Looking into painting for inspiration

Sometimes the link isn’t immediately noticeable. Paintings are a great source of inspiration, even if the final result uses completely different media.

(Most of these images originated by the excellent book ‘The Shock Of The New – Art In The Century Of Change’ by Robert Hughes)

The first painting that came to mind almost instantly is Edvard Much’s ‘Madonna’ (1894-5). The use of flow of colour around the figure is particularly striking and seems to form a kind of aura.

George Seurat – ‘Port of Gravelines Channel’ (1890). I admit to not being a fan. Even though in my opinion it succeeds in transferring an emotive quality, I find this overt ‘prettiness’ and political correctness rather annoying.

Claude Monet – ‘Two Haystacks’ (1891)

Claude Monet – ‘Waterlilies’

‘Waterlilies’ might be considered a more daring proposal, as it is more difficult to distinguish the actual forms.

Vincent Van Gogh (‘The Starry Night’ and ‘Les Alpilles’). The technique and strong emotional nature are nothing short of amazing.

Wassily Kandinsky – ‘Black Lines No. 189’ (1913)

Mark Rothko – ‘Ochre and Red on Red’ (1954)

A bit too far in terms of abstraction for most people’s liking (including me), however there are important lessons to be learned regarding the use of colour.

Arnold Brocklin – ‘The Isle of the Dead’ (1880)

An alternative proposal that does not use flow of colour/strokes to five out the ‘aura’ of the depicted scene.

Frank Auerbach – ‘Head of J.Y.M.’ (1981)

It is hard to imagine how any element from this work could be translated into other media, it is however very impressive and feels relevant to the theme in a more abstract way.


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