Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Doodle Like the Masters!

Pablo Picasso. (Spanish, 1881-1973). The Kitchen. Paris, November 1948. Oil on canvas, 69" x 8' 2 1/2" (175.3 x 250 cm). Acquired through the Nelson A. Rockefeller Bequest. © 2007 Estate of Pablo Picasso / Artists Rights Society (ARS),Museum of Modern Art, New York

OK, I mean no disrespect by the title of this post, but some of the most influential artists of the 20th century created certain pieces that look like they might have been thoughtful doodles. What I mean by "thoughtful" doodles, is that they are not haphazard or mindless, and make great use of the space of the page/canvas, but they still retain fun and whimsey, which I think is what makes the doodling process so appealing. I thought it would be great today to give ourselves "permission" to doodle in our sketchbooks!

I was surprised to come across the Picasso piece shown above, which I found in the collection of the Museum of Modern Art online, and thought I'd share with you here. In this piece, titled The Kitchen, you can clearly see the influence of Paul Klee and perhaps Miro in the simple whimsical linework, and the flourishes.
Look at this piece below, by Paul Klee, and note the similarities- the great use of space, a wonderful integration between the negative space of the background, and the positive space of his design:
Paul Klee. (German, born Switzerland. 1879-1940). Heroic Strokes of the Bow. 1938. Colored paste on newspaper on dyed cotton fabric on board, 28 3/4 x 20 7/8" (73 x 53 cm). Nelson A. Rockefeller Bequest. © 2007 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn

On view at MoMA

Here is another piece by Klee, titled Twittering Machine. Notice the similar little shapes and flourishes to the Picasso piece at the top of the page.
Paul Klee. (German, born Switzerland. 1879-1940). Twittering Machine. 1922. Transfer drawing with oil, ink, and watercolor on paper on board with gouache, ink, and pencil, 25 1/4 x 19" (63.8 x 48.1 cm). Purchase. © 2007 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn, Museum of Modern Art, New York

Finally, my last example to share with you is one of Joan Miro's paintings, titled The Escape Ladder. Again, there are similar shapes and a similar "feel" to the Picasso and the second Klee shown.
Joan Miró. (Spanish, 1893-1983). The Escape Ladder. (1940). Gouache, watercolor and ink on paper, 15 3/4 x 18 3/4" (40.0 x 47.6 cm). Helen Acheson Bequest. © 2007 Successió Miró / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris, Museum of Modern Art, New York

What will your doodles look like if you do them with the intention of making the page interesting as a whole? Why don't you try it today in your art journal, and see what you come up with. Everybody has time to doodle. Right??

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