Friday, November 9, 2012

When Vincet met Eva: The Story of an Abstract Painting

"Your Gypsy Soul" 20 x 20 oil on gallery wrap canvas
This painting will be a the Spirits Bright Show: Nov. 30-Jan.5--SOLD

My life and art have not been separated. They have been together. Eva Hesse

Still, there is a calm, pure harmony, and music inside of me. Vincent van Gogh

Happy Friday! I’m sometimes asked by my representational artist friends and students what sparks an abstract painting like this one. It’s a good question. For me, the inspiration for an abstract work can come from just about anywhere—one interesting shape, a pattern, a texture, or maybe even a single color, etc.

In this case of this particular painting I’d been thinking about creating a non-representational painting inspired by two different artists. With the “Becoming Van Gogh” exhibit currently at the Denver Art Museum, Van Gogh was an obvious choice. Because I’d have the rare chance to study his paintings in detail for color, brushwork, etc.
Eva Hesse Sculpture
For the other painting, I recently came across the work of the late Eva Hesse. Some you may know her for her experimental sculptures. Sadly, she had a very brief art career and passed away in her early thirties in 1970. While Hesse’s body of work is not extensive I found myself drawn to several of her abstract expressionism paintings. One painting really resonated with me like a song stuck in my head.

Perhaps because I could relate to her square composition and organic shapes which is combination that I’ve often used. Though, Hesse’s palette is more earthy and muted than I would typically work with.

After seeing the incredible Van Gogh show a few weeks ago, I knew immediately which painting I’d use for inspiration—The Courtesan (after Eisen). This is one of Van Gogh’s graphic Japanese print inspired paintings from 1887.  You can see I “borrowed” several aspects for my abstract oil painting including Van Gogh’s particular color combinations (reds, greens, yellows, ochres, blacks, and turquoise).

You may also spot hints of the vertical bamboo shapes, the blush horizontal slashes of the pond, and a lily pad. By the way, the title “Your Gypsy Soul” is from Van Morrison’s Moondance which I realized as I was writing this was released in 1970 the year Eva Hesse died. Don’t you love art karma?

New Digital Art Magazine: Artists on Art
For those of you who enjoy reading magazines on your “digital devices” I just subscribed to this beautifully designed quarterly art magazine that I can’t wait to read this weekend.  Artists on Art is described as: Master Artists & connoisseurs share their ideas and techniques through in-depth, interactive articles.

No comments:

Post a Comment