Research as inspiration : The Paul Klee Notebooks

A firm believer in serendipity, I have found inspiration unexpectedly from second hand books, often sourced in obscure places.  Recently I was in a Regional Gallery and struck up a conversation with a passionate artist volunteer who excitedly showed me the books on a stand that accompanied a current exhibition.

Amongst them were the Paul Klee notebooks, Volume 1: The Thinking Eye and Volume 2: The Nature of Nature. These were Klee’s workshop notes from the Bauhaus and the basis of his own life’s work. He noted that teaching allowed him to get in touch with his own way of working. Like Leonardo da Vinci, Klee sought to understand nature and the creative process, and studied it intensely.

My initial hopes of getting my own copies of these books faded when I found that a pristine [ if that is possible with anything second hand]  set of two from overseas would cost me $800 plus. Several months later I have alternative copies in hand and I am working my way through The Thinking Eye.  It is in slightly better condition than my copy of The Nature of Nature which is a well used and expensive ex library book from London. I wonder whose hands have opened these books before me.

I start every day by reading and trying to comprehend a few pages from Klee’s first volume as well as several pages of  Merv Moriarity’s Colour : The Definitive Guide. One end of my dining room table is now allocated to this research as I find it is the best place to sit and contemplate. The gems are luminous when applied to my own art practice and grist for my workshops. I can’t begin to see an end to it all anytime soon.

Why Paul Klee you may ask? I just love his amazing mind. He states that everything comes in pairs, good and bad, and don’t we find that so true in the creation of our work.  Intuition, he explains, remains indispensable to art creation and genius is not hard work. Rather it is grace. It can’t be taught and has no rules to hold it back.

Art, as further explained by Paul Klee, causes us to think above the mundane and is more inspiring than anything on this planet.  He sums it up as ‘ imagination borne on the wings of instinctive stimuli ‘.  I am only on Page 79 of Volume 1 so many blogs to come I feel as I work my way through his notes.

If you would like to say hello come along to the Brisbane Art Expo at the  Convention Center at Southbank on the 13th to 15th July 2012. I am on Stand B20 with NEOGALLERY and hopefully doing some short 20 minute stage talks. Below is a new painting I am taking along. You  can find more artwork on the Art Fair on Art Clique.

Storms over the Passage 102 x 102 cm acrylic on canvas