This week I finished reading The Life and Art of Loïs Mailou Jones but didn't take as many notes as usual. Here's my sketchbook pages and notes:
In June 1989, seven years after Pierre's death, Loïs returned to France to visit Céline Tabary, her friend for more than fifty years. Pierre had often challenged Loïs during previous visits to Paris to try to rekindle the sparks of Impressionism in her work. This time she decided to follow his advice. The paintings she completed during this period are strongly reminiscent of her work in the 30's and 40's yet retain the richer, brighter color of her Haiti and Africa color palette.
"The wonderful thing about being an artist is that there is no end to creative expression. Painting is my life; my life is painting." -Loïs Mailou Jones
1989. Loïs traveled to Haiti in May, Paris in June, and Martha's Vineyard in July. She then returned to Washington DC to plan and prepare a solo retrospective exhibition, The World of Loïs Mailou Jones, to be held at the Meridian International Center in January 1990. But all that travel took a toll on her and on her 84th birthday (November 3, 1989) she suffered a massive heart attack. She had triple bypass surgery and was forced to slow down. Within a month she was back to her preparations, set on participating in the opening festivities of the exhibition.
Today I spent some time summarizing my notes and making some lists... one list I want to have for each artist I study is "inspiration/influences" For Loïs it was definitely her travels and for Frida it was mostly her life experiences, however they both painted portraits of friends and people they admired. I'm excited to have 12 of these kinds of lists at the end of the year.
One of my goals for each month is to do a large painting inspired by the artist. I didn't get it done in January (though I still plan to do a Frida one) and so this week I decided that in order to get it done this month, I'd have to do less in my sketchbook. I took about four days off from my sketchbook and worked on the painting instead.
Here's a few process photos and then the finished piece....
Loïs Mailou Jones died at home on June 9, 1998 at the age of 92. For six decades she pursued two distinct and impressive careers: the first as a professor of art and the second as a creative artist.
"Throughout her lengthy career we observe no abatement of growth, no willingness to succumb to mediocrity. Over the years she explored the rainbow in all its hues and intensities."
After a whole year of Monday Mournings, I'm hooked on obituaries so here's Loïs' from my favorite obituary source the NY Times.
I'm done with the majority of my research this month but I want to do a little more summarizing and then draw some conclusions and do some reflective writing. And since there's still a few more days until March, maybe I can get a start on a large Frida inspired painting. Ain't no rest for the wicked. ;)