Sunday, January 27, 2013

What the Art Teacher Wore #52

Tuesday is the New Monday: We had Monday off which completely confused me all week as to what/when/where/why/how I was teaching. I never did get it sorted out. Surprised? sweater and skirt: Four Seasons Vintage in Knoxville; necklace and fishnets: Target; shoes: Dolls by Nina
 Well hello dere. Whatcha been up to this week? Ah, that sounds delightful. Me? Funny you should ask cuz I was just about to tell you. My dear ole hubs has been out of town and I've been livin' it up. And by that I mean, hosting a mini-dinner party, dinner'ing and brunch'ing with long-lost-friends and throwing a craftastic afternoon party. It's been so much fun but I gotta tell ya, me and the cat are starting to miss The Bearded One. Thankfully he returns Monday.

This week I also visited Nashville's art museum, The Frist Center for Visual Arts. They currently have an exhibit on German Expressionism and I fell in love with that group of painters and their work all over again. I was a big fan of that bunch in college, especially Paula Modersohn Becker. I thought I'd share her work and life story with you. But, I gotta warn you, have some tissues handy as her life was a sad one.
Photo of Paula Modersohn-Becker and Self-Portrait with Red Hat and Veil, 1906 Paula was born in Germany,  the third child of seven. At the age of 12, she had her first drawing instruction and was hooked. At 22, she encountered the artistic community of Worpswede (a northwestern part of Germany famous for its long tradition as an artists' colony). In this area, artists had retreated to protest against the domination of the art academy and life in the big city

It Might As Well Be Spring Wednesday: In my art room in the mornings, I've been playing a CD of music from 1945. One of the songs is "It Might as Well be Spring". Check out this rendition by Clifford Brown, you'll like it. dress: vintage; fishnets: Target; shoes: John Fluevog
Little Blonde Girl, 1905. It was in Worpswede that Paula met and married the artist Otto Modersohn and became a stepmother to his daughter. Soon after, she began making numerous trips to Paris and was strongly influenced by such post-impressionists as Paul Gauguin and Vincent van Gogh.
Girl with Flowers. In 1906, Paula took her last trip to Paris. She began painting many nude self-portraits which was unheard of at the time. Personally, I am in love with the color palette in this painting. That icy blue and coral pink is such a beautiful combination.
New Background Thursday: My art room is currently in such a state of chaos that this is the only clean clutter-free place I could find to snap a photo. Yowza, I need me a maid! And a life coach. Probably some therapy. Maybe a tête-à-tête with Dr. Phil? sweater: my put-a-bird-on-it number, DIY here; dress, belt and booties: Anthropologie; tights: Target

Girl with a Cat. One of the things I really love about her paintings is the density in her artwork. Objects look heavy yet there is an air around them. I'm trying to figure out how she is creating that look. Is it the strong outlines around objects? I'm not sure, but I love it.
Fluffy Friday: I cannot stop wearing my crinoline under my dress! Even if I did knock some clay projects off a shelf (no worries, they were just my old examples I'd been hoarding). Not only do I love the added fluff but it's also pretty warm. sailboat shirt: Old Navy; dress: Issac Mizrahi, thrifted; tights, booties, belt: Anthropologie

 Farmer's Wife and Portrait of a Girl in Brown Dress and Black Hat, 1907. After returning to Germany from Paris, Paula discovered that she and her husband were pregnant. After many years of trying to conceive, this was an extremely happy time for Paula. Many of her nude portraits were of her growing belly.
  Saturday Brunchin: I had the chance to spend the afternoon with my first student teacher. I've been so lucky to meet such great young women. jacket: Lucky Brand; scarf: Urban Outfitters; dress: vintage, gift from a friend; tights: Target; booties: geez, I love these things! Anthropologie

 Self-Portrait, 1900. Sadly, 18 days after her daughter was born, Paula died at the age of 31. She died of something called embolism which, in her case, may have been related to her pregnancy. When I initially heard this at the art museum, I was so sad. However, when you see what joyous paintings she created when she was pregnant and even after giving birth, you know that Paula would not have had it any other way. She was meant to be a mother even if only for 18 days.
Paula painted these portraits of her good friend poet and writer Rainer Maria Rilke. When Paula passed, Rilke wrote the poem "Requiem for a Friend". If you've ever lost someone, this poem (it's called a poem, but it's more like prose) will most certainly strike a chord.

Geesh. Sorry to leave on you such a sad note. Thankfully, Paula Modersohn-Becker left behind an enormous body of work that I find to be just beautiful. I hope you've enjoyed it as well. 

Until I get a chance to share my students latest masterpieces (the fourth grader's castles are amazing!) and my newest DIY (one that I began two months ago and finally finished!), enjoy your week.


  1. Ah, I first learned of her in a grad art history class on women artists. So many wonderful artists I'd never heard of prior to that class. Thanks for sharing.

  2. See? Thats what I love about blogging, I learn something new every day! Just because a life has a sad ending does not mean it shouldnt be shared, her joy comes through in her paintings, which I had never seen before (Thank you for sharing them) Another great fashion week, I think the 'put a bird on it' is my favourite of them all. You remind me of a ballet dancer in the pink vintage dress, I feel you should make the most of it over valentines, oh and put your puffy thing under it and spin, spin, spin, but dont knock anything over because thats just careless! ;)

    Take care,
    Jerra xx

  3. That saturday outfit is my Fav...all are adorable, and thanks to this post I *finally* read about needle felting (good linking!)

  4. Me again. PMB's artwork is gorgeous, even more impressive when you realize how young she was when she painted them. In the ice blue/coral pink painting, I am blown away by what appears to be scratched texture in the wall. Fabulous.

  5. Usually I do not read post on blogs, but I would like to say that this write-up very forced me to try and do it! Your writing style has been surprised me. Great work admin.Keep update more blog.
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