Rainy day, cloudy mind. I work on a few new projects, one of them is to look for inspiration in the works of great masters. I did that Van Eyck thing last week, this time I’m studying Michelangelo’s paint jobs.
At the same time, I reconnect with my sketchbook. To be honest, I have several sketchbooks. They’re all more or less empty. Each new one is sort of a promise I make to myself, just to forget about it 2 days later … I read many things about other people’s sketchbooks. Some of them are actually genuine pieces of artwork.
Mine are not. They’re fast sketches, trials, loud thinking. I doodle more than I actually work. But then that’s ok, because looking at these errors make me evolve in my apprenticeship.
Here are a few examples. They are scratchy, messy and very approximate. But then, that’s what they’re supposed to be: sketches.
By the way, the blue lady is my interpretation of Michelangelo’s Sixtin’s chapel ceiling. I hope he doesn’t mind too much my ugly version of a masterpiece. I did the same with De Kooning’s “palisade” :
It’s when I try to copy these paintings that I understand why these guys are considered geniuses and not me …
De Kooning’s color choices are so unbelievable. Each time I look at his paintings from the late 50s I am just blown away. Kandinsky predicted that sort of absolute skill of the use of colors in his book “About Spirituality in Art”, way back in 1921. He died in 1944, which means he didn’t get to see these pictures. But I’m sure he would have been just as amazed as I am today.
Looking at all that human beings have produced as art is very soothing. Ever since we started to paint on cave walls and on pottery, mankind has played with that idea of spirituality in beauty, beauty in art and spirituality in art. The definitions may be numerous and diverse, but the sheer fact that so many people get involved with the question is reassuring. Especially today, as some old ideas we thought forgotten and stored away come back. I speak about fascism, religious fanaticism and the myth of war heroes. After what happened during the first half of the 20th century, you might have thought we learned, but the news tells us every day we didn’t. A racist party in the German “Bundestag”, an American President menacing to wipe out North Corea, countries trying to obtain nuclear weapons at any price, …
If it weren’t for artists, mankind would have disappeared since centuries. Artists like Michelangelo, Picasso, De Kooning, and, and, and, … are there to remind us not to forget that human beings are able to do so much more than just kill, conquer and kill again.
Well, it still rains outside. I think I’ll return to my sketchbook…
Have a wonderful peaceful week, and let’s make ART not war.