Friday, June 08, 2007

Thursday, spent the afternoon at The San Diego Art Museum, where I swooned for at least an hour looking at "Waking Dreams: The Art of the Pre-Raphaelites from the Delaware Art Museum". I have seen a few of these works before, but seeing them together, along with gorgeous Art Nouveau objects, was incredible. The Pre-Raphaelites are tremendously important to me: all of my early models (the "Beauty Wrest", or "women sleeping in cars series") were chosen for their Pre-Raphaelite looks, because I wanted to reference that period of painting. With its dramatic, over-the-top poses, attention to detail, and jewel-like colors, it was so seductive, but completely dismissed by the people I was studying under at the time. There were a few pieces that surprised me, because they were not painted the way that I expected them to be painted... I realized that, for years, I have been painting my work (hair by hair, lace fiber by lace fiber) the way that I THOUGHT these works were painted, having only seen them in reproduction. Some of the Rossettis, for example, were much looser than I thought. On the other hand, Isabella and The Pot of Basil, by William Holman Hunt, is only a little over one by two feet, and the painting is impeccable, the translucency of the garment fabric, the iridescent quality of the ceramic in the forefront, the fabric under the pot of basil that contains her lover's severed head, incredible!

I wanted to run home and paint immediately! Today driving to Los Angeles to go museums and a few galleries. Tomorrow is totally a gallery day. Trying to cram as much as possible into this California opportunity.

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