Another Little Bridge

Earlier I posted a squared up drawing of this bridge, which was a study for the landscape of a large commission.  Here’s another.  Both pictures are drawn from the same photograph.  Both are approximately the same size (about 8 x 10 inches).  Yet the differences in media transform them into quite different works.  In an earlier era (just after the dinosaurs roamed) this was called “translation,” at least as regards rhetoric.  But I think the old masters (some of whom are my personal friends) took this rhetorical idea and used it (translated it) into their visual idiom.

I’m quite sure Rubens did.  He had the most distinquished rhetorical education.  Never would he misplace a modifier, of that I’m quite sure!

So, let’s see.  Rhetoric and Rubens makes this picture traditional. Whereas the grid,  that staple of  Dame Jennifer Bartlett (with the authority vested in me I’ve just knighted her — or Dame-ed her)  ah hem, I was saying  that Bartlett-sizing it makes it modern.  And grids are just tiles by another name, which brings back my old pal Pierre Bonnard who actually invented Bartlett. (I wonder does she know?)

I’m on a goof ball roll.  (Somebody stop me!)

[Top of the post:  Watercolor study of a foot bridge, by Aletha Kuschan]

Bonnard’s white jug now mine

This is the third (and last) little copy I made while strolling among Bonnard’s paintings at an exhibit in 2003.  Now it’s a stroll down memory lane.

The poignant thing about an exhibit like that, when it’s an artist whose works you really love, is the transcience of it.  Bonnard’s paintings will appear together in other future exhibits, sometime, somewhere. But each time you have a chance to see works together this way, you know that you are not likely to see them again — at least not in ensemble.  Some of them one is unlikely to ever see again, unless one happens to be the most assiduous globe trotter, for normally they are scattered everywhere.

This white jug (that’s what it is) appears in the same painting as the orange jug, on the table in the Dining Room overlooking the Garden of the Museum of Modern Art in New York.  My copy of the white jug turned out to be rather less legible than the orange jug.  (The yellow circle is the rim of the jug, and its bright interior is blue.) However, the fuzziness is Bonnardesque in its own way.  This little jug is a very tender keepsake to me.  From it rises up memories of veils of color from Bonnard’s scintillating and chalky colored surfaces, of his dining room and its primeval forest beyond.

[Top of the post:  Notebook drawing after Bonnard, by Aletha Kuschan]

Bonnard’s Marthe

In an earlier post, I wrote about making a copy of an orange jug from a Bonnard still life.  At that same Bonnard exhibit, I also made this small sketch/copy of Bonnard’s Nude in the Bath and Small Dog (Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh).  I was amazed by the color in the actual painting, which was quite different from what I found in books on Bonnard.  The lightness of the palette is had to describe, particularly as projected into the scale of a work as large as this painting, which measures 49 x 59 1/2 inches.  I tried to condense the essence of all that into my small notebook.

[Top of the post:  Notebook drawing after Bonnard’s Marthe in the Tub by Aletha Kuschan]