Thursday, March 24, 2011

Rx: The Private Life of a Masterpiece

It was a Christmas gift and I have continued to enjoy watching these dvds about famous artwork. Van Gogh's "The Sunflowers," Seurat's "A Sunday on La Grande Jatte 1884," Picasso's "Les Desmoiselles d'Avignon" are among some of the paintings discussed in this top notch series.

Sometimes, when I'm tired of the rain or want a pick me up, I watch an episode and feel excited again about making art.  I enjoy learning about the history of these famous pieces, how they fit in to the context of their time, what effects they had on the future of art, the technicalities of the painting, and everything else the BBC throws into the discussions. Plenty to chew on.

I think you might enjoy these, too. Check them out at Amazon here.

Note: I do not get a commission or any benefit from recommending these to you, only the joy of sharing a good resource with fellow artists. What do you use for a pick me up?


Dewberry Fine Art said...

I appreciate your recommendation. I heard it was good and you confirmed it. Thank you!

Katherine van Schoonhoven said...

The dvds are really good! I think you will enjoy them, too!

William Cook said...

What a very interesting question! I think artist's rejuvenation and recharging has to do with clearing the head of all the invasive junk that accumulates there--worthless concerns like politics, and having to make all that doe so that Lenin's useful idiots can steal it and leave me with just enough to buy a few groceries, and how to enjoy the last of my freedom before they send me to a work camp for refusing to cooperate with their plans to subjugate the masses. What kind of a world are we leaving to our kids--everything's always such a disaster.

That stuff is death to an artist.

My trick to overcome all this junk is to clean up the studio, put everything away, tidy up. It's strange, but all that negative hooey diminishes and goes away. I've been reading other artists adventures in 'cleaning'. Very interesting topic.

And once it's all overcome, that playful muse returns like a little girl peeking around the corner, or an accidental crocus popping up in the lawn. Or a robin that cares not about any such nonsense. And when all that fog lifts there's beauty and art all around, all just going on effortlessly.

That is when my art making becomes downright necessary.

Katherine van Schoonhoven said...

William: great thoughts! I, too, clean up the studio when I'm at a loss for art making. I have to admit, having the sheet full of color sketches from my Refuge is enough to make me want to pull out paper and paint one of them. I never run out of ideas about the "what" to paint.

I think the art dvds propel me forward when I feel in a slump of doing the same old thing. I see and hear the story of another artist who pushed past what was ordinary, who rejected accepted practices, who really reached for a brass ring and before I know it, I am back in the studio. Sometimes I even write myself little notes -- of cheer and admonition, to remind myself of the way. In case I lose it again.

I think that you're spot on about the thoughts that drive the muse into hiding and witness protection. Oh, to think like a child! To hold on to the beginner mind! Thanks so much for sharing!

William Cook said...

That was our very first assignment in painting 101! Our brilliant teacher, Allyn Harris, knowing this, told use to throw out everything we knew about painting and paint as if you were three. Wild things happened. I'll have to do a post around this approach sometime. Thanks for the reminder!!!

Katherine van Schoonhoven said...

I look forward to that post, William! I'll be tuned in!