The prompt for Illustration Friday this week is, puzzled. You might be puzzled about my image until you learn more about the inspiration behind it (unless you area Russian avant-garde movie poster buff). The cow in the picture is puzzled as to why her hooves are in a different part of the picture and why she has two tails! She’s also a bit scared about what that means. The image itself reminds me a bit of a puzzle, in that it looks like you need to rearrange the pieces for it to make sense. Here is my puzzled moo:
This picture is a new version of an old image I did in 2004. When I
heard the prompt this week was puzzled, I immediately thought of this
image because it’s always reminded me of a puzzle in the way it looks
and how I pieced it together the first time. The original image was done
February 26, 2004, as part of a year long project. For a whole year
(366 days because it was leap year), I drew/painted a cow a day. This
image came towards the end of the project, when I was trying to find
more creative ways to draw my daily cows. Here’s my first image:
I’ve always liked this drawing … probably because I always liked the
poster that inspired it. When I was trying to think of a cow to draw
that day, I remembered a movie poster by the Stenberg Brothers
and decided it would look cool with a cow instead of a person. Here’s
the Stenberg Brothers poster for the 1929 movie A Fragment Of An Empire:
My first image is almost a direct representation of the original,
although bovine themed and with English words. The one I did today still
recalls the original, but when you look at them side by side, they’re
very different. The new image is closer to my style both now and when I
used to be an abstract painter.
My style was, and still is, influenced by graphic images in
advertising and art. In 2008 I did another series of cows that played
with the idea of using a single cow and a simple palette to create
multiple graphic images. They aren’t directly related to any art or
artist, but the style is influenced by graphic art images. Here’s the
And here’s a sample of the cows I created off of this one image and
turned into my own poster. I actually like them better all together,
rather than as separate images. Still need to get this poster framed …
BTW, I first fell in love with the Stenberg Brothers when MOMA held an exhibition of their art.
I worked there at the time and would look at the posters every day. I
think it might be the only catalog of a show that I purchased. I don’t
work there anymore, but if they ever have a Franz Marc exhibition, that might be the second catalog I buy.
What art styles and artists are you inspired by?