Thursday, August 20, 2009

Stephanie asked for some more verbiage to go with these latest paintings so I will explain: Many of the old masters spent many years copying paintings by even-older-masters before they began painting original works. Many of them continued studying and copying other artists' work throughout their careers. I enjoy the impressionists and particularly admire the post-impressionists, so I wanted to learn more about their techniques.

This is a copy of a detail of a pastel drawing by the impressionist artist Mary Cassat. I learned about the way she smudged the flesh flesh tones to make them soft and touchable while leaving other areas of the painting rougher, to draw your eye to the faces and hands of the figures.

This is another copy of a detail of a pastel drawing by Cassat. The skin tones are less smudged in this one. I was interested in her choice of palette and the extraordinary freshness of colour she was able to achieve.

This painting is a copy of a detail from a pastel drawing by Degas. He uses pastels in a very different way than Cassat, much more vigorous and exciting in my opinion. All of these pastel drawings were done without any fixing of intermediate stages. This contrasts with my usual way of working - I am a "fixaholic", spraying my work quite frequently as I build up layers of colour.

I am enjoying studying these works by the impressionists, and I am learning a great deal about the way they used colour to capture light effects, and create a painting almost like a snapshot - a frozen moment in time. Tomorrow I will be painting again, Degas and Cezanne. I'm very excited about the Cezanne as he is "my guy" at the moment. I love his work inordinately. Later I will be doing Seurat and Van Gogh.


amy said...

why do you have to be more verbiage with your work? why not have your paintings on your blogg and just say how you feel, why is there a need for self expression and long words to make a painting more interesting.

Melanie Rimmer said...

I totally agree Amy, but I was asked for an explanation and I am very obliging that way :)

Do you have a blog these days?