Merci, Matisse!

Monday, March 3, 2014


The work of early 20th century artist Henri Matisse always has been inspiring to me even though his style is very different than my own.  He is most well known for creating bold oil paintings that resonate with bright clashing colors and uncontrolled brushstrokes.  This style, with its exuberant, emotional use of color is referred to as "fauve" which means wild beast in French.  A leader of the Parisian avant-garde, Matisse became known for Fauvism and some of the most colorful and spirited paintings of the early 20th century.

Recently I have been taking Jeanne Oliver's online art class,  Studying Under the Masters.  It's a fun course and one of the artists featured is Matisse.  After studying his technique and process, I created this work of a turn-of-the-century French woman I named Violette, after the flower and the shades of purple that she wears.  Although this is a watercolor and pencil illustration, the flamboyant colors and patterns were inspired by my study of Matisse. He often used competing patterns in his work and is celebrated  for vibrant and creative portraiture.


This piece was an insightful exercise for me.  It is exciting to look to other artists for inspiration and then integrate what I find compelling into my own style.  Merci, Matisse!

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