Art 1 Tobey – 8/28-9/4

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LOOK AT THE FOLLOWING TWO VIDEOS AND THE WEBSITE ON MARK TOBEY (1890-1976).

Retrospective site

IN YOUR BLOG POST, COMMENT ON 3 THINGS THAT INFLUENCED HIS ART AND 3 IDEAS HE WANTED TO EXPRESS BY MEANS OF HIS ART.
WHAT DOES HE MEAN BY THIS: “On pavements and the bark of trees I have found whole worlds”. IS HE SIMPLY COPYING TREE BARK OR IS HE DOING SOMETHING ELSE?
LOOK AT THE QUALITY AND CHARACTER OF HIS LINE. LOOK AT HOW HE GROUPS IT FOR SPATIAL AND EMOTIONAL EFFECT.
IN YOUR SKETCHBOOK, SPEND AN HOUR DOING A COMPOSED TOBEY-STYLE DRAWING OR DO SMALL PARTS AND STUDIES OF THE EFFECTS OF HIS PROCESS. YOU MAY WANT TO BREAK THIS INTO 20 MIN PARTS.
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32 responses »

  1. His art was influenced by the natural world, arabic calligraphy and science. He wanted to get across that “science and religion are two great powers which must be balanced for man to become mature”. He wanted to bring together different parts of life and show that they’re all the same thing. People are all one, according to Tobey. Maybe Tobey means that when he looks at tree bark, he looks at a lot of interesting things and when you look at something for an extended amount of time you see more. He is drawing something that most people don’t usually notice in tree bark.

  2. When Tobey said, “On pavements and the bark of trees I have found whole worlds” I think he was reflecting on the complexity of the world. He wasn’t literally referring to tree bark, or at least not in the seance that he was drawing it. I believe he was trying to say how in everything we see, someone could spend their life studying, looking at every detail down to to the molecules that make it up. Tobey was influenced by the world around him, he noticed that every thing is made up of other things, sometimes more interesting than the thing they make up. He was also influenced by some sort of writing as far as I can tell as the characters he makes resemble some sort of calligraphy. He was also influenced by the beauty of nature and the sheer number of color and small building blocks that make it up. Mark Tobey used groupings of characters to make certain parts of his paintings to make them look more dence. Using this property, he gave his paintings more complexity and made them more interesting. I really like Tobey’s style of painting.

  3. Tobey’s art appears to be inspired mainly by his religious beliefs, by nature, and his Internationalism. I think he means to evoke a sense of balance amid the chaos of most of his pieces, and also to make his art almost glow with the colors of nature. I also believe that he wants to show something almost ethereal in his art. By ”On pavements and the bark of trees I have found whole worlds,” I think he means that he draws inspiration from the world around him, and can take even the smallest things, and turn them into something beautiful. I think it is a message to all of us to better appreciate the world around us.

  4. I believe that this style of art is less to symbolize things or concepts, but more of an insight into the views of the man behind the brush, the person that is thinking about all of the colors rushing in his head, making small corrections based on imperfections in his thinking or doing. Personally I enjoyed the first piece of the the first video with the textures throughout the piece, the middle being dense and conformed and the outside edges beginning to blur out and become faded, an often interesting thing when dealing with lines and basic textures and colors, being able to create visual interest with just simple adjustments like making the lines more dense or textured. In terms of emotion from the work, I feel that a lot of it in the second video is more of an experimental stage where he is playing with the ideas of the new art, seeing what might be interesting, but earlier in the first video I feel that it was a mellow form of art, often in a depressed like state, or confused, as if he was dizzy, or it was really late at night and he was unable to find anything to do in a sea of things, just none seemed appealing. I think in the quote that he means that while things may be small or seemingly insignificant, the ideas and emotion derived from certain textures and feels can be amazing, and can be elaborated on immensely.

  5. Three things that influenced Tobey: He was influenced by (presumably) the night sky, visualizing what seems to be planets in space. He also showed the influence of nature, as many of his works are often described with terms often associated with nature. Lastly, Tobey’s work reflected his spiritual beliefs in many aspects: anywhere from actual religion to regarding racism.

    By talking about the bark of trees, he is not explicitly copying their design; Tobey was using the lines on tree bark as an inspiration for a new kind of lines which he could later have painted into his works.

  6. Tobey’s art appears to be inspired mainly by his religious beliefs, by nature, and his Internationalism. I think he means to evoke a sense of balance amid the chaos of most of his pieces, and also to make his art almost glow with the colors of nature. I also believe that he wants to show something almost ethereal in his art. By ”On pavements and the bark of trees I have found whole worlds,” I think he means that he draws inspiration from the world around him, and can take even the smallest things, and turn them into something beautiful. I think it is a message to all of us to better appreciate the world around us.

  7. I think the art just came to him. He was inspired by himself to create something beautiful. He wanted to express art and he did by making simple patterns into intricate designs. I think he is copying the bark but in his own way. He uses the the bark to lead him in his drawing and not himself. The quality of his work if phenomenal and even though it looks like it is simple it is not, and it is very interesting. I really liked Tobey’s work.

  8. HOW HE WAS INFLUENCED
    1. Calligraphy
    2. The natural world
    3. The modern world which we often overlook as ugly.

    WHAT WAS HE TRYING TO EXPRESS
    1. The complexity of the modern world.
    2. Patience.
    3. How we often ignore things, but if we look closer, they are beautiful and what makes life worth living.

    I think Tobey means that there’s more to something simple than you think there is. He takes the simplest of things and transforms them into his own art and interprets them. When he sees a tree branch, he doesn’t just copy it down. He draws it from how he interprets it and the things hidden among it that no one else notices.

  9. Mark Tobey’s art was influenced by his religious and spiritual beliefs, renaissance tempra and oriental calligraphy. He expressed his ideas of balancing nature and religion. He conveyed his vision of spirituality by creating detailed and mystical pieces of art. When he says “On pavements and on the bark of trees I have found whole worlds” he sees the small details that are easily missed. I think he uses the details to portray the smaller but equally important things in life.

  10. Mark Tobey was primarily inspired by nature, his religious views, and the calligraphic qualities of arabic symbols. He wished to express through his art the complexities buried within simple things, his visions of the spiritual world, and his belief of “The unity of the world and the oneness of mankind.” When Tobey says “On pavements and the bark of trees I have found whole worlds,” I believe he is not simply copying tree bark, but that he means when you examine something closely, even something that you think you know, you will be surprised at what you find.

  11. Personal epression by way of textures within positive and negative spacial movements near and far; influenced by religious interpretations, nature, and calligraphy patterns, Tobey was able to present an emotional impression regarding his focused personal vision….the bark of a tree branch was the example sighted. So, looking at something very closely can result in a piece of art that is as impressionististic as viewing an entire landscape. It is about pushing yourself to ‘see’ with your mind more than just what the eye perceives. All your experiences, dreams, visions can be explored in a minimal choice of ONE of the elements of design…in LINE, the artist Tobey depends on his intent (content) and his syle. Beautiful!

  12. In my opinion, first thing that influenced Tobey’s Art is full of all small shapes, these are composed by different lengths of lines. They are continuous, cross-hatching… And second thing is these small shapes, they come together or separate in order to form big meaningful shapes. Thirdly, various colors are important. For example, the dark one contrast with the light one. And the warm colors contrast with the cold colors…
    And about the ideas he wanted to express, through his paintings, I think he combined Occident and Orient to express the religion, cities, science, space and so on.

  13. Add: To talk about the sentence that Mark Tobey said–“On pavements and the bark of trees I have found whole worlds.” I strongly believe that he didn’t just copy the tree barks. I think he tried to expose the back or the unfair side of the world and the old society. He just wanted to use the barks of trees for revealing the information he longed to transmit to the people.

  14. Tobey was influenced by his religion, arabic calligraphy, and nature. He was trying to communicate the oneness of the world, the importance of nature, and the significance of other cultures.

    What Tobey meant by, ”On pavements and the bark of trees I have found whole worlds”, was that something that appears dull and uninteresting can, upon closer examination, be complex and fascinating.

  15. Tobey seemed to be influenced by the natural world, his constant migration from city to city, and his spirituality. I think he was trying to express the beauty in the little things (like tree bark and pavements), his spiritual values, and “the unity of the world and the oneness of mankind.” I think when Mark Tobey says ”On pavements and the bark of trees I have found whole worlds,” he means that in the simplest and most ordinary of objects you can find, little things that make them their own (things that make them unique and special).

  16. Mark Tobey was influenced by many different things: the most important one was religion in paticular the Bahai Faith, nature, and calligraphy. Tobey really wanted to show how there is no break between nature, science, art, religion, and personal life. I think that when he says “On pavements and the bark of tree I have found whole words” he is saying when he looks at nature or at things around him he sees art and not just what they are. he spreads things out so the emotion or meaning doesn’t get lost withe everything being clumped together.

  17. I thought Tobey’s art is influenced by Chinese calligraphy, night scene, and the simple emotion of himself. He wanted to express simpleness is the complexity, the beauty of free drawing, and the natural world. When he said: ”On pavements and the bark of trees I have found whole worlds” I think he wants to express that there is no such difference between simpleness and complexity.

  18. I believe that three things that influenced Tobey were the many different types of calligraphy, colors, and lines found in everyday life. I believe he wanted to show that people should look more in detail into things they usually take for granted and notice the many different things there is to see in them. When he said “On pavements and the bark of trees I have found whole worlds” he is referring to all the patterns, colors, and shapes found in everyday things. And by paying attention to them he has discovered this whole “world” within them.

  19. Toby’s art is influenced by patterns and inspiring parts of nature, his religous views and and ancient calligraphy. He wanted to express that things aren’t as simple as we often think, whether it’s the pattern in a rug or the bark on a tree. He also wanted the viewer to “be transported to a wholly other place” even if there wasn’t a specifiic spiritual intention when he made the artwork, although there usually was. I think the quote “On pavements and the bark of trees I have found whole worlds” means that he always saw more than what most people saw. He saw intiricate patterns, and mystical meaning and a connection between the natural and modern world.

  20. First of all, I just want to say that I think Toby’s an amazing artist, and I think he was influenced by lots things. Just from looking at his art, I think a few of his influences were calligraphy, and foreign writing styles, nauture and people, and his emotions. Toby really illustrates complexity while at the same time keeping his work simple and graceful. When Toby said ”On pavements and the bark of trees I have found whole worlds” I think that he is really saying that if you take a closer look at the world you will find treasures that you would have normally missed. This idea is really shown in some of his pieces where he takes on or two colors and fills the page with them and then goes back over and covers them with little lines, like a brown tree trunk. From far away it just looks all one color and texture but when you get closer you see that it is acctually covered in little lines.

  21. Mark Toby’s influences:
    -his religion (Bahai)
    -nature
    -the different cultures he experienced during his travels

    Things he tried to express:
    -the oneness of humanity
    -his spirituality
    -the beauty of the natural world

    When Toby said, “On pavements and the bark of trees I have found whole worlds,” he is commenting on the artistic opportunities nature provides. By painting tree bark, he can express new ideas and explore the depths of his creativity.

  22. Mark Tobey was influenced by many things but the things that had the largest impact on this life where nature and the natural world around him, Chinese calligraphy which he had grown fond of while he was a scholar of oriental calligraphy, and his faith in Baha’i. Three things he wanted to express with his art were the complexity of the modern world, nature and the natural world, and spiritual values. When Mark Tobey said ”On pavements and the bark of trees I have found whole worlds” i believe he is comparing the modern paved world to the natural one and how both of them are so complex even in the simplest of places.

  23. Mark Tobey’s art seemed to be influenced by Baha’i Faith, nature and Arabic calligraphy symbols. I believe he tried to express that religion and science must be balanced, his spirituality and the complexity of the simplest things. I do not think he was referring to drawing bark, I think he meant that in something we just look at and see simplicity, there are a million different things that go together to make it up. In simplicity there is the highest level of complexity.

  24. Tobey’s work shows unmistakable influences ranging from oriental calligraphy, the simple complexity of the world (from a bird’s eye view of a cityscape to, well, treebark. With more complexity and details as you move close, yet still beautiful as the whole picture), a crowd, all the way to the mental image of Jackson Pollack’s soul thrown through a fan. It can be compared to seeing an individual’s beauty as a whole, before seeing the more complex visual business at cellular level.
    He is definitely doing something else. At 0:28 in the second video, we can see what looks like a well scratched and scribbled piece of white canvas turning into something more, as our eyes begin to see figures, consistent patterns, some for a brief second and others more consistently. This is not unlike in my younger days when I’d lie on my bed and make figures, landmarks, and characters out of the plaster texturing on my ceiling. And that’s what I think he was trying to convey. The idea of overall beauty (or drabness), but just as we begin to draw to conclusions we begin to see the whole the picture. Easily missed, or dismissed, details come to full life and quadruple in intensity as we take a closer look, not unlike what happens to a simple lesson plan when it’s written with the gratuitous use of capital letters.

  25. Tobey’s art looks like it was influenced by arabic and oriental characters, the natural world and emotions. His goal was to express simplicity in its most complex form, how the world is ‘one’, and different feelings. When he says ”On pavements and the bark of trees I have found whole worlds” I think he could be referring to the extreme complexity of the lines and impressions one can find in the bark of trees or on other surfaces. There really could be whole worlds hidden in bark and you can find them if you look hard enough.

  26. “Tobey was enormously influenced by his religious beliefs” and attempted to express them through his art as being wholesome with “nature, art, science, religion, and personal life.” Tobey also believed that religion and science are great powers of this world that must be considered and balanced to become mature and attempted to harmonize those in his work. He wanted to show that science and religion could coexist and he expressed that through his artwork. Red man, white man, black man shows how Tobey thought that everyone was equal and that we were all just one body of people in this world. When Mark says ”On pavements and the bark of trees I have found whole worlds,” I think he is expressing his love for nature and how even the most basic and insignificant things can host the ideas of world for an artist like Tobey.

  27. Tobey was influenced by his religion, nature, and the many cultures he lived in. He wanted to express the beauty of nature, a harmony between science, religion, and man, and the emergence of poignant art works from simple patterns. When he said ”On pavements and the bark of trees I have found whole worlds,” I think he is saying that in paying attention to small detail you can find new elements, ideas, and patterns you didn’t know existed.

  28. Three things that inspired Tobey were spirituality, calligraphy, and balance specifically between science and religion
    I think when he made that quote not only about the patterns but about the intricacy of it and how you can see it as ten million things, depending on the person.

  29. Tobey was influenced by his religion, the Bahá’í Faith, Arabic calligraphy that he learned throughout his world travels, and the hidden beauty of nature. By saying “On pavements and the bark of trees I have found whole worlds,” he isn’t displaying his secret insanity, but showing that what he finds most beautiful is the very things most people dismiss as ordinary and therefore overlook. Through his art, he tries to express that if you take the time to really look at something, even the most mundane of things, you can find something interesting or wonderful about it. What some people don’t understand is he is also trying to show the world that everyone is equal. Through various pieces, he displays the “oneness of humanity.” He, more than many other people, understood that because of the amount of travelling he had done. He saw up close and personal that all people deserve to be treated with equal respect.
    The art itself is beautifully made. It shows how much effort he put into it just to express his beliefs and passions to the world, and the way that he puts such emotion into what some would consider just lines is amazing. He took lines, an object that many consider boring, and made them into something that people now study and learn from.

  30. I think that what influenced Tobey was nature, primitive signs like in cave pantings and maybe city scapes or things that we see daily.

    3 things that he wanted to express:
    Definitely that he wants us to look closer at our world, and notice more. To find beauty and complexity in places that most people wouldn’t look for it.
    How using few colors can be just as beautiful as using many.
    That something that looks messy can look intricate when you just look closer.

    When Mark Tobey says ”On pavements and the bark of trees I have found whole worlds” i think that he means that you can look at something closer than you would normally look, and be surprised by the richness of detail.
    I think that Tobey is in some ways copying the tree bark, but he is putting it together so that it looks like something that we can recognize from our daily life.

    Many of the lines he uses are very tiny, and they look messy and chaotic. It seems like there are no straight lines, and nothing is orginized, just like in the natural world.

  31. Mark Tobey’s art stems from both his belief in science and his own personal faith in religion, believing that the two must be balanced “if man is to become mature”. To Tobey art, science, and even one’s personal life must be blended together to achieve oneness, unity. Although born in Wisconsin, Mark Tobey disliked the notion that he was an “American” painter. Kosme de Barañano compares Tobey to a restless bird in the way the artist would travel to new places (such as New York, Japan, or Switzerland), observe the culture and move on. Tobey’s art is all about conveying spirituality through abstract painting, using different cultural inspirations to flavor his work in a unique way. When Tobey said “On pavements and the bark of trees I have found whole worlds,” he is talking about Man’s natural tendency to separate things (whether it be art, science, religion, or anything else) instead of finding a natural balance, a harmony that can be associated with unity.

  32. I think the most interesting aspect of Saul Steinberg’s life is his time working for Bertoldo. His experiences drawing for a humor magazine taught him how to express in a funny or witty way. His artwork reminds me of the characters in the Beatles Yellow Submarine Movie. My favorite drawing by him is untitled, 1948 because of how much creativiy is expressed in such a simple piece.

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