“I have read that the ancients, when they had produced a sound, used to modulate it, heightening and lowering its pitch without departing from the rules of harmony. So must the artist do in working at the nude.”
Antonio Canova (November 1, 1757 – October 13, 1822) Italian sculptor from the Republic of Venice celebrated for his marble sculptures that delicately rendered nude flesh.
“Though the artist must remain master of his craft, the surface, at times raised to the highest pitch of loveliness, should transmit to the beholder the sensation which possessed the artist.”
Alfred Sisley, Impressionist landscape painter. October 30, 1839 – January 29, 1899
Of all the Impressionists, he was the most consistent in his commitment to painting the landscape en plein air (outdoors). He is known for a series of paintings of the Upper Thames near Molesey.
Those of you who follow OTR Book Club know that I have just completed reading Portrait of an Artist: A Biography of Georgia O’Keeffe by Laurie Lisle. Georgia O’Keeffe is considered to be one of America’s most original and brilliant painters. Born in 1887, she lived to the grand age of 98 and left a legacy that continues to inspire new generations of artists.
I do not consider myself an artist, but I am grateful to those who share their creative genius with the world at large. I chose this biography for several reasons, the primary being to gain a greater understanding of how an artist thinks, feels, and acts as they follow their artistic journey. I was curious about how a woman, who lived at the turn of the 20th century, was defined within a circle that was dominated by a male perspective. Simone de Beauvior once said, “One is not born a genius, one becomes a genius; and the feminine situation has up to the present rendered this becoming practically impossible.” While most women of her age were focused on the everyday tasks of home and child-rearing, Georgia O’Keeffe chose her art above all. And then there is the matter of time. Does creative energy wane or does it ignite with the passage of years? Are there periods of doubt, insight, transformation, and renewal?
I have finished the biography, yet I want to review my notes and thoughts in future posts. Georgia O’Keeffe’s commitment to her vision, her art and her life has given me a new perspective on art and courage.
“To create one’s world in any of the arts takes courage.”
Happy Birthday, Jan Lievens (October 24, 1607 – June 4, 1674) A Dutch painter whose career started at the age of 12. In 1620, he came to the attention of Maurice of Nassau, Prince of Orange, who purchased a painting that was subsequently presented to James I. Jan Lievens was a friend of Rembrandt van Rijn and shared a studio with him from about 1626 – 1631. What collaboration!