Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Helen Frankenthaler Passes Away

I was just reading about Helen Frankenthaler, who sadly passed away in December: http://www.guardian.co.uk/artanddesign/2011/dec/28/helen-frankenthaler   Of course, I have always admired her work;  she was a great painter and a role model.  To my surprise, they write that she was often compared with John Marin, an earlier painter of atmospheric colour and sensitive line.  I never made that connection.  His work I passionately loved, and when I was getting started I poured over reproductions of his landscapes and cityscapes.  This is one of his watercolours:

Thursday, February 09, 2012

About Looking at Paintings

I find it hard to say what I like or dislike about paintings.  One thing I have noticed, though, is that I find sentimentality embarrassing.  Sentimentality I would describe as the too-obvious pulling at the viewer's heartstrings. I want a deeper emotion than that.
A treatment of a subject that is different from what I have seen before always gets my admiration and interest.  I don't mean something ugly but more a unique way of seeing.  Also I look for the honest commitment of the artist - energy put in, coming from the urgent need or drive to create.