Monday, June 21, 2010

Mini Maggie

Dress Casual
6" x 10"
Prismacolors on Fisher 400 paper (mounted to Gatorboard)
 It is my contribution to the CPSA convention Silent Auction.

This piece was fun for me  in many ways. First off I am a HUGE fan of Karin Jurick and her popular series of people at museums, also of the famous Norman Rockwell where an older gentleman is looking at a very modern painting.  I'm not trying to be either one of them, but wanted to try the scenario of a museum goer myself. Since I am working in colored pencil with a very small tip it lent itself to a miniaturist's approach which I very much enjoyed doing.

Okay now for the meaning in the picture. It may look like an innocent girl just at the National Museum of Art looking at  a Whistler painting. Well... its not. :-) It is of my friend Maggie Stiefvater. Recently we went to that museum together and walked through beating up some very famous paintings.  This one - Whistler's Symphony in White - was one she liked that I was not too keen on. I couldn't get past the fact that when viewing it at the museum you don't even see the girl. When in front of it you look smack dab in the open mouth of this scary looking dead wolf rug that she is standing on!  Then if you look up at the girl's face you get nothing but glare on the mirror-like surface of the face. It seems that Whistler at some point rubbed the face off and repainted it, but left an oval of a smoother surface around her face.

That's not what is funny about my drawing though. The girl in the foreground is Maggie Stiefvater - bestselling author of the Wolves of Mercy Falls series. The first book, Shiver, is about a girl named Grace who falls in love with a wolf/boy. In the summer Sam is a boy  but when the weather turns cold he becomes a wolf (not a werewolf but a full wolf which is much prettier). The story turns into a race of time to treat his wolfie affliction before the weather runs out.

Shiver has been on the NYT bestsellers list for a gazillion weeks and is still there now on the paperback list. The second of the series Linger is due out in July.

The girl in Symphony in White is very different from the character Grace however. She is emotionless, almost a shell of a person staring out in an odd gaze. Grace is much more like Maggie in the foreground with her sassy stature, ponytail, and mail bag. So why does Maggie like this painting? Could it possibly be a melding of her Faerie series and the Mercy Falls wolves (the Ice Queen Faerie defeats the wolves of Mercy Falls)?  I don't know but this drawing is my way of asking that question. :-)  Don't tell me though Maggie - some things are best to wonder about! I'd be crushed if you told me you just liked the brushstrokes!

Below are some more pics to get a sense of scale. The wolf and Maggie on the left are about actual size (Maggie's body is only 4 inches tall). The picture on the right has a couple of pencils and a penny for comparison.


Maggie Stiefvater said...

Do you think that painting makes my butt look small?


And yes. I still like that painting. For reasons mysterious . . .

Leslie Hawes said...

I recognized Maggie instantly! It's the turned foot (and the small butt).
Fabulous job, Nicole!

Liz P said...

Great post, and amazing miniature, Nicole!
Now I see why you said you wanted to keep this. Besides being a beautiful piece, it sure has a lot of meaning for you!

(Because of this post, I must: 1. try the Fisher 400 paper, and 2. read "Shiver"!)

Anonymous said...

Huh. That portrait appears on the cover of a paperback edition of Wilkie Collins' "The Woman in White." And curse your small butt, Maggie, LOL!

Lynda Schumacher said...

This is such a nice piece, Nicole. The body position says so much, despite the fact that Maggie's face is turned away from the viewer. I look forward to seeing it at the convention.

Cindy Haase said...

NICE!!! Gonna bring big dollars!

Meisie said...

I love it!

Nicole Caulfield said...

haha Maggie I missed my opportunity to give you a larger butt!

Thanks guys!

Liz you should try Fisher! You have to email the manufacturer to get it sent to the US but I love it! Its similar to UArt but better! & you should read Shiver too!

Hope it does Cindy!

Gemma said...

Love it Niclole!!

SYLVIANE said...

wonderful, Nicole!

Kathy said...

Wonderful post and piece of artwork, Nicole!

Jenna White said...

I love this Nicole! I am in awe that you could get so much detail in such a smalllllll peice of SANDED paper. Just the thought of trying that scares me!

Shawn Falchetti said...

This is remarkable! I'm amazed at the amount of detail you've squeezed into such a small piece. I love the backstory for the piece.