Alphonse Mucha Exhibition

Whilst we were in Liverpool recently, my hubby treated me to the Alphonse Mucha “In the Quest of Beauty” Exhibition at the Walker Art Gallery. Mucha is one of my favourite artists, he is famous for his Art Nouveau artwork and the exhibition was amazing!

To match the pretty colours of the exhibition poster and booklet I started by covering the page with Watermelon, Guava, Peach, Butter Cream and Caramel Faber-Castell Gelatos and smudging the colours with my finger which I wet with a baby wipe. I applied two layers of gelato colour to achieve a brighter intensity of colour and then I used Earl Grey gelato around the edges of the page to frame it. Next I stamped a series of art nouveau designs over the background using Pistachio Memento Ink; this included a wood mounted circular design by Dovecraft, a scrollwork design by Royal & Langnickel and a flower design by Craft Sensations. I added the cream art nouveau border vertically on down each side of the page which is an outline sticker and then I covered the whole page in a thin layer of watered down Liquitex Matte Gel Medium using a paintbrush to fix the colours and stamped images. As Mucha always added beautiful flowers to his posters, I stencilled a flower design from Craft Sensations using Pébéo modelling paste, I used the stencil several times to build the image allowing the modelling paste dry between each application. I arranged some pretty paper flower blossoms on the page, sticking them down using double-sided tape and foam tape. I layered and curled the petals to give them more volume and used large pearls and clusters of pearls from Trimcraft, for their centres. Then I stuck the Alphonse Mucha exhibition booklet onto the page using double-sided tape and added a piece of lace trim along the bottom and a paper flower.

The lace trim is secured around two of the larger pearls so that it can be unfastened on one side to allow the booklet to be opened. I outlined a circular vintage die cut shape with a moss Spectrum Aqua marker and stuck it to the page using double-sided tape; I liked that it had text on it as we learnt so much from the exhibition information that was alongside the artwork. Then I added a butterfly from the same die cut pack using double-sided foam tape which finished the page.

We really enjoyed the Alphonse Mucha Exhibition, it was so informative and the artworks were breathtaking. As many of the artworks on show were originals no photos were allowed and in fact the lighting was subdued in the exhibition to preserve the art pieces. For photos and more information about this exhibition click here.

If you are interested here are some interesting facts we found out about Alphonse Mucha and his beautiful art:

  • Alphonse Mucha (1860-1939) was an artist and illustrator who was born in Czechoslovakia. We were surprised to find out how much he travelled throughout his career between Prague, Paris and America.
  • He rose to fame in Paris in the late 1890s with his advertising posters for the famous French actress Sarah Bernhardt. The first poster he designed for her was in 1894 for her production of “Gismonda” and it was so desirable that people stole the oblong panel prints from the hoardings. Following the success of the first poster, Mucha created a further six theatrical posters for Bernhardt. They were to revolutionise poster design with the use of the long narrow shape, the subtle pastel colours and the full-standing figure of the actress placed in a raised shallow alcove.
  • Following the success of theatrical posters, in 1896 Mucha created some 80 poster designs over the next five years for the publisher F.Champenois to advertise their products. We found out that the advertising posters reflected the modern rich Parisian life in La Belle Époque (The Beautiful Age) with a female figure central to the composition, flowers and beautiful decorative motifs.
  • Mucha’s fame also lead him to receive commissions to design product packaging and ornamental objects as well as advertising posters. We saw intricately designed perfume bottle boxes and labels as well as biscuit tins, labels and box wrappers at the exhibition.
  • Mucha had a long-lasting friendship with French Sculptor Auguste Rodin, who Mucha called Master (maître). There were many photos of them together as Mucha was a keen photographer too, in fact he also used photography to capture the female models he used for his posters.
  • His work inspired the then emerging Art Nouveau style and is easily recognisable with his distinctive graphic designs; he has inspired generations!

On exiting the exhibition I had fun trying on the different flower headdresses, which one do you prefer, we have spring, summer, autumn or winter (grin!).

Challenges

With the circle designs of the stamps, outline stickers and die cut, I’m pleased to join the “Circles” challenge over at Try it on Tuesday.

Mucha is well-known for his central female figures and elegant artwork, so I’m also joining in the fun over at Moo Mania & More for their “Make It Feminine” theme.

As my flowers design includes stencilling using modelling paste, I’m pleased to be able to join the “Stencils” challenge over at Country View Challenges.

I’m also happy to join the “All Creatures Great And Small” Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge.

Thanks for joining me today! If you have any questions or comments, I would love to hear from you.

Here is a list of all the materials used to create this art journal page:

  • Faber-Castell Gelatos (Watermelon, Guava, Peach, Butter Cream, Caramel, Earl Grey)
  • Tsukeniko Memento Ink (Pistachio)
  • Spectrum Aqua Artist Marker (Moss)
  • Pébéo Modeling Paste
  • Dovecraft Wood Mounted Stamp (DCRS99)
  • Royal & Langnickel Clear Choice Stamp Set (Ornate Scrollwork Mini-CCS123)
  • Craft Sensations (Clear Stamps CR0274/16R1)
  • Craft Sensations (Deco Stencil Set 154892)
  • Alphonse Mucha Exhibition Booklet – Walker Art Gallery
  • The Range (Crafting Lace CR0546)
  • Docraft Anita’s Outline Stickers (Delicate Lace Borders White ANT8101510)
  • Trimcraft Fall in Love (Adhesive Pearls LCDOT002)
  • Dovecraft Collections Back to Basics III (Paper Blossoms DCBL005)
  • The Works M&C Boutique (Vintage Die Cut Shapes)
  • Liquitex Matte Gel Medium
  • The Range double-sided tape & double-sided foam tape
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Victorian Treasures

For my birthday, we spent the day in Liverpool and had a lovely time looking at the wonderful Sculptures and the Victorian Treasures Exhibition at the Walker Art Gallery. I was particularly interested in this exhibition as it showcases works by my favourite Pre-Raphaelite artist Dante Gabriel Rossetti. We also visited Rococo for lunch which was featured in a post over at Lorraine’s Arts n Crafts, thanks so much for the recommendation, it was fab and we had a wonderful time! I created this page to remember this special day.

To represent the sculptures that we saw, on the left hand side of the page I created a white marble effect by applying white gesso and then Black Soot Distress Ink using a paint brush and baby wipe. I added some fine details to the marble veins using a black Uni Pin marker and then I covered it all with white gesso to push the design into the background and then added some white acrylic paint to increase the whiteness. I fussy cut the urn and bust from a booklet and used the flyer from the Victorian Treasures exhibition on the right hand side of the page also adding torn papers from a Design Pad. These represent the beautiful wallpapers we saw in the Gallery and at Rococo. I edged the torn papers with Cold Grey Faber-Castell marker and like all of the elements I stuck them to the page using a UHU Stic. Many of my favourite paintings had ornate gold frames so I added a beautiful gold foil doily that I bought in a local charity shop (thrift store). Being inspired by the wonderful décor and meal we had at Rococo, I added their logo from a loyalty card that we collected during our visit, along with a chandelier which I had stamped onto the same wallpaper style paper, a clock to show our lunch time visit and a teapot, teacup and saucer to depict the tea that we enjoyed with our meal. The clock and tea things are outline stickers which I coloured with a Sharpie marker and Faber-Castell Big Brush markers. To finish I coloured the original flowers printed on the urn image with green Derwent Inktense pencils so they looked like foliage and added the peachy pink resin blooms using Ranger Glossy Accents to stick them down.

As this page shows you our magical time at the Art Gallery and Rococo discovering Victorian treasures, I’m pleased to be able to join Hazel who is hosting the “Magical Mystery Tour” challenge over at Art Journal Journey.

The Walker Art Gallery dates back to 1877 and houses one of the largest art collections in England, outside of London. It is a majestic example of Victorian neo-classical architecture and is situated on William Brown Street which is the only street in the UK to consist of just museums, galleries and libraries. We were happily surprised to find that we were able to take photos in the gallery as long as no flash was used.

There is so much to see and we had a fantastic time exploring the different rooms and discovering the treasures within, this is a photo of one of the walls of beautiful paintings in Room One exhibiting “Medieval, Renaissance and Reformation” art.

Victorian Treasures brings together more than 60 outstanding Victorian paintings and watercolours from the art collections of National Museums Liverpool. The painting shown here is “Helen of Troy” by Fredrick Sandys, she made me smile as she looks so grumpy. Sandys was great friends with one of my favourite artists Dante Gabriel Rossetti so his female portraits were sometimes inspired by Rossetti’s work, hence the porcelain skin and red hair of this sullen beauty.

I adore Pre-Raphaelite artists and there were some stunning examples by John Everett Millais, Dante Gabriel Rossetti and William Holman Hunt.  This is a beautiful painting is “Dante’s Dream” by Rossetti and is his largest ever painting.

Here’s another one of Rossetti’s beauties called “Sibylla Palmifera”.

On the ground floor there is a Sculpture Gallery, with the most amazing marble artworks about 120 in total. It was my hubby’s favourite exhibition and as you can see the lighting and ambiance of the room was stunning.  The statue in the glass case is, another Victorian treasure, the “Tinted Venus” by John Gibson dated circa 1851-1856.

This beautiful lady is by Liverpool born artist Benjamin Edward Spence called “Highland Mary” and the fairy is “Puck” from Midsummer’s Nights Dream by American artist Harriet Hosmer.

We really enjoyed this part of the Walker Art Gallery, so much so that we went back for a second look on our way out of the building.

After visiting the gallery, we headed to Rococo which is situated in this historic building on Lord Street and was designed by a well known Liverpool architect called Edmund Kirby in 1882. The facade has a brown sandstone Gothic pierced quatrefoil parapet and has over glazed brickwork in a lozenge pattern. During the war, 90% of the buildings between Lord Street and Albert dock were destroyed and this building was left standing all by itself. If you look at the photo again you’ll see the modern buildings that were built either side of this special Victorian treasure.

We sat at the table by an old parlor organ and helped ourselves to a very welcome drink of water infused with lemon and mint while we chose from the menu.

We decided to have a Club sandwich to share and a cake each; I had a Lemon and Poppy Seed Muffin whilst my hubby had a Malteser (malt ball) Slice. We had a very nice pot of green tea each too, so I’m pleased to be joining my friends over at T Stands for Tuesday – Happy T Day!

Here’s my birthday photo with my hubby, we had such a wonderful time in Liverpool!

Thanks for joining me today! If you have any questions or comments, I would love to hear from you.

Here is a list of all the materials used to create this art journal page:

  • Pébéo White Gesso
  • DecoArt Crafter’s Acrylic (White)
  • Tim Holtz Distress Ink (Black Soot)
  • Ranger Archival Ink (Jet Black)
  • Faber-Castell Big Brush Pitt artist pen (Sanguine 188 B, Cold Grey IV 233, Black 199)
  • Drewent Inktense Ink Pencils (Teal Green 1300, Field Green 1500, Leaf Green 1600, Charcoal Grey 2100)
  • Uni Pin Fine Line marker (Black 0.1mm)
  • Craft Sensations (Clear Stamps CR0274/16R2)
  • Walker Art Gallery Victorian Treasures flyer
  • Gallery booklet
  • Rococo loyalty card
  • Creative Expressions Design Pad (Vintage Romance CRO730/R)
  • Woolworths (Foil Doyleys)
  • Anita’s Outline Stickers (Alice in Wonderland ANT810116)
  • Trimcraft A Beautiful Life (Resin Flowers LCFLW001)
  • Ranger Glossy Accents
  • UHU Stic