Musing about Henri Matisse

When I was a lot younger and in art school, Henri Matisse was one of my hero's. I particularly loved his drawings, also the drawings/watercolours of Auguste Rodin. Maybe its being French , but they both excelled in the simple line, "European line" as my sculpture teacher at RISD used to say. At the time I had no idea what he was talking about, having lived now in the US ,for half my life I do get it, in a way.

There is a seemingly effortlessness in a Matisse drawings, you know of course that he did many drawings, who knows how many, it took to achieve the one we get to see.

Having lived half my life in Great Britain, there seemed to be a heaviness in a lot of British artists work, exemplified for me by Frank Auerbach. He did a lot of portraits and would use oil paint squeezed straight from the tube. I assume the model sat and posed for weeks, as he would go over and over, making different lines and building up a belabored painting. One would never look at an Auerbach painting and say effortless in the same way as a Matisse drawing.

As you may realize, I prefer the lighter touch of Matisse, although to be fair David Hockney, patently a Brit also has something of the light touch in his drawings, so maybe being French is irrelevant. Anyway what I am trying to say is that in my work I aim for effortlessness. I want to see the fresh original ink drawings, overlayed by a more thoughtful image, building to a balance between the two.I aim to always keep a freshness in my work, I want to be a see-saw (British vernacular) or teeter-totter (US vernacular), Matisse -Auerbach.

Here are some links to Matisse drawings and Auerbach paintings. A disclaimer comparing drawing and painting is probably ridiculous anyway.

IMG_0975 (1).jpg