Soar Climb high Enjoy the freedom and endless vastness.
Open the wings Float in the blue sky Carried by the wind as your friend.
Unfold yourself wide Once again flourish Rejoice in life that’s given to you.
Let yourself be carried On the wings of the eagle During your next stage on the way to the goal.
The evening is approaching The strength is waning But the eternal Father lovingly carries you home.
The poem was written on the occasion of the retirement and 70th birthday of a dear friend, inspired by Willow Tree‘s figure “Soar”. The picture was made later.
Both the figure and the picture symbolize for me a release for something new. The original reason was the knowledge that even at the age of 70, my friend will not simply fall into a state of inactivity, but will now use the time for a new, last period of flourishing of the God-given gifts and possibilities. But this is not only true for my friend or others on the verge of retirement. There is potential in all of us and we are challenged to unfold the possibilities that lie within us, just like a butterfly that has just hatched out of its cocoon and is unfolding its wings. Gradually the full size of its wings becomes visible.
The bird in the picture and in the figurine is encouraged to fly away by raising the hands. Sometimes we need such “midwives”. They remind me of some bird species that push their hesitant offspring out of the nest or unobtrusively deprive them of their direct support when flying. The fledglings have to overcome their hesitation and flap their own wings. And so we too must fly ourselves or we will be sucked into the comfort of the status quo.
Therefor, you too – Soar – to new adventures – and open your wings wide!
After two years and many courses our art study at the Leonardo Kunstakademie Salzburg is coming to an end. We are celebrating this with a graduation exhibition this weekend. During the opening ceremony we will also receive our certificates.
Besides our examination paintings (which you can see on the invitation below), we will also display several selected paintings which Prof. Baier chose among all the paintings we produced during these two years.
My colleagues and graduation colleagues of the study course XVIII are the following:
The opening ceremony and presentation of certificates will take place on Saturday, November 14, 2015 at 6 pm in Schloss Mattsee, Austria (5163 Mattsee, Schlossberg 1, Diabellisaal). The exhibition is open for the public until Sunday, November 15, 2015, from 9 am to 4 pm.
Mid May I participated in the very last elective seminar of my art studies. The topic of portraits has long interested me and from time to time I practiced portrait drawing and painting with the help of my JKPP friends.
This time the topic was not just “normal” portrait painting.
Excerpt from the course description:
From everybody’s childhood to Leonardo’s spot on the wall, the alienation of physiognomical perception is the source of interpretation and insight. In this process it can happen that “only the inner image” of the physiognomy of the other comes fully into its own (as can be seen in the works of Beckmann, Ensor, Kokoschka, Modigliani, Schiele, Picasso and others).
In this portrait seminar we will emphasize the own view and the subjective visual language, because the exploration of the vis-à-vis will also further the exploration of one’s own self.
During this seminar the goal was not so much to paint a realistic picture of another person and aim at 100% resemblance but the exploration of different techniques that are suitable for modern portraits.
As a result, similarities with living persons are more or less accidental. 😉
Nevertheless, if one wants to depict a certain person in a modern style portrait, then it is of utmost importance that the eye area is correct and leads to a recognition effect.
Painting Techniques of Schiele, Morandi, Modigliani and Cezanne
At the beginning of May I attended my last but one elective course of my art studies. I was already familiar with Cezanne and Schiele, but it was my first encounter with Morandi and Modigliani.
Excerpts from the course description:
All four artists are representative for a groundbreaking visual language, because all depictions and expressions are impartation, which means seeing “something” in the light of the “other”.
Egon Schiele (1890 – 1918) aimed to show in his idiosyncratic work above all the “inner truth” through artistic means. In doing so he was always searching to show the psychological mood of the persons, may it be in an act, or in an existential “for itself” depicted object or landscape, in their fateful, individual being – as opposed to the mostly superficial “by itself” (per se) conventional representation.
Giorgio Morandi (1890 – 1964) prefers to deal with the magic of simple forms of things, which through their sobriety and reduction as well as their pastel tones, transform the common place objects into treasures.
Amedeo Modigliani (1884 – 1920) wants to depict a person in such a way that his basic, existential essentially seems to be “poured” into a body shape. Soft and flowing figuration, that often seems archaic, with almond-shaped often sightless eyes, turns the person into an exchangeable “transitory object” and art object.
Paul Cezanne (1839 – 1906) wants to see art as a “harmony parallel with nature.” He is deemed groundbreaking in technique and style for the avant-garde (fragmentation of contours, and colors, reduction of forms to geometrical object, alienation and glorification of the trivial, etc.), as the “caesura” and thereby “Father of Modernism”.
After a thorough introduction into the biography and painting techniques of these four artists each of us chose one artist for the practical application in our own paintings.
I was especially intrigued by the style of Modigliani, even though I could not go as far as painting the same kind of sightless empty eyes. Nevertheless, I tried to apply his other principles in my own paintings.
Finally, I no longer want to hide the paintings that are now on display at the exhibition in Wels. As it says in the invitation for the opening, they are very personal – they reflect certain mile stones of my personal journey with Jesus, which is a journey of healing from deep hurts to freedom and wholeness.
Come, dare to walk the way with me
God’s light falls on our path and we are challenged to decide, whether we accept the invitation or not. Will we continue on our way, following the others, the masses? Or do we dare to break out? It is a risk, since we don’t know what exactly it means to be ‘en route’ with God.
At least that’s how I experienced it: as an 18 year old atheist I suddenly realized that God does exist and that I am not in harmony with him. I knew without any human explanation that if I died today, I would not be with God but somewhere else – far away. The light fell onto my way. I stood a the crossing and could not know whether I will get another chance. My thoughts went back and forth. What should I do? This was no longer a question whether God existed. I also understood where I would end up if I continued as before. It was more the questions: what it entailed, what God would expect, what are my motives, would it be an egoistic motive? My reflection did not get me anywhere. My thought where quite confused.
In the end I decided that I could know the answers to my questions, unless I tried it out. And so I dared to accept the risk – I invited Jesus to take over the leadership of my life and lead me on this new way to the light – back to God. Since then I am ‘en route’ with Jesus and I have never regretted it.
One of my last remaining home work for the art academy is a ‘nearly’ act drawing of several people. I chose this picture from the Windsor sisters that I found on Pinterest and Flickr. The reference photo is from Ted Van Pelt. I painted them with Gouache on dark-blue paper (Canson Mi-Teintes).
At the same time the 30 in 30 Challenge with Leslie Saeta is coming to an end. However, there are some more paintings that I have not yet posted.
The last two drawings in my series of foot studies got some color. I love colors and can’t stand it to work for very long without color. That’s why I gave these two with pastels some more colorful outlook.
The following five foot studies are based on photos that I found on Pinterest earlier on and which I had saved to my own Pinboard called “Painting References“. Each one of them has its own charm and fascination. I have to admit, that I found it more difficult to find varying examples for the foot studies than for the previous series of hand studies, so as to make them diversified.
My third ‘nearly’ act drawing is a ballet dancer. I painted her with Aquarell watercolor on tinted paper (Mi-Teintes). I found the reference photo on Pinterest and traced it back to a Tumblr Blog, but could not find any Copyright info.
This two drawings are the last in a series of seven hand studies. They are part of my homework for the art academy. And at the same time they are my contributions for the 30in30 Challenge with Leslie Saeta. The first seven contributions were portraits, the second week I did seven hand studies and next week I will do foot studies.
Meanwhile I have drawn several more hand studies and other drawings for the art academy, but I did not have the time to post them here. Most of these studies are based on video stills. They are a wonderful source for studies, especially when they contain discussions and presentations.
Pinterest is also a great source, and there are several photos that wait to be painted and drawn. For this purpose, I started a pin board with the title Painting References.
Without further ado, here are number 4 and 5 of my hand study series: