Saturday, December 31, 2011

To end 2011

Wow! I cannot believe it! This blog has been up and running for an entire year (almost) now...and I made my goal of 52 entries for you on art! Sure, it wasn't literally an entry a week, but hopefully you learned and enjoyed some of what I had to share along the way.

I won't limit myself by ending the blog since the year is ending...I know 2012 will have just as many art wonders to share! So, cheers to a new year...May you be blessed and joyful in this next year full of adventure, learning, and hopefully, art!

For my last entry in 2011, I wanted to share some pieces for you that I really enjoyed at the Musée National des Beaux-Arts in Quebec City. My family got the wonderful privilege to visit this gorgeous city (If you live in North America and can't go all of the way to Europe, but want to experience that kind of culture and atmosphere...go to Quebec!). It was a LOT colder than we were used to (-7 degrees the morning we left...-21 degrees with windchill!), but it was a great trip. Visit, visit!

This first piece is the unfinished, monumental, epic Apotheosis of Christopher Columbus by Napoleon Bourassa. It was uncompleted when Bourassa, a prominent Canadian architect, painter, and writer, died in 1916. His architectural works are some of his most incredible inventions, in my opinion, but I was awed by the size and details of this work, so I thought I'd share it. Figures in this piece include everyone from Queen Isabella of Spain to Copernicus to George Washington to Leonardo Da Vinci. It was inspired by works such as the School of Athens by Raphael.

This work is called Espagne (Spain), and was done by Automatist painter and sculptor Jean-Paul Riopelle. This image does nothing to convey the tactile quality of the actual work, which is very dynamic texturally as well as coloristically. His other two works that earned quick love from our family were Sun Spray and The Green Parrot.

One of the gems of the Musée is their Inuit Art collection. We saw incredible carvings, mostly, but some drawings as well. Our hands down favorite pieces were those of the dancing polar bears, like seen above. There were sculptures also of polar bears swimming (which looked absolutely life-like!), musk oxen, wolves, whales, half-woman/half-fish gods, and hawks. Materials used ranged from caribou antler to serpentinite (a gorgeous green stone) to whale or narwhal bone. The other most incredible piece was a narwhal ivory horn carved top to bottom with swirling animal and human imagery. Incredible detail and it was great to learn about a culture that doesn't get a lot of exposure.

My favorite piece (my Dad's too) was actually discovered before even going to Quebec. This is Return to Italy, #2 by Marcelle Ferron (1954), a piece from the museum's Abstract and Figurative Art collection. I just adore the rainbow of colors in this piece (it expresses all kinds of emotions!) and the texture and flow of the spatula/knife strokes are really something else. She was a stained glass artist as well as a painter. I find her work to be inspiring and this is the type of painting, were it in my house, I could look at, adore, and be inspired by every day. :)

Mon propos a toujours été modeste, je voulais transformer ce mariage de raison en un mariage d'amour. - Marcelle Ferron

("My aim as always been modest; I wanted to transform the arranged marriage [of art and architecture] into a love match.")

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