Thursday, November 20, 2014

Two Beast or not to Beast

     Several new submissions grace our blog this week. Both are what we call "miniatures," measuring less than 5 by 7 inches.

     The first, an unsigned work by a visiting youngster,  re-imagines a well-known post card image. The skyline includes a prominent stand of conifers to the left, and the horizon could be either a sunset or golden mountains against a red sky. A lone mid ground pine looms directly above the head of what appears to be an Idyll-Beast proceeding across the frame, left to right. The animal's eyes peer out at us, and the left paw seems to be waving, the squiggles that surround it suggesting motion. The Beast is somewhat portly, or perhaps foreshortened. The use of the "continuous line" technique of sketching gives a virtuoso flair to the confirs and the "frame" around the work, striking a pleasing medium between calculation and spontaneity.

     The second is a quick-looking pencil sketch on a note pad, but was signed by Cameron Gage, 7 years old, and labeled, for the doubtful, "Idyll-Beast." The pad itself is a light orange outlined in darker orange, with a stark white "bone" in the middle of the page. Perhaps this refers to the identity of the depicted Beast as a "bone of contention." 
     The monochrome is varied by a range of intensity or weight of line. There is a light shading the provides a background, some more defined lines to suggest a forest, and then the forceful strokes that delineate the main subject. The Beast emerges from the background, and seems to be on the verge of stepping out of the background and even right off the page and into the viewers frame of reference. The left leg extends outward, like a shadow elongated by the setting sun. The position of the arms is unique, showing a twisted torso, as if the animal has paused in his motion, swiveled towards us at the waist, and then stepped towards us, truly "stepping out" (of the frame.) Or perhaps he (or she) is "testing the water" of our consciousness, gently stirring our imaginations with a toe to check us out before either coming forward to greet us or dashing back into the background. Very suggestive.

    I'd like to thank our young artists for their participation in this project. Critics and Cryptozoologists would be wise to keep their eyes peeled for future works from these little animals.  See you in Idyllwild!