Another Artistic Technique Foray
Confession first. I suck at backgrounds. This backgroundaphobia is the reason why I love collage. I can “steal” backgrounds from other sources or make my own abstract ones. But in my cartoons, this doesn’t really work. So many of my cartoons (as my red-gloved ladies) are just merely suspended in space. I have avoided my artistic need to address my background challenged state. The only way I can get any better at it is just to make lots of backgrounds, but I just couldn’t get motivated.
A few months ago I stumbled onto a possible pathway out of my background problem. It came in the form of a co-worker’s 365-day calendar by Edward Gorey. I love his illustrations and dark sense of humor. My co-worker started leaving each day’s sheet on my desk. I’ve been collecting them because I love his characters and admire his penwork.
A real “Ah-Ha” moment hit me this Friday: he has really cool backgrounds. This thought was probably lurking in my subconscious as I selected the calendar pages to save, but it finally stepped out of the corner of my foggy brain and smacked me on the nose to get my attention. I can use some of these background “gems” to translate in my own twisted way. I’ll just drop in my favorite animal characters into a background that is derived from some of the calendar pages. A way to motivate me to practice the background work that I desperately need!
Originally I planned to post the calendar page that served as the inspiration. So I started surfing the web looking for “The Edward Gorey Charitable Trust” to see if they would be adverse to this. In my surfing, I found a number of very cool Gorey websites. I ignorantly did not know just how popular he is. The thing that amazed me is that the trust's mission is to support the welfare of animals: one of Edward Gorey's most passionate causes. Serendipity strikes!! Here I am, posed to plop my cartoon animals into Gorey inspired backgrounds. Somehow I believe that he would find humor in this. Somehow I don’t think that the Edward Gorey people would find humor in my posting the calendar pages so I’m going to keep out of trouble and not post them. I will provide the book reference for each EG inspired illo.
Saturday's Count Macula post was my entry into Edward Gorey inspired art. I’m not giving up my freeform foray, just adding another facet to my artistic growth so you won’t get tired of seeing too many red-gloved in a row on the blog with empty backgrounds. ;) I hope you will enjoy my new direction! It is great to have company along for the ride!