Thursday, January 5, 2012

What else at GoMA?

Of course the big ticket gig is the Matisse exhibition, which was also rather wonderful. Aside from marvelling at the man's brilliant economy of line and formidable drawing skills, it was very encouraging thanks to a number of things:

1.  His early 'college of art' drawings were alot like mine were in those days. Did you notice he didn't quite gain confidence in drawing hands and feet until a few years later? To begin with they were nebulous shapes or behind the back etc. I wonder if his art tutors rolled their eyes, like mine did?
2. As I tell my students all the time...practice, practice, practice. Matisse developed his talent through 'just doing it'. Remembering that this exhibition of 300 drawings is a fraction of the drawings he did, which in turn represents a fraction of his overall body of work, he was obviously very productive. I am looking forward to making that point yet again to my senior students!
3. I loved his detailed charcoal drawings.
4. Also loved the way his forms became even more economical as time went on to end up as flat shapes and a change in media to screen printing.

After all that, it is just delightful to enter the drawing room, where you can sit quietly with lovely things and draw to your heart's content, (broken up by the odd cup of coffee overlooking the river, of course). I will be more than happy to buy another ticket just to have that experience again, though I must try and pick my time to avoid the madding crowds (and school kids). This is the drawing I did on the tablet in the drawing room!

Forgot to mention...Matisse was a cat man, which always raises a person in my estimation. Many artists of all kinds choose cats as companions; I think it is the enigmatic quality they exude. He had two cats, Minouche and Coussi, living in his Villa Reve in Vence. It is said that Minouche had an 'M' for Matisse on his forehead. The cats kept him company when he was confined to bed due to poor health.

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