Tuesday, December 25, 2018

Merry Christmas from Studio Arrabbiata

It was a lot of work, but it got done.  Much of the story has been told on this blog already.  This idea of basing my holiday cards on historical works of art goes back to when I was still in grad school.  Gives me a direction, but every year I have to find a new work that is suitable and that I haven't done yet.  Sometimes I base it on something I have recently seen in a museum or some other recent connection.  But no museum visits for me in more than a year.  A recent Christmas letter from my friend Doug mentioned a plan to go to Vienna during his break, and maybe to look at some Schiele paintings, which led me to look at some Schiele and other early 20th century art from Vienna.  Actually used Scheile once before, but couldn't find any other pieces that seemed suitable to my working method, or among his contemporaries.   So back to my large collection of art books.   Decided to try Edward Hopper, who I had used once before, a winterized outdoor scene.  I decided I might be able to so something with Nighthawks at the Diner, possibly his best know piece, and one of the most iconic American artworks.  I suppose I could have put a Santa costume on one of the patrons, perhaps taking a break from his delivery route, or from time in the workshop, but instead I just kept the patrons as they were and winterized the scene a little bit.  The best known part of the painting is the part inside the diner, but it is only a small part of the whole painting.  However the cards are designed to fit in a small check mailer envelope, and much of the light in the original piece comes form parts cropped from the card- other parts of the diner and the empty sidewalk outside.  Part of the reason I was considering switching to something else a week ago.  But I couldn't think of anything else, committed to this idea, and figured out how to handle it.  The value balance of what is depicted very much matches the same parts of the original- we just don't get to see the rest of the painting.  The snow on the little bit of sidewalk that fit into my card helps, and the darkness and isolation of the big city is an important theme in Hopper's work anyway.

What is shown is telescoped just a little bit to fit it all in, and except for the guy down behind the counter (too far out of range to make this tight cropping), what most people remember is all there.  
The only significant change is a wreath inside and snow outside, all to set the season.  Block drawing completed by midweek, final cutting and printing done by Thursday, colored last night so I could have one for this site and for family today.  The others could use a little more drying time, but I expect they will be done by the end of this week. Merry Christmas!


Post a Comment

<< Home