Kerrie Woodhouse

Whimsical words and watercolour

Inspiration from famous artists: Joan Mirò

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Miro inspired abstract in my sketchbook (following Carla Sonheim's exercise in the book 'Drawing Lab')

The trouble with being a self-taught artist is that I can’t help wondering what it is that I need to know. What did I miss when I was learning calculus and consolidations instead of being in art class?  Something I definitely know very little about is the artists of the past. Drawing Buddy and I made a start on filling this gap a little while ago. You remember Drawing Buddy? She is the one who is working through Carla Sonheim’s Drawing Lab with me. Well, in between all the tea and talking. 

Anyway, Carla has a section on famous artists. We started with the Spanish artist Joan Mirò. No particular reason for selecting Mirò to start, but a surprisingly apt choice. Mirò went to business school because his parents advised him to choose a ‘sensible’ career, like bookkeeping. He apparently had a breakdown and consequently abandoned the business world entirely. (I hear you, my brother…) Here are another few fun Mirò facts…

  • Mirò was a surrealist painter and sculptor known for using automatic drawing. No, not the paranormal kind – the kind where you allow your hand to make ‘random’ marks on the page. Messages direct from the subconscious, you see. Well, I love starting a doodle like that – didn’t realize it was a Thing.
  • Along with Josep Royo, Mirò created the World Trade Center tapestry which was a little over 6m by 10m and weighed about 4tonnes. It hung in the South Tower from 1974 until it was destroyed in 2001
  • Mirò’s Painting-Poem sold in 2012 at Christie’s for $26.6million.  It includes the words “le corps de ma brune puisque je l'aime comme ma chatte habillée en vert salade comme de la grêle c'est pareil”. Now I know my French is rusty, but that really does say something like ‘the body of my brown since I love it like my cat dressed in green salad like hail it’s the same’, doesn’t it?
Painting-Poem by Joan Miro (1893-1983)

Well I still don’t know much about cats dressed in green salad, but I did enjoy making a Miro inspired abstract in my sketchbook. I think I might just do another one.

The painting rises from the brushstrokes as a poem rises from the words. The meaning comes later. (Joan Miro)