Thursday, November 10, 2011

Landscape #2: Cubism

I got the nod of approval on my Lesson 1 landscape in my Pamela Allen online workshop, so it was time to move on to the next lesson.  The assignment was to interpret our chosen subject in a Cubist style.   Instead of one moment frozen in time on a flat canvas,  the Cubists interpret what can be seen at different times and from different viewpoints.  Of course, one immediately associates Cubism with Pablo Picasso.  I theorize that one reason he had so many different lovers in his life is because they all got a little bit miffed after he painted their portraits!  Consider this painting of Dora Maar!

Head of a Woman, Pablo Picasso

Besides the strange portraits with faces portrayed in different planes at the same time, Picasso painted landscapes, my chosen subject.  In Landscape at Mougins, the mountains, lake, and a house are all at least recognizable.

Landscape at Mougins, Pablo Picasso
 This style is rather daunting for a non-artist to attempt, but Pamela offers many ideas such as fracturing objects, layering, including transparency and real world objects such as paper.  Here is an example of a still life by Juan Gris.

Still Life With Geraniums, Juan Gris

So, on to the fabric landscape in Cubist style.  My first attempt used some realistic looking woodsy fabric, an oak leaf in both positive and negative shapes, and a strong tree shape that also includes the roots.  There is a representation of a building that is made of newspaper. 

Even I realized that this attempt was too realistic to be a Cubist interpretation, so I removed all the elements I had cut and rearranged them on a plain background.

In the revision,  I added some rather geometric mountains and a river, and attempted to add a foreground.  I was a little happier with this and uploaded it for Pamela's critique.
She agreed that the second version is a more semi-abstract landscape, but noted that I was still clinging to realism.  Her suggestion, illustrated by her Photo Shop magic, is to make the scene more of a birds-eye view with map imagery.

Notice the dashed lines to indicate roads, the fracturing of the oak leaf, a stronger foreground, and the addition of more text (exit sign).  This is getting closer to my implied theme of man-made objects imposing on nature.

I have not gotten back to this project as real life has intervened.  I loaded the big candlewick quilt on my Gammill yesterday and got started on the quilting.  After all, I still need to make a little more money to cover the repairs to the garage door I backed into last week!

And today begins my first workshop at Art of the Carolinas in Raleigh.  The class is The Easy Approach to Starting a Watercolor Painting, instructed by Tom Jones.

"Truly a wild and wonderful NEW class where at the end of a busy week … you want to just paint … not have to “think” … or take notes … This class is for you! Great if you need to learn how to loosen up, or if you are a beginner, Tom will help you build a successful painting first, and then show you how unity, color, contrast and a focal point were utilized without you ever knowing."

I am super-excited about this class.  If I produce anything close to the lovely landscape in the sample image, I will be delighted!

Don't forget to enter the drawing for the Elm Creek Quilts novel.  Leave a comment at the end of this post and tell something about the friendships you have shared through your love of quilting.

No comments: