My interest in Art Nouveau and especially Mucha’s work goes back quite a long way, it was probably even there before I had a name that I could put to it. That love of organic shapes in a decorative application and a love of the skillful use of line. I think I first fell in love with the genre in my teens as a result of this piece by Roger Dean, for the album Yessongs:
And a series of images illustrating the song Turn of the Century, here is one of those:
In talking about my ongoing Fae Nouveau project, there are two pieces that can be considered the forerunners, or at least older cousins to the other pictures in the series.
TEMPUS VERNUM (2002)
One more noteworthy forerunner of the Fae Nouveau pictures again had musical roots but ended up becoming entwined with the larger project.
THE QUEEN OF DREAMS (1989 version)
THE QUEEN OF DREAMS (2012 version)
When it came time to do the Faerie Nouveau Coloring Book I returned to this image and gave it a new lease on life, adding the fairy wings (inspired by Amy Brown’s work) and adapting the frame to better fit the format of the other pieces in the series.
Occasionally I will have an image in my head for years, or in this case decades, before it’s finally realized in painted form. Also, once in a while I will make several attempts at illustrating it over that time. This is one such case. It was originally inspired by a song by the band Genesis, specifically by a concert film performance interspersed with conceptual vignettes. I saw the film in the early 80s.
My first “attempt” at the image was done spontaneously in blue ballpoint pen in 1996.
I always visualized it in a more art nouveau context however and in 2013 I returned to it with that in mind and after 30+years finally created the image that I had wanted to see, or pretty close to it.
The entire Fae Nouveau collection can be seen here
And of course there’s no place like home: www.herbleonhard.com