I'm really delighted to say that the indefatigable Clive Hicks-Jenkins, whose praises I cannot sing too highly so I'll just shut up (well, I might one day), has seen fit to include my maquettes in his glorious feast of an on-line exhibition on the theme. As well as the original donkey and Molly prototypes I made a while back, I finally, and at the last minute, made a full set of Musicians of Bremen figures, on which I spent much of this last weekend, including a new dog and donkey, all made using the same medium (good old Inktense pencils) and colour pallette, to scale and facing the right way, so they could be assembled into the classic Musicians of Bremen animal tower, as they are shown in the sculpture in the town of Bremen, and in most illustrations of the story. I think some of the appeal of the story is in this stacking up of the animals from large to small; give a child a set of animal figures like this to play with and they will inevitably end up trying to get them to stand up on each other's backs like this.
It was an interesting exercise, the cat ended up with more complex articulations than the dog and donkey, including eight separate joints in the tail alone, because that was the only way to convey anything at all of the fluidity and flexibility of a cat. It was surprisingly difficult to find many pictures of a cat at full stretch showing exactly how and where it moves to draw from, cats are more often than not curled or twisted or hunkered or asleep - I have been drawing cats fairly competently since I was about three but still found I needed reference. While all vertebrates are basically made on the same frame with the same number and orientation of joints,there's a wide variation in how they use them, of course. But the complicated ones were the more satisfying, I really enjoyed making the cockerel too, and studying the colouring and patterning of these handsome creatures carefully.
There's a larger version of the picture at Clive's Artlog, and also separate collages of all the figures in different positions. There are also many more really stunning contributions by other extremely talented, imaginative artists of whom I'm very proud to be seen alongside, everything from the eerie to the endearing, and much more. The range and standard and originality of all the work so far is truly outstanding, and there's more to come. Clive's put enormous time and effort into this at a very busy and productive time for him, for no personal gain or glory, so hie thee on over to the Artlog and enjoy. So far there have been parts one, two and three, and so far he's been posting a new batch every day.
Every time I think blogging might be losing its lustre, something new and terrific comes along to make me fall for it all over again...