Sunday, March 11, 2007

Favorite Places in Art

La Orana Maria (Hail Mary)
Paul Gauguin
88x114 cm
Metropolitan Museum of Art

I'm posting rather late this weekend, but was celebrating my daughter's 10th birthday with seven energetic tween girls here for most of the weekend, so the blog took a big backseat yesterday and today, as I 'm sure you can understand!

Anyway, I thought I'd still get my post in for the weekend, since it is our last one with a focus on the masters, and tomorrow we will be starting with a new topic.

I was looking through many pictures of art of some of the most famous painters, and it struck me that, integrated with their personal style was a unique view of place.

Just think of Gauguin, and what place comes to mind right away? Or Winslow Homer, or Turner (a few places...)

My point is, that how the masters painted their favorite places imprinted upon us forever a beautiful memory of that place- whether we had ever been there or not.

The Grand Canal- Venice
Joseph M.W. Turner
c. 1825-1850
91x122 cm
National Gallery, Washington DC

I have never been to Tahiti or Venice, but Gauguin and Turner transport me there, and make me feel like I am visiting when I look at their work.

What can you get across about some of your favorite places? Could you paint or draw them in a way that would make others feel that they would like to be there? Would you just paint the landscape, or would you add people, animals or objects in the scene? How can you use color or the way you apply your paint or charcoal to create a mood of the place? Look carefully at your scene before you start, and remember what strikes you most about the feeling that you get from the place. Try to make it your goal to evoke the same feeling by the way that you paint or draw it.

Take a look at some of your favorite vacation photos and work from one that you like, or draw or paint a local place that you love that says something special about the place where you live and what you love about it.

Do this in your sketchbook or on a small canvas or watercolor block, and let us know about it! I'd love to see your results!

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