Critical Thinking

“How when producing my own work because I

“How has the study of natural forms affected the work of Sheila M. Evans and Georgia O’Keeffe?”During my research, I will analyse Sheila M. Evans and Georgia O’Keeffe as they have significant relevance to my work. Each of the artists’ work within the context of natural form and both explore the use of abstract compositions. I would like to research these artists in particular because they explore the formal elements, I have expressed the use of formal elements when producing my own work because I think that the use of line, tone and texture and important to the production of successful work. During my research, I will analyse work in depth and discuss how Evans and O’Keeffe studies have already inspired my work and how they will continue to inspire my work through in depth study. In addition to this, I will explore the inspiration and creative ideas that lead to the creation of the artist’s work. I will study techniques which each artist has used and how my work could be further influenced by these techniques and create new ideas within my own study. The first artist I am going to analyse is Sheila M. Evans. Evans has been painting in pastel and oil for the last 25 years. Evan’s inspiration comes from “light and forms in nature and the sense of calm those things can create.”Evans is an incredibly motivated artist. Evans work is much more about mood and emotion than subject matter. Evans is intensely affected by light and color, and they are what she paints. Evans works mostly with leaves and petals because she believes that they “capture sensations in a small but complete way” and because their “changeable forms allow her to use them as abstraction”. Evans studies the shapes, colours and lines within a leaf and begins to create a composition. Evans states “I paint because I have an obsessive need to make things. I used to make all sorts of things but eventually managed to channel my energy into what I think I do best. I love having a studio full of paintings.” “Atmosphere – Head in the clouds”Evans’ has an inspiring approach to creating, her work is simplistic yet sophisticated and represents true beauty within a cropped composition. Evans technique of cropping her subject matter enables her to achieve these sophisticated compositions which are abstract and could potentially lead the audience to question what it is that she is painting. I find Evans work intriguing, she creates an incredibly soothing mood within her work and Evans is conveying this atmosphere through this piece. This piece is peaceful and relaxing, her work suggests this because it appears soft, smooth and neutral. Evans’ explores the use of colours and lines significantly within her work which gives her work depth, a unique style and intriguing composition. I think that Evans’ work is successful because she produces work that is well considered in composition and technique. Evans’ work is  inspiring within my own work because her exploration of tone, line, shade and shape has impacted the way I have been creatively inspired to produce my own work, I have been more considerate of composition and I have been particularly interested in the content of her work. Evans produces her work in a refined colour palette, focusing specifically on green, yellow and brown tonies. I think that Evans’ selection of minimalisitic  colours adds to her work, she has to explore these colours in depth to create the unique tones within her work. Evans work has a three dimensonal feel through the expression of highlights and shading within her compositon. The tones and shades of neutral greens, yellows and browns feel soothing as they are colours associated with nature which I find to be calming. I believe that the calm feeling Evans’ expresses through her work conveys to her audience a mood which has a sense of security and stillness. The content of this piece explore leaves within nature. Evans has explored with the use of colour, tone, shape, highlights and texture. Evans mediums include the use of pastel and oil to paint.Evan’s work is produced with quality materials, Evans states: “I use only the purest pigments and archival materials in both creation and framing of my artwork” because “it is essential”. To ensure that her work is high quality,  Evans “takes the time both to plan a painting and to make sure that painting is complete in every sense – composition, balance, color palette, finish level, quality of strokes.” Evans thinks that her work “should appear neither unfinished nor overworked.” I think that Evans work is symbolistic of emotion and her need to convey an alternate reality and sense of calm to her audience.Evans work is presented in a contained and structured form, this is essential to Evan’s choice of composition when she crops her images to study. I think that Evans would could have an impact on the audience emotionally, her use of form enhances her atmospheric sense of serenity, an example of this is Evans use of natural colours such as browns and greens which are harmonious and reflect her studies of nature and creates a sense of calm.Evans explores a range of textures within her work, from close examination I can see that parts of Evan work appear both soft and textural through the manipulation of the mediums she is using.Evans work appears to be fractured, the lines defining each vein within the petals significantly differ as she is a studying a natural form with isn’t subjective to symmetry or repetition.The second artist that I will analyse is Georgia O’Keeffe. O’Keeffe was an American painter. O’Keeffe played a huge role in the development of American Modernism. O’Keeffe produced work that “captured the emotion and power of objects through abstracting the natural world.” O’Keeffe was identified as the “first female American modernist, whose paintings of flowers, landscapes, and cropped still life have become a part of the mythology and iconography of the American artist.” O’Keeffe’s work was incredibly inspired and influenced by the works of Paul Strand (an American photographer). Strand influenced O’Keeffe’s use of cropped compositions. O’Keeffe was one of the first artists to adapt this method into paintings by creating cropped compositions of objects that were produce in incredible detail, yet abstract. O’Keeffe didn’t follow any specific artistic movement. She worked in series that emphasized the primary forms of nature. Whilst most of O’Keeffe’s work is highly detailed, in some she removed away what she considered the inessential to focus on shape and colour, this gave her work focus and brought to light the true beauty of O’Keeffe’s work because the formal elements were expressed much more. O’Keeffe produced such successful work through intense observation and study of nature, experimenting with scale, and the perfected use of line and colour. From the 1940s through the 1960s in particular, O’Keeffe’s art wasn’t mainstream as she was one of few artists to explore representation in a time period when others were creating work that was non-representative or had abandoned the idea of producing paintings altogether.”Cow’s Skull with Calico Roses, 1931″Georgia O’Keeffe work was mainly practiced around the study of natural form. In this picture I believe O’Keeffe is conveying the beauty of found objects and the way in which they can be produced through different mediums. O’Keeffe explores her work in various mediums, such as: clay, watercolour and pencil. In this particular image, O’Keeffe is working in water colour. O’Keeffe became “enamored with animal skulls after visiting New Mexico”. Through the precise study of the worn skulls ” O’Keeffe captures the essential nature of the skull while also referencing the transience of life.” O’Keeffe said “to me they are strangely more living than the animals walking around”, I believe this quote represents O’Keeffe’s viewpoint of her study, that even she could find beauty in an object which many would consider lifeless and produce a truly beautiful study. In addition to this, O’Keeffe also states “the bones seem to cut sharply to the center of something that is keenly alive on the desert even though it is vast and empty and untouchable and knows no kindness with all its beauty.” From this quote, I believe O’Keeffe is conveying that in the desert where it is empty and bleak, beauty can be found. I think that O’Keeffe has clearly represented the beauty of a found object within this piece through her central compositioning of the found object. I believe that the composition of O’Keeffe’s work adds to her work significantly, O’Keeffe has produced a unique study of an animal skull which has been presented amongst a textural yet smooth background comparing to the desert which O’Keeffe earlier discussed. I think that the representation of the sand from the desert  in the background of this piece highlights the essence of O’Keeffe’s idea that beauty can be found in barron places. I have selected this image to analyse because I find it to be one of O’Keeffe’s most relevant pieces in comparison to my work  I think that this piece if very representative of O’Keeffe’s generalised style, natural forms. I enjoy that this piece explores a variety of the formal elements, such as: line, tone, shape, texture and colour, it gives the artwork an advanced feel. I find the colours in this particular image fascinating, with a simplistic colour palette O’Keeffe has used varieties of tones to produce highlights and shade within her work and this gives a multidimensional feel to her work. O’Keeffe’s work appears textural, she has done this through creating a background which appears grainy and realistic, like a sheet of vintage paper. In this piece, O’Keeffe has explored the use of space significantly well, she has overlapped parts of the background to create depth and different perspectives.  The balance within the image has been well controlled, O’Keeffe has produced the work true to its regular form and hasn’t forced any symmetry or restriction within her work.  I like that O’Keeffe works with an abstract style, it gives her work great scale and proportion, making her work interesting to study.”Red Canna, 1942.”O’Keeffe creates strong and vibrant works with colours that represent energy and vitality. This piece is a fragment of a blossom which has an abstraction by O’Keeffe. O’Keeffe prouduced large flowers which were drawn from close-up study of natural forms. O’Keeffes brushwork appears restrained, I find this to be typical of O’Keeffe’s  technique when handling oils. O’Keeffe creates elegantly smooth shapes and senses of space by blending intense orange tones into whites. It has been suggested that O’Keeffes’ work has more meaning than what most may assume from viewing her work, one meaning suggested by Randall Griffin is that “O’Keeffe’s aim was to distinguish herself from her contemporary male artists by producing paintings that would seem both audaciously sexual and innately feminine.” Griffin adds to these claims, “It now seems abundantly clear that, in spite of her vehement denials, O’Keeffe meant some of her paintings to look vaginal, works such as Abstraction Seaweed and Water, Maine and Flower Abstraction overtly allude to female genitalia.” I find that this analysis of O’Keeffes’ work gives greater meaning to the pieces she has produced, the claims which have been made suggest that O’Keeffe was continuing the Feminist movement in the art she produced relating to the importance of femininity and equality within a traditionally male gender domain within contemporary art. O’Keeffes’ efforts in the movement of Feminism has lead to” Feminists in the 1970s, including the artist Judy Chicago who embraced O’Keeffe as a trailblazer for their cause.”