Day 334- Katsushika Hokusai- Sketching From Life

It’s Day 334 and I really had a great time creating today’s piece.  I immediately wanted to do a painting of Mt. Fuji, which I did, but then I found paintings that the artist had done of demons and ghosts and was sad that I hadn’t found those first!  But alas, I am happy with how my piece turned out. 🙂 Join me in honoring Katsushika Hokusai today!

Self Portrait- Katsushika Hokusai

Self Portrait- Katsushika Hokusai

The waterfall of Amida behind the Kiso Road - Katsushika Hokusai

The waterfall of Amida behind the Kiso Road – Katsushika Hokusai

Katsushika Hokusai (葛飾 北斎, October 31, 1760 (exact date questionable) – May 10, 1849) was a Japanese artist, ukiyo-e painter and printmaker of the Edo period. He was influenced by such painters as Sesshu, and other styles of Chinese painting. Born in Edo (now Tokyo), Hokusai is best known as author of the woodblock print series Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji (富嶽三十六景 Fugaku Sanjūroku-kei?, c. 1831) which includes the internationally recognized print, The Great Wave off Kanagawa, created during the 1820s.

Hokusai created the “Thirty-Six Views” both as a response to a domestic travel boom and as part of a personal obsession with Mount Fuji. It was this series, specifically The Great Wave print and Fuji in Clear Weather, that secured Hokusai’s fame both in Japan and overseas. As historian Richard Lane concludes, “Indeed, if there is one work that made Hokusai’s name, both in Japan and

Fuji, Mountains in clear Weather (Red Fuji) - Katsushika Hokusai

Fuji, Mountains in clear Weather (Red Fuji) – Katsushika Hokusai

abroad, it must be this monumental print-series…”. While Hokusai’s work prior to this series is certainly important, it was not until this series that he gained broad recognition.

Hokusai’s date of birth is not known for certain, but is often said to be the 23rd day of the 9th month of the 10th year of the Hōrekiera (in the old calendar, or october 30, 1760) to an artisan family, in the Katsushika district of Edo, Japan. His childhood name was Tokitarō.

The Dragon of Smoke Escaping from Mt Fuji- Hokusai

The Dragon of Smoke Escaping from Mt Fuji- Hokusai

It is believed his father was the mirror-maker Nakajima Ise, who produced mirrors for the shogun. His father never made Hokusai an heir, so it is possible that his mother was a concubine. Hokusai began painting around the age of six, possibly learning the art from his father, whose work on mirrors also included the painting of designs around the mirrors.

Hokusai was known by at least thirty names during his lifetime. Although the use of multiple names was a common practice of Japanese artists of the time, the numbers of names he used far exceeds that of any other major Japanese artist. Hokusai’s name changes are so frequent, and so often related to changes in his artistic production and style, that they are useful for breaking his life up into periods.

At the age of 12, he was sent by his father to work in a bookshop and lending library, a popular type of institution in Japanese cities, where reading books made from wood-cut

A colored version of the Big wave - Katsushika Hokusai

A colored version of the Big wave – Katsushika Hokusai

blocks was a popular entertainment of the middle and upper classes. At 14, he became an apprentice to a wood-carver, where he worked until the age of 18, whereupon he was accepted into the studio of Katsukawa Shunshō. Shunshō was an artist of ukiyo-e, a style of wood block prints and paintings that Hokusai would master, and head of the so-called Katsukawa school. Ukiyo-e, as practiced by artists like Shunshō, focused on images of the courtesans and Kabuki actors who were popular in Japan’s cities at the time.

After a year, Hokusai’s name changed for the first time, when he was dubbed Shunrō by his master. It was under this name that he published his first prints, a series of pictures of Kabuki actors published in 1779.

The Lantern Ghost, Iwa- Hokusai

The Lantern Ghost, Iwa- Hokusai

During the decade he worked in Shunshō’s studio, Hokusai was married to his first wife, about whom very little is known except that she died in the early 1790s. He married again in 1797, although this second wife also died after a short time. He fathered two sons and three daughters with these two wives, and his youngest daughter Sakae, also known as Ōi, eventually became an artist.

Upon the death of Shunshō in 1793, Hokusai began exploring other styles of art, including European styles he was exposed to through French and Dutch copper engravings he was able to acquire. He was soon expelled from the Katsukawa school by Shunkō, the chief disciple of Shunshō, possibly due to

The Phantom of Kohada Koheiji- Hokusai

The Phantom of Kohada Koheiji- Hokusai

studies at the rival Kanō school. This event was, in his own words, inspirational: “What really motivated the development of my artistic style was the embarrassment I suffered at Shunkō’s hands.”

Hokusai 1820. Erotic wood block print

Hokusai 1820. Erotic wood block print

Hokusai also changed the subjects of his works, moving away from the images of courtesans and actors that were the traditional subjects of ukiyo-e. Instead, his work became focused on landscapes and images of the daily life of Japanese people from a variety of social levels. This change of subject was a breakthrough in ukiyo-e and in Hokusai’s career. Fireworks at Ryōgoku Bridge (1790) dates from this period of Hokusai’s life.

From around the age of six, I had the habit of sketching from life. I became an artist, and from fifty on began producing works that won some reputation, but nothing I did before the age of seventy was worthy of attention. At seventy-three, I began to grasp

Kajikazawa in Kai Province - Katsushika Hokusai

Kajikazawa in Kai Province – Katsushika Hokusai

the structures of birds and beasts, insects and fish, and of the way plants grow. If I go on trying, I will surely understand them still better by the time I am eighty-six, so that by ninety I will have penetrated to their essential nature. At one hundred, I may well have a positively divine understanding of them, while at one hundred and thirty, forty, or more I will have reached the stage where every dot and every stroke I paint will be alive. May Heaven, that grants long life, give me the chance to prove that this is no lie.

Partial biography is from wikipedia.  His bio is extraordinarily large and very interesting!  Check it out.

I hope you enjoy my piece today!  I will see you tomorrow on Day 335…only 30 to go! Wow.

Best, Linda

View of Mount Fuji- Tribute to Katsushika Hokusai Linda Cleary 2014 Acrylic & Metallic Paint on Canvas

View of Mount Fuji- Tribute to Katsushika Hokusai
Linda Cleary 2014
Acrylic & Metallic Paint on Canvas

Side-View View of Mount Fuji- Tribute to Katsushika Hokusai Linda Cleary 2014 Acrylic & Metallic Paint on Canvas

Side-View
View of Mount Fuji- Tribute to Katsushika Hokusai
Linda Cleary 2014
Acrylic & Metallic Paint on Canvas

Close-Up 1 View of Mount Fuji- Tribute to Katsushika Hokusai Linda Cleary 2014 Acrylic & Metallic Paint on Canvas

Close-Up 1
View of Mount Fuji- Tribute to Katsushika Hokusai
Linda Cleary 2014
Acrylic & Metallic Paint on Canvas

Close-Up 2 View of Mount Fuji- Tribute to Katsushika Hokusai Linda Cleary 2014 Acrylic & Metallic Paint on Canvas

Close-Up 2
View of Mount Fuji- Tribute to Katsushika Hokusai
Linda Cleary 2014
Acrylic & Metallic Paint on Canvas

Close-Up 3 View of Mount Fuji- Tribute to Katsushika Hokusai Linda Cleary 2014 Acrylic & Metallic Paint on Canvas

Close-Up 3
View of Mount Fuji- Tribute to Katsushika Hokusai
Linda Cleary 2014
Acrylic & Metallic Paint on Canvas

 

Day 332- Georges Braque- Temporal Spaces

It’s Day 332 and I’ve been a little ahead of myself with painting because of the holidays.  I worked on this last night and finished up this morning.  I was very intimidated with today’s artist because of his painting style and I hope today’s piece helps me when I get to Duchamp!  Join me in honoring Georges Braque today. 🙂

Georges Braque

Georges Braque

Georges Braque 1882-1963

Violin and Candlestick- Georges Braque

Violin and Candlestick- Georges Braque

Georges Braque was at the forefront of the revolutionary art movement of Cubism. Braque’s work throughout his life focused on still lifes and means of viewing objects from various perspectives through color, line, and texture. While his collaboration with Pablo Picasso and their Cubist works are best known, Braque had a long painting career that continued beyond Cubism. Braque was also often dedicated to quiet periods in his studio rather than to being a personality in the art world.

Though Braque started out as a member of the Fauves, he began developing a Cubist style after meeting Pablo Picasso. While their paintings shared many similarities in palette, style and subject matter, Braque stated that unlike Picasso, his work was “devoid of iconological commentary,” and was concerned purely with pictorial space and composition.
Braque sought balance and harmony in his compositions, especially through papier colles, a pasted paper collage technique that Picasso and

Bottle of Run 1914- Georges Braque

Bottle of Run 1914- Georges Braque

Braque invented in 1912. Braque, however, took collage one-step further by gluing cut-up advertisements into his canvases. This foreshadowed modern art movements concerned with critiquing media, such as Pop art.

Braque stenciled letters onto paintings, blended pigments with sand, and copied wood grain and marble to achieve great levels of dimension in his paintings. His depictions of still lifes are so abstract that they border on becoming patterns that express an essence of the objects viewed rather than direct representations.
Georges Braque, Portugalczyk, 1911

Georges Braque, Portugalczyk, 1911

Childhood

Georges Braque was guided from a young age toward creative painting techniques. His father managed a decorative painting business and Braque’s interest in texture and tactility perhaps came from working with him as a decorator. In 1899, at age seventeen, Braque moved from Argenteuil into Paris, accompanied by friends Othon Friesz and Raoul Dufy.

Early Training

Braque’s earliest paintings were made in the Fauvist style. From 1902-1905, after giving up work as a decorator to pursue painting full-time he pursued Fauvist ideas and coordinated with Henri Matisse. He contributed his Fauvist colorful paintings to his first exhibition at the Salon des Independants in 1906. However, he was extremely affected by a visit to Pablo Picasso’s studio in 1907, to see Picasso’s breakthrough work – Les Demoiselles d’Avignon.

After this encounter, the two artists forged an intimate friendship and artistic camaraderie. “We would get

Baluster and Skull- Georges Braque

Baluster and Skull- Georges Braque

together every single day,” Braque said, “to discuss and assay the ideas that were forming, as well as to compare our respective works”. The drastic change in Braque’s painting style can be directly attributed to Picasso. Once he understood Picasso’s goals, Braque aimed to strengthen “the constructive elements in his works while foregoing the expressive excesses of Fauvism”. His landscape paintings in which scenes were distilled into basic shapes and colors inspired French art critic, Louis Vauxcelles, to coin the term Cubism by describing Braque’s work as “bizarreries cubiques.”

Braque and Picasso worked in synchronicity until Braque’s return from war in 1914. When Picasso began to paint figuratively, Braque felt his friend had betrayed their Cubist systems and rules, and continued on his own. However, he continued to remain influenced by Picasso’s work, especially in regards to papier colles, a collage technique pioneered by both artists using only pasted paper. His collages featured geometric shapes interrupted by musical instruments, grapes, or furniture. These were so three-dimensional that they are considered important in the development of Cubist sculpture. By 1918, Braque felt he had sufficiently explored papier colles, and returned to still life painting.

Musical Instruments 1908- Georges Braque

Musical Instruments 1908- Georges Braque

Viewers noted a more limited palette at Braque’s first post-war solo show in 1919. Yet he steadfastly adhered to Cubist rules about depicting objects from multi-faceted perspectives in geometrically patterned ways. In this, he continued as a true Analytical Cubist longer than did Picasso, whose style, subject matter and palettes changed continuously. Braque was most interested in showing how objects look when viewed over time in different temporal spaces and pictorial planes. As a result of his dedication to depicting space in various ways, he naturally gravitated towards designing sets and costumes for theater and ballet performances, doing this throughout the 1920s.

In 1929, Braque took up landscape painting once again, using new, bright colors influenced by Picasso and Matisse. Then in the 1930s, Braque began to portray Greek heroes and deities, though he claimed the subjects were stripped of their symbolism and ought to be viewed through a purely formal lens.

He called these works exercises in calligraphy, possibly because they were not strictly about figures but more about sheer line and shape. In the latter half of the 1930s, Braque embarked on painting his Vanitas series, through which he existentially considered death and suffering. Growing increasingly obsessed with the

Still Life with Clarinet 1927- Georges Braque

Still Life with Clarinet 1927- Georges Braque

physicality of his paintings, he explored the ways in which brushstrokes and paint qualities could enhance his subject matter.

The objects used in his still lifes were highly personal to Braque, however, he did not reveal these meanings. Skulls, for example, were objects he painted repeatedly at the onset of World War II. In 1944, when World War II ended, Braque began to embrace lighter subjects like flowers, billiard tables, and garden chairs.

His final series of eight canvases made from 1948-1955, each titled Atelier, or Studio, depicted imagery that represented the artist’s inner thoughts on each object rather than clues to the outside world. At the very end of his life, Braque painted birds repeatedly, as the perfect symbol of his obsession with space and movement.

Woman with a Guitar 1913- Georges Braque

Woman with a Guitar 1913- Georges Braque

Braque is remembered as a progenitor of Cubism, who was both rational and sensuous in his still life paintings. He was a classic painter in this sense, and has influenced the likes of Jim Dine andWayne Thiebaud, who focused on still life painting. Braque is also a celebrated colorist, and can be traced through contemporary art to those painters who work with color in similar ways. Perhaps Braque is most remembered for his use of collage, as many contemporary artists, from sculptors like Jessica Stockholder to painters like Mark Bradford, apply paper to their works as a means to comment on society and its products.

“To work from nature is to improvise.”

“One must not imitate what one wants to create.”

“One must beware of an all-purpose formula that will serve to interpret the other arts as well as reality, and that instead of creating will only produce a style, or rather a stylization.”

Biography is from www.artstory.org.

I hope you enjoy my piece today!  It was a very educational experience and interesting as well!  I wish I had more time to work on it.  It’s not perfect, but I think I did well.  I will see you tomorrow on Day 333.

Best,

Linda

Woman at a Piano- Tribute to Georges Braque Linda Cleary 2014 Acrylic and Ink on Canvas

Woman at a Piano- Tribute to Georges Braque
Linda Cleary 2014
Acrylic and Ink on Canvas

Side-View Woman at a Piano- Tribute to Georges Braque Linda Cleary 2014 Acrylic and Ink on Canvas

Side-View
Woman at a Piano- Tribute to Georges Braque
Linda Cleary 2014
Acrylic and Ink on Canvas

Close-Up 1 Woman at a Piano- Tribute to Georges Braque Linda Cleary 2014 Acrylic and Ink on Canvas

Close-Up 1
Woman at a Piano- Tribute to Georges Braque
Linda Cleary 2014
Acrylic and Ink on Canvas

Close-Up 2 Woman at a Piano- Tribute to Georges Braque Linda Cleary 2014 Acrylic and Ink on Canvas

Close-Up 2
Woman at a Piano- Tribute to Georges Braque
Linda Cleary 2014
Acrylic and Ink on Canvas

Close-Up 3 Woman at a Piano- Tribute to Georges Braque Linda Cleary 2014 Acrylic and Ink on Canvas

Close-Up 3
Woman at a Piano- Tribute to Georges Braque
Linda Cleary 2014
Acrylic and Ink on Canvas