On speed & stamina

Here is something interesting I just read today: When you paint, you have to be quick. Even if it is not turning out very well, it is always better than going slowly. You must bring the energy of your entire existence into the picture. FRANÇOISE GILOT in “THE WOMAN WHO SAYS NO” (also worth mentioning…

A note on annotations

Pierre Bonnard, I just learned, did not paint in front of his motifs. Instead, he filtered the image, finding a way to make annotations (notes, sketches) that were a trigger for recollections that he wanted to capture on canvas in the studio. His paintings were, in other words, salvages and translations of primary sensations –…

“On Vision and Contemplation”

An Excerpt from “MEMORIES OF STAROBIELSK ESSAYS BETWEEN ART AND HISTORY” by Józef Czapski, translated from the Polish by Alissa Valles, introduction by Irena Grudzińska Gross “We paint only one percent of contemplation.” —CYPRIAN NORWID What is vision? A certain synthetic, singular way of looking at the surrounding world. A moment of such vision always…

Sunday poem

Rereading Frost by Linda Pastan Sometimes I think all the best poems have been written already, and no one has time to read them, so why try to write more? At other times though, I remember how one flower in a meadow already full of flowers somehow adds to the general fireworks effect as you…

Regarding Hendrick Avercamp

Here is the text I planned to talk about in my last post, Michael Glover’s great little essay on Avercamp’s: Winter Landscape with Skaters – hereby recommended!   Winter Landscape with Skaters is a 1608 oil on oak painting by the Dutch artist Hendrick Avercamp in the collection of the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam. * Many of Glover’s fine essays on art can be found…

Finally some good news:

I’d like to think I can represent all those artists who heroically have kept going and are successful, but are not recognised or acclaimed. —Phyllida Barlow Can it be true, as some say: Old women are replacing young men in the art world  We can at least hope! After having been overlooked for decades, the…

Art on art

When your head gets filled with too much theory – try art: A SHORT TALK ON THE END What is the difference between light and lighting? There is an etching called The Three Crosses by Rembrandt. It is a picture of the earth and the sky and Calvary. A moment rains down on them. The…

Gather Ye Rosebuds While Ye May … (cont.)

Still working on my rose-text, today I will show you a contemporary version of the motif: Cy Twombly: The Rose IV (2008). Acrylic on plywood, 252 x 740 cm. Cy Twombly’s The Rose is a cycle of five paintings, numbered I – V, the paintings are variations of each other. Cy Twombly: The Rose V (2008). Acrylic on plywood, 252 x 740…

Roses

reading up & sketching down; roses in art (cont.)   Virgin Mary and Jesus is, one could be tempted to say, a standard motif in Western art. However, most portraits depict the virgin looking at her child. In this picture, by British/Austrian Marianne Stokes, Mary looks up and out, as if to introduce her young child…

Gather Ye Rosebuds While Ye May …

reading up & sketching down; roses in art ….? Some historical fragments: Botanical symbolism has its origin in the literature of antiquity, where plants are often used in metaphors for virtue and vice. In classical mythology, human beings are transformed into plants as a reward or punishment, as in the story of Narcissus, the vain…