Monday, June 24, 2013

Dressing in Picasso's Nude on a Beach

Picasso's Nude on a Beach

Dolce & Gabbana stripe dress, $790 / Elizabeth and James . shoes / Chloé Mare beach bag tote / Gorjana leather bangle / Dorus Mhor cobalt blue jewelry, $110 / Forever New , $16 / Heart stud earrings / Lanvin band hat / Guerlain / Shiseido beauty product

Can't you just see both Marie-Therese Walter and Francoise Gilot wearing this dress on the beach? The colors are so Mediterranean.....bright yellows and greens and strong contrasts, just like the Mediterranean sunlight. I got a lot of ideas and inspiration from the film Surviving Picasso by James Ivory. Anthony Hopkins is marvelous as Picasso. If you haven't seen it, check it out. It's very summery!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Picasso's Nude on a Beach

Ipad rendering of Picasso's Nude on a Beach
It's June and Summer is finally here! Picasso's beach paintings fit the Summer mood perfectly. The viewer can feel the hot sand, the cool water, and the playfulness of Picasso's lines. Every painting is fun and feels like a vacation.

The series of beach paintings I love most are those picturing the beginning of Picasso's love affair with Marie-Therese Walter. She was only 17 years old and Picasso was 46 and married with children. The age difference is startling, but Picasso must have been magnetic, considering his many love affairs. They met on the beach and Picasso was instantly enthralled. They had a secret love affair, there on the beach, hiding away from his wife Olga. This painting in particular shows how this secret became his work. Many of the paintings are quite erotic.

Picasso obviously loved the beach. He spent a lot of time in the South of France with his family and his many lovers. It all comes out in his work. The beach was obviously a great inspiration to him.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Interpretations of Richard Diebenkorn

Street Scene, colored pencil, copyright Nina Leung, 2013
All of my interpretations of Diebenkorn's Cityscape I  have a similar palette. I simply cannot get away from the greens, blues, and touches of yellow or rose. They're all so San Francisco to me and so Diebenkorn. He grew up in Berkeley so he knows the colors of San Francisco!

Cityscape I is very geometric, but I have such a hard time being THAT geometric in the shapes I use. I had to give them a little more curve. It's impossible for me to make perfect angles and lines. My hands won't let me.

Curved Geometry, chalk pastel, copyright Nina Leung, 2013

The blues of the sky and bay, the greens of the hills, redwood and eucalyptus trees, and the bits of warm colors from the buildings, Sutro Tower, and the Golden Gate Bridge. Now I fully understand why red was the chosen color for that bridge. It's the perfect compliment to the cool greens and blues surrounding it.

Wire, watercolor, copyright Nina Leung, 2013

The lines of those intricate and amazing electric bus wires. LOVE! One of my favorite things is to watch the bus drivers get out of the bus to reattach the bus to the electric wires. Sometimes they spring off making a fantastic, almost cartoonishly exaggerated spring-y sound. The whole process is so San Francisco.

Gio's Colors, chalk pastel, copyright Gio Leung, 2013

These last two are by my 4 year old son, Gio. He did a marvelous job capturing the colors of Diebenkorn's Cityscape I. He remembers seeing the painting during a visit to SFMOMA. The museum educators had a puzzle of the painting out on the bench in front of it and invited Gio to try to piece the puzzle together using the painting as a guide. He really had to study the painting and so remembers it quite well, especially considering he saw it 4 months ago.

Filled Colors, watercolor, copyright Gio Leung, 2013

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Dressing in Diebenkorn

Diebenkorn Inspired

MiH Jeans white stripes t shirt / Rebecca Taylor jacket / Carven short skirt / Kenzo / Kate Spade magnet bracelet / Tory Burch / Linda Farrow Luxe round sunglasses / Belle by Sigerson Morrison / DKNY Be Delicious

Blues, greens, whites, these are the colors of San Francisco. Hitchcock knew that, too. Notice the predominant colors in the movie Vertigo, particularly the San Francisco scenes.

The skirt is reminiscent of a Hitchcock girl, the jacket because one ALWAYS needs a jacket in San Francisco, and a few flashes of color for the Victorians. 

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Richard Diebenkorn's Cityscape I

Ipad Rendering of Diebenkorn's Cityscape I, 1963

I've always felt a certain closeness to the work of Richard Diebenkorn. In my first year at the San Francisco Art Institute, Diebenkorn, who taught there, just died. Knowing nothing of him, I attended a kind of remembrance party for him and learned so much about the man and the painter. Students loved him, the other artist/professors loved him. It seemed to me that not only was he a great painter, but a great man.

Color is what I love most about his paintings. His color choices have such a strong feeling. Cityscape I, which is at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, is so obviously full of the colors of San Francisco. The grays, the whites, and especially the yellows. He captured the San Francisco palette perfectly.

Do you consciously or even unconsciously assign a color to the cities you've visited? For me, San Francisco is yellow ochre, Chicago is a rusty red, L.A is aqua (probably because of Hockney, ugh!), and New York City is dark gray.

Interpretations of Electric Prisms

After Sonia Delaunay, copyright Nina Leung, 2013

Here is my own attempt at creating the same frenetic rhythm of Sonia Delaunay's Electric Prisms. Once I started, I didn't want to stop. It was so much fun making this and choosing colors. Thankfully, I have a nice selection of pastels, so the colors were almost unlimited. 

Sonia in Rio, copyright Nina Leung, 2013
In this watercolor, I thought of the mosaic sidewalks in Rio and I combined that with the energy of Electric Prisms. I like to think of Sonia being inspired by Rio and coming up with a sketch like this.

Muted Energy, copyright Nina Leung, 2013
Is it possible to recreate the energy of Electric Prisms using only graphite and terracotta pencil? I thought only of shape. How can a shape have an energetic rhythm without the use of color? This is what I came up with. I looked carefully at the shapes Sonia Delaunay used in her painting and mimicked those with the hope that it would feel energetic. I think it works, though it's a much more muted version.