All art is autobiographical. The pearl is the oyster's autobiography (Federico Fellini). Work out your own salvation. Do not depend on others.(Buddha) You are what you settle for. You are ONLY as much as you settle for.(Janis Joplin 1943-1970) Use the talents you possess, for the woods would be a very silent place if no birds sang except the best.(Henry van Dyke, poet 1852-1933) "I must be willing to give up what I am in order to become what I will be." (Albert Einstein)
Monday, 19 August 2013
still life after Paul Cézanne (almost to size - 50x60cm)
I can't believe that it's nearly a week since my son got married! How time flies. I use this blog to keep a record of my painting, too, so here are the 3 artworks I gave the happy couple. I decided to paint some lookalikes. My son's wife and I are both very keen on anything by Cézanne. What a pity they are priceless. The very colourful one was actually a watercolour - the only one Cézanne painted in this style with watercolours. Otherwise they were mostly colour sketches. Cézanne did not always draw his works first, but went straight in with paint. Since I was painting on canvas, I decided that acrylics would be more practical and robuster than watercolour on paper that has to be framed behind glass. I don't try to imitate painters, but use some or all of their compositions and dabble away until it's more or less how I want it to look. The small Cézanne of green apples was probably a sketch for a larger painting, but Cézanne painted fast and his style is impressionist, so the rough and ready technique is part of his way of working. The photo is too dark, but lightening it made the bright top left corner disappear, so I had to leave the photo more or less without editing. I used oil paints for the green apples. The larger painting was done on a recycled canvas because I wasn't sure if I could transfer a quite intricate watercolour to acrylics on canvas. Then it turned out quite well, so they got it anyway.
small oil sketch after Cézanne
Alongside law, my son's wife also studied art history. She did an internship at a museum here in Germany and was privileged to handle and help hang a lot of Cézanne priceless works for a solo exhibition. You can't get nearer than that, and my paintings are a respectful reminder of that wonderful exhibition!
after Paul Klee
A few years ago I accompanied my son to an exhibition of work by another Paul, this time Paul Klee. I was puzzled by many of the works, but my son was very enthusiastic about them all, so I decided to try my hand at one of his most famous paintings, "Senecio", painted in 1922 as part of a lesson on geometric shapes that Klee gave at the art school in Düsseldorf, where he was a professor. I had problems with the colours because no two photos of his works are alike, and the original painting in gouache, certainly dashed off to demonstrate what e was talking about has suffered a lot down the years. My painting is of course new, and since I am not into forgery or trying to copy works parrot-style I only hinted at the deterioration of his original! My painting is 50x50cm, i.e. larger than the original, which is 38x40cm. I decided quite spontaneously to paint this work and didn't have a canvas exactly that size. I did draw a grill so that the proportions would be right, and painting the sides of my canvas made up for the slight disparity in shape.The hundreds of photos of the original painting I found on the web had various elements either almost invisible or not there at all e.g. the shoulders of the little man. This final photo of my painting is unfortunately out of focus. I didn't notice that until the painting was wrapped!
The next lookalikes will be of Miró and Kandinsky paintings I started a month or two ago. I've been to solo exhibitions of both these painters. At the Miró show I walked extremely fast and left early. I went to the Kandinsky show 3 times and was fascinated by his seemingly endless supply of shapes and bold colours,