Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Degas Ballerina Sketch; Rendition by Yours Truely :)

Drawn with colored chalk pastels on a window shade.  My own rendition; a tad different from the original, but this is just my style.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Louise Greenfield

I've chosen the photographer Louise Greenfield to do my Photography project on.  She has so many wonderful pieces...

Artist: Picasso


Artist: Pablo Picasso


Birth: October 25, 1881


Death: April 8, 1973 in France (age 83)


Country born: Spain


Country(s) resided during artistic training and highlighted creative periods:  At age 7, Pablo received formal artistic training by his father, in figure drawing and oil painting.  Picasso made his first trip to Paris in 1900, then the art capital of the world.  He met his first Parisian friend, a journalist and poet, Max Jacob.  Max helped Picasso learn the language and literature in France, and they soon shared an apartment together


Did artist’s interest start in art or where they schooled in something else first, i.e. voice, music, law?  No, ever since Pablo was a young child, he had been interested in the arts; his first word being “piz”, Spanish for ‘pencil’.  His father was a fine arts professor, and groomed this prodigy by getting Picasso the best education the family good afford.    


Name of school they received artistic training (if they did not have formal training be sure to state that.):  At just the young age of 13, Picasso was admitted advanced art classes in The School of Fine Arts in A Coruna, where his father was a professor.  His father and uncle decided to send young Pablo to Madrid’s Royal Academy of San Fernando, the country’s best art school, in 1897 at age 16 where he set off for the first time on his own. 


Was there an artist that influenced their artwork or they personally trained with? He formally trained with his father at age 7.  Picasso admired the works of El Greco; the elements, the elongated limbs, arresting colors, and mystical visages deeply resonated within young Pablo. 


Was there an art form, such as Japanese art, that influenced their artwork? Picasso was strongly influenced by African sculptures and artwork, which then influenced ‘Picasso’s African Period’, where you created numerous pieces that were a style derived from the inspiration of African art. 


What art movement were they most known for? Picasso was never conformed to any one movement; that was one of unique traits as an artist; he liked to jump around to different style and movements.  He was known as one of the creators of Cubism and he also was a part of the Surrealism movement, Realism, and Neo-Expressionism.


What/who did they use as their subject matter most often for their art, i.e. landscapes, dancers, portraits, etc.?          

Picasso had a very wide range in what he used subject matter in his art.  Although some subjects would appear more than others throughout his paintings; especially when going through one of his art periods, such as the ‘Blue period’ and the ‘Rose period’.  Such subjects included: Female nudes, musicians, guitars, people in poverty, portraits, circus life and circus performers, acrobats, dancers, everyday life, a number of abstract and distorted figures, and many others. 


What artistic medium(s) did they employ in their artwork, i.e. pastel, watercolor, oils, etc.? Picasso mainly used oil on canvas for his paintings, but he also used newspapers and recycled materials for his collages; but Picasso, like with his subjects, never really used one things, he used many different techniques, mediums and materials, and even invented some as well. 


What was their most predominant medium? Picasso was predominately a painter, and known for it today.  So Picasso was known to most frequently use oil on canvas and acrylics. 


Where the performing arts part of some or many of their work?  What influenced them to use the performing art? Picasso painted and created a number of pictures, collages, and 3D objects that were of musicians and instruments, predominantly guitars.  But Picasso also sketched and painted dancers and performers, and he is also known for his costumes he designed for many plays and performances, along with designing and painting sets and stages. 


What was happening in the performing arts area the artist was involved in that may have had an impact on how they created? (Time period, style, etc.) Being that Picasso was living right in the heart of, at the time, the most important performing arts and fine arts city, there most likely was numerous amounts of inspiration that contributed to Picasso’s artworks.  He was very intrigued by theatre, which was a big part of Parisian life at the time, and which he designed costumes and stage sets for several different plays. 


 Find a piece of work from the artist that relates to the performing arts that you find interesting or captures your attention. 



   This painting by Picasso is titled, “Old Man Playing Guitar”.  This was painted during Pablo’s ‘blue period’, where he created several pieces that were dominated by blue hues and depicted sadness, poverty, and oppression.  This is one of my all-time-favorites of his.  Just the way the old man sits, and hangs his head in silent sorrow; slowly fingering his guitar, either for his own pleasure for music or possibly for money.  He is obviously quite a down-trodden fellow, likely living in poverty that Pablo had grown to know so well.  The emotions in this picture are so deep and intimate, and there could be many reasons for this old man’s saddened state.  This picture really speaks to me, and I love it. 

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Surrealism makes me Wonder...

Edgar Degas                                    

Rain Morehouse    9.9.12

     On July 19th, in the year 1834; Edgar Germain-Hilaire de Gas was born.  He was born to a wealthy Franco-Italian family, and he was the eldest of his four siblings. He was birthed and raised in Paris, France, and was strongly encouraged at an early age to pursue the arts; although not as a long-term career.  Edgar’s father pressured him into studying law, and so for a brief period of time he attended law school.  But in 1855, Degas decided to enroll in a highly praised art school in Paris, called ‘Ecole des Beaux-Arts (School of Fine Arts).  While training at the Art school, he studied drawing under the academic artist Louis Lamothe.  Degas graduated in 1853, and received a baccalaureate in literature at his graduation.  Shortly after, Edgar registered at the Louvre as a copyist at the young age of 18.  This was a very significant part of his career in art, and he claimed later in life that it was the foundation for any true artist.  A few years later, Degas moved to Italy to pursue the arts, and settled down in Rome for three years. 

    Degas was significantly influenced by Japanese prints, where they suggested novel approaches to composition.  Japanese prints had bold, linear designs and expressed a sense of flatness that intrigued Degas; this was very different from traditional Western art and its perspective view of the world.  Degas was regarded as one of the founders of the Impressionist art movement, even though his style was quite differing; but he rejected the term of being an Impressionist.  He preferred to be called a Realist, because Edgar often depicted his subjects in his pictures within the third person.  Realism believed in the ideology of objective reality, and was against Romanticism.  Degas identified himself with this term instead.  Edgar was a superb draftsman, and is highly identified with the subject of dance; and over half of his artistic works are of dancers.  His interest was in the human form, and the athletic physicality of dancers and ballerinas especially caught his attention.  His studies addressed the movement of the body, exploring the physical strength and discipline of the dancers through contorted postures and unexpected vantage points; the strange vantage points he used was also very specific to Degas, and he was known for these third-person viewpoints.  But he also studied and drew jockeys and horse races for the interesting movement performed within it, as well as a number of nudes and working women; such as laundresses and milliners.  The performing arts were a huge part of Degas’ artistic career.  Being that is he famously known for his dancers and ballerinas, even though he is associated with painting dancers for all the wrong reasons.  “They called me the painter of dancers,” Edgar said, “without understanding that for me the dancer has been the pretext for painting beautiful fabrics and rendering movements.”  But along with painting dancers, he has also painted other factors of the performing arts; such as orchestra scenes, musicians, theatre, operas, and cabaret performances. 

    Edgar Degas was very experimental with his mediums in art, often drawing with chalk, painting with oil on canvas, and sketching dancers in pencil and charcoal.  But Degas was most known for his pastel drawings, and was once called the “Pastel Master”.  He enjoyed using different pastel art techniques and his innovative drawings on differently colored bases, experiments of shapes and textures of pastel strokes.  And with the element of “unfinished” pastel works, Degas truly redefined drawing with soft pastels.  Edgar was also quite wealthy, coming from a rich family, and so he was able to view dancers in rehearsal; before and after shows, and just stretching in the back studio; because it cost a fee to have access to the back stage where the ballerinas resided before and after shows, only the wealthier men could afford to do so.  This impacted Degas’ artwork and style by showing him who the dancers really were, that they were just as human as any one of us.  Because behind the scenes he was able to view the dancers in their stretches, their contorted poses, and watch them massage their aching feet.  Degas wanted to paint ballerinas in their natural state, and the pressures they faced being dancers, not just the perfect ballerinas they are on stage; he wanted something deeper.  This however was quite new to the world to see paintings and sketches of ballerinas not perfectly poised and elegantly twirling, and sometimes controversial to those who were conventional.  But before Degas, no one had ever viewed and recorded what it really meant to be a dancer, and so Degas showed the world the real life of a dancer.