Tuesday, August 4, 2015

I "Heart" the Fauves and Art Appreciation Month


Raoul Dufy - The River

August is artist appreciation month! I would like to thank the team over at Patience Brewster for telling me about August as Art Appreciation month, and moving me to write about what or who has inspired my art.  Patience Brewster is a small, one-artist company, creating unique ornaments, gifts and textiles from start to finish.I invite you to check out Patience Brewster's website, especially their Christmas ornaments page, filled with adorable, whimsical ornaments.  Don't even ask me to choose a favorite -- I love them all!

The inspiration for my art comes not from one particular artist but from an art movement known as Fauvism.  Fauvism was a movement in modern art in the early twentieth century.  Pronounced, "\ˈfō-ˌvi-zəm\, it was a movement typified by the work of Henri Matisse and characterized by vivid colors, free treatment of form, and a resulting vibrant and decorative effect.  There were other artists also known as fauvists and whose work I've always admired:  Vincent Van Gogh, Paul Gaugin, Paul Cezanne, and Raoul Dufy, whose painting, The River, is shown above.

Fauvism valued individual expression, the artist's emotional response to nature, and his intuition were all more important than academic theory.  The Fauvists simplified forms and saturated colors.  Color, mood and structure did not have to be true to nature.

I think I've always loved how colorful the Fauvists' paintings were and the more naive, simple look to their drawings.  Some outlined subjects in their paintings with paint as in the painting above.  For some reason, this type of painting has always fascinated me.

I love the freedom and seeming abandon with which the artists painted their subjects in the Fauvist style and I seek to have this same approach in my own paintings.

There are a few contemporary artists who fit into the Fauvist genre and whose work I have long admired.  One is Taos, New Mexico artist Inger Kirby.  Her work is very similar to the style in the Dufy painting above, but with brighter colors.  Another is Kansas City artist Anne Garney.  She paints brilliantly colored city landscapes and scenes set in the Caribbean islands.  Both of these artists are an inspiration to me.  Not that I paint like them, but their freedom with color certainly finds it way into my own work.
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