Last month I was visiting a son’s family in Cleveland OH and we visited our favorite place there The Cleveland Museum of Art. Even the 3 young grandkids love this fabulous building and their interactive kids room! just for grandma’s too! The show we went to see was Van Gogh “Repetitions.” (it’s on till May 26th if you can get there)
I got thinking about how we learn from practice as I gazed at this versions and variations on one of his own compositions and subjects. We see differently and deeper as we experience a thing, person or place repeatedly. Studying the differences and similarities between several of his repeated works gives us a new window into the mind and eye of this ‘well known’ artist.
On returning home to Williamsburg I was lucky enough to catch the last day of a small Caravaggio show at our own Muscarelle Museum of Art here on the campus of Wm and Mary. Caravaggio has always blown my mind’s eye anyway with his beyond realistic talents, but this too presented a repetition study of two similar paintings that might have been both by the artist himself…or not. Two unsigned versions of ‘Saint Francis in Meditation’. The viewer, after following the studies and exercises they presented, was to come to their own conclusion! The show also spotlighted the very fine and famous Caravaggio ‘The Capitoline Fortune Teller’ which was a true treat.
I couldn’t help but to notice the message I was to share with my artists and all of you readers! REPETITION = an intentional practice to learn and expand the opportunity to deeply know a subject. Illustrators of course conceive, sketch and revise then paint and maybe revise again on a regular basis. We forget perhaps that famous artists walked this same path over and over that we all walk. Dive in! Deeper! and again! Get to REALLY know your subjects to bring them more fully to the world to view!
my artist son Jeremy Tugeau and grandkids at the Cleveland Museum of Art new atrium…