Posts Tagged ‘creativity’

Lovely Respite In The Gallery …

January 24, 2019

Earlier this week I got to see an exhibition at a local gallery. It was a real treat.

cr1790_header

The venue, the Fralin Museum of Art (the former Bayly Museum) at the University of Virginia is small but quite well laid out and is well worth a visit anytime you are nearby. The exhibit highlights early works by Georgia O’Keefe … especially those that were done while she was living in Charlottesville VA and was a student and later an assistant instructor in UVa’s summer program.

Anyone who has studied O’Keefe’s early paintings and images-1drawings knows that she was influenced by many of the contemporaneous art movements including Fin de Siècle design, Post-Impressionism, the Symbolist movement, the ideas of Wassily Kandinsky, and most especially the ideas and later the instruction of Arthur Wesley Dow. You can see all those elements in her work in this exhibition. The curators of the show have included lots of historical ephemera, books and class registration materials from O’Keefe’s summers at UVa, as well as sketches and photographs.

This exhibition concentrates on Georgia O’Keefe’s work as she was transitioning from her more memetic early training at the Chicago Art Institute and the New York Art Students’s League to her much more personal way of working that utilized strategies of abstraction. The two works above are early watercolors of the building on the grounds of UVa that show Dow’s influence with an emphasis on design and the hybridizing of traditional Western and East Asian art.

The old studio art (and sometimes art history) professor part of me really loved getting to piece together what I already knew about her work and life with all the added details located here. And the inveterate sketcher in me was tickled to see the onsite watercolors from the university campus (if you are a UVa alum, sorry for not calling it “grounds”) too.

But my favorite part … what got me really excited … was seeing here the process of O’Keefe becoming a more expressive abstractionist. That is best seen in the small watercolors inspired by the hills and mountains of the Ragged Mountains and Blue Ridge of the Appalachians. She experienced them directly; exploring, hiking, and camping in those peaks and valleys which are visible to the southwest and west of  Charlottesville.

img_3999 copy

pictured above and below are: Blue Hill II, Pink and Blue Mountain, and Evening.                   Watercolors on paper, all 1916 

These watercolors are are small and simple. And, to me, profoundly compelling in their fresh, simple directness. There is certainly more than a few hint of the much more well known, even famous, early watercolors she created soon after while she was teaching in western Texas. The charcoal drawings and watercolor of this period launched her career as a seminal figure in early 20th century American modernist art. And they are fun to look at too!

If you can get to the exhibit before it closes, I recommend the visit.  If not, I am sorry; but you could contact the Georgia O’Keefe Museum in Santa Fe. That museum organized a similar exhibition that ran from 2014-2016. They might just have made a catalog for that show.

Thanks for reading here today. If you have any questions or thoughts, please do comment below or get in touch via email. You can also connect via my website.

 

 


img_0962 copy 4Below these next lines, you may see ads. I do not have any influence in WordPress posts nor do I  endorse any institutions, services, or products shown.

Oh well, WordPress has to pay their bills too.

 



 

Advertisements

Large Landscape Works on Paper

April 11, 2017

I am always on the lookout for interesting art work … in person or out in the digital universe.  Recently, while trying to find examples of engaging artworks for my students to connect to, I came across the work of Michelle Lauriat.

Michele Lauriat, Phil's Hill (#3)

Mixed media, 90×55, from the Phil’s Hill series

 

Frankly, I was surprised and so very excited to find her large works combining drawing and painting on paper. I think my pleasure was so intense because she works much as I do in my sketching … but does so on such a larger scale. The work also reminds me just a bit of the image making path that I was on in my early 20’s.  So, I feel enthralled by the newness and freshness of her work while also sensing a degree of aesthetic kinship.

 

 

Mixed media, Echo Lake Series, 55×42

Ms. Lauriat’s pieces hover between drawing and full-bodied painting; making use of discrete but rich patches of color as well as subtle staining of the surfaces. Using copious amounts of negative space along with fields of color and value, she carefully articulates space/depth and a tentative feeling of solidity. While there is much visible evidence of early exploratory gestural mark making that she has left exposed and even foregrounded, there are also areas that she fills with marks and passages that hint at or describe perceived textures and also bolster the visceral activation of the surface design of her work.


I see Lauriat’s working method combining a decisively bold, and at times elegant, editing process with an eye for richly observed and rendered details from the natural world.  The results are exquisite combinations of mimetic accuracy and dramatic abstraction.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Her website is visually easy to explore and she blogs at … http://blog.michelelauriat.com

Enjoy!

 

Un-timely changes, delicious delays

August 6, 2012

There times when I am in the studio almost a day, almost all evening. And of course, there are times when I can barely break away from other concerns and get into the studio. We all know how hard it can be to balance all of life’s “stuff” in a way we feel comfortable. But every once in a while it all feels quite natural … that it flows so smoothly. That is a most glorious feeling.

Right now isn’t one of those times. Hold on … and please don’t get me wrong … I absolutely am not kvetching. Actually, I am in the studio pretty continuously. The work is going … and going well, just not smoothly in the normal sense.

Instead, it feels a bit like what I imagine a decathlon athlete experiences. They have to think about strategies and performance for SO many events, so many competitions. It seems to me though that their hardest work must be to focus on each completely while  never loosing sight of the overall picture. Me too. I am trying to focus on so many strands of activity right now … as the next exhibition is getting closer and closer. There are so many lovely details: making sure all the matting, framing, plexiglass and all the other display supplies are lined up in the studio … not to mention prepping tags, insurance info, and P.R. stuff too. That is a major job and each detail deserves my attention to quality AND timeliness.

But I am also continuing to make art, and that is keeping my head jumping from task to task. True, I have done all this before. And I made a good list this time around too. So all the practical parts are running according to good schedule.

The image creation process is not running along on anything like a smooth, predictable timetable. I have already completed the sketching, planning, and even much of the painting on many works for the upcoming show. Other pieces though are lagging behind. You see, the work keeps shifting, changing, coming to completion in quite unexpected ways.

If I was running a restaurant and the food was inconsistent, that would be bad. (The chef’s creativity would be happy, the chef’s customers and the bottom line might be put off though.) And many artists I know would recoil from that situation too. But Oh how I do love the tentative, shifting qualities I am seeing. It tells me something is really going on up there in my head! That isn’t a bad thing … but it might be better if it would just wait until I have a few more pieces completed and ready to exhibit.

            

Above are some snippets from the first three phases of an image that I am working on right now. It is based on a budding flower, known as Queen Anne’s Lace. As I work with the lines and the layers of color, I am seeing a need for a few touches of opaque watercolor or gouache to help me finish the piece … to make the opening bud seem to have just a bit more solidity … for it’s stems to have some more substance.

I am also sensing that this image, or one very similar to it, might be destined for a really large format … one of my mylar drawings. Perhaps one about “me mum.” See what I mean, I am already thinking about and planning work for next year! Frankly, if I weren’t an old hand at this I might be really scared, even frantic.

Instead, I am intrigued … deliciously so. And that is why I do this … to be intrigued and challenged; even when it is inconvenient.


Sketching ... Always!

Visually exploring with a sketchbook in hand

Sketch Away: Travels with my sketchbook

Just another WordPress.com site

Jane Sketching

Urban sketches, etchings, watercolours, pen and ink.

Just Sketching

A Daily Visual Journal

Central Virginia Watercolor Guild

Combining Camaraderie with Creativity

Black Pen Art

Website and blog on the simplicity of the line. (c) 2016-2019. All contents belong to sueblackpenart

neschof.com

Art & Illustration by Nicola Schofield

Deliberate Sketching

Thinking about my sketches and paintings

Amy Lamp

Try it all. Keep what fits. Let the rest go.

Doodlewash®

Adventures in Watercolor Painting and Sketching, Watercolour Magazine, with Charlie O'Shields

Art We Wonderful

creating my way thru the world

brusheswithwatercolour.wordpress.com/

Bold, Evocative Watercolour Paintings by John Haywood

Don Rankin's Watercolor Studio

Don Rankin's Watercolor Studio..painting tips

Liz Ackerley Art

Illustration and mixed media

Fieldnotes

by Periwinkleblur

%d bloggers like this: