Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Self Portrait 7.10.2008
pencil, 35 x 50 cm
I started this intending to work in a very stylized, cubist manner. I skipped getting the proportions right, and tried to make my face look like a Frank Gehry building. Well, the final result may not look much like the Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park. That shimmering construction of metal got lost under the debris of eraser dust and pencil smudges. But I like it and the way I used the background so effectively.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Jerusalem Hills 4.
Aquarelle, 51 x 36 cm
After doing the previous painting in this series, I decided to carry the idea of a "picture frame within a picture frame" and the dynamic arches of stripes to the extreme. I love the contrast of the static and moving elements. And indeed, in reality, the rigid verticals and horizontals of the man made buildings, and the emphatic verticals of cypress trees and date palms, do indeed contrast with the flowing curves of the terraced hills and valleys.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Jerusalem Hills 3
Aquarelle, 51 x 36 cm
I seem to be getting better at these. I have another one almost done. I'd like to work larger, but this size paper block fits nicely into my bicycle basket, and I enjoy taking them home to work in the evening.
I 'm working on another similar picture, in which I took these design elements to a greater extreme: I used the contrasts between the rectangles and curves; soft horizontals and strong verticals; framed images inside framed images, and angles of stripes, to make a wild painting.
Check the blog soon to see the results!

I drew this shortly before a trip to the Czech Republic. I am quite interested in Cubism, and how the movement influenced more popular art, design and illustration in the following decades. Then I hit Prague. The Czechs adopted the Cubist aesthetic with a greater enthusiasm then elsewhere - even if at times is was only hijacked by their special talent for surface decoration. Anyway, who would have thought that Cubism could be so charming? I Loved it!
If you do get there, go visit the Museum of Czech Cubism (Kubismus Cesky) on Celetna St in the Old Town. It is small and wonderful, with a lovely coffee house on the second floor. (Go for the decor, but be warned, for all of those with an affection for good European coffee, Czech coffee is lousy. We should send Israeli baristas there to give them lessons. Perhaps I should suggest that to my son?)