Monday, August 1, 2011

Modern Art Concepts

A friend of mine has been taking the elements of modern painting and applying them to portraiture, figure painting, and the landscape.  He was trained in New York City by a Hans Hofman disciple.  In his early painting career my friend was a minimalist abstract painter.  Here is a painting done in 2011.

Rosedale Valley, Ross Skoggard 2011

This is quite a way from traditional painting.  I came from a traditional painting beginning.  Here is a recent painting of mine in which I am playing with modern painting techniques.

Captain Brock's New House, 16x20, Oil on Canvas

It seems Ross and I are coming from polar opposites towards some middle ground.  My non art school approach has been one of ceaseless experimentation, some art history reading, and time on the easel.  It seems that Hans Hofman's modern concepts originated to some degree from Paul Cezanne by way of Monet and the impressionists. These artists were concerned not with pure realism but rather making their own statement about the art they created.  For example, Monet was concerned with the effects of light from specific sources at specific times, not with the object itself.  The concept is oriented towards creativity as opposed to pure likeness.

See if you can spot some of these elements as used in the above paintings.  Look for;

Line - the use of line to show planes, define positions in space, draw attention etc.

Planes - the use of drawn planes to show depth, to attach colour changes, stacking to indicate depth.

Distortion - the changes to shapes to activate them, flatten the picture plane, or show another view point.

Visible Brush Strokes - used for emphasis or expression, unfinished to make sure the observer knows she is seeing a painting.

Paint Quality - flat painted shapes, or impasto, or modulated strokes and colours, or edges that are poorly defined (for example, a tree just stuck in the ground as opposed to appearing to grow out of the ground.

Colour - Apply a colour change where there is a plane change, indicate depth or form, add expression and life instead of employing greys .

Flattening - to shorten the picture box (a landscape into a still life for example), keep the eye inside the painting (instead of falling out of deep holes), to stay in concert with the tow dimensional canvas.

Here is a Cezanne for your reference.

A Mont St. Victoire, Paul Cezanne


  1. These are fantastic! Have you seen this article? It's so astonishing! Endangered Artists

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