6 February 09
The mid-winter sunshine is melting away some of the sadness in the studio and work and life continues to push me forward.
We had a wonderfully healing visit from my pal Peter Follansbee this week on his way to and from giving a lecture at a furniture conference in Colonial Williamsburg. Many of you know that Peter is THE world renowned expert in 17thCentury Joinery and I got to tag along with him on tuesday as he went to the nearby Winterthur Museum to take a look at a painted wooden box made in 1698. It was a blast to be his lackey and get a rare behind- the -scenes look at the museum and meet their curator and top scientist. Peter has been hired by the MFA, Boston to reproduce the missing top half of a cabinet which is in their collection. The details to which his assembled team is investigating how the original might have been produced and decorated…and the microscopic analysis of the paint samples from the four existing examples of this furniture…are beyond amazing. If you’re at all interested in woodworking you will find his blog entries to be a remarkable wealth of information both historical and practical. www.pfollansbee.wordpress.com
This week also saw the launching of Laurie R. King’s Fifteen Weeks of Bees project. Regular readers of this blog will know that LRK is one of my favorite authors and that listening to her books in the studio has inspired many a painting. So, when she wrote to me a few months ago to invite me to participate in a fun project to help launch the newest installment in the Mary Russell Series…I couldn’t reply fast enough.
The idea is an old one … in the authors words…” Russellscape is an ‘endless landscape’ or myriorama—a series of panels with precisely the same colors at precisely the same places along their left and right edges. If all those edges match, then the individual panels, when laid side by side, form a continuous image…”
In this case she was looking for the illustrations to relate in some way to the MR series characters, story lines or geographic locations in the books. My first thought was of the painting that I had finished last year… The Beecharmer. The idea for which had blossomed many years ago while I was reading the very first book in the series, The Beekeeper’s Apprentice. It took a few years of incubation and a larger studio to bring my composition to the panel … and it has taken the same number of years for LRK to return to the hive, so to speak, with her latest novel’s title…The Language of Bees which hits the bookstores on 22 May 09.
So, with a little bit of help from Photoshop… and a lot of artistic license and latitude… here is the image I came up with …
and here’s where you can see how they integrated it into the Russellscape… (Scroll down to the bottom of her home page to see the slide show ) http://www.laurierking.com/ .
It was a lot of fun and a huge honor for this humble artist to be included, so many thanks Laurie.
You too can participate as she is encouraging other artists to add their own panels… so follow the links on her site to find the details. There will be a contest coming up to pick the favorite panel…so get to the library and bone up on your Mary Russell stories and have fun. ” The Games A-foot !”
And Now… I weave my way from Ye Olde Cabinet Shoppes of the 17th century … through the back alleys of 19th century London… across the moors and back across the pond…to the dune swept seascapes of Martha’s Vineyard…and straight onto a movie set ?
Next up on the easel… a painting commissioned for a movie currently wrapping up production by producer/director Tappan Heher … “Mistover”.
Much more to come on this exciting project soon… but, for now, the muses are calling.
Be well, HN