My New Favorite Artist

"The Three Graces", Marie Bracquemond, 1880 Image courtesy of The Trivium Art History Project.

"The Three Graces", Marie Bracquemond, 1880
Image courtesy of The Trivium Art History Project.

I recently attended the Denver Art Museum's exhibition, titled "Her Paris - Women Artists in the Age of Impressionism". The show was very extensive with some artists I was familiar with, and others I was not.

One particular artist, whose work fell into the latter category was Marie Bracquemond. The luminosity and brush work of her paintings had such a dreamy quality to them - I was spellbound. I spent more time observing her work than any other artist on display.

I will certainly spend more time learning about her, and studying her paintings. I highly recommend you take a look at her work too.

The Significance of Impressionism

Last Sunday, I finally completed an essay I had been toiling over for months on Understanding Impressionism. It is a subject I hold dear, as the Impressionists have been a major influence on my work ever since my college days. Their approach to color and composition fostered, in part, the foundation for my own theories and systems on those same subjects which I have advanced into my own style.

Please click here to read the article. I hope you enjoy it.

Conceptual Cycles: Part II

I have been reflecting on my increasingly evident cycle of artistic patterns, recently. When I have learned what I need to from one particular style or a series, I move on to the next and advance it until I am ready to move on again. Eventually, I return to the beginning again, renewing the cycle, like a spiral that originates from a vague periphery and rotates itself toward the center, becoming more assertive as it refines and defines itself.

Since college, I have been fascinated with the Cubists. Their approach of rendering multiple angles of a form simultaneously with bold delineations breaking the figure down is both visually striking and conceptually advanced. Earlier in my career, in my own way, I attempted to work in a similar fashion through a series of jazz musicians. The instruments and intimate portraits easily lent themselves to the fragmenting of visual components, providing me with a structure to strengthen my compositions through line and form. (Example pictured, upper right)

After working this way for several years, I sought a more painterly approach with my work, making better use of color and brushstroke. The Impressionists seemed to offer the best blueprint to make this shift. In studying their compositions, I found it necessary to fully break away from Cubism. My work, therefore, moved through that direction and beyond, while my subject matter has also expanded to include ‘Scapes (expanses of land, sky and sea) and Narrative (implications of stories) works. Through this phase which has lasted the better part of four years for me now has enabled me to delve deeper into the potential of color and value. (Example pictured, lower right)

Artistically, I feel like I have absorbed concepts from both Cubism and Impressionism and am now able to employ elements of both into my work. Lately, I have considered Cubism again as I am realizing it matters less and less what I paint than how I paint it. In other words, the form, texture, depth and transition of my compositions have the potential to be as visually intriguing as my choice of subject matter. Stay tuned…