Friday, October 23, 2009

Motherwell-esque: "The Subject of All Art is Feeling"

Last night we started our fourth drawing class watching a Robert Motherwell video (yes, a video, not DVD) called Storming the Citadel (no YouTube clip to be found). Wonderful!

Only slightly familiar with Motherwell, this is is what I know of his work. Black as a color.

Last night I learned about the range of his work. He didn't get stuck in a style.

Back in the day when I sat in art history classes soaking up the lectures, I never imagined making my own art. Now I'm studying with a Motherwell-esque teacher who uses art history lessons of abstract expressionists as a jumping off point to make make our own work.

A recurring theme: "The subject of all art is feeling."

Last night's lesson: We started out with a pine cone, the backside of blueprints, and big charcoal. After drawing the feeling of the pine cone for 5-10 minutes (with music), we rotated to another person's "drawing" and drew on it to add to it and make it our own. We made two passes to each person's drawing. In the second round we added white charcoal; in the third, pastels. As we worked, he told us he was teaching us how to build a drawing/painting and how to layer. Ahh, I got it.

This week I'm building a vacation week before the start of my new job on Tuesday. My plans for a getaway have not gone as planned. But this morning I realized that I'm having the perfect organic vacation. It's unfolding. I'm building it layer by layer. And now I'm off to rotate to the next drawing.


painted fish studio said...

i love your class recaps! happy vacation...

cantueso said...

But unlike Rothko or MirĂ³, this Motherwell kept producing theories about "the middle class" that had become "degenerate", things that "are dead in human experience" and "concepts, whether aesthetic or metaphysical or ethical or social....".

With a vocabulary like that, where do you go? It's much too clumsy to either produce or reconstrue anything of interest.