Matisse said, “It is the imagination that gives depth and space to a picture”

  Matisse exclaimed, “It is the imagination that gives depth and space to a picture.”   For example in the student’s work to the left, they placed their symbols for the main design first.   Next came the free flowing imagination when they experimented with watercolors and water.  The student did not have a plan but put down the watercolors letting them flow together at will.   This ends up being the most striking thing in the composition and the least structured!   So if you are new to art or experienced try to add something free form.  You could just take a paper…

“Painting is poetry that is seen rather than felt, and poetry is painting that is felt rather than seen.” ― Leonardo da Vinci

Now that fall is closing in take time to read a good “art” book for inspiration and relaxation.  Da Vinci’s quote is a wonderful insight into art and literacy.  Leonardo said, ““Painting is poetry that is seen rather than felt, and poetry is painting that is felt rather than seen.”   Here is a list of just a few of my favorites:  “Mary Colter Architect of the Southwest” by Arnold Berke,  “The Private Lives of the Impressionists” by Sue Ross, “Michelangelo and the Pope’s Ceiling” and “Brunelleschi’s Dome” both by Ross King.  Then for something fun a fictional art mystery “Chasing…

Frederic Remington once said, “The artist must know more than the camera.”

  Western artist Frederic Remington said, “The artist must know more than the camera.”  Today even in this age of the digital camera working outside or “Plein air” to create work is coveted by many artists’.  They find many subtle aspects such as color blends, shadow depth, blurred details that the camera misses.  How many times have you take a picture and thought later that is not quite what I remembered.  Develop your eyes and notice what you may have been missing by looking through your camera lens or screen. Remington was great at observing and “seeing”.  He was the…

Artist Paul Klee remarked “A drawing is simply a line going for a walk.”

One of my favorite quotes comes from Paul Klee who said “A drawing is simply a line going for a walk”.  This summer as you travel take a sketchbook with you and a simple #2 pencil or your ballpoint pen!   Sketching does not need to be complicated nor do you have to be an “artist” to sketch.  I like to do a combination as I travel.  I pick up a postcard here and there and use a glue stick to attach it in my sketchbook.   I doodle and sketch around the postcard, add words in my hotel room at the…

Van Gogh stated,”I sometimes think there is nothing so delightful as drawing.”

Van Gogh’s wonderfully simple pen and ink drawing shows how drawing does not need to be complicated.  Just give it a try!  Here note how Van Gogh used simple lines to create an great drawing of a meadow or field.  Thin and thin lines going different directions make the field look like a meadow of plants.  See how he uses a simple value (dark/light) change to delineate between the foreground and the background.  The narrowing of the field as it goes back creates depth in the drawing another simple technique.  Try drawing with a simple pen, it can do more…

Artist Andrew Wyeth’s thoughts on sketches that don’t make the cut

American artist/icon Andrew Wyeth once said, “I’ll take weeks out doing drawings, watercolor studies, I may never use.  I’ll throw them in a backroom, never look at them again or drop them on the floor and walk over them.  But I feel that the communication that has seeped into the subconscious will eventually come out in the final picture.” When you look at Andrew Wyeth’s art you see many sparse, simple looking compositions.   Most people including yours truly, are drawn to his wonderful art.  I recently was teaching an art class on composition and I used Wyeth’s paintings as a…

Artist Renoir’s ideas about subject matter for artists.

  Renoir once stated, “There isn’t a person, a landscape, or a subject that doesn’t possess at least some interest-although sometimes more or less hidden.  When a painter discovers this hidden treasure, other people immediately exclaim at its beauty.”  When you  just do not have the “inspiration” to draw or paint something don’t  give up!   There is an unlimited number of options out there.  Try something opposite from your usual, instead of looking at the large landscape look at the plants creating the landscape.  Or get even smaller and get out a hand held magnifying class to see your house…