Art school has been amazing and fun so far. Even though I'm not studying the practical art, I heard that the students of the Art History department can join other classes from other subjects too -- which is awesome! But, for now, I'm just trying to ease into it and see what kind of chaos I'm going to deal with here. Still, I'm looking for one of those loopholes and tiny chances to travel, see some friends, blog and, maybe, get a job. Aside from that, I'm forced to realise that I'm apparently behind on my art knowledge compared to most of my classmates. Yikes! The other day, the professor asked us about Gustav Klimt's artwork, Beethoven Frieze. She asked us if there was something somewhat familiar about it. Apparently, she was referring to Art Nouveau. Klimt was inspired by it. And that was how I got back to my everlasting obsession for Art Nouveau.
Paintings by Alphonse Mucha (via Mucha Foundation)
Ever since the first time I figured out about Art Nouveau, I've been smitten with it. I wasn't sure what about it was so different and alluring until I read it up online and we talked about it a little bit in class the other day. Apparently, art nouveau is all about women and nature. The tender strokes of brush and strong outlines make them strong but elegant. The whole point of this style of art is women and nature, specifically flowers. Such a feminine touch, balanced by the strong outlines. I'm unsure how this style was invented but Alphonse Mucha was, surely, one of the renowned artists. I want to say he's the inventor but I just don't know. His style is so modern (of course, it was the end of the 19th century) and gracious, all the ladies he painted look like goddesses. People say this is the exaggeration of ladies and, maybe, he changed the meaning of beauty for ladies way back when. The last picture of his works up there is now taped to my wall.
All artwork by Lois van Baarle (via loish.net & deviantART)
One of the reasons I brought this up at all is because one of my favourite illustrators, Lois van Baarle, once said that Alphonse Mucha inspired her greatly. This was quite apparent by the amount of ladies she's painted as well. It's a different era so, of course, they look different from the impression Mucha gave. Unlike Mucha's impression, Lois's girls are more edgy, strong and varied. Maybe it is also a way of portraying her own characteristics. Recently, Lois has also delved into animation which she also rocks. I love the various touches of her style whilst still maintaining her style and uniqueness. Just last week's Sunday deviantART's Ask The Artist brought to the other deviants a live interview session with this talented lady. The interview was recorded and will be posted soon. It was such a liberating opportunity! Thanks for answering the questions, Lois (including mine)! If you happen to be reading this post, err...I'm not sure you will...but, anyway, I love your art and keep rocking on! Cheerio!