6 Artists who influenced my Cloud paintings. (Surrealist and Classic input)

My cloud paintings Final

Today I have my head in the clouds and invite you to join me for a moment!

“I’ll teach you how to jump on the wind’s back, and then away we go.”

Peter Pan

ROAD TRIP INSPIRATION:

Those of you who read my Road Trip blog post after my December holiday will remember the impact the beautiful clouded skies that I was privileged to experience had on me.

It was the first time ever that I drove so many kilometres and from Bloemfontein to Western Cape and back, a comforting umbrella of clouds overlooked me.

It was inevitable that clouds would start featuring in my art after that trip.

MY DREAM IS TO BE ABLE TO PAINT REALISTIC CLOUDS

For years now I’ve dreamt of being able to paint realistic clouds, and now I’ve made my start, I will keep on working on my skills.

I really enjoy the theme and my cloud album on my phone gets fuller by the day!

Clouds at the break of dawn, clouds at sunset, even when I stop at a robot, I take photos of clouds!

The sky is like a large canvas coloured with breathtaking clouds, the only difference between the sky and a canvas is that there is movement on the heavenly canvas.

MY FASCINATION WITH CLOUDS STARTED WHEN I WAS A LITTLE GIRL:

I remember late afternoons on a blanket in the shade of a big tree on our farm.

Glasses of ice-cold Oros and homemade biscuits next to us.

We were very small, little brothers and sisters and my mom, all laying on our backs, looking at the sky and identifying what we see in the formations of the clouds.

The farmer might see rain or cold predicted in it and the Nephrologists see Stratocumulus, Cumulus and Cumulonimbus but for me, it’s about the rabbit with the large ears, or the bursting mushroom or the upside-down horse.

All the fancy cloud names sound artistic in their own way like you can compose a Dadaist poem out of it, so I do like the names as well.

Dadaist Poems and how to create a Dada poem
Dadaist Poems and how to create a Dada poem

Just don’t ask me to identify the cloud by its name, please.

When I look at clouds, I see pictures and I’m in awe and it touches my soul and I’m a little girl again when I look up in the sky, full of excitement about the forms and magnificent colours.

MY HEAD IN THE CLOUDS, MY BRUSH ON THE CANVAS:

With my head in the clouds most of the time I get sucked into my paintings.

These days puffy white clouds, wispy, feathery clouds and more dramatic formations of clouds burst freely out of my brush to present dreamlike artworks.

Surrealistic Cloud paintings by Mariaan Kotze South African Artist

“For a second I was almost Jealous of the clouds”

Kamila Shamsie

ARTSTS WHO INFLUENCED MY CLOUD PAINTINGS:

Early influences of my love for clouds were the more classic artists, Turner, Kobus Kotze and J.H.Pierneef.

Classic Painters Kobus Kotze Turner Pierneef
Classic Painters: Kobus Kotze, Turner and Pierneef

I love Turner’s dramatic, atmospheric cloud paintings.

These paintings stir something deep in my soul every time I look at them.

I admire the impressionistic clouds in my dad’s landscape paintings. My dad, Kobus Kotze has always been an inspiration.

J.H Pierneef had an impact on me with the dramatic cloud formations in his paintings.

I had the privilege to see an exhibition of a set of thirty-two panels, The Johannesburg Station Panels, by Pierneef at the Rupert Museum in Stellenbosch.

MY CLOUD PAINTINGS OF LONG AGO:

I did a few cloud paintings over the years, if you are a collector who owns one of these paintings of mine with an atmospheric, more classic approach, treasure it, as they are few. Turner was, without doubt, the biggest influence on these works.

Atmospheric Cloud paintings by Mariaan Kotze
Above, are two images of my atmospheric, classic cloud paintings.

“You are the sky. The clouds are what happens, what comes and goes.”

Eckhart Tolle

SURREALIST ARTISTS AND MY NEW RANGE OF CLOUD PAINTINGS:

Guys like René Magritte, the Belgian surrealist, Rafal Olbinski, the Polish illustrator and painter, and the Spanish Surrealist, Salvador Dali influenced my surrealistic approach in my new range of cloud paintings.

For those of you who are not familiar with Surrealism, check out this lovely short movie  (only 8 minutes long), it will give you a good understanding of this art genre, which was more a movement than a genre.

If you know and love Surrealism, you will love this movie, it gives such a playful overview of the artists and their mindset and movement.

Surrealist Painters Salvador Dali Rene Magritte Rafal Olbinski
Surrealist Painters: Salvador Dali, Rene Magritte and Rafal Olbinski.

MYSTERY: WHAT DOES IT MEAN?

Rene Magritte describes his paintings saying: “My painting is visible images which conceal nothing, they evoke mystery and, indeed, when one sees my pictures, one asks oneself this simple question, “What does it mean?” – It does not mean anything, because mystery means nothing, it is unknowable.”

Although I do have a lot of symbolism in my art, this is pretty much the reply I can give for most of my artworks, especially my range of cloud paintings.

These paintings sprout out of my subconscious, and I want you to enjoy the feeling and atmosphere in it rather than seek a message and meaning.

Oblinski describes his approach to painting and illustrations as “poetic surrealism”

I love the term and can relate to it. 

Expect to see more clouds in my work.

“You must not blame me if I talk to the clouds”

Henry David Thoreau

I want to capture that carefree feeling with my surrealistic cloud paintings and bubble wrap and send it off to you as a reminder that each cloud has a silver lining, and as a challenge to find a little magic wherever you go.

I wish you a beautiful, blessed cloudy day.

Mariaan

My Available artworks, fresh off my easel.

“Clouds come floating into my life, no longer to carry rain or usher storm, but to add color to my sunset sky.”

Rabindranath Tagore

NS:

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All Artwork © Mariaan Kotzé

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