Tuesday, August 27, 2013

September 2013 Newsletter: Post Impressionists Influence on Modern Art, Part II

Vincent Van Gogh was one of the leading post-Impressionist artists. Although he embraced the use of vivid colors by the ImpressionistS, he was not fond of the rest. I remember once reading that he was hoping to imitate their style, when his brother stepped in and encouraged him to develop his own--which he did with abandon. 

Considered the father of Expressionism, Van Gogh would paint not only what he saw but what he felt--very, very different than anyone else at the time. If we examine one of his most expressive paintings,The Starry Night, 1889, we see that he is using expressive line and color to describe a scene that most of us don't ever see. The village was located outside his window from the sanitarium and the night scene was painted from memory during the day.

Notice the painting is almost completely created with lines. Color and contrast are vividly stated. The sky, perhaps representing God, takes up most of the painting, while the humble village is placed in the lower third of the painting. I don't know about you, but I've never witnessed a sky like this, but I've felt the passion, the turmoil, the majesty of such a sky--perhaps even a time in my life is represented here. And thus, the same for Van Gogh.

The Expressionists who were to follow in the late 19th century and early 20th century highly regarded Van Gogh. They too used paint and canvas to express themselves. For instance, let's look at Edvard Munch's (1863–1944) painting, The Scream 1893. Yes, for some, this is a scream of a painting, but obviously this is not a representational work, but something that Munch was expressing. Actually he produced four Scream pictures. The one here was created in 1893, done in oil, tempera and pastels.

In 1892, Munch wrote in his diary,
One evening I was walking along a path, the city was on one side and the fjord below. I felt tired and ill. I stopped and looked out over the fjord—the sun was setting, and the clouds turning blood red. I sensed a scream passing through nature; it seemed to me that I heard the scream. I painted this picture, painted the clouds as actual blood. The color shrieked. This became The Scream.
You can see the Van Gogh influence with the use of line, contrasting color and expression.

But Munch wasn't the only one touched by Van Gogh's brilliance. He made an impression on the German and Russian Expressionists. August Macke (1887–1914) was a member of the German Expressionist group: Der Blaue Reiter (The Blue Rider). His painting, St. Mary's with Houses and Chimney (Bonn), 1911  is reminiscent of some of Van Gogh's buildings.

The Yellow House
But more importantly, the need to express oneself in art was the main influence from Van Gogh. The Bridge, Die Brucke,  another German Expressionist group formed in 1905, was to serve as a bridge from the old academic expression to the new. They called upon young people to follow suit:

We call all young people together, and as young people, who carry the future in us, we want to wrest freedom for our actions and our lives from the older, comfortably established forces.
Just as the Impressionists before him, Van Gogh took on a new way of perceiving the world through his paint brush and so did those after him. Other artists he influenced were Willen de Kooning, Henri Matisse and in 1950s Francis Bacon.

On a contemporary level, Stefan Duncan is considered, by the Van Gogh Gallery,  as America's Van Gogh:
Duncan's amazing work is a plethora of brilliant colors tossed about in a whimsical style he calls Squigglism. Having been greatly influenced by Vincent van Gogh, Stefan utilizes this updated technique to draw the quick strokes of the impressionists into long curvy lines. These tight eddies of color dance around his paintings lighting every feature with beauty! It is this very beauty that Stefan strives to capture in all of his work; revealing the divine in nature! 
Here are some examples of Duncan's work taken from Van Gogh Gallery. He's definitely been influenced:

Next month, Post Impressionists Influence on Modern Art  Part III

Coming Soon!
Fall Classes begin week of September 8th

Check out the links below for details:

Drawing every Tuesday evening    7 pm to 9  pm   Mixed media
See link: 
http://drawinginmystudio.blogspot.com/ ($70)

Sketching every Wednesday morning
Sketch’n on the Go!™ 10 am to 12 pm
See Link: http://sketchnonthego.blogspot.com/ ($70)

Acrylic Painting every Thursday evening  6:30 pm to 9:00 pm
Learning from the Masters
See Link: http://funwithacrylics.blogspot.com/  $80

Fall Workshops at Studio 

Saturday, October 12 
Pet Portraits in Colored Pencil Workshop $70 
10 a.m. to 4 p.m.  
Bring your 5 x 7 photo of your pet and learn how to create a portrait using colored pencil. The first half of the workshop will cover how to draw animals using basic shapes and grid. The second half, you’ll learn how to apply colored pencil for portrait making. No experience needed. All supplies provided,including lunch. Age 16+

October 25-26
Friday 7-9 p.m.; Saturday 10 a.m. To 4 p.m.
Beginning Acrylics Workshop $90
Absolutely no experience necessary!

If you ever wanted to learn to paint, this is the workshop to take. Unlike other painting media, acrylic is the easiest and most forgiving. In this beginning workshop, learn how to put paint to canvas in a relaxed, encouraging environment. Along with learning how to handle the paint and a variety of mediums, discover how to use brushes and brushstrokes, paint on various grounds (paper, boards) and have fun while you're at it. In addition to leaving with some great first-time paintings, you'll have a workbook that will serve as a future reference tool. Bring:  Apron • Rag • 3 - 9” x 12” canvas boards. All other supplies provided including lunch on Saturday.  Age 16+

Friday, November  1 
10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
How to Make a Vinyl Floor Mat Workshop $70
Learn, simply and easily, how to create a painted vinyl floor mat to use in your home for the kitchen,  laundry room or wherever you like. All materials will be supplied, including lunch. Class size will be limited to eight. Please bring apron, rags and enthusiasm. We will paint the picture shown here.  A great Christmas idea! No experience necessary. Age 16+

Saturday, November 23
10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Pen and Ink Workshop Bonus! includes acrylic Inks! $70
Learn how to illustrate with pen and ink, using watercolor washes, while exploring nib pens, methods and techniques. Special bonus, we will be using acrylic inks as well as traditional. Bring at least a 9 x 12 sketchbook–90# or above (Nature Sketch by Pentallic, Moleskine Watercolor, or Strathmore Multimedia) All other supplies provided, including lunch. No experience necessary. Age 16+

Thursday, August 1, 2013

August 2013 Newsletter--Makings of Modern Art

Now that we've covered much of the leaders in the post-Impressionist era: Paul Cézanne, Paul Gauguin, Vincent Van Gogh, Henri Toulous-Lautrec and George Seurat, I'd like to visually demonstrate how they influenced later artists of what is called modern art. If strictly defined as forsaking traditional, narrative art of the past to embracing the art of experimentation, then modern art has a long history from 1860 to 1970. Since the 70s, art has been defined as contemporary or post-modern. Many would argue this whole thought process, but this is from where I will launch my comparison.

So let's start with Paul Cézanne (1839–1906), a hero for Pablo Picasso (1881-1973), as he stated, "my one and only master." In 1906, Picasso saw the Large Bathers  (below) by Cézanne at the Salon d'Automn. While he knew of the artist, this painting was the pivotal point in Picasso's career.  

Large Bathers
827⁄8 in × 983⁄4 in (approx.. 7 x 8 ft)
Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia, United States

As we discussed before, Cézanne based his work on three forms (shapes): the sphere (circle), cube (square) and cone (triangle). He believed all of nature could be created based on these three. The above painting is his last in a series of bathers and the largest, thus the title. He worked on it for seven years (see below for Cezanne's other bathers).

Picasso was fascinated. He, along with his buddy, George Braque (1882- 1963), played around with the concept. They experimented with fragmented space, forms in space, the foreground and background as well as simple geometric forms. All of which resulted in Cubism. Within a year after working on many studies he created, Les Demoiselles d'Avignon. Exhibited in 1916, the painting was considered immoral.  To see more on this subject, there is a great little film entitled Cézanne and Picassohttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AQDIq3M_KzY

Les Demoiselles d'Avignon (The Young Ladies of Avignon
Originally titled The Brothel of Avignon)1907
Oil on canvas
96 “ x  92” (roughly  8’ x 8’ square)
MOMA, New York City
Another artist influencd by the Bathers painting and Cézanne was Henri Matisse (1869-1954). He stated once, “In modern art, it is undoubtedly to Cézanne that I owe the most. Cézanne, you see, is a sort of God of painting.” Interestingly Matisse and Picasso would argue about most things but when it came to Cézanne, he was their hero.

In fact, in 1899, Matisse bought Cézanne's Three Bathers (see below) by hocking his wife's expensive wedding ring. He treasured that painting saying that it nurtured him everyday. He admired Cézanne's use of simplicity and color, which he expressed in his own bathers painting, entitled, Bather with a Turtle.
Bathers with a Turtle, 1908, Saint Louis Art MuseumSt. Louis

For more information on Cézanne's influence on Matisse, please watch this video:http://www.hulu.com/watch/183815
Previous Bathers in Cezanne's series:

Three Bathers 1874-75
Trivia at its best:  Paul Cézanne always worked from the right hand side of the canvas across to the left hand side. In his bather's series the left hand side of the painting is usually less finished than the right hand side.

How did the post-impressionist influence modern art? Part II--next month

What's coming up!

Thatched cottage in Chiseldon
Now taking reservations and deposit for the Sketching the English Village trip in May, 2014. For details go to: http://sketchingenglishvillage.blogspot.com/

Summer Drawing Challenge
Try the summer drawing challenge at The Doodler Suite, absolutely fun, absolutely FREE!  http://doodlersuite.blogspot.com/

Glastonbury Studios Workshops
August 10 
Let's Paint! with Pastels
Full-Wait list available
Workshops at Sitka! Oregon Coast
Basic Acrylic Painting
Friday and Saturday
September 20- 21, 2013

10 a.m. To 4 p.m. $185
Basic Drawing
September 23, 2013

10 a.m. To 4 p.m. $100

For more information:
Sitka Center for Art and Ecology
56605 Sitka Drive
Otis, OR 97368.
Phone: (541) 994-5485

Glastonbury Studio Classes 

Visual Journaling
Sunday, August 11, 2013 
1 p.m. to 4 p.m.  $20

Summer Special! Travel Sketching Class
Wednesday, August 14, 2013
10 a.m. to 12 noon  $20
We will meet outside entrance of Garden.

Autumn Six-week classes to begin week of September 22, 2012
Tuesday evenings  Drawing $70/session  7-9 p.m.

Wednesday mornings  
Sketching $70/session  10 to 12 noon

Thursday evenings 
Acrylic Painting  $80/session  6:30 to 9:00 p.m.

Every Second Sunday: Visual Journaling1 p.m. to 4 p.m. $20 per