Coffee stain art

The interesting part of working with coffee stains is that for some artists it just happened by accident. Many people in the world can’t start the day with a cup of coffee but I suppose the artists mind and eyes go beyond that. I too see art and ways of working with it in my everyday life with everything around me. These researches just motivates me to continue looking for ways of expressing art and not to limit myself to a studio full of “made for art” materials and tools. In the era of recycling, reuse, reduce it is crucial to do art and at the same time having a way to collaborate with the environment getting the attention of audience to art and how it was made. I think coffee, tea a wine stain has similar effect of watercolours except that it creates monochromatic pieces, not very easy to achieve but it also seems to be a therapeutic process: to use something pleasant to the senses: see, smell, touch and taste. I like very much the work of Hong Yi for its details and specially for its scale. Her portraits are very accurate and it surely done with time and patience. Since I have been very interested in expressive art, quick, energetic and spontaneous, I think practising “coffee stain art” would be a good way for the to focus more, reflect and change the method in order to learn how it triggers in me.

Karen Elland has an impressive realistic style in her coffee stain paintings. She reproduces famous pieces and create very accurate ones. Her dark and light contrast is perfect and her attention to details must require a lot time, observation and patience. It is visually amazing but I like more lose mark making and the technique Houng Yi uses for her portraits.

“What makes an artist unique is when they do things differently.” said Gaul. “You’ve gotta keep reaching. A true artist will find something that takes what they create and takes it to the next level. There’s something to be said for coming up with your own idea.” – Ron Gaul – The daily Chronicle article – September 20,2012

Contextual study point 12: Annette Robinson and Sue Gilmore

The work of Annette Robinson shows the multi faceted ways to approach an image. How she sees the “Sticklebricks” through different angles, in some parts of it, in photography, stamps and in relief. It changes the feeling in each different project. The numerous possibilities she achieved is a great source of how the process of trying the possibilities becomes art in  unpredictable ways. The “Sticklebricks” (if you don’t know it is a toy) could be mistaken be a textile pattern, a architectural study or even a graphic comic image. It is the same object done in different methods that turns the work to be very interesting. Only after a great deal of images that her idea/project takes a body and make sense. If it was only a couple drawings of a piece of toy it would not be a subject of exposition but her ways of showing it in so many way that creates a solid intention of her efforts to develop something ordinary into a artistic level.

The work of Sue Gilmore is about taking the time, preparing, having it transforming and finally let the result happen. In her case, the process of making charcoal to execute her conceptual work -pyrolisis- is what makes me think that not only about the visual, scale and materials used that matters  but most importantly focusing in the process itself . In this module, for The process project , work like hers helps so much people like me in a long distance online course to figure out ways and reasons to develop ideas and concept reaching the understanding required to present a final piece.

Contextual study point 11: Grayson Perry

Both articles and video interview brought  many insights of Grayson Perry’s ways and nature of his works. He is definitely a piece of art himself. He extended his way of expressing himself through his art all the way to his crossdressing and he enjoys showing it. As mentioned on his video interview by Tim Marlow – Director of artistic Programmes of the Royal Academy , Grayson Perry above all is also a performer, without forcing it, it is who he is. Grayson Perry is so  humbly opened about who he is and I think that is one of the reasons people get so engaged in his talks and with  his art. Bright colours and images, a variety of subjects and approaches, he deals with the matters of the world. His depiction is explicit , full of humour, provoking and seducing ways. On the article about his first artwork, I relate to him in the sense that sometimes in the middle of the night, ideas come to his head and he has to just doodle some of it on paper. In preparation for his work it will have some additions and changes but the foundation will be pretty much a resemblance of what he had first sketched. The same happens to me, although I think I am not confident or experienced enough to develop my initial ideas and sketches all the way to a final piece, YET!. It is motivating and inspiring to know that an artist do not need to stick with a subject all the time. Grayson Perry deals with his childhood matters, the unconscious ,politics, what is going on in the world at the moment, and put images and pieces together in very appealing ways. I like how he depict figures in the foreground a lot bigger than the background.  I think he can play around with his feeling and moods in his art because his style is consistent and from tapestry to his vases, mixing medias and textures and materials, he has a unique style and that is what makes him so recognised in the world of art at the present time. Grayson made use of all his experiences from emotional pain and self-discovery, strong and bright pieces of art but also with a lot of light feelings  and humorous touch. His is audacious but also a simple and committed artist. He does every bit of his art himself. It feels like that he really does it for him and had a great opportunity to show it to the world and attracted a lot admirers. I think it could be that he mirror what many people feel and want to be.  Most of us, sometimes we are not brave enough to completely open up our most deep and darkest secrets not realising we are all the same!

my prettylittleartcareer
My little pretty Art career – Grayson Perry

I chose the image above to make my own comments about Grayson Perry’s art. His colours are so bright, there is so much information and patterns and shapes but yet it all has a balance. His foreground and middle ground and background are well depicted. I feel like looking at a very modern Rennaisance art, if there was no such term as “Contemporary art”. He depicts the type of food, outfits, furniture… all very British, very traditional. It in the little details like the tea and jam on the table, the slippers on the Botton right, the vegetables on top of a newspaper, the tea towel in the back of the lady playing on her phone, the landscape in the background.The patterns on the ladies dress and skirt reminds me of vintage clothes from second hand shops. His colours ,patterns and colour contrast  reminds me a bit of Anthony Green’s work.  It tells a story as well, it is fun, bright,  beautiful and well balanced.

Green, Anthony, b.1939; Mr and Mrs Stanley Joscelyne: The Second Marriage
Mr. and Mrs. Stanley Joscelyne: the second marriage by Anthony Green
The birth of John The Baptist – by Tintoretto 1550

Contextual study point 10: Notations exhibition

Going through the Essay ‘The Porous Practice of Drawing’, by Meredith Malone, in my understanding, drawing overall is a important component to the practise of art . Rather the artist  focus on the material or on the ideas ;the visual and physical results needs a starting point. Sculptures, installation, site-specific work or paintings are a result of processes which sometimes is what the drawings will influence most or when the drawings were simply a jot down of a moment, and will dissolve or lose importance depending on the artists outcome , progression or improvisation through beginning to end. Donal Judd and Dan Flavin gave high values of their drawings which for them exposed the process of creation and stranded as vital counterpoints to the sterile perfection of the standardised industrial Minimalist object. There is a lot information that goes into the drawings, and  for me it is equivalent to a manual of instructions and steps in order for the artist to conclude his ideas into the piece he wants. Carl Andre on the other hand didn’t think of drawing to be as essential as Dan Flavin. He believed that in his sculptures , the process would reveals itself as he goes through it. Richard Serra was the same and he stated ” I never make sketches or drawing for sculptures. I don’t work from an a priori concept or image. Sculptors who work from drawings, depictions, illustrations are more than likely removed from the working process with material and construction”. He still used his drawing though but his approach to it differed of the one from Dan Flavin. In the same way that Barry Le va gave a lot importance to his drawings. Some of his statements about drawings prove it. ” to be alone with myself”, “to discover and clarify my thoughts”, ” visualise my thoughts” and to ” convince myself some thoughts are worth pursuing”. Drawing will play a different role for different artists from conceptual or experimental, it will act as decision making  or feeling aroused during the process by the artist. The very unconventional Willian Anastasi who developed a series of blind drawing in the subway journeys to a more systematic approach of Sol LeWitt , Three-part variations on three different kinds of Cubes, 1967.

“Visualise my thoughts” ( Notes (undated), reprinted in Accumulated Vision: Barry Le Va (Philadelphia: institute of Compotemporary Art, 2005, 89.) would be the quote that describes best what drawing means to me. Sometimes the images does not come out exactly the way I have in my mind. Sometimes the result is disappointing and I still can’t pinpoint where it went wrong and sometimes it goes above my expectations and gives me an extra push to take my ideas further as soon as I have the main starter on paper.

I liked the idea of Anastasi of blind drawing, I haven’t tried exactly as her work has been described but I usually have some great experiences on typical doodling or sketching random images while talking on the phone or listening to music. It is not a planned drawing or with any intention. It captures my unconscious movements that sometimes will triggers ideas or simply bring out my mind images and thinking process. Through this module I discovered the pleasure and purpose of simply mark making to reach another level of drawing. I am attracted to a more expressive and energetic sort of drawings rather than systematic and planned. EDM is helping me to refine some skills that I think I always had but did not consider relevant to the act of drawing. As a learner of art, my concept use to be of drawing to form a figure or object in details and aesthetic shape. I feel a lot more satisfaction in drawing now that I take it as simply my own way of expression, exploring new materials and techniques and find a way to create meaningful pieces of my own expression.




Contextual study point 9 : Roman Ondak and Karina Smigla-Bobinski



Which work do you prefer and why?

I like both work very much for different reasons. “Measuring the universe” – Roman Ondak-  was such a simple idea, inspired in a home act that works exactly the same way in so many different cultures around the world. I like the fact that it is interactive, and instead of the artist presenting a ready Artwork, the audience form an art piece! It is a very social initiative. The fact that the result of it was also a surprise, there was no way of predicting what exactly it would look like. He also took the risk of putting a proposal out there and see if the public would be willing to participate which was obviously a success as well. However,  if I have to chose one artwork to visit,  it would be ” Analog installation” of Karina Smigla- Bobinski  . I like the movement of it. The public have the choice to giving it a try or just observe others. I like the irregular lines and the unconscious drawing formed on the walls.I  also like the aesthetic part of it. The big ball moving around the room,  in different speeds and how people handle it is also what drawn me more towards this kind of artwork.


Part three – Contextual study point 8 – Extending a line into space

This is an interesting article about the sixtieth anniversary of  “this is tomorrow” that first started in  1956 in London – Whitechapel Art gallery and its progress involving some reproduction and re imagination of original pieces and applying a new contemporary language to develop ideas of what this kind of exhibition is all about.  This event is important to remember the past, but also to serves as inspiration for the present art and predict and risk what would come in the future. In my opinion, it serves to show the evolution of an initial concept that involved different ways to represent art : architectural, sculptures and drawings both in 2D and 3D formats but I think the main point of it was to bring drawings to a living experience in form of installations. I think it is important to keep the original feel to it and trace a timeline for viewers to follow how this kind of art grows. I like how they entitled this article: This is tomorrow- this was tomorrow- this is today. It self explain what you expect to see.

X-fun house – Richard Hamilton 

This is my favourite viewing “This is tomorrow” websites because of the size scale that brings the impact of it and the bottle in 3D to let viewers experience the creation in all levels.

Richard Hamilton 

This images is exactly the kind of work that I am trying to reproduce at the moment. I like the collage and 3D perspective. I have searched to find out if it was an installation but it seems to be a poster! It definitely give the right feeling of being in that room observing from a corner or just entering it. The orange couch, the lady sitting behind the brown one, the ceiling and the view from the window is what makes the room a complete environment to enter.

The “drawing room” for instance, brings drawings in 3D ways into a different experience than “This is tomorrow” . I think it is more about following  feelings and the subconscious to express art adding materials to bring the drawing lines to a different level. It is not about building sculptures only but thinking of ways to represent their art in a more intimate feel. It not much about visuals but more about forms and psychological approaches in a poetic, intellectual, historical, informative and many other proposals . They exteriorise their experiences in their own experimental practises.

The Naked – 2014

Definitely the most interesting exposition for me. It was about the depiction of naked bodies, the image, sexual matters, feelings, shame, solitude, love…  Taking as a starting point ” Egon Schiele” – my favourite artist of all,  Tracey Emin and Louise Borgeois among many more. In this course  journey to find my voice in art, more than I learn and search, more I get drawn to these subjects: the unconscious, sexuality, self image and desires.




Anna Bu Kliewer and Flynn Cameron Jones

Contextual study point 7

Anna Bu Kliewer

Ukranian-German artist, now based in London. I think that Anna Kliewer’s work reminds me a lot of Dali. It is very surreal and I personally find most of them visually overwhelming. It has a lot weight and information. I see Anna Kiewer, and other artists from Brooklyn Collage collective as very young artists with a very different visual taste than the other artists I have been searching for this module like Cy Twombly and Toby Paterson. I think their generation  does make difference in the way they see art and how they want to send a message. I like that fact that she still does it in analog way. Having a teenager daughter and crashing opinions and worlds, I can see how Anna Kiewer’s work come to life. She is 31 years old, not a teenager,  but a very young artist in a very different world I grow up from. Her hobbies, friends and the present time influences her work and it has a lot to do with how women are seeing today, places and our society . It is helpful to understand how the process, sources and her social cultural interests influences her art. There is no doubt her work is very imaginative, fun and elaborated. I think Anna Kiewer’s work is a good source of information about where collage stands today. It is an art medium coming back in a more modern, free and refreshing way for collage . There are no rules, right or wrong. Artists use their own methods and explain what and why are they doing it, their intentions and the public decide if it suit their taste or not. They do it for different reasons and it seems to be expressing a form of art freely in a more non judgmental art world.

Anna Blu Kiewer – untittled

The collage above is very intriguing.. What is the figures on her face? They look like vaginas to me. Is it a protest of women these days been seen as sexual object? I couldn’t find a tittle for this work of Anna Kiewer.

Anna Bu Kiewer – untittled

I cannot find titles for most of Anna Bu Kiewer’s work and the collage above has also caught my attention for its simplicity. I can only think that is it is about stress, too much going on on his head and he is about to explode? Or about the lack of clear vision we have about the world or the lack of seeing people clearly through the whole explosion that is going on in our own heads. I might be wrong and she could have just done a visual work in a spontaneous way without the intention of sending  any message  but the beauty of it is that the viewers can interpreted as they feel like it.

Flynn Cameron Jones

Not much I could find about Cameron Jones as his website is just blank… Looking at his work, some of them reminded me of Jessie Laura’s work, an artist part of the core crew of Brooklyn Collage Collective, which is cutting strips of images to overlap the collage. Both Flynn and Anna Bu are very modern, contemporary and have a young translation or art and collage  these days. They are an innovation for this medium. It is not something that I could say I completely understand and like  but it is interesting to see and find out how they get to work with collage, why and the outcome of it. I think it would make more sense to me if they were to include some words or titles. It would make easier for someone like me that has no experience in doing or understanding collage to became more interested in their work. Saying that I think that Lappin Morgan, who doesn’t use any words, is one of my favourite of the young collage artist as well as Lizzie Gill. Lappin is because of the humour that I like in some of his works and Lizzie for the technique she use with hole punchers.



Toby Paterson and Cy Twombly

Contextual study point 6

Toby Paterson,-toby

Toby Paterson is a  Scotish artist who lives and works in Glasgow. His  art is something very hard for me to  understand.  It might be  because  where I am in art at the moment . I feel like a very beginner, learning small steps at time from all my researches till now. I am interested in  sculpulture and  other kinds of 3D artwork. His works  loos very architectural, clean, technical and in some works, minimalist to me. His shapes, sculptures and installations has the strong concept of post war modernism and abstracts. His work is very urban and according to the brief biography on the first website above, it is inspired on his skateboarding journeys around the city and buildings.


I think the video above was a bit more clarifying for me to learn how is the process that Toby Paterson goes through creating his work. What I understand now is that he makes long studies of the objects, forms and the effect on the space. For installations for instance he constructs environments and the audience can experience the view of existing in there. He is a very observant artist who admired his surroundings as a child which was mainly Victorian buildings. After they got demolished he came to turn his attention to modernist architecture. Toby not only use his seeing ability to create his work but through his skateboarding around urban environments he captured a whole sensory experience that wasn’t about seeing forms and space but feel the texture and weight of them.  It gave him the opportunity to find different use for those objects. I think he enjoys work on big scale spaces and although I still find it difficult to understand his work and think he is a dedicate artist with a purpose and that is the reason he has grown as an artist and had so many opportunities of exhibit his work . HIs audience follows how he will come up with a new idea and how he will present it. It also amazed me to find out that his work is not digitally manipulated at all. He just uses it for photography and all he develops his ideas mainly  from drawings.


Cy Twombly

Cy Twombly, American artist born in 1928 – died in Rome in 2011. Twombly belonged to the movement Abstract Impressionism. He emerged during the 50′ in Europe. His inspirations came from Greco-Roman Mythology, history, places, French Neo classicism and contemporary graffiti on ancient walls. He seemed to know  to balance history, the past with his own sensual and emotional response to it. Writing and language was also major conceptual foundations to his abstract art. He focused on sketching unidentifiable doodles and splotching on canvas based on handwriting.

At first, only looking at the images before reading about Cy Twombly I instantly identified his work with the work of my nursery class as I am a kindergarten teacher. Most people would say with a bit of despise in their voices, including parents or someone who consider themselves to be a non-artistic person, that any random scribble or “messy paint” is just like a work of a art of a 4 years old. On the contrary, I think there is so much life and energy and most work of the 4 years old I have been teaching for the last 5 years.  I believe that the appearance of a childish look in Cy Twombly’s artwork is a bit intentional. He has the courage and guts to express himself in the most free spirited way  which we all did once,  when we were small and innocent. Saying that, the work of Cy Twombly is hugely more refined than that. What appears to be a childish scribble or blotches is actually a strong voice and passion for history and as mentioned above, and the right balance on his researches versus his own concepts. I admire and loved to see his work because of the strong urge I also have to express art freely, following my own instincts, emotions and moment. I find it so fascinating to take handwriting as inspiration and the movement in his large scale work is so energetic and bright. The video bellow is all I had in mind about Cy Twombly but it is all said by someone more articulated who became friends with him and definitely understood his essence to the core. I think the short interview with film maker John Waters says it all.

Cy Twombly – The last paintings 2003-2011

There are a few works that I really like but the one above is one of my favourite because of the colours combination, the painting running down the canvas, the layered colours and the movement. It reminds me my childhood books when I had to fill up pages with snake, loops, zig zag and other lines that I had no idea what was that for and found it very tedious to do it and at the same time relaxing. I like the intensity of each colour, the lighter red and very strong and thick red on the top. It is a painting full of energy .

Cy Twombly –  The last paintings

I specifically posted this image because of the size scale compared to a person. Again, it is the loop movement that captivates me, it is childish and wonderful, it bleeds out of the canvas and I can feel how big and energetic would be painting something so big.  The lines are in harmony with thick and thin, dry and wet.

Cy Twombly – Peony Blossom painting 2006-2007 this link is a more accurate explanation of the series of painting entitled “Peony”. This particular one is my favourite  and I didn’t know until I read the article above, that the choice for the painting was a result of his reasrch of  ancient preference in  Japanese art to contemplate the aesthetic form of flowers like peonies, chrysanthemums or cherry blossom. Cy also had his inspiration on a haiku written on the 14th century by Takarai Kikaku for a Samurai called Kusunoku Masashige about Peonies which suggests the Samurai abandoned his armour for a moment to allow himself the pleasure to appreciate the Peonies. I am very keen on all sorts of Japanese art because it is in my blood. It is part of my family heritage and there is a certain view from Japanese culture perspective in art that deeply appeals to me. I think it is the way they see the world and beauty that attracts me most. In certain touches, use of colours, subject and perspective. In traditional Japanese art ” Sumie” the simple strokes and minimalism has a sort of power that I can contemplate for a long time. Maybe in Cy Twombly Peonies I saw this minimalism and yet loud and powerful that explains where my taste in going for the art I want to make.

Peony in  Japanese Sumie style

The painting above is just to show the traditional Japanese style of depicting a very elaborated flower in a simple way. Cy Twombly did that just in a more daring, expressive, powerful and brighter .

Toby Paterson versus Cy Twombly

Although I am really glad I came to understand a bit more of Toby Paterson’s art and concepts, I can confidently say that Cy Twombly is clearly my favourite. Toby Paterson has its foundation in forms and shapes in the sense of geometrical, architectural  way, His work is well planned and neat. He has a view and thinks of how to translate that for his audience. He tries to create art so people can see what he sees through it. His colours are soft, classy and it all looks very clean and well positioned. Cy Twombly is chaos, mess, audacity and courage. Not that Toby Paterson is not courageous, every artist is when they believe in their art and open it to the public. I think Cy Twombly did what he felt like doing rather then worry about if the public would understand and be pleased or not with it. It was so out of boundaries that it just did! He was confident enough to express his intentions and passions through his very own interpretation of it. The result is that his energetic and powerful work either hit the public in a very good or bad way. The bad way I suppose would be people thinking it is all about scribbled and a bit of mess. The very good way would be the very natural response to his work which is the only way to deeply appreciate Cy Twombly ,like the film maker John Waters did.


Brooklyn Collage Collective and Lorem Ipsum group exhibition : beautiful savage

Brooklyn Collage Collective is a project founded in 2013 by Lappin Jesse Morgan, American Designer and musician who started collage when he needed to come up with new designs for his T-shirt company. The result was a beginning of   a passionate way to express himself artistically. Founding BBC ( Brooklyn Collage Collective) became a Chanel to gather artists interested in collage from local areas and  all over the world, bringing attention to this medium and build a strong community of collage artists and mixed media.

” Because of the Internet, books are the reason collage is blooming as a medium” Lappin Morgan, 2017. 

the weird and wonderful collages of morgan jesse lappin

I really enjoyed reading the interview with Lappin Morgan for MOOF magazine because it just reveals more about how innovative and enthusiastic he is with his artwork. It is very inspiring understanding how he achieves such great collages. Lappin spends a fair amount of time looking for and collecting images that draw his attention. I like the fact that he looks into 90’s and before,  encyclopaedias and educational books, magazines (including porn ones) and develop the most intricate and fun ideas. He is a collector of any images, found anywhere, that he sees some interest . I think he shows that collage is mostly about searching for images that capture some sort of feeling within us and from there we can explore without limits what our minds can create. Lappin Morgan works is a mixture of dedication, creativity, innovation and surely his background influences as in family, childhood memories, music and his surrounding.

“For your Pleasure” ( physical cut and tape, 2014) Lappin Morgan

I like the collage above from Lappin for its attention to details, black and white choice that gives a completely vintage feel and the giant couple in the middle having passionate sex! It is fun and well elaborated. It has a good balance between the ambience, people and image as a whole. The very formal environment, full of men dressed in suits in contrast with the naked couple having sex and fitting so well is quite amazing. The lady’s hands fits the table perfectly and in both sides, the audience are convincingly watching them!

Michele Luger is a young 30 years old artist and another member of the BCC, who lives and works in Brooklyn. She likes various forms of arts such as filming, performing and writing but her ultimate choice is definitely visual arts. She joined BBC in 2018.

I like her collage style and the concept of exploring human emotions in the way that it masks our true feelings. I also find it very interesting that she actually does not cut the images she selects for her work. I understand that she traces the area she wants to apply her own addition by painting on it. It is a cutting without physically cutting if I understood well.

Fear of flying- Michele Luger member of BBC

I chose the image above for its title and the overall look . I think it is a very nice connection between image and tittle because of the both sides images of : an airplane and what looks like a sort of explosion happening underneath it. On the right side the couple looking relaxed or probably masking their fear by looking relaxing? The central image is a face with a cowboy hat and the left angle of it seems to be of a tough guy but the frontal image of a very frightening expression with an airplane above which to me looks like the real “fear” going inside his head. It is a very cubist painting and although it is not something ver appealing to me, a like how she came out with this concept and applied in many of her works of collage. It defines a style and put her signature in it.


Lorem Ipsum project : beautiful savage

Going through the artists of beautiful savage I really like the work of Lizzie Gill

She is an American mixed media artists who explores a contemporary versus retro Americana concepts. I like the technique she uses with a hole puncher! I think it is such a simple tool that I would never thinking about using in an artwork and the effect of various size dots is great. It gives a very feminine look to it, delicate and pretty, but when she change the sizes it is more graphic and contemporary feel. In some of this collage series she adds some pencil lines and painting with just the right balance. Her work really inspired me to experiment more in collage.

Tinderella – collage, Lizzie Gill ,2017

I like the collage above and the Allegory of the tittle, that shows in the romantic expression of the lady and the use of the dating app Tinder these days. Ironically, it  might make some women think they could find ” the one” through that kind of social network. It has a clever concept and image together, it is simple and the message is also simple to understand.

M_no7, collage by Lizzie Gill, 2017

I like the collage above, not sure I understand the message. I like it visually, the colours choice, the touch of bright red in contrast with black and white image, the scribbles on top of his head and the dots… I really like her series of work using a hole puncher!



Franz Kline

Contextual study point 3 – Franz Kline

Franz Kline – 1910 to 1962, was an American abstract expressionist who was born in a small coal mining town community in Pensilvania, where there was no much offer for artists. Franz had a very tough childhood as his father committed suicide when he was only seven years old. His mother remarried and sent him to an institution which he referred as “orphanage”.  Growing up Franz was determined to make it as an artist his own ways. He started as a cartoonist for his high school newspapers and went to Boston University’s school of Art . After finishing it he went to spend one year in  London- England,  where he met his wife and in 1938 returned to  New York with her. Unfortunately  she had a mental breakdown soon after and spent time in mental institutions. In New York he started painting murals in bars and selling his illustrations to magazines in his “Rembrandt” days style. In 1943 he met Willen de Kooning, Jack Pollock and Philip Guston, all of them abstract expressionists. In part Franz was inspired by Kooning black and white paintings of 1946-49. By then he had abandoned figurative images and had already began to explore black and white expressionism in ink on paper. There are rumours that Kooning was the one who inspired Franz to start painting in large scale using an enlarger. The result was “a four by five inch black drawing of a rocking chair”. In 1950 Franz Kline had his first exhibition at the Charles Egan Gallery in New York.

Critics have long debated of Franz Kline style of black and white painting and Japanese calligraphy .The suggestion first surfaced on his breakthrough in 1950. He denied and affirmed that his inspiration comes from unconscious sources.

I agree that at first look, Franz Kline artwork reminded me of Japanese calligraphy as well but for only a few seconds. His strokes  exude confidence, they are strong and form images. Japanese calligraphy for instance, the strokes are delicate and carefully planned to occupy only  certain areas on the paper leaving white spaces untouched. It is a very soft way of using brush. Franz Kline paintings looks as if it is bleeding out of the paper. His overlapping style also shows that nothing was done in just a few brush strokes. It the use of layer after layer, carving the image he wanted to stand out.It has a rigid structure and yet very spontaneous.  I like how many of them are very architectural and some with so much perspective and depth even though it is only in black and white colours. I think his artwork is so imposing and confident. There are loads of different directions and movement like an orchestra of brush strokes. It is very difficult to replicate his artwork even by using it only as a reference. He had the ability to make such an strong statement through his paintings and I think that is why he standed out for Abstract Expressionism at the time.

The Chair – Franz Kline

The Chair – 1950 has a lot of Franz Kline technique in it. It is possible to see even only on computer screen the texture on the canvas. The white, no so white. The layer going over the chair legs, and some of greyish on the outlines of the black. It is simple but charming. Such nice piece to just stand in front of it and wonder how can it be done!?

Franz Kline

I couldn’t find any information on this painting but I really like it! It has so much movement and the way the brush dragged some colour off the main  painting around the top and in the middle added a sort of dimension to it. Although the background is white , there are whiter areas which shows like a light. It is an interesting construction that I cannot figure out what it is but that is exactly what grabs the attention. I look near and far, squint my eyes and it amuses me as an observer.

Franz Kline

Again, this is another painting that to me has so much perspective in it. It makes me feel I am looking at it from the top. The splashes of black decreases giving the sense of going further away. Is it some sort of explosion? It is all so intriguing…. I think Franz Kline has mastered the magic in Abstract Expressionism. It is abstract, very expressive but it also has that factor to make the observer keep wondering what is exactly that he saw, or imagine in order to create a piece like that. I like how it occupies the space in the canvas. Ho the amount of splashes are so balanced between both sides. This particular paint differs from the other two above. It has a momentum since splashes like that are not possible to keep overlaying. In my opinion it feels a bit more spontaneous and unexpected than the other two .