Sorry for being so elusive these past few months.  Life kind of sneaks up on you and sometimes it is just not easy to be creative.  But I have been reading and observing and laying a foundation for some new work yet to come.

My good friend, Joan, also known as Joan Of Art, has been a book dealer and every once in a while she sends me a goodie.  This latest one is The Meaning of Modern Art by John Russell, written for the New York Museum of Modern Art and originally published in 1974-75.  It isn’t the kind of book that you can curl up with on a rainy day and read for hours on end like a juicy novel, but it is good to read for a while – a few pages at a time.  I am now reading about one of my favorite artists, Henri Matisse, who I believe to be an intellectual artistic genius.

He was an important member of a group of artists known as the “Fauves” which roughly translates to “wild beasts”!  I remember when I had an opportunity to study the “Fauve” artists at an exhibit in LA.  I was so enchanted by their wild colors and brushstrokes and their paintings made a searing impression on me.  These “Fauve” paintings created violent reactions from the public when they were first shown in the early 1900’s.  This was largely due because Matisse’s methods were applied not only to landscape and still life, but to the human face.  Russell says, “People very much dislike the idea that the accepted look of the human face on canvas can be dismantled and discarded.  Something of their own identity is at stake, whereas landscape and still life can be taken apart and restated with much less menace to the individual psyche.”

Do you agree that this is still true today?