Category Archives: Influences

Let go #tarot

Tarot 10 April 2014

Sometimes it is better to just let things happen, leave things to fate, the will of God or turn a card.

No matter how hard you try to make things right or better it just won’t work, love, family, work – but maybe it is not suppose to be easy or happen? Nonsense maybe the will to make it work isn’t there in the first place.

Today I Turned the Tarot Cards…

The Page of Wands very often indicates a literal person in our lives. It can indicate a female who is younger than the curious card turner. Wands as people are usually warm, ambitious, and sometimes high achievers. The Page of Wands indicates the energy of easy distraction but can also indicate things that have been started or dreamt about (some time ago) are starting to come to fruition. The Page of Wands can also show a longing or desire for new things to explode into life, adventures, approaches, and new ideas. The Page brings positive energy but – there has to be the will to follow through.

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Sans jury ni récompense

I wish I felt like experimenting with paint.

Aquetin carried out an experiment studying the light passing through the colored panes of glass in his veranda. Bernard wrote and commented on this experiment, ‘Aquetin observed the light streaming through the coloured panes of a glazed door and noticed that yellow produced an impression of sunlight; green of dawn; blue of night; red of twilight.’ Bernard painted ‘The Reaper’ in the key of yellow (often repeated later by Van Gough) and in the key of blue, ‘The Avenue de Clichy at Evening’. These paintings were exhibited at the Revue Independante, at the Salon des Independants and at the headquarters of Les Vingt in Brussells. Read more…

The Société des Artistes Indépendants (Society of Independent Artists), Salon des Indépendants, formed in Paris 19 July 1884. The association began with the organization of massive exhibitions in Paris and was established in response to the rigid traditionalism of the official government-sponsored Salon. Their exhibitions were where new artworks were often first displayed and where paintings were widely discussed and in some cases caused controversial outrage in the newspapers and journals of the polite, conservative Parisian society.

Choosing the tagline “No jury nor awards” (Sans jury ni récompense) the society’s aims were to champion new ideas and thoughts that were prevalent in the cafe cultures of Paris and Europe. These contemporary ideas were being marginalized by mainstream critics and galleries. The strategic alliance between these artists from different backgrounds and methodologies was extremely successful in promoting their collective vision. The publicity gained by this ‘outsider’ tactic became the launching pad for many artists, who by gaining notoriety and publicity, crossed over into the mainstream.

Albert Dubois-Pillet, Odilon Redon, Georges Seurat and Paul Signac were among its co-founders. For three decades their annual exhibitions moulded the art of the early 20th century. World War I brought a closure to the salon, though the Artistes Indépendants remained active.

A nude in my garden – Le déjeuner sur l’herbe

Nude In The GardenI have always wanted to paint a version of ‘Le déjeuner sur l’herbe’ this is my photographic version.

Edouard Manet’s Déjeuner sur l’herbe (a large oil on canvas, during 1862 and 1863) caused a big stir at the Salon des Refusés in Paris, having been rejected by the Salon jury of 1863. Manet seized the opportunity to exhibit this and two other paintings, at the 1863 exhibition and reveled in the public notoriety and controversy that followed.

The painting has historic and pastoral overtones, depicting the juxtaposition of a female nude and a scantily dressed female bather on a picnic with two fully dressed men in a rural setting. This painting references previous works of art by Titian (c.1487–1576) and Giorgione (c.1476–1510). The piece is now in the Musée d’Orsay in Paris. A smaller, earlier version can be seen at the Courtauld Gallery, London.

The image above was created using 35mm negatives that had been taken using a Pentax SP1000 that was previously owned by my late father. The photographs were taken in 1981 and 2012.

Bow Wow Wow‘s version of the same painting:

Famously, coinciding with Annabella Lwin’s posing for album cover work, her mother alleged exploitation of a minor for immoral purposes, and instigated a Scotland Yard investigation. As a result the band was only allowed to leave the UK after McLaren promised not to promote Lwin as a “sex kitten”. This included an agreement to not use a nude photograph depicting Lwin as the woman in The Luncheon on the Grass (Le déjeuner sur l’herbe), though the picture was used as the cover of the band’s 1982 RCA EP  The Last of the Mohicans, which became their best-selling album in the U.S.

I have always loved the drawings of Degas. The way he portrayed women, sensually and simply is to be admired. In the late 1880s, Degas also developed a passion for photography and this new skill influenced the composition of his paintings… Continue reading

Artists were used as or used for propaganda

After and during World War II  art and artists were used as propaganda – they worked for or against Hitler, Stalin, Churchill etc.

The horrors of this global war were well documented in film, photography and words – the horror of the death camps, the executions and the spitting hatred that came out of the wartime leaders mouths…

Propaganda – only the winner is right

After Stalingrad, the Nazis had to reposition themselves – defeat was not a real option but they were beaten in a war of attrition, the blitzkrieg tactics had finally failed, defeated by a long drawn out siege.  After this Germany set themselves up as the sole defender of what they called “Western European Culture” against the “Bolshevist Hordes”, hoping the alliance would deflect their aggression towards Russia. The introduction of the V-1 and V-2 “vengeance weapons” was to further emphasize, to try and convince Briton and their allies that the  defeat of Germany was hopeless.

The expectations of success were raised too high and further explanation was required to explain this lack of swift success. Blunders and failures caused mistrust and were quickly hushed up. The increasing hardship of the war for the German people moved the propaganda emphasis to one of claiming that the war had been forced on the German people by the refusal of foreign powers to accept their strength and independence. Goebbels called for propaganda to toughen up the German people and not make victory look easy.

Artist using propaganda as source material (maybe?):

The powerful contemporary images in newspapers, magazines,  the cinema and on the radio were bound to filter into a creative mind. The apocalyptic nature of war would seep into your pores – you wouldn’t be an artist if these catastrophic events didn’t influence your creativity.

I wasn’t around during the Second World War but images from this period haunt me – the little Jewish girl waiting, behind barbed wire, to be marched to the death camp from the train, the dead old lady in the gutter of Stalingrad, people walking around her frozen body…

Francis Bacon and Nazi Propaganda – the book

There are books that bring new perspectives to painting and the lives / methodologies of artists. Unfortunately Francis Bacon and Nazi Propaganda brings nothing new to the party.

What is source material?

The work and times of Francis Bacon are well documented. The use and origins of Bacon’s source material are well-known, some of which are even preserved. This book is a shortcut, a narrow, tunnel visioned, easy access pass to the imagery that helped to inspire his art – a snapshot and lightweight introduction from a contemporary point of view.

This over emphasis on Nazi imagery is an attempt by the author to shock and imply a tenuous connection between Bacon and the Nazi regime. This book clouds the issue of how artists draw inspiration from the sources around them. These images of Nazi propaganda were (probably) simply metaphors for violence, death and persecution – had Hitler conquered Britain Bacon’s legacy would not exist. They still are powerful photographic and graphic images that send a shudder down your spine but they were only a part of Bacon’s bigger picture.

Does one methodology fit all? – painting is more complicated than that.

It would make more sense to see some of the imagery for yourself. BOZAR fine arts museum in Brussels has an exhibition of Bacon bits. The contents from his studio are part of a show running until May 2013. “Changing States: Contemporary Irish Art & Francis Bacon’s Studio”includes photographs of friends and lovers, medical books, wildlife and sport are jumbled together with classical references and artists monographs as well as unfinished paintings.


The Gilded Gutter Life of Francis Bacon

The paintings of Francis Bacon have always stood out in the crowded museums and galleries that are stuffed full of mediocre British paintings. Daniel Farson gives a personal view of his (if only in his own mind) ‘friend’s’ chaotic debauched life.

In 1962, Farson made a documentary for Associated-Rediffusion about pub entertainment in the East End of London where he lived, called Time Gentlemen Please (this led directly to the company’s later series Stars and Garters, with which Farson was not personally involved). Soon after this he bought a pub, The Waterman’s Arms, in the East End with the explicit intent of reviving old-time music hall, but this failed. By the end of 1964 he had resigned from Associated-Rediffusion (by then renamed Rediffusion London) keeping a lower public profile for the rest of his life. He moved from London to live in his parents’ house in Devon, but continued to visit the pubs and drinking clubs of London’s Soho on a regular basis… Continue reading 

Marek Laczynski – #printmaking hero

I was taught the correct way to do etching by a remarkable chap at Exeter College of Art and by a strange random web excursion I found a reference to him:

MAREK LACZYNSKI (Polish / 1925-)

Marek Laczynski was born in Warsaw. He was a partisan in WWII, while still in his teens. He left Poland after the Warsaw uprising in 1944, arriving in England with the Polish forces in 1946. He studied art at Borough Polytechnic and the Central School of Arts and Crafts. Marek Laczynski exhibited at the Grabowski Gallery, London, in 1960 and 1964. From 1964-1985 Marek Laczynski was Lecturer in Experimental Printmaking at Exeter College of Art and Design. Besides teaching at the college, Laczynski also published two books with the School of Printing’s private press imprint Bartholomew Books, The Wizard with his Pupil (1972), illustrated with original etchings, and Faces of Fear (1974), his own poems with reproduced etchings reminiscent of Fautrier’s Ôtages. Laczynski exhibited at Market Print Gallery, Exeter, in 1978. In 1981 he was one of ten artists who contributed prints to the Printmakers Council Portfolio, alongside Anthony Gross, Gertrude Hermes, John Piper and Julian Trevelyan. The British Museum has 9 woodcuts by Marek Laczynski in its permanent collection. Since 1985 Marek Laczynski has lived in Vienna.

Original source here