Tuesday, July 6, 2010
It's so interesting how the muse of art continues to whisper into the ear of the artist no matter what infirmity the artist may experience. I can think of so many artists in history who found a way to continue even after they have experienced physical or mental handicaps.
Beethoven continued to compose music even after he was deaf. Van Gogh painted up to the last day before his deteriorating mental state led to his suicide. Quite a few well-known artists of the 19th century would continue to make art even as their ability to see became impaired.
Both Mary Cassatt (1844-1926) and Claude Monet (1840-1926) kept painting in spite of the cataracts each had developed. In Cassatt's case, she went from painting very detailed oils to looser pastels because pastels gave her more latitude and required less detail. Beginning in his thirties, Edgar Degas' (1834-1917) faced diminishing vision. At first, he did what Cassatt did and made the switch to pastels. However, his vision problems continued to worsen.
Degas vision reached the point that he could no longer read, discern colors or see anything with his right eye. He needed to make art and so he began to sculpt. He would eventually make 150 sculptures. The one of the 14-year old ballerina being his most famous.
While the records show that these artists experienced all the emotions of anyone grieving loss, they continued to make art. Why do you think that is? Is there a compelling need to make art? If so, is it as strong in other professions or trades?
Posted by R-Atencio Art at 6:04 PM