In search of Cubism

Cubism fascinated me as a young artist. I must have been in the fourth grade marveling over the concept of three-dimensional space represented from all sides on a flat plane. Wow, how intriguing. A thought Pablo Picasso was it. He was a painter.

Cubism 1- Low Country Tree, 9 x12, oil on panel

I would look at M. C. Escher mind-bending perspective. I could never figure out how he made us arrive visually in different planes than we originally started.

Those confusing concepts kept with me my entire life. Waiting till I would have enough understanding to accomplish them. I began to sort them out. How Escher would fool you by changing what you expected against you. Picasso was not able to demonstrate cubism in the way my mind thought it should be. Instead he showed us a more shattered vague representation, beautiful non the less.


Cubism 2- Low Country Tree, 9 x12, oil on panel

When I visited one of my favorite museums, the Barns in Philadelphia, I was able to view Cezanne first hand. He has so much to offer us as painters. His unusual color, the space he creates with overlapping form. His brushwork. He inspired cubism and is credited as the father of modern art. Allowing us to appreciate abstraction as art.

Cubism 3- Low Country Tree, 9 x12, oil on panel

Looking for Cezanne’s path, I painted plein air, as he painted his mountain outdoors. I chose the Low Country Tree while in South Carolina. Looking for cubism in outdoor landscapes I began to see some of the underlying structure he talked about. Taking me from what I knew to where I did not. Exploring with each new painting, venture out and simplify a little more. Returning each day in South Carolina to the same tree. Then I moved into the studio for the last two paintings seeing how much more I could simplify the image, how could I represent it in cubism?

Cubism 4- Low Country Tree, 9 x12, oil on panel

Staying true to what I thought cubism should be, I went about my exploratory on Cubism 5. Hiding with each new layer of paint what laid beneath from the previous session. I enjoyed the visual play of space of Escher, so you may not always know where you where looking from. The harder three dimensional representation of form that I thought was missing from Picassos work. Forming the hard and lost edges of Cezanne’s paintings that would amplify the edge and his simple color.

Me having fun with how a shadow edge becomes a line, not a shape of tone and color. I can lead the eye around more so there is no beginning or end. This was the first painting I had painted in a long time with a brush.

I chose Rosemary Oil Brushes. I had heard such great things about these brushes, I wanted them to be my first experience of non-painting knife work. It was a good choice for me.

Cubism 5- Low Country Tree, 30 x24, oil on panel

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