Thursday, May 19, 2016

Art as Inspiration

Persephine 1844 by Hiram Powers 
Let's discuss Art shall we? And art as inspiration?
I've been doing a series of small work in fabric in the style of well known painters. Inspired by their art. At my recent visit to the BMA I saw many works by artists also inspired by other artists.

Inspiration! It's all around us.
Inspired by, is not the same as copying. We see quilts in shows that are almost direct copies of someone else's quilt. They are not inspiring. It's when you study a style and then take it in a new direction that it's personal and interesting and respectful.

I took pics of the statue from many angles and plan to learn shadows and highlights from it. 
Rembrandt Peale
The Romanticism movement (excerpt)
"both emotion and the mind of the artist were deemed authentic sources of authentic experience...might draw upon to create meaningful works of art"

Lovely. Delicate. Almost photo like in it's realism.
The shading and highlights of the pearls.

Luminous skin, gold fabric. It was framed in an ornate gold carved frame... this one. Of someone's mother...

Now that's a way to respect your painting.
You can click on any image to see more detail.

Next up is the Tiffany glass exhibit. The use of color and luminosity in everyday objects as well as art... imagine all the quilt designs you can make from this column...

How about this vanity from the 1920's?

I really love the Art Deco and Art Nouveau period.

Living with gracious lines. (another selfie there)

What do you think inspired the maker? And what inspired Tiffany?

The following pic is a reading chair with lamp on wheels from the 1800's. The modern artist used this as inspiration to design their reading chair on "wheels"

Severini  1912  Dancer at Pigalles
Behold this painting done in the style of the Futurists.
Their catchword was Simultaneity. "All perceptions of reality are shaped by the dynamic effects of time perceivable only through intuition"

This small work resonated with the flamingo lover in me.

Can't you see flamingos? I love the idea of abstracting flamingo lines into something like this... in my style of course, in fabric of course. He was inspired by those who came before him, and by his own perceptions.

click on the image to read the card.
Paul Klee 1937

Klee is one of my favorite artists and I made a fabric piece in the STAT collection based on his work.

 This seemingly whimsical piece titled Traveling Circus was made the same year the Nazi's gathered up 102 of his paintings and called them Degenerate Art, then destroyed them.

I love his cube like art and didn't realize til I saw this in person, that he also worked in the pointillism style.

Many colored dots leading your eye to see one color. Rich, varied, painstakingly applied with brush tip.

The emotions, and the interpretation of humans...
Despite the censorship and horrors that followed soon after this was made.

Lucky for us, for me as an artist, some paintings survived one person's judgement of what art was 'acceptable' and what must be destroyed.

 I fear censorship.

My hope is that we continue to allow each other to have different opinions.

I just watched the movie "Monuments Men" and am still heavily effected by the scope of what I saw. I thank the brave souls who worked to save art. Art is our humanity, and it speaks to our souls differently.
Viva la difference.


  1. Ah, maybe I need to learn from you! Never thought about taking pictures of the statues and learning about shadows.

  2. Oh Oh OH! I want that reading chair with the wheel! I could use it when I am looking at my quilt magazines and a multitude of dogs want to be in (or out) or in again. Just wheel my self over to the door. No getting up!

  3. An inspiring discussion about inspiration. Thanks.

  4. Another moving movie to see is the Rape of Europa. The precursor to Monument Men. I think you'll enjoy it.
    Great blog post.

  5. Your post reminds me of how much we quilters can learn from and be influenced by the wide variety of art we see in art museums. I need to make a point to get out to a few exhibits and "feed the well."

  6. Thanks for sharing inspirational art in so many styles. While I have always been drawn to realism, I'm trying to learn from bolder 20th century art styles as well and venture into the land of the whimsical and the abstract.

  7. Thanks for your indepth post about art!
    Freedom to create! without being judged!
    Creativity influeces how we learn and see things!
    Thanks LeeAnna for reminding us!

  8. Very inspiring post and thoughts that make me reflect on art and on how we approach the world! Thanks for sharing!!

  9. Very thoughtful piece. I read Monuments Men and found it fascinating. I'm wondering what happened to the pile of artworks found in that apartment in Germany in the last 5 years or so. You picked some wonderful art to share with us too. BMA = Baltimore Museum of Art?

    1. Yes, both the Baltimore M of Art and the Walters in Baltimore are worth a trip! I hear there's also a Barbie museum... haven't been yet. L.A.