Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Joan Miro

Calendar at the bottom of post


 "Earning international acclaim, his work has been interpreted as Surrealism, a sandbox of the subconscious mind, a re-creation of the childlike, and a manifestation of Catalan pride."

Joan Miro was raised in Catalonian Spain. He and his family often took trips to their farm in Montroig. There, Miro enjoyed the peace of the country life and the beauty of nature.  The plants, animals, insects, stars, moon, and seaside of the country are often shown in his artworks. Miro studied what he saw in nature and painted it as a world filled with imagination. In his painting, colorful creatures float and faces appear in the night sky. You might even see a dog with elephant ears or a fish what seems to fly. 

THE FARM, 1921-22 oil on canvas, 48 1/4 x 55 5/8 

When Miro was seventeen, he first visited his parents' new summer house, near the Mediterranean Sea. It was a farm in Montroig, a village about sixty miles from Barcelona, Spain. His love of the countryside in Montroig led to his lifelong custom of spending his summers there. Miro said of The Farm: The painting was absolutely realistic. Everything that's in the painting was actually there. I didn't invent anything. I only eliminated the fencing on the front of the chicken coop because it kept you from seeing the animals. 

Miro says that the painting is a realistic depiction. However, it seems to fluctuate  between a realistic recording of the scene and more dreamlike imagery. The landscape, for instance, pulsates with hot, clear sunshine, but the blazing light casts no shadows. In the midday sky, the sun is represented by a disk that, oddly, is silvery gray-- the color of the moon. A cart totters on a single wheel. Moreover, we know the barn at Montroig was well kept, not crumbling as it seems to be here. 

Tilled Field, 1923-24

Does this image in any way resemble the previous slide showing a farm? Here you see Miro used geometric shapes to create a scene filled with objects which have some of the characteristics and shapes we regard to as animals, insects, trees and a house. 

Carnival of Harlequin, 1925

This  painting is filled with a variety of insects and animals doing various activities. If you look to the upper left you will even see what looks like two people with a mermaid body. Can you find a fish, cat, bee in a box, and what appears to be sheet music? You will notice that Miro often uses primary colors: red, blue, yellow and green along with black and white. 

Dutch Interior I, 1928, Oil on Canvas

This is one of a series of 5 paintings he made during the summer of 1928 after a trip to Holland. The painting got its origins from a postcard Miro bought from a museum. The original postcard image depicts a player with his instrument done in a naturalistic 17th century Dutch fashion with accurate shading, modeling, and perspective, but Miro recreates the image and he changes the relative scale of all the elements dramatically. Miro enlarges the head of the player (ballooned white circle) and gives the red face a grimacing look with a displaced mustache placed to the left. Miro attacks human anatomy by taking its classical harmonious form and scaling it down so small that all that can now be seen is one tiny leg hanging down at the bottom of the instrument. 

The Garden

Can you imagine the bird in the tree (upper right) chirping to the other birds nearby, "This is my place!"  Below, the plants sway and lean toward the sun, while insects pause in their grazing . Hidden beneath another bird waits, dreaming of flowers. A woman hesitates at the entrance to the garden surveying all that lies before her. The sun, a star, gazes overhead. 

The Beautiful Bird Revealing the Unknown to a pair of Lovers (from the Constellation Series), 1941, Gouache, oil wash and charcoal on Paper.

This is one of 24 drawings created during a period of personal crisis for Miro triggered by the Spanish Civil War and WWII. These works allowed Miro to escape from the tragedies of war by connecting with nature. What does the title tell you about this painting? Do you think Miro depicts the luminous constellations in a clear night sky? 

The spectacle of the sky overwhelms me. I'm overwhelmed when I see, in a immense sky, the crescent of the moon, or the sun.  There, in my pictures, tiny forms in huge empty spaces. Empty spaces, empty horizons, empty plains--everything which is bare has always greatly impressed me. ~Joan Miro, 1958, quoted in Twentieth-Century Artist on Art

Nocturne, 1940 Tempera, gouache, egg, oil and pastel on paper

With organic shapes Miro creates a wonderful world of fantasy. On the far right, he creates what looks like the basic structure of a stick person which he fills in with some small details-eyes, nose and antennas protruding from its head. There is humor in his creation. How many faces do you see? 

Cat Encircled by the Flight of a Bird

Can you find the cat and the bird? Where do you think the bird began and finished his flight? 

People and Dog in the Sun

What do you think represents the sun? Do you often think of the sun as being red? Is this painting symmetrical? Are any of the shapes repeated? Do these people appear to be floating? 

Monday, September 28, 2015

(Calendar @ bottom of post)

Emily Carr was born in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada in 1871. Today, she is recognized as one of Canada's most talented female artists - a painter, a writer, and a free spirit who was deeply influenced by the coastal forest of British Columbia and the Northwest Coast Native art and culture. 

When she was about 8 years old, Carr drew a picture of her father's dog that so impressed him, he arranged for her to take drawing lessons. While in her twenties, she attended the California School of Design in San Francisco. She also studied art in London and Paris. When she returned to Canada, she taught art to a ladies group for 4 years. As a painter, she didn't feel that people appreciated her modern style so she gave it up for 15 years. During that time she ran a boarding house and wrote a book.

Carr met some like minded artists, the Group of Seven, and began painting again when she was 56 years old. Usually painting nature scenes, she began to get recognition for her artwork. Later she had a heart attack and stopped painting but continued to write books and had her first book published in 1945. She died at age 74 in Canada and has become a major figure of Canadian history. The Vancouver Art Gallery has more than 200 of her works in their permanent collection, and the house she lived in as a child is now a museum - you can visit it!

 Top: photographs of Emily Carr through (1871-1945)

When Carr was living the art world was dominated by male artists. Art was not considered a serious occupation for women-it was a ladylike pastime in Victoria-somewhat akin to embroidery.  Carr's independence and early rebellion helped to advance her artistic endeavors. With a love of nature and a deep sense of spirituality she created lots of paintings based on her observations. Primarily focusing on the forest landscapes and the skies of British Columbia as well as the villages of the Coastal Indians. She documented all that she saw with an emphasis on totem polls and trees.

"The oldest art of our west, the art of the Indians, is in spirit very modern, full of aliveness and vitality...the foundation that the Indian built his art upon was his totem. He did not worship it, but he did reverence it tremendously. Most of the Totems were animal representations, thus animal life played a great part in the life of the Indian and his art." 
Emily Carr, Fresh Seeing, 1930 

How many of us have hiked or visited in a forest? What did you see when you were there? Although women did not typically venture into the forest, Emily Carr made several outings. In fact, she visited native settlements regardless of the physical challenges. Imagine foraging through a forest without a groomed trail while carrying your basic needs. You encounter hot and stormy weather, along the way you hear strange sounds and come upon people of a different language and culture. Do you think that this was easy back then, or even today? During her visits she made many small sketches and paintings of the native villages. This was a time that the Totem poles were not considered art, and the people were considered savages, or "savage" like. However, Carr had a mind of her own and respected the native people. Her paintings documented the Totem poles and villages when many were being abandoned during colonial European exploitation.

This village above, is located at the junction of the Kispiox and Skeena Rivers in northern British Columbia and contains a collection of Totem poles which are now considered historical monuments. Kispiox, known as "People of the Hiding Place," erected totem poles (which were an integral part of this indigenous identity and history)  to commemorate the dead, signify ownership, and offer insight into the heritage of the local people.

Do you go to Church? Many of us do. Emily Carr was raised in an Orthodox family where religion was an important part of their life. She and her sisters were expected to follow the rigid household and societal rules and attend church regularly. She considered herself spiritual but not religious, and she often avoided the prim and proper household rules by escaping into the forest.

What do you see as the main focal point? You probably first notice the white church, however look how Carr has engulfed it with the contrasting vibrant green trees. Is she giving the trees purpose and meaning. Do you see her use of shapes? What shapes do you see and where? Triangles and rectangles-church, crosses and trees. How does she show value? look at the shading among the trees. How many greens do you see? Notice the variants of colors. 

When you hear the word movement, what do you think of?  Body movement, transportation, maybe nature...movement was much a part of Carr's paintings. Notice the sweeping ground holding up the majestic raven. Nature and the bird become one. Why does she give this painting movement? Are the shapes you see organic?

Based on her early influences of time in France you will notice how parts of the sky is taking shape and form in the cubic style-the white rectangular sections. Carr had the luxury of meeting French artists and seeing their works. Afterwords, she approached painting by focusing on color, space, and light. What does Cubism mean? Can you name an artist in France who influenced Cubism? Picasso.

This painting was in 1931, It is on oil canvas, and is 112 x 68.8 cm. Do you see a repetition of shape in this painting? (cone)  Carr titled this painting The Little Pine, what do you think she is trying to tell the viewer about the tree?

Emily Carr not only saw a decline in the villages and the people during a rise in English settlement, but she also witnessed changes to the forest.  Trees were being cut for wood. How does this painting make you feel? What is the artist trying to convey? Today we have environmentalists who have formed organizations to help create National acts to protect our National Parks and Forests-one example the Sierra Club. Carr may have been ahead of her time-a conservationist.  Can you name a National Park in our state here in Oregon? Crater Lake 

Notice the sky...can you think of another artist that painted similar skies and images (movement) in the style of Expression? Vincent Van Gogh  What does the sky tell you?

Here is another painting, painted on oil canvas ( 112.8 x 69 cm). She has abandoned her early teachings of depicting traditional representation of nature and landscapes. She uses motion and color to bring life to the forest. To Carr, the forest and all within were lifelike with a pulsing heart. Working quickly and spontaneously, she joyfully expresses the liveliness of the forest in a new and innovative way.  Can you imagine the ocean waves (a tsunami perhaps) sweeping through the forest? What would become of the trees? Does the "rushing sea" symbolize something?

Tidbit about Carr...During Carr's summer sketching trips, she traveled in a trailer, known as the "Elephant" along with her monkey, rat and four dogs. Realizing that she needed to make ends meet, she even raised and sold English bobtail sheepdogs. Do you think Emily Carr appreciated animals as well and nature?

One tree showing the transition from summer to fall. We can see that the tree is the main focal point, but what else do you see? Maybe a lake and a mountain...If we were to step into this painting to look closer to the tree, would we be standing in an elevated area? Can you think of a National Park in Oregon that I have mentioned earlier that may share some commonalities with this image...perhaps Crater Lake? The next picture is Crater Lake.

What are some differences in this picture? Colors, time of year, type of tree, position of the tree...
The following pictures are to give us an idea of how we would paint or draw like Emily Carr.  Let's try to have tree(s) be our focal points.

Emily Car was a Canadian artist born in Victoria, British Columbia. Carr's art was greatly influenced by the indigenous groups in the Pacific Northwest of Canada. Carr grew up in a two story house that is now known as the Emily Carr house and is a registered historical landmark in Canada.

Carr's parents died when she was only a teenager. Their death contributed to her decision to move to San Francisco. Carr realized her interest in art and enrolled in the California School of Design. When Carr finished school, she moved back to Victoria where she transformed a family barn into a painting studio. Carr worked on her own paintings and offered art classes to children. After a few years of working in her self-made studio, Carr decided to continue her education and moved to London to study at the Westminster School of Art. Carr was not fond of the climate in London and relocated numerous times to schools in Cornwall, Bushey and Hertfordshire England.

In 1910, Carr spent a year studying at the Academic Colarossi in Paris before settling in her native British Columbia. Carr was fascinated by the First Nations cultures and made several visits to the Nuu-chah-nulth, Kwakwaka'wakw, Haida, Tsimshian and Tlingit communities.  Carr picked up the practice of painting totem poles in order to leam more about the First Nations people. During this time, Carr made paintings influenced by the post-impressionist and fauvist styles she had learned during her stay in France.

In 1913, Carr returned to Victoria for financial reasons. Carr felt extremely isolated and unable to find artistic support. Carr stopped painting for several years and worked as a potter and dog breeder.

In 1920, Carr was invited to participate in a show at the National Gallery of Canada in Ontario titled "Canadian West Coast Art, Native and Modern".  At the exhibition Carr met the "Group of Seven"  a group of male artists who were focused on creating distinctly Canadian art.  Carr was accepted by the group and began showing with them. With greater acceptance, Carr's enthusiasm in painting was restored, and she made some of her best-known pieces. The Group of Seven sometimes referred to Carr as "The Mother of Modern Arts".

Carr had many exhibitions during the 1930's in prestigious locations such as the Art Gallery of Ontario and the Vancouver Art Gallery. Today, more than 200 of her works are part of the Vancouver Art Gallery's permanent collection. Carr has become an icon in Canada and an inspiration to women artists around the world

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Welcome to the 2015-2016 Art Lit year!



 Thank you all for volunteering. Without our volunteers there wouldn't be a program for our Children. Looking forward to a great year!!!

We selected 4 artist.  We will begin the year with Emily Carr.  She is a female artist from Canada.  We will also do an African American artist, Jonathan Green and a Surrealist, Joan Miro.   We will finish up with a cultural selection and do Aboriginal art.   Depending on budget, we hope to make Aboriginal Art a bigger project and are thinking of possibly doing boomerangs or didgeridoos.

There will be 4 training sessions.  We will offer a Tuesday evening session and a Wednesday morning session for each artist.   They will be held on the first Tuesday and and first Wednesday of; October, December, February and April.   This will give us approximately 2 months to present each artist.

Tuesday evening training sessions will be from 7:00 pm to 8:00 pm.   They will be presented by Sherilyn and will be held at the Tigard Foursquare Church.  It is located at 13720 SW Pacific Highway in Tigard.    

Wednesday training sessions will be from 10:00 am to 11:00 am.  They will be presented by Samara.  They will be held at Templeton in the conference room or the library.

1st~   training will be for artist Emily Carr.  It will be offered Tuesday, October 6 and Wednesday, October 7th.   

2nd~ artist training will be on Tuesday, December 1st and Wednesday, December 2nd.

3rd~ artist training will be on Tuesday, February 2nd and Wednesday February 3rd.  

4th~The last training session will be for Aboriginal Art.  It will be held Tuesday, April 5th and Wednesday, April 6th.  

Please mark them on your calendars and plan on attending!  

We still plan to have all of our supplies and the art carts in the Art Literacy area of the library, but we probably will not have as much space as last year.   Due to an additional kindergarten class being added, a lot of technology had to be moved into the Art Lit area.  We should be able to to have access to one of the counters, and some tables.  

Thank you everyone!

Soon to be published...Emily Carr information!!! 

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Last Artist of School Year!
 (Calendar at end of post!)

Magritte is 32 years old here - this is near the time when he moved back to Brussels,
Belgium (his native country) after living with his wife, Georgette, in Paris for three years.
He become friends with many other Surrealist artists there in Brussels.

The picture above on the left is Magritte at age 32 years old - this is near the time when he moved back to Brussels, Belgium (his native country) after living with his wife, Georgette, in Paris for three years.
He become friends with many other Surrealist artists there in Paris.
The Painting on the Right is called, The Magician, 1951. Magritte wrote to a friend that this painting was a self-portrait. It is one of Magritte's few
self-portraits showing him able to carry on many things at the same time - using four
hands and arms at that! Many of his paintings attempt to show the impossible.
LeJockev Perdu (The LostJockev).1926
The Jockey is one of Magritte's first surrealist paintings in which he rearranged familiar
objects in a new and mysterious way. Needless to say, his first exhibit received much
criticism. What appears strange to you in this painting?
  The Treachery of Images. 1928-29
One of Magritte's much talked about works. In Magritte's art the painted image is always
the image of a thought; it is never a simple reproduction of appearances intended to
represent reality. The French text on the painting says: "This is not a pipe."
The False Mirror. 1928
Can you see any similarities between Magritte's image of the eye and the CBS logo?
What influence do you think the sky has on the viewer (a dreamlike feel)? You will notice the sky repeated in many of Magritte's works. As with the CBS logo, if we were to look at some forms of advertisements we would find a Surrealistic approach cloudy blue sky in the background, and /or objects in unexpected places.
  The Human Condition. 1933
Here you will notice his signature cloudy blue sky, but what else has Magritte done? He has created a painting which portrays both a window view and a painting on an easel which share the same scenery. Can you tell where painting on the easel starts and stops, and which is part is the window scenery?
The Spirit of Geometry. 1935, Picture on the Left
Much of Magritte's art was inspired by the collage technique and explores what happens when ordinary things are reversed or moved around in some way. This is known as dislocation - the removal of an object from its normal place or context and its introduction into an unfamiliar environment. What do you notice about this painting which seems out of character or abnormal? The baby's head is enlarged to
an adult size and attached to the mother's body while the mother's head is reduced to the size of an infant and attached to the baby's body - a reversal.

The Therapist. 1937, on the right

This is an example of many of his works which depict unexpected combination of things:
the lower body of a sitting man with a birdcage on top of it. The airy and hollow
birdcage seems to contrast with the solid and full legs. Would you expect to see a man
without a face and a bird cage for his torso?

Time Transfixed. 1938
The artist said that all he wanted to accomplish in this picture was to paint a locomotive
"So that it would evoke mystery." As you can see, to do that he joined the locomotive with something completely unrelated - a dining room fireplace. Notice how the scale of the locomotive is out of all proportion.
Personal Values, 1951-52
All of the objects in this room are realistically depicted, and are clearly recognizable
(Objects which you may have in your home), however what does not seem right to you?
Correct - their size. Maybe we are looking into a doll house where someone has put a normal size comb, shaving brush, bar of soap and wine glass. The wallpaper, however, with Magritte's signature sky and clouds seems to make it very large and spacious.
Because of this alteration with the scale of things, everything is plunged into uncertainty.
The Listening Room. 1952
Here we are confronted with a realistically depicted room yet it has a huge apple inside it (the view from the window tell us that this is not a doll's house). The apple is so realistically depicted, but it is so large that it seems threatening - crowding us out from the room.
The Son of Man. 1964
This is a popular image of a gentleman with a boiler hat, but his face is concealed by an apple - notice the background. Magritte painted this as a self-portrait. His words to describe it were. "Everything we see hides another thing, we always want to see what is hidden by what we see, but it is impossible. Humans hide their secrets too well...."
Pumpkin Head
This image was included to show you how sometimes famous original works of art are sometimes reproduced in altered forms. What would you use in place of the apple?
Project will be a surrealist collage

(Objects in places you would not expect them)


Rene Magritte described his paints saying, "My painting is visible images which conceal nothing they evoke mystery and indeed, when one sees one of my pictures, one asks oneself this simple question, 'what does that mean?' It does not mean anything because mystery means nothing either, it is unknowable"


Born Nov. 21, 1898, Lessines, Belgian. After studying at the Belgian Academy of Fine Arts (1916 -1918), he designed wallpaper and did advertising sketches until the support of a Brussels art gallery enabled him to become a full-time painter. In 1922 he discovered and embraced Surrealism. Certain images appear over and over again in Magritte's works - the sea, wide skies, the bourgeois "little man" in a bowler hag rocks that hover overhead and dislocations of space, time, and scale were common elements in his enigmatic and illogical paintings. The fantastic content of his art had great appeal for the general public and became widely disseminated in commercial advertising and posters in the 1960s and 1970s. Magritte, who died in Brussels on August 15, 1967, created a word of enchantment with far-reaching influences.