Saturday, August 1, 2020

maybe Alphonse Mucha and not so much like Georgia O'Keefe or..

...Or, maybe not like a Vincent van Gogh either.
(shown left, Twelve Sunflowers by Vincent Van Gogh 1888 Philadelphia Museum of Art)

When I was in art school back in the
late 1970's, I was most fascinated by the Czech painter Alphonse Mucha. Here is a wikipedia article. His work and the period of Art Nouveau is not in style any more but in the 70's it was seen in typographical design, illustration, advertising, and product design. 
I could go to much effort showing examples of the style but I won't do that here because I am discussing my style and influences. 
In art school I LOVED to draw. Life drawing from a model was my favorite class.

(right and left, Alphonse Mucha 1897)

I would rather sit on an uncomfortable wooden art stool drawing from a live model than eat or sleep. And I did that for several years, depriving myself of food or sleep, Yes really!
Not an exaggeration. I think I loved the work of Alphonse Mucha so much because I wanted to emulate his graceful line work. His figures, nature backgrounds, fabric drapery and graceful design were all the rage in illustration art at the time. What has remained with me is the love of line and shape. Art Nouveau style sinuous lines and negative positive play of shapes became part of my innate style. It's a very commercial style and I admired it in my early illustration days. I think I am moving away from it now but it has heavily influenced how I compose and draw flower paintings.

(Below is Maggie's Sunflower by Georgia OKeeffe 1937)

I will show an early sunflower painting of mine, I think it maybe dates back to 2006 but it does show that influence that I still have from the Czech artist working in Paris in the late 1800s, Alphonse Mucha.