On this blog, a companion to "ArtSoPotent," I will write about the connection between visual art and other art forms, including cinema, dancing, poetry, and specifically music. This space will also serve to display images of my commercial work: Calligraphy, Collage, Note Cards, Hand-painted boxes, Handmade books,and other mixed-media works.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

A Few Favorite Artists

Lois Mailou Jones - As an African-American woman struggling to become a professional artist, I was glad to discover the art work of Lois Mailou-Jones about 15 years ago. After reading her biography from cover to cover shortly after that time, I felt proud of her accomplishments as a prolific artist, her achievements and awards and most of all, her dedication to documenting through painting, her travels to Africa, Haiti and France, among other places.

In 1998, I was fortunate to view her work at an art exhibition in Birmingham, Michigan, the same year that she passed on at the age of 98. Seeing her work up close was thrilling, to say the least.

The paintings of Haitian and African culture held Mailou-Jones' style in a manner that spoke of originality. Looking at her paintings, it was clear that here was work which has influenced many of today's painters of African-American culture. I found myself thinking, "Hmmm...so this is where it all began."

I am sorry that I did not get a chance to meet Lois Mailou-Jones at that exhibit. I have enjoyed viewing her work very much.

Stuart Davis - After seeing Stuart Davis' work in many of my art books, I bought his biography (on sale, of course). I wanted to know more about his complex abstract art renderings, most of which look like jazz on canvas.

I wasn't surprised that he was a jazz lover, a fact mentioned several times throughout his biography.

Stuart Davis probably influenced my interest in abstract art more than anyone else. I didn't know why I liked his work so much when I first saw it. I just did. And I feel the same way today. I don't know why I like it . I just do, and that's okay. Maybe it's the obvious confidence of his painting style.

Franz Marc - Of all the German Expressionists in the Blue Rider Group, Marc is my favorite. I love his semi-abstract paintings of cows and horses. The paintings of blue horses and the yellow cow are wonderful. When I first began experimenting in abstraction, I tried to paint like him, but my work eventually evolved toward it's own path.

I'm out of time, I will write about other artists another time. I have uploaded a video of Robert Henri's paintings that I didn't know existed (the video, not the paintings). I know he had other paintings, but being so enamored of his writings and teachings, I somehow never focused on his paintings. Tell me what you think about them.

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