Thursday, April 12, 2007

Artistic Influences

I've been working with some material provided as an e-book called The Relatively Pain-Free Artist's Statement by Alyson B. Stanfield. Verbalizing and using adequate language to describe my work is a challenge. Artists are such visual creatures. I'm enjoying the exercises, one of which asks: who has been your artistic influences?

I study the master horse painters in a continuous search for an emotional element. By now I can draw and paint horses as well as anyone. But can I infuse it with this passion?

What a lovely painting by Peter Paul Rubens entitled "St. George and the Dragon". Abundantly flowing mane and tail depicted in the Roccoco style.

It's intense emotions and feelings revealed in these paintings that strike a vivid chord in my psyche. I've made it my mission to replicate this milieu. It's daunting. Eugene Delacroix tells an phenomenal story in every fiery painting. Two Arab stallions fighting.

"The Horse Fair" by French artist Rosa Bonheur. I've visited the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City numerous times throughout my life just to sit in awe in front of this massive painting. What an incredible masterpiece.

The facial expression: wild eyes, pinned ears, flowing mane, I'm humbled by it's spectacular aura. This detail of "The Horse Fair" is reminiscent of Theodore Gericault's "Race of the Barbari Horses". Wow.

Will I ever achieve the understanding, the empathy of these outstanding master horse painters? I'll forever search my soul and push the dynamics of my own artwork for the answers. Reminding myself that I live in a different era, my heart is still so connected. This is the British painter Lucy Kemp-Welch describing the brave calvary horses of WWI.

"Head of a Horse" by my favorite horse artist ever - Theodore Gericault from the French Romantic Period. It's thought to be Napolean's favorite horse. Whatever, this painting is so haunting, so compellingly beautiful that when I finally make it to the Louvre to see it, I'll drop down to my knees and sob.


Jessi said...

That was a fun trip through beautiful paintings. While I was immediately drawn in by the Rubens (so wild, realistic and beautiful) and I admired each piece as I went down, I stopped short on the "Head of a Horse" ... wow. That's one of those paintings I could just sit and look at for hours. Such simplicity and emotion. Oh, and if I ever get to the Louvre, I'm bound to fall to my knees a few times... and just stay there stunned.

Kelli said...

I loved looking at the paintings and reading your prose. Art history feeds me whether it be horses or architecture or abstract painting. Thanks for sharing these and your observations. I am much more aware of the power of horses after knowing so many excellent equine painters. You have made my life richer.


Nancy Moskovitz said...

Excellent work. Your proaction is inspiring. Did you elect to do this on your own or with Alyson's feedback if you don't mind my asking? I am thinking of doing the latter....right after I'm done with all the auction communications. Everything takes time. I'm thinking the inner circle would overlap the feedback approach so that I need to choose between the two.

Alyson B. Stanfield said...

This is great! I love your visuals and descriptions. I'm glad you're getting a lot out of it. Thanks, Sharon!

Dr Mum said...

The Rosa Bonheur is particularly interesting painting because she had to get a special licence from the Paris prefecture to do the painting in the first place. Ironically she was imageing an analogy with a contemporary literary genre of what might be termed "taming" novels, where men beat out the wild side of women's nature or their hysteria...