Sunday, January 29, 2012

Rose hips

I have started my painting influenced by my studies of Georgia O'Keeffe. How does Georgia influence me?

The first time I went to her museum in santa fe in 1997, excitement was in the air. We came by way of motorcycle, Karl and I. We stayed at the Abiquiu Inn a couple of miles from her house. Settled in and then took a day trip to Sante Fe. We paid for our tickets, I remember handing my ticket to the man at the door to the entrance, walking around a corner and there was her painting of the night cityscape with a single street lantern. It took my breath away, literally, tears welled up in my eyes. suddenly I felt terribly resentful that there were other people there. Surely this was meant to be a solitary moment. I could feel her spirit in her work. It was one of the most amazing experiences I have ever had, one I will never forget. I have trouble describing it as anything less of a spiritual experience. I had read about her, had calenders, books, but to be face to face with the work was so different.

When it came time to start on the painting that represented the influence that Georgia O'Keeffe has had on me and my work,it was more complex then one might think, she is perhaps the most famous female artist in history.

I have in the past painted my fair share of flowers at close range and I have my own deer skull paintings with their own personal stories. But I wanted this painting to say something about her and I.

I decided to paint "Rose hips"

organic in nature, familiar curves and shapes, the rose hip representing the afterlife and nourishment that comes from the rose after the spender has passed.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Breaking silence

Breaking the long silence of the holiday season, I am thinking about the Flemish style of painting.

"Flemish painting flourished from the early 15th century until the 17th century. Flanders delivered the leading painters in Northern Europe and attracted many promising young painters from neighbouring countries. These painters were invited to work at foreign courts and had a Europe-wide influence. Since the end of the Napoleonic era, Flemish painters have again been contributing to a reputation that had been set by the Old Masters.[1]".

You have to love wiki.

Specifically at the works of Jean-Fran├žois Millet

again we hear from wikipedia

"Jean-Fran├žois Millet (October 4, 1814 – January 20, 1875) was a French painter and one of the founders of the Barbizon school in rural France. Millet is noted for his scenes of peasant farmers; he can be categorized as part of the naturalism and realism movements."

When looking at the works of Millet, it is easy to see why he is on the list of artists I decided to study.

Breaking silence is hard.

I started a portrait of my daughter Tiffany in the Flemish style. I feel challenged and at the same time very impassioned by the color pallet and the crispness of the chosen style.

I think I may have captured something of her,Tiffany, maybe her spirit or her personality. I am pleased with the progress I have made with this portrait.

I amuse myself often throughout the process I find myself in.

I work for a while and I am thrilled and I think "I'm done, this looks fantastic, well done robin." I move the painting to the other room on the wall where I am hanging my completed works. Then I wonder over and start a pot of tea and arrange the assortment of junk mail, bills and old newspapers on the counter top, casually shuffling through the papers. Maybe even wash the dishes that have built up through the day. Slowly dissatisfaction starts to creep in and then I walk over to my books or the internet and I look at more art by Millet and other Flemish artists. Now I find myself walking back in the other room, taking the piece I was so happy with just a couple of minutes ago, off the wall and back to the easel. Then I look into the eyes of Millet's Louise-Antoinette Feuardent, 1841 oil on canvas, the soft touch of the brush, the stark simplicity. I think " No I am not done, and then I push into uncharted territories and fun starts all over again. This is one of the thing the Masters as we call them, say to me, " don't be so easily contented, push harder, expect more out of yourself, and you will get it."