Saturday, 29 January 2011

Open Window 1905

Personal Development Planning

I Wish I’d done this:
Currently, I’m looking at Open Window (1905) by Henri Matisse. It drew my attention from its breathtaking use and application of colour. In 1905 chemicals were just beginning to develop giving artists a wider variety of choice and a more powerful palette of colours such as red.
I wish I’d done this painting because it is done for the purpose of painting. Heading the Fauvist movement, Matisse was concerned with painting because he liked doing so and not because he felt he had to conform to a particular style, technique colour etc.
The impact of the painting makes me feel peaceful and at rest. He has taken on board a traditional, neo-classic style of working and has manipulated it to his own personal style. I can relate to this is my work. If I am not comfortable with a way of working I am not going to enjoy producing my work, where is the sense in that? Finally, I am starting to develop my own style and structure that I am comfortable and thus happy with. Although my style and method is vastly different to that of Matisse I believe he would have agreed with my logic.
For me, something with colour makes the object much more interesting. Matisse has taken a style such as that of Constable and made it more exciting. He has made it more accessible to a much wider audience and much more interesting along the way. Open Window scenes were a constant occurrence in Matisse’s work, but they all feature this uplifting, warming palette.
Some will find the work messy and uncalculated but I think it is this aspect that appeals to me. Again, in my own practice I am becoming more familiar with things that are not ‘perfect’. Sometimes it is nice to have a torn edge or a smudged background. The word I am looking for is contrast. In all the work around in 1905 Matisse’s stood out from the crowd because it was different, it was a contrast in the masses. It was also a contrast to the grim second phase of the industrial revolution which was gripping the world.
Contrast makes the work stand out. For example a perfectly formed lady bird against a sewn line makes the perfect edge of the lady bird appear even more perfect. The brightness and charm of Matisse’s work against the traditional impressionist work of the time would make it appear even more vibrant and interesting.
To be an artist who stands the test of time and whose work is so prominent would be beyond a dream. I am sure that Matisse could never have imagined the fame and fortune he would gain after his death. To fore front a movement, or even be a part of a collaboration of artists moving art forward would be desirable and fulfilling.
I like my colour and tend to use a very bright palette. In a contemporary world however, the colour is lost. Colour is used in everything in an already over saturated world, how does my work stand out? My love of colour also makes me wish that I had produced this painting. Colour in 1905 meant something, it was different, it was a contrast and it made him famous. My colour is ‘normal’, ‘everyday’ and I am part of an oversaturated market, he was prominent, I am lost in a sea of artists all fighting the same losing battle.
I can learn from this image not to be scared to do something different, that I am allowed to deviate from the ‘norm’, that there are no set rules to follow when making a piece of artwork. The only restrictions I have are put in place by me. Given, I have set my self a recipe to follow to make sure that I incorporate everything in my work that has started to work for me. But, this is only because when producing pieces that do work I was struggling to follow the same routine to produce more work to the same standard. They are not rules are such, just my own personal guidelines.
My practise is starting to show results after a long time searching for my preferred method and after labour intensive sessions of trying different techniques. Hopefully with more practise will come perfection where I can start to see real

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