Greetings, Art Lovers!
We hope you are safe and healthy during the current social distancing parameters. Having isolated ourselves for the original two weeks and showing no ill effects, we decided to risk a podcast to send our best wishes to all you art lovers out there who are beginning, like us, to feel the cabin fever. Don't worry, we all kept a safe distance from the microphones, but we wanted to share some uplifting thoughts with you and encourage you to get out your paints, brushes, pastels, art books, snacks, and any other paraphernalia you might need to begin creating. Your imagination and creativity can take you well beyond the boundaries to which we must adhere at the moment.
Edgar Degas A Ballet Seen from an Opera Box, 1885, pastel 29 ½ x 20, Philadelphia Museum of Art, Phila, PA.
People call me the painter of dancing girls. It has never occurred to them that my chief interest in dancers lies in rendering movement and painting pretty clothes. — Edgar Degas
Not sure where to start? Tune in now as David, Connie and Judy share thoughts and observations on art in general and what they have been doing to keep busy.
Connie begins with the fact that art is a safe haven during troubled times and relates how she has been working on a giant-sized painting (42 x 58?!) to engage her imagination. David has been cultivating Alexander Cozens' 'blot technique' and is fascinated by what can be found by creating a blot or scribble and then pulling a landscape or rocky coastline out of the fog. They also discuss Giovanni Boldini and Edgar Degas both of whom aspired to create the effect of movement in their work; Degas with his racehorses and ballerinas, and Boldini, known as the "Master of Swish", according to Time because of his flowing style of painting. ["Art: Master of Swish". time.com. 3 April 1933]
Giovanni Boldini, Portrait of the Countess Zichy, 1905, no details.
Observe how much movement Boldini creates with loose and flowing brushwork to emulate the texture of satin and net, as well as the suggested motion of the Countess. Softened lines contribute to the effect of movement.
As Connie says, we often find ambiguity in paintings, suggested notes that our minds try to comprehend. Is that flick of white on the horizon a mis-stroke by the artist, or, no, wait, it's a sailboat, a schooner in full sail, perhaps a rider on a white horse in a desert scene. The viewer is instantly engaged with the painting as his, or her, imagination discovers other small details. "We are wired," says Connie, our resident artist-psychologist, "to make something out of ambiguity."
Judy updates us on several art talks and presentations that had to be canceled, including "A Father & Son's Journey in Paint" Tom Nicholas, N. A. and T. M. Nicholas at the Cape Ann Museum, 'Gloucester Through the Artist's Eye for the Cape Ann College Women's Club and a presentation at the Whistler House Museum of Art in Lowell on A. T. Hibbard by both Judy and David. The latter two events are being rescheduled, and will be announced when they finally make it on to the calendar, even if it's next year!
Finally, David muses on the 2020 competition for a free workshop. He is still finessing the details but we ask you to stay tuned and, as soon as he has an official announcement, we will let you know. In the meantime, don't forget:
Difficulties are opportunities to better things, they are stepping stones to greater experience. Perhaps someday you will be thankful for some temporary failure in a particular direction. When one door closes, another always opens, as a natural law, it has to be, to balance. — Bryan Adams
HILAIRE-GERMAIN-EDGAR DEGAS (FRENCH, 1834–1917)
BEFORE THE RACE, c. 1882, Oil on panel, 10 1/2 x 13 3/4 in. The Clark Art Institute, Williamstown, MA. Acquired by Sterling and Francine Clark, 1939. Ac. No. 1955.557