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Inspiring Artist of the Day - Charles Rennie Mackintosh

Charles Rennie Mackintosh was known to some as an artist, others as a designer, and more as an architect.

I love this wide and varied portfolio as I too have painted, illustrated, and designed ... no buildings yet, but then it's not something I've seriously considered. Mackintosh, like many other artists tended to be known for one thing, not for just style of craftsmanship, because that is what making art is, but his current output ...what he was working on at the time.

During my career I have been known as an illustrator, a graphic designer, a community artist, a print maker, a life drawing teacher, and more recently as a textile or surface pattern designer, the list goes on. To each market I have been what it perceived me to be at the time.

This is nothing new: Picasso was a painter, print maker and decorator of ceramics; Matisse a painter, interior decorator and gardener; Leonardo a painter, botanical and medical illustrator, designer of flying machines ...there are hundreds more who follow this trend.

The bottom line is that we are all artists and we see everything with an artists eye - whatever we are attracted to is scrutinised with the objective of how it was or can be created, it's how we see the world, it's what interests us.

We look at a rose and then look more closely, we visually take it apart and rebuild it to understand it to be able to capture it, and in a way keep it, just as it is right now.

When I taught Life drawing classes I always told the students to take a good look at what they were drawing, and not just from one angle but to walk around the model to appreciate the stresses and strains of holding the pose, to understand the underlying structure of the human form, the hard bones the softer muscles, the taut ligaments and sinews and the softer fatty tissue that lies beneath the skin which clothes us all.

It's how I as an artist view my world.

Now back to Mackintosh... here's a wee gallery to illustrate his varied interests and how his style and attention to detail is visible in everything he created, how he drew or painted a still life, a landscape, a humble flower or a design for fabric, a school or a house.

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