Morning Musings #5 / June 2021
Greetings A-L-P Friends! Summertime is upon us and there are a lot of exciting developments in the world of Art Life Practice.
All of our new kits have officially launched, and they are truly a blast to play with (but I'm a tiny bit biased). We are working on new developments with the Painting Kits (...maybe involving some collage), so I'll be hopefully sharing more soon.
It has been a busy month but I managed to carve out time for some creative play to keep my spirit nourished and inspired. Enjoy!
Artists of the Month...
Swiss German artist Paul Klee (1879-1940) is the ultimate multi-hyphenate. Artist / art educator / poet / musician, Klee's talents spread across many disciplines and he is know to be a forefather of abstract art.
Born in Switzerland in 1879 to musician parents, Klee grew up interested in art, but was a gifted violinist and thought he was going to pursue music as well. But he was drawn to visual art and he moved to Munich in 1898 at the age of 19 to study painting. This was a revolutionary moment in art history because artists were starting to move away from depicting strictly representational art, exploring ways in which subject matter could be portrayed in more a psychologically charged manner (think Van Gogh). Artists such as Matisse and Cezanne were also placing an emphasis on color, pattern and light in their paintings, not necessarily focusing on the accuracy of how the subject matter was depicted.
Klee's contribution to the evolution of abstract art is tremendous. He was one of the first artists to infuse spiritual content and the subconscious into abstract art, leading the way for both the Surrealism and Abstract Expressionism movements.
He was a member of one of German Expressionism’s regional groups, Der Blaue Reiter, a group of Munich-based artists who believed that art should express the metaphysical realm. This group was founded by Wassily Kandinsky, another father of abstraction, and greatest inspiration and ally to Klee.
Klee was also a committed educator, teaching at the acclaimed Bauhaus School beginning in 1920. In 1931-33 he taught at the at the famous Academy of Fine Arts in Dusseldorf, but in 1933 when the Nazis declared his art “degenerate, he moved back to Bern. He died in 1940 at the age of 60 years old of an autoimmune disease.
I was particularly draw to the simple line drawing that Klee made in 1930, Was fehlt ihm? (What’s the Matter with Him?). Klee admired children's art, wanting his own style to be similarly unaffected. I love the humor and simplicity of this little creature, so I thought he needed to live on my new pink tee.
Wangechi Mutu is one of the most important contemporary African artists today. Born in 1972 in Kenya, Mutu's creative practice stretches across media, including collage, painting, sculpture, video and performance. In her work Mutu pieces together magazines with painted surfaces and found materials, and her collages explore the split nature of cultural identity, referencing colonial history, contemporary African politics, and the construct of feminine beauty.
In particular Mutu is interested in probing the violence and misrepresentation that women, black women in particular experience in contemporary world: “I try to stretch my own ideas about appropriate ways to depict women. Criticism, curiosity, and voyeurism lead me along, as I look at things I find hard to view – things that are sometimes distasteful or unethical."
Wangechi Mutu’s works on paper are often painted with ink and acrylic paint, and accompanied with materials like plastic pearls, 24 karat gold and latex, and found imagery from fashion, lifestyle and pornographic magazines.
Inspired by her richly detailed mixed media masterpieces - and an image I found of Elizabeth Taylor giving the viewer the finger - I created a mixed media collage. I started the composition by collaging a variety of metallic and glittered papers, followed by the application of metallic acrylic paint. I finished off the work by adding a few pearls and gemstones to give the work the extra bit of flash that Liz truly deserves.
**** EXTRA TREATS!!!! ****
- If you're needing a new playlist to groove to, I made a fairly epic one to welcome in sweet sweet summertime!
- Honestly I am not the biggest fan of zoom lectures, but I am definitely making an exception for THIS - tomorrow (Wednesday, 6/23). If you miss it, there's usually a recording posted after the date.
- Teleport to Japan for a few minutes and be utterly charmed by this article on Japanese brush making.
- Loved reading about these young artists using traditional craft techniques in their work.