Monday, February 25, 2008

Artists of the Month/ John Bauer & Kay Nielsen

"The Summer Queen" - work in progress, 11 x 14" colored pencil on pastelbord
copyright Maggie Stiefvater and Will (for jagged pencil marks on right hand side)

Okay, I actually got a nice chunk of time on Sunday to finally work on my artists of the month project. For those who are just landing on the blog, I'm studying two safely dead artists, Kay Nielsen & John Bauer, during the months of January and February, with an eye on learning everything I can from studying their techniques and styles, and the producing a somewhat derivative piece by the end of the project.

Other installments in this lengthy project which is nearing its end are below:

Kay Nielsen - Artist of the Month, Part I
Artist(s) of the Month(s) - John Bauer
Artists of the Month: Nielsen & Bauer

At the rate that I was getting a chance to work on this project, I thought I'd probably be a safely dead artist by the time that I got a chance to actually finish a piece based upon what I'd learned . . . but taDA! I got a heck of a lot done.

Okay, so what is it I actually did? On the last post I was talking about how I had this idea to do a woman with a big dress like Nielsen did (see the one of the dancing lady with the big white wig at left). And I knew I wanted to make use of the Hiroshige wave that he used in most of his pieces.

So that formed part of my inspiration. Then I looked at John Bauer's work and wanted to use his super simplified shapes and his flat 2D patterns thrown into 3D images (like the dress on the woman looking at the swans -- bottom left). Add to that my mad desire to use a medieval crown I'd found a photo of in a piece of art and I was set.

Except of course the piece deviated from the planning stages in two major ways.

1) I decided that instead of a flat 2D pattern on her dress like Bauer frequently used, I wanted to put a landscape in her dress, so the viewer's first impression was looking through a window to a summer landscape.
2) My 2 year old Will decided to add several jagged marks all over the piece in colors that complemented the colors already used in the flowers. You can see them . . . um, everywhere. Isn't he talented?

So I'm not sure if this piece is a write-off or not. I think I'll try and finish it this week if I have time and see if I can cover up those marks. It will probably involve a truckload of pigment and a lot of sweet tea. Anyway, this piece was tremendously fun to do to this point, even though it's a huge departure from my usual style. Now I'm left wondering what I'm going to do with it once I'm done! Hmm, maybe give it away to a random blog reader?


Kasie @ ~The Art of Life~ said...

Me! Me!
I'm random. I'm a reader.
And as a Mom I can even appreciate the jagged marks. (Been there, lol.)

This really is pretty cool. I love your interpretation. :)

Becca said...

Aww I would leave the random marks! They acually look like they work well with the picture ^_^ Very pretty painting over all :)

Tania said...

Ah, toddlers... now I remember why I only did one artwork a year until my son turned three. And why my studio has a screen door on it: cats and kids out, but I'm still technically in the same room as them.
I like "Summer Queen" there's a lyrical beauty to it - with the play between the dress and the opposing shape in the background woods. I could totally see this as the illustration, perhaps for a yet unwritten book?

Lisa B. said...

I love the landscape gown, and also like the scribble marks. They add a bit of interest to the shadowy hallway.

I'm with Tania- maybe it's time you & Will collaborated on a children's story to go with the picture. :)