Category Archives: about artists

SOME FUN FACTS AND TRIVIA ABOUT ARTISTS

I don’t know about you, but little facts and trivia about artists make them seem more human to me.  Here are some of the more interesting things I have found.

DaVinci became a vegetarian for moral reasons. He even bought caged birds at outdoor markets and set them free.

Caravaggio murdered a man, fled Rome and eventually ended up in Malta, where he was knighted.

DAVID AND GOLIATH by Caravaggio.  The head of Goliath is a self portrait.

DAVID AND GOLIATH by Caravaggio. The head of Goliath is a self portrait.

The Pieta is the only work Michelangelo ever signed.  While delivering it, he overheard someone say he couldn’t have done that – he was too young.  He went back that night and signed it.  He was 23.

The Pieta

The Pieta

Rembrandt filed for bankrupcy.

Picasso had his first artshow at age 13 – showing paintings in the back of an umbrella store.  In his 90th year, he produced 200 paintings.

Duchamp deliberately accumulated dust to use in his artwork. He also perffected a system of winning at roulette and was on the French team at the International Chess Olympiads.  He eventually married Matisse’s ex-wife.

Matisse’s painting LeBateau hung upside down for 46 days at the Museum of Modern Art in New York.

La Bateau by Matisee - hung correctly.

La Bateau by Matisee – hung correctly.

Paul Gaugin worked on the Panama Canal.

Rodin died of frostbite.

George Braque was the first living artist to be exhibited at The Louvre.

There is a silhouette or a self portrait of Dali in all his paintings.

It is said Da Vinci invented high heels.

Anything you want to add?

MY DOG ATE MY BLOG

Ziggy and Joel

Ziggy and Joel

It’s hard to believe that cute little dog could do this to my notes. Ziggy literally ate my notes on my blog.

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Those are notes I made after hearing a story on NPR about the new exhibit at the High Museum of Art here in Atlanta!!  The exhibit is Frida & Diego, Passion, Politics and Painting, which I am looking forward to seeing.  This is the only stop in the United States and apparently close to 25% of Frida’s paintings are on view.

I had looked up and found some interesting tidbits about the two of them that I was going to share – but alas, you see what happened to them.

So – back to the drawing board.

Lesson learned?  Apparently Ziggy thinks anything on the bed belongs to him!

QUOTES TO LIVE BY

I have been posting my artwork on my facebook art page off an on for awhile.  In fact, I’ve been doing it a little haphazardly.  So, I have decided to keep a file of quotes I find inspiring, amusing, or just worth sharing. Here are some of my most recent posts.

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inquire,jpg

This was something a yoga instructor said in class about paying attention to yourself and your body. I liked the thought.

 

quote, jpg

 

queen

I just decided to live by these words one day

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163346_10152386749110524_1515152214_nWhat are some of your favorite quotes?

LITTLE KNOWN STORIES ABOUT DA VINCI, MICHELANGELO, REMBRANDT AND MATISSE

I am a reader.  I read every day. In fact, I begin every morning with reading. So I decided to start jotting things down whenever I found interesting, little known facts about well known artists.

LEONARDO DA VINCI’s father was a lawyer and he never married his mother.  While he lived much of his childhood with his father, he had four step-mothers over the years.  He was left-handed, But he was also a vegetarian, often buying birds in the market to set them free.

When a 23 year old Michelangelo delivered the Pieta, he overheard someone say they didn’t believe he (Michelangelo) had done the piece, he was much too young. Enraged, he left and returned with a chisel and carved out his name – making it the only statue he ever signed apparently. He once got back at a critic by painting him into a painting being smothered by a snake.

REMBRANDT left school at 13 to study art and had his own studio by age 17.  In the famous painting The Night Watch, the models paid him to be in the painting. In fact, the people that paid the most were put in the front.

The Night Watch

The Night Watch

MATISSE began every day by playing the violin for two hours.  His wife Amelie supported him by opening a hat shop. She also raised a daughter of his by a previous girlfriend.

I think knowing a few little odd facts about artist’s make them more interesting and more human.  What do you think?

 

ADVENTURES WITH ARTIST TRADING CARDS

What is an artist trading card, or ATC?  It is a 2 1/2 x 3 1/2 piece of original art that artist trade. I became involved with a group of women internationally in the fall on 2013. Once a month we all create pieces of art and send them to a different recipient. As an added bonus, you can send additonal cards to women in the group for the month of your birthday.  Well, December was my birthday month! What a month! Going to the mailbox each day was an adventure – I was receiving cards from Australia, the UK, Canada  and all over the US.  I love them all so much, I wanted to post the ones I have received so far!

Renee Bekking; Amsterdam

Renee Bekking; Amsterdam

Jean Wagner, Everett Washingon http://jeanfwagner.blogspot.com/

Jean Wagner, Everett Washingon
http://jeanfwagner.blogspot.com/

 

Leah Boulet, Halifax, Nova Scotia

Leah Boulet, Halifax, Nova Scotia

 

Lynn Sweeney Bedwell, Salisbury, New Hampshire

Lynn Sweeney Bedwell, Salisbury, New Hampshire

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Janine Whitling, Queensland, Australia; www.janinewhitling.com.au

Janine Whitling, Queensland, Australia;
www.janinewhitling.com.au

LaDonna Davis, Los Angeles, Calif.

LaDonna Davis, Los Angeles, Calif.
Caroline Flexman, London

Caroline Flexman, London

Elizabeth McNulty, Frankfort KY

Elizabeth McNulty, Frankfort KY

 

Kristen Conley, Fullerton, Calif.
Kristen Conley, Fullerton, Calif.

 

Amy Riddle, Asheville, NC www.onajourneybacktoherwings.blogspot.com

Amy Riddle, Asheville, NC
www.onajourneybacktoherwings.blogspot.com

Ciarra Simpson, Leeds, UK

Ciarra Simpson, Leeds, UK

 

Melissa Humphries, New South Wales, Australia

Melissa Humphries, New South Wales, Australia

 

another one from Elizabeth McNulty, Frankfort, KY

another one from Elizabeth McNulty, Frankfort, KY

Are they all just marvelous?  I feel to blessed to have made these friends around the globe that share their wonderful talents with me!!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

MY ARTIST DATE – with myself and Little Vickie

I have embarked on a year long journey with over 60 women from around the world committed to working through the transformative book The Artist’s Way.  One of the basic principles of the book is to take yourself on an artist date.  This is done alone spending time with your little artist nurturing and having fun.  So –  I took Little Vickie with me to the High Museum of Art, Atlanta.

Boy, Little Vickie does look excited and I think she and her doll have  on the same dress.

So, off we went to see the exhibit Fast Forward, Modern Moments 1913 – 2013.  I am a regular museum goer, but it had been A LONG time since I have gone with just Little Vickie.

Exterior of the High Museum

Just a note, the name The High Museum does not refer to “high” art, but for the High Family that donated the land for the museum.

This exhibit is organized by six pivotal years in the world of art and this blog will be about the first two, the years of 1913 and 1929.

  • 1913 – New Art for a New World
  • 1929 – New Visions
  • 1950 – Action and Abstraction
  • 1961 Art and Life
  • 1988 Constructing Identities
  • 2013 The Near Present

1913 

Probably the biggest change during this time was new technologies in travel, most remarkably the airplane. Flight became a widespread symbol in paintings, drawing, music and literature. This was also the year Charlie Chaplin signed with Keystone pictures, the first Armory Show in New York was held, the Panama Canal was opened and the Model T was introduced.  Take a look at some of the paintings from this year.

Matisse, The Blue Window

“An artist must possess Nature. He must identify himself with her rhythm, by efforts that will prepare the mastery which will later enable him to express himself in his own language.” Matisse

Mondrian Composition in Brown and Gray

“Every true artist has been inspired more by the beauty of lines and color and the relationships between them than by the concrete subject of the picture.” Mondrian

I can’t look at a Mondrian painting and not think about music and rhythm. Did you realize he was quite an accomplished dancer?   Click HERE for a short video of art historial Kermit Swiller Champa talking about Mondrian’s  interest in dancing and the boogie woogie.  The above painting is consider analytic cubism.

Picasso, Glass, Guitar and Bottle

This painting is synthetic cubism, which grew out of analytic cubism. Developed by Picasso and Braque, they discovered through the repetition of analytic signs their work became flatter. This was the beginning of collage, when real pieces of paper and music began replacing depictions that were painted.

Umberto Boccioni, Unique Forms in Continuity in Space

This is considered a Futurist sculpture.  Don’t you love the movement of this apparent human form in motion that suggests speed and power? An interesting fact about this piece, the lack of arms is an homage to Rodin’s Walking Man

Juan Gris – Grapes

Juan Gris studied mechanical drawing.  He also designed ballet sets for Diaghilev and his famous Ballets Russes. “You are lost the moment you know what the result will be”.  Juan Gris (originally known as Jose Gonzalez-Perez.

1929

Not only did the stock market crash in 1929, but it was also the year of both the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre and the year Stalin took power.  The Vatican became a sovereign state and Hemingway published A Farewell to Arms.

Salvador Dali had his first solo exhibition in Paris. Andre Breton, considered the founder of surrealism,  said of the show “It is perhaps with Dali that for the first time the windows of the mind are opened fully wide”.

Salvador Dali Illumined Pleasures

The title “Illumined Pleasures” is thought to refer to the “luminous” objects projected into the theaterlike boxes.  Dali’s painting are extremely detailed, but many of them are very small. (this painting is a mere 9 3/8 x 10 3/4).  “Have not fear of perfection, you will never reach it.” Dali.

Magritte The Palace of Curtains III

Magritte shows us two images in this painting, one of the sky and the other with the word Ciel, which is the French word for sky.  The word and the image are the same in their meaning.   “An object never serves the same function as its image – or its name.” Magritte.

Max Ernst The Birds Above the Forest

I loved this painting. Forests and birds are subjects Max Ernst returned to over and over again. In fact, Ernst had an alter-ego Loplop, who is a birdlike character that reappears in many of his works.

Georgia O’Keeffe Farmhouse Window

Georgia O’Keeffe is one of the few women represented in this show. I liked the lines and the simplicity of this painting.  “I know now that most people are so closely concerned with themselves that they are not aware of their own individuality… and it has helped me to say what I want to say… in paint.” Georgia O’Keeffe

Gerald Murphy Wasp and Pear

Gerald Murphy probably painted less than 20 paintings in his lifestime. This painting is one of his last, and is considered a mix of the styles of Cubism and Art Deco.  Murphy and his wife Sara were ex-patriots living in both Paris and the French Riviera.  They are remembered for their salons, attended by Picasso, Hemingway and F. Scott Fitzgerald.  In fact, he and his wife are the models for Nicole and Dick Diver in Fitzgerald’s Tender is the Night.  I plan on learning more about this artist and his life.

Alfred Stieglitz Equivalent Series

This is part of Equivalents, which is a series of over 200 photographs primarily of the sky without a horizon, and mostly without hills, trees, buildings, making them among the first abstract photographs.  He said of this series “I know exactly what I have photographed. I know I have done something that has never been done…I also know that there is more of the really abstract in some ‘representation’ than in most of the dead representations of the so-called abstract so fashionable now.”

I think this enough for now!  I will write about the years of 1950, 1961, 1988 at a later date.

So, what did I and Little Vickie learn?  I learned by going alone to the museum I could take the time to really look, read and listen to the audio.

What in an exhibit gets your attention?

 

I DID IT!!!! BLOGTOBERFEST 2012

Blogtoberfest 2012

I did it – I posted a blog every day in the month of October, missing only one day – and I bought a car that weekend.

I am not going to lie – I’m glad it is over.  But, I did learn a few things.

1.  I need to take more photos. I did purchase a Smartphone during October, and that helped. But, I need more photos to illustrate my blog by making it more personal.

2. Sticking to a plan helps. Having a series – The A to Z’s of Art really helped keep me on track.

3. There are other things to write about other than my art and what I’m doing.  I researched artists.  And I learned some things that surprised me (see Q for Quills- I had no idea!).

4. Keep a journal – catch those ideas as they fly by!

5.  If I do it again, I will highlight fellow artists – which takes a little pre-planning!

So – I spent a day with every letter, and I participated in a Blog Circle where 12 women around the globe wrote about Courage.   Here are some of the links to past blogs here.

Courage in Art

A IS FOR ACRYLIC PAINT  through Z IS FOR ZIGGY, MY STUDIO ASSISTANT.

Posts in between are:

B is for David Bryne

C is for Creativity

D is for Dream

E is for Encaustic

F is for Fear

G is for Giclee

H is for Hue

I is for Inspiration

J is for Joel – Epiphany in the Dark

K is for Anselm Keifer

L is for Louvre

M is for My Studio

N is for Negative Space

O is for Georgia O’Keefe

P is for Photographing your Artwork

Q is for Quill Pen

R is for Rembrandt

S is for Surrealism

T is for Theft

U is for the Lady and the Unicorn

V is for the View from My Deck

W is for Warhol

X is for the Portrait of Lady X

Y is for Yellow

 

 

Y IS FOR YELLOW – THE A TO Z’S of ART

I have to admit, I had looked up the color yellow and found all this symbolism through the ages and I was going to post it. But, this impending disaster with Hurricane Sandy got my attention. I decided to just post a few images that show the color yellow – and you can decide yourself.  Among them, a yellow tree, Rothko, Van Gogh and Kandinsky.

X IS FOR THE PORTRAIT OF MADAME X, THE A TO Z’S OF ART

The Portrait of Madame X, by John Singer Sargent

This painting created quite a scandal when shown in Paris in 1884. Painted by John Singer Sargent, it is the portrait 0f Virginie Amelie Avegno Gautreau, an American expatriot married to a French banker. She became notorious for both her beauty and for her infidelities, and even though she craved attention, this portrait ruined her reputation forever. She retired from public life, and it is said she destroyed all the mirrors in her home.

The plunging neckline was considered seductive, and one of the straps was originally shown slipping off the shoulder. The portrait was considered sensual and decadent, even after Sargent returned the strap to the shoulder.

Sargent was considered a rising star at the time the portrait was painted. He fled to England and slowly recovered from the scandel.

This painting was not commissioned, and Gatreau refused to purchase it. Sargent kept it and hung it in his London studio.  He started displaying it in international exhibitions and sold it to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in 1916 saying “I suppose it is the best thing I have ever done”.

If you want to know more about the painting, there is an interesting book – Strapless by Deborah Davis which also goes into the world of American ex-patriots living in Paris,  where many of the characters could be from fiction rather than non-fiction.

 

 

 

W IS FOR WARHOL, THE A TO Z’s OF ART

Andy Warhol

I don’t  know what you think of Warhol, in fact, I’m not sure what I think of Andy. Everybody knows his name, and outside of Dali’, no artist has been better at marketing art.

Coming from the world advertising, I ask when does self -promoting hurt your art? I don’t know the answer.

I talked to a gallery owner in New York, and he felt Warhol would come to “a door if it was opening”.

What does 15 minutes of fame really mean?  It was interesting to find the saying has a Wikipedia page – here

I have read the books – here are the links

The Andy Warhol Diairies

Popism, The Warhol Sixties

Edie, An American Girl  – my personal favorite

Then there are the movies – how many actors have portrayed Warhol? Actually seven to eight depending on where you look.  Here are my favorite movies.

Another personal favorite – David Bowie – in Basquiat

Guy Pierce in Factory Girl 

Crispen Porter in The Doors

Who was the best Warhol?

Guy Pearce

David Bowie

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Crispen Porter

The images of Crispen Porter and Guy Pierce as so similar I had to quadruple check the images!   Who do you think was the best?

What is your favorite Andy Warhol painting?  Marilyn, Jackie O, Campbell Soup Cans (which I bought the limited edition at Target)