For as long as I can remember Matisse has been, with Picasso, the defining inspiration for creative modern artists. He hovers above us always out of reach as both painter and sculptor of genius.
One of my personal claims to fame was that I was alive before he died in 1954, when he was in his eighties and still as creative as ever.
A new exhibition of his glorious Cut Outs is about to open at Tate and the excitement is mounting at this once in a lifetime chance to view these works, gathered from all over the world.
I have always strived to draw in a more simplified way, repeating rhythms and forms in the way that Matisse appeared to do so effortlessly. I say “appeared” because it is deceptive with Matisse, who worked incessantly and obsessively towards a new aesthetic.
Matisse drew and painted almost everyday of his life and in his work a respect for the art of the past is combined with an extraordinary ability to reinvent figurative art to an overwhelming pitch of intensity. He was also a lover of Dance related imagery, in some ways all his work is dance-like in its rhythmical style.
This week I have been working with a very inspiring dancer and repeating poses to try and capture their linear essence.
Matisse once replied to the question “Do you believe in God” with “Yes when I am working”.
For me when I look at Matisse I too am a believer.
My Drawings Du Jour : Wind Dancer 1-3