Thursday, July 26, 2018

Highland Matriarch…inspired by Highland Monarch

A few months ago, the American Women Artists put out an interesting Call for Entry.

In pursuit of their far-reaching goal to have 25 museum shows in as many years, they charged artists to become inspired by one of the works from the Haggin Museum Collection (where this year’s AWA show would be held). Artists were asked to create our own work as a result of that inspiration.

I chose Eugene-Joseph Verboeckhoven's Highland Monarch as my inspiration.

Highland Monarch
Eugene-Joseph Verboeckhoven
The organic twist of horns, the knock-kneed rhythm of legs and the elegantly arranged, lounging wooly rams are what first drew me to Verboeckhoven’s painting. As a life-long painter of people, I knew I would interpret this painting using the human form, and as a painter of paint strong women of character, courage and empathy, I wanted to re-contextualize it as a feminist piece…a Highland Matriarch. (yes, I used the word re-contextualize…)

The model posing for this piece is one of my patient and willing favorites.  She indulged me with awkward hand poses, duct-taped on gloves (my long black gloves were too big for her), tissue paper horns, and an itchy thrift-shop curly lamb coat.

To get the ram horn detail authentic, I sought out and actually found rams horns attached to the base of a hunting-theme specialty-shop lamp. Truly it was not an attractive lamp at all, but the horns were powerful, gorgeous and had the organic twist of forms that I love to paint.  Lucky for my model, I did not make her wear the actual horns, which were quite heavy, and firmly attached to the light fixture!

I did set her in a regal languishing pose, calmly ruling the countryside, much like the Patriarchal Ram in Verboeckhoven’s painting. I echoed his rolling hills, the mountains in the mist, and the subtle, cloudy grey sky.

Highland Matriarch
Judy Takács

The little sheep salted about in the distance were the piece de resistance to my first-ever Scottish Countryside scene.

Highland Matriarch made her Museum debut at the Haggin Museum in Stockton, California as part of American Women Artists Full Sun Exhibition in the Summer of 2018. 

Psyched to say she will be showing again soon…

Valley Art Center
47th Annual Juried Exhibition

Opening Reception and Awards Ceremony: 
Friday November 2, 6:00 to 8:00

Show runs through December 11

Valley Art Center
155 Bell Street
Chagrin Falls, Ohio