Posted by: Moshe Mikanovsky | September 3, 2009

Art Blog Beginnings, or What Inspires My Art?

Art Blog Beginnings, or What Inspires My Art?

 As the first post in my Art Blog, I wanted to start with the things that inspire my art. Making art along the years, and sitting down to think about it and put it in words, are two completely different things! Art comes from our inner being, and putting it out there is not always obvious. But, I will give it a try. To illustrate it, here is a painting I made back in 1995. The reason I chose this one is because it’s very special to me. I made it for my wife just before we got married, for her Shabbat Kalah (Bride’s Sabbath), which is the last  Saturday before our wedding.

The Bride, Watercolor and ink on paper, 1995

The Bride, Watercolor and ink on paper, 1995

  • My Jewish identity and its symbolism are woven throughout my artwork. Brought up in Israel in a religious community, I was immersed from childhood in Jewish symbols through the holy books and their studies, every day Judaica objects and daily customs, and of course, the written word in Hebrew. I remember as a kid I loved browsing through my Grandmother’s bible which had Gustave Doré bible scene reproductions, copying them and first learning about figure drawing, expression, cloths, light and shade.
    Well, it’s easy to see in The Bride painting the Jewish bride, dancing Chasidim, and wording in Hebrew (our songs!), all tied together to this happy moment.
  •  Architecture – I love buildings and architectural details. My favorite vacation is strolling around in any beautiful city, be it NYC, Rome, or my favorite, Jerusalem, and just wash my eyes with the small details that give each building its unique character. When I started using the squares in my paintings, at first it was just background filler. But then I realized it was really working for me! It reminded me of walls covered with stone or mosaics, in which some windows were opened to view inside. The Bride is actually the first painting I made with the squares. You can see the wall-with-a-window effect it makes and some arabesque details on it.
  • Colors, design and order, material – different concepts in art, but they are all important parts for me for the completed work of art. I love bold colors, and use as many of them as I can, but still try to create a balanced design, with inner order.  Experiencing and learning to use new materials always trigger these questions: “How can I use this new exciting method to create an appealing and balanced artwork?” and “Can I combine it with other methods to work together even more interestingly?”
    In The Bride, I tried to play between the cold blue and greens to the warm reds and yellows. That was even before I learned about color theories but intuitively organizing these colors side by side, trying to use many different variations of each.
  • Art– Did I mention Gustave Doré already? So he wasn’t the only one. I love and admire Marc Chagall who I can’t describe enough how genius his work is. It’s worth taking few of his paintings and copy them to appreciate his imaginative expressive way to develop an image. I can’t list all of the other artists I admire, as the list is way too long! I will try blogging about them once in a while, as they are part of what drive me to make my art.
    The focal point in The Bride is actually after a Marc Chagall’s “Bride with Fan”. I couldn’t think about a better way to show my love to my bride-to-be than by painting her something I love.


  1. Beautiful, beautiful…keep up the great work. Carol

    • Thank you Carol. I have added now a “subscribe by email” link to the blog, so you can subscribe for future posts. Please also tell your friends who might be interested.

  2. Hi Moishi, I remember Marc Chagall’s stained glass windows in the church in Zurich when I was there for work many years ago. He too was my inspiration for my continued pursuit of stained glass work. I like your blog a lot. Keep it up. Love to the family.

    • Thank you Zevik. Last June we saw Cagall’s stained glass at the UN building in NYC. I should find the picture and upload it somewhere 🙂 I love EVERYTHING Chagall!

  3. […] Other related articles on my art inspiration:  Art Blog Beginnings, or What Inspires My Art?     […]

  4. Very beautiful, and lovely romantic idea.

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