Thursday, January 03, 2008
January/ February Artists for Study
Long-time readers of this blog will remember that I began 2007 by studying John Singer Sargent for the month. In 2007 I also studied Van Gogh, Maxfield Parrish, J. W. Waterhouse, and Whistler, but none of them influenced me quite as much as John Singer Sargent. For a month, I immersed myself in his work and finally produced an image based on what I learned from him. His use of darks and lights completely changed the way I looked at my art and sent me miles ahead on my journey.
I'd love to do that again this year, and I think I may have some time in the next two months to devote to studying. So my goal again is to immerse myself in an artist's* work for the time alloted, produce a piece of work based upon what I've learned, and put links to any other artists reading this blog who are also participating in the project. *A safely dead artist.
I have an unhealthy fascination with illustration and fantasy, so for January and February, I'll be looking at two Nordic illustrators from the beginning of the 20th century: Kay Nielsen and John Bauer. You might be looking at their work and saying holy cow, batman, that looks nothing like maggie, and you would be right. But my goal is not to look like them -- it's to take what I like of their work and incorporate it into my own.
So what do I like? I like that the pieces are dark, which makes the light more meaningful. I like that they are simple, but say a lot. I love the high, tall compositions of Kay Nielsen. I like the limited palette and the clever use of both 2D and 3D effects to draw the eye. I like the fanciful compositions that are entirely from the artist's head. I think I could learn from them. Nay, I know I could learn from them.
So what I'm going to do is work on my studying every Sunday. That makes it manageable for me and gives me a goal to shoot for (there I am again, on about these goal-things). Anyone who wants to join in can feel free to comment on this blog and leave the link for their blog-post on the subject. It's a great way to share the blog-traffic around, make new friends, and learn more about what we love: art. And little girls kissing bears.
So who's with me?! Raaah!!