When traveling, one of my favorite things to do is to visit museums that house the work of artists from the specific countries that we are visiting. This is no easy task when on the go with my husband, aka Terrific Tax Attorney (TTA). TTA goes into these experiences looking as if he has swallowed a lemon whole. He breezes through each room to find the nearest bench so that he may sit and wait for me to finally finish looking at the work. As you can imagine, I move through what is shown in a more frantic manner. He looks so miserable that I don't want to torture him longer than necessary.
All that said, TTA joined me as we visited three museums during our last trip to Europe. He can be a good sport, and he even liked two of the three art venues.
Let's keep it a secret that the work that inspired and moved me the most wasn't housed in the walls of the venerable museums, but in other places instead. Being immersed in the culture and history of the places that we visited inspired me in ways that I am sure will manifest in my art in the future, even if I don't know how that inspiration will show itself.
Without further discussion, here are some examples of the most inspiring art that I saw:
These are Stumbling Stones or Stolpersteine. They are brass plaques on the ground outside of the last homes of choice of people who were deported and killed during the Holocaust. There are 70,000 Stumbling Stones throughout Europe to commemorate those who were murdered. The artist who first conceived of the idea of focusing on tragedies of individuals in this way is Gunter Demnig. He is still working on the art project that keeps him on the road for 300 days per year. I am so inspired by the dedication that it takes to continue with this meaningful art installation.
While visiting Regensburg, Germany, we were surprised to see Hebrew embedded in architectural structures. I know this is not a piece of art, but I am moved just the same. An aspect of what is going on here may find its way into my work some day.
Why is Hebrew text on this building in such a haphazard way? When the Jewish people were expelled from Regensburg in 1519 about 5,000 tombstones in the Jewish cemetery were raised and used for building material. This is a poignant example of that practice.
This is perhaps one of the most moving sculptures I have ever seen. Along the beautiful Danube River in Budapest, Hungary is a sculpture of sixty pairs of shoes cast out of iron. They were made by film director, Can Togay and sculptor, Gyula Pauer.
Approximately 20,000 Jews were shot along the banks of the Danube River by members of the Arrow Cross Party. The Arrow Cross Party was a fascist, anti-semitic organization founded by Ferenc Szalasi after Hitler overthrew the leader of the Hungarian government in 1944.
The victims were marched to the river, asked to remove their shoes, and were summarily shot. The shoes depicted are of all different styles and sizes; women's, men's, and children's shoes. No one was spared.
In the photos you will see that visitors placed stones inside and around the shoes. This is a Jewish tradition. Stones are placed at graves, not flowers. Yahrzeit candles were left as well. Yahrzeit candles are traditionally lit to remember a loved one who has passed on the anniversary of their death. You can see all the stones in and around the shoes, and what looks like little tin cups. Those cups are the yahrzeit candles.
Also while in Budapest, Hungary, we visited the Great Synagogue. This synagogue is the second largest synagogue in the world and it is a stunner.
In the Raoul Wallenberg Memorial Park, behind the synagogue, is an enormous sculpture of the Emanuel (or Tree of Life) Tree. The sculpture was designed by Imre Varga and funded by the late actor Tony Curtis to honor his Hungarian-born father Emanuel Schwartz. The names of 30,000 victims of the Holocaust are inscribed on the leaves of the tree. This piece of art is stunningly beautiful.
I hope that you have enjoyed seeing the pieces of art that inspired me the most during our trip. Obviously, the pieces that I selected were sad reminders of a not-too-distant past. I was moved by how exquisite they were, and also by their pathos.
Do you have a favorite? I'd love to know what you think. Please share in the comments below.
This is a tool that I have been using for years to help me make better art. Take a look at this video for tips on how to use this great tool yourself.
Also, let me know in the comments below about tools you used to make your art better. It's always great to share ways to improve our art!
This is a new abstract pastel that illustrates "taking a chance" as I am fairly new to abstract work.
Constructive Conversation, 12 x 9 inches, Pastel, © Lynn Goldstein, $575
June is a tough month for me. The anniversary of my father's death is June 3, with the emotional one-two punch of Father's Day following close behind. Dad died when I was 25 and he was way too young.
Here I am with Dad. If you are unsure, I'm on the left.
It's safe to say that I think of my Dad everyday. I still miss him, but let's not dwell on that.
Instead, I want to share some of my favorite words of advice from him. One of the best tidbits of wisdom that he imparted impacts me to this day in almost everything that I do.
Hope you enjoy this short list. In a hurry? I saved the best for last:
There is NOTHING like dealing with the public.
I think of this every time someone comes into my studio and says something extraordinarily unexpected.
If we can't trust each other, who can we trust?
This was uttered after I had lied to my parents (and was subsequently grounded for what seemed like the rest of my life). Needless to say, this stuck and I became scrupulously honest.
It is natural to hurt when those we love are hurting.
This was something my father said to me when I was about 13 years old. With this sentiment, he cemented my understanding of love, compassion, and empathy. Simple but amazing.
I may be disappointed in something that you do, but I could never be ashamed of you.
Hearing this helped me with my self-esteem in ways that telling me I was perfect (which he did NOT do) ever could. It helped me in my parenting too.
You must make that decision, and I will support you no matter what you choose.
I hear this when I am trying to decide which direction I should take. Even though he isn't around, I imagine his support. Incidentally, and importantly, he never discouraged me from studying art even though I am sure that he had concerns about how I would support myself. I am grateful for that every day.
... And... my absolute favorite:
Don't ever worry about falling in love. You can fall in love in a minute.
This may not sound like great advice at first blush. However, I have applied it to everything in life. My Dad knew that if you put yourself out there, you could meet the person of your dreams in a heartbeat. Same holds true for other opportunities. Good fortune is not likely to present itself if we don't take a chance. This is one of the reasons that I make sure that people see my art even when I am not sure what the response will be. Someone could fall in love with it in a minute and change their day (and mine).
Any good words of advice from your dad? I'd love for you to share in the comments below.
And Happy Father's Day to all the dads out there.
Travel is great for inspiration. Immersing yourself in a culture sparks creativity that often takes me by surprise.
Prior to teaching a workshop in Tuscany last year, I spent five extraordinary days knocking about Florence on my own. I love traveling to a place and having time there without any distractions. Traveling with loved ones is a pleasure, but my desire to spend time with art and walk for miles can fatigue almost everyone I know.
My visit to Santa Maria del Carmine and the Brancacci Chapel to see the frescoes of Massaccio, Masolino and Fillipino Lippi was just such a visit. I stayed in that chapel for at least an hour letting the astounding work of these masters wash over me.
I was fascinated by the biblical stories that were illustrated, and listened intently to the audio guide provided. More importantly, I was riveted by the artwork made by these early renaissance masters. I studied the compositions, and was charmed that portraits of people I had heard of were portrayed on some of the walls.
As an example, the detail from Filippino Lippi's fresco Disputation with Simon Magus and Crucifixion of Peter, 1481-82, portrays Sandro Botticelli looking right at us. Seeing the face of the artist I had admired since prior to my college days as an art student captivated me. Literally, I stood transfixed before snapping photographs.
Provided below are images showing how I was inspired by that portion of the fresco to paint what began as an abstract, but ended up an abstracted landscape.
I am returning to Italy in October to teach a one-week workshop and would love to have you join me. Who knows, you may be inspired by an Italian master too! Click here to see what you will learn and enjoy while there with me.
I took this photographic detail and made a black and
white sketch with markers to start my abstract painting. See below:
Next, I began my painting
The painting began changing into a landscape.
I couldn't seem to sacrifice the rust color slash of paint in the lower portion of the composition.
The sacrifice of the rust color slash had to occur, and I call the painting completed.
Fleeting Quality, 20x16, Oil on Canvas, ©Lynn Goldstein $800
This is the first in a series of videos to show you tools that will improve your art. This one is so simple, you will not believe it. Take a look!
There is nothing that I enjoy more than spending time among the trees, beside a body of water, or simply appreciating a very light breeze on a warm day. That's why I became a landscape painter.
That said, I have been itching to stretch in the ways that I create my artwork. To me, that's what living life like an artist is all about.
With that in mind, I am taking an online Masterclass in painting from an abstract painter. This is not a class about technique, it is more about painting in a way that is authentic to me as an individual.
That said, I am definitely experimenting with technique as well. Thought it would be fun to give you a little peek of a specific project that I recently completed.
The task that I was given was to make 2 paintings. Each painting was to be done in acrylic and mixed media using a limited palette of 3 colors plus black and white. I chose to use titian buff rather than white because I prefer the softer off-white hue. Also, I think that living like an artist means bending the rules a bit if you feel as if you are going to get a better result.
One of the paintings was to be done with my non-dominant hand, while the other was to be completed with my dominant hand. I am extremely right-handed, so I had a bit of trepidation simply thinking about this project.
I needn't have been concerned. This was a GREAT exercise for multiple reasons. First of all, I enjoyed the challenge. More importantly, I enjoyed getting out of my own way, and working without concern about representation.
So that you can see where the process began, the first two images were the beginning stages of the paintings. The final two images are the completed pieces.
I'd love to hear which one of the completed artwork you think is the painting done with my dominant hand, and which one is your favorite in the comments below.
The beginning stages of my abstract painting, painting #1
The beginning stages of my abstract painting, painting #2
Division of Frailty, 14x10.5 inches, Mixed Media, © Lynn Goldstein $735
Wilted Nerve, 14x10.5 inches, Mixed Media, ©Lynn Goldstein $735
I look forward to reading your guess of which piece was done with my dominant hand, and also which one is your fav in the comments below!
What inspires you? A beautiful sunset, trees swaying in the breeze, a shocking or beautiful piece of art, or maybe music?
We are all inspired by what we come in contact with if we open ourselves up to the possibilities. I find that travel is one of the best sources of inspiration for me.
While in Italy, I was inspired by something unexpected. To see what I mean, take a look at the video below. Then read on, because travel has inspired me in other ways as well.
One of the pieces of art that I am most proud of was inspired by something totally unexpected during travel.
While visiting Iceland several years ago, hubby and I had lunch and then dinner at a restaurant that was located on an old farm. The food was delicious, which is why we dined there two times in one day. While there, something caught my eye. On each table was an antique book. People from Iceland are avowed book lovers, so finding a book on the table wasn't a surprise. Photographs of the family that had owned the farm for generations were pasted inside the book, along with a description of the history of the farm. This simple book on a dining table sparked a kernel of an idea in me, and Treatise was born. To read more about Treatise, you may click here.
Now it's your turn. What inspires you? Leave me a comment below.
Treatise, Books, Wood, Found Objects, Acrylic, ©Lynn Goldstein $3500
When I work in pastel, I use different papers for varied results. I do this to keep things interesting and also when I want a specific end result based on the subject that I am painting.
The manufactured papers that I use right now are Uart 400 grit, and Pastel Premiere. However, I also enjoy making my own textured surface. If you are interested in making your own surface, here is a short video explaining how you can do just that. At the end of the video, you will see some of my completed work, so stay till the end. : )
Want to see the progress on my most recent painting? Here you go!
The painting was inspired by my trip to Italy last year to teach a workshop, but I changed the scene considerably. The day was a bit rainy, but the sun broke through the clouds. I loved the way the clouds seemed to go on forever, and the mountains looked like a crazy quilt with fields and patches of trees in the distance.
Simply click on each image to see the description of what I have done.
A little close-up of brush strokes.
"Tapestry #2," 30x40 inches, Oil on Canvas, ©Lynn Goldstein, $3500
There was so much to see that sparked my creative juices while in Italy. I can't wait to go back, and would love to have you join me. If you are interested in going to Tuscany with me this fall, click here or simply hit the button below. Even if you aren't able to come, by checking out the info, you can have a little taste of Italy today.
After having attended multiple workshops where I had to schlepp my art supplies, teaching workshops and participating a residency overseas, I have some tips of what to pack.
Hope this video gives you some tips and tricks that you can use in the future.
Happy to have you here. This is where you will see work in progress, tips about making art, seeing art, and enjoying art. You will also see ways to live life like an artist.
Want to learn more about my upcoming workshop in Italy, October 5-12, 2019? Click here. There is still some room left for you!
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