Thursday, March 8, 2018

Art Learning Journal: Studying Masters

More notes from my Art Learning Journal.

From the book, Matisse in the Studio:
A catalogue of an MFA, Boston show that I missed.

There is a great value in sketching works of art,
using books or visiting museums.
I notice so many aspects 
that I miss when I look without drawing.

We public art teachers were guided to teach in the 80's-90's 
by always starting with a lesson on a famous artist, 
 & analysis of reproductions of his/her work. 
Followed by hands on art.

And we made field trips to our art museum,
where students made visual notes, 
went on searches, & answered specific questions.

The book, Teaching Drawing From Art
has many rationals for teaching drawing to young people,
& for integrating fine art into lessons.
It tells us that students need to learn 
by their own experimentation,
& by studying great & varied sources of fine art.

When I taught this way, I gave room for individual invention within a style or medium. 
It wasn't just copying, oh no. 
But do I think ALL lessons should be started with fine art? NO!
An invented scene, after I took visual notes from Matisse's paintings.

If you Google: "Matisse/ Interiors in Nice/ Images"
you'll find an amazing assortment of his paintings, 
in which he integrated objects from his extensive collections
 into complex scenes.

And oh! Note his use of color!

He was a "modernist" which meant he avoided 
the "conventions of modeling, perspective & recession".
(Though I think they are somewhat present.) 
He uses a "shifting space with push & pull 
between the elements".
He thought of his own studio as a theater.

Me, I'm also captivated by the scenes that 
were outside of Matisse's windows. 
And outside windows in my own life. 
(This scene, March 5, 2015. It's similiar to today's view!)

Next for the Art Learning Journal: 
Cartooning: Philosophy & Practice by Ivan Bruneti. 


  1. Wonderful. Made me want to visit a museum.

  2. Witaj Rita. Miło mi, że byłaś u mnie i napisałaś komentarze, trochę po angielsku i trochę o polsku. To było przyjemne. Co się tyczy tego posta, to myślę, że uczniowie powinny zacząć od oglądania obrazów w muzeach. Ostatni szkic jest uroczy. Pozdrawiam i ślę buziaki ze słonecznej Polski.

  3. Rita, this is so helpful and makes me feel less like a slacker when I am doing someone else's work. Not that it ever looks like theirs! I need to remember that this is how we learn. I know this, but I forget!

    I love Matisse. I wish I could be that free. My art pal, Kate, and I are going to Toledo Art Museum for her birthday. Maybe we should take our sketchbooks!

  4. Love your work and inspiring! Comme toujours Rita:)

  5. Dear Rita - thanks for sharing your wonderful sketches as well as your art knowledge. I love the scene out your window. Very lovely friend. Hugs!

  6. How lovely it would have been to be your student! I love that first photo of your sketchbook.

    I may be visiting a museum to see a Picasso and a Degas in the near future--perhaps I will take my sketchbook.


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