Two Lives? Great Idea!
Listen to Your Muse!
Fri, Apr 5 2013 06:45 | art, watercolor, painting, inspiration, Susan Giannantonio, watermedia, Martha Graham
Cezanne's Snack, watercolor on paper, Susan Giannantonio
"There is a vitality, a life force, an energy, a quickening, that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all time, this expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and will be lost." -- Martha Graham
Weaving the Rainbow
There Are No Rules
Wed, Dec 28 2011 11:22 | rules, art, Frankenthaler, invention, painting, non-representational, abstract, Susan Giannantonio, acrylic
That All Important First Glance
The Notes are All There
"Nature contains all the elements, in colour and form, of all pictures, as the keyboard contains the notes of all music. But the artist is born to pick and choose and group with science, the elements, that the result may be beautiful." -JAM Whistler, "The Ten O'Clock Lecture 1885"
Symphony in White No. 3, James Abbott McNeill Whistler
Blown Away, Winslow Homer*
"I have learned two or three things in my years of experience...One is, never paint a blue sky." When asked why, Homer replied, "Why, because it looks like the devil, that's all. Another thing; a horizon is horrible-that straight line!" --"Watercolors by Winslow Homer, the Color of Light," Tedeschi
*courtesy the Brooklyn Museum, used with permission
*courtesy the Brooklyn Museum, used with permission
What Is My Voice?
"What's my voice?" has to be asked by each individual artist. Committee-free, the artist needs to develop her voice as if on an island. To be a voice is to be a different voice, set apart, unique. How to find it? Go to your island, put in long hours, fall in love with process--your voice will come out of your work.--Robert Genn's Twice Weekly Newsletter for 7/23/2010
Chromatic Variations, Susan Giannantonio
30 x 22" watermedia collage on paper (sold)
Giclee art print available on Amazon.com
To Live Out Loud
Subito, Susan Giannantonio
40 x 30" watermedia collage on canvas (sold)
Announcing "Subito", my 6th painting featured by music publisher Simply Violin. (www.simplyviolin.com). "Subito" will soon be released on a collection of music arranged for youth orchestras. "I am an artist....I am here to live out loud." --Emile Zola
Play with Purpose
The Music of Painting
The Striped Blouse, Edouard Vuillard
"Who speaks of art speaks of poetry. There is no art without a poetic aim. There is a species of emotion particular to painting. There is an effect that results from a certain arrangement of colors, of lights, of shadows, etc. It is this that one calls the music of painting."--Vuillard, Jan. 1894
Look Back, Paint Forward
Old Willow sketch, Susan Giannantonio
A trailblazing group of artists in Canada in the early 1900's struck out to the Canadian countryside and, after years of study and practice of sound academic painting and drawing, began to experiment with broken color, dots and dashes, underpainting, and alla prima. In an essay about these artists called The Story of the Group of Seven, Lawren Harris wrote, "When we focus our own seeing through our own creative activity and conviction, we are working from the inside, with the creative spirit itself; then the arts of the past and of other peoples become immediate, alive, and luminous to us."
Art's Unlimited Source
Pansies, oil on canvas, Richard Schmid
In one of my favorite "how to paint" books Alla Prima, Everything I Know About Painting, master painter and one of my very favorite artists Richard Schmid says, "Somewhere within all of us there is a wordless center, a part of us that hopes to be immortal in some way, a part that has remained unchanged since we were children, the source of our strength and compassion. This faint confluence of tangible and the spiritual is where Art comes from. It has no known limits, and once you tap into it you will realize what truly rich choices you have." For a glimpse of his creative genius, check out a 5 minute YouTube video of Richard finishing a painting: click here.
Whispering Call, 4 x 5' acrylic and collage on canvas, Mary Wilbanks
One of the messages that rings true about Mary Wilbanks' artistic journey, consistent both in her work and her instruction, is that sometimes we need to let go of what is too precious for the sake of the larger composition. Her paintings are rich in texture. The passages pull you in, compelling you to more carefully investigate. In the book Bird by Bird, author Anne Lamott tells us, "Go ahead and make big scrawls and mistakes. Use up lots of paper. Perfectionism is a mean, frozen form of idealism, while messes are the artist's true friend."
Go to the Masters
Fri, Sep 11 2009 09:39 | Winslow Homer, art, watercolor, Natalie Goldberg, books, painting, inspiration, Susan Giannantonio, reading
The Red Canoe, 13 3/4 x 20" watercolor, 1889, Winslow Homer
(sold at Sotheby's in 1999 for $4,842,500 and prior to that, in 1983 for $260,000!)In the book Writing Down the Bones, Natalie Goldberg tells us "if you read good books, when you write, good books will come out of you. Maybe it's not quite that easy, but if you want to learn something, go to the source." That is my philosophy on painting as well. Those artists whose artwork draws me to it again and again have so much to teach. I never tire of pouring over the beautiful passages, hoping to figure out how to convey some of the magic in my own work. --SG
Thu, Sep 10 2009 05:22 | Van Gogh, art, painting, rainbow, chroma, Susan Giannantonio, acrylic, violin
Challenge: When to Stop?
Dancer Adjusting Her Slipper, Edgar Degas
"Painting is easy when you don't know how, but very difficult when you do." Edgar Degas
Yesterday I was talking with an artist friend, Jeanne Heise, who does such beautiful sketches in her sketchbook. I'd never seen them until she recently posted them on her website because she primarily exhibits full sheet watercolors. I am a fan of sketches and unfinished work. They help me understand the artist's process. They seem so fresh and spontaneous. Degas' quote may mean the obvious: painting is easier said than done. However, Degas may imply that an artist must not get bogged down in the difficulty of the process, but instead try to keep the painting fresh and not overworked. The challenge: to know when to stop!
No Time to Lose!
Dining Room on the Garden, 1934-35, Pierre Bonnard
My creative friends, it is time to pick up your brushes (pen, musical instrument, camera, your tools that enable you to create) because there is no time to lose. Get out of your own way and get busy!
In his old age, Pierre Bonnard stated "I am just beginning to understand what it is to paint. A painter should have two lives: one in which to learn, and one in which to practice his art."
Driveway Artist, Susan Giannantonio
22 x 30" transparent watercolor on paper (sold)
There is much to learn from watching children. For an artist to paint from the heart of her inner child is an illusive challenge. "Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up." --Pablo Picasso
Down with Perfectionism. Embrace Clutter!
Parable on Klimpt, Susan Giannantonio
30 x 22" mixed watermedia on paper
In the words of Anne Lamott, when we attempt perfectionism we will block inventiveness and playfullness. In the wonderful book Bird by Bird, Ann says "Perfectionism means that you try desperately not to leave so much mess to clean up. Tidiness suggests that something is as good as it's going to get. But clutter and mess show us that life is being lived. Clutter is wonderfully fertile ground--you can still discover new treasures under all those piles, clean things up, edit things out, fix things, get a grip."
Painting Inspiration: Winslow Homer
Girl Carrying a Basket, 1882, Winslow Homer
In recent months Winslow Homer's gorgeous watercolors have piqued my interest. He utilized several techniques that modern watercolor instructors seldom endorse or teach. In fact he used anything and everything necessary to achieve his beautiful results. For instance, he often used opaque white watercolor, sometimes mixing it with color, to highlight certain areas of the painting. He often abraded the paper with knives and sandpaper. He used rough paper. He even used breadcrumbs to achieve a texture similar but more subtle than salt.