Creating a fresh perspective of the Mummers Parade was an exciting challenge. It was this time last year that I sat in on a few Woodland String Band’s practices to get my sketch on. Geared up was I. My publisher, Lawrence Knorr of Sunbury Press, just contracted me to create a new body of work for my REAL Life Drawing Series – PHILADELPHIA, PA my hometown!
Queue music, ODE TO JOY, if you please.
Followed by giggling, clapping, and dancing around the room.
Smoke blew out of both my ears as a result of discerning what images should introduce the world to my fair city. Where to begin? Philly has got so much eye candy. The question that came to mind was, where to start?
Miraculously, an anvil appeared out of nowhere and squished an idea from my grape. Why not start at the beginning, NEW YEARS DAY? Heck yeah! I could create a visual tour of what makes Philadelphia the Greatest City after Paris [*note the words in italics are a cheeky reference to the title of a painting done by one of my art heroes William Kentridge] over the course of a year.
Bodies of work or series created by yours truly typically include a narrative. My voice is embedded in the subject or object, color choices and quality of line. Titles function sort-a like map keys. They are to be used as a verbal guide. My aim is to engage the viewer. Elicit a reaction, an opinion, laughter, anything!
Back to the point- The Mummers. Initially, they were only meant to be a few pages in the Philadelphia REAL Life Drawing Series. Then I shared a few of the completed pieces with the band. To my surprise they were greeted with much enthusiasm and purchased immediately! During my sketching sessions I learned a great deal about the tradition of Mummery, and the endangered status of the parade. I wanted to help safeguard my favorite New Years Day custom.
I shelved the Philadelphia Series and turned my attention to all the string bands that perform no matter what the weather. With the help of Tom Loomis, (Captain Woodland String Band) and Joe Leso (String Band Association Director of Marketing) I was given all the visual information and permission I needed to create over eighty original artworks. This series includes every string band that performed in the 2011 New Years Day Parade. This book is an exciting color explosion that celebrates tradition, life, and the hope of a new year. BUT, WAIT!!! You haven’t even heard the best part. I am donating all profits from the sale of this book to THE SAVE THE MUMMERS ORGANIZATION & the FANCY BRIGADES!
Who says art is just dusty work in a museum? NOT I, said the artist. Art connects communities, cultivates creative problem solving, and makes the world a lot more interesting to look at and live in.
Now friends, if you would like to purchase a copy of this terrific book I've attached a link just click the cover of the book on the top right panel bar of this blog. If you are in the Philadelphia area come down to the PA Convention Center to Mummerfest 2012. You’ll get a sneak peek of the parade and can check out the Fancy Brigades perform. PLUS I will be exhibiting most of the original art (I say most because a few of them have already sold – they retail for $125.00 each – super deal right!) selling & signing books on December 30th from 5:00PM-10:00PM and on New Year’s Day from 11AM-8:00AM. It is going to be EPIC!
I do hope you'll join me.