Sunday, August 1, 2010
A Shocking Discovery...
I'm pleased to unveil my finished painting for sculptor Steve Worthington's mouse project!! Just to recap -- Steve decided to publish a book, with proceeds from the sales to go to animal shelters, and he invited a bunch of painters to create works featuring his bronze mice. I picked Nosey Mouse and had a great time brainstorming ideas for this project.
I initially thought to pose Nosey as a cat burglar -- perched high on the roof of a cheese museum on a dark night, looking down through a skylight into an atrium where a rare cheese was displayed in a lighted case with security laser beams, etc. -- but Nosey informed me with a sniff that union rules prevented him from impersonating a cat, regardless of the altruistic value of Steve's mission. No amount of explanation was sufficient to convince him that "cat burglar" is only a figure of speech, so I went back to the drawing board.
I've long admired Arnold Lobel's books for children -- they have a wit that makes them delightful for a child of any age -- and I was pretty sure he'd done something with mice. I lucked out on my first foray to Borders, where I found Mouse Soup front and center on a display as I entered the children's section.
To pose Nosey properly, I needed to have him peering down from a height, so I gathered a stack of books that have meaning for my life: I loved to cook, back when I had more time, and this was my first "serious" cookbook; the author of the design book was one of my college art profs and my watercolor mentor; I'm a longtime knitter and the stitch pattern book has been a great source of inspiration for my designs; I have always loved the elegant watercolors of Charles Demuth; I grew up in a port city on the Great Lakes; and of course -- I love Arnold Lobel's books. (Peeking out from under Mouse Soup is Fables, a storybook really meant for adults I think. I feel very lucky to have a personalized copy with a sketch as well as Lobel's autograph. I was in the hospital many years ago when he did an author tour, so my boyfriend -- Señor Terremoto -- went and stood in line for me!!)
Steve has already received quite a few paintings from the other artists on this project -- and it looks like it's going to be a really fun book. I'll keep you posted as things progress and provide a link when the book appears.