Monday, February 22, 2010
Every artist needs to evolve in order to survive. There is always a history a now and a future which inevitably nag at the artist. The two paintings above by Henri Matisse illustrate and evolution of an artists work.
The first image (which I posted before, completed in 1902 is clearly in the impressionist style. It is in the dark mood which is so common in Matisse's early work.
The second, completed in 1914, is during his "experimental period". They are both of the same subject but express the subject in much different ways.
I like them both.
The current context of American painters is all over the map. It seems like the medium of painting has exhausted the major avenues of originality. This is not to say that there isn't room for creativity, because the act of painting is so engrained as a true art form that it will always be a choice medium for artistic expression. I am always surprised at the delight I get from seeing new paintings.
There is still room for evolution.
The spectrum that I see in painting is the range between Realism and Abstraction. There are works that take direct cues from photography, attempting to replicate and hopefully enhance the realist quality of the photo. At the other end is the purely abstract which uses form, tone and light and dark to evoke a feeling or understanding.
As I fumble along with my art I am drawn to both the real and the abstract. I like the idea of abstraction coming from a subject or that tells a story (dare I say sureal?). The dream like paintings of Chagall are both real and abstract.
I have seen paintings of Portland with elephant herds grazing in parks and giants wading in the Willamette river. I do like the fantastical aspects of these kinds of paintings and am tempted, but my gut tells me these would be more for folk tales and childrens book illustrations. I may have to eat my words on this at some point.
I feel like the successful bits of my paintings lie in the abstract accidents that seem to happen here and there. I'm not sure where I am going from here, but I am exceited at the prospects.