When I got the book, at a whopping 630+ pages, I thought this is going to take me all summer to read. It took me ONE WEEK! I was completely mesmerized and taken with his story, his art and how contemporary art was shaped. I didn’t know to the extent that he was rubbing shoulders, smoking cigarettes, punching noses and making friends with the likes of Gorky, Rothko, Pollock, Kline, Rosenberg and others. It’s a virtual Who’s Who of American contemporary art. If you love contemporary art as much as I do, I highly recommend this book. And, I love that he was an illustrator and enjoyed printmaking as I do.
As I was reading, I kept seeing these enormous canvases that he worked and realized that I was itching to work larger. I’ve been wanting to paint big for a very long time but my old studio didn’t have the room. My new studio is much larger but I was clearly in the habit of painting small pieces. The book so inspired me that I took out a large sheet of heavy duty watercolor paper, taped it to my ancient conference table and decided to play BIG.
This is the outcome and I am thoroughly pleased with Summer I (48″ w x 29″ h). I used watercolor washes and dry brush watercolor pigments. I was reading the book during painting breaks out in my studio garden. I didn’t really know what I was painting, since this was an exercise in scale, until I was done. It’s the dappled sunlight that played across the grass and flowers while I was reading.
Thanks Alyson for a great book club and a great read!