Friday, August 8, 2014

Painting Sargent at the MFA

On a recent visit to the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, I discovered this young woman painting a painting by one of my favorite Boston artists, John Singer Sargent.  She was doing a wonderful job!  I couldn't resist taking a photo so that I could paint her painting Sargent.

1 comment:

Curtis Faville said...

There was a profile of Virginia Lee Burton on PBS this evening--produced in 2007.

I wrote about Burton in a blog some while back--the author of one of my favorite books from childhood--Calico, the Wonder Horse, or The Legend of Stewy Stinker. She wrote other more famous juvenile titles.

Her husband was an artist, a Greek sculptor named George Demetrios.

Burton started a small crafts guild in Lanesville, Mass (near Gloucester), called the Folly Cove Designers, which closed when she died in 1969. The building is still standing.

George told Ginny that the important thing to do with any work is to "get the big things done first" then worry about the details later.

This is something I think is good advice. The formal structure--the essence of any painting--is its main lines and interlocking masses. A painting can be very blurry and indistinct, yet still very powerful.

What is the relationship between the two works of art, and the person who is mediating between them? Why do we need the shadow of the other work on the wall to her right? What function does it serve? Why is the tarp on the floor white? Because it really was white, or because it should be lighter than the walls?

What's important? What do we really want and need to know here? What was it that you couldn't resist?