Monday, July 30, 2012

Weekend Inspiration: Update

 So it's been a while since last dropping by the ol blog.
I have to say since starting at a new show at Nickelodeon in June, it has been a whirlwind of activity.
New storyboards and inspiration abound on the new show. Speaking of inspiration... this past weekend my sister was in town visiting my family and we took a trip to the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles.
My sister, being a fan of Gustav Klimt, was in luck as they were hosting an exhibition of his drawings over the course of his career. Check out more here:
It was pretty inspiring show to see Klimt's early work in the classical representational style favored at the time and for me to learn that he cut his artistic teeth in the commercial art field of decorative painting. The following is by no means an attempt to represent the show or present robust art criticism. I am merely presenting artworks which I enjoyed and responded to while in the gallery.

Klimt's use of models and his continued practice  of drawing from life reminded me how inspiring, motivating, and necessary it is to devote time to the daily practice of drawing from life. The drawing below was a study for a commercial painting to adorn the walls of a new opera house. I was wondering how this study would be interpreted for the final painting. How much would he change?
What other studies had he done for the hands of the subject? I was also amazed by the classical style he executed so proficiently here as I had only known of Klimt's finished works during his "Golden Period".
These two images below don't do justice to seeing the actual preliminary sketches in person. The delicacy with which he applied the many fine strokes of graphite, rendering the forms of the figures, the planes of the faces, was a study in painstaking technique and keen observation.
I was drawn to the contrast he employed in the variety of strokes depicting different material and surfaces. 

Later in his artistic path, Klimt breaks away from the traditional "accepted" art society and joins the Succession movement.
He begins to experiment with various techniques of applying graphite to underscore the Symbolist themes of his art. I was drawn to this image below and was marveling at the fluidity of his brush work in ink. No searching, no corrections, and no scratchy hesitant lines. Just bold precise strokes.

I love how Klimt's directs viewers eyes to the strongest contrast in the pencil painting.
The subjects languid gaze at the viewer.
 He draws us in and utilizes various handling of the medium to depict the materials and control the focal point. A haunting and beautiful study.  

A study below for the Bethoven Freize which captures the allure of the sitter in delicate line work. This piece was featured through out the museums advertisement for the show. The original is only about 10x14in and just amazing.

 Later in his artistic journey he had traveled into the area of exaggerating and interpreting the human form with tactile line and subtle rendering. I really enjoyed observing how he still utilized his keen observation to depict the subtle curvature of fingers wrapping around a form or outstretched at the same time distilling the forms to streamlined sensitive shapes on the paper surface.

But there was so much more to see at the exhibit, in addition to a full size recreation of the Bethoven Frieze.
I really responded to two things:
1. His experience as a painter influenced his tonal approach to drawing for many years and then he broke away into the pursuit of a tactile descriptive line (following influences from Japanese and Parisian art) His art became increasingly more stylistic akin to graphic design: ie shapes dominate his figure depictions, compositions, and artistic motiffs.
2. His daily practice of drawing from life was a staple through his artistic career up to his final days. 
He also apparently had a voracious sex life to match his passion for drawing. 
The documentary describes his daily drawing and the models who were his muse.
The film makers do a much better job at getting to the man behind the mystique of his art. 
Check it out.
Keep on drawing!

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