by Nina Baldwin

cloud catcher*dream maker*artist

"Art touches the soul...art is communication...it reaches out from the canvas and passes through the eyes of the viewer right into his heart where it can leave an imprint of beauty that can make the spirit sing."
Nina Baldwin ...

Welcome to Artscapes!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Kandinsky, the Father of Abstract Art














Kandinsky is credited with painting the first abstract works. His love of color, and intensity of color is obvious, especially in his earlier landscapes, such as the bottom image above, "Winter Landscape" from 1909. (I'll get this blogging figured out someday! Until then, please pardon the placement!) I can see the impressionistic influence in this piece, can't you? The second (from the bottom) image is of a landscape that he painted in 1913, just 4 years later..I posted it so that you could see his artistic progression in a short time.
He started painting when he was 30 years old. He was a resident of either Germany or Russia over many years, but eventually decided to live out his life in France. He became a citizen in 1939.
While in Germany, Wassily taught at the Bauhaus School of Art, a school concerned with architecture, the use of plastics, industrial fabrication and manufacture. He worked there from 1922 to 1933, when it was closed by the Nazis. During this time his work became more angular and geometric as can be witnessed in the image included above at the top (location, location!). As you can see, Wassily used many different geometric shapes and lines, employing repetition, bright, more dominant colors and lots of energy contrasting with a softer more flowing background. In viewing this painting I am reminded that Kandinsky plotted his artwork almost as if it was a musical composition. Indeed he had a theory that painting a work was akin to composing music. The layout has a logical progression to it, which helps the eye of the viewer to move around the parts of the painting, finally taking in the whole composition.
Kandinsky was a deep thinker. He had theories about art. I will talk about those tomorrow...
...to be continued...

Kandinsky's Formative Years

Wassily Kandinsky was born in 1866...to put that in perspective, that's about the time of the end of the Civil War in the United States. He was born in Moscow, where his father was a tea merchant. His parents valued the arts, both being piano players, and so encouraged young Wassily to read and play music at an early age. Music would later become a main influence in his artwork, and perhaps in the way he saw the world.

As a young adult, Wassily enrolled at Moscow University where he chose to study law and economics. This is the time of his life when he also became fascinated with spirituality, which he would later draw upon in his art. While at the university studying law, art was more of a hobby.

An exhibition he attended in 1896 in Paris of Monet's impressionistic work startled Kandinsky. He couldn't get it out of his mind. It was the first time he had observed art that didn't exactly imitate the subject matter. It was art where the painting techniques, expression, style and colors had more importance than exactly replicating reality. It was art that portrayed a quality from the soul of the artist. Kandinsky was enchanted.

...to be continued...

Friday, April 17, 2009

Kandinsky on Abstract Art

"The impossibility and, in art, the uselessness of attempting to copy an object exactly, the desire to give the object full
expression, are the impulses which drive the artist away from"literal" colouring to purely artistic aims…

The more an artist uses these
abstracted forms, the deeper and more confidently will he advance into the kingdom of the abstract. And after him will follow the gazer at his pictures, who also will have gradually acquired a greater familiarity with the language of that kingdom.

Must we then abandon utterly all material objects and paint solely in abstractions? The problem of harmonizing the appeal of the material and the non-material shows us the answer to this question. As every word spoken rouses an inner vibration, so likewise does every object represented. To deprive oneself of this possibility is to limit one's powers of expression. That is at any rate the case at present. But besides this answer to the question, there is another, and one which art can always employ to any question beginning with "must": There is no "must" in art,because art is free."

...Part II, About Painting, The Psychological Working of Color, by Wassily Kandinsky

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

WASSILY KANDINSKY at Auction

In searching the internet for Kandinsky I came across something I thought was very interesting...results of an auction (of a couple of pieces of Kandinsky's work) which took place in 1999, at Sotheby's. http://www.thecityreview.com/f99simp2.html
The website, "The City Review" (Carter B. Horsley, editor and publisher) was extremely interesting to say the least!!...it will take me a long time to take in all of the information it has...photos of structures in NYC plus notes on architecture, art auction results, massive links to anything and everything NYC including theatre, dance, old master's works, films and even a listing for "passion"! ...what more could you want??!! Check it out!

Wassily Kandinsky - "Color is a power which directly influences the soul"

WOW!! This is too beautiful to ignore...I haven't read this quote in a long time...but it touched my heart today and I thought I must share it with you here...take a moment and enjoy...let it speak to your heart!!...

This is the first in a series of quotes taken from Wassily Kandinsky's writings (which seem to be quite prolific!) speaking of color and its relationship to the soul. I will also be touching on his thoughts on abstract art in future postings."Generally speaking, colour is a power which directly influences the
soul. Colour is the keyboard, the eyes are the hammers, the soul is the
piano with many strings. The artist is the hand which plays, touching one
key or another, to cause vibrations in the soul.
IT IS EVIDENT THEREFORE THAT COLOUR HARMONY MUST REST ONLY ON A CORRESPONDING VIBRATION IN THE HUMAN SOUL; AND THIS IS ONE OF THE GUIDING PRINCIPLES OF THE INNER NEED."
...Part II, About Painting, The Psychological Working of Color, by Wassily Kandinsky

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Color is a power which directly influences the soul...Wassily Kandinsky


Thursday, April 9, 2009

THE ROBERT BRAULT READER

When I started paying more serious attention to my blog just recently, I didn't realize that one of my favorite blogs to visit would be by a poet...the fact is...and I am almost ashamed to admit it...I have never liked poetry...NEVER!!!...but on Robert Brault's blog I almost always find a snippet..or two...or ten...a pearl of wisdom for me to tuck into my heart to take out again later and relish, a second time! Thanks, Robert! http://www.robertbrault.com/

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

EFRAIN PADRO: "a photographer's guide to New Mexico"

Tonight, my husband and I attended a presentation by a new friend of mine, Efrain Padro. Efrain is a photographer of all things New Mexico, the American Southwest and also Latin America. He especially loves to shoot landscapes, architecture and the people and events of the above locales.

Efrain recently had a book published, "the photographer's guide to New Mexico". It is packed with expert advice for the photographer, as well as maps and directions to his favorite places in New Mexico to shoot.

"New Mexico offers endless possibilities for taking stunning photographs. From spectacular desert landscapes and historic missions to colorful fiestas and world-class archaeological sites, this easy-to-use guide features the best spots to photograph all the natural wonders, events, and historic places in the Land of Enchantment." (backcover)

Check out Efrain's website. It shows his extensive experience in the photo-journalism field. His images are stunning!! Efrain's website: http://www.padroimages.com/pubs.htm Enjoy!!

VAN GOGH

I received an email from a friend today. Sue sent me a link which her grandson, Noah, sent to her so she could take a break from her hectic day! What a thoughtful gesture, especially for a young one! The video is delightful and does provide a good reason for anyone to take a break, especially artists! Van Gogh's masterpieces set to music...very nice, Noah! Thank you from your Grandma's friend, Nina!
vangogh.pps
Sue is an artist also...to see her blog, go to: http://www.silversaddlearts.blogspot.com/