Friday, December 15, 2017

ARTH320 Renaissance Art History: Curator's Choice Exhibit

Curator’s Choice:
The Many Bodies of Leonardo da Vinci
(all images will be shown at the end of the paper, per professor's instructions)

Leonardo da Vinci represents the true Renaissance Man. The man was interested in so many subjects it was as if he perhaps had Attention Deficit Disorder. Leonardo is famous for so many masterpieces and inventions. His examples of Renaissance bodies will be represented in this exhibition by The Last Supper, The Virgin of the Rocks, and The Battle of Anghiari. “His legacy includes approximately 13,000 sheets of notes and drawings of anatomy, architecture, war and flying machines, plants and animals, all annotated in a reversed mirror-script.” (Pucekovic 40) 
He was one of the few artists in Renaissance time that painted and drew many different types of bodies. There were many artists that painted women. However, Leonardo painted babies, children, teenagers, women, mothers, wives, and men. He painted saintly men and men of the Bible. Yet he also drew, painted and sculpted his self. In addition to drawing people, male and female, young and old, he also drew many horses and other animals.  He had studied horses in motion and knew how to draw them accurately while in movement.
Leonardo, spent an enormous amount of time with dead bodies, dissecting them, night after night, so that he could understand anatomy. By understanding anatomy, an artist can define the figures and faces in their paintings and drawings with more accuracy. Now of all the sciences an artist could possibly use, anatomy is the one science we should be required to take. “The great drawings he made of dissected bodies  begun in 1508.” (Jones 4) He drew so many drawings from the bodies' interior that he actually could have assisted with anatomy illustrations with a medical doctor.  
Perhaps, if Leonardo had lived longer, he may have gone on to explore and share the anatomy lessons he learned with the dead bodies. We can only imagine what wonderful things a mind like that could have done with all the information he gathered. Leonardo was truly an amazing person who followed his curiosity and sought answers to life’s questions. The knowledge he gained by such a journey is immense. Sadly by today’s standards, he lacked credentials even though he was truly educated, albeit self-educated.
The many bodies created by Leonardo da Vinci cannot be adequately covered in such a short piece, but perhaps these few highlights will give one enough of an interest, to explore the genius of Leonardo further along with his art. Note: All opinions, comments, and critiques not cited are opinions of the curator of this show, yours truly, Jean Bourque. 12/8/2017.

I.               Painting: The Last Supper
Milan 1497-98
Leonardo’s Men Wore Pastels
The Faces Tell the Story

The painting is the story of The Last Supper taken from the Bible. The painting was actually a fresco and Leonardo had never painted a fresco and didn’t realize there was certain methodology he should have used to make the painting successfully stay on the wall. So much of the original Last Supper is lost. The colors faded and peeled, with so many restorations, it is now long past anyone's living memory. (Jones103) The composition, the painting skills, and the color palette are most pleasing. The people of Milan hold the painting in the highest regard and have tried to preserve it and repair the wall. (Vasari290-291) The most recent repair being in 1999. 
Many artists prior to Leonardo had attempted to paint The Last Supper but none were able to show all the disciples’ faces as expressively and they tended to look rather contrived. In da Vinci’s version, we see the disciples interacting and it appears more real than a static group of men sitting at a table. The historical moment da Vinci selected is the moment that Jesus tells his disciples that one of them will betray him. You can see the surprise on their faces. He painted their heads with such grace and realistic expressions. The love and care in the painting and in those faces. The remarkable look of deceit and hatred in Judas’ face, tells the story. (Vasari 289-290) The disciples’ bodies are all fairly similar in size, with slight variations. Most of them are not deeply defined as they are wearing robes and tunics.
Jonathan Jones in The Lost Battles, tells us Leonardo left a written inventory of his wardrobe and most of his clothes were in pastel colors. (Jones16) This may explain the color choices he made for the men in The Last Supper. He did these before the dissecting phase of his life. It would be most interesting to see what someone of his caliber would have painted after his anatomical explorations.

II.              Painting: Madonna of the Rocks                 
Aka: Virgin of the Rocks 1483-1485
Leonardo’s Virgin Mary & Angel and It is all about the hands in this painting

This painting was commissioned in Milan in 1483 and painted on a panel in oils. It is perhaps one of his most famous finished pieces. It currently hangs in The Louvre in Paris. He began this painting a year after his arrival in Milan. He worked out the composition very carefully, taking much time to assure perfection in his final painted composition. He used atmospheric perspective in the background landscape of the painting. (Pucekovic40-42) This works well, creating a field of depth within the painting. Following this painting in Milan, Leonardo became widely known and respected.
Madonna is another name for the mother of Jesus, thus we know this is Mary the Virgin.  In this painting, we see a beautiful young faced mother and an angel that has a family resemblance. The toddlers, are John the Baptist and the Christ child.  John and Jesus are shown as well developed chubby toddlers. Did toddlers play without clothing during the Renaissance?  No evidence exists either way. John is pointing his finger, which is an excellent view of the skill and dexterity Leonardo used in creating the tiny child’s hand.
However, if you are looking to see what Madonna’s body looks like, it is very hard to tell in this painting, for all we see is her neck and the slope of her shoulders. There is an abundance of fabric from there to the ground. Our angel looks like they have someone hiding behind them and wrapped in fabric.  The angel’s foot and back side are too large to be in scale. This painting does show the artist’s superior skill at painting hands in a variety of positions. Leonardo wants to show his skills in composing a variety of hand movements and positions as well as various sized hands. Overall, the painting looks fine and it isn’t until one gets right on it and really looks that they notice the oddities it represents.

III. Painting: The Battle of Anghiari 
1504 Milan,  Missing     The horses, men, and movement

In 1503, Leonardo was commissioned to paint a mural, The Battle of Anghiari at the Great Council Hall of the Palazzo Vecchio in Florence Italy. The Battle of Anghiari was sketched by Leonardo and in 1504, he started a fresco painting at the Hall of the Palazzo Vecchio. (Jones 6) Leonardo decided to use oil paint directly on the wall of the Hall. The painting did not do well when there was a big storm and the air became humid and the oil paints ran. The fresco was never actually finished because Leonardo abandoned it. Enough of it was done and with the sketch that other artists were able to determine what it would have looked like completed. (Jones 4-6)
This painting was one with so much action, horses were bent and twisted in a variety of positions, yet their bodies were marvelously developed and extremely well rendered. One must admire the beauty of the animals in this image. The muscles and the wrenching of the neck and the eyes and nostrils are all so carefully illustrated. You must know Leonardo loved horses as he did all animals.
This was a masterpiece in its own right. Even unfinished many people stood in line to see the wall. It was there for many years before Giorgio Vasari was chosen to replace the damaged art work. Vasari’s 1563 mural was The Battle of Marciano.  A quote from the website states:
'Many historians believe that Vasari being a big fan of da Vinci, would have tried to preserve the art by using a false wall several inches in front of Leonardo’s painting. This is the reason why a team of Italian researchers took samples from behind, Vasari's work. What they’ve discovered is that a black chalk-like substance they’ve found is similar in composition to that which was used on the Mona Lisa. "(*W3)

I. The Last Supper Milan 1497-98

2. Madonna on the Rocks
Milan 1483-1485

3. The Battle of Anghiari 1504
Image and Web Sources Cited for Art by Leonardo da Vinci 
1.     The Last Supper, Milan 1497-98.    
2.     Madonna on the Rocks, Milan. 1483-1485.
3.     The Battle of Anghiari 1504 Also:
Works Cited
Jones, Jonathan. The Lost Battles. Alfred Knopf div of Random House. NY. 2012. Book. 
Pucekovic, Branko. Leonardo da Vinci and His Contributions to Cartography.  KIG, Cartography & Geo information. Croatia. KIG. N2 0 V 1 2. P 40-42; Published Article. Ebsco. 2013. 
Vasari, Giorgio. The Lives of the Artists. Oxford World Classics. Oxford University Press, Oxford, UK Reissued 2008.  Book.

Yours truly,
Jean Bourque

Dedicated to Dr. Anna House, thank you for all that you taught our class in Art History.

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Little bits of fabric, feathers, beads, maps, and lots of books; put them all together and what do you have?

Sometimes, I go through phases of collecting, different things at different times. It's really not that unusual for a mixed media artist that create assemblages and paints on a variety of surfaces. Things I have found myself collecting are almost always brightly colored and may not always make sense. I especially love fabrics and fibers. I haven't actually sewn anything in years although when I do I am in a phase for a while. I have been known to use fabric in art and I have made silk collages that went real quick. Any type of fabric with a cool texture like feathers, suede, felt, velvet and netting fabric are always welcome additions. For fun and for you never know when you might need it I collect sheers, scarfs, silk, linen, muslin, duck, velvet, denim, and pretty much anything that looks interesting or that I think can be used someday.  (including ribbons, beads, buttons and embroidery floss) Sometimes it's hard to throw things out.  I know I am not the only one, many artists are like this. I don't know why others do that, but I always think, I could make something with this.

Another thing... Books and Papers...

Books, especially hardbacks with a cool dust jacket or nice bindings. Altered books are a blast to make. Plus, the recreated book becomes home to some of the little collectible items. You never know what I may throw in, you may find sheet music, quotes and things from other books, maps, photos, receipts, magazines, tissues, candy papers, napkins, fancy envelopes, pretty papers, scraps from old drawings. By time I get done with one, it is actually a work of art, reminiscent of an art journal.

JeaneePaintsLive has another blog and it is one I have had over 10 years! It is filled with photographs about the arts,
art shows, music shows, paintings I have done, local art leagues, poetry, music festivals, maybe even one or two where I am painting live, other fun things in life.  If you want to
check it out go to:

I did a special collection recently about Fall. I created many leaves and many variations on leaves. I have leaves in almost every media, the one here is a mixed media.

Back to class now.
yours truly,

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Time - it belongs to no one

Time... it belongs to no one...     c2017Bourque

Life is a whirlwind spinning us round and round
In rhythm with the earth 360 every twenty fourth hour
Some days seem shorter while some seem longer
But it all goes by outside of any human power
Tick tock, tick tock, tick tock, the heart ticks stronger.

The passing of time, amazing in it's simplicity, yet
The child within still lives on even as time has passed
Uncontrollably in it's complexity, forever in it's debt
The teenager lives freely filled with opinions amassed
Tick tock, tick tock, tick tock, the heart ticks stronger.

Innocence and naive children no more, the stage is set
Youthful belief in fairy tales disintegrate
Approaching the next marker of time....
We realize all things eventually evaporate
Tick tock, tick tock, tick tock, the heart ticks stronger.

Fast forward here we are now grown and back in today
We breezed past childhood, parent-hood and the neighborhood
Life is a series in linear fashion, each year building on the other
You can't hit rewind and pretend, you cannot stop and play.
Tick tock, tick tock, tick tock, the heart ticks stronger.

Everyday plays on the previous, the prior, living in the moment
Making wise decisions is all we can hope for today, tomorrow
Is never guaranteed, Eventually, we all get the wake up call,
Through lives highs and lows our mind likes to be content
Tick tock, tick tock, tick tock, the heart ticks stronger.

Be wise, my dear, give thanks and heed life's warnings, 
We too, realize that as a youth our time seemed unlimited
With maturity we realize we do not and cannot control things
Because time gets us all in it's death call. Temporarily escape
Tick tock, tick tock, tick tock, the heart ticks stronger.

In the end, we must spend our time wisely, the clock's power
It's an illusion, as the higher power has the power of the hour
Within it, we decide how best to build our life, our future
Youth must choose a life's path, without a GPS or even a map
Tick tock, tick tock, tick tock, the heart ticks stronger.

Philosophers share ethical frameworks, Businesses have plans,
No one knows everything, even a genius cannot tap the wisdom
Machines try to control time and people try to manage Time
Time and life, forever entwined with death, time is lost for a moment.
Beyond human control but a mere figment of our reality
Tick tock, tick tock, tick tock, the heart ticks no more.

hugs Jeanee
cJeanBourque 2017.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Painting to the Beat and Learning Guitar.... UPDATED

 All artwork copyright JeanBourque.

I have been painting all summer and have had a blast!! School starts back up next week!! So decided it is a good time to write a blog post about my attempts to learn to play guitar.

Driving Lights!
July 2017
 My newest guitar has steel strings, my old guitar had nylon strings. So I need to toughen up my finger tips. (LOL)
I learned to read music as a kid and you would think it would be easier for me to learn guitar because of that. However, I have discovered, many musicians actually do not read music. 
They feel it and it flows.
My brain wants to know, 
how do they do that?
I am slowly learning "tabs" and relearning notes and chords. However,  what I would like to develop is the ability to recognize what I am hearing and interpret that instrumentally and "feel" the music onto the Steel String Acoustic Guitar. This is the classical guitar showing strings and how thin they are. The new guitar has steel strings, which are thicker.

I can feel it with paint and paint to the music, keep the beat and flow with it. Intellectually, I know it is just a matter of applying that to the guitar. Easier said than done. I am a natural drummer... so changing that to be a natural strummer is

Painting to the beat JeaneePaintsLive shows a painting in progress (above). 
I "feel" the music when I paint and want to interpret it to play guitar or any other instrument. Since a few people have asked about what I have in my hand, that is a palette knife. I actually use them a lot, however, I do also paint with ordinary artist's brushes as well. Typically on stage, I am painting in acrylics on pre-stretched canvas and every now and then, I will throw in other things, creating a mixed media piece. For example, one time when I was painting live to "The Dubber" aka Wendall Culbreath, he broke a string while playing and I added that into the painting. It didn't want to stay on but eventually, the paint and mediums dried and it became part of the piece. 

I Believe in Miracles!!

Guitar Based:
Thank you Guitar Sage

Piano Based:

Thank you Aimee

Yours Truly,

Any helpful hints are deeply appreciated!! If you like my writing, my sense of humor, my blog, or hearing about events or perhaps my art or other people's art: PLEASE Follow this blog, hit subscribe and share with friends. It won't be very often. Thank you!!

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

It's Maymester and Jeanee is Right back at It! Drawing, that is...

Maymester officially began yesterday and I am on Sara Schneckloth's ARTS330 Drawing intensive!
My former teacher, James Busby is also teaching a class here but he is teaching intro...and I had that a couple years ago. Sara has such a great personality, she smiles all the time and laughs a lot. I love that in a person. She also accepts free spirits like myself and Alex who was also in my last drawing class. He always has head phones on. Big stereo type head phones. He is usually later than I am for school. So... that is all I know about him. LOL! The other people in the class all seem really nice and fun. Tim was in a painting class with me before. He is an excellent painter. We also have Kelsey, Maddie, AnnaGrace and Mogan plus Jason in our class. Tomorrow Eileen Blythe is giving a demo!!

Been drawing models, flowers and leaves. Found one with lots of colors.... will post as soon as I have a painting. You can follow me on Instagram at artjeanee! Teacher says we will be using instagram for our art class! Cool!

Until later my friends... keep your hands in the art!!
Yours Truly

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Spring semester wind down... 2017

All paintings on this page are by Jean Bourque Copyright 2017... some may still be in progress!!

Dear Friends....

Another school year is about over and there are so many things still left to do. I have a lot of friends graduating and realize the paint studio at school is going to be pretty empty this summer.  But come fall there will be a new crop of painters moving in. As for me, i am taking classes this summer as well, so I will be in the studio and painting!!! Maybe I will get them all done in time for the Fall. (kidding, they will be done before then!)

Yes, you remember correctly, originally I had planned to graduate Spring 17, but I didn't realize just how hard academic classes would be after being away so long and after having chemo treatments. LOL! Needless to say, some semesters I quickly realized I bit off more than I could chew and had to drop a course or two here or there. Plus the issue with German 2. I dropped and choose diff language... and it's still hard but I know I have to do it. LOL!

My busiest and best semester ever was Fall 2016, I took 6 classes, worked part time, and even made the Dean's list! But I absolutely had no spare time and no fun. Spring 2017, I only signed up for 4 classes because one was a double painting class plus I also took two classes at City Arts during this time. Oil Painting, of course, but here is the surprise, I took two classes one 6 week with Stephen Whetstone in Portraits and then I did the two day workshop with Michael DelPriore also in Portraits.
No, I am not planning on becoming a portrait artist. But I can paint people, much better!!

I love abstracts and experimental art forms even more than ever, but every now and then I like to throw a person or two in the mix. Plus, I know I will eventually "have" to take figure drawing/painting at school, so I may as well prepare for it! LOL! Right now, I have paint on my arms and I am sure on my face... and I have my dirty paint apron on and have 16 paintings out I am working on. That is a lot. I think it is the most I have ever had going at one time. LOL!

You could say I have become fussier now. LOL! A little knowledge can be a dangerous thing. It's been a tough semester, what with having to research, write and give 4 speeches and the second semester of Spansh. It has been a real nightmare for me. I have never been one for public speaking. It's funny because when I was a kid I loved being in plays, but after moving to SC, I became shy. I have no idea why! LOL!!

I love my drawing class. I swear I have the BEST drawing teacher ever! His name is James Busby and he is a great painter and shows in NY. He has lots of patience which as any experimental artist can tell you, is a GREAT quality when dealing with artists like me! He is very versatile his work ranges from very realistic to super abstarcat and sometimes geometric, google him... if you want to know more!

I will miss my paint mates at school as they will all be graduating all but one. I have painted a lot with Matthew Berry while he painted in the studio beside mine. I hadn't really been painting with anyone since my best friend died in 2010. So it's been really cool, to get feedback and learn ways others work when they paint.  He does really awesome work. He is really skilled in drawing and plans all his paintings. He does really large paintings often with Native Americans in them and a lot of mystery and magic. His paintings are meditative and similiar to Alex Gray. Not exactly but they are realistic, extremely well rendered and have lots of information and details to them, that I have never attempted to paint anything like them. They seem complicated but I love looking at his work. Maybe we can trade one.

Some of mine have been at the point where I thought they were done.... but my teacher or anoither painter would point out something so now.... I think I may have 2 of the 16 done. I have to have three done by Friday. Guess I need to prioritize! LOL!  Friday is final critique and last day of school, not counting finals. I have two, one in Speech and the other in Spanish 2 ...FUN, fun, Fun.... NOT!!

Hope you all are painting or doing something you love... catch ya' later,
Hasta Luigo,

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Lauren Chapman at 80808 April 28, 2017

Hi friends,

Just wanted to tell you about a great art show coming up. My classmate Lauren Chapman will be graduating soon with her BFA. She is a great painter and has already won numerous awards. 

Her art show will be at 80808 in the Vista in Columbia SC.
The Artist's Reception will be Friday April 28, 2017 from 6-9 pm. This artist is definetly going places, you should see her art!! 

Yours truly...