Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Abstract Art Mirrors a Frightened World

I accepted the "art challenge" from Margherta Lahrman to help fill Facebook pages with art instead of fractured facts and ugly politics. My post included a photo of one of Wassily Kandinsky's paintings.

“I applied streaks and blobs of color onto the canvas with a palette knife and I made them sing with all the intensity I could...”
--Wassily Kandinsky
My favorite classes in college were art history classes. No surprise, since I hoped to major in art and design. Art history classes back then involved projecting loads of slides on a screen for the students to ponder while being enlightened by the professor expounding on the artists, the themes of the paintings, the techniques, and the conceptual meaning below the surface.

When it came time to write my final paper, I chose Wassily Kandinsky, a Russian artist from the early half of the 20th century. In particular, I focused my thesis on one of the paintings in the Composition series, which he painted over between 1910 and 1934. I’ve forgotten exactly which one, so I’ve selected VI for my example of his work. He had no formal objects; he led the thinking for abstract art of his day; he used color and line and space in ways that made most people say, “What is THAT?”

And I loved it all. Still do.

I have no idea how I figured out what to write in the paper. It was the first paper I had written outside of an English composition class. This paper involved hours of research. My small condo, shared with three other women, filled up with art books. I fell in love with writing about art, I relished every minute studying the artist, and realized I had more of a knack for writing about art than expressing myself on the canvas.

Kandinsky challenged me to explore and discover the meaning in abstract images. I was led, of course, by the hundreds of art critiques and historians who followed his lead in interpreting the meaning based on the emotions arising from the dramatic color and strong lines.

He remains today my favorite artist. I have met his paintings face to face in museums wherever I have traveled. I spent a week in Moscow walking the city from museum to museum determined to see them all. His Winter Landscape can be viewed at the St. Louis Art Museum, and I visit frequently.
“The more frightening the world becomes ... the more art becomes abstract. ”
- -Wassily Kandinsky

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Watercolor class #1

Time for watercolor practice. The artist instructing us for this workshop hung up Chinese lanterns for our first lesson in applying the techniques she shared with us.

Monday, November 21, 2016

Birds of a Feather

These birds are of the colored pencil feather variety. I used Prisma Color pencils.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

In the Company of Great Artists

Check out the WAMcollective from Weisman Art Museum for a look at some outstanding artists, one of whom I highly favor and admire.
"Kelley Meister is an interdisciplinary artist that creates work combining sculpture, printmaking and drawing with time-based media such as film and performance. Meister’s work explores concepts of home, belonging and personal history. Recently ze has been exploring the Mississippi River Valley as a site of history, conflict and production." 

Weisman Museum link for more artists...
https://wamcollective.wordpress.com/2016/06/24/wam-pride/
"In honor of June being Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Pride Month, the WAM Collective has pulled together a list of 15 LGBTQ artists we are proud to have in the Weisman Art Museum’s collection. The artists and works ranging from the mid 19th century to today, covering a unique range of subjects and mediums. Some of the featured works can be seen on a visit to the galleries today"

Friday, June 24, 2016

The Colors of the Harvest


One of my favorite outings while traveling takes me to fresh produce markets. The colors and variety never cease to amaze me.





Monday, May 23, 2016

Patterns of St. Mathias in Budapest

Just when every cathedral begins to look like the one before and the one after, I discover St. Mathias in Budapest. Grand architecture, ornate carvings, just like the rest. What really struck me, though, were the pillars, specifically that each pillar was painted with a different pattern. A bit like the doodling hobby that is all the rage in the 21st century.





I overheard visitors commenting that they didn't care for the decor. I loved it. The pure creativity in painting such a variety of patterns astonished me. Such a change from the gold gilded statues and representational paintings is most other cathedrals. The simplicity in the complexity of St. Mathias' interior offers tribute to the constant changing patterns in life, designed by the greatest Creator of all.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Not an Imaginary Door

I dreamed of this door. Saw it clearly in my mind's eye. The existing door failed to invite me through it. I wanted a door that opened easily and fully, exposing a bright world beyond.

From the outside looking in, here is the door of my imagination.