Category Archives: Art

Creative Juice #106

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Creative Juice #106

These will knock your socks off:

In the Meme Time: Your Personal Best is Good Enough

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Better Prolific than Perfect

Guest Post: “The Hand of God” by Auguste Rodin from The Joy of Museums

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Thank you to The Joy of Museums for this article.

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“The Hand of God” by Auguste Rodin

“The Hand of God” was modeled by Auguste Rodin and attempts to compare the art of sculpture to the divine process of creation. A right hand, emerging from the earth, holds a lump of clay from which two struggling emergent figures, Adam and Eve, have been modeled.

The work presents Adam and Eve entwined in a fetal position and emerging from a lump of earth cradled in God’s hand. Rodin said,

 “When God created the world, it is modelling, he must have thought …”  

In this sculpture, Rodin depicts this metaphor of God’s hand cradles the material from which male and female emerge.

To continue reading the article, click here.

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Josef and Anni Albers, German-American Artistic Power Couple

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Even if you don’t recognize Josef Alber’s name, you’ve probably seen some of his paintings of colorful squares.

Josef Albers (1888–1976) was a teacher, writer, painter, and color theorist, best known for the Homages to the Square he painted between 1950 and 1976 and for his innovative 1963 publication (at age 75) Interaction of Color. Anni Albers (1899–1994) was a textile designer, weaver, writer, and printmaker who regarded fabrics as an art form, both in their functional roles and as wall hangings. Together, they influenced modern art in both Germany and the United States.

The couple met in Weimar, Germany in 1922 at the Bauhaus. Founded three years earlier, the Bauhaus transformed modern design and emphasized the relationship between art, architecture, and crafts.

Before enrolling as a student at the Bauhaus in 1920, Josef taught in an elementary school; then, following studies in Berlin, he became an art instructor.

At the Bauhaus, he started to make glass assemblages from trash he found at the Weimar town dump and from stained glass; he then made sandblasted glass constructions and designed large stained-glass windows for houses and buildings. He also designed furniture and household objects.

In 1925, he was the first Bauhaus student to be asked to join the faculty. In the late 1920s, he took photographs and made photo-collages documenting Bauhaus life.

Throughout Annelise Elsa Frieda Fleischmann’s childhood in Berlin, she had been encouraged by her parents to study drawing and painting. But she rebelled against her privileged upbringing by entering the Bauhaus in 1922. She enrolled in the weaving workshop because it was the only course of study open to her.

She and Josef, eleven years apart in age, met shortly after her arrival in Weimar. They were married in Berlin in 1925—and Annelise Fleischmann became Anni Albers.

At the Bauhaus, Anni experimented with new materials for weaving and became a bold abstract artist. She used straight lines and solid colors to make works on paper and wall hangings. In her functional textiles she experimented with metallic thread and horsehair as well as traditional yarns.

In 1925 the Bauhaus moved to the city of Dessau to a building designed by Walter Gropius, the architect who had founded the school. In November, 1933, the Bauhaus shut its doors rather than abide by the restrictions of the Nazis, and Josef and Anni Albers were invited to the United States when Josef was asked to design the curriculum at the newly established Black Mountain College in North Carolina. They remained at Black Mountain until 1949, while Josef continued his exploration of a range of printmaking techniques, took off as an abstract painter, and became an ever more influential teacher who wrote about the arts and education. Anni made extraordinary weavings, developed new textiles, and taught, while also writing essays on design that reflected her independent and passionate vision. Meanwhile, the Alberses began making frequent trips to Mexico, a country that captivated their imagination and had a strong effect on their art.

In 1950, the Alberses moved to Connecticut. From 1950 to 1958, Josef Albers was chairman of the Department of Design at the Yale University School of Art. There, and as guest teacher at art schools throughout North and South America and in Europe, he trained a whole new generation of art teachers.

In 2013, to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Interaction of Color, Yale released an interactive iPad app based on the principles of the book:

In 1971, Josef Albers was the first living artist ever to be honored with a solo retrospective at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. Also that year, Josef Albers established a not-for-profit organization to further “the revelation and evocation of vision through art.” Today, The Josef and Anni Albers Foundation is devoted to preserving and promoting the enduring achievements of both Josef and Anni Albers, and the aesthetic and philosophical principles by which they lived. Most of the information for this article came from their website, where photos of their work can be viewed. (You can even purchase kits to make some of Anni’s jewelry designs.)

At the time of his death in New Haven, Connecticut in 1976, Josef was still working on his Homages to the Square and his Structural Constellations, deceptively simple compositions in which straight lines create illusory forms, and which became the basis of prints, drawings, and large wall reliefs on public buildings all over the world.

While Josef taught at Yale, Anni Albers continued to weave, design, and write. In 1963 she began to explore printmaking and experimented with the medium in unprecedented ways while developing further as an abstract artist. Her text On Weaving was published in 1965.

Here are some of Anni’s prints, textiles, and jewelry:

The Alberses devoted themselves to their work and pursued it regardless to the trends and shifting fashions of the art world. They had an extraordinary relationship and, while never collaborating on art work other than their highly inventive Christmas cards and Easter eggs, fostered one another’s creativity and shared the profound conviction that art was central to human existence.

Following Josef’s death, Anni Albers helped oversee her husband’s legacy while expanding her own printmaking and textile design until her death in 1994.

Creative Juice #105

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Creative Juice #105

These dozen articles fill me with artistic gratitude.

The ARHtistic License Creative Playlist

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The ARHtistic License Creative Playlist

I love music playing in the background while I work, but not just any music. It has to be music I love, but not music that distracts. I could say it has to be instrumental, but that’s not true—I write and draw to songs just as well. The music doesn’t have to invoke any special mood, though I prefer mysterious melodies.

I used to input all my CDs into my iTunes, and just play music from my computer, but years ago when I switched computers, I lost all my non-Apple purchases, and I just couldn’t face downloading them again. I’ve made Genius playlists which work for me for a while, but eventually, I get tired of them.

I have a CD player in my study, and for years I put in a CD when I sat down to write. But there are problems with that strategy. There are always a few cuts I’m tired of, or which never appealed to me, or which disrupt my attention, and I have to stop working to click past them. Or the CD stops and I don’t notice because I’m so absorbed with my work. Often I listened to the same CD over and over because I didn’t want to take the time to put in a different CD.

woman typing writing programming

Photo by Startup Stock Photos on Pexels.com

I don’t subscribe to a music streaming site, which would probably be the ideal solution for people who want unlimited beautiful music to create to. I do have Amazon Prime, so I often listen to music I like there, or to their pre-compiled playlists. Their playlists have the disadvantage of including pieces I don’t care for. You can make your own playlist on Amazon Prime, which I haven’t done yet, but plan to do.

Instead, I made my own playlist on YouTube, which has its own advantages and disadvantages. On the plus side, I can share it. If you’d like to listen to it, it’s located here. (You can also subscribe to my channel. I plan to add creativity-related content eventually.) The main disadvantage is unless you pay a monthly fee (which I don’t), you have to deal with ads every video or two. You can skip most of them after five seconds, but that means you have to stop what you’re doing, go to your YouTube window, and click the little rectangle. The ads also disrupt your concentration. One other feature, which could be an advantage or a disadvantage depending on your point of view, is that you can add and delete videos from the playlist, which I intend to do as I tire of some and come across others.

YouTube Music also has a new player which I have not yet fully explored, but it looks like it could be a good thing.

Do you like to play music while you work? What sort of background music do you prefer? (I have eclectic taste in music, from classical to bluegrass to Balkan to pop.) Have you made your own playlists? Share in the comments below.

 

Creative Juice #104

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Creative Juice #104

Inspiring works of art:

 

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