Modern Mythos Valerie Savarie . Miki Harder . Nicole Grosjean
September 14 – October 9, 2022 Opening reception Saturday, September 17, 5 – 8:30 First Friday Bonus Piece Reveal, October 7, 5-8:30
1: Miki Harder: “Twin Beaks” $1200 Oil and Acrylic on bi-fold panels, approx 24" x 76" Twin Peaks: Couldn’t help the pun 😊
2: Miki Harder:"Waldo (Before they killed him)" $200 Oil on Panel, 10" X 10", Twin Peaks: I think I’m the only person in the world that never watched Twin Peaks! Valerie said there was a Mynah bird in it which got me really excited….until I learned…well heck he gets offed!
3: Miki Harder:"Lamenting Lenore" $400 Oil on Panel, 12" x16" Edgar Allan Poe’s The Raven: I pondered the assumption that the Raven in Poe’s tale would be so unkind as to taunt the forlorn lover at his loss! I imagine the Raven loved Lenore as well and would express his Lament.
4: Miki Harder:"El-Ahrairah and Frith" $150 Oil on Panel, 5"x7" Watership Down: In this tale, one bunny goes from very cocky to very nervous!
5: Miki Harder: “Mickey’s Best Friend" $80 Polymer Clay, Wood, 4"x 4" x 4" Fantasia: the Sorcerer’s Hat scene is BURNED in my little girl memory. I recall just being blown away at how those producers translated music and animation… It gave me permission to be an artist and draw how I saw. As I reread my blurbs here…I see a thread that I like stories that kind of shatter my preconceived notions of things.
6: Miki Harder: “Not The Last Unicorn" $175 Oil on Panel, 10" X 10" The Last Unicorn: I was the quintessential little girl horse nut. At the end of the school year, Mom and Dad would drag us to the library to get books to read during our summer vacation. I was very grumpy about this until I saw “Unicorn” on a title and that was that.
7: Miki Harder:"First they have to catch you” $200 Oil and Acrylic on Panel, 7" X 12" Watership Down: I love the gritty nature of Watership down….that bunnies aren’t always cute and cuddly!
8: Miki Harder: "Howl's House" $250 Oil on Panel, 12" x 12" Howl’s Moving Castle: Oh how I loved the colorful animation of this sweet tale. I’d love a house like this It that cleans itself!
9: Miki Harder: "UrZah the Ritual Guardian" $200 Oil on panel, 12"x6" The Dark Crystal: A Brilliant Movie…the puppeteering is Masterful. I think it shifted the notion that Puppets are only for silly stories…It’s dark nature so appealed to me! I didn’t paint him, but I named my cat after FizzGig.
10: Miki Harder: "If not the last unicorn, certainly the cutest" $150 Oil on panel, 5" x 7" The Last Unicorn
11: Miki Harder: "Friends That Fly" $500 Oil on Canvas, 13" x 21" Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole: Any opportunity to paint a Barn Owl, Yes Please 😊
12: Miki Harder: Smaug Loves Gold" $150 Oil on panel, 6"x 6" The Hobbit: SO I was Actually a member of The JRR Tolkien fan club... our whole family was INTO it. Our CB handles were all Tolkien characters.
13: Valerie Savarie: "Languishing the Loss of Lenore" $240 Altered book, acryla gouache, vintage metal frame, vintage frame Edgar Allan Poe’s The Raven: Poe is probably my favorite author to create art from. Admittedly these piece was last minute, there was a void where this piece is hanging. I found my collection of vintage mini frames and the image of Lenore in a portrait being carried by a raven came to me and so here it is. As a bonus, this is the first time I have made a mini raven that is wall mounted (before this they all have been “fliers”).
14: Valerie Savarie: " "A Peaceful Heart ... Nevermore" $750 Altered book, acryla gouache, watercolor, thread, 5" x 7.75" x 1.125" Edgar Allan Poe’s The Raven:This year has been filled with much growth through experimentation for my art. Adding color, refining details and adding frames. This piece has them all and it was the first one I added a frame to. Here we have the spirit of Lenore painted on a scrap page from the book. The raven as stitched and painted wings and a skull is a reminder that death comes to each of us. The little doors have the haunting full moon as well as the seraphim that guards over the soul of Lenore. The fire of love and passion still burns bright in the heart of the man who lost Lenore.
15: Valerie Savarie: ""Messenger Foretold" $600 Altered book, acryla gouache, watercolor, acrylic, wire, thread, 6.875" x 9.25" x 1.25" The Hobbit: When creating pieces for this show, I wanted to make sure they weren’t fan art, that they were pieces inspired by the stories of others. Many times, it is characters that don’t have lead roles that actually play an important part in the story. So here, the little thrush that signals the revealing of the keyhole sits and waits his turn to be in the spotlight. Encircled by the gold ring which in surrounded by Smaug who in turn has an oak leaf tail – tying it back to not only Mirkwood but to Thorin Oakenshield.
16: Valerie Savarie: ""Freeing the Hidden Heart" $675 Altered book, acryla gouache, watercolor, thread, 10.5" x 13.875" x 1.5" Howl’s Moving Castle: A beautiful story of love, magic and finding one’s true self. Here we have Sophie with her shorn silver hair, protecting Howl’s heart within Calcifer and at the same time freeing them both. The gears represent the moving castles as well as the movement of ones body – whether it be aged or youthful.
17: Valerie Savarie: ""Love's Guardian" $650 Altered book, acryla gouache, watercolor, thread, 5.625" x 8.5" x 1" The Dark Crystal: Back when this movie was first released to video, my boyfriend in high school was supposed to come over and watch it with me. Long story short there was an incident and it never happened. I let that bad experience taint the film for me and it took almost 30 years for me to finally see it. I was moved by the story and vision of Jim Henson. In February 2022 I saw an exhibition of Jim Henson’s work in Albuquerque, NM and was so inspired. Kira is such a pure soul, filled with love and innocence, it is she (in my opinion) who cures the crystal. Her tie to the natural world was key in ceating this piece – from the removal of the paper portion of the cover to the hand embroidered leaves, she is peacefully at home in nature.
18: Valerie Savarie: "Run Rabbit Run" $575 Altered book, acryla gouache, watercolor, thread, 6.125" x 9.25" x 1.375" Watership Down: A classic tale of good and evil, of brotherly love, of life and death. I played with the idea of using the cover cut outs on the piece and it inspired a new way of creating my pieces – adding more dimensionality and less scraps that end up in boxes. I chose to focus on the living/light and death/night aspects on the book. This piece can also be hung vertically in the natural book orientation.
19: Valerie Savarie: "The Creation of Dreams" $600 Altered book, acryla gouache, watercolor, acrylic, wax, thread, 5.625" x 8.5" x .625" Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole: Another piece I used a new technique on - adding colored wax to the cover. I love how the wax looks – it can be textured or smooth. I enjoyed creating an owl piece that wasn’t a mini flier and yes, another piece with color!
20: Valerie Savarie: “The Color of Fantasy" $625 Altered book, acryla gouache, acrylic, wax, thread, 9.5" x 12" x .75" Fantasia: Growing up we had the sound track on record which also came with a little book. In elemetary school, every year we would see a film on earth’s creation and they would you the scene with the dinosaurs. When they rereleased it in the theaters in the early 1990’s (I believe) seeing the movie in full for the first time was pure magic. I had such a hard time deciding what to create because I love all the music and the visuals Disney created to go with them. Since the book had all full color images I decided to really push the black and white character paintings I do so the zebra centaurette was created. This was the first piece where I added a full decorative internal “frame” by removing sections of the decorative cover fabric and then adding colored wax and painting.
21: Valerie Savarie: "A Happy Ending" $700 Altered book, acryla gouache, watercolor, acrylic, thread, 5.75" x 8.375" x 1" The Last Unicorn: This show was my first exposure to The Last Unicorn – shocking I know. The deepness of each character – in their personal story – was so moving and inspiring. The bond of Molly and the unicorn needed to be shared. The cat (because those that know me, know I love them so) needed to be included in a more typical cat fashion – hiding in the purple flowers as well as the enchanted spider, whose web hangs high above. Occassionaly, book covers are too stained to be used as is and sadly this book had lots of old tape “wounds”. Another first, I decided to paint the cover and love how it turned out – now I hope to find more books with similar covers so I can justify transforming them so.
22: Valerie Savarie: "The Fish Aren’t Running" $500 Altered book, acryla gouache, acrylic ink, wax, 5.7"5 x 8.5" x .5" Twin Peaks: How has it taken me eleven years to create a Twin Peaks piece?! With no exageration, I spent four years obsessively having the original two seasons on while I created art. I know the dialogue by heart however sadly (or maybe not) a lot of the visuals are still new to me. In the original DVD release – only two episodes per disc – the Log Lady gives a wonderful intro that is as cryptic as her conversations in the show. You can plan on more Twin Peaks pieces in the future.
23: Valerie Savarie: Mini Fliers: $180 Altered book, acryla gouache, watercolor, found objects
24: Miki Harder: "Who Cooks for Yoooou?" $480 Oil & acrylic on panel, 16.5” x 13.5” Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole: I love painting owls, all owls and this movie has so many different species that I was thrilled to paint several of them.
25: Miki Harder: "Carmen" $480 Oil and acrylic on panel, 13.5" x 16.5" Edgar Allan Poe’s The Raven: Ravens are dear and near to my heart, I have assisted in rehabbing injured ones and many times I use them as my models.
26: Miki Harder: "Ode to the Jackrabbit Who Perished in a Morning Commute" Oil & acrylic on panel, 10” x 14” $275 Watership Down: Sadly, even those of us who love all animals, occasionally cause their passing. Even in the novel, the rabbits have their run ins with automobiles.
27: Miki Harder: "A Girl and Her Dragon" $225 Oil on panel, 12” x 14” The Hobbit: back when Smaug was young, he fell in love with a young female warrior. Sadly she died in battle and Smaug, with broken heart, turned from loving dragon to one full of hate and vengeance.
28: Miki Harder: "Bristlecone Pine" $275 Oil on Board, 12”x 8”, framed 14"x10" The Hobbit: The wonderful magical land of Middle Earth most definitely had some wise old trees and I can only assume that the Bristlecone Pine was one of them.
29: Nicole Grosjean: "Night Watch" $1200 Polymer clay, wood, glass eyes, 8.5"x12"x4.5" Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole: The Owls of Ga'Hoole is a movie I clearly remember seeing in the theater. I was so impressed by the incredible detail in the animation and overall visual beauty of the film. I was so excited to return to my sculpting roots in this piece and make him as realistic as I could in polymer clay.
30: Nicole Grosjean: "Swim Through the Stars" $850 Cut paper, watercolor, acrylic, stained glass, museum glass, polymer clay, 8" x7.5" Fantasia: This was a challenging one for me as I didn’t remember the film too clearly. After watching the classic and the 2000 version again, the image of whales swimming through the sky just resonated with me more than anything else. I’ve been wanting to paint whales for a long time, and absolutely loved making this piece.
31: Nicole Grosjean: "What Is, Is What Must Be” $850 Cut paper, laser cut faux leather matboard, silver leaf, variegated leaf, 24K gold leaf, museum glass, 9.5"x9.5" Watership Down: Another favorite from my childhood. After seeing so many Disney animations, I was fascinated by the realism and even occasionally grotesque style of the film. This was another piece I’d been dreaming about making for long time. I knew I wanted to use a lot of natural materials and Celtic style knot work as a nod to the roots and textures of the burrows and warrens in the backgrounds.
32: Nicole Grosjean, "Smaug" $350 Hobbit book pages printed on ccid-free cardstock , 25"x 9"x11" The Hobbit:The pages that make up this dragon come from 'The Hobbit' and describe Bilbo's first encounter with Smaug.
33: Nicole Grosjean: "Mother Aughra" $275 Cut paper, watercolor, silver and 24K gold leaf, museum glass, 3"x3" The Dark Crystal: has always been a favorite, it’s such a lush and visually stunning film. I absolutely loved the detailed creatures and practical effects. This is a film I’ve been wanting to make a piece of for a very long time. I kept Mother Aughra small as a study for a much larger piece I’m planning, but I had a great time painting her heavily textured features.
34: Nicole Grosjean: "The Unicorn Lived in a Lilac Wood, and She Lived All Alone" $850 Cut paper, watercolor, silk thread, goldwork embroidery threads, beetle wings, museum glass, 10.5"x10.5" The Last Unicorn: was my absolute favorite movie growing up and still my favorite book. I was lucky enough to meet the author on several occasions and he actually encouraged me to pursue my interest in art when I was in high school. I have done many versions of the Unicorn, but this one is heavily influenced by the medieval Unicorn Tapestries.
35: Nicole Grosjean: "Never-Nevermore" $750 Cut Paper, Watercolor, Frosted Acrylic, Victorian Window Pane, 7"x7.5" Edgar Allan Poe’s The Raven: One of my all time favorite poems. I knew I wanted to do something different and special with this piece. I searched for a long time to find the perfect Victorian glass pane for the raven to be peering through. This was also the first time I’d experimented with softening the background with frosted acrylic, and loved the misty effect it provided.
36: Nicole Grosjean: "Where Pies Go When They Die" $650 Cut paper, watercolor, gouache, resin, museum glass, 10.5"x7" Twin Peaks: Twin Peaks was a show I’d always heard about but hadn’t seen until last year. I honestly wasn’t too sure what to think at first, but fell in love with the quirky characters and dark mysteries. I’ve been wanting to try painting a still life, and really enjoyed making the cherries look like skulls.
37: Nicole Grosjean: "Go and Catch a Falling Star" $4500 Cut paper, watercolor, gouache, holographic vinyl, 24K gold leaf, cubic zirconia stones, fiber optic filaments, LED lights, museum glass, 16"x24"x4" Howl’s Moving Castle: The the second Miyazaki film I ever saw, and I immediately fell in love with it. I was so taken by the lush style and beautiful storytelling, I knew I wanted to make an artwork in tribute. I’ve been planning this piece for years, but it took me a while to figure out how to do justice to such a gorgeous film.
“Since my art form stems from actual physical books, I use the written words within for inspiration in creating my work and consider the pieces a visual retelling of the narratives inside. With this show, I also added the stories told in visual formats of movie and television into the fold, blending the written word with the imagery and interpretation of the tales from the directors point of view. Wanting to keep the works out of the realm of fan art, I simultaneously used my own style and imagination to make the pieces uniquely my own. Some of the modern myths we explored are deep rooted in my muse – Fantasia for example has been a favorite both in imagery and music since I was a child – yet others such as “Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole” are new to me, opening me up to new stories to tell in my own language.” - Valerie Savarie, altered book artist
“It was so interesting to create characters from books and try not to be influenced by their film adaptations. It tapped into a different part of my brain. It almost felt too bold to allow my rendition of an established character to see light….but any hesitancy quickly gave way to delight as my Last Unicorn came galloping down the slope… These are my myths. The stories and movies that shaped how I see things or explain the world. I didn’t realize how influential they were! It hits home that Yes, the Written Word, Art, Film, It’s Powerful stuff!” - Miki Harder, painter
“I have always loved and been heavily influenced by films (especially animation), books and all the various forms of storytelling. There is something so magical about being temporarily transported to other worlds and following their characters on fantastic journeys. Growing up, I re-watched my favorite films hundreds of times to where I knew every line by heart and reread my favorite books until I could quote them. Humans have always had a need to tell and hear stories, for both moral and entertainment purposes. Films and novels are our modern reincarnation of these essential myths and are as important and poignant as ever. Flipping through gorgeous illustrations in children's books and admiring the incredible artistry of animated films is what inspired me most in wanting to enter the industry myself. I always wanted to add my own style to my favorite stories and pour my passion for the story into each piece.” -Nicole Grosjean, cut paper sculptor
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