Pas de Deux to Birds in Art 2015

Pas de Deux linocut, detail of rooster head

Got the email today that Pas de Deux, a hand-colored linocut that I did the summer before last) made it into Birds in Art 2015! I still can’t believe it.

Such a thrill and honor. Even though this is my 5th time in the exhibit, it’s always a surprise and I never expect to get in (especially this year, as both pieces I submitted had text in them—not exactly great candidates for this show).

Colorful linocut of 2 chickens in floral scene surrounded by mulberries

‘Pas de Deux’ hand-colored linocut, edition of 10, 18in x 8in (image size). Click on image to enlarge.

The idea for this print came from a long-time love affair with the work of Alphonse Mucha, and the desire to make a richly-colored, tall, skinny portrait of somebody—animal or human…. Here’s a write-up done for a show in which we were supposed to pick an artist who we were influenced by, and then do a piece for it…

Alphonse Mucha + the Posters of Paris

JUNE 2013 I’ve always been inspired by Mucha’s posters of elaborate, beautifully drawn figures advertising products. His strong design-sense, line quality, gorgeous women, and rich, glowing color represent the ideals of the poster in his time. The fact that his exquisitely rendered scenes were fine art but also used in advertising (for the theatre as well as commercial products) is sort of the gold standard for me: Commercial and Fine Art. Communication crossed with beautifully rendered imagery all in one.

Alphonse Mucha's 'Grand Cremant Imperial' poster

One of my favorites by Alphonse Mucha

I saw his lithographic posters in the Summer 2012 at the “Posters of Paris” show (19th century posters in paris) at Milwaukee Art Museum, and was astounded at the size of the work–most of them over life-size, often 6ft or taller. Along with these, there were huge circus posters (designed by other artists) of the time as well. That marked the beginning of a plan to make Mucha-inspired and circus-inspired reduction woocuts the size of my pressbed (4ft).

Pas de Deux is the 2nd small-size experiment in this style (The Amazing Dancing Dog was the first). Then, also in 2013, I did my first 4ft reduction print (a goose). Taliesin Goose also made it into Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum’s 2014 Birds in Art show. At some point (soon?) I will continue with the 19th century, poster-inspired series, but this time as 4ft-tall reduction block prints.

40th Anniversary of the Museum + this Exhibit!

Birds in Art 2015 will be the 40th anniversary of the Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum and Birds in Art, so the celebratory weekend should be memorable for everyone. The public opening of the show will be September 10-12, 2015. Details about the Master Wildlife Artist talk, Artists in Action, public reception and book signing can be found at the Museum’s Birds in Art page.

Looking forward to being wowed by all of the artists’ work in this year’s show!

inside of the Mucha Museum, Prague

Mucha Museum anyone? Let’s go to Prague!