7/3/13

Drawing: Meet me in the Garden (and a book on Gustav Klimt's Drawings & Watercolors)

Meet me in the Garden 7.5x6 Graphite drawing  sold
This drawing is available in my Etsy Shop.
My son gave me Ranier Metzger's book on Gustav Klimt's drawings and watercolors a few years ago, and I still get so inspired every time I pull it off the shelf. The format of the book is small and thick (see it below). I wish it were published in a larger format to study the beautifully reproduced art, with bigger text. But, that might have been too unwieldy since the book is 400 pages. Squinty fonts aside, I still love this book. It reminds me that drawing and sketching is excellent practice and it's quick. No time for art today? Sketch something! 

Looking at Klimt always makes me want to draw.
I've always been a big Klimt fan, and I'm continually bewildered by his sense of design, composition and his use of pattern. His big paintings lead your eye to areas of richly detailed ornamentation,  right up against passages of quiet color, or softly rendered realism.  I saw five of his paintings in Los Angeles in 2006, from the collection of Ferdinand and Adele Bloche-Bauer.  The scale [they are huge] and brilliance of his work in person is impossible to duplicate in print.  

I love this book. 400 pages of drawings and essays.
This book is insightful, because it's primary focus is on his drawings. There is an unfussy looseness of line which, I think, offers us a keyhole of comprehension; you can see through the line-work to his process, and the personalities of his models are visible in their carriage & expressions, so it's like sitting in the studio, watching him work.   These drawings and sketches were never meant for the public, since they are preparations and studies for larger work. But lucky for us, they document his process and speak to his conviction at honing his skills. He did hundreds of drawings before starting a painting (see the video below from the curator of drawings at The Getty Museum).

Flipping through Klimt's drawings puts me in a state of awe, and urges me to work harder... I can't help but reach for a pencil & paper. What are your favorite art books for inspiration and insight into process?

Beautiful figure drawings

Preparatory sketches for murals

Lettering and ink drawings for poster designs

Gorgeous sketches from his early career


One of the very few drawings in the book with watercolor applied.
I bet Klimt did a lot of these, and I'd love to see more.

The senior curator of the Getty Museum talks about Klimt's drawings in this five minute video snippet called The Magic of Line.  If you're reading this in an email or via a feed, and the video doesn't show, you can see it here.

Art Quote
The history of Viennese art produced two notable competitors in this game; Oskar Kokoschka and Egon Schiele. Klimt [1862-1918] was touchingly supportive of both of them. Kokoschka, born in 1886, came under his wing one year earlier than Schiele, born in 1890, and both were given a major boost to their careers by the Kunstschau - Kokoschka by that of 1908, Schiele by that of 1909. 'We are duty bound to give great talent the chance to express itself," Klimt is reported to have said in defense of Kokoschka's Wild Gallery at the Kunstschau. "Oskar Kokoschka is the most talented artist of the young generation. And even were we to run the risk of having our Kunstschau demolished; if it had been, then we would be ruined. But we would have done our duty."
The Self & the Ego: Klimt, Schiele and Kokoschka, Ranier Metzger

6 comments:

Dan Kent said...

Sorry I haven't commented in so long - your work is magnificent as always. I love what you do. Your mention of Klimt makes me think of Egon Schiele whom I worship. I will have to check out Kokoschka - I am not familiar with him.

RoseAnn Hayes said...

I LOVE reading your blog because you so often talk about the process, the preparation - such an important part of creating. It takes longer than the actual painting, and sometimes I get impatient with it, but your blog helps me remember how important it is, and that we should enjoy the process, as well as the final painting steps.
I envy every single piece of art that you create. I've been following your art for years now, and in my eyes, you never hit a wrong note. You're amazing.

Cristiane Marino said...

Hi Belinda,

This post is wonderful!
I loved the book and the video, thank you very much for sharing.
But your drawing is amazing...
I'm always visiting you, but I haven't commented lately.
Your work is gorgeous as always.
Have a nice weekend.

Belinda Del Pesco said...

@Dan, no need to apologize, my friend. I'm always happy to have you visit, but life is busy. :) And yes, do check out Kokoschka - those three (Klimt, Schiele and Kokoschka) were pals. :)

Belinda Del Pesco said...

@RoseAnn - Thanks so much for your enthusiasm and encouragement. I'm blushing and grinning that we've connected over art here in the blogosphere. I raise my morning coffee cup in your direction, and clink paintbrushes with you. :)

Belinda Del Pesco said...

@Cristiane - thanks for the sweet comment and your kind words. Inspiration is easier to find online, compared to the previous generation of artists, and I love to share the little gems as I stumble upon them. I'm glad you liked the book and the video clip. :)