Trace Monotype: Big Sister (& a Diebenkorn exhibit in Palm Springs, CA)

Trace Monotype with Watercolor

Big Sister 10.75×3.75 Trace Monotype with watercolor and colored pencil

Inspired by Great Artists

In my previous post about working in light, tonal values after looking at the work of Thomas Wilmer Dewing (1851-1938), I mentioned that I was influenced just as strongly a few months earlier by the boldly colored, masterfully illustrated work of Jessie Wilcox Smith (1863-1935) (see an example below). That’s where the piece above got it’s high contrast, bold lines, bright colors and sugar from. 🙂  I have my hand up in the Who Get’s Influenced by Other Artists roll call. The image source is a 1947 photo from my grandparent’s albums, showing 2 of their four kids. I cropped my mother and her big sister from the group – they are two of the three artists my grandparent’s produced on that branch of the tree.

Book Recommendation

If you like the history of American Illustration, I’ve mentioned in previous posts how wonderful the Alice Carter book is – The Red Rose Girls.  Carter chronicles the intersecting lives of three American women illustrators with enough detail to give you a sense for that place and time in history – especially as it pertains to women working in the field of illustration.  But, there’s also a lovely book that’s out of print, but available online – called Jessie Willcox Smith, by S. Michael Schnessel. If you get a chance to grab one, I’d recommend it. It’s full of magazine cover art and book illustrations, as well as stories and anecdotes on Jessie, and quite a few illustrators in her circle.
Who are your illustrator faves? Do you follow contemporary illustrators, (digital or analog?), or historic illustrators? Share your heroes in the comments so we can all discover. 🙂
by Jessie Willcox Smith (1863-1935)
Adding color to the monotype – Big Sister
Another one being pulled after a trip through the press – the monotype is both illustrative
and textural. perfect for adding other media like watercolor, pastels, acrylics, etc.
The wet-ink side of the paper is pressed against a sheet of printmaking
paper on the press to get a fuzzy-lined, softly scumbled drawing with
very unique characteristics.
The paper with the wet-ink drawing on the back is peeled off the plate.
Different art but the same process: a thin sheet of lineco or tracing paper
is laid on the ink, and a drawing is done on the paper which
pushes the line work into the wet ink.
Big Sister – the monotype above started with a copper plate
rolled with a layer of oil-based intaglio ink.

Richard Diebenkorn, Cityscape I (formerly Landscape I), 1963

Visit a Museum

The Palm Springs Art Museum is hosting and exhibit on Richard Diebenkorn – The Berkeley Years 1953-1966   I saw photos of the show on instagram, and I can just imagine how great the art would be to stand in front of and soak up in person.

Where are you going this week to whet your artistic appetite and spur your imagination towards you art supplies? Leave us some good ideas in the comments.

Thanks for stopping by and I’ll see you in the next post!


Art Quote

An excerpt from the Diebenkorn show description:
Starting with tentative figure and still-life paintings, Diebenkorn’s conversion from abstraction to figuration began in 1954-55, followed by impressively confident, large paintings of figures, still-lifes, landscapes and interiors. Diebenkorn explained the sudden shift in style, commenting that he was weary of the “super- emotional” approach required by the dynamism of the abstract work, and credited the influence of his friends David Park and Elmer Bischoff, both of whom had recently abandoned abstraction for figuration. Other factors influencing the change were his growing interest in figural drawing, a strong interest in Henri Matisse and Pierre Bonnard, as well as artists Edgar Degas and the German Expressionists, and a new-found concern for the human psychology of his own paintings. Richard Diebenkorn: the Berkeley Years will trace the development of these factors and examine the continued interaction but shifting balance, in nearly all of Diebenkorn’s work, between nature and abstraction, observation and artifice; a point dramatized at the conclusion of our study by growing evidence of a movement back towards abstraction in works produced in Southern California.
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2 Responses to Trace Monotype: Big Sister (& a Diebenkorn exhibit in Palm Springs, CA)

  1. Belinda Del Pesco 06/11/2013 at 8:15 am #

    @melissa – thanks for the list of illustrators… I *love* Moser, Wyeth and Alexander, but I’m not familiar with Gruger. Will look him up. 🙂

  2. Melissa B. Tubbs 06/11/2013 at 7:43 am #

    I too have been a fan of Jessie Wilcox Smith for many, many years! Thanks for the heads up about the book on her. Others are Barry Moser (of course), N. C. Wyeth, John White Alexander and Frederick Gruger. I can’t wait to see what you and your daughter have been working on!!

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