Thursday, January 03, 2008

January/ February Artists for Study

"The Twelve Dancing Princesses" - Kay Nielsen.

Long-time readers of this blog will remember that I began 2007 by studying John Singer Sargent for the month. In 2007 I also studied Van Gogh, Maxfield Parrish, J. W. Waterhouse, and Whistler, but none of them influenced me quite as much as John Singer Sargent. For a month, I immersed myself in his work and finally produced an image based on what I learned from him. His use of darks and lights completely changed the way I looked at my art and sent me miles ahead on my journey.

I'd love to do that again this year, and I think I may have some time in the next two months to devote to studying. So my goal again is to immerse myself in an artist's* work for the time alloted, produce a piece of work based upon what I've learned, and put links to any other artists reading this blog who are also participating in the project. *A safely dead artist.

I have an unhealthy fascination with illustration and fantasy, so for January and February, I'll be looking at two Nordic illustrators from the beginning of the 20th century: Kay Nielsen and John Bauer. You might be looking at their work and saying holy cow, batman, that looks nothing like maggie, and you would be right. But my goal is not to look like them -- it's to take what I like of their work and incorporate it into my own.

So what do I like? I like that the pieces are dark, which makes the light more meaningful. I like that they are simple, but say a lot. I love the high, tall compositions of Kay Nielsen. I like the limited palette and the clever use of both 2D and 3D effects to draw the eye. I like the fanciful compositions that are entirely from the artist's head. I think I could learn from them. Nay, I know I could learn from them.

So what I'm going to do is work on my studying every Sunday. That makes it manageable for me and gives me a goal to shoot for (there I am again, on about these goal-things). Anyone who wants to join in can feel free to comment on this blog and leave the link for their blog-post on the subject. It's a great way to share the blog-traffic around, make new friends, and learn more about what we love: art. And little girls kissing bears.

So who's with me?! Raaah!!


Kellie Hill said...

I'm with you! Raaah! (this should be interesting...)

Anonymous said...

Very cool. I have no artistic talent at all, but I have a deep appreciation (obsession?) for fantasy art, animal art, and anything that catches my fancy. I hope you don't mind if I hang around to absorb some artistic wisdom!

Quilt Knit said...

Looks Like and Sounds Like Fun!

(( Circle of Study Hugs ))


Jeanette said...

I love these dark, kinda creepy illustrations. Very Hans Christian Anderson fairytale stuff. I used to love that as a kid. It scared the bejasus out of me, but I was addicted.

I'd love to join in, but I don't think I have the time, at least not this month, but it anything changes, I'll be in!

Linda said...

This looks like fun! If I have time I may just join in, but I'll at least definately be watching. I love good fantasy illustration but have been intimidated to try it.

Glad you found James Gurney's blog, he's been having a lot of info on how to create realism in fantasy settings.

Also, often has some pretty impressive fantasy illustration.

-- Linda

Rita said...

I dunno about girls kissing bears, but this project sure does sound interesting!
I won't commit fully but will follow along with the research, I had a lot of fun tagging along last year with the Masters projects and I'm going to be starting my own research project soon so I don't know for sure if I'll have the time.

I love fantasy based art and some of those images are really intriguing. If I wind up doing something over the next 2 months that I think fits in with your project well by golly, you'll be the first to know.

...little girls kissing bears. What will they think of next?

tlc illustration said...

When you talk about 'studying' another artist, what exactly does that entail for you? How do you apply the aspects that you like to your own work? Enquiring minds want to know...

Jackie said...

I, too, would like to know how you go about studying another artist. :)

vivien said...

You name some really interesting illustrators that I'll enjoy investigating further :)

I wrote about illustrator Nicola Bayley on my blog

this post is about her book The Patchwork Cat - a lovely non-saccharine story of a cat and why she gets lost - the facial expressions and body language are beautifully observed. and this is a link to another book The Mousshole Cat - a village I've loved since I was child and lived nearby

vivien said...

ps I totally agree about the value of not working 'as' another artist but taking elements from it to adapt and develop your own work.

Maggie Stiefvater said...

Welcome aboard all!
Jen, non-artists are just as welcome to comment and I'm happy to see you over here.

Linda, thanks for the link!

Rita and Jeanette, hope you can find time.

Tlc & Jackie, I'll answer this question at the beginning of my Sunday post. Thanks for asking!

Viv - your links were wonky but I got there anyway! Thanks and I commented on your blog instead of here where you might not catch it.

burninator said...

I digs! With TWO shovels!