HENRI MATISSE AND HIS ART OF JOIE DE VIVRE

Henri Matisse (1869-1954) is a French painter and one of the most important modernists. He was an early Fauvist, French for ‘wild beast’, because of his wild brush strokes, intense color combinations and his abstract representation of reality. He is also known for his paper collages and his flowing organic forms.

It goes to show, Matisse is my kind of guy. That is why I am starting this new series of blogs about artists who inspire me with Henri Matisse. The man who portrayed unbridled joy of life. (Scroll down for Dutch and more images).

Henri Matisse, De Dans (1910)
Henri Matisse, The Dance (1910)

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UNLEASH THE BEAST WITHIN

The fauvists were the wild beasts of modern art. Because of their painting techniques and use of color. Matisse (autocorrect sticks with ‘mayonnaise’ 🙂 can’t be bothered with details. He works bold, fast, sketchy and accurate. He uses large brushes on long sticks. Almost to make sure that it is impossible for him to paint details.

PAINTING IN PYJAMAS

Matisse works like a maniac. He maintains a strict work schedule and, as a result, has a huge output and a large oeuvre. He simply loves painting the most. When his health deteriorates, he paints in bed in pajamas.

Henri Matisse making cut-outs in bed
Henri Matisse making cut-outs in bed

BOLD SKETCHES AND LARGE BRUSHES

In other words: details are for wimps, haha! Matisse, while standing, painted on paper lying on the floor. For this he used a brush that was attached to a long stick. In that way it was impossible for him to go into detail. And it made his brush strokes large and energetic.

Henri Matisse using a large brush on a stick to paint with
Henri Matisse using a large brush on a stick to paint with

HENRI MATISSE

If I had to choose one artist as inspiration, I would choose Henri Matisse. I am a big fan of his work, of his vision and of the energy that speaks from all his colors and shapes. The first time I saw his ‘The Dance’, the pure joy of life on the canvas went straight through my heart. The only one ever succeeded in doing that again was Picasso with Les demoiselles d’Avignon. A special detail is that Picasso painted Les demoiselles d’Avignon in response to Matisses ‘Bonheur de vivre’ (‘Joy of Life’). But I will tell you more about that in a next blog!

HENRI MATISSE IN MUSEUMS

If you’re interested in Matisses art, you can visit the Matisse museum in Nice. The Museum l’Orangerie in Paris also holds a large part of his work.

In the Netherlands, the Hermitage in Amsterdam has its own Matisse room. Furthermore, in 2022 it will show the exhibition ‘Matisse and Picasso’, about these two masters, friends and rivals. When I read this I did a little dance of joy myself!!

But luckily in the Netherlands we don’t have to wait until 2022! This summer the Dordrechts Museum shows the exhibition ‘Pioneers of modernism’. This exhibition runs from May 16 to September 27. Be there or be square!

Collage of Matisses work by Stedelijk Museum
Collage of Matisses work by Stedelijk Museum.

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HENRI MATISSE : LEVENSVREUGDE IN DE KUNST

Henri Matisse (1869-1954) is een Franse schilder en een van de belangrijkste modernisten. Hij was een vroege Fauvist, Frans voor ‘wild beest’ vanwege zijn wilde penseelstreken, heftige kleurcombinaties en zijn abstrakte weergave van de werkelijkheid. Hij is ook bekend van zijn papiercollages en zijn vloeiende organische vormen.

Je hoort het al, Matisse is een man naar mijn hart. Daarom start ik deze nieuwe serie blogs over kunstenaars die mij inspireren met Henri Matisse. De man die ongebreidelde levensvreugde verbeeldde.

UNLEASH THE BEAST WITHIN

De fauvisten waren de wilde beesten van de moderne kunst. Vanwege hun schildertechnieken en kleurgebruik. Matisse (autocorrect maakt er steeds mayonaise van 🙂 ) is sowieso niet van de ieniemiene details. Hij werkt groot snel, schetsmatig en trefzeker. Hij gebruikt grote penselen aan lange stokken. Bijna om te zorgen dat hij hoe dan ook géén details kan gaan schilderen.

Henri Matisse, Blue Nude (1952)
Henri Matisse, Blue Nude (1952)

SCHILDEREN IN PYJAMA

Matisse werkt als een malle. Hij houdt er een strikt werkschema op na en heeft mede daardoor een mega output en een gigantisch oeuvre. Hij houdt gewoon het meest van schilderen. Als zijn gezondheid veslechtert, schildert hij in bed in pyjama.

GROTE SCHETSEN EN LANGE PENSELEN

Oftewel: details zijn voor watjes, haha! Matisse schilderde staand op papier dat op de grond lag. Hiervoor gebruikte hij een kwast die was vastgemaakt aan een lange stok. Op die manier was het voor hem onmogelijk om in detail te treden. En waren zijn penseelstreken groot en energiek.

Henri Matisse, Violet leaf on orange background
Henri Matisse, Violet leaf on orange background

HENRI MATISSE

Als ik één kunstenaar zou moeten kiezen als inspiratie, dan kies ik Henri Matisse. Ik ben groot fan van zijn werk, van zijn visie en van de energie die uit al zijn kleuren en vormen spreekt. De eerste keer dat ik zijn ‘De dans’ zag, ging de pure levensvreugde op het doek dwars door mijn hart. De enige die dat daarna ooit nog gelukt is, is Picasso met Les demoiselles d’Avignon. Bijzonder detail is dat Picasso Les demoiselles d’Avignon schilderde als antwoord op Matisses ‘Bonheur de vivre’ (‘Levensvreugde’). Maar daar zal ik je meer over vertellen in een volgend blog!

background date palm painting The Fran 2019 Hortus by Night collection
Background of my Date Palm painting, part of the Hortus by Night collection, 2018.

MUSEA MET HENRI MATISSE

In Nederland komt de Hermitage in Amsterdam in 2022 met de tentoonstelling ‘Matisse en Picasso, over deze twee meesters, vrienden én rivalen.’ Toen ik dit las deed ik een vreugdedansje door de woonkamer!! De Hermitage heeft sowieso standaard een hele kamer vol kunst van Matisse.

Maar gelukkig kun je ook al eerder genieten van Henri Matisse en het modernisme. Deze zomer in het Dordrechts Museum kun je de tentoonstelling ‘Pioniers van het modernisme’ bekijken. De expositie loopt van 16 mei tot 27 september. Be there or be square!

SWITCH TO ENGLISH: THE REAL REASON

Last month I decided to switched from Dutch to English in all Fran Zone-communication. I didn’t know exactly why I wanted to switch to English. But by now I’ve learned to just go with my gut. And find out the real reason later. Well, I’ve just found out the real reason!

SCOTLAND BASED ARTIST

In Bettyhill on my birthday 23 October 2017
In Bettyhill on my birthday 23 October 2017. We travelled the North Coast 500 route.

My ultimate dream is to be a Scotland based artist. To live somewhere in the northwestern Highlands or on the Isle of Skye. Although I may not be very vocal about this, it is a very real dream and seriously close to my heart. And this week it finally hit me: that’s the real reason I wanted to switch to English!

I am not living in Scotland yet. I am not painting and creating in Scotland yet. But I might as well talk and write as if I am in Scotland. Because right now it’s actually the only way I am able to show that dream to the outside world: by talking about it. Writing about it. Sharing my dream. The more people are aware of our dream (because it’s not just me, Bob also longs to live in Scotland) the more possibilities there will be eventually.

the real reason for my switch to English: my favourite place on earth: the walled garden of applecross
My favourite place on earth also just happens to be in Scotland: the walled garden of Applecross

HOW DID THAT HAPPEN?

Three years ago in 2016 when Bob and I just met we started dating to get to know each other better. On our first date we went for drinks. And it was during that first cup of coffee together that he very casually said: ‘I’d love to live in Scotland one day.’ And I was like ‘What? You don’t say!’

Back in 2014 I went to Scotland for the very first time. I was asked by my brother to accompany him on an autumn trip to Aberdeen. He was just dumped by his Scottish girlfriend who studied in Aberdeen but he had already bought a ticket to visit her. And I was like: awesome! But I don’t want to spend a whole week in Aberdeen, let’s rent a car and go on a Scotland road trip!

And during that road trip my life sort of changed. Yeah I know it sounds awfully cliche and cheesy, but it just did. I saw mountains for the very first time. And raw untouched wild nature. And I don’t know but something just shifted. As we were cruising through the Glen Coe I felt more at home then I had ever felt. I was like: this is it. This is my homeland.

At Loch Ness during our road trip through Scotland in 2014. switch to english
Me at Loch Ness during the Scotland road trip with my brother back in 2014.

SWITCH TO ENGLISH: A SHARED DREAM

So there I was, sipping my coffee on that first date with Bob. And suddenly the man says he wants to live in Scotland one day. I think it was that moment that I decided it would be a very good idea to fall madly in love with him. As did he. And the rest is history 🙂 We fell in love, we got together, we got married. And with every step we took, we had this one shared dream that we took with us: one day we will live in Scotland.

Cup of coffee in Torridon switch to english
Cup of coffee in Torridon 2017

So there you have it. The real reason I switched to English. And the real reason I started my own creative business as well. Because to be able to build a life in Scotland I needed a way of making a living for myself. Regardless my location.

the first cup of coffee during our honeymoon on the Isle of Skye 2018
the real reason from my switch to English
The first cup of coffee during our honeymoon on the Isle of Skye 2018

‘I DON’T LIKE THE SWITCH TO ENGLISH’

What if you don’t like the switch to English? I got some good news for you: I will also keep blogging in Dutch. And my personal art insta channel will stay in Dutch as well!

Furthermore I feel like the majority of my art and work is mostly visual. It is made for you to see, to feel and to experience. So it has nothing to do with a particular language. My art speaks it’s own language. I really believe you can enjoy and appreciate my art even if you don’t understand a word of what I’m saying. If I wanted to speak to you through words I’d have become a writer. But I became an artist. My artworks are my words.

Love you, talk to you later! About why Scotland is my homeland for instance 🙂

Mallaig seen from the Isle of Skye
Mallaig seen from the Isle of Skye, 2018.