Thursday, January 26, 2017

'Masquerade', My Entry For the January Nibblefest Theme, "Costume Cat"

 It's Nibblefest Art Contest week.

January's theme is 'Costume Cat':

My entry:

 Portrait of Marie Antoinette (with a cat mask), oil on 5x14 wooden plaque

My dear lucky daughter recently returned home from a fantastic trip overseas, with stopovers in several European cities.  One of the highlights was a stay in Paris, France -- complete with a visit to Versailles.....

My daughter in the Hall of Mirrors, at Versailles. So opulent! 

The many stories and pictures that my daughter shared of her travels re-awakened an ongoing fascination I have in French history.  And so, as usually happens when an interest of mine gets triggered like this, I have found myself turning to Youtube and Amazon Prime for documentaries and programs about Versailles and the French Revolution to fire up and take in as I worked on various projects.

What a captivating era of history.  So many extremes.  Rich and poor.  Light and dark.  Happy and Sad.  The customs. The manners.  The politics. The fashions. The hairstyles. The lifestyles.  Incredible opulence, and most of it so very over the top....!

I was ruminating upon all of this when it came time to figure out a subject for this month's Nibblefest Art Contest theme of "Costume Cat". 

"Masquerade", painted in oils on a 5x14 wood plaque with beveled corners

It's not the first time I've painted a French Rococo-inspired portrait.  A few years back I was commissioned by our local ballet company to paint a large, 8' foot tall wooden cut-out of The Nutcracker's "Mother Ginger" (AKA: Marie Antoinette) for them to use at a fancy gala event they were hosting at the time (as I wrote about in this previous post).... 

8 Foot Tall "Mother Ginger", a popular Nutcracker Ballet character

She was so large I had to work on her on my front veranda.  I'm glad my old-house porch has a roof....:

"Mother Ginger" (AKA Marie Antoinette) in progress. Rather a saucy pose, I know....!

I do love the size contrast between these two rather similar pieces -- it would have been fun to photograph them together.

The Queen in Happier Days

My auction description...:

This is my entry for this month's Nibblefest Art Contest (NFAC), the theme for January being 'Costume Cat'.  Painted in oils upon a 5"x 14" wooden plaque with interesting beveled corners, this piece features a portrait of Marie Antoinette, holding a cat mask -- a unique original that is signed and ready to hang.  Perfect for your 'Shabby Chic' interior!   (Note to the winning bidder: As per the nature of oil paints, this piece may need just a little wee extra time (up to a week) to fully cure/dry before being safely shipped to its new home).   

When fishing about for subject matter for this month's Nibblefest theme of 'Costume Cat', I was inspired my daughter's recent trip to Europe, which included a visit to Versailles.   Harboring a long fascination of all things Baroque and Rococo, upon seeing my daughter's traveling photos and hearing her tales, I found that old interested rekindled.  And so we have here the Queen herself, Marie Antoinette, depicted in happier days before the revolution fervor of her time swept her up into history.....

 Here's hoping you enjoy my Nibblefest entry this month as much as I did painting it...!