibility. Her

In the Night Kitchen- Maurice Sendak

In the Night Kitchen- Maurice Sendak

father is away and so Ida is left to watch her baby sister, much to her dismay. Her sister is kidnapped by goblins and Ida must go off on a magical adventure to rescue her. At first, she is not really eager to get her sister and nearly passes her sister right by when she becomes absorbed in the magic of the quest. In the end, she rescues her baby sister, destroys the goblins, and returns home committed to caring for her sister until her father returns home.

Sendak was an early member of the National Board of Advisors of the Children’s Television Workshop during the development stages of the Sesame Street television series. He also adapted his book Bumble Ardy into an animated sequence for the series, with Jim Henson as the voice of Bumble Ardy. He wrote and designed three other animated stories for the series: “Seven Monsters” (which never aired), “Up & Down”, and “Broom Adventures”.

Sendak produced an animated television production based on his work titled Really Rosie, featuring the voice of Carole King, which was broadcast in 1975 and is available on video (usually as part of video compilations of his work). An album of the songs was also produced. He contributed the opening segment to Simple Gifts, a Christmas collection of six animated shorts shown on PBS TV in 1977 and later issued on VHS in 1993. He adapted his book Where the Wild Things Are for the stage in 1979. Additionally, he designed sets for many operas and ballets, including the award-winning (1983) Pacific Northwest Ballet production of Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker, Houston Grand Opera’s productions of Mozart’s The Magic Flute (1981) and Humperdinck’s Hansel and Gretel (1997), Los Angeles County Music Center’s 1990 production of Mozart’s Idomeneo, and the New York City Opera’s 1981 production of Janáček’s The Cunning Little Vixen.

Maurice Sendak

Maurice Sendak

In the 1990s, Sendak approached playwright Tony Kushner to write a new English version of the Czech composer Hans Krása’s children’s Holocaust opera Brundibár. Kushner wrote the text for Sendak’s illustrated book of the same name, published in 2003. The book was named one of the New York Times Book Review’s 10 Best Illustrated Books of 2003.

In 2003, Chicago Opera Theatre produced Sendak and Kushner’s adaptation of Brundibár. In 2005, Berkeley Repertory Theatre, in collaboration with Yale Repertory Theatre and Broadway’s New Victory Theater, produced a substantially reworked version of the Sendak-Kushner adaptation.

In 2004 Sendak worked with the Shirim Klezmer Orchestra in Boston on their project “Pincus and the Pig: A Klezmer Tale”. This Klezmer version of Sergei Prokofiev’s famous musical story for children, Peter and the Wolf featured Maurice Sendak as the narrator. He also illustrated the cover art.

Sendak also created the children’s television program Seven Little Monsters.

Sendak mentioned in a September 2008 article in The New York Times that he was gay and had lived with his partner, psychoanalyst Dr. Eugene Glynn, for 50 years before Glynn’s death in May 2007. Revealing that he never told his parents, he said, “All I wanted was to be straight so my parents could be happy. They never, never,

Where The Wild Things Are- Maurice Sendak

Where The Wild Things Are- Maurice Sendak

never knew.”  Sendak’s relationship with Glynn had been mentioned by other writers before (e.g., Tony Kushner in 2003) and Glynn’s 2007 death notice had identified Sendak as his “partner of fifty years”. After his partner’s death, Sendak donated $1 million to the Jewish Board of Family and Children’s Services in memory of Glynn who had treated young people there. The gift will name a clinic for Glynn.

Sendak was an atheist. In a 2011 interview he agreed that he didn’t believe in God and elaborated. He remarked that religion, and belief in God “must have made life much easier [for some religious friends of his]. It’s harder for us non-believers.”

Maurice Sendak drew inspiration and influences from a vast number of painters, musicians and authors. Going back to his childhood, one of his earliest memorable influences was actually his father, Philip Sendak. According to Maurice, his father would relate tales from the Old Testament; however, he would embellish them with racy details. Not realizing that this was inappropriate for children, little Maurice would frequently be sent home after retelling his father’s “softcore Bible tales” at school.

Nutshell Library- Maurice Sendak

Nutshell Library- Maurice Sendak

Growing up, Sendak developed from other influences, starting with Walt Disney’s Fantasia and Mickey Mouse. Sendak and Mickey Mouse were born in the same year and Sendak described Mickey as a source of joy and pleasure while growing up. He has been quoted as saying, “My gods are Herman Melville, Emily Dickinson, Mozart. I believe in them with all my heart.” Elaborating further, he has explained that reading Emily Dickinson’s works helps him to remain calm in an otherwise hectic world: “And I have a little tiny Emily Dickinson so big that I carry in my pocket everywhere. And you just read three poems of Emily. She is so brave. She is so strong. She is such a passionate little woman. I feel better.” Likewise, of Mozart, he has said, “When Mozart is playing in my room, I am in conjunction with something I can’t explain. […] I don’t need to. I know that if there’s a purpose for life, it was for me to hear Mozart.”

Sendak died on May 8, 2012, in Danbury, Connecticut, at Danbury Hospital, from complications of a stroke. His remains were cremated.

The New York Times obituary called Sendak “the most important children’s book artist of the 20th century.” Author Neil Gaiman remarked, “He was unique, grumpy, brilliant, gay, wise, magical and made the world better by creating art in it.” Author R. L. Stine called Sendak’s death “a sad day in children’s books and for the world.”

Maurice Sendak

Maurice Sendak

“We are all honored to have been briefly invited into his world,” remarked comedian Stephen Colbert.

The 2012 season of Pacific Northwest Ballet’s “The Nutcracker,” for which Sendak designed the set, was dedicated to his memory.

His final book, Bumble-Ardy, was published eight months before his death. A posthumous picture book, titled

My Brother’s Book, was published in February 2013.

The film Her was dedicated in memory of him and Where the Wild Things Are co-star James Gandolfini. The film had been directed by Spike Jonze, who had also directed the motion picture adaptation of Where the Wild Things Are.

Partial biography is from wikipedia.

“There are so many beautiful things in the world which I will have to leave when I die, but I’m ready, I’m ready, I’m ready.”- Maurice Sendak

I of course had to pay homage to Where the Wild Things Are since it was one of my all time favorite books growing up!  Instead of Max it’s me!  I hope you enjoy it and I’ll see you tomorrow on Day 344…then one more until there’s only 20 paintings left!  Aaaah!

Best,

Linda

Me and my Monster- Tribute to Maurice Sendak Linda Cleary 2014 Watercolor, Pencil & Ink on Paper mounted onto wood panel

Me and my Monster- Tribute to Maurice Sendak
Linda Cleary 2014
Watercolor, Pencil & Ink on Paper mounted onto wood panel

Side-View Me and my Monster- Tribute to Maurice Sendak Linda Cleary 2014 Watercolor, Pencil & Ink on Paper mounted onto wood panel

Side-View
Me and my Monster- Tribute to Maurice Sendak
Linda Cleary 2014
Watercolor, Pencil & Ink on Paper mounted onto wood panel

Close-Up 1 Me and my Monster- Tribute to Maurice Sendak Linda Cleary 2014 Watercolor, Pencil & Ink on Paper mounted onto wood panel

Close-Up 1
Me and my Monster- Tribute to Maurice Sendak
Linda Cleary 2014
Watercolor, Pencil & Ink on Paper mounted onto wood panel

Close-Up 2 Me and my Monster- Tribute to Maurice Sendak Linda Cleary 2014 Watercolor, Pencil & Ink on Paper mounted onto wood panel

Close-Up 2
Me and my Monster- Tribute to Maurice Sendak
Linda Cleary 2014
Watercolor, Pencil & Ink on Paper mounted onto wood panel

Close-Up 3 Me and my Monster- Tribute to Maurice Sendak Linda Cleary 2014 Watercolor, Pencil & Ink on Paper mounted onto wood panel

Close-Up 3
Me and my Monster- Tribute to Maurice Sendak
Linda Cleary 2014
Watercolor, Pencil & Ink on Paper mounted onto wood panel

Day 336- Henry Darger Jr.- In the Realms of the Unreal

It’s Day 336 and I’ve been excited to do this artist for a long time.  I knew it was going to be challenging and I think I had too many ideas that my brain got a bit jumbled.  Well, I finally did it and I think I’m pretty happy with it.  Please join me in honoring Henry Darger Jr. today!

Henry Darger Jr.

Henry Darger Jr.

Hands of Fire- Henry Darger Jr.

Hands of Fire- Henry Darger Jr.

Henry Joseph Darger, Jr. (April 12, 1892 – April 13, 1973) was a reclusive American writer and artist who worked as a hospital custodian in Chicago, Illinois. He has become famous for his posthumously discovered 15,145-page, single-spaced fantasy manuscript called The Story of the Vivian Girls, in What is Known as the Realms of the Unreal, of the Glandeco-Angelinian War Storm, Caused by the Child Slave Rebellion, along with several hundred drawings and watercolor paintings illustrating the story.

The visual subject matter of his work ranges from idyllic scenes in Edwardian interiors and tranquil flowered landscapes populated by children and fantastic creatures, to scenes of horrific terror and

Henry Darger Jr.

Henry Darger Jr.

carnage depicting young children being tortured and massacred. Much of his artwork is mixed media with collage elements. Darger’s artwork has become one of the most celebrated examples of outsider art.

Darger was born in Chicago, Illinois, to Rosa Fullman and Henry Darger, Sr. on April 12, 1892. Cook County records show that he was born at his home, located at 350 W. 24th Street. When he was four years old, his mother died of puerperal fever after having given birth to a daughter, who was given up for adoption; Henry Darger never knew his sister. One of Darger’s biographers, the art historian and psychologist John M. MacGregor, discovered that Rosa had two children before Henry, but did not discover their whereabouts.

Henry Darger Jr.

Henry Darger Jr.

By Darger’s own report, his father, Henry Sr., was kind and reassuring to him, and they lived together until 1900. In that year, the crippled and impoverished Darger Sr. had to be taken to live at St. Augustine’s Catholic Mission home and his son was placed in a Catholic boys’ home. Darger Sr. died in 1905, and his son was institutionalized in the Illinois Asylum for Feeble-Minded Children in Lincoln, Illinois, with the diagnosis, according to Stephen Prokopoff, that “Little Henry’s heart is not in the right place”. According to John MacGregor, the diagnosis was actually “self-abuse” (at the time, this term was a euphemism for masturbation, rather than self-injury).

Darger himself felt that much of his problem was being able to see through adult lies and becoming a ‘smart-aleck’ as a result, which often led to his being disciplined by teachers and ganged up on by classmates. He also went through a lengthy phase of feeling compelled to make strange noises (perhaps as a result of Tourette Syndrome) which irritated others. The Lincoln asylum’s practices included forced labor and severe punishments, which Darger seems to have worked into In the Realms of the Unreal. He later said that, to be

Henry Darger Jr.

Henry Darger Jr.

fair, there were also good times there, he enjoyed some of the work, and he had friends as well as enemies. While he was there, he received word that his father had died. A series of attempted escapes ended successfully in 1908, the 16-year-old returned to Chicago and, with the help of his godmother, found menial employment in a Catholic hospital and in this fashion continued to support himself until his retirement in 1963.

Except for a brief stint in the U.S. Army during World War I, his life took on a pattern that seems to have varied little: he attended Mass daily, frequently returning for as many as five services; he collected and saved a bewildering array of trash from the streets. His dress was shabby, although he attempted to keep his clothes clean and mended. He was largely solitary; his one close friend, William Schloeder, was of like mind on the subject of protecting abused and neglected children, and the pair proposed founding a “Children’s Protective Society”, which would put such children up for adoption to loving families. Schloeder left Chicago sometime in the mid-1930s, but he and Darger stayed in touch through letters until Schloeder’s death in 1959. Darger biographer Jim Elledge suggests that Darger and Schloeder may have had a romantic relationship while Schloeder lived in Chicago.

Henry Darger Jr.

Henry Darger Jr.

In 1930, Darger settled into a second-floor room on Chicago’s North Side, at 851 W. Webster Avenue, in the Lincoln Park section of the city, near the DePaul Universitycampus. It was in this room, for 43 years, that Darger imagined and wrote his massive tomes (in addition to a 10-year daily weather journal and assorted diaries) until his death in April 1973 in St. Augustine’s Catholic Mission home (the same institution in which his father had died). In the last entry in his diary, he wrote: “January 1, 1971. I had a very poor nothing like Christmas. Never had a good Christmas all my life, nor a good new year, and now… I am very bitter but fortunately not revengeful, though I feel should be how I am…”

Darger is buried in All Saints Cemetery in Des Plaines, Illinois, in a plot called “The Old People of the Little Sisters of the Poor Plot”. Darger’s headstone is inscribed “Artist” and “Protector of Children”.

In the Realms of the Unreal is a 15,145-page work bound in fifteen immense, densely typed volumes (with three of them consisting of several hundred illustrations, scroll-like watercolor paintings on paper derived from magazines and coloring books) created over six decades. The majority of the book, The Story of the Vivian Girls,

Henry Darger Jr.

Henry Darger Jr.

in What is Known as the Realms of the Unreal, of the Glandeco-Angelinian War Storm Caused by the Child Slave Rebellion, follows the adventures of the daughters of Robert Vivian, seven princesses of the Christian nation of Abbieannia who assist a daring rebellion against the evil regime of child slavery imposed by John Manley and the Glandelinians.

Children take up arms in their own defense and are often slain in battle or viciously tortured by the Glandelinian overlords. The elaborate mythology includes the setting of a large planet, around which Earth orbits as a moon (where most people are Christian and mostly Catholic), and a species called the “Blengigomeneans” (or Blengins for short), gigantic winged beings with curved horns who occasionally take human or part-human form, even disguising themselves as children. They are usually benevolent, but some Blengins are extremely suspicious of all humans, due to Glandelinian atrocities. Darger illustrated his stories using a technique of traced images cut from magazines and catalogues, arranged in large panoramic landscapes and painted in watercolours, some as large as 30 feet wide and painted on both sides. He wrote himself into the narrative as the children’s protector.

Henry Darger Jr.

Henry Darger Jr.

Once released from the asylum, Darger repeatedly attempted to adopt a child, but his efforts failed. Images of children often served as his inspiration, particularly a portrait from the Chicago Daily News from May 9, 1911: a five-year-old murder victim, named Elsie Paroubek. The girl had left home on April 8 of that year telling her mother she was going to visit her aunt around the corner from her home. She was last seen listening to an organ grinder with her cousins. Her body was found a month later in a sanitary district channel near the screen guards of the powerhouse at Lockport, Illinois. An autopsy found she had probably been suffocated—not strangled, as is often stated in articles about Darger. Paroubek’s disappearance and murder, her funeral, and the subsequent investigation, were the subjects of a huge amount of coverage in the Daily News and other papers at the time.

This newspaper photo was part of a growing personal archive of clippings Darger had been gathering. There is no indication that the murder or the news photo and article had any particular significance for Darger, until one day he could not find it. Writing in his journal at the time, he began to process this forfeiture of yet another

Henry Darger Jr.

Henry Darger Jr.

child, lamenting that “the huge disaster and calamity” of his loss “will never be atoned for”, but “shall be avenged to the uttermost limit”. According to his autobiography, Darger believed the photo was among several items that were stolen when his locker at work was broken into. He never found his copy of the photograph again. Because he couldn’t remember the exact date of its publication, he couldn’t locate it in the newspaper archive. He carried out an elaborate series of novenas and other prayers for the picture to be returned.

The fictive war that was sparked by Darger’s loss of the newspaper photograph of the murdered girl, whose killer was never found, became Darger’s magnum opus. He had been working on some version of the novel before this time (he makes reference to an early draft which was also lost or stolen), but now it became an all-consuming creation.

Henry Darger Jr.

Henry Darger Jr.

In The Realms of the Unreal, Elsie is imagined as Annie Aronburg, the leader of the first child slave rebellion. “The assassination of the child labor rebel Annie Aronburg… was the most shocking child murder ever caused by the Glandelinian Government” and was the cause of the war. Through their sufferings, valiant deeds and exemplary holiness, the Vivian Girls are hoped to be able to help bring about a triumph of Christianity. Darger provided two endings to the story, one in which the Vivian Girls and Christianity are triumphant and another in which they are defeated and the godless Glandelinians reign.

Darger’s human figures were rendered largely by tracing, collage, or photo enlargement from popular magazines and children’s books (much of the “trash” he collected was old magazines and newspapers, which he clipped for source material). Some of his favorite figures were the Coppertone Girl and Little Annie Rooney. He is praised for his natural gift for composition and the brilliant use of color in his watercolors. The images of daring escapes, mighty battles, and painful torture are reminiscent not only of epic films such as Birth of a Nation (which Darger might easily have seen) but of events in Catholic history; the text makes it clear that the child victims are heroic martyrs like the early saints.

One idiosyncratic feature of Darger’s artwork is its apparent transgenderism. Many of his subjects which appear

Henry Darger Jr.

Henry Darger Jr.

to be girls are shown to have penises when unclothed or partially clothed. Darger biographer Jim Elledge speculates that this represents a reflection of Darger’s own childhood issues with gender identity and homosexuality.  Darger’s second novel, Crazy House, deals with these subjects more explicitly.

In a paraphrase of the Declaration of Independence, Darger wrote of children’s right “to play, to be happy, and to dream, the right to normal sleep of the night’s season, the right to an education, that we may have an equality of opportunity for developing all that are in us of mind and heart”.

Henry Darger Jr.

Henry Darger Jr.

A second work of fiction, provisionally titled Crazy House: Further Adventures in Chicago, contains over 10,000 handwritten pages. Written after The Realms, it takes that epic’s major characters—the seven Vivian sisters and their companion/secret brother, Penrod—and places them in Chicago, with the action unfolding during the same years as that of the earlier book. Begun in 1939, it is a tale of a house that is possessed by demons and haunted by ghosts, or has an evil consciousness of its own. Children disappear into the house and are later found brutally murdered. The Vivians and a male friend are sent to investigate and discover that the murders are the work of evil ghosts. The girls go about exorcising the place, but have to resort to arranging for a full-scale Holy Mass to be held in each room before the house is clean. They do this repeatedly, but it never works. The narrative ends mid-scene, with Darger having just been rescued from the Crazy House.

In 1968, Darger became interested in tracing some of his frustrations back to his childhood and began writing The History of My Life. Spanning eight volumes, the book only spends 206 pages detailing Darger’s early life before veering off into 4,672 pages of fiction about a huge twister called “Sweetie Pie”, probably based on memories of a tornado he had witnessed in 1908.

Despite Darger’s unusual lifestyle and strange behavior, he has not generally been considered mentally ill. This

Henry Darger Jr.

Henry Darger Jr.

topic is addressed in the biographical film In the Realms of the Unreal, in which Darger, while certainly described as eccentric, is also mentioned to be “in complete control of his life”. MacGregor, in the appendix to his book on Darger, speculates that the most fitting diagnosis is autism, of an Asperger syndrome type.

Darger’s landlords, Nathan and Kiyoko Lerner, came across his work shortly before his death, a day after his birthday, on April 13, 1973. Nathan Lerner, an accomplished photographer whose long career the New York Times wrote “was inextricably bound up in the history of visual culture in Chicago”, immediately recognized the artistic merit of Darger’s work. By this time Darger was in the Catholic mission St. Augustine’s, operated by the Little Sisters of the Poor, where his father had died.

The Lerners took charge of the Darger estate, publicizing his work and contributing to projects such as the 2004 documentary In the Realms of the Unreal. In cooperation with Kiyoko Lerner, Intuit: The Center for Intuitive and Outsider Art dedicated the Henry Darger Room Collection in 2008 as part of its permanent collection. Darger has become internationally recognized thanks to the efforts of people who knew to save his works. After Nathan Lerner’s death in 1997, Kiyoko Lerner became the sole figure in charge of both her husband’s and Darger’s estates. The U.S. copyright representative for the Estate of Henry Darger and the Estate of Nathan Lerner is the Artists Rights Society.

Henry Darger Jr.

Henry Darger Jr.

Darger is today one of the most famous figures in the history of outsider art. At the Outsider Art Fair, held every January in New York City, and at auction, his work is among the highest-priced of any self-taught artist. The American Folk Art Museum, New York City, opened a Henry Darger Study Center in 2001. His work now commands upwards of $80,000.

Since his death in 1973 and the discovery of his massive opus, and especially since the 1990s, there have been many references in popular culture to Darger’s work by other visual artists including, but not limited to, artists of comics and graphic novels; numerous popular songs; a 1999 book-length poem, Girls on the Run, by John Ashbery; a multi-player online game, SiSSYFiGHT 2000, and a 2004 multimedia piece by choreographer Pat Graney incorporating Darger images. Jesse Kellerman’s 2008 novel The Genius took part of its inspiration from Darger’s story. These artists have variously drawn from and responded to Darger’s artistic style, his themes (especially the Vivian Girls, the young heroines of Darger’s massive illustrated novel), and the events in his life.

Jessica Yu’s 2004 documentary In the Realms of the Unreal details Darger’s life and artworks.

Comic book artist Scott McCloud refers to Darger’s work in his book Making Comics, while describing the danger artists encounter in the creation of a character’s back-story. McCloud says that complicated narratives can easily spin out of control when too much unseen information is built up around the characters.

Darger and his work have been an inspiration for several music artists. The Vivian Girls were an all-girl indie/punk trio from Brooklyn; “Henry Darger” is a song by Natalie Merchant on her album Motherland,

Henry Darger Jr.

Henry Darger Jr.

“Vivian Girls” is song by the band Wussy on their album Left for Dead. “The Vivian Girls Are Visited in the Night by Saint Dargarius and His Squadron of Benevolent Butterflies” is a song by Sufjan Stevens on his album The Avalanche: Outtakes and Extras from the Illinois Album, “The Story of the Vivian Girls” is a song by Comet Gain on their 2005 album City Fallen Leaves, and “Segue: In the Realms of the Unreal” is song by the band …And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead on their album So Divided, “The Vivian Girls” is a 1979 song by Snakefinger (Philip Lithman Roth) also recorded by the Monks of Doom on their album The Cosmodemonic Telegraph Company, “Vivian girls” is a song by the band Fucked Up on their album Hidden World, and “Lost girls” (about Darger’s work) is a song by Tilly and the Wall on their album Bottoms of Barrels. On their 1994 album Triple Mania II, San Diego’s industrial noise performance outfit Crash Worship reworked several Darger images and screen printed them on a copper foil foldout discfolio; as well as the insert and disc.

Darger is the subject of a radio play, Darger and the Detective, by Mike Walker performed by members of the Chicago-based Steppenwolf Theatre Company for BBC Radio 3.

Biography is from wikipedia.

I love his story so I decided to include all the the page.  I hope you enjoy my piece for today and I will see you tomorrow on Day 336.

Best,

Linda

Sky Demon- Tribute to Henry Darger Jr. Linda Cleary 2014 Watercolor & Ink on Canvas

Sky Demon- Tribute to Henry Darger Jr.
Linda Cleary 2014
Watercolor & Ink on Canvas

Side-View Sky Demon- Tribute to Henry Darger Jr. Linda Cleary 2014 Watercolor & Ink on Canvas

Side-View
Sky Demon- Tribute to Henry Darger Jr.
Linda Cleary 2014
Watercolor & Ink on Canvas

Close-Up 1 Sky Demon- Tribute to Henry Darger Jr. Linda Cleary 2014 Watercolor & Ink on Canvas

Close-Up 1
Sky Demon- Tribute to Henry Darger Jr.
Linda Cleary 2014
Watercolor & Ink on Canvas

Close-Up 2 Sky Demon- Tribute to Henry Darger Jr. Linda Cleary 2014 Watercolor & Ink on Canvas

Close-Up 2
Sky Demon- Tribute to Henry Darger Jr.
Linda Cleary 2014
Watercolor & Ink on Canvas

Close-Up 3 Sky Demon- Tribute to Henry Darger Jr. Linda Cleary 2014 Watercolor & Ink on Canvas

Close-Up 3
Sky Demon- Tribute to Henry Darger Jr.
Linda Cleary 2014
Watercolor & Ink on Canvas

 

Day 329- Doze Green- Infinite Perspectives

It’s Day 329 and I had a fun time with today’s piece.  Please join me in honoring Doze Green today.  I love his style.

Doze Green

Doze Green

Doze Green

Doze Green

Doze Green translates complex metaphysical concepts through his paintings, such as the possible manipulation of energy and matter to create a timeless space. He explores meditations on matter and anti-matter, layers of consciousness, and different possibilities based on cosmology.

Through stream-of-consciousness painting, Doze Green creates fractured imagery to convey infinite possibilities. His intention is to reveal works with an ever-changing narrative. Multi-dimensional planes and illusion of time are presented through fragmented, incomplete figures.

He believes by depicting beings that are not fully materialized, these beings are not of this realm. He presents

DOZE-GREEN-Luminosity-preview-14

DOZE-GREEN-Luminosity-preview-14

possibilities of immortality through paintings where narratives are interminable. His collection of paintings is an extension of this metaphysical concept.

Cubist influences include ascending and descending planes and repetitive, overlapping, and concentric lines in an otherwise undefined landscape. For Doze Green, this energy and motion of created forms exist in a visual meeting place of ideas.

Doze Green

Doze Green

Influenced by Edo period paintings, Doze Green mixes black gesso with Sumi ink and applies “creatively chaotic, and intuitive brushstrokes,” in a calligraphy-inspired and graffiti aesthetic. Doze Green translates these primitive markings as “biological entities, a swarm of arrows coming in from infinite perspective.”

Doze Green is also known for his live painting performances. Doze Green’s work is in many public and private collections throughout the United States, Japan, Europe, and Australia. His works have been published in

Detail of painting- Doze Green

Detail of painting- Doze Green

BlackBook, Anthem, Juxtapoz, Tokion, and­­ Vibe and reviewed on CNN.

Biography above is from www.dozegreen.com.

Below blurb is from http://www.artsy.com.

In the 1970s, Doze Green was a Hip-Hop pioneer. A member of the legendary Rock Steady Crew—the group that pioneered breakdancing (also known as B-Boying)—the subway-tagging graffiti artist often participated in breakdance performances at SoHo and Lower East Side galleries.

Doze Green

Doze Green

Moving from walls to canvas, Green’s recent paintings, influenced by the art of the Edo Period in Japan and created with gesso and sumi ink, incorporate his signature style of figurative abstraction and use of letterforms while at the same time posing metaphysical questions about the nature of narrative, the physics of time, and the possibility of immortality. He calls them “biological entities, a swarm of arrows coming in from infinite perspective.”

~

I hope you enjoy my tribute today and I’ll see you tomorrow on Day 330!  35 to go…I almost can’t believe it.  I’m

Doze Green

Doze Green

happy, proud and sad all at the same time.

Best,

Linda

Eye Contact- Tribute to Doze Green Linda Cleary 2014 Ink & Acrylic on Canvas

Eye Contact- Tribute to Doze Green
Linda Cleary 2014
Ink & Acrylic on Canvas

Side-View Eye Contact- Tribute to Doze Green Linda Cleary 2014 Ink & Acrylic on Canvas

Side-View
Eye Contact- Tribute to Doze Green
Linda Cleary 2014
Ink & Acrylic on Canvas

Close-Up 1 Eye Contact- Tribute to Doze Green Linda Cleary 2014 Ink & Acrylic on Canvas

Close-Up 1
Eye Contact- Tribute to Doze Green
Linda Cleary 2014
Ink & Acrylic on Canvas

Close-Up 2 Eye Contact- Tribute to Doze Green Linda Cleary 2014 Ink & Acrylic on Canvas

Close-Up 2
Eye Contact- Tribute to Doze Green
Linda Cleary 2014
Ink & Acrylic on Canvas

Close-Up 3 Eye Contact- Tribute to Doze Green Linda Cleary 2014 Ink & Acrylic on Canvas

Close-Up 3
Eye Contact- Tribute to Doze Green
Linda Cleary 2014
Ink & 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 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 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 222- Francesco Clemente- Many Faces

It’s Day 222 and I loved painting today’s piece.  I was a little intimidated at first because I wasn’t exactly sure what I wanted to do, but once I figured out a concept I got excited.  Please join me in honoring Francesco Clemente today!  I just absolutely love this man’s artwork!

Francesco Clemente 1984

Fire- Francesco Clemente

Fire- Francesco Clemente

Francesco Clemente (born in Naples March 23, 1952) is an Italian contemporary artist. His work is influenced by thinkers as diverse as Gregory Bateson, William Blake, Allen Ginsberg, and J Krishnamurti. Dividing his time between New York and Varanasi, India, Clemente has adopted for his paintings a vast variety of supports and mediums, exploring, discarding, and returning to oil paint, watercolor, pastel, and printmaking. His work develops in a non-linear mode, expanding and contracting in a fragmentary way, not defined by a style, but rather by his recording of the fluctuations of the self.

Clemente’s work spans four decades. His work is stylistically varied, inclusive, erotic,

Silver and Stone- Francesco Clemente

Silver and Stone- Francesco Clemente

and nomadic. It embraces diverse mediums and diverse cultures as well, aiming at finding wholeness through fragmentation and witnessing the survival of contemplation and pleasure in our mechanical age.

Clemente’s work is rooted in political utopia and expresses an anti-materialistic stance. In the 1970s he moved from photography to drawing and anticipated the return to painting of the 1980s.

Self Portrait with Black Gloves- Francesco Clemente

Self Portrait with Black Gloves- Francesco Clemente

Clemente’s work is nomadic. In the 1980s he divided his time between India and New York. While briefly associated with Neo-Expressionism he took an interest in collaborative works both with Indian craftsmen and with painters like Basquiat and Warhol, and poets like Robert Creeley and Ginsberg in New York. In an interview with The Brooklyn Rail, Clemente commented “these poets had been looking at the East for inspiration and I was also anxious to evade the materialism of the West.”

In the 1990s Clemente’s work explored intensely erotic imagery, inspired by the Tantra

Francesco Clemente

Francesco Clemente

traditions both of India and Tibet, and turning contemporary preoccupations with identity and sexuality into an occasion to ask questions about the nature of the self.

Francesco Clemente, Grisaille Self-Portait 1998

Francesco Clemente, Grisaille Self-Portait 1998

In the 2000s Clemente’s work went through a darker and grotesque phase, returning in the last years to luminous images of repose and transformation.

Since the 1980s until today Clemente also chronicled New York intellectual and social life through a great number of portraits, contributing to the revival of a genre until then somehow discredited.

Clemente’s art has been presented in solo and group shows internationally. Major

Francesco Clemente

Francesco Clemente

retrospectives have been held in the 1990s at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, at The Royal Academy in London, at the Centre Pompidou, Paris and at the Sezon Museum of Art, Tokyo. Clemente’s art was also featured in 1999-2000 at the Solomon R Guggenheim Museum, New York, and at the Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao. In the 2000s retrospectives were held at the Irish Museum of Modern Art in Dublin, at the Museo MADRE, Naples and at the Schirn Kunsthalle, Frankfurt. An exhibition of self-portraits and of Clemente’s own version of the Tarot Cards was held at the Uffizi Gallery, Florence in 2011.

Francesco Clemente Virgine, 1995. Pastel on paper

Francesco Clemente Virgine, 1995. Pastel on paper

The artist is currently represented by Bruno Bischofberger in Switzerland and BlainSouthern in London and Mary Boone Gallery in New York.

Clemente’s work is featured in the 1998 movie, Great Expectations_(1998_film).

Francesco Clemente is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

Biography is from wikipedia.

I hope you enjoy my piece today and I will see you tomorrow on Day 223!

Best,

Linda

Self-Portrait with Antlers- Tribute to Francesco Clemente Linda Cleary 2014 Acrylic & Watercolor on Canvas

Self-Portrait with Antlers- Tribute to Francesco Clemente
Linda Cleary 2014
Acrylic & Watercolor on Canvas

Side-View Self-Portrait with Antlers- Tribute to Francesco Clemente Linda Cleary 2014 Acrylic & Watercolor on Canvas

Side-View
Self-Portrait with Antlers- Tribute to Francesco Clemente
Linda Cleary 2014
Acrylic & Watercolor on Canvas

Close-Up 1 Self-Portrait with Antlers- Tribute to Francesco Clemente Linda Cleary 2014 Acrylic & Watercolor on Canvas

Close-Up 1
Self-Portrait with Antlers- Tribute to Francesco Clemente
Linda Cleary 2014
Acrylic & Watercolor on Canvas

Close-Up 2 Self-Portrait with Antlers- Tribute to Francesco Clemente Linda Cleary 2014 Acrylic & Watercolor on Canvas

Close-Up 2
Self-Portrait with Antlers- Tribute to Francesco Clemente
Linda Cleary 2014
Acrylic & Watercolor on Canvas

Close-Up 3 Self-Portrait with Antlers- Tribute to Francesco Clemente Linda Cleary 2014 Acrylic & Watercolor on Canvas

Close-Up 3
Self-Portrait with Antlers- Tribute to Francesco Clemente
Linda Cleary 2014
Acrylic & Watercolor on Canvas