It has been a long winter. Hoping that a painting of flowers would make spring come sooner, I started a bouquet of parrot tulips in oil.
Although he wrote and spoke many wonderful things about art, Matisse was very skeptical about the usefulness of painters' reliance on words. As I try to build this blog, I will remember his wise warning: "A painter who addresses the public not just in order to present his [sic] works, but to reveal some of his ideas on the art of painting, exposes himself to several dangers ...I am fully aware that a painters' best spokesperson is his work" (Notes from a painter, 1908).
When asked by Verdet in 1952 when the necessity to create a piece of art starts to germinate, Matisse responded: 'It begins when the individual realizes his [sic] boredom or his solitude and has need of action to recover his equilibrium."
I am very, very, very thankful that I never felt like this when working on a portrait. And I certainly hope that no one who has sat with me for a portrait can identify with this "model" with the hood and the gun.
This image is one of the many amazing images in the new text, The Primacy of Drawing, by Deanna Petherbridge. It is plate 223.
The Primacy of Drawing:Histories and theories of practice (2010), published by Yale University Press, is a huge and wonderful book, filled with gems.
From the introduction by Petherbridge: "This book is based on the passionate belief that drawing is the basis of all art and visual thinking. At a time when drawing is relatively neglected in pedagogy and theory, although making a vigorous comeback in contemporary art practice, I believe there is an urgent need to establish it as a comprehensive study that links the present with the past, and practice with theory and history" (page 2). The passion shows in the pages.