Art students choose artwork that both inspires and instructs. Working from another piece of art encourages eye – hand coordination and helps develop one’s sense of perspective. One learns that there are many different ways to use paint, brushes, colour, line.
Discovering Norval Morrisseau
Known as the “Picasso of the North”, Jean-Baptiste Norman Henry Morrisseau was inspired by the myths, legends, and culture of his people. An Anishinaabe, born near Beardmore, Ontario, he was given the name, “Copper Thunderbird”, by a medicine woman to strengthen him at a time of life-threatening illness. Also influenced by his grandmother’s Catholicism, he attended church later in life and developed an appreciation for stained glass. He produced a mural for Expo 67 and also founded the “Woodland School”. His boldly coloured work was known as “x-ray art” and was, unfortunately, the subject of countless forgeries. Norval’s health was extremely poor at the end of his life and he turned to Eckankar and depicted some of their mythical beliefs as well. His work is found on Bruce Cockburn’s album “Dancing in the Dragon’s Jaws”.
Inspired by Hokusai’s The Great Wave
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Painting party with Jackson Pollock …
An evening with Paul Klee.
Our most recent class,”an evening of play with Klee”, was a lighthearted approach to paint and subject matter. The Swiss-German painter was intrigued and inspired by the drawings of children. He created numerous watercolours with abstract symbols, letters and spirals. Klee believed drawing was “taking lines for a walk” and with this in mind, we created our “Cat and Bird” paintings.
“Painters can do what machines are not capable of: they can make thoughts – and lots of other invisible things – visible,” said Klee. So our cats, as you can see, are contemplating birds, and we have a glimpse into the minds of the felines. Simplicity and energy and warm Tunisian-inspired colours complete our paintings.
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Recently, our group gathered to recreate Van Gogh’s “Starry Night.” Amid inky skies punctuated with glittering stars and undulating lines, each participant created a unique inspired painting. Van Gogh said, “just dash something down if you see a blank canvas staring at you with imbecility. You do not know how paralyzing it is, that staring of a blank canvas, which says to the painter: you don’t know anything.” We did just that– fearless and unabashed, we “dashed down” our marks of paint as Vincent did. The results were delightful and pleasing. Van Gogh also said, “I want to touch people with my art. I want them to say, “he feels deeply; he feels tenderly.”
Bravo to all! I look forward to our next session of optical blending in the style of the Impressionists.
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A blank canvas need not be daunting. Simply pick up your paint brush and begin.
A masterpiece awaits!