Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Gwen Fox Online Coaching and Critique Group, Continued

My abstract, "Balancing Act" 

"The Batchelor" by Andrew Wyeth

Back to the critique group after the post on my latest collage.

A few days after the graduation, we left  Brooklyn, NY, on the ocean liner, Queen Mary II. I could paint and when I got to England, I could post on our private group Facebook page. I selected "The Batchelor" by Andrew Wyeth and focused on shapes on the left side of the painting. If you look carefully, you can see how I arranged my shapes in a similar way. This was a tricky one, because I purposely violated the rules and put the center of interest smack dab in the center of a square. With my line work and a tiny sphere, I completed "Balancing Act."  This is also a small watercolor on paper done with Koi set and brush pen and using care to soften some edges and blend the shapes. Gwen said I succeeded. She liked the red and yellow at the center of the painting that emphasiΩed my balanced sphere.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

"Putting on the Ritz" Inspired by Klimpt

"Puttin on the Ritz"
36" x 48" 
Torn Magazine
On Gallery Wrapped Canvas
Contact the Artist for Purchase

After returning from Vienna, where we saw some of Gustav Klimpt's work in the Belvedere Museum and at The Secession, I was inspired to do a very large collage using gold. You will recall that Klimpt's painting of Adele Block Bauer, a Jewish woman, was ironically confiscated by Hitler's art team from her husband's home some year's after Adele's death. After the war, it was returned to Austria where the Belvedere believed they had a claim to the painting. You may have seen the movie, "Woman in Gold" which tells the story of Maria Block Bauer suing for the return of the painting and others to the family. Bob and I had the good fortune to see the painting when it was displayed briefly  in the LA County Museum in 2006 before being sold to the Neue Gallery in NYC where it remains on permanent display. 

My material of choice was not gold leaf, but simple magazine papers. I saw an opulent evening coat, which my imaginary woman wears in my collage. I finished the initial image about a week ago, and then came the really fun part, modifying and integrating the painting. We have a dreary Sunday here, so it was a good afternoon to do art. I decided that the bottom of her dress needed enhancing with more black and the red background. I also added touches of red throughout the painting, including the woman's earrings, headband, and choker. She already had that incongruous red vertical line on her throat, which I decided I liked.

Since visiting Klimpt's work, I have read three books related to Klimpt and "Woman in Gold." Though an admirable artist, Klimpt's personal life was not to be emulated. The book that inspired the movie has much more information about Vienna art and high society, and the Block Bauers who suffered tremendously at the hands of the Third Reich.

Gwen Fox Online Coaching and Critique Group, Continued


My abstract, "On the Move"


"Still Life with Fruit and Jug" by Paul Cezanne

I was on a roll with abstracts, and I was now in New England for our granddaughter's graduation from Smith College. I sat at the counter of our large rented Victorian amidst family and friends and selected "Still Life with Fruit and Jug" by Paul Cezanne.  If you compare my shapes with some of the larger shapes in the painting, you can imagine my selection process. I did lots of soft edges and blending. This I did in watercolor using my travel Koi set with brush pen. I got good reviews from Gwen and fellow artists.

I learned as I looked at Cezanne's still life paintings that he painted many variations on the same subject. For example, there is "Fruit and Jug on a Table" that is similar to this piece. Painting in a series was not invented recently.

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Gwen Fox Critique Group: Getting Started with an Abstract


                  My abstract, "Dreaming in Color"
Actylic on paper

Picasso's "The Dream"

Gwen talked about a good way to start an abstract. Select a painting by a famous artist and use some of the arrangement of shapes as your starting sketch. I chose Picasso's "The Dream" done in 1932. I used acrylics on watercolor paper. I should rework it somewhat and haven't done it yet. I identified two problem areas, the highly eyecatching green shape on top and the lack of variation in the he sizes of the shapes on the right side. Gwen agreed. However, I had a blast painting this piece.