Maggie Stiefvater at http://greywarenart.blogspot.com/ has been choosing artists whose work she admires and writing a short blog about them. As an excercise she suggested those of us who read her blog do something similar - pick one artists we admire an blog about their strengths, weakness and tricks that we would like to use in our own work. I figured I would give it a go and my chosen artist is ....
Franz Marc - 1880-1916
Colourful - He takes the world of nature and makes it into a psychedelic wonderland full of swirls and swooshing brush strokes or angular, zippy compositions. Colours are intense but often go hand in hand with dark passages and outlines. The effect is striking. I would love to be more wild in my use of colour.
Subject matter - Animals are my favourite things in the world to draw and look at. He takes the form of an animal and makes it into a pattern of strokes that are still recognisable as a particular animal. I spend ages trying to get everything right and usually failing.
Abstract and exciting - While I strive to paint realistically, Marc went the other way and turned them into abstracts. They are fresh, warm and appealing to look at (unlike some abstracts that just make me feel sea sick). Marc knew about design and had a good grasp of composition. His black and white woodcuts are as stunning as his coloured work.
Thorough - Although he is most famous for his abstract work, Marc was also a talented realistic painter. Among his many sketches are one of an elephant drawn in chalk and one of his father on his death bed. I think his attention to detail gave him a good grounding for his later abstract work. Without knowledge of realistic painting, his abstracts would just come out naive. Instead his abstracts are carefully painted with attention to detail. Each line seems specifically placed rather than random.
Multi faceted body of work - A look through his work shows the phases of experimentation he went through. Early work is realistic but he was influenced by the Impressionists, he flirted with Expressionism and dealt with the Fauves' intense, thickly applied colours. His work eventually evolves into a personal style. The variation in his body of work is a wonderful thing to see.