Tuesday, August 25, 2015

"The Mad Tea", My Nibblefest Contest Entry for August's "TEA TIME" Theme

It's Nibblefest Art Contest Week...!

'The Mad Tea', acrylic on found, 9x6 wood plaque

August's theme is 'TEA TIME'. 

So what's the first thing that comes to mind when YOU think of tea....?    

Yeah, me too.  But of course, the famous Tea Party scene of 'Alice's Adventures in Wonderland' is going to pop up, front and center.  Which it did.  And yet, I was initially a little resistant to the concept, only because, as much as I adore Alice (this being my third in a series of "Alice in Wonderland" tribute paintings), it felt at first maybe a little too....What?  Obvious, perhaps?   But then another idea came to mind.... 

I have long admired the work of American impressionist, Mary Cassatt, with one painting of hers in particular standing out for me.  Known as "The Tea", it captures a sweet little 'slice of life' scene featuring two young Victorian-era women enjoying the quaint custom of a proper afternoon tea.  Particularly striking is the pose of one of the women.  With her straight, 'lady-like' posture, she's captured in the middle of taking a dainty sip of her drink, pinky raised, with the teacup obscuring fully half of her face.  Only her eyes are visible, peeking brightly over the rim of the cup....:

My Inspiration:  "The Tea' (1879), painted by the American Impressionist, Mary Cassatt

I've always loved this Cassatt painting....and so, I decided to do a fun, little 'mash-up' of the two, while injecting plenty of my own personal style, resulting in this wee, loving tribute to them both....:

"The Mad Tea":  Side View showing the painted, beveled edges....

Note that this is actually my third piece in an "Alice in Wonderland" series of pieces.

A couple of years ago, I created a Nibblefest entry for the theme of 'Cats', featuring my own version of the Cheshire Cat...:

'The Cheshire Cat", painted upon a found wooden, cat-shaped plaque

I referred to 'Alice' again a number of months ago, for the Nibblefest theme of 'Books' ....:

"Logical Nonsense", my entry for the Nibblefest theme, "Books"

And now we have what I've titled, "The Mad Tea"...:

'The Mad Tea'


The following is my auction description for 'The Mad Tea" (*MINUS* the glaring error I made writing it (blushing), which I am now unfortunately unable to edit!  Check out and read my auction to see if you can figure out my mistake....):


~"The Mad Tea"~
My entry for this month's Nibblefest Art Contest (NFAC),  the theme for August being 'TEA TIME', features a fancifully painted scene from the timeless classic tale, "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland" (with a nod and apologies to the lovely and talented American impressionist painter, Mary Cassatt...!).

Folks familiar with my creative style know how I love to mix things up a bit in my artwork, all while frequently painting the first concepts that come to my mind when reflecting upon a given theme.  Often this results in fun and interesting "mash-ups", and this month was no exception.  Reflecting upon the theme 'Tea Time' made me think of two classic, historic references -- one literary, and one artistic.  Naturally, the tea party of Alice in Wonderland fame popped into my head (but of course)..., but then so did a sweet, 1879 painting by the American impressionist artist, Mary Cassatt, known as, 'The Tea' (as seen here in my detail photos).  For fun I decided to combine these two entities (all while taking my usual liberties), with this as my result.  Here's hoping you enjoy my entry, "The Mad Tea", this month as much as I did creating it...! 

'Alice in Wonderland' meets Mary Cassatt!  Painted upon a 9 x 6 found, wooden plaque, this original, "The Mad Tea", is painted on all its beveled sides, signed, and ready to hang (Note: This is for a 5-day auction)..... 



Saturday, August 15, 2015

"West Wibbley World": My Entry for the 15th Annual "Ripped Off" EBSQ Exhibit

Last month I entered the annual EBSQ "Ripped Off" exhibit....:

My "West Wibbley World", painted on a 5 x7 painted, found wood plaque

EBSQ's "Ripped Off" show (2015 marking its 15th year) is always a fun one.  Obviously, under ordinary circumstances, blatantly copying or 'ripping off' another artist's work, would be a huge no-no.  But for the "Ripped Off" show, copying is not only sanctioned, it's actually encouraged (with permission of course)! Artists partner up in order to go through each other's portfolios, picking a piece for re-interpreting and putting one's own spin on it (read the show prospectus here).... 

For some reason it's been many a year since I've participated in "Ripped Off".  Four of them to be precise (since I last entered in 2011), and so it seemed high time to take part again.  With luck I managed this round to get partnered up with my good buddy, Vicky Knowles, artist extraordinaire, and inventor of the highly imaginative "Wibbley World', with its cast of assorted unique and freaky-cute characters, like the fellow below, named 'Lunchbox"....:

One of Vicky Knowles' best known Wibbles, the character of 'Lunchbox'

The following was my entry's artist statement...:


"Where Nothing Bad Ever Happens... Happens... Happens... Happens...."...

As a long-time admirer of Vicky Knowles's art and the genius that is her wonderful cast of unique and highly distinctive "Wibbley World" characters, I was delighted indeed for the opportunity to partner up with her for this 'Ripped Off" show..... 

Folks familiar with my artwork know how I like to ruminate upon a theme and interpret how it relates to me personally.  I typically turn a concept over and over in my head until an idea speaks to me -- and often while trying to find some twist of word or visual pun to sort through whenever I can.   In the case of Vicky's art, I meditated for some time on the concept of 'Wibbley World'.  What kept coming into mind for me..., was "WestWorld", the vintage, '70's-era Sci-fi film, written and directed by Michael Crichton, about a pricey adult theme park populated by robots, wherein vacationing guests get to act out their cowboy fantasies in an old, Wild West setting.  Complete with shoot-outs, bank robberies, bar brawls and saloon girls, everything is fun and games -- that is, until the technology goes a little haywire (of course).  Then all hell breaks loose -- specifically in the guise of one particularly menacing, black-hatted robot cowboy, as embodied by the legendary actor, Yul Brynner.  Nothing (and I mean nothin') can stop him once his programming goes rogue. 

It's a film that used to come on TV from time to time in my youth, and I can still remember how it made quite the impression on me as a kid....(Check out the original movie trailer HERE)

And so, I decided to merge the two Worlds, 'West' AND 'Wibbley', ....into one, creating a little personal tribute to both.  Thus, please allow me to present to you, "West WIBBLEY World"... "Where Nothing Bad Ever Happens... Happens.... Happens... Happens".  (Note this is the official phrase of "Wibbley World" (without the repeats of course), which you'll notice is actually really rather hauntingly similar to the "WestWord" slogan:  "Where nothing can possibly go wrong.... Go wrong....  Go wrong.... Go wrong....").

We have featured here one of Vicky's most familiar, beloved Wibbles, known as 'Lunchbox' (her character painted in my own more 'contrast-y' artistic style).  Lunchbox is perhaps a trifle, wee bit alarming here, because his faceplate is lifting off just enough to expose all his colorful mechanical circuitry and wiring underneath, much like in the official "WestWorld" movie poster (included in my detail photos).  As such, it appears our "WestWibbleyWorld" Lunchbox may well actually be a robotic version of himself.  Nevertheless, you'll notice that he still has his precious lunch-pail, and his trusty diaper -- and so at the end of the day, does it really matter...???  Not if it's the alternate reality of "Wibbley World" -- or heck even the alternate-ALTERNATE reality of "WESTWibbleyWorld"...!  (Because when we're talking WIBBLES..., it's all good!)   

**A great big THANKS to Vicky Knowles for granting me permission to play around with her Wibbles -- and all in good fun....!  Please be sure to visit her website here: http://wibbleyworld.com/

"West Wibbley World" Side View #1

"West Wibbley World" Side View #2

"WestWorld" Movie Poster #1

"WestWorld" Movie Poster #2


And..., I'm happy to be able to say my entry won 'Member's Choice'  (1st Place, with a cash prize!) in the contest -- a big thanks so much to EBSQ and all who voted for me...!

'West Wibbley World' wins 'Member's Choice' (1st Place) in EBSQ's contest...!