Jules Breton was famous for his portrayal of peasants.
I found Jules Breton’s painting of a peasant woman at Hoakley’s The Eclectic Light Company blog. I made a quick drawing of the woman’s head on a sheet where earlier I had made a little drawing after a face by Ingres.
My page and Breton’s peasant below:
When I find a cloth I like at the fabric store, turns out it has something in common with stuff I’ve already painted.
I don’t know it at the time. I just see something I like. I’m standing there going “Ooh! Ahh!” Soon after, money is changing hands — traveling from my purse to the cash register.
My subconscious has its enthusiasms. I see. I buy. I paint.
The 1940s was a romantic era. This girl standing along a walkway parallel to the neighborhood street has a quality of patience, as though frozen in time. I wanted to preserve the feeling one gets from the black and white photography, while introducing just a trace of color. I wanted the mystery, the romance, this disjuncture between our era and that time, and between her patient waiting and the long perspective behind her that trails off into infinity.
Sometimes I want drawing to be my idleness. If I just draw, without expectation, choosing something I want to look at, to think about the vision with the pen making lines as I watch, that can be an unhurried, lazy drawing.
I decided that spending some time with pictures I love could be a good way to use this idle approach. I found Odilon Redon’s “Mystical Conversation” in a book and have made this little exploratory drawing of it. As you can see, it’s a good picture to relax with. Sometimes idleness can bring with it great freedom.
Monet’s humongous painting of the women in the garden is visiting the National Gallery of Art in Washington DC. I finally get to see this painting. When I was a teenager, Monet’s painting made me want to be an artist.
I knew it was large, but seeing it in real life is quite thrilling. It’s part of an exhibit dedicated to Frederick Bazille.
My whole feeling for landscape grew from the Impressionist paintings I saw at the National Gallery of Art in my youth. They’ve influenced everything I paint.
If a simple glass pickle jar gives you joy, you know you are a joyful person. I found the pickle jar in my mother’s cabinet. It was one of those things my parents kept out of a desire to give all possessions a second life. Emptied of pickles it became a flower vase. I cleaned it up after its years of disuse and marveled at how lovely the light is that passes through simple clear glass. The flower stems randomly distributed in the jar offer beautiful abstractions of dark green. The glass also reflects and intensifies colors in adjacent objects — the table cloth, the backdrop cloth. It catches highlights of daylight entering the windows. It is in short a light catcher. Whoever wishes to meditate on the meaning of the present tense can gaze into its interior and find passages of beauty to inspect.
The flowers are the heroes of any flower still life: comprised in this instance of carnations and a single large yellow tea rose. But a clear glass jar also brings strong poetry to the scene.
Glass Jar with Flowers is a small pastel painting on textured paper measuring 14 x 18 inches.
The more things change, the more they stay the same — a good saying for artists who are practicing in the way that Degas advised them to do: “you must redo the same thing ten times, a hundred times.”
I made this little koi pastel above so that I could be often practicing the colors and positions of the koi fishes. It measures about 12 1/2 x 11 inches. It’s practice for a painting measuring 40 x 60 inches.
These are guppies for the big pond.
I have redrawn this motif again and again. Sometimes it transforms.