Saturday, June 9, 2007

MMSM - Art

My friend, Shannon, is hosting a weekly blog carnival called "Makes Me Smile Mondays" or MMSM. Check out her blog, What About Mom? for details or to join in. The topic this week is art.

When I was in elementary school we had a lady come every 2 weeks for a program called Art Masterpiece. I don't know how widespread this program is, but I always looked forward to learning a little about the featured painting and the cooresponding style. I wish I could say I remembered all I learned, but probably the only lasting effect was an early appreciation of fine art. My favorite style (unoriginally) is french impressionism. Wikipedia, the priceless blogger resource, says this of impressionism:

"Characteristics of Impressionist painting include visible brushstrokes, open composition, emphasis on light in its changing qualities (often accentuating the effects of the passage of time), ordinary subject matter, the inclusion of movement as a crucial element of human perception and experience, and unusual visual angles."

In the spring of 2001, the Phoenix Art Museum featured a Claude Monet exhibit. Aaron & I attended together, with his parents, and pretty much announced our courtship that evening. So naturally Monet has even more meaning for me. I like all the water lilies and Japanese bridges and such, but they are not my favorite of his. A few notables for me are Sunset in Venice (right) and Woman with a Parasol (above) although I found more than one name.

I like Edward Degas a lot. (more french impressionism) His work would obviously mean more to me if I were a dancer, but I enjoy the composition, light, and perspective nonetheless. This one to the left is called Dancers in Blue.

My very favorite painter (I think) is Pierre-Auguste Renoir. The colors just stand out to me a bit more and somehow his work appeals to me more than other great artists. To the right is Dance at Bougival and to the left is Two Girls Reading.

One other artist that I find myself enjoying, even though he does not match my typical style, is Gustav Klimt. Marie wrote a lot about him on her MMSM post. I don't love all his work, even though I can appreciate it. But the odd piece here and there makes its mark on me. To the left is Portrait of a Young Woman. I also like his landscapes, to the right is called Malcesine Sul Garda. My favorite of Klimt's is his version of The Tree of Life, which is itself a favorite theme of mine.

To move on from classical fine art - I am always most impressed by the Arts & Crafts design period. This included bungalow style homes, Stickley, Roycroft, and Greene & Greene furniture, and eventually Prairie style and Frank Lloyd Wright. In California it morphed a bit into Mission style. I love the quality and simplicity of the construction, furniture (including lots of built-ins), and the beautiful handicraft work such as pottery, stained glass, copper pieces, and needlework. To quote again from Wikipedia,

"In the United States, the terms Arts and Crafts movement, American Craftsman,
or Craftsman style are often used to denote the style of architecture, interior design, and decorative arts that prevailed between the dominant eras of Art Nouveau and Art Deco, or roughly the period from 1910 to 1925."

I will include some of my favorite images from this era.

Tree of Life by William Morris - almost bought this tapestry for my living room, but Aaron & I chose something else. (Look for pictures soon!)

Love this wallpaper motif from Bradbury & Bradbury, along with many others. Based on the Glasgow Rose designs of Charles Rennie Mackintosh.

Man, they had awesome lighting then. This image is courtesy The Craftsman Homes Collection, one of my favorite sites for all things craftsman.

This is a Roycroft Magazine Stand, one of my dream purchases.


Adam & Marcy said...


You've brought back good memories to me--love the Two Girls Reading. I should have gotten out my art books but I promised myself I would work on the sparkling kitchen sink and tidy house today...


shannon said...

um, i'm thinking you meant you almost bought that print for your living room, rather than the tapestry itself? (or maybe you DID win the lottery and are holding out on me...)

i love the tree of life motif and also tapestries and rugs/kilims, etc. i spent a lot of time in egypt looking at rugs from all over the middle east and beyond. the handmade silk rugs were incredible in luminescent color.

does tiffany glass fit into the craftsman motif at all?

tarable said...

Shannon, you do have some cool textiles from Egypt in your home. You can buy a tapestry of this, a copy of the original which i think was a painting or print, but not sure. We bought a different tapestry last Christmas and have had it hanging, but I am just getting around to glamming it up with some tassels and what-not. Tiffany glass fits right into the Mission style and works with the rest too. Stained glass was very popular.

Anonymous said...

I like Tree of Life too, I used to have the "Expectation" side of it framed.

Hey Tara, I did a beauty product review on my blog today!