Thursday, July 12, 2012

Matisse and Music and Me.....

When I was in Paris, I saw several Mattise paintings at both the Orangerie and the d'Orsay Museums.  The exhibit in the Orangerie that included the Matisse paintings was an exhibit about the influence that Debussy's music had on the art of his time, and vice versa.

A few years ago, an exhibit came to the Metropolitan Museum in New York that I dearly wanted to see. It was called "Matisse: His Art and His  Textiles." The exhibit included a large number of the textiles Matisse collected, exhibited alongside the paintings he used them in, such as the fabric inspired 'wallpaper' in the painting above, and the screens in the top painting. Though I did not make it to the exhibit, I purchased the catalog/book. (When I see what it's going for now, I'm glad I got it then!!!)

This week, I have been gathering things to take with me when I teach in Long Beach at Convergence next week. In planning the seminar, I have re-lived a lot of work I haven't thought of for years! The small Matisse-inspired tapestry above is one such piece. It is about 12"x16" and is called "Andy's Musique." It was woven in 1997, when my youngest son was taking guitar lessons. We still have the throw and the sofa shown in this tapestry, though my son no longer wears only Berkinstock sandals, and is now the father of half my grandchildren!

Fabric and music still influence my work and my life, as they did Matisse's throughout his lifetime. In fact, I am now playing the guitar myself. During one of my practice sessions last week, I broke a string, so replaced the entire set, and used the old strings to make myself a bracelet. It is not a great work of art, or even a great piece of jewelry, but will serve as a fun reminder to me of the connections all around me: art, fabric, music, and artists who have created before me; all a part of the tapestry that is my life.

On the bulletin board in my studio, I have had for years a little piece of paper with the following poem on it in childish writing:

Oh Matisse do a masterpiece. do
a painting of some fleas and my knees
do it now do a painting of a cow for me
to see do a painting of a bear with
only one hair do a painting of some 
milk and some silk and some thread
on my bed with Fred do a painting
of a shell and a bell and some sand
in my hand do it now.

It is attributed to 'Keith Minick, age 8.'  Whoever Keith is, I have loved his poem all these many years!


Michele said...

I love it all - the colours, the music, the bracelet!

K Spoering said...

Thanks, Michelle. It was a thrill to see the Matisse's in Paris. Especially after I'd missed the New York exhibit.

Spinning Out of Control said...

You've inspired me to get my Debussy CD's out. Love the little tapestry of your son

K Spoering said...

Seeing the exhibit inspired me to do the same. In fact, I think I'll play them again this morning. Perfect Saturday morning music!

K Spoering said...

Funny story about the Debussy art exhibit: It seemed funny to me that the exhibit was so silent; no music playing, tho' it was about music. When my son and I were there, a song started going through my head and I found myself quietly whistling it (a bad habit I inherited from my Dad.) I said to my son that there should be music. They should play the song I was whistling, as it seemed so appropriate for some reason. He told me it wasn't appropriate, as it wasn't Debussy. I had been whistling Gershwin's "An American in Paris." Don't know why I was thinking it was Debussy, but I guess it would seem appropriate to me!