How Would You Spend A Day With A Famous Artist From The Past?
Martha Coaty, Keith Morant, Bren Sibilsky, and Cynthia Lund Torroll take us on a fantastic journey through time and space as they describe their fantasy day with their favorite artists.
All artists are members of the Manhattan Arts International Artist Showcase Gallery.
Banner image is a painting by Keith Morant.
Click on artists’ names to visit their pages.
When Georgia O’Keeffe boarded the train for Taos to find new subjects, I pretend I was on the car with her. We talked about her technique of acquiring smooth surfaces in her paintings. Georgia told me there is photographic influence on her paintings, specifically cropping which is evident in her flowers.
I’m from Wisconsin too, I told her. She described the rural influence on her paintings and most specifically how she longed to find vast subjects in the open west. Between the photographic influence and painting from her current environment, I sensed her spirit and felt kindred.
O’Keeffe assured me that fear is real and reacting to what I see or sense with self-trust and tangible effort is the artist’s only solution to quell the nerves.
It is June, 1978 and I am in Madrid with Joan Miro. He is 85 years old and we are viewing a collection of his works prior to his first Spanish retrospective exhibition. He smiles at me and says: “This show is a good summing up of my life. I’m moved at coming among my children, even the most rebellious of them like this.”
We stop before his “Still Life with Rabbit” (1920) and I ask him about the strangely coloured bird. He smiles wistfully and says: “That rooster was torture. There was absolutely no way to keep him quiet. Finally, he just fell into place and there he is.”
“Just like you.” I commented.
He grins and whispers: “Tal es el progreso del arte.” (Such is the progress of art.)
Anne Hyatt Huntington and I would start the day having breakfast at a N.Y. cafe before heading off to her studio with Brenda Putnam, who shares the studio with her. The three of us would borrow a N.Y. city carriage horse to sculpt. Anne would fill me in on all the things a good equine sculptor should know about sculpting dynamic animals in motion. Anne would also give me tips on how a woman can open doors to creating powerful monumental sculpture.
We three would be fierce, sculpting well into the evening while conversing about life, art and future possibilities.
The day would end with wine, laughter and a promise of doing this again in the future.
1939 –I spend an evening with Frida Kahlo when she is in France. She’s not in the best of health, so we opt to stay in her apartment, which has been lent by a close friend of Marcel Duchamp. I have tea. She has tequila. She shows me sketches for a new painting and tells me about the work that will be in “Mexique”, the exhibition that Marcel helped arrange for her at Galerie Renou et Colle.
She demands to see my sketchbook. So excited, she leaps up, knocking down the tea table. We both laugh.
She insists that I show it to her friends the next night at dinner. (Kandinsky, Picasso and many in Andre Breton’s Surrealistic circle, including Max Ernst and Joan Miró.)