Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Trimming the Tree with Toulouse

Last night was our art guild's Christmas party. 

I was asked to decorate a table for the event and was told I could use a known artist as inspiration or  create my own design. I choose Toulouse-Lautrec. I mean who can say no to Can-Can girls around a Christmas tree?


I started at Google images and collected some of my favorite drawings.
I wanted some free standing figures and of course, some posters. 
 For the free standing figures I used Golden Acrylic Ground for Pastels. This would add a course surface to foam core board so it would accept pastels.

I drew the figures I wanted free standing and added the ground.  After it dried, it was wonderful for the pastels. These would be the figures around the tree. I added a few ornaments and strings of lights so it would appear they were in the process of decorating. I sprayed them with fixative and added a stand to their backs.

For Ornaments, I used one inch canvas boards for the posters and drew the images in pen. Then, I added some color with Dr. Martin's Watercolorsand hot glued ribbons to the backs.

A picture of Toulouse is used as the tree topper. But I still needed something to explain why I picked Lautrec and then I remembered why I love him so. It all has to do with a yellow line. That yellow line became my garland for the tree and was the reason why I draped several yellow ribbons on the table. So people could make their own fabulous lines. I added some of the alcohol ink bulbs I've been making and some lights and I was done.

I printed this on card stock a left it on the table.

The most beautiful line I’ve ever seen was drawn by Toulouse-Lautrec. It was a yellow line… the bottom of a Can Can girl’s skirt. It was perfect in its spontaneity and its movement. I stood in front of it for 15 minutes or more wondering, “Did Toulouse make this line quickly and with joyous abandonment as it appears, or did he meticulously paint this line knowing the significance it would play in the entire painting? 

You may ask yourself, “Will anyone ever stand in front of one of my pieces and ponder over how a certain element was done? Can I create such a piece?”

Maybe the answer is in one of Lautrec’s paintings…. Yes you Can Can!
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Have a Merry Christmas.
                                                                                 Jill Rae

People seemed to like the table... everyone loves Toulouse-Lautrec.

Over all, the whole night was a big success and a lot of fun,

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