Saturday, November 3, 2012
If Mary Cassatt had a blog…
If Mary Cassatt had a blog…
…or any of the other amazing female artists from a time without Internet and blogging - what would they have blogged about?
Today, so many artists have blogs or are connected to other artists through online networking. We get support beyond our immediate environment and interact with people all over the world without traveling. This has opened a number of doors for artists. You can interact and learn art online, or even find where to get the best quality and priced materials. You can see art online and learn and be inspired by what you see without going to a museum (although it is NOT the same!!!!); or view the work of an artist who may not be exhibiting at museums and galleries but has an online portfolio. There are ways to show your art today that weren't available before.
Would Mary have written a blog and shared her frustrations with society’s outlook on woman artists in those days? Would she have shared her ambitions to paint professionally against these prejudices? Maybe she would tell tales of her school days and how she didn't think she was learning anything so she moved to
and copied the masters at the Louvre. We could have heard of the people she met
there. The frustrations of submitting work to the Salon and not being shown.
The fact that her father disapproved of her way of life and wouldn't give her
money for art supplies. How she almost gave up in despair.She went to America and wrote in a letter in July 1871- "I have given up my studio & torn up my father's portrait, & have not touched a brush for six weeks nor ever will again until I see some prospect of getting back to Europe. I am very anxious to go out west next fall & get some employment, but I have not yet decided where." Paris
Thankfully she didn't give up! Eventually she went back to
and had success. She was very verbal and blunt about her ideas on politics in
the art world, and I am sure I would have loved to read a blog of hers. At one
point she debated and tried to paint in a more fashionable manner to be more
marketable and make money doing commissions for the American socialites. This
is a topic many of us are well aware of today. Do we paint more marketable
paintings thinking of what people would want to buy, or are we true to
ourselves and paint from our souls?
We could have read about her interaction with impressionists; her friendship with Berthe Morisot and Degas and how Degas influenced her. On seeing Degas’s work she said, "It changed my life. I saw art then as I wanted to see it.”
Mary decided early in life that marriage would not fit in with her career choice. Is this not still a big challenge for women artists today? How to balance our creativity with marriage and children? So many woman struggle with being an artist as a career choice and only go "back" to art later in life, when they have time. Women are still battling with society’s idea of women’s roles and how we can manage a career and family. If Mary had Internet, and could interact with other woman going through similar struggles as her own, would she have still chosen this road?
Later in life Mary created her most famous series of paintings and prints. She painted mothers and children in the most soft, tender and honest way. I love these paintings.
Here are a few for you to enjoy…The first one I saw at the Brooklyn museum this summer and it is just amazing up close.
You can see why I would LOVE these paintings!!!
Mary went on to be a role model for many young artists and advised art collectors on buying Impressionist art.
Imagine what influence she would have had today.
I would like to give blog space once a month to celebrate female artists from around the world. We can all learn from them. Their struggles and issues are our struggles and issues. I would like to try and see the world through the eyes of these amazing women, learn from them and discuss issues that were important to them and may still be relevant today.