November 30, 2014

Approximating biomorphs.

Here comes Lesson 7 in the continuing series How to draw/paint like Paul Klee. Click the "Paul Klee" tag for more lessons and more of an explanation. Here's the transcription from the next page of that notebook I wrote at an exhibition in London in 2002:
• "Vegetable — Physiognomic" — Plants superimposed on a face.

• "Strange Plants"

• using a single line lazy eight movement, make a tree in the center w/ suitable background. Paint in yellow & green. Background is horizon line only & dark blue sky grading to light blue green at horizon. Dappled ground.
 It's frustrating that the most elaborate description is the one without a title, but I found what I'm sure is that tree:

"Fig Tree" is the title of that 1929 watercolor. As for "Vegetable-Physiognomic" (1921) and "Strange Plants" (1921), these were easy to find, and I've opted to brighten and sharpen these images a bit:

Back to the notebook (the scan of which appears at the bottom of the post):
• Approximate Man = biomorph shapes w/ a face somewhere

• Write a phrase in strange letters suspended in space. Nearby a face, also suspended.
"Approximate Man" isn't in quotes, but that looks like a title. Yes, here's  "The Approximate Man":

That fits the description, no? On seeing this now, I'm willing to say there are 2 faces.

The next description is without a title. Strange letters, eh? With a face? It must be this:

I believe the phrase "sichtbar machen" translates to "make visible." Mysterious!

Finally, here's the notebook page. I hope you've learned something here about whether you care about drawing/painting like Paul Klee. If you do or think you might, I recommend using the written description and making your own artwork, which could be quite different from the work that I reduced to a short text a dozen years ago.

Scan 21


Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

Well, toby, assuming you don't, there are (almost literally) innumerable other places for you to go. Don't let us keep you, by all means.

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

Oh, rats, Ann, you didn't just delete toby's priceless post, did you?

chickelit said...

I saw the title and thought this would be about apples and pears.

Ann Althouse said...

@michelle Sorry to squelch your inspiration.

Bryan Townsend said...

OK, now I want to do a series of posts on how to compose like Igor Stravinsky on my blog.