Monday, September 24, 2012

Planning A Masterpiece

 'The Lament for Icarus' by Herbert James Draper 

There is something wonderful about having access to preliminary drawings. It allows you to view the artistic process, glimpsing the mind of the artist. Below is Draper's study for Icarus, the preliminary sketch is so beautiful, it makes it easy to see why the finished piece is so wonderful. The storytelling is blatant and the image is stunning.The piece is constructed through methodical planning. 

A study for Icarus by Herbert James Draper

Some artists enjoy the accidental aspects of intuitively working through a piece. Some artists believe that planning is far more appropriate for realistic images. However, this is not true, when Pablo Picasso painted 'Les Demoiselles d'Avignon' he created a large number of preliminary drawings. 

I am fascinated by the process of each artist. Pablo Picasso and Herbert James Draper, share a methodical approach and yet their objectives and styles are so very different. Each is taking care of the detail before the complete picture can be seen. There is a surprising commonality between each artist, they have a process where the complete image can be perceived within their mind before they approach the canvas. There are so many different approaches and I wouldn't suggest one over another, but it is interesting to see which method works best for each individual.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

The Green Lenses

The Green Lenses - Jina Wallwork

She looks towards me with disdain. She has fooled herself into believing that my success leaves a bitter taste in her mouth, when in reality it is her saliva that has always contained a naturally horrid taste. She is incapable of removing her green lenses and viewing the world without a jealous gaze, bitterness has become a defining aspect of her personality. Those lenses make it impossible, for anyone to perceive the process of success. They focus only on the sweet results and ignore all of the steps that were taken.

While learning to fly I constantly fell to the earth, as the world’s most persistent failure. I braved humiliation and ridicule, only to pick myself up and try once more. They laughed as I healed and I continued to focus on the blue skies. I gambled everything, until I had nothing left to lose. I continued beyond their cruel words, which often fueled my efforts more than kindness ever could. When I felt that all was lost, I continued anyway. It ceased to matter whether I would fly or fall. The act of making the attempt had become the core of my life, results were immaterial. The path of your greatest failure, will lead you to stumble onto the smallest pieces of success. I know this process too well.

She sees my flight and claims a friendship that had drifted into obscurity long ago. She pulls it into the present, only to ask for my assistance. She wants to glide through the skies with haste, is she asking for a map of the runway? She asks me not for the process, but only for the results. She wants me to repeat the process on her behalf, but I cannot spare the years that would be needed. Does she honestly believe that another should carry her into flight?

She grows angry with my lack of assistance, demanding that I explain how I achieved success. Through her green lenses, she cannot see the truth behind my words. I tell her that she must be persistent, she must work hard, and she must accept failure and humiliation because she will greet them many times. I tell her that she must hold onto hope, because eventually something will work.

She looks at me with surprise and yells words that I choose not to repeat. I sense that she feels betrayed, as though I am hiding what is rightfully hers. I have given her the map that she so clearly desires and I am greeted with visceral hatred. She slams each door, as she defiantly walks away. From a distance, I can hear her speak of the stupidity of flight, which she now condemns as nonsense. Then she talks of the magnificence and grace, that only walking can provide. She asks why anyone would choose to do anything else?

Monday, September 17, 2012

The Best of Vincent Van Gogh

'Field with Poppies' by Vincent Van Gogh

There is little excitement within the subject matter. A photo of this location would not fill me with intrigue, it is Van Gogh's vision of a subject that creates the interest. To paint the mundane and make it brilliant, it is a gift that Van Gogh possessed. Such a unique vision of the world around him, it must have been difficult for others to understand him. I question if we will ever fully enter his world; is it something we would choose to do? Van Gogh's world features a large amount of suffering, yet this is difficult to see within these paintings. Do his images reveal the best of his inner world?  Do they reflect moments where this passionate and volatile man became calm? Those few moments where he could express himself, unclouded by aggression and torment. I believe that Van Gogh needed painting, as much as painting needed Van Gogh. My favorite pieces by Van Gogh are those where he seems to locate a sense of peace, even just for a moment. Only two are within this post, but there are many other images that achieve this. Within them the entire canvas manages to harmonize and you feel the sense of an artist at peace. Van Gogh's sense of peace is still vibrant and exciting, because your experience of peace is reflective of your personal nature. I look at these images and I see moments where Van Gogh achieved the emotional balance that he struggled to maintain.  

'Tree Trunk in the Grass' by Vincent Van Gogh

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Sketchbook 2012

You are welcome to glance through this sketchbook. There is something different about viewing art in the order that it has been produced. One image seems to influence another, even though I consider each to be a stand alone piece. Each has its own identity. However, because they share a sequence they become related. 

Open publication - Sketchbook 2012 by Jina Wallwork

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Haystack by Claude Monet

'Haystack' by Claude Monet

The eye is treated to an image that so beautifully depicts light. There is a range of color and without the light, they would clash. There are pinks, blues, greens, yellows, yet they all harmonize within the image. None of the colors are given the opportunity to dominate, they are all subdued with white. The painting is ambitious, such a complex image may be too difficult for another artist. Monet achieves brilliance, the composition is simple, the rounded structures of the haystacks contrast with the horizontal landscape. This simplicity works to great effect, stopping the detail from overpowering the piece. It contains a balance of Subtlety and color, that reveals the genius of Monet.