2021 First Quarter Challenge Researching

2021 First Quarter Challenge Researching

I am not as far along on my challenge as Ann is. She was showing hers off last night at the social (on Zoom). I hoped you might be both curious about my research progress and may find inspiration for your own challenge. I am looking at Art Nouveau, which starts before our challenge period but extends through to 1910. It draws influence from the arts and crafts movement, craft revivals and the introduction of Japanese prints to England and Europe.

Art Nouveau, “ornamental style of art that flourished between about 1890 and 1910 throughout Europe and the United States. Art Nouveau is characterized by its use of a long, sinuous, organic line and was employed most often in architecture, interior design, jewelry and glass design, posters, and illustration.”

in Architecture one of the earliest to use the art Nouveau style was Victor Horta who’s most famous town home in Brussels predates the challenge, but Hôtel Tassel is a particularly good example of the organic fluid style of Art Nouveau with structure and patterning inspired by nature.

1-5 Victor Horta; Tassel house Brussels. Exterior 1893, Railing details, Staircase, Stained-glass.

Another example of this style is in commercial illustration, (for which I have a particular fondness) was the work of Alphonse Mucha.  He was a Czech painter, illustrator and graphic artist, living in Paris during the Art Nouveau period.  His distinctly stylized and decorative posters often encompass organic flowing lines. He often used circles or arches to highlight his subject and embellished them in lavish flowing fabric, flora and hair. He is most famous for his Theater posters, particularly of Sara Bernhard. He also did other commercial art designs and large murals for the exhibition of 1900. He produced portraitures in New York while getting backers for his work the Slavs but this is just after our challenge time period.  

I purchased prints of his while I was at University and again after graduation. I only have one of them up at the moment, Media, since I have many bookshelves and little wall space. In grade 13 I was one of 2 girls who read the part of Medea in English class. The teacher suggested the boys should be careful of both of us since we both seem to have enjoyed reading the role.

6-9 Alfons Mucha; Medea 1998, The Pen 1899, Laurel 1901, Cycles Perfect 1902

in Laurel of 1901 and some of the top decorative elements of the Pen 1899,  you can see the arts and crafts inspiration from the textiles and wallpapers of William Morris.

10-11 William Morris;  1896, 1897

In Art Nouveau, I also get to see some of the Norse art of the Urnes and Oseberg style. this may be why I am so captivated by its flowing linear quality.

11.1 Urnes Style Norse art on Stave church

While I have been delving into hours of looking at the amazing graphic linear design I also was finishing off the main guild library lists for 2021; Topic, Magazines, Author and Title, submitted the outline for the armature study group and am finalizing the supply list for it. 

Then I got a message reminding me I had promised to get a photoshoot done for the armature study group sign up page. Ooops, OK change of plan where did I put the wire, oh yes in the white bucket beside the computer desk! I re-piled my partly cleared desk with various packages of wire, so much for cleaning up my desk. Now, how can I display all that in an aesthetically pleasing manner?  Mr. Mer volunteered again (I suspect I will never convince him he should be a fisherman after this.)

I used my chair as the backdrop and draped a throw Glenn gave me over it. I selected the 11 gauge steel (grate for quadra-dents not so much armatures), the 12 gauge aluminum and 20 gauge floral wire. I suspended the 11 gauge wire with a piece of kumihimo I had just finished since it was too heavy for even a Mer-man of his excellent physique to lift.

I suspect all that looking at all the Art Nouveau may have unexpectedly influenced the photoshoot! I had not been thinking about it at the time I set it up but see what you think.

Here are a couple of shots from the photoshoot.

12-13 Mr. Mer Posing with Armature and Quodra-dent wire

I pulled one of the photos and stuffed it into “PhotoPad” which is a free photo editing software and started to play using the Cartoon edit feature I got this.

 14 Cartoon edit from PhotoPad

With a bit of stretching of the image, it changed to this.

  15 added stretch to JPEG to create proportions of the theatre posters of Mucha.

When I played around in Microsoft Word, I did a bit of artistic photo editing and got this.

  16 Microsoft effect “Photocopy” with increased contrast and saturation.

I have gone from 3D felt to 2D flat, like the prints by Mucha. I’m not sure this is it. It’s a bit too stylized and abstract but I like the flow. Is that frothing sea foam crashing behind him? There is definitely something here.  I will think about this for a while.  Now I wonder where this will take me as I continue to consider the first challenge of the year.

10 thoughts on “2021 First Quarter Challenge Researching

  1. This is all fascinating. It’s certainly made me look in a different direction for inspiration for the Challenge. Whether I’m going to get past the research stage though I don’t know.
    [Unfortunately I cannot see the first 4 Much pictures, nor one of the Morris ones. Looks like you’ve still got the Gremlins in.]

    1. Love your art nouveau pictures – one of my favourite periods. I also think your photo-manipulating had some amazing results – a great way to design for felting. I do a lot of photo-editing to create cards from my photography, but never thought of playing around for felt designs!

    2. Thanks Ann, i will have to ask Ann to see why the photos are misbehaving. if you do a google search for each of the poster titles (Alfons Mucha; Medea 1998, The Pen 1899, Laurel 1901, Cycles Perfect 1902) that should be illuminating until we can persuade the photos to show up!

  2. Wonderful set up for the photo shoot! Couldn’t be a better photo for armature – it will inspire people to look further.

    Loved following your process and you have some interesting results.

    1. Thanks!! it was fun but i think i need to find a better spot than my chair as my foto booth. by the time i was set up and i was ready to shoot, my back said it was time to sit down for a moment and I realized yes that is the only chair in my office…. i see a flaw in my plan! time to reorganize my office into a studio. the fiber is already covering all the regular work elimentsm it would have more space if i just relocated all the old work stuff.

  3. Art Nouveau is definitely inspiring Jan. Your manipulation of the wire shoot photo is great. The last one looks like Mother Nature’s attempt to be in the Art Nouveau art period. I look forward to seeing what comes of your research.

  4. Great research. I found the church door especially interesting as I haven’t seen anything quite like that before. I fear one day we will find Mr Mer as the author of your blog, he’s so keen to get in on all the action!

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