Friday, April 2, 2010

Beyond Textures

I have always been attracted to textures. I love textures on paintings, collages, assemblages.
I look for textured papers and ways to texture the paint and the surfaces of my paintings and collages. There are different ways to achieve texture. One way is to paint or draw lots of small shapes, lines or dots. Another way is to apply textures like rough papers, straw, dirt, clay or whatever you want. There is something very seductive and sensual about textures because they imply the idea of "touch".

Textures can be found everywhere.... old walls, sidewalks, doors... weathered and worn wood, and rusty metal. Nature and the passage of time can work its magic on the surface of the world around us.


There is subtle beauty and texture on the surface of a stone.

Fred Otnes is a collage artist who uses textures and imagery to create a world where secrets and mysteries emerge from his torn papers and scratched away paint. If you are interested in his book you can go to his website here to purchase it.

Antoni Tapies was born in Barcelona in 1923. His heavily textured works involve large surfaces covered with paint, sand, marble dust, wire, paper, or cloth. He has immersed himself in a Zen-like minimalism of color suggesting a highly spiritual content. His rough textures have an organic feel. Tapies is a visual poet, capturing the human imprint of what has been used and what has existed. You can find his work in museums all over the world and there are many books available at Amazon.com.


Anselm Kiefer was born in Germany in 1945, the year Nazi Germany surrendered to the Allies.
He grew up in the aftermath of the war. Poet, Paul Celan, was born in Romania in 1921. In 1945, he had survived the labor camps but his parents and family members had died in the concentration camps. His poetry is linked to his memories of the Holocaust, and his poetry has influenced Kiefer's work on every level. The above book, and others on Kiefer's works, are available at Amazon.com.

Kiefer portrays or reveals the imagined desolate, wasted landscapes by using straw, ashes, earth, clay, sand, hair-- all exposed to the passage of time. His works are monumental, measured in feet, not inches.
"I never see a forest that does not bear a mark or a sign of history." --- Anselm Kiefer


Texture of Life
Taste the dew on leaves
with your tongue
Savor the lushness of grass
beneath your feet
Inhale the redolence of
fresh morning air
Touch the textures with
tender fingers.
---- Chanti

47 comments:

Ian Foster said...

Thank you for a most interesting post as usual, as you know, I am fascinated by textures and try to include plenty in my paintings. I will enjoy following up your links and book recommendations.

dosfishes said...

I love texture too. Especially the corrugated cardboard on your new piece, it's beautiful.
Tapies, well he is just someone I love. I will have to
see this new book. Thanks for sharing and have a lovely Easter.

Don said...

I look forward to your posts.
Always interesting.

Jo Reimer said...

I like this piece a lot, Donna, with the strong corregated card at the top and the fragile texture of the fine lines directly underneath. Texture is also a favorite design component of mine. I used to sew a lot and can never keep my hands from touching fabric, any fabric, anywhere. And my eyes always look for visual texture. Thanks for this great post.

Sarah said...

Hello Donna.. i too love textures and am prompted to do a texture post of my favourites .. when i do will link to this post ..!! thank you so much for sharing.. Tapies work is a no.1 favourite.. your other book and link recommendations i will also follow up. your work is lovely.. and thank you for this inspiring texture post ..
sarah

Kathy said...

Texture is a remarkably satisfying thing. We like to see and feel textures, but we also like to hear the textures in music. It seems that texture is important to all of our senses. Another beautiful post. Thank you.

La Dolce Vita said...

I adore textures and I am in heaven over these books Donna, thanks for sharing the information and your piece is wonderful, I love the cardboard at the top. very visually chewy! thanks!

Delwyn said...

Hi Donna

this is a lovely full post. I am going to re-read it and take a note of the people you have mentioned.

I love your textured collage, the corrugated carboard at the top made me think of a roller blind and you are revealing a glimpse of another world for us behind the blind, a dream world...I love your choice of colours...so Donnaesque...

thank you

happy easter

Blue Sky Dreaming said...

Texture...always good! Your piece is great with the addition of that wonderful cardboard, Tapies, Kiefer and Otnes...good company. the words by Chanti are heart opening. Glad you are back home and blogging again!

merci33 said...

Love your collage!

A richly textured post indeed...I love the references that you provide and particularly the sharing of the work of Anselm Kiefer...the Cleveland Museum of Art...once part of my stomping grounds...have one of his mammoth works in the permanent collection. The depth of surface design..so compelling.
As are the words of Chanti.

amyd said...

Donna- I love incorporating textures into my work as well - in fact today I pulled out several pieces of thin corragated cardboard that were in the recycle bin at work - they caught my eye and I wanted to incorporate that texture into a collage...your example is an inspiration! and thanks for the comment on my blog...

Marie said...

Another wonderful post Donna. I love the way you use your own work measured along with others who exemplify what you are studying in your articles. The natural textures seem to emit a vital energy within a work, as opposed to the plastics and artificial feel of "plastics".

ArtPropelled said...

My heart always races when I read your posts because everything hits the spot, from your work to glorious books that I need to buy right now.

jeane said...

two of my heroes here Donna - I've been a Tapies fan for many years and drooled and studied his works in his books and then Kiefer is so outside the box and over the edge - I saw his sunflowers at the SAM in Seattle and didn't want to leave the viewing room - definite influences in my work :)

sophie munns said...

Loved the flow of thoughts Donna!
thank you for this!

Sea Angels said...

I adore ....no more I love your posts they are so inspiring...and thank you for recommending ETC I got it for my birthday, and I just can't put it down in fact I have put it on my blog now...clearly we both like the same lovely things...thank you for writing to me, Happy Easter xxx
Hugs Lynn xxx

Jeanne Raffer Beck said...

Donna, your line about Tapies struck a timely chord -- "Tapies is a visual poet..." -- everything inside me is saying yes and yes and YES to this idea. What does a visual poem look like, what textural qualities does it have, what movement and "punctuations"? Thank you for stimulating this stream of ideas and questions!

lyle said...

texture! thats it! I believe I enjoy creating the background the most. thank you for sharing your latest and the interesting info on the other texture lovers. I am forever picking things off the street that I think will make good texture in my work!

In the Light of the Moon said...

Thank you for a wonderful post, full of emotion,wonderful book ideas and Texture!!Aaaahhh Texture,I cant explain my love for texture,but after reading your words.. you have helped me to define it!My last post describes the fun I'm having with melting felt..funny..I sometimes think..no one is going to care about things like that..but its the texture that makes me happy,the transformation and feel.That last quote is wonderful.I will be adding it to my sidebar,linking back to you of course.Warmest Regards,Cat

Trudi Sissons - Two Dresses Studio said...

Ah! One of my favorite topics. Thank you for the introductions and links. I like the use of text in your current collage. Nice to hear from you as always Donna!
Where will you hide your eggs tonight? :0) Happy Easter.

rivergardenstudio said...

What a wonderful post... all these textures to stir up my creative soul. thank you for sharing these, i am espesially drawn to Antoni Tapies. Have a lovely, art filled weekend. roxanne

Needle Woven Studio said...

Donna - thank you for this visually lush and informative post ~ it is always such a treat to visit your weblog! -Shayna

sukipoet said...

wonderful to see your collage and read of all these artists, some new to me, some not. I think one reason I adored making handmade paper was the texture of it. Often I would throw in dirt, leaves, pine needles (chopped up in the blender) to make an amazing paper full of texture. Thanks for the poem too.

Leslie Avon Miller said...

Textures - perhaps my favorite design element. You use it so elegantly in your own visual poetry. Thank you once again for helping us to see.

mano said...

Oh Donna, I am so sorry that my english isn't so good and I cannot tell you all what I want. But: I love this post, I love textures - and Antoni Tapies and Anselm Kiefer - they are so great artists! I saw some exhibitions of both and every time I was enthusiastic about their work. Thank you for the inspiration and Happy Easter to you, mano

Lucky Dip Lisa said...

One thing I dislike about seeing so many great textures on the internet is that I can't touch them and absorb them with all my senses! I still enjoy seeing them of course I just feel like I am missing out on the complete experience!
A visual journey of your work leaves a lovely path for my imagination to follow however so i am not dissapointed!
Who knows I may yet be lucky enough to get one of your collages in the exchange!

Thanks for a great post and for your kind comment on my blog:)
Happy Easter!

Cynthia said...

Wonderfully inspiring post!
Gorgeous work....so very interesting!

Seth said...

Okay Donna. You must be reading my mind. Of course I love "the texture" but Tapies and Kiefer are two of my favorite artists. Thanks for highlighting all of this in one of your always wonderful posts.

ZenDotStudio said...

thanks for all the fabulous resources and links. I do love and admire those works with rich, layered textures. There is something wonderfully earthy and slightly mysterious about some of these pieces.

Margaret Ryall said...

Donna.
This post speaks to me directly. I own all of the books you've featured and texture is my main interest in the work I create. I saw an exhibition of Fred Otnes work in New York. I was beside myself with its exquisite surfaces- delicate and complex. When I first found your website it was the textural aspects of your work that drew me in and the themes you explore that kept me interested.

Coffee Messiah said...

Thanks for the introduction to these artists and their books.

All amazingly creative.

Cheers!

Sandra said...

I think it's great when a painting shows texture, that's the reason why I also like works of textile, the longing to touch it.

Liz.Photo said...

Great selections. Thank you for pointing them out. Your own work is so beautifully detailed and exquisitely balanced. I always feel inspired when I stop by to look.

Stan Kurth said...

Hi Donna,

This is a wonderful mini-study on texture. I was unaware of Fred Otnes recent work. I know decades ago he was quite well known for his commercial illustration. You couldn't open an "Illustrators Annual" without seeing him and his numerous awards. I remember thinking back then that he was quite a bit more than an illustrator.

bob Cornelis said...

Great topic and artist examples!

I'm a texture fanatic as well, a challenge when you work primarily in photography. There are many techniques I've used in recent years to layer found or created textures transparently into my images. I must have over 600 textures in my digital library.

I also do a lot of work that is out of focus - no texture at all, the opposite extreme.

The yin and yang of texture, I suppose. It's always that in between stuff I find less interesting.

ELFI CELLA said...

j'aime énormément ces intégrations et collages d'un ton terre , sienne, ombre..

Renee Howell said...

Donna - Thank you for taking the time to put this post together. Beautiful paintings, pictures and words. Love the colors. Intriguing and comforting at the same time.

Amelia said...

I too am drawn to textures in art and a lot of my collages find ways to texture the surface, I am also going to be looking at this on my experimental art e-course as I realise how many people enjoy it.

Also, I love Anselm Keifer's work, and have been to a couple of his exhibitions here in London and they really are amazing, particularly because the scale is so awe-inspiring - huge works that you can gaze up at.

Very inspiring as always :)

Amelia.x

Deborah said...

I love textures, too! Thanks for the enjoyable and informative post!

Studio Sylvia said...

Your piece is strong both visually in composition as it is in texture Donna. Very informative post. Thanks as I was not familiar with these artists.

oneartistjournal said...

Oh Donna, you just brought up a bit forgotten old favorites, Kiefer and Tapies. You made me want to visit their work again. Textures are so yummy, they speak such a direct language. I love your work here. It's stunning. Thanks for the inspiration.
XOXOrly

soraya nulliah said...

I just came across your blog and loved reading your posts-so much info plus inspiration! I, too, love texture-it is very sensual and invokes a sense of mystery, layers, time, meaning.

Laura Hegfield said...

Always inspiring!
I seem to have developed tendonitis or some kind of over use injury in my left wrist and hand...making typing painful for me...so I might not be blogging as much for a while... this includes commenting on your amazingly inspiring blog-and this is soooooo hard for me. (this is kind of a form message I've typed and am copying and pasting at all my favorite blog hangouts. Sorry it must seem completely random in relation to your post) I can still read your posts- I will be present to you in a quiet way-reading and viewing your words and images, and leaving a simple ☺
to let you know I have dropped by and am thinking about you.

Gentle steps,
Laura

paperwerks said...

your work is so beautiful. i am in awe. thanks for visiting my site and commenting on my work. i'm glad we will both be in the collage masters book:)

Quase Blog da Li said...

Donna,
congratulations on the wonderful blog and for your amazing work.
Really, there is something seductive and sensual about textures; they have life!
bye

BLACK AND WHITE said...

Thank you for this post! Stunning works!♥♥♥

Allen jeley said...

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