Artists I find inspiring

Artist I find inspiring

©Charline Von Heyl, It's Vot's Behind Me That I Am (Krazy Kat), 2010 all rights remain with the artist

How Charline Von Heyl inspires me

The next Picasso or Braque will not invent cubism.  The next Peter Blake or Andy Warhol will not invent pop art.  And the next Jackson Pollock or Willem de Kooning will not create the Abstract Expressionist movement.  If you are copying these guys, you aren’t learning from them.  I realise that of the many successful artists following their path, Charline Von Heyl, has figured out the real definition of success on the canvas.   Von Heyl understands how highly successful artists through the decades have been volleying the ball between themselves.  In order to create a meaningful and significant occurrence on the surface of the fabric, like they all did,… Read More »How Charline Von Heyl inspires me

What I learnt about process from Chuck Close

To someone who loves art, walking into a gallery and seeing stimulating art is inspiring and uplifting. However, at times, it can be intimidating when you’re trying to emulate success for yourself. When Chuck Close started his career, like a lot of artists he was affected by the best art of the time. De Kooning became a massive influence on Close’s earlier work. De Kooning stirred Close into practising his style and technique. It all started so well. After several years, Close had De Kooning’s style and technique down to a tee. However, Close struggled when he realised that when people stood in front of his work, they thought of… Read More »What I learnt about process from Chuck Close

My thoughts on Henry Moore’s appreciation of form

In my previous blog post, I mentioned Michael Craig-Martin’s interest as a child in the shape and form of American cars. From a very young age, Michael Craig-Martin had the ability to identify every make and model of an American car. I found this profound because as a child I also had this ability, but with British cars in the 80s and 90s.  This foundational understanding and appreciation of form is clearly something that many artists unconsciously encounter from a young age. This week l stumbled on a black and white BBC documentary about Henry Moore (1898 – 1986) and my appreciation of form was enhanced.   In the documentary, Henry Moore discusses what… Read More »My thoughts on Henry Moore’s appreciation of form
What I learnt from Philip Guston, Stuart Bush Studio Blog

What I learnt from Philip Guston

What I learnt from Philip Guston, Stuart Bush: Studio Notes It is well known that during Philip Guston’s career and throughout his life’s work, he toyed with two opposing forms of art. There was the figurative cartoon style of his earlier work in the 1930s and abstract expressionism in the 1950s. Philip Guston’s career highlights what he believed to be the central concern in the career of an artist. No matter what anyone else says or does, Guston believed that “A painters first duty is to be free.” Free to make their own choice, that is said, “unless you’re the kind of an artist that gnaws on one bone all… Read More »What I learnt from Philip Guston

Adrian Ghenie: The fuel of failure

It’s no wonder many people see failure as the most painful moment in their lives, school wrongly teaches us we need to do everything we can to avoid failure.  However, Adrian Ghenie makes it a central power source. Having to face humiliation and shame by returning to home to Cluj, Romania, after trying to start a new life in Vienna drove his artistic ambitions.  Returning to live back at his parents home at age 27 in 2005 he had no future to look forward to. However, Ghenie used his difficult set-back as fuel rather than limitation. The fuel of failure is a common element in the story of success for many… Read More »Adrian Ghenie: The fuel of failure

Etel Adnan shows colour alone is all that the painter needs

Viewing Etel Adnan’s vibrant paintings, it is surprising to discover that when Adnan grew up in Beirut, colour only found its way into her home in the form of decorative rugs.  Adnan’s childhood home had no paintings on the walls and there were no art museums nearby.   Nevertheless, she became interested in making art.  Unfortunately for her and us, Adnan was discouraged by her mother’s nullifying comments about being clumsy. So instead, Adnan found her creative outlet through writing.  In 1977 she won the France-Pays Arabes award for her novel Sitt Marie Rose. Many years later after Adnan moved to America and she was teaching Aesthetics at the Dominican College in California she also… Read More »Etel Adnan shows colour alone is all that the painter needs

What I see in Tal R’s paintings

Tal R’s painting practice follows the traditions of oil painting.  The artist walks the streets in Copenhagen near where he lives and works, looking for people, places and objects that appeal to his curiosity.  He looks for the moment that he feels is slipping away and paints its soul in vibrant and colourful paintings that at times float into abstraction. Tal’s passion and exhilaration for paint clearly materialises throughout his work.  In each painting, he is learning about the endless curiosities with life and paint.  I see the pictures like a window into the inquisitive thoughts that are bouncing around in his head. When I look at Tal’s paintings I easily relate to the… Read More »What I see in Tal R’s paintings

The ultimate experience – Crashing Wave by Mary Heilmann

At the Whitechapel Gallery in 2016, many thoughts rushed through my mind the first time I saw the painting ‘Crashing Wave (2011)’ by Mary Heilmann.  As I looked at the painting it evoked a special moment.  I remember being out on my body board on Manly beach, Australia, at complete peace with my surroundings.  The air was crisp, and the sun was bright as I pitched forward. I kicked with my flippers while paddling hard with my hands as I took off down into a crystal clear barrel wave. I rode the perfect wave, a foaming mass of white water.  The ultimate experience!   It was a weird feeling being out in… Read More »The ultimate experience – Crashing Wave by Mary Heilmann

The inspirational work of Franz Kline

The first time I saw the inspirational work of Franz Kline was at the Abstract Expressionist exhibition in 2017 at the Royal Academy in London. Prior to that, I had only seen Kline’s work in reproductions in books.  I had always been intrigued and impressed by his paintings and when I saw his original work for the first time l was not disappointed. Kline’s work had a strong impact on me. It evoked the feeling and emotions that l have about the city.  It reminded me of the grandeur and the scale of the New York skyline.  Using line and form, his mainly black and white paintings, ask ‘Is this really what… Read More »The inspirational work of Franz Kline

What I have learnt from Alex Katz

Alex Katz Coca Cola Girls Timothy Taylor Gallery ©All rights remain with the artist and the galleryWhat I have learnt from Alex Katz;  In 1973 Alex Katz had his first exhibition at the Marlborough Gallery in New York.  At the same time, Abstract Expressionism was riding a wave of popularity in New York.  Katz believed and trusted that what he was interested in was of substance and significance, even though it went against the grain.   On first impression Alex Katz’s work appears to be about people and the landscape. However it doesn’t take long to realise that the subject matter is just the outer most boundary of the painting and Katz… Read More »What I have learnt from Alex Katz