I Love Art History!




 I Love Art History 2015 

 Learning about the Spiritual in 20th Century Modern Art through Creativity an online class that will take you through some of the 20th century modern artists who had spiritual philosophies and express them in their art . A creative method of teaching art history hands-on If you have always wanted to learn art history but thought it would be boring, you will be surprised and have creative fun making art at the same time…I promise.



 Artists that we will cover in Art and Spirituality in the 20th Century

Kandinsky and expressive watercolor paintings and music


Klee glaze colored squares and mosaics Mondrian seeing and drawing trees abstracting form in acrylics


O’Keeffe mindful “seeing” and the camera and the sacredness of nature close up flower in oil pastel


Van Gogh expressive painting, swirls and the cosmos Starry Starry Night


Matisse and drawing with scissors colored collage


Rothko glaze and color field and space



Gauguin inner landscape of the mind in pastel


Art and Spirituality



improvisation-30-cannons-1913 Kandinsky Circles Post Kandinsky_Inspired_3_by_Artwyrd kandinsky_schets2vrkompositie7

Wassily Kandinsky, a Russian-born painter, printmaker and theorist, was one of the pioneers of Abstract art. Kandinsky lectured and wrote extensively in support of non- objective art, believing that total abstraction offered the possibility for profound spiritual expression. His paintings of 1913 are considered to be among the first completely abstract compositions in modern art history, as they made no reference to the natural world and were inspired by (and took their titles from) pieces of music. His nonrepresentational paintings paved the way for the development of the Abstract Expressionist movement that dominated American painting after World War II.

Wassily Kandinsky was born in Moscow, on December 4th, 1866.  His parents both played piano, so he was encouraged to learn how to read and play music at an early age.  Young Kandinsky played cello and piano, and even though we know him best as a painter, music has always been the main inspiration behind his work. When he was only 5 years old,, his parents divorced, so he moved in with his aunt in Odessa, continuing to play music, and learning to paint; but the gifted young man did not choose to study art or music when he later enrolled at Moscow University, choosing instead the “safer” fields of Economics, Politics, and Law.  During his years at the university, Kandinsky explore spirituality through writing.  He also taught at the Moscow Faculty of Law. For Kandinsky, the arts were no more than a hobby. 




Ode to Kandinsky by Joy Hellman


It wasn’t until 1896 that Kandinsky decided to seriously study art.  The sudden change in his life had been triggered by his interest in the work of Monet, an artist who’s work has had a profound impact on many others.  Kandinsky was fascinated by the impressionist artist’s style, as he had never before seen paintings which weren’t meant to perfectly imitate reality.  Kandinsky studied in Munich, under Anton Azbé, sketching, anatomy and life drawing.  He then studied under Franz von Stuck, then moved on to found and  the avant-garde Phalanx exhibiting society, and write about art.  His administrative skills served him well as director of the Phalanx exhibiting society, while his writings about spirituality had prepared him for his works about color theory.



 Creative Expression and Process Painting





Spiral in Black  

Kandinsky was a synaesthete, meaning that he could see sound as color, and vice versa.  His writings on color theory sometimes bordered on the mystical, as his own interpretations and visual impressions took on almost paranormal qualities.  In 1906, Kandinsky settled in Paris with his mistress, and Gabriele Münter, who was also a talented art student.  A year later, the two were separated, and Kandinsky suffered a nervous breakdown, and relocated to Bavaria, so he could lead a quiet life, and concentrate on his art.  Kandinsky experimented with color and minimal composition, eschewing reality from his work.  Like music, his paintings were renderings of emotional states, and while it is easy to feel sadness when looking at an image of a tragic scene, Kandinsky’s work would communicate the same feelings without incorporating representational elements




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  1. Pingback: The Importance of Attribution and Diligence – Karen Cropper portfolio working

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