Patrick Caulfield (1936–2005)

Patrick Caulfield (1936–2005)

Artnetcom. 2016. Artnetcom. [Online]. [11 July 2016]. Available from:

 “Patrick Caulfield was an English painter and printmaker associated with the Pop Art movement, known for bold images created in a strikingly graphic style. Employing references to Photorealism, his paintings are characterized by their flat planes of color and cartoonish black outlines, creating an uncomfortable ambiguity between the real and the illusionary.”


Tateorguk. 2016. Tate. [Online]. [11 July 2016]. Available from:

Patrick Caulfield was mentioned in the Drawing 1 coursebook in regard to positive/negative space. It is interesting to see how reduced the still life can be, now that I am in the middle of this “intimacy” chapter. I always look for too much detail and too complicated compositions.  Here the image is reduced to the shape, a bold outline and negative space. This will be an inspiration for simplicity .


Yann Kebbi b. 1987

Yann Kebbi is a French artist and illustrator, born in 1987. He lives and works in Paris. He has participated in many international exhibitions as well as creating illustrations for many major international newspapers and magazines like The New Yorker and GQ among many others. He has also published four books, the last one called AMERICANINE, A Haute Dog in New York, 2015.

The following illustrations are  made up til 2015 and downloaded from: Blogspotpt. 2016. Blogspotpt. [Online]. [11 July 2016]. Available from:

Some newer works after 2015, from, drawings or ink or etching:

Colourful, dynamic, scribbled, quick sketches with interesting angles and often surprising differences in proportion. A lot of humour! Shapes overlapping or transparent. What I mostly want to learn from looking at these illustrations is the free, flowing, spontaneous character, no fear of “mistakes” . I would like to learn to keep this unpolished, dynamic character of the drawings and will experiment in this direction.


Ginny Grayson b. 1967

I simply love to discover the drawings of artist Ginny Grayson. They have this unpolished, unfinished character that express everything so simply. The mood and expression of the  humans or animal becomes clear, although we rarely see a detailed face. Some have a line through the faces, others are covered by a mask, an arm casually thrown over or a scribble , others just leave the face off the margin of the paper.

Ginny Grayson was born in 1967 in New Zealand and is currently teaching in Melbourne.

Her website offers little detail about her life, but a very very impressive list of exhibitions she has taken part in.

These are some of her drawings from her website as well:

There is a slight melancholy , or poetic character to many images.

Ginny Grayson: “Of all my drawings, my preference has always been for the works that at first glance look more like a smudge or pile of dust – then the form emerges, slowly becoming recognisable. I have come to see this, as related to an instinctual desire for the subject to simultaneously be there and yet not there; to somehow be emerging and receding at the same time. Like many artists, I’m equally attracted to ‘abstraction’ and representation, and the tension that lies in the space between.” from the exhibition ‘Eyes still move when they’re closed…’ 2011.

Ginnygraysoncom. 2016. Ginnygraysoncom. [Online]. [11 July 2016]. Available from:

Edouard Vuillard (1868 – 1940)

Edouard Vuillard (1868 – 1940)

Joanne has recommended to take a look at Edouard Vuillards work for this “Intimacy” chapter. I will approach it with some short information situating the artist and some key points of his work that I found beautifully summarized on the following website:

Theartstoryorg. 2016. The Art Story. [Online]. [11 July 2016]. Available from:


Édouard Vuillard was a member of the Symbolist group known as Les Nabis (from the Hebrew and Arabic term for “prophets” and, by extension, the artist as the “seer” who reveals the invisible). However, he was less drawn to the mystical aspects of the group and more drawn to fashionable private venues where philosophical discussions about poetry, music, theatre, and the occult occurred. Because of his preference for the painting of interior and domestic scenes, he is often referred to as an “intimist,” along with his friend Pierre Bonnard. He executed some of these “intimist” works in small scale, while others were conceived on a much larger scale made for the interiors of the people who commissioned the work.

Key Ideas

For Vuillard, reticent by nature, the subject of the interior served as a symbol for the interior self, separate from the rest of the world. This is an aspect of a modernist idea – the notion that one’s personal viewpoint, a subjective view of reality, can gain insight into the truth.
As a Symbolist painter and part of the fin-de-siècle escape into the aesthetic, Vuillard employed flat patterns into which his figures were embedded in order to express both emotion and ideas. This kind of abstract painting evolved to communicate ideas not expressible through traditional painterly means. Color and shape could represent experiences that are difficult to express in words.
Although the Symbolists were, in general, anti-utilitarian (and more art-for-art’s sake), Vuillard created large-scale screens and murals that were architectural in conception (and part of the “applied arts”). These large-scale works – intended for the use of interior decoration – linked him to other modernists’ search for the “total work of art” (the Gesamtkunstwerk) that would help unify society, but updated it to function in contemporary interior spaces.


Images from: Articedu. 2016. Articedu. [Online]. [11 July 2016]. Available from:


30999_387581The Game of Checkers1899,Color lithograph on greyish-ivory laid paper, 374 x 282 mm (image); 446 x 347 mm (sheet)

81189_2007043Album Cover for Landscapes and Interiors1899,Color lithograph on grayish-ivory laid China paper, 523 x 402 mm (image); 607 x 442 mm (sheet)

28668_227420The Avenue, plate two from Landscapes and Interiors1899,Color lithograph on grayish-ivory China paper, 311 x 411 mm (image); 334 x 442 mm (sheet)

246286_3796157Interior with Pink Wallpaper III, plate seven from Landscapes and Interiors1899,Color lithograph on grayish-ivory China paper,342 x 275 mm (image); 374 x 300 mm (sheet)

5554_1649758Still Life with Jug and Knife1888/89,Oil on canvas,12 x 15 1/2 in. (30.5 x 39.4 cm)
Inscribed lower left: E. Vuillard

3408_1617023Oil on cardboard28 3/4 x 24 1/2 in. ,(76 x 62.4 cm),Signed and dated, l.l.: “E Vuillard 1905”

Some more paintings from the Exhibition in Musee D’Orsay , Paris, 2004- the vastest Edouard Vuillard exhibition to date with 280 exhibits dispalyed:

Musee-orsayfr. 2016. Musee-orsayfr. [Online]. [11 July 2016]. Available from:

0bd5acfb36Edouard Vuillard Autoportrait à la canne et au canotier

Le déjeuner, Le déjeuner du matin, en 1903
I008014Au lit, en 1891, huile sur toile
I069341Edouard Vuillard,Le placard à linge,vers 1893huile sur carton,H. 0.265 ; L. 0.215musée d’Orsay, Paris, France
tmp_50479cd09152f5f000bfdc161872a9b5Edouard Vuillard,La ravaudeuse, en 1891, huile sur cartonH. 0.27 ; L. 0.215, musée d’Orsay, Paris, France©photo musée d’Orsay


tmp_39e60296ec1ed35bf5de2393aa3e92e9Edouard Vuillard,Bouquet d’anémones blanches, vers 1909, peinture à la colle sur papier, contrecollé sur cartonH. 0.46 ; L. 0.56musée d’Orsay, Paris, France©photo musée d’Orsay / rmn

I018191Edouard Vuillard, Bouquet de soucis sur la cheminée, vers 1930pastel sur papier beigeH. 0.257 ; L. 0.326musée d’Orsay, Paris, France©photo musée d’Orsay / rm


It is interesting for me to discover how the patterns and interior scenes stand in the foreground of both portraits and still life. The bouquets of flowers in vases are not “placed” with some other still life objects, bottles, fruits etc, but shown in their surrounding with more attention to the feel of the room. The portraits are also rather studies of the room and patterns. Often these patterns are extremely detailed and intricate, but then there are still unfinished or quickly scribbled parts that leave a sense of spontaneity and movement. This is something I definitely would like to let flow into my own drawings- the balance between detail and letting detail out.

Paul Cezanne ( 1839 – 1906)



Paul Cezannes work was fundamental for the development of Modern Art his work paved the way to Cubism and from there abstract art. A retrospective exhibition in 1907 in Paris strongly affected Pablo Picasso and George Braque among others. Picasso has said about Paul Cezanne “he was my one and only master”


I wanted to take a closer look at Paul Cezannes work to understand what differenciated it from other Impressionist painters. I watched two interesting documentaries on You Tube: “Cezanne en Provence” from National Geographic news , by Jackson Frost and Norman Allen, and “The Post- Impressionists: Cezanne “ by David Manson. Here are some notes from what I learned.

Paul Cezanne grew up in Provence , with a lot of love for his home country and it’s special light, a motive that Cezanne painted all his life, especially the mountain Mont St Victoire that figures in about 60 of Cezannes art works.


His childhood friend Emile Zola left for Paris and eventually, after studying law for a short while because of his fathers wish, Paul Cezanne joins him there in 1861 to study the masters. He gets refused numerous times from the Ecole des Beaux Arts but continues studying on his own.

Paul Cezanne did not fit in in Paris, he was very much the country man, spoke with a strong accent and wore Provencal dress.

He developed admiration for Delacroix paintings, dramatic and dark and use of thick paint. So in his earlier paintings Cezanne also uses thick, dark , bold paint for dark subjects like abduction and murder, all which changed completely later on.

He repeatedly submitted his work to “the Salon” but there innovation was not appreciated and he got rejected time upon time, just as the other fellow young unknown artists Claude Monet, Auguste Renoir, Edgar Degas, Camille Pissaro , who later became known as the Impressionists.

In 1870 at the start of the Franco- Prussian war, Cezanne fled Paris back to Provence where he settled in L’Estaque with his model, lover and life long companion Hortense, who two years later gave birth to their son Paul, kept secret from Cezannes father for another decade.

In L”Estaque Cezanne starts painting landscapes, painting the sea and his colors slowly become lighter. He develops more and more his own style, the purity of shapes becomes apparent. Cezanne developed a friendship with Camille Pissaro and influenced by him started using lighter colours, shorter brushstrokes and learned to paint outside.


He draws very little under the paint, but works with patches of colour to model a form.

In 1874 Claude Monet organized and independent Impressionist exhibition in Paris, free from the “Salon” including works of Degas, Renoir, Cezanne. It was extremely popular but savaged by the critics, and most criticized of them all was Paul Cezanne. He was one step further in rebelliousness than the others in both form and content. He showed “Modern Olympia” that was not taken seriously .


His childhood friend Emile Zola was everything that Cezanne was not- wealthy, popular, influential. In 1886 Zola publishes the novel “L’Oevre” about an artist who is a failure, a barely concealed portrait of Cezanne. This is the end of their friendship.

Cezanne continues to paint all the time, he is fiercely pursuing his artistic vision: “construction after nature”. He was CONSTRUCTING with paint, going back to the basic fundamentals as a new way, and building up the picture with color. His work is very organized, researching. He wanted to paint the underlying FORMS of nature. All things that can be painted can be reduced to three geometric solids: the cone, the cylinder and the sphere. This idea is taken up by Picasso and Braque and further developed into Cubism.

Cezanne conveyed a sense of perspective only using the color and the thickness of the paint, building the illusion of depth through the use of colour. This is a profoundly new approach.

Also in his portraits, he is more concerned with the use of colours as a subject than with the individual expression of the model, his wife for example who often modeled for him. The woman becomes a physical structure and colour.

In the player of cards he uses strong diagonals, here again the figures become part of the structure and the arrangement of the picture is the main subject.


In 1890 he paints “The kitchen table” with a great innovation: the technique of multiple viewpoints. Since the Renaissance our seeing has been conditioned by the understanding of perspective and proportions. This is a whole new way of seeing.


The basket is seen from the front, the table top from above.

In 1895 an art dealer organized Cezanne’s first one man exhibition, his art had matured and was received by critics more warmly.

In the great Bathers the landscape becomes human. Cezanne integrates the human figures in the nature, treating the people as forms, as part of a landscape with diagonal trees and diagonal figures.



In 1906 Paul Cezanne passes away, and Picasso paints Les Demoiselles D’Avignon inspired by the great Bathers , which together with Braque’s paintings is considered the beginning of Cubism.


I have finally understood how Cezanne’s work was different from his contemporaries and what was so revolutionary in this new way of seeing- the multiple perspective, the illusion of depth through colours alone, the reduction of any forms to the geometrical basics. This text got a little too long and includes maybe too much biography, but I feel like I have learned something fundamental to seeing Modern Art in the context of the time, so it was definitely worth it.









Georgia O’Keeffe (1887-1986)


While researching Still Life and hearing the lecture about the development of Still Life in America, I got intrigued by the flower paintings by Georgia O’Keeffe , and decided to take a closer look at her art here.

Georgia O ‘Keeffe was originally from Wisconsin, but it was in New Mexico that she discovered a place where she wanted to come back and paint for over 40 years. “As soon as I saw it , it was my country”

Nature was her subject and this landscape of New Mexico became key to her work.

As an art student she was very talented and could easily copy the masters, but she was not interested.In 1915 she painted a series of abstracts with nature as her point of departure, new bold and unusual paintings.

Alfred Stieglitz who was already established as a photographer saw them , became very enthusiastic and showed 10 of them in a group show in 1916. The next year he organized Georgia O’Keeffe’ s first solo show in Gallery 291 in New York.

Stieglitz and Georgia O’Keeffe fell in love, they later married and lived in New York City, inspiring and influencing each others work.

Stieglitz took more than 300 photographs of Georgia O’Keeffe , many intimate, and when he showed them publicly he created an image of her as a sexual and sensual woman.

Between 1918 – 1923 Georgia O’Keeffe painted some of the most original and significant abstractions of American art. But when she showed a solo show with 200 pieces of art, critics described her work as sexual, influenced by the image created by Stieglitz photographs.

She then turned deliberately to recognizable subjects in an original fusion of abstract and real.

In the 1920’s her work earned a lot of recognition, it was agreat success.

When Stieglitz passed away in 1946, she moved to New Mexico- her spiritual home where she painted til her death in 1986.

According to Wikipedia, O’Keeffe has been recognized as the “Mother of American Modernism”.

What attracts me to the flower paintings  is the very bold cropping and the non existance of detail. It is as far away as possible from my too cramped and detailed sketch of objects floating on a huge white paper. The whole image is a flowing of colour and line, but anyway conveys the beauty, characteristics and feeling of the different flowers. I want to sketch some flowers in spired by Georgia O’Keeffe to overcome my fear of cropping and of leaving out detail and learn to focus on the colour and feeling of the subject without getting lost in outline and detail.