Lyn and Annie’s first quarter challenge entries
Lyn – Neubronner’s Pigeon in the style of Delauney
I’ve taken inspiration from both Neubronner (an inventor) and Delauney (an artist) to make a picture for the first quarter challenge 2021.
Dr Julius Neubronner developed a miniature pigeon camera to photograph the earth from above and the patent for his invention was granted in 1908.
How cute does Neubronner’s pigeon look? All dressed up and ready to go to work.
I wanted to make a picture of the pigeon but not an exact copy.
So I looked for inspiration in the works of artists during the first decade of the 20th century and I found this painting by Robert Delauney, “Portrait de Metzinger “, painted in 1906.
Robert Delauney used bold blocks of colour in oil paint to create this portrait …… hmmm …… how about making the pigeon from blocks of colourful pre-felt? They would look like brush strokes of oil paint on canvas.
My pre-felt stock is low, I had some colours I wanted but not all, so the first job was to make some more. I like to make it in batches to save time and effort and I like the mix of colours where they overlap. This is the dry layout.
Then I made the ‘canvas’ for my picture from 4 layers of white merino, pre-felted to the same stage as my pre-felt.
I cut coloured pre-felt into small rectangles, then using a photograph as a guide, I started to ‘draw’ the pigeon.
The only things not made from rectangles were the beak, eye and feet.
I didn’t copy the camera. It looked too complicated for me to try! So I made up a simple one that I hoped would be recognisable as a camera.
I added yellow variegated pre-felt rectangles, to imitate broad brush strokes, for the background.
But I didn’t like it. The background overpowered the subject. So I removed the yellow to leave just the pigeon. I then added a little purple pre-felt to the front of the camera because it looked too plain.
I wet felted the pigeon then when it was dry I added the background by needle-felting rectangles of ‘Noro Rainbow Roll’ pencil roving around the pigeon. The ‘Noro’ pencil roving is so fine (see photo below) that it’s almost see-through and it made a soft, complementary background.
The purple pre-felt bled a little bit during felting giving a pale pink tinge to the white background but I can live with that!
A couple of white stitches to put a glint in his eye and he’s done – the finished picture is 30 x 23cm (12″ x 9″).
Annie – Imaginative Flowers inspired by Odilon Redon
I felt inspired by many of the things that happened between 1900-1910, and was having trouble choosing what to do. Then I came across Odilon Redon’s floral still life work and it caught my eye, here is an example: ‘Bouquet of Flowers’ circa 1905.
And I also found a quote from him that appealed to me:
“I have often, as an exercise and as a sustenance, painted an object down to the smallest accidents of its visual appearance; but the day left me sad and with an unsatiated thirst. The next day I let the other source run, that of imagination, through the recollection of the forms and I was then reassured and appeased.”
I had planned to do something a little less in my comfort zone and a bit more adventurous like mum did, but then I thought oh well I like making flowers from my imagination so I’ll just go for it! It is still a work in progress but here’s what I’ve done so far….
I laid out a big square of white fibres with the intention of making several small sample pieces to start with but got carried away and just went straight for one big piece in the end. I placed the vase right in the middle at the bottom which I wouldn’t ordinarily do as it seemed that’s how he did most of his.
I got a little way into laying out and although it was OK I decided it wasn’t working for me so I pulled up all the colour except for the yellow background and started again.
I made the flowers into a big bunch and then left some space at the bottom. I had thought I’d leave space all round to include some “fronds” but hadn’t made my “canvas” big enough and ended up overdoing it so not enough room!
I haven’t finished it yet, but this is where I am so far. I’m going to attach the vase after felting because it is very fine fabric which stretches and frays and I think too much yellow will come through because it is rather open weave too. So I’ve ironed it on to some glue stabiliser for now and laid it on the picture temporarily.
The fabric is a nod to Redon’s butterfly paintings and use of butterflies in his floral works.
I will undoubtedly faff about a bit more with the flowers, and possibly put some shadowy darker yellows in the background, before felting it. It’s 52cm x 58cm (21″ x 23″).
Also, lesson learned, I didn’t check the dates properly on all of the reference pictures and only 1 of the 3 in my photo falls before 1910, but they are close enough 🙂
I’ll show the finished picture on the forum in the Challenges section.
15 thoughts on “Lyn and Annie’s first quarter challenge entries”
Wow, you’ve both done such a great job! Lyn you’ve really captured the style of Delauney with your pigeon, it’s perfect! Annie, your flowers are looking terrific and the fabric you’ve found for the vase couldn’t be better!
Thank you Karen! We like the challenges because they encourage us to look at things we maybe wouldn’t otherwise.
They are a great source of inspiration, I’m looking forward to doing the next one.
Lyn, I love your Pigeon and his camera looks like he is dressed for his holiday in his bright tropical togs. Off to the island of St Marie for a little R&R.
Annie your flowers are fabulous. I love how there are so many coming out of the small hole of the vase, a riot of colour and shape. The harts going up through the middle, almost hidden, help to make it feel joyous.
Thank you Ann. Pigeon does look like he’s off on his hols and we’re glad you find the flowers joyous!
Great challenge entries from both of you. The pigeon is a real joy, he makes me smile. And the abundance of flowers is joyful as well.
Thank you Ruth – it’s lovely to hear your comments and to know that the pictures inspire joy.
Love Love Love! Annie look at the glint in your pigeon’s eye. Definitely out to enjoy his holiday photo taking. Personality all of his own. Your flower picture has totally cheered me up. Reading/enjoying it after a sunny Sunday. The pic confirms that spring is definitely in the air. thank you!
Thank you Helene! The weather is glorious isn’t it? We’re happy that the pictures have cheered you up.
Annie, I love your flowers so much. Odilon Redon is one of my favourite artists of all time! You definitely did him justice.
Lyn, that pigeon came out great. I really like how colour is what makes the bird stand out from the background, despite all having the same “brushstroke” treatment.
You ladies are inspired! 🙂
Thank you for your very encouraging and kind comments Leonor!
Lyn – I wonder what views your bright, keen eyed, pigeon will see and what pix he will take to record his experiences?
Annie – The vase of flowers are a feast of the imagination definitely encourage a smile. And the colour….unmistakably….you!
Thank you Antje – we both had fun with this challenge!
Lyn and Annie both brilliant ideas and execution! Annie I look forward to the finished piece.
Thank you Marilyn – Annie’s finished piece will be shown in the forum challenge section.