Thursday, September 25, 2014

Learning from a Master, John Singer Sargent

"If you could meet anyone from the past, no matter how long gone, who would you choose to have dinner with?"  A popular, get-to-know-you kind of interview question.

Your answer can be very telling on what is important to you.  If I could pick anyone from the past, it would hands down be my Mom, but if I was to choose an artist specifically, it would be John Singer Sargent or Van Gogh.
Since it is not actually something you can do, I have an advantage, because a visual artist leaves behind an indelible stamp, color images capturing pieces of their imagination, their thoughts, and their feelings.

Singer Sargent's watercolors are so impactful and moving to me, they can  literally bring me to tears.  The man was a true genius with watercolor. His work stuns me - on screen, in print or live, doesn't matter. It quite often moves me to tears.

SO I wondered what if I could crawl inside the mind of this great master, or at least inside a piece of his art? What could I learn?  And how might it effect my own art going forward?  I decided to try my hand at a few of his paintings, to truly contemplate his color palette, his approach, his execution of a building, a landscape, a fountain, a reflection. 

The process was actually very freeing, to paint as someone else and not myself, and I felt his presence in the work as I created mine, since it was really his. And, still his work stuns me. I was copying and love how it came out, but it was his genius that chose to use those colors, those elements and that approach.

As I dared to paint after Sargent, and created these pieces, I remain in awe of his talent!

*both sold to a happy customer who had the perfect spot to hang the pair of paintings!  (updated October 6, 2014)