Friday, 25 March 2011

Merry-Go-Round - Inspiring artist

Jump on our merry go round and join a group of artists/crafts-women from around the world as they link hands and tell you a little bit about their lives in craft.
Do look up the answers from the rest of this band of crafters (links to your left).
If they haven't all posted yet, remember we all live in different time zones and check again later...
This month:
An artist that inspires you.

I'm really not sure what to answer to that. I cannot name one or even several artists whose work I feel is an influence on what I make.

Of course there are a few visual artists I am particularly fond of.
Painters Turner and Magritte, as well as photographer André Kertész come to mind immediately.
For some reason(s) that I'm not sure I would want to explore, even if I felt I could.

I simply enjoy looking at their work and letting my mind ramble.

But I wouldn't say they are an influence. It's more like what makes me like them is also what makes me come up with the ideas and objects I come up with.

One work of art that has played a special role in my life is this landscape by Van Gogh. It's entitled Yellow Wheat and Cypresses.
I am not the happy owner of this painting— it's in a museum somewhere, possibly in the National Gallery but I'm not sure.
I have just owned three reproductions of it. Two of them face each other across my living-room at the moment— a large framed print and a larger unframed copy that my brother had made especially for me in China (unsigned, as I asked— it's a copy not a fake). One of the (many) things that make people find my flat "interesting" to plain old "weird".

I first "saw" this painting when I came across a very large print of it, as I was browsing through prints, looking for something to make the white walls of my Cambridge room less white. It was love at first sight. The print was really huge and much too expensive but I just had to have it.
For two years, it was the "detail" that, to my eyes at least, made my bedsitter harmonious as opposed to its original drab state.
After that, it was my visual haven in three more flats, until the paper (I never framed it) couldn't take any more. I was starting a new life, in a different city— I shed that skin.
But after a few years I remembered it and realized I'd missed it. So I hunted down a quality print on the net. Not as large as the "original", but good enough. I felt much better once I'd gotten, framed and hung up the successor. And then two years ago I had the opportunity to have a copy made— for texture— A really large one.

I must have spent hours gazing at this landscape, getting lost in its perfection.
I am no Van Gogh fan. I don't even like his painting most of the time. But this particular painting is me. Somehow.
There's quite a bit of yellow in this, and ususally, yellow is my least favourite colour. But I just love the yellow strokes in this. Just as much as the gorgeous green ones and the delightful blue ones.
The mix of violence and placidity I see in this picture is mysteriously soothing for me, to this day.
The chaotic harmony of it— I really cannot get enough of it.
I guess it epitomizes the mystery of art. As opposed to design. So, a very, very distant influence and source of inspiration...


BlueTerracotta said...

That's so interesting how this one painting has had such an important role in your life, especially since you say you don't particularly love Van Gogh's work. But this reproduction seems to have an anchor or a thread running through many years. I'd like to see the Chinese copy!

meherio68 said...

It's up now!

Mariana said...

I love Magritte!
I actually like Van gogh and I know what you mean about this print... there is something even hypnotic about those wheat like strokes...

ArtMind said...

Magritte is a fab artist to get inspired by!
I'm not a big fan of Van Gogh but must admit that his use of color is breathtaking and there always seems to be movement in his work! :)

Anonymous said...

wonderfull post. I once did a study on van Gogh.. and I think i loved his sunflower painting most....

painted fish studio said...

i like your honesty about not liking van gogh! and love that you still find a piece of his that speaks to you.

Anonymous said...

I enjoyed reading your post, especially the contradictions you wrote about. Some things are impossible to explain, yet they are so real. I too think that Van Gogh is a master in color and movement, one almost feels as if the hey and the clouds are going to fall out of the picture and flood the room.

Sara's Texture Crafts said...

I think it's great that you are not drawn to one artist, but to certain pictures/paintings/works. I think you are right... that shows much more of you in those choices... a true creative!

Bethany Dirksen said...

I recently went to the Magritte Museum in Brussels. It was a real treat.

meherio68 said...

You(re so lucky!