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While talent and hard work might prove sufficient to get you through art school, survival as an artist in our contemporary world demands much more. To produce anything of lasting value requires a strong belief and love for what you do, and great patience. Establishing one’s identity as a serious artist takes time, and then it requires fortitude to maintain that identity with any kind of integrity. — David Blackwood, 1992

I caught the bus into the city and the Fine Arts library at Auckland Uni.  Here I found books I could not get in the local community libraries.  Books even in French and German.  Some translated into English… I read and took notes ( from the English written ones), and went to  a lecture on Russian constructivism with my niece who is studying Art History.  So much fun.

Working from Daumiers illustrations

Working from Daumier's illustrations

It was brilliant to see Daumiers style from simple lines drawings that showed so much, to line and tone to this mad running line that characterised his final style.

I felt really at home with this man and his art style and I want to explore his paintings now.

Looking at Matisse AND seeing if I can use website images to create other artists posts on my blog…

I love the strong line Matisse uses here.  It encourages me to be confident and look carefully, but draw sparingly.

He shows a form and shape that I find compelling.  I am looking forward to reading more on Matisse and how that will inform what I do.

© The Bridgeman Art Library – London, New York, Paris.

I am loving reading the books on the book list.  A particular favourite at the moment is:

“To enjoy these works we must have a fresh mind, one which is ready to catch every hint and to respond to every hidden harmony, a mind most of all, not cluttered up with long high-sounding words and ready-made phrases…” pg 33

“The Story of Art”.  It enabled me to chat away last Monday evening to a niece who is doing Classical Studies at uni. here in Auckland.  She loved the colour plates and poured over them, pointing out what she is learning.

I find this book eminently readable.  It uses accessible language and explains the story of art in an interesting way.  I found it fascinating learning about the development of how the face and head was portrayed. From two left feet, a profile face with a full-face eye looking out at you and no foreshortening, in early Egyptian art, (1), to Greek art with the use of foreshortening, (2), though still using the convention of a beautiful face rather than taking the models likeness,(3).  Then towards the end of the fourth century BC, the Greeks began to give a models likeness.”they learned how to size the workings of the individual soul, the particular character of a physiognomy, and to make portraits in our sense of the word”, (4).

(1), pg 52

(2), pg 67

(3), pg 83-84

(4), pg 86

I'm an artist, teacher, percussionist, and mother currently studying for an Honours BA in Creative Arts with OCA, UK.