werkshop

works in progress

Thursday, October 30, 2014

.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Ensor and Me

One of my favorite artists is James Ensor.  This painting is of him, not by him, but I love it because it seems as though it could be by him and is very much in his spirit, a picture of the artist as a being haunted by his own imaginings...
James Ensor in un ritratto di Henry De Groux, 1907

I made a painting in homage to Ensor of someone wearing a mask and haunted by other masks...
I don't know if these other masks are masks that the central character might wear, or if they represent other people - more likely the latter.  I think that such paintings of mask-haunted characters, with their implied criticism of society, of the way people interact, grow out of the religious painting tradition of scenes where Jesus is mocked on his way to his crucifixion ...

Ensor himself made many paintings of a character surrounded by masks.  This is one of my favorites...
Many of the masks look more like dolls.  I think that Ensor was a great and brilliant painter, a great master, too little appreciated.  Oddly, but somehow maybe not so oddly, I find connections between his paintings and paintings by great New England masters that I love that surely he would not have known about?  This particular mask painting by Ensor reminds me of a great portrait painting Boston artist John Singleton Copley did in England ...
In both cases one sense burning depths of thought and emotion that long for outlet.

Another example, which I find a little weirder, links Ensor with his contemporary artist, Winslow Homer, also a New England luminary.  This is one of my favorite Ensor paintings, though it is not one of his more famous paintings...
Although the dates aren't right for this, I cannot believe that this Ensor painting is not a marvelous takeoff on one of Winslow Homer's most famous paintings...



Thursday, October 23, 2014

filigree

 From wikipedia:
Filigree (also less commonly spelled filagree, and formerly written filigrann or filigrene) is a delicate kind of jewellery metalwork, usually of gold and silver, made with tiny beads or twisted threads, or both in combination, soldered together or to the surface of an object of the same metal and arranged in artistic motifs. It often suggests lace and remains popular in Indian and other Asian metalwork. It was popular as well in Italian and French metalwork from 1660 to the late 19th century. It should not be confused with ajoure jewellery work, the ajoure technique consisting of drilling holes in objects made of sheet metal.
The English word filigree is shortened from the earlier use of filigreen which derives from Latin "filum" meaning thread and "granum" grain, in the sense of small bead. The Latin words gave filigrana in Italian which itself became filigrane in 17th-century French
Filigree seems to be one of the oldest forms of decoration.  I suppose it is, as Wikipedia suggests, associated particularly with metalwork...
The way I think about it, though, filigree predates metalwork and goes back to earliest times...
... so that it seems fundamental.  It's also fundamental to me because of family connections...



I've been exploring filigree in my own way ...

Sunday, October 19, 2014

cartouche

Antique (particularly 17th century) Dutch silver has been very influential for me.  In particular I love the way the dutch silver masters treat cartouches ...


The dutch masters loved to abstract a device, the cartouche, which itself is (as I see it) an abstraction from that central heraldric device, the shield...
I love too what Gaudi, apparently taking off where the dutch masters left off, did with cartouches ...



Then again, Gaudi may have been more influenced by the artists and architects of the Bavarian Rococco (who were  probably themselves  influenced by 17th century dutch silver masters) ...
So here is my version...




Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Hermes

Bearer of messages...
rosy and blue thoughts...



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