Last week, this large oil painting “The Thinker” sold!.......With that, a little prep took place before shipping. The artwork was protected with a layer of glycine paper, then a heavy cardboard wrapped it front and back. Add to that clear plastic wrapping to ensure a climate that was warm and dry. Why stop there? A little bubble wrap for extra protection... Finally, after building the attractive and stable wooden crate, the collectors item rested comfortably within its box, ready to ship!
After spending some time with this painting; created in 2013, I've had time to ponder where this manifested itself. And, in truth, I’ve no clue. For my subconscious directed the act itself, with me being a bystander.
Still, for myself, my mind was drawn to making connections. And in the case of “The Thinker”, years ago immediately after painting it, I was drawn to making the connection to the French sculptor Auguste Rodin, 1840-1917. Within my painting, I see the outline of human form which reminded me of Rodin's sculpture imbedded in my mind, and believe both pieces of art convey strength.
The Thinker (French: Le Penseur) is a bronze sculpture, usually placed on a stone pedestal. The work shows a nude male figure of over life-size sitting on a rock with his chin resting on one hand as though deep in thought, often used as an image to represent philosophy. There are about 28 full-sized castings, in which the figure is about 186 cm high, though not all were made during Rodin's lifetime and under his supervision. There are various other versions, as well, several in plaster, and studies and posthumous castings exist in a range of sizes. Rodin first conceived the figure as part of his work The Gates of Hell commissioned in 1880, but the first of the familiar monumental bronze castings did not appear until 1904.
Could my inspiration have been this beefy coffee table book I've had in my studio for years, but have actually never read?
Rodin was inspired by tradition yet rebelled against idealized forms. Believing that art should be true to nature, looking beneath the external appearance of the world, he expressed inner truths of the human psyche....hmmm, I'm connected, just one of the top reasons I paint!
His imagination and technique for rendering extreme physical states introduced innovative practices that paved the way for modern sculpture.
The hallmarks of Rodin’s style are: his affinity for use of the partial figure, a focus on formal qualities and relationships rather than on narrative structure, and his desire to retain the marks of the sculptural process on his finished works was revolutionary in his time.
Artists followed him and worked in his studio, such as Constantin Brancusi and Aristide Maillol. Shown above, my sole and brief attempt turning clay into figure. Without Rodin by my side, not easy...another humbling life lesson.
Questioning myself in and outside the confines of art “are making connections valuable, or are they an impediment, leaving one to pull from limited beliefs, knowledge and circumstance?” For within educational and personal learning, knowingly or not, thoughts in the brains computer, translates into work.
Share your insights! Do you search ART for meaning, referential connections, or do you appreciate art for art's sake?
Best for the weekend,