“The true artist, the real one, copies the picture of some great master, and follows it out not only with his eyes and hands, but with his heart and soul.” – Anonymous
This series of paintings is about the human figure, learning to see, and honoring my mother. The primary motivation for Mom as Muse of the Masters…. and Me is to find a new method for portraying the figure. Learning to draw the human body is a perennial goal of mine. Using the figure as a subject for drawing and painting improves visual judgment, helps to understand how to tell a story about a person, and can reveal something about the relationship of that person to the environment. An additional incentive is to create a plan to help me become a more thorough observer and skillful artist. Finally, I choose my mother as a subject in order to honor her long life (1919- 2017) and her amazing parenting.
I set parameters which allowed me to choose works from different movements to copy in a small, sometimes cropped format (6X6”) on wood panels using acrylic paint. The second step is to use a photo of my mother and create a larger painting utilizing the style of that artist. The size and substrate of the mother paintings vary. I start by collecting photographs that show my mother at different ages in varying environments alongside a list of artists with dissimilar styles. Most of the artists were practicing during the 20th century. I endeavor to match the date the photo was taken with the time in which the artist was working and choose the environment portrayed in the photos with the scene in each painting. For instance, Chagall painted many wedding scenes, so I chose his work to partner with my mom as a bride. Each artist’s style influenced me to move away from the photographic image and discover many different ways of working. I feel I have a better understanding of these artists and how they worked. And at the same time, I discovered more about myself and my artistic process.