Tuesday, May 8, 2012
The Beachcomber acrylic on canvas 20 X 24 for Crazy Amigo I have always admired the work of Mary Cassatt for its loving focus on the beauty of children. By no means an innovative subject, Cassatt found new techniques to depict the innocence of childhood. She took risks in executing experimental techniques that portrayed simple compositions and produced an emotional response in the viewer. Determined to learn to paint well, in an era when it was unthinkable for a woman to become an artist, Cassatt was greatly influenced by Impressionist painter Edgar Degas, another of my favorite artists. Starting with sketches, she progressed to create paintings of gentle light and contrast, and her use of texture became increasingly bold, as she progressed. After my children were grown, I too became determined to teach myself to paint well. In college, I studied classical drawing and art history, so, years later, I began to learn study compostion and to explore the medium of paint, working in a small scale, like Mary Cassatt. After about a year of this exploration, I began to experiment with brushwork and texture, and then I discovered the palette knife. For the past three years, I've devoted myself to learning and developing techinque, turning out paintings in a variety of styles: still life, abstract, mixed media collage, and finally, my real love: impressionistic. I began painting because I wanted to paint children. The complete lack of abandon and excitement with which they absorb themselves utterly in simple activities fascinates me,and, as a mother and teacher I have been blessed to be able to observe and share so many tender moments with my children. I think, I have reached a place artistically, where I feel that I can begin to celebrate those moments in my work. Today's painting is just a sample of what I hope to be able to portray. I hope that, like Mary Cassatt, through observation and experimentation, I will able to portray those fleeting moments of joy and discovery and the precious sense of wonder found only in the imagination of a child.