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Saturday, April 23, 2011

The Mysterious Boat

For the last several months I have been working on 2 commissioned paintings, and in the last 2 weeks decided to get the smaller of the two out of the way.


I was requested to paint "The Mysterious Boat" by Odilon Reddon.  Having never heard of this artist, I did my due diligence and researched his work.  Bertrand-Jean Redon, better known as Odilon Redon (April 20, 1840 – July 6, 1916) was a French Symbolist painter, printmaker, draughtsman and pastellist.

"My drawings inspire, and are not to be defined. They place us, as does music, in the ambiguous realm of the undetermined."

Redon's work represent an exploration of his internal feelings and psyche. He himself wanted to "place the visible at the service of the invisible"; thus, although his work seems filled with strange beings and grotesque dichotomies, his aim was to represent pictorially the ghosts of his own mind. A telling source of Redon's inspiration and the forces behind his works can be found in his journal A Soi-même (To Myself). His process was explained best by himself when he said:

"I have often, as an exercise and as a sustenance, painted before an object down to the smallest accidents of its visual appearance; but the day left me sad and with an unsatiated thirst. The next day I let the other source run, that of imagination, through the recollection of the forms and I was then reassured and appeased."

This is my first encounter with this artist of the late 19th - early 20th century.  His work is interesting although I wouldn't classify him as one of my favorite artists.


The Mysterious Boat was the painting I was asked to render with my interpretation. I notice that not only does the original image look different from the original painting online, so does my image.  I don't think mine is as saturated as this image.

Anyway, this is my painting and what I've been doing this week!  I hope you like my interpretation of Reddon's painting.



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