I say “prophetic,” because the contributors to the catalogue, Dr. Hu Shih, Pearl S. Buck, Albert C. Barnes, and Violette de Mazia, demonstrated how artists speak to each other across time and place.
This is what making connections is all about.
My “connections” impressed some of you. One reader said she admired how I “unified so many artists and schools of painting.” While not easy, I now see connections relatively quickly because I have been looking at and studying works of art for a very long time.
You can do it, too, with practice.
Every time you see a work of art, every time you visit a museum or gallery, you are storing visual ideas. If you study the traditions for visual information rather than historical, biographical, or illustrative information, you will amass the relevant background that helps you make the connections.
Let’s try the “Yes, But” analysis again.
Below you will see Table and Flowers, a painting Ed Loper completed in 2009.
|Edward L. Loper, Sr., Table and Flowers, Oil on canvas, 2009, Collection of Janet and Edward L. Loper, Sr.|
What visual ideas did Ed Loper use to make this painting? What is the resulting picture idea?
First, as always, look at the painting.
If you find it helpful, turn it upside down:
List what you see.
(Please make your list before you read any further).
Now compare your list to my list:
|Seurat, The Models, 1886-88, Barnes|
|Renoir, Bather, c. 1917-18, PMA|
|Bonnard,Garden, c. 1937, Musée du Petit Palais|
However, if you now compare this Bonnard to the Loper, you will see a closer relationship:
|Bonnard, Bowl and Basket of Fruits, 1944, Private Collection|
|Renoir, Terrace at Cagnes, c. 1905-06, Bridgestone Museum of Art, Tokyo|
|Bonnard, Peaches and Grapes on a Red Tablecloth, 1943, Private Collection|
Notice again how Bonnard achieves color drama by reducing, not increasing, color chording. He achieves luminosity via contrasts rather than via small dabs of juxtaposed colors.
Loper’s luminosity results from dabs of intense, juxtaposed color along with layering of color on color in order to build structurally solid color volumes that lure, beguile, and captivate the eye.
Lynn Luft, a reader of this blog, says it this way: “Mr. Loper paints in a very complex style, using more than one type of stroke, but the effect for me is like a symphony from the Romantic period or even a later Russian composition. The different methods flow together with a definite reason that he has incorporated after years of study and painting. There is an immediate continuing sense of underlying forceful rhythm in his lines and spaces, but he has purposefully inserted melodic interludes of colors everywhere and accentuated the junctures very carefully to send our eyes to other areas of the painting, which will often repeat his theme with variations, some cool or quiet and others warm and intense. When the whole work is absorbed from a distance, it becomes the fourth movement of later Beethoven or Tchaikovsky, almost thundering its message.”
Lynn eloquently summarizes what I just said.
I’d like you to try to use the “Yes, But” tool.
I know it is late August, and you are relaxing and not wanting to think too hard, but please do the following exercise.
Send me your response, and I will reward you with a 2002 calendar of Ed Loper’s paintings. I know you can’t use an old calendar, but I also know you will find the 12 reproductions of Loper paintings worth framing or studying and enjoying. This edition also includes Ed Loper quotes describing his philosophy, teaching, and appreciation of art.
|Loper, Houses and Hotel, 2000, Private Collection|
|Cezanne, Chateau Noir, 1904-06, MoMA|