project: Detailed observation (check and log)

Which drawing media did you find most effective to use, for which effects?

Drawing pen might be more better for spontaneous bold use of mark you need to apply lines skillfully to make it do the work for you, tho this boldness will come in time, I find myself a bit timid after many tries. Pencils will let you create very realistic carefully rendered images the fact that I can create a sfumato effect maybe hindered me again from having more bold attitude. I’m not very happy of neutered of these results I feel like I need way more practice but where is the time?

What sort of marks work well to create tone, pattern and texture?

I used rounded lines and dots to try achieve patterns and textures and crosshatching for tones.

Did you enjoy capturing details or are you more at home creating big broad brush sketches?

I think this depends on mood, sometimes you are calm then detailed if restless then more aggressive.

Look at the composition of the drawings you have done in this project. Make some sketches and notes about how you could improve your composition.

Most of the drawings I have done have needed to be cropped, I actually did this by means of scissors which suggests more planning and scaling with grid system is required. I also noticed that the preliminary composition sketches always looks more lively and interesting than when executed in large size. This also reflects on my mood, I feel something is missing when I’m merely replicating a thumbnail sketch from smaller size. I think the rationale side is at this point involved too much that makes the image look cold also the discomfort and not been used tocdrawing in larger scale also takes it debt. How could one solve this? One could be to make the thumbnails then leave them aside and later return to them with new eyes and enthusiasm. At this point one might have regained the sense of uncertainty, newness and sense of unknown again as if starting from the fresh but now instead of using the real life as reference one would use the thumbnail sketch instead. To the discomfort I suppose one can get used to it in time.

Project still life: Excercise: Still life group using line

 

 

This excercise seemed to have lot of importance and required one to think carefully about the approach. In order to fully understand the nature of this excercise I went through the questions one by one.

How will you treat the objects?

As the title suggests I shall treat them as one group.

How will their connections be clear?

Thinking inside out and remembering previous exercises, their connections will be clear by pronouncing the negative space behind the objects.

How will you capture the differences in the objects?

Using varied markmaking techniques.

How do the objects relate to the background?

Where appropriate, the background frames the objects from behind creating its contour, this outer line then travels from the fruit in to background. This is also true when the background is tonally as light as the object, you can then break the contour line and allow the background to bleed into foreground objects. This is quite important realisation as you can use this method to bring all the perspective planes harmoniously into the one picture plane that you are working on.

How will you reference the colour in the group in this drawing?

By giving light washes here and there, when I was doing this still life I had just purchased inktense pencils and had a variety of colours at my disposal, I made use of the opportunity and was able to ring exactly accurate colours that were in real life.

The time was mostly spent on thinking and planning, the actual drawing didn’t take much time once I had understood what I’m running after. I started this excercise by lightly forking out the negative space around the group, I then looked for strong tonal darkness in the background to frame the group further. I moved on to drawing outer contours of objects from the perspective of their texture, so the outerline at the same suggested the patterns and textures along with the contour. This helped me to also break the line and let the bleed in at places and also to lighten the pressure when drawing the contour lines within the group. I selected very beautiful colours in the objects of the group and wanted them to show so I went a bit further from merely referring to the colors.

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Research point:Ben Nicholson

 

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Find out about Ben Nicholson. Why does he simplify still life forms and negative space and superimpose them on a cornish landscape?

Ben Nicholson is said to have had a cubist instinct. So in order to understand him we should try to understand the ideology behind cubism.

Cubism has its germinations found in Cezanne of impressionistic era. He admired the visual language of Poussin,yet did not want to go back to conventional painting from impressionist movement but found mere specs of bright color insufficient for a lasting record.

Some of the things that cubist took further from him were that he simplified naturally occurring forms to their geometric essentials, cylinder, sphere and cone. This was not merely modern invention as Plato had stated absolute beauty to be found in mechanically means achieved geometric shapes leaving the legacy of worship to man made objects. Cezanne ignored traditional roles of perspective.

Cezanne did not do somnambulism with art, he was wide awake and analytical about the effect he wanted to achieve this goal orientation was coupled with roman Catholic respect for God,so creation that nature was. “When I judge art, I take my painting and put it next to a God-made object like a tree or flower, if it clashes it is not art. Cezanne agreed with the beauty of geometric shapes but only as transliteration of God’s creation. The painting Lake d’Annecy (1896)

 

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In this painting Cezanne used modulation, this involved superimposed multiple strokes of color creating both a cumulative visual effects and a reverberation that resonated throughout the canvas. What stands out as cubistic in this painting is the reflection that appears solid even. Rather than deconstructing material as cubist would later do, he is handling planes and the way of thinking about the void as we see it or air that is in the distance between solid forms and objects. he is giving a solid format to optical impression. By doing this he has deprived from the reflection to create a sense of distance and the cubic reflection brings the background forward to the same plane with foreground objects making the image appear flat. This is what cubist would later emphasize the 2-dimensional surface of the picture plane. Some have toyed also with the idea that Cezanne knew Einstein who happened to live nearby him, maybe discussed his ideas about quantum theory that suggested that void is full of substance. I dare to suggest here that what Cezanne saw or wanted to see in a landscape was a living organism and each cell and part of it was in interaction with each other interdependently in the painting that created the harmony. The functioning organs he used as visual devices to achieve this were line, color and form.

 

 

Ben Nicholson achieves the same unified effect but by different means. Instead of treating a distance as vacuum with substance he ignores it completely.

 

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Color is treated as separate entity as confined geometrical shapes. He has simplified the organic contours to more blend in with  the geometrical lines of the other planes I feel it’s in order not to crash with the flow of line however it’s also cubist language to simplify forms. The ideology of cubism is making not imitating. In painting Four Pears –above,  forms are merely outlined, no tones are even suggested neither highlights nor shadows. The objects has been given equal importance to the negative space  and by the way in which the line travels  in linear perspective -which now only relies on our pre contextual thinking- makes  the image appear  extremely flat. In cubism artist looks at the subject from different sides depicting fragments breaking rules of space and time. This might explain the superimposition of fruits, he placed them there in turns drawing them one after another.

On my opinion Ben Nicholson has left an underlined hypothesis of an existing picture making device (he hasn’t invented it, merely highlighting, simplifying and exploring the method to extreme to a mere hypothesis)  that harmony can be achieved in an image by breaking the isolation of objects by means of form line or color. It’s hypothesis because it can be applied to any genre of painting, like a general rule. By using this rule and perhaps seeing the entire platform of canvas as a living organism making it possible to collate components that would otherwise clash with each other, like a landscape and a still life on a windows sealing.

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Quote

Listen to the meek voice

-Tiina Birgitta Raisanen-

About Eugene Delacroix (somnambulism in art)

 

Ferdinand Victor Eugène Delacroix (French: 26 April 1798 – 13 August 1863)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ferdinand Victor Eugène Delacroix        (French: 26 April 1798 – 13 August 1863)

As one of our assignments were to look at artist of both loosed and right drawing style, I after very long contemplation period settled with Eugene Delacroix the man behind LIBERTY LEADING PEOPLE  painting.

I managed to borrow 700 pages thick book of recorded journal entries: The Journal of Eugene Delacroix, translated by Walter Pach, New York, 1948. Most of the material in this blog post originates from reading this book, when valid, a journal entry date and page number is mentioned. I will be breaking down what I have learnt of him and what his journal texts have benefited me as an artist and a painter. Its a delightful experience to find something in common with a man from the past that othervice seems to have nothing in common with myself, it prompted me to think how curious art as activity is, the way people can able to relate to each other through it regardless of their backgrounds.

Connecting Delacroix with painting Liberty Leading People made me to think of a superficial elitistic snob,  part of tax collectors conniving plans. However I was not to carve this impression of him in stone. Indeed upon immersing myself into further literature of him I soon was released from the chains of my prejudices. Delacroix has many sides to him, the socialite is only one side, the natural instinctual side is what pushed him to leaque of genius. Though he might have still being elitist the volcanic passions inside him led the way to harness his privileged position into art revolution not to be ignored.

 

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Liberty Leading People 1830 (July revolution)

Trained in sophisticated private schools since childhood he must have had little in common with common labourer or handyman. At least one could think so from April 16, 1853 Saturday journal entry pages 293-4 that reveals he didnt feel akin with the “peasant” Francois Millet, that he was posh enough to filter his opinions on people, their achievements and personal struggles according to their social status. Did he dismiss him because he was a  mere peasant in his eyes ? Francois Millet was equally  a revolutionary in his own field of depicting peasants’ life realistically on canvas of which contents seem to have had been preserved to be  defined by the upper classes alone so far. Interestingly it was after seeing Millet’s paintings and being impressed of the social message conveyed in the body of his artwork, that deeply religious Vincent van Gogh decided to become artist as well. (Combrich:The Story of Art Page 434)

 

Despite being such well fitting posh dandy in the highest of hierarchies, the suave gentleman was only one side of him. Eugene Delacroix was a Jekyll and Hide whose brutality revealed itself in Massacre of Chios – painting. It was not a commission but was painted out of personal interest. Was he the barbarian in the painting looking to destroy everything he knew about art known so far, riding on his wild revolutionary barely tameable horse symbolising the brush in his hand. His artistic ego certainly was not one of the victims to be slaughtered in arena of art world. Delacroix was a conqueror.

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Massacre of Chios 1823-1824

His intuitive passionate Hide was feeling claustrophobic in the restrains of definitions by the establishment that was led by miniscule detailed precision style painting after Ingres school. The barbarian in him wanted to go the other direction and he found a partner to his revolution from the past, the diary frequents adorned sentences of Peter Paul Rubens. Delacroix had a neo classical education that pointed him out Ruben’s faults and wrongs but he found that passion and fervor with what PPR stormed the canvas like a barbarian with a horse leaving all the cowardly followers behind while paving away a new world with his mere ego. In Rubens Delacroix found a bird of same feathers that would justify his own rebel against current lukewarm tides. He must have likened him to be a “…rough diamond who has his blemishes; were one to polish him he would lose some of his weight.” page 686

 

Delacroix touches this topic as well, the mystery and eternally unexplainable that happens in between the journey of the subject matter, the painters perception and the viewers perception. In between there is a space that can never be explained or harnessed with words because to begin with, the starting point that is the artist’s mind, even she or he can not explain where his or her thought and ideas for the painting really originated from. To some extent, making art is as unexplainable as somnambulism, a person is trapped in between waking and sleeping world, he is able to walk and talk, eyes are open but cannot see, you are in control of your body yet you are not hence you are at sleep, what or who is dictating the actions of somnambulist ? If it is the dream that controls and gives commands to the body, where does the dream come from ? If the dream is mere subconscious and based on memories and experiences, why does all mount to command the body to do things as if awake. What about dreams that do not make sense, like once I had a dream that God was asking me a riddle, what is everywhere in everything ? Then he answered me: water ! How on earth this could have come from my subconscious or memories, a riddle with an answer ????????????

 

Likewise, where comes the inspiration for creation, to some extent you have control over yourself but not the creative part, the mysterious, where do ideas come from ? Or should we rather say the mysterious of the spontaneous, where does spontaneous thought originates from ?

In journal entry May 30, 1856, pages 510-1 EG speaks of “mysterious” re invoked upon reading Edgar Poe’s Van Kirck, talking about soul during hypnotic sleep. It is the soul of the artist that makes the painting, this is  the element of magic in art, the unexplainable mysterious as everyone is born with a soul of their own that is unique to him or her, it is also the difference between an artist and an instrument such as camera, the mysteries of psyche that filters visual information unlike mere cold recording of every single item in a scene by camera. This phenomenon is illustrated  in a journal entry Monday, October 10, 1853 page 329 “Consider such an interesting subject as the scene taking place around the bed of a dying woman, for example  seize and render that ensemble by photography, if that is possible; it will be falsified in a thousand ways. The reason is that, according to the degree of your imagination, the subject will appear to you more or less beautiful, you will be more or less the poet in that scene in which you are an actor; you see only what is interesting, whereas the instrument puts in everything” We as humans with souls never see things the way camera captures a scene, for the lack of soul in an instrument Delacroix is demonstrating here that a painting from imagination is much more accurate when depicting a scene because we are emotional beings not machines. Edgar Degas has said:Everyone sees what they want to see. That’s mistaken, and this mistake is what art is based on.” it appears to me that the main rule is that there are no rules, since it’s all based on inaccuracy, imagination, mistakes, biased, mysteries  and dreams, even that we are dealing with visual organ its the psyche that dictates this humane tool in us. This is probably why Delacroix has said that it’s more important to paint from imagination, because once you only have imagination or the memory of impressionistic  perception to paint upon rather than the physical  reference right in front of you, you will more clearly able to convey what you really saw with your souls eyes ? The material world would be on the way of your intuition and will hinder the creative mysteries from coming out ?

It was the vision through souls eyes, painter revealing him or her inner most self on canvas for others to see. In page 234 Delacroix speaks of the purpose of art: “ I have told myself a hundred times that painting, was no more than the pretext, than the bridge between the mind of the painter and that of the spectator. Cold exactitude is not art; ingenious artifice, when it pleases or when it expresses, is art itself” These could be said to be the very founding words for the art movement of impressionism. The visible that exists only through souls eyes.

Being an artist and tapping into creative forces is not the same as being accountant or Astra physicist or scientist that requires precision and accuracy. April 27 journal entry page 377 ED completely excommunicates himself from the Ingres school “There are some of them who glory in this cool composure, this absence of emotion; they imagine that they are mastering their inspiration.” It is the presence of the mysterious that makes a painting, if the psyche is not present it reduces to mere meaningless image. page 433 September 15, 1854; “What a strange thing painting is, pleasing us by its resemblance to objects which could not please us in themselves” He concludes his satisfaction in the path that he has chosen to take against opposing artistical influences “It was long ago that I rejected all pedantic satisfactions” October 4, 1855, page 498.

Page 420 the artist gives tribute to where it belong, the main artist of all God, noting that scientist does nothing more than record observations of the allready created work by God. “Scientist do no more, after all, than find in nature what is there. the personality of the scientist is absent from his work; it is quite a different matter with the artist. The seal that he imprints on his production is what makes it the work of an artist, which is to say of an inventor. The scientist discovers the elements of things, if you like, and the artist, with elements having no value in the place they chance to be, composes, invents a unity, in one word, creates; he strikes the imagination of men by the spectacle of his creations, an in a particular manner. He summarizes, he renders clear the sensations that things arouse within us, and which the great run of men, in the presence of nature, only vaguely see and feel.”

The eternal question is how to seize the elusive muse of spontaneity gives some ideas in page 332 where Delacroix recalls his shorthand notes from his trip to africa, when he then was making the actual painting based on these shorthand notes he had no possibilities for his usual habit of love of exactitude and by force he forgot small details and was merely left with striking and poetic side of things from his memory and imagination or rather should we say IMPRESSION. Another invocation for the spirit notes Jean-Jacques pointing out that the best way to paint the charms of liberty is to be in prison, that the best way to describe a pleasant bit of country is to live in a wearisome city and to see the sky only from an attic window and amongst the chimneys. This thought  came to me when I saw William Holman Hunt’s painting Isabella and the pot of basil and learned that his wife whom he had used as a model had died when the painting was still incomplete, the woman and the scene is so life like, as if the painter had resurrected her alive again in the painting !

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EG had a very fascinating soul it appeared to be constructed of two different opposite sides, the cultivated, contemplative, sensitive and sophisticated the other passionate, rebellious, wild and untameable. page 158 he had just visited Corot and they had discussed about painting spontaneously which is how Corot  worked, of himself Delacroix says:”In spite of my desire to systematics, I shall always be swept along by instinct” He also noted other artists working this way were Titian, Raphael and Rubens. Often throughout the book you find him complaining about the way people’s company seem to eat away his essence of self, of his socialising regime he complains in page 68: “I must return to solitude. Moreover I must live soberly like Plato did. How is one to retain one’s enthusiasm about anything when one is at all times at the mercy of other people and when one has constant need of their society ? Dufresne is right; the things one experiences when alone with oneself are much stronger and much fresher”  Although the company did help him to get noticed and it was necessary, the constraint were suffocating the Hide.  Lets not be mistaken though of his wild side, there was nothing kinky or abominable in his rebel, it was simply a mans voice pushing to come through that which was considered socially acceptable, he proofs to be in control of his  darker side if you will in page 277 “One is master only when one brings to things the patience to which they are entitled. The young man compromises everything by his wild rush at his picture”

Page 282 he puts into question even that which is considered socially acceptable and civilised behaviour, what lies beneath a perfect demeanour ? “ A hottentot or an iroquois splits the head of the man when he wants to despoil, among the cannibals it is for food that the victim is killed, just as our butchers kill a sheep or a pig, but those pernicious traps, laid long in advance and hidden under all sorts of veils- friendship, tenderness, or small attentions – are to be found only among “civilised” men.” Is he making a public confession here for future generations ? Is he able to smell the endeavoured putrefying smell of human flesh emanating from his fellow socialite animals in fancy parties, concerts and art galleries ? Maybe they were feasting on the other white meat itself with fancy silver cutleries praying on each others table manners keeping each others diverted from the main course with the stabbing forks of proverbs and scriptures  dodging the loopholes of knowledge or wittiness to be discovered meanwhile munching away the janitor’s baby’s sweet piece of ass with béarnaise sauce and glass of pinot grigiot.  

Delacroix was concerting the presence of Jekyll and Hide in men in general.Wednesday, December 7, page 354 entry he speaks of his impressions of politician Eugene Bethmont who was displacing contrasting behaviours at different places maybe contradicting himself, which though did not bother ED : “ He is like all men, a bizarre and inexplicable composite of contraries; that is what those fellows who turn out novels and plays refuse to understand. Their men are all of one piece. There are no such creatures. There are ten men in one man, and often they all show themselves within one hour, under certain circumstances. “

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A true cultivation of the natural mind is what could be Delacroix’ greatest legacy once again a man what at first seemed like a superficial snob to me proofs all biases wrong. Even though he dismisses the peasant painter Francois Millet, revolutionary on his own right, he then says something that makes me change my mind about weather he thought himself to be better than “uncultivated” farmer. Journal entry Monday, May 16, 1853, page 311. “Oh unworthy philanthropists ! Our Philosophers without heart and without imagination ! You think that man is a machine, like your other machines; you degrade him from his most sacred rights, under pretext of saving him from labours which you affect to look on as vile and which are the law of his being, not only the one which commands that he himself create resources against need, but the one which at the same time raises him in his own eyes and employes the short span of time given him in a way that is almost sacred. On wretched journalists, scribblers and cracked-brained schemers ! In stead of transforming the human race into a vile heard, let it have its true heritage – its attachment, it’s devotion to the soil !” I feel this is what is in common in true artist’ souls, hatred towards artificiality, herd attitude, impersonality, boxing things, every true artist should be a cry for freedom for their souls that is ignored by the powers that be who wants to silence us. We artist are the last voice of freedom, we should release those feelings via the painting to remind other people what it is to be human again and back to Self.  This part of Self is the soul that is unique to each of us and part of the nature all part of the same creation. There is a universal conscience in nature that is part of us, if we submit to it’s untameable forces it does not signify a defeat. I feel this message conveyed in my favourite book Good Land by Pearl S Buck, it reminds me that even in its all cruelity and scariness, nature is innocent, man is evil.  Sunday, May 22 journal entry, page 315:” Man makes progress in all directions;he takes command over matter, as is incontestably shown, but he does not learn how to command himself. Build your railroads and your telegraph lines, cross lands and seas in the twinkling of an eye, but let us see you direct the passions as you direct gas balloons !” Happiness is a state of mind that comes by abandoning oneself to the forces of nature rather than trying to harness them.

I once asked a wondering preacher man: “How can one know if my thoughts are from God or from satan himself ? He answered me: “The first thought is always from God” Delacroix seemed to think that something along this line was also valid with drawing, January 25, 1857 page 551 “Thought (First thought). The first outlines through which an able master indicates his thought contain the germ of everything significant that the work will offer.” It was allowing the mysterious of the psyche that was lacking in those paintings that he was in search after, it was clearly visible in Peter Paul Rubens works. It was most important to capture the fleeting moment and this is probably why Eugene Delacroix’ sketches are so loosed and temperament as if he was afraid of the Ingres pedantness catching on like a herpes if he should continue to carve the vision into something some may call reality or the right way. The initial strokes are true the following contrived ones are wedged with hesitation and second thoughts (which come from the devil the deceiver of our true essence of God, diverter of truth) Just like a life of individual soul already exists in a tiny speck of sperm so is the first instinctual draft those early marks selfcontains the very soul and life of that image, Delacroix calls them light of thought by able marks.

Im glad that I chose this man to study, instead of a lost soul called Oskar Kokosha who also has loosed drawing style, I mean I prefer Jesus and not a murderer to be the hope of women and her to shine in flying colours to lead the people to liberty as a five star general that she is…  (Genesis 3:15)

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I mean Eugene Delacroix clearly adored women of all shapes and sizes and appearances, even tho he never married his faithful company till the end  remained Jenny and  a host of other women, as models, as lovers, as friends and confidants. I eventually get an impression of him as a male lion who sees in a woman of his time a victorious lioness that can either be his companion and helper but also lead a nation through a revolution and pave a way to new brighter tomorrow. In fact he was a spiritual legacy of defender of women, quick to notice any demeaning stench that he will purify with his next painting. Here is one example, a painting by Henry Fuseli (1781)where woman is in a oppressive position the white horse is a scary vision that renders woman paralysed in a dream which permits the demon like creature to sit on top of her lungs, on the right Eugene Delacroix responds quoting Henry Fuseli’s scary white horse now in a oppressive position attacked by a lioness the way he wanted to see women :

 

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I sincerely belief that Delacroix saw the real spiritual strength and meaning of women and their purpose on earth oppose to the men who find women scary and something that needs to be pinned down by any means possible. He saw women to be something more deeper than just a piece of ass or pair of tits or a pretty face and he realised how important part women really played in our societies and in fact depended on them. There was to be an equilirium between the two sexes, not a competition but compensative and constructive relationship with peaceful mellow mutual respect. Nobody is beyond redemption, its just a matter of time hence even Lucifer is God’s creation and mere prodigal son of our own genetical make-up.  Accepting the difference in opposing sex will be the beginning of happiness, the oppressive spirit resting on top of Henry Fuseli’s paintings womans lungs hopes to achieve a mental serenity by only oppressing that which is unknown and strange to him – the opposing sex.  Accepting the difference inside is to find the peace in ones soul right here right now, instead of feeling apprehensive and confrontational about that which you can not understand rather realise that the opposite sex is another entity that will need your sparing and blessing of soul as much you need it too.  Doing it by force with two headed monster instead of with spirit of Jesus will only leave one in attaining a dream that does not exist, hating your own nurturer is like spitting against the wind. You must start by forgiving your mother and realise she is mere human, her person is not attached to yours and if devil oppressed you through her its what Jesus came for to rescue us from the spiritual, mental and psychological burdens of our relatives family and loved ones. Matthew 10;36 a man’s enemies will be the members of his own household.

Delacroix says in page 397 “We wish for a certain state of happiness, which ceases to be one when we have obtained it”  This touches on my theory of the strange impersonality of modern art that the modern soul is leading us into, always looking for truth and happiness somewhere else than inside of ones soul, it is to be found in primitive alien cultures, money, science, tricksters, bullying, devil worshipping, cannibalism, conquering unadulterated habitats, moral depravation, revenge, hate crimes, even from outer space from other planets but never right here right now from the depths of his or her own soul where God Allah resides. “Can a finely balanced soul dwell in a sordid envelope?” page 428 Already in 1854 perceived the unsettleness of his fellow lions and predicted the cowardise Ragu the handsomeish future of the soul of his own bloodline: page 431-432 “I had never conceived, for the profession of the soldier, the idea that I formed of it at that moment. It is one of contempt mingled with indignation at the brutes who have called slaughtering an art, it is one of profound pity for those sheeps dressed as wolves whose trade as Voltaire says so well, is to kill and be killed so as to earn their living. that mechanical operation of loading a gun, of launching that terrible thunderbolt that explodes as it leaves their hands, without their appearing to have any idea of what they are doing, offers a pitiable spectacle to a man whose heart is not entirely of stone. In another way, it would have disgusted men like Alexander or Caesar if you told them that those automatons, methodically lowering their guns and firing them at random, are fighting men. Where is the strength, where is the skill in that stupid game; the strength, the courage to attack, to press and overcome a ferocious enemy, the skill to preserve yourself from his blows ? What ! You go and plant yourself in front of another animal quite as much intimidated as yourself and, at a proper distance you philosophically shoot balls of lead and of iron at each other, without any defense against the shots that are fired back at you, and you persuade your plumed and epauletted herd that that’s the way for them to cover themselves with glory ! That unhappy profession is rendered false in its principal object. Heroism consists in approaching the enemy in such a way that personal courage counts for something. To stand up passively before artillery fire is the act of a coward quite as much as that of a brave man; the latter is indignant at being treated like a wall or a piece of earthworks; he feels entitled to no more credit for that than there is for the crowd of tremblers near him who are waiting for their death or the end of a fight which shall also put an end to their fear.”

 

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Vlad Tepish is dipping his bread in the blood of his impaled enemies.

 

There are few of his working methods that I actually tried myself. One of the things that he said (didnt mark that page down) is the argument about Ingres school and how they thought a painting should not have a visible touch and their logic was that in nature you do not see brush marks, its all smooth, to this Delacroix responded that neither does objects have sharp edges yet Ingres school insists on making the contours overly visible. I made this sketch having in mind that I will now start from the centre by means of masses rather than the outlines.

centredelac

Its not a hasty sketch in manner of Delacroix, it is still quite carefully rendered, haven’t done any more sketches in this style but Im thinking that it probably wont work if every single object is treated this way, it works in this image because I only treated the tree that way, not sure of the leaves in front though they looks quite harsh otherwise I like it and looking forward to doing more sketches in this way. In page 302 Delacroix talks about paintings of chiaroscuro artificial as the paint has only darkened to that stage in time thus one should not be copying this style as is. Often times in art books it is said that Michelangelo was originally a sculpture which is the way he approached everything 3-dimensionally and is the “secret” to Vatican Frescoes impression on us. Delacroix disagreed with this, he had studied Michelangelo’s sketches (1. this sketch particularly looks like a design for sculpture) (2. those that were left out of the bunch that was burnt away in shame of sign of inadequacy as they were so many) and argued that he was rather a 2 dimensional artist even when he was sculpting something, he approached his sculptures from the point of view of drawings.”I have often told myself that, whatever he himself thought, he was more of a painter than a sculptor. In his sculpture, he does not proceed as did the ancients, which is to say by the masses; it always seems as if he had drawn an outline in his mind and then set himself to fill it in, as a painter does. One would say that his figure of his group presents itself to him from one angle alone; that is the painter.” I feel this is somehow intertwined with the realisation of picture planes in  Peter Paul Rubens’ paintings whom -he discovered – approached his paintings by means of halftones. Maybe one day this will click with me so it is interesting to record it down here. Delacroix studied Michelangelo a lot and even wrote an essay to him in the Revue de Paris, in 1830 he also painted Michelangelo in His Studio (thought to be a self portrait) page 419: “He (Michelangelo) often carved from drawings;his sculpture bears witness to this procedure. He used to say that good sculpture was the kind that never looked like painting, and that good painting, on the contrary, was the kind that looked like sculpture”

Delacroix’ main concern with his paintings was always the sense of unity, he despised a cut and paste feel as he accused Theodore Gericault’s artwork lacking a feeling of ensemble. I have perused some of his paintings but cant see anything wrong with them, most especially his horses has so much character in them and for example this one blends into chiaroscuro darkness into background: Horse painting by Theodore Gericault page 434 He mentions this again  page 501 “It reminds me that Chenavard told me, two years ago at Dieppe, that he did not consider Gericault a master, because he has no ensemble; it is his own criterion for the title of master. “ Im not sure weather he meant lack of background instead, but I cant see any cut and paste feel at all.

He was also always studying colour theory and bold bright manner of rendering fighting against grey as he said painting always looks more grey than it is in daylight which is why it should be rendered more brighter. It was the bold experimentations with colour that made Delacroix the hero for many impressionists in their movement. page 516: “From my window I see a man at work laying a floor in the gallery; he is nude to the waist. When I compare his color with that of the outer wall, I notice how colorful are the half-tints of the flesh, compared with those of inert matter. I noticed the same thing, the day before yesterday, at the Place Saint-Sulpice, where a scalawag had climbed up on the statues of the fountain; I saw him in full sunlight; dull orange in the light, very lively violet tones for the passage from the shadow, and golden reflections in the shadows turned toward the ground. The orange and the violet dominated alternately or migled. The golden tone had a tendency toward green. Flesh gets its real color only in the open air, and especially in sunlight. Let a man put his head out of the window, and he is quite different from what he was inside the room; hence the foolishness of stuido studies, for they set themselves to render that false color.”

bacchus

 

Peter Paul Rubens 1638 Bacchus

“That man Rubens is admirable. What an enchanter ! I get out of sorts with him at times; I have words with him because of his heavy forms, because of his lack of research and of elegance. How superior he is to all those little qualities which make up the whole baggage of the others ! There is a man, anyhow, who has the courage to be himself.”  Strangely industrial revolution, moral depravity, distruction of core family values, the disenfranchisement of people had opposing effect on men, instead of encouraging them to become more courageous, weather without any moral cornerstones lost in self they also lost the reason for surviving instincts. Maybe it is what the men were actually looking for from strange alien cultures, the courage to live, had the modern man come a full circle a vicious circle where answers resulted rather in more questions and ignorance and a sense of purposenessness ? Peter Paul Rubens seemed to have it all that a happy man needs, why did we have to go further the sea ? In present day Peter Paul Rubens I consider Simon Bisley, he has mistakes but has turned those mistakes into his own and part of his trademark, it would be fatal and wrong to ones personal growth to start copying his style because of the distance that he walked faithfully with himself, we need to go through our own hell so to speak.

Here we are at the bottom of things that makes art beautiful, its not the perfect but surprisingly the mistakes. Beauty is found in unbalance, a tiny “err” throwing equilibrium off balanced. All the celebrated masters had their own weaknessess, their artwork was done by the means that God had provided them with, each has their own reservoirs of talents which is why it would be useless to try to imitate these masters as you would also then copy their wrongs. Rather absorb their spirit and attitude if it refreshes your soul and be inspired by it but not to copy them or make a school out of the style. If so we would soon find ourselves piercing working class people with spears to see how they die slowly in order to depict it more accurately as Michelangelo alleged had commited to do, page 652 It will be fatal to create schools after any man’s style particular, no matter how awesome they were – as their beauty lies in their mistakes !

Delacroix tributes his painting style to Louis-Marcelin, marquis de Fontanes who was a french poet “One should never perceive the object in any other but a poetic setting, as if under a globe or chrystal” Thus David Hockney’s theory of old masters using camera lucida as their painting aid is not valid in case of Eugene Delacroix. This would be the era when chemicalised photographs called daquerrotypes were taken into use in,first ever made 1838 of streetview Boulevard du Temple, also the first photograph of Eugene Delacroix is a daquerro type. Rather than seeing camera as a competitor to painting it act to help define what painting really was about for Delacroix. Human eye is designed like camera to see everything in view in detail yet it doesnt, this is the main difference between a painter and camera as camera will render every infinitesimal details, this truth makes   – according to Delacroix – realists wrong in their approach of adding details to each part of the painting. Its a point of view.

 

1859 Delacroix exhibited for the last time in The Salon and aroused a storm of criticism, this is not particularly mentioned in the journal but he does persist to his own views to the last and likens himself to a piece of wood that can only remain below the surface as long as the oppressive hand witheld it there until it will come to float again on the surface ON TOP of the water. We return to remember the turban wearing conqueror in Massacre of Chios now contemplating his situation taking courage from Turenne a war captain that was placed in command by Napoleon because he noticed he became more audacious the more he advanced in age –just like himself. The Salon could not frowned upon him to submission because he knew who he was and Peter Paul Rubens was his rampant comrade. In fact, the resistance of the establishment was doing him a favour “After having spent a great part of his life in accustoming the public to his genius, it is very difficult for the artist to keep from repeating himself, and to renew his talent, so to speak, in order not to fall, in his turn, into that very fault of banality and the commonplace which is characteristic of men and of schools as they grow old.”

edchrist

God is in the details, Christ marks the page 598 in form of printing mistake !

The painting is started with lay-in. “Woe to the artist who too quickly finishes certain parts of lay-in. One must possess very great sureness if one is not to be led to modify those parts when the other parts are finished to the same degree” The ivoried tint of Correggios paintings suggest him he begun with grisaille. Some lay-in may remain as are in final painting as distant buildings etc. Should aspiring artist copy old masters ? Peter Paul Rubens did, a lot ! So I suppose yes. page 537 Albrecht Durer. The true painter is the one who  knows all nature. Human figures, animals, landscape, treated with the same perfection.” “Too perfect proportions are detrimental to the impression of the sublime”  

1856 October10 attends young Theodore Chasseriau’s funeral who had died from exhaustion of overwork. Chasseriau was a child star accepted to Ingres school at the age of 11 in the year 1830 he was influenced by Delacroix painting style in 1834 onswarth and his style became a reconciliation between Ingres and Delacroix.The unique style of Chasseriau snowballed in influence to Puvis de Chavannes, Gustave Moreau (whome Delacroix met for the first time in Chasseriau’s funeral) with reverberations all the way to Paul Gauguin and Henri Matisse.

In retrospect, what is the most lovelies revelation that came to me from reading Eugene Delacroix’ Journal ? The definition of beauty that makes artist great are mistakes, his or her own mistakes !

gericault_Delacroix_portrai

“A floating head” portrait of Delacroix by Theodore Gericault

qt

 

 

When the going gets tough, the “tough” hardly gets going

 

-TBR-

quoth originaile

 

He maybe illegitimate child, but he is a also a president of Unites States

 

-Tiina Birgitta Raisanen-

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