Tag Archives: modern art

Begonias Cubed / it’s a start

How to make a $10 plant look like a $50 plant? Cube it.

I meant to tint my canvas paper gray but it came out black. That will be ok. It might make my begonia look like a drama queen.

I think I’ll do the background blue because the petals are orange so that will be the complimentary color for some contrast. It might make the petals show up brighter. I’ll wait a day or so and put the orange on top of the white and gray. The white and gray in the petals is the underpainting. I need to underpaint the orange with white because the orange won’t show up on the black background because it’s a more transparent color.

For this painting I’m stealing from 2 great artists, Matisse and Picasso. At YAA they told us, “Only steal the good stuff.”

From Matisse I’m stealing the idea of taping my brushes to yard sticks and standing way back from the painting. It’s fun but slightly out of control, which doesn’t make it easier. And from Picasso I’m stealing cubism. I wanted to fill up the paper with a lot of flowers and I have this little plant, so I drew it from all different sides and at first I had it up on boxes for added height, then I lowered it to table level. So that gives me different angles too.

I’m going so modern I didn’t sketch it with charcoal first and didn’t plan the arrangement. I just started painting flowers and filled in the whole paper. Painting them a little larger than life makes it easier.

So, I still have to do the background at least once, maybe twice, put the orange on the flowers and decide if I want to go over the leaves again. I’ll see how they look on the blue.

Doesn’t matter how long this takes, it’s too hot and humid for me outside in plein air. And we have rain coming in.

stars and planets spiraling in a downward tornado into a black hole

stars and planets spiraling in a downward tornado into a black hole

I don’t know what happened to my wordpress thing here. Before, if I clicked on” write” a bar for a title was at the top of the post but now that bar is gone. So I clicked in the box and typed in “title” then I get a line to type on but it’s showing the title twice. If I try to erase one line they both get erased. I fooled around with it but I can’t figure it out. The blue question mark wasn’t getting me anywhere either and even my daughter can’t figure it out, so, oh well, maybe it will fix itself, who knows.

OK, back to art talk.

I’ve been doing modern art all week because the weather isn’t good for plein air lately. The modern art is fun and fast. I could knock out 5 in a day, or even more, but is it just a waste of paint or will it eventually make a better artist out of me? It seems to me that if you want to improve at a difficult game like art you have to challenge yourself and modern art, fun as it is, is no challenge.

All you have to do is throw some paint down, smear it around or don’t smear it or whatever you feel like doing, then look at it and think of a title. I guess most art viewers like a title because people want to make sense of things.

When I’m doing that, it’s like making a little Rorschach test for myself. The art viewer gets a glimpse into my subconscious. Maybe if I keep doing modern art the art viewers will feel like they know me.

I’ll let the viewers make the call on the question of will this make a better artist out of me. Meanwhile, it looks like more rain is in the forecast so I might continue with this for a few more days. At this time of year if I want to go out to draw in plein air, I have to get up early, and check the local radar for rain. If it gets too late it’s too hot out.

Mountain, Table, Anchors, Navel by Arp

I’ll tell you a little story from my school days.

I had one teacher that I loved, Mrs. Palmgren, my art teacher. When I was in first grade she had us making collages and when she handed out the paste she said, “If you eat the paste you don’t get any more.” I ran out of paste and was afraid to ask for more so I cried. She asked me why I was crying and I said I need more paste. She said stop crying, I’ll give you more. Then I thought she was the nicest person I ever met! She stopped teaching elementary school art and I thought I’d never see her again but when I got to high school she was there! She was the only adult that seemed to understand me and showed me a lot of things of great interest in art.

When I was a senior she arranged a field trip to MOMA! It’s a 4 hour bus trip from Ephrata, PA. to NY.

As we walked through MOMA it was so much to take in! When we got into the gallery that had Mountains Table Anchors Navel and I saw this I cracked up! I mean I couldn’t stop laughing! The other kids were laughing too but they were mostly laughing because I was laughing. It was the funniest thing I ever saw! And so totally unexpected in an art museum! Not that I’d ever been in a real art museum before. I was so wound up by this that I was acting up all the way home! It was the most fun I had as a kid! My parents would never have taken me to NY.

I thought the teachers were probably arguing about me in their lounge because I was a real bad truant. I thought Mrs. Palmgren probably defended me. I had a real bully of a home ec. teacher, Mrs. Lentz. She picked on me and other girls in other classes. Back then, some teachers were real bullies and got away with it. Some of the teachers didn’t like me because I skipped their classes. I bet Mrs. Palmgren asked Mrs. Lentz, do you get modern art? Mrs. Lentz would have said no. Well, I get it. It’s a joke!

Then once when I was in class they sprung an IQ test on all of us. The whole senior class had to take it and I couldn’t just walk out. Those nosy b—–s wanted to find out if I really am a genius like Mrs. Palmgren said I was. I don’t know what my IQ is and I’m not interested in taking another test. I don’t have much of an ego for an artist, but I thought they made us take the test because they had me tracked with the non college bound students and I hated school.

That’s how it is for a lot of young artists. The system fails them.

self portrait

This is modern art. I don’t feel like standing in front of a mirror and trying to get a likeness. What if it comes out looking cartoonish? That’s ok. It could even come out looking grotesque and that’s fine too.

Do I need to “labor” over this? nah. Do I need to mix natural skin colors? Just use what’s left from the previous painting and is drying up on the palette.

It can be for fun on a rainy day when you just want to goof around. I taped my paint brush to a yard stick like one of my favorite artists, Matisse. In fact, it was so much fun I might do more.

Since I’ve been trying to do modern art when I’m stuck at home because of bad weather, I can’t tell if it’s improving my skill or not. I did get the feeling it’s affecting me in some way I can’t describe exactly. It’s a mental thing. I’ll probably go back to traditional style when the weather improves. I’m tired of the cold rain, almost drove to FL. but 95 is probably a mess.