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Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Recap of Museums Visited - L'Orangerie

My first try at a Panorama, outside L'Orangerie
No photos allowed in the L'Orangerie. There was a special exhibit of Chaim Soutine, Order out of Chaos, who was the main reason I wanted to go back to this museum, so I was pleased to see it. Most people go to L'Orangerie, on the other side of the Tuileries from the Louvre, to see the water lily paintings by Monet, which take up the whole main floor. They are impressive in the shear size of them but I prefer the galleries downstairs.
The essence of the personality that Soutine captures in his portraits is really something.
The Room Service Waiter, Chaim Soutine

The Choir Boy, Chaim Soutine
I also enjoyed the Modigliani portraits. I saw one of his sculptures at the Guggenheim in Venice-one of the better pieces housed in that museum.
Paul Guillaume, Amadeo Modigliani

The Young Apprentice, Amadeo Modigliani
There was this little gem by Monet downstairs (little being relative to the water lilies upstairs):
Argenteuil, Claude Monet

Monday, October 29, 2012

Recap of Museums Visited-Louvre

Most people are thrilled to go to the Louvre, but I, stubborn as I am, was not really enthused. I have been many times, and though have seen a very small section of the Louvre, would still rather do something else if I had my druthers. My traveling companion however, was hellbent on seeing the Mona Lisa, and it being a wet, miserable day, I said okay to going. We waited 30" in the rain to get inside and then another 20" to get a ticket. I then waited while she went to see Leonardo's painting. I drew the line at fighting the crowds there! While she was doing that I looked at the map of the different wings and opted to go to see the Flemish section. My photos may not be the best but I took some photos of the pieces that struck my fancy, including of course, those that are more easily recognizable.
Repentant St Peter, 1651, Gerard Seghers
I really loved this painting. It had such depth to it and fit into the dark/light pattern we are covering this month in the Advanced Master Painting class.

The Lacemaker, 1669, Johann Vermeer
My photo of The Astronomer did not turn out very well. The two Vermeers were on one wall together.

The Young Artist, 1673, Jan Lievens

Woman Preparing Legumes, 1684, Pieter de Hooch
(there were a number of paintings by Pieter I liked, but this one was my favorite.)

Young painter in the Atelier, 1673, Barent Fabritius
There were a number of Rembrandt's,both portraits and self-portraits. I enjoyed my sojourn in the 17th century very much. My companion wrote postcards under the Vermeer paintings while I took in the rest of Flemish artists. We then watched "Girl with the Pearl Earring" on our flight over the Atlantic to finish our trip.
As evidenced in the photo above and in the others I took, "The Lacemaker" got all the attention It was as if "the Astronomer" did not exist! Such a shame.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Recap of Museums Visited-Venice

Just returned home from two weeks in Europe and thought I would write a bit on the pieces that struck my fancy. The big one that tops the list, "Sewing the Sail" by Joaquin Sorolla y Bastida, was by far my favorite.

Sorolla’s painting was extremely large, about 10ft. x 7.5ft. I loved the sense of light but also the liveliness of the people. This painting was housed in the Ca' Pesaro Museum in Venice. There were a number of paintings I enjoyed there and Italian painters I discovered and hope to learn more about. A few are shown below.

"Abandoned" by Luigi Nono, above, painted in 1903 was one of them. Tenderly painted it really had an emotional impact; and this is after being harassed every time you turn around with the wide eyed, sad mother of however many children, begging. There was a certain look they all have down pat, whether on the trains throughout Italy, the metro or the streets of Rome.
Another was "Toothed Prows" by Guido Marussig, 1918. Very simple, very Venice, but effective.

I will end with Umberto Moggioli, "The Artist's House", from 1918. One thing of note, there were a number of paintings by Moggioli, and the museum mounted them in chronological order, which made it nice for the viewer to watch the artist grow and change over the years. This was the latest of those on exhibit. 
There were other paintings worth noting, such as the "Rabbi of Vitebsk" by Marc Chagall, "Nude at the Mirror" by Pierre Bonnard, Anders Zorn, "Stream" and Fernand Khnopff "Portrait of Miss De Rothmaler." A beautiful museum in and of itself, the works are definitely worth a visit if you find yourself in Venice.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Month 2, Day Two; Dark/Light Pattern

Block in for Long Shadowed Tomatoes,  24x24, oil on board
I missed the lecture for the second day, but had started my next painting last week. I was able to get the tomatoes blocked in but wiped the shadows off a number of times so decided to put them in thinner until I could get the shapes right. You can see the outlines of where I have been. I will miss the next two weeks so you will get a break from instruction. Here are my notes on dark/light pattern.

Light shape and dark shape-one shape will be a pattern (in my project above it would be the dark shape that is creating the pattern). Each shape should have different proportions within the bigger shape. The key thing to keep in mind is the uniqueness of each shape within the whole pattern.When defining the pattern it does not necessarily have to be the dominant shape (see Andrew Wyeth's Wolf Moon below).
Wolf Moon, by Andrew Wyeth. the light is creating the pattern that takes your eye through the painting, yet the dominant shape is the dark.

One of the two shapes will be more tied into itself which will aid eye-flow (or how the eye moves through the painting). In the painting of Andrew Wyeth's, the middle value of the hillside and shadow on the house tie into the dark shape. One way to think of this is that if the main pattern were cut out of contact paper, you could lift one corner and pull the whole shape off in one piece. The shape does not have to necessarily connect in one piece physically as long as it connects visually.

Only two values will be visible (as talked about in previous post). Gradation of values is okay, but that middle value will be tied to either the dark or the light and will not read as a separate value. Right now, even though my shadow shape is lighter than the tomatoes, it will be tied to the tomatoes as one large shape when I am finished. I did talk to Kevin about this today and he said it would be okay to keep the tomato color true to life, just to then keep the shadow that same value. I had planned on going rather dark red on the tomatoes to tie into the dark purple shadow. I think keeping the values lighter will actually be more of a challenge for me.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Month 2 - Dark/Light Pattern and the Denver School

Monday was our last day working on our abstraction painting but the lecture was on dark/light pattern. Kevin talked about how to "marry" the mediums either to the light group or the dark group so that the mediums would not read as a separate group. It must be obvious that the overall painting reads as dark and light but not necessarily black and white. He gave the example of Egon Schiele's Sunflower.
Even though the medium color group is obviously a medium (the ochers) it marries to the dark. The balance of the composition is beautiful and creates and interesting pattern. Keep in mind the movement withing the patterns. For this movement he showed a black and white of Kathe Kollwitz. This is not the image Kevin talked about but it is the closest I could find. You can see how the pattern repeats from the floor, to the bench to the table to the wall to the ceiling. The pattern moves the eye through the composition in an amazing way.
As a side note, Kevin talked about how the Master Painting and Advanced Master Painting classes and the resulting artists in the Denver area who have taken the class either with Kevin or Quang Ho are now talked about as the "Denver School" in other parts of the country. That the quality of work produced here is being noticed! How cool is that?

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Month 1, Finished Abstraction

Champa, 30x20, oil on linen
Week 3 had this to say at the final critique. I done good. It reads as buildings, but not literally. Good balance, great color and use of texture and paint quality. He was amazed I used so many colors and pulled it off. Kevin was pleased. After the second week of struggle, I took it home, figured out where I wanted to go with it and pretty much finished it on Saturday. He had one recommendation for me when he saw it Monday  which took me all of 5 seconds to do since I still had the color mixed on my palette and that was to put the beige line back in between the green and blue shapes at the bottom right. He said I had lost it between the two green shapes and it needed that line to be more defined. How funny that me, the one who loves line and sharp edges got in trouble for not having a sharp enough definition.

I want to include two of my favorite paintings from the class. I think they are both wonderful. My friend Jeannie did the top one and Karen did the bottom one.