Judith Godwin was born in Suffolk, Virginia where her art career was strongly supported by her parents, especially her father who had a career in architecture and landscape gardening. She attended Mary Baldwin college in 1950, and it was not until 1953 that she moved to New York and enrolled at the Art Students League. She trained under Hans Hofmann, eventually beginning to associate her art with the new Abstract Expressionist movement, developing a dynamic style in which she emphasized loose geometric forms and a prism of color. Towards the end of the 1950s Godwin began to develop a much harsher tone in her work, she stated, "“if you were a [woman] painter . . . you had to paint as strongly, as violently as the men did."
During the 1960s she toured around the world and picked up influence for her work from multiple different countries such as France, Spain, Italy, India, and Egypt. It was during this time period that Judith Godwin began experimenting and expanding her work. She formed an interest in interior design, soon becoming an apprentice to a plasterer, carpenter, and a mason. She even began following in her father's footsteps with landscape gardening while creating Abstract Expressionist pieces for a New York fabric house.
In the 1970s and 80s her work increased in complexity as she started to combine structure and 'spontaneity'. She used processes such as stencil applications to create petal like forms, while also adding metallic and pastel paints to keep the work interesting. Judith Godwin continues to explore and grow as painter today. It is said that after painting for so many years she formed the patience that many artists lacked. She knew how to use paint but was and still is always willing to expand her repertoire and try something new.
oil on canvas
44 x 70"
oil on canvas
42" x 68"
Judith Godwin's Gallery
Hans Hofmann's Gallery
1. Based on what you have observed from looking at both Judith Godwin's and Hans Hofmann's works, what are some techniques you think she picked up from Hofmann after training under him? What are some key similarities/differences in their work?
2. Godwin was mostly surrounded by male artists in the Abstract Expressionist movement, how do you think this impacted her work?
3. Judith Godwin constantly traveled and explored new types of art, why do you think it was important for artists to travel and explore different countries and practice new techniques?
This was an interesting process. I realized that my masters mark was easier to recreate than it was to copy because trying to perfectly replicate freehanded scribble-like marks is extremely difficult. When I started it was a lot less difficult than I thought it was going to be and I was able to get the whole hand and arm done in one sitting. My favorite part of the portrait is the hand, I feel like I really recreated my master's mark successfully. Throughout the process my face was kind of terrifying and I still think it kind of is but it got a lot better when I fixed the way the mouth curved, the height and angles of the eyes, and the length of the nose. I am pretty proud of my portrait for having never done portraits before but I don't love it.
Mountains and Sea HELEN FRANKENTHALER
oil and charcoal on canvas, 1952
The Clown: I love the bold colors in this piece that almost appear like they have been spray painted because of the faded edges. There aren't many small loose marks which is pleasing to look at in comparison to many small marks. Its not overwhelming to look at which makes it more of an unexpected piece for me. The powerful marks and bold colors are different than a lot of the other works I've seen.
27 May 1948: For me this piece was an obvious Abstract Expressionist piece but it is kind of basic in my opinion. This is what I typically picture when I think of an Abstract Expressionist piece. The dull colors that are all kind of the same tone did not excite me. However, the marks and brushstrokes are very distinct which I admire and want to recreate. I like some of the color contrast with the blues and browns but I plan on working with less earth tones. Some of the dripping and the way the colors merge together in some areas is satisfying and something I want to try to replicate in my Abstract Expressionist piece
Mountains and Sea: The color palette of this piece is beautiful. I love the layering and the appearance of water color with the difference colors and lines. This piece makes me debate whether I want to focus more on bigger brush strokes or having colors bleed from smaller marks. The marks are a lot more sporadic and random than the others, and the use of texture adds another effect to the painting. I love the application of the paint and the way it appears splattered but blended at the same time.
One-Line Play Page Inspiration
The room fill with Alexander Calder pieces left me in awe. I could have stayed in there for the longest time and still been intrigued by his work, I only wish I could have gotten closer to it (as most of it was in the air and too far away for me to see the little details) After seeing this room I have so many ideas of materials I want to work with and directions I want to go in but I am not sure exactly how to. I don't have a picture of it here, but the animal sculptures made from sheets of metal were beautiful and something I want to explore.
Aztec Josephine Baker: I LOVE the hands on this piece. The medium is something I want to explore further and practice with, along with the style. He somehow makes the figure so simple but captures all the necessary details. The curves of the legs and body are so basic but perfect and I love it. Its not all completely attached so it is not truly one line but it gives the appearance. The presentation of the piece adds to it because of the shadows on the wall.
Cow: This piece is so detailed but also so simple and it amazes me. I want to learn more about his process and how he creates such small bends and loops in the wire and what exactly what materials he uses.
Consequence: This isn't Alexander Calder or actually one line but it still inspired me. The layers of broken lines is something I want to explore with my play pages. My play pages have become really specific and repetitive and I want to branch out from it (even though I love it). I really want to paint and I think this would be a good approach (painting with multiple lines and just letting loose with it). I feel like incorporating a style like this in my ABEX piece would be beautiful.
I chose this image for my self portrait mostly because of the lighting, that will work well with my old master's style of shading, and the foreshortening with the hand that I feel will turn out really will with Delacriox's style. I am nervous for the face because it is a full face image which contrasts with my original piece by Delacroix which was only a simplistic profile.
I ran into a lot of issues with the face especially because it is sideways. For most of the process my face looked okay when looking at the drawing the way it is suppose to be, but when I turned it and looked it vertically the face was kinda terrifying. It took many tries to fix and I ended up lowering the eyes a lot and fixing the angle and in the end I still feel like my forehead is kinda massive (because I lowered the eyes so much) but I think it ended up pretty okay. I still think I look a little terrifying but I am really proud of the hand. I think I did a good job matching my masters mark with that specific part of the drawing.
Howardena Pindell changed the purpose of her work while keeping the same undertone of a particular style in each of her pieces. While she changed her media frequently, she kept the sporadic yet purposeful placement of elements as a theme in each of her series. Each section (Memorist, Traveler, Activist, and Scientist) connects to a part of her life and allows her work to develop with her while also giving a detail explanation as to why. Her work developed with what was going on in her life, like her accident in 1979, to what was going on in the world that inspired her more 'social justice' like pieces. Separating her work into four sections allows the audience to absorb the deeper meaning in each art piece. For example, I was captured by Pindell's DNA piece because of the connection to her memories and the importance of the hands (as they are what creates the art and part of one's identity because of their unique fingerprint) With the work organized into a section, Memorist, I formed a better understanding of the piece and its purpose after learning about her accident and why she felt the need to make the pieces based on herself as an entity. Each section shows her development as an artist and separates it into broad stages. Studying her work shows other artists how your art will change based on what is going on in your life. While that could mean a change in subject it could also mean a change in medium or style or purpose, for example her pieces in The Shape of Numbers series versus pieces such as Autobiography: Air (CS560) . Bringing your work back to yourself and allowing it to change with you as you develop as a person is what Howardena Pindell is expressing in her different series and it what other artists should be encouraged to do.
Her work had many striking aspects to it, which led it cover many Artist Habits of Mind. The few that stood out to me were Engage & Persist, Envision, and Express. Her art always sprouted from personal interest or the message she wanted to leave on the art world. With mixed media pieces she created many activist pieces that strongly expressed her opinions on different issues at the time. She created abstract pieces that seemed slightly chaotic but every single one of them had a method to their madness. The way she made art was so creative in itself and the way she managed to put such a powerful meaning behind all of her pieces makes it so much more awe-inspiring.
Most of the steps of the Artist Process can be found in her pieces. The information given about each piece and section of work show the inspiration behind the piece which explains the main focus. There's not much present evidence of planning in her work, which is the only step of the process that isn't evident. The creation of her work is what is displayed on the wall, specifically zoning in on the use of each material and how she manipulated it. Lastly, the reflection of her own work is shown thought the following pieces and what she learned from her different experiments with different medias and techniques.
My own work recently majorly changed. I currently have many series planned that I hope will express a deeper meaning (one that I formed based on what is going on in my own life). However I do make a lot of work that is simply me messing with a pen and nothing more, but I find satisfaction in having an aesthetically pleasing piece or just an image that pleases the mind without having to think of the meaning behind it. Part of my current work connects to the meaningful series-style of Pindell but the other half contrasts to what was displayed in the museum.
First Image: Pindell/DNA, 2012, offset lithograph, Edition 9 of 40
Second Image: Autobiography: Air (CS560), 1988, Acrylic, tempera, oil stick, blood, paper, polymer photo transfer, and vinyl on canvas
Mother Goose Melody, 1959
Oil on Canvas
Oil on Canvas
These two above images contrast as one falls into the category of abstract expressionism and the other is none objective. The Abstract Expressionist piece has expression and meaning shown through the brush strokes and purposeful mark making done by the artist. The none objective piece had an aesthetic goal, but it is not expression a specific emotion or scene.
American, born Romania, 1910-2011
No. 3 - 1957
Oil on Canvas
Abstract Expressionist work shows the relationship between the artist and the canvas and how the artist interacted with it. These pieces often have an assortment of colors, especially color-field works.. This piece has obvious motion and mark making with each brush stroke. It is a dynamic piece, and each mark has a specific and meaningful purpose.
American, born 1930
Oil on linen
Each of these pieces has blatant mark making and movement. The piece by Jackson Pollock holds a story because of the layering and how the lines flow dynamically. The Twombly piece holds a story in because of the lines and how they draw your eyes to other parts of the board in order to put the piece together. Lastly, the Gorchov work shows large brush strokes that were most likely made from the shoulder. They seem slower than the Pollock painting, mostly because it is acting as a background and does not have a point to being more complex.
1965 No. 1, 1956
Oil on Canvas
Lastly, these images above show the artists process and goal through the elements of art and the principles of design. Each piece has line, color, and mostly likely a suggested form. Each of the principle designs can be used in every piece because it is what makes a piece different from the others.
Over the past few weeks I have been working on copying one of Eugène Delacroix's pieces. In the beginning I had some issues with proportioning the hands and the arms in comparison to the back and the head, and I ended up having spacing issues when I had fully drawn pieces that could not have been fixed. I have some eraser lines that bother me because they distract from the drawing, especially near the hand on the right and his calf. I had some issues with getting the proper mark due to the thickness of the graphite pencil and the loose, loopy way Delacroix created value. I am not completely finished with it yet, because it needs to be darkened and touched up in some areas, but I have gotten the majority of it done.
Here is my final copy of Eugène Delacroix's piece
I found this lecture intriguing as it reminded me of last years lecture on Wabi Sabi from the Maggie Walker alumni. I remembered not being able to take notes while she was talking because I was too engrossed in the concept of Wabi Sabi and how it was represented in art. It truly amazed me how imperfections could become part of an art peice. I am currently practicing a whole new form of art that I have never tried before. It has taken a lot of effort for me to go from details and realistic pieces to broken down subjects to then be sculpted out of wire. The Japanese aesthetic concepts (Wabi, Sabi, and Yugen) intrigued me because I could connect them back to my current work. The point of Japanese aesthetics is to find the beauty in something that is undesirable. Flaws and imperfections are praised and considered beautiful as it adds to the authenticity of the piece. I am hoping to take Japan's way of treating art with mistakes to my artwork. I get too caught up in the details and little mistakes and I never focus on the bigger picture. I plan in experimenting and seeing where I go from there,
To read more on Wabi, Sabi, and Yugen (mono no aware) click here
A image that depicts Wabi: An image that depicts Yugen:
Eugène Delacroix was the youngest of four children, his early life was sadly filled with much loss due to the death of his father, brother, and his mother all before he was even 16. Delacroix was interested in art from a young age, as he was often encourage by his uncle, artist Henri-François Riesener. Works such as Scenes from the Massacres of Chios (1824), The Death of Sardanapalus (1838) and Liberty Leading the People (1828) helped him become the leader of the Romantic movement in the 19th century. He strayed away from classical scenes and took a modern approach by focusing on more dramatic narratives, often inspired by history or literature. His work was often in direct contrast to that of his rival, Ingres. His pieces often focused on emotion and exoticism, each brush stroke containing vivid color and movement. Many of his works were based on direct observations of nature, for example the many animal drawings he created after his trip to North Africa. Other artists in France during his time were Théodore Géricault and Antoine-Jean Gros (other important figures for the Romantic era of art in France).
The Death of Sardanapalus
oil on canvas
12'10" x 16'3"
Male Nude Posing for
Figures in the "Frise de la
graphite, laid paper
19.6 x 29.1 cm
National Gallery of Art
The Complete Works of Eugène Delacroix
The Death of Sardanapalus (video)
More Information On Delacroix (make sure you click on the "continue biography" link)
After reviewing each of the sources:
1. What are some ways in which Delacroix broke classical tradition in his paintings (especially The Death of Sardanapalus)?
2. What were the main inspirations behind Delacroix's work?
3. Delacroix did not often follow the path of other artists, for example he did not apply for the Prix de Rome. How did Delacroix make himself known and how did it affect his career?