Tag Archives: Matisse

Yes, I did it

You may remember that I REALLY wanted to see Matisse: The Cut-Outs at MOMA. So, I did it! Yes, I traveled to NYC in February and lived to tell about it. I was there between storms of the snow variety.

JFK sculpture

JFK sculpture

New York is not my favorite place to go; it’s just too darn busy. Crowded. Rush rush. First off,, right out of the box, the gate where we landed was at the farthest end of the terminal. I didn’t know that when I set off to wall to baggage claim. I was offered a ride in one of those golf cart vehicles, but no, I was fine. Geez! After miles and miles and miles, I got my luggage and worked my way to ground transportation and the shuttle.

It was important to me to stay within walking distance to the museum. Driving from the airport, dropping off the other passengers, seeing all the familiar things we associate with NYC, well, there’s just something kind of exciting about that. Driving past the famous theaters, seeing the marquees, kind of makes the pulse beat a little faster. My hotel was on 8th Avenue and 53rd. After dumping my stuff in my room, I went out on a reconnaissance mission and a bite to eat.


The next day I worked my way toward the museum for early hours for members. The sidewalks were slushy and slipper in spots, so I very carefully walked across streets. I could just see myself getting flattened after a fall in the middle of the street.

The exhibition was wonderful. I took notes of the pieces that grabbed me the most and why. Nearly always it was the color, but shapes came in a close second. MOMA-bag

Unfortunately, my knee didn’t cooperate to the extent that I would have preferred. I got a shot in it just before leaving, realizing that this would be kind of a test for it. I want to go to Peru, which will require a lot of walking. Well, the knee is not ready for Peru. Plan B.

Books, Part I


Colour: a workshop for artists and designers

I’ve been thinking about a series based on how color interacts and appears with other colors. I’m also interested in the phenomenon called simultaneous contrast. Not having ever had any formal study of color, I usually just go with my gut, and frankly, I kind of don’t want to mess with that.

Anyway, I pulled a book on color off the bookshelf, and it’s exactly what I wanted. In fact, I may actually do the exercises! Gasp! The book is called Colour: A Workshop for Artists and Designers. The exercises utilize gouache paints to try out the different principles in the book. Then, by the time you’ve done a few exercises, you will have a pile of painted papers to use for the other exercises. This appealed to me because I have often thought about painting papers with colors that I like and then combining them to make a design, like Matisse did later in his life. You can see a bunch of those compositions here.

Maybe I’ll set up a card table in the spare room and play with paints. I’ll keep you posted.

Museum visit


Instagram picture from the back of statue at Kimbell

As a reward for all the experimenting with food and ikat I’ve been doing, I took myself out on a date to the Kimbell Art Museum, where there’s an exhibition from the Chicago Art Institute. It’s called The Age of Picasso and Matisse: Modern Masters from The Art Institute of Chicago.  This exhibit covers a span of time from 1903 almost to World War II. As you can imagine, a great deal of different art categories are included in this span, from Picasso’s blue period to surrealism from Dalí. There were several paintings that stood out for me, but since the collection does not belong to the Kimbell, no pictures allowed. Instead, I have

Looking at tree trunks and shadows

Looking at tree trunks and shadows

trees from the courtyard and some links. One of my favorites was Spanish Dancer by Nathalija Gontcharova, although I thought the painting depicted a bride until I saw the title. The lace in this painting is beautiful. Are you ever amazed by how painters can paint with the shadows and lights of something like lace?  Reminiscence of a Cathedral by Frantisek Kupka is also interesting. I’m not sure this was the intent of the artist, but to me it looks like a church tower with the stained glass on outside. An offshoot of Cubism, Orphism? I still don’t understand, except for the most part I’m not fond of Cubism. Or Surrealism as depicted by Dalí. But I do enjoy Miró–go figure! Klee’s Dancing Girl (1940) and Sunset (1930).  Music was inspiration for many of these painters, but from what I’ve read, not just an appreciation but a knowledge of musical composition–something way beyond my understanding. I’m glad that Klee’s sense of humor was mentioned in the description of Dancing Girl, because she certainly looks exuberant to me. His signature at the bottom was made with a monogrammed handkerchief. Fun! And just because I’ve only mentioned a few pieces of the art doesn’t mean there weren’t others. And the color!

More about working in a series

Earlier I posted about Matisse and the exhibit at the Met–something I would really like to see. This exhibition clearly demonstrates Matisse’s series work. I recently completed a Working in a Series workshop with Lisa Call. You can go to her website and see my comments and a few of the designs I came up with. I am not through with the design process by any means, but it’s a start. Matisse was one of the artists that Lisa wrote about as part of our education.

I started out thinking I would do a series about layers, something I’ve been thinking about for a few years. (A trip through the mountains will do that to you.) The piece above was woven with that in mind, so I took the bones of that piece and started to expand on it. I didn’t like anything I did. Nothing! Finally I just took that wedge shape and expanded on it.

This is what I came up with. Still not loving it, but it’s acceptable. And this is what I used to get myself weaving again. At least it’s something! What I have found is that as I sit there weaving, more ideas are coming. Funny how that works, isn’t it? More on wedges next time.

Who weaves in a series?

Matisse, process, and series

Have you seen this? If not the actual exhibit, but articles about the exhibit? This Matisse exhibition is right up my alley, and I would LOVE to see it. Below is a quote from the NYTimes.

“…this exhibition …sheds new light on Matisse’s penchant for copying and working in series.”

The exhibition at the Met will be up until March 17, 2013. Not only do these painting show his series work, but also glimpses of the process. The review likens these paintings as an “excavation.” How interesting! Also interesting is this bit:

In the 1930s Matisse began having black-and-white photographs taken of his paintings at regular intervals as he worked on them.

Maybe some wisdom for the weavers among us. Take pictures before it rolls past the breast beam! Because tapestry is slow, and I weave on a horizontal loom, I do write down date and how I began the piece, so that when I finally get to the end, I can do the same thing in the finishing. But I love reading about his process (seeing the works would be even better, right?). As I’ve mentioned before, having the artist’s sketchbooks or some other depiction of process, well, that’s what fascinates me.

Going back to the first quote above, the copying part—and I took that partly as copying “masters” but also his own work–maybe that would be useful to improve one’s own weaving and carrying forth the design into new territory. What do you think?

In the meantime, I may need to buy the catalogue for this exhibit. At least it’s cheaper than a trip to NYC!