Monday, December 10, 2018

Falling in love with Matisse

While I've always loved impressionist painting, I'd never really spent a lot of time looking at Matisse. I guess I thought of him more in terms of his cut outs than as a painter. Since I started drawing a few years ago, my style has been pretty much detailed line drawings with lots of color. It seemed that whenever I tried to loosen up, I just couldn't.

I started studying Matisse's painting style, especially those of sitting women and open windows.  I began to notice the detail in the garments, the wallpaper, the furniture. Very decorative and quite beautiful.  In fact, in 2005 The New York Metropolitan Museum of Art hosted an exhibit called "Matisse: The Fabric of Dreams His Art and Textiles."

I learned that he came from a family of textile artists. Well that made sense! For generations Matisse's family had been involved in the textile industry in northern France. He had an innate appreciation for textiles and was an avid collector of fabrics, from his early days as a poor art student in Paris to the latter years of his life, when his Nice studio overflowed with exotic costumes and wall hangings. Used traditionally at first, as mere background elements in his compositions, textiles soon became the springboard for his radical experiments with perspective and an art based on decorative patterning and pure harmonies of color and line.* 

I decided to try to copy the style. It's much more flowy and soft...less hard lines as in my own work. I've never been one to copy but I found that copying paintings helped to free me up.  I also enjoyed, in some cases, choosing my own color palette. He helped me see the human body as maybe something I could draw. The hands, feet and facial structure are soft and inviting.

Here are some examples of the Matisse paintings I've copied.

Recently I did a drawing of a new  sun room upstairs in my house and I noticed a bit of a change in my own style. Still plenty of lines and detail but a bit softer in spots.

I had taken a break from drawing so the past few weeks have been a lot of fun exploring it again...with a different perspective.

*From The Met's online description of the exhibit "Matisse: The Fabric of His Art and His Textiles."

No comments:

Post a Comment

09 10