Since I was a little girl I've been making dens....and don't think I'll ever stop..........

Sunday 1 August 2010

Matisse and Celia Birtwell

Odalesque sur la terrasse, 1922

I was reminded of Celia Birtwell's delicious textile designs last month, when looking for images from vintage Vogue magazines to publish. You can link to the posting here, if you'd like to view some classically appealing Norman Parkinson photographs, shot with his signature flare for fun. I especially loved the image below of Nicky Samuel modelling one of her prints in an Ossie Clark dress.

In the 60's and 70's, Birtwell collaborated with her then husband, fashion designer Ossie Clark to produce beautifully romantic floaty dresses, famously described as 'the most important textile designer of her generation. ' She was the muse of artist David Hockney and along with her husband, the subject of Mr and Mrs Clark and Percy, one his most viewed paintings at the Tate Britain Gallery in London, which you can see here.

It was inspirational to read an article about M's Birtwell written by Ruth Corbett in the current edition magazine to learn that now in her late 60's, she is still designing beautifully colourful prints. Also that her work since art school days has been influenced by the 20th century French, Fauvist artist, Matisse, renowned for his colourful artwork.

This was a great excuse for me to post some of his paintings here. I've liked the simplicity of his line drawings for some time, but more recently have been looking closely at his colour work. I'm attracted to Matisse's use of textiles and pattern which is probably what has attracted Birtwell to his work, too. It seems to give his work a 2-dimensional element that I often see in Indian and Persian miniature painting. And this obvious love of things exotic and oriental always hold my attention even further.

You can see some of Celia Birtwell's work on the following link:

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