Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Klee's pedagogical sketchbook

Senecio, Paul Klee
I've admired the modernist art of Paul Klee for some time. This week I've been reading about his pedagogical sketchbook. I was pleased to see that his instructions translate to writers, too.
1. Take a line for a walk. Repeat the same form in as many positions as possible.
2. Observe a fishtank. Create movement in your work.
3. Draw the circulatory system. Use nature as a model, theme, inspiration.
4. Weigh the colors. Combine scientific precision with mysticism; find the connection between color and music.
5. Study the greats. Break down a master to determine what makes their work successful (or not).
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I've also been admiring the photographs of Jacques Henri Lartigue. He and Klee were probably contemporaries of a sort. I'm quite taken with his casual, non-posed photographs of a certain class of young, slender, elegant European in the 1920's and 1930's, living life, running around in go-karts, sun-bathing, jumping off a staircase, going out. The women are rouged beauties, the men dashing and reckless. There's a sense of languor and mystery. Do yourself a favor. Click this Google search and immerse yourself.

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