The Fauvists

For the last four weeks I have been painting with gray as a major component in my paintings. As one could imagine, I have grown tired of grayed down colors for now. So this week I decided to create a painting that has little or no gray.

Fauvists

Optimistically Tenacious, acrylic and ink on canvas, 14 x 1.5 inches.

It felt wonderful to get back to bright pure color. After I finished this painting I was reminded of my first painting teacher Carol Watanabe who considered herself a Fauve artist. Her class took place in Soréze, France and then later in Collioure, France. Here is an example of her work.

Carol Watanabe

Carol Watanabe

The Fauvists

The Fauvists were French painters whose members shared the use of intense color as a vehicle for describing light and space, and who redefined pure color and form as a means of communicating the artist’s emotional state.

Fauvism was the first of the avant-garde movements that flourished in France in the early years of the twentieth century. Their spontaneous, often subjective response to nature was expressed in bold, high-keyed, vibrant colors sometimes directly from the tube.

Henri Matisse

Henri Matisse

“Henri Matisse (French, 1869–1954) and André Derain (French, 1880–1954) first  introduced unnaturalistic color and vivid brushstrokes into their paintings in the summer of 1905, working together in the small fishing port of Collioure on the Mediterranean coast. When their paintings were exhibited later that year at the Salon d’ Automne in Paris they inspired an art critic to call them fauves (“wild beasts”).”

Although I never considered myself a fauvist, that use of bold color has stayed with me and frequently I have to force myself not to use colors that are really too intense. Graying down a color took me while to appreciate.

6 thoughts on “The Fauvists

  1. Suzanne

    Optimistically Tenacious is gorgeous! Did you start with a black background? Love reading your blog, lots of interesting information and it’s beautiful. Thanks for sharing your art voyage!

    Reply
    1. Ann Hart Marquis Post author

      Thank you so much Suzanne. My art voyage would not be complete without you. I didn’t start with black. As a matter of fact, I painted over an old painting. It had similar colors, but I covered the entire canvas with new paint.

      Reply
  2. Dotty

    Optimistically Tenacious is lush and vibrant with color. It conveys abundance! And I like it better than the Matisse painting you posted!

    Every brush stroke says Ann : )

    When paint over an old painting and cover the entire canvas with new paint, do you start with gesso?

    Reply
    1. Ann Hart Marquis Post author

      Dotty, thank you for your wonderful feedback. And it takes an artist, I think to recognize and artist’s brushstroke.

      When I paint over an old painting, I usually like to leave some of the under color coming through, so I never re-gesso it. The old paint on the canvas can give a lovely texture to a painting. When I start a new painting over a old one, I may do some ruff sketching and then I just start painting.

      Reply
      1. Dotty

        I, too, like the texture that can make itself known when I paint over a previous painting, especially since the texture has a life of its own and can pop up in places where I might not think to create it.

        I don’t think I’ve ever started a new painting on top of an old one without first going over my canvas with at least a rough covering of gesso or a single color, even if letting under coloring come through. It’s hard to image my not being distracted by the original painting. That said, maybe I’ll grab an old painting soon and try out your approach. Fun!

        Reply
        1. Ann Hart Marquis Post author

          Dotty, just an after thought-I have never painted over a printing on paper. It is fun do do not only because of the under color, but it is also a brain challenge, like painting negative space. You just have to ignore the parts that you don’t want.

          Reply

Leave a Reply