Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Dual Identities

1942 Frogs and Fish
Cordon Art Netherlands
M.C. Escher (1898-1972)

This image by M.C. Escher is one of his tessellations. It looks simple to us, but he studied the shape and placement of different motifs to make them tessellate. Escher is perhaps best known for his optical illusion images of stairs that go both ways, etc. What I admire about his work is that he never gave up. He kept exploring possibilities and giving himself challenges. In his lifetime he made 448 woodcuts and linocuts and over 2000 drawings. He kept working even when his work wasn't that popular. If he were alive today, he would be amazed that he is such a world renown artist.
Many of you know that I am an art teacher as well as painter. I will be presenting two lessons tomorrow in Demopolis, Alabama for teachers. We will examine the connections between the academic subjects they teach and the arts. Well, I can only hope that the teachers tomorrow will see the connections between what they already teach and what art can add for their students.
As a painter, reading about and researching artists for lessons always gets me motivated. When you think about some of the conditions that some of these artists lived in, and yet they still persevered and kept creating their art. Most did not attain wealth or fame during their lifetime. Picasso, Dali, and Monet being a few of the exceptions. And the best part, they kept working in their own style, no matter what the "trend" of the day was, their art represented them. I think that is a lesson for us irregardless of what we do for a career or hobby.
So keep working!