This project came about from a request from my rep to create a piece for our yearly calendar project. We were partnering with the Field Museum in Chicago to develop imagery that honors the immense fossil collection at the museum. One of my favorite things about the Field Museum has always been the mural paintings by the artist Charles Knight. He worked with many of the archaeologists of his day to develop all of the mural work he did in New York and Chicago. His great fascination with all of these artifacts and the animal kingdom, We’re quite evident in his paintings. My goal with this piece was to honor some of that fascination he obviously had in this work. I also have been inspired by the work of M.C. Escher. I know this has been done before but I thought it might be a fun exercise. It certainly is different for me to use photography, but I thought it might be good to show the contrast between the imagined illustration of a fern and a real photo. It certainly was a challenge to draw the fern in this imagined view from the obscure photo reference I was able to get. It had to be made up entirely. But I guess that’s just the point Charles Knight was trying to imagine things that were a mere shadow of what they were, and bring them to life.
I made a trip to Savannah Georgia and was impressed at every turn. The public squares every 3 blocks or so with lovely live oak trees, victorian brick architecture, & magnolia trees. I have also admired Martin Heade’s Magnolia painting’s for sometime and thought I would try my hand at painting them.
When I was a kid the cough drop of choice was Smith Brothers wild cherry. Since then we have soothed our throats with many different brands, but I still remember the simple clean white box with the two guys on it.
This market segment has been flooded with candy image packaging that does not seem medicinal. The new packaging has an established (grownup) feel to it. Leveraging its history in this category was an important part of this project. My job was to update the brothers both in style and quality. No (final) art existed for the trademark, so I researched available images and got to work.
I have always thought pineapples were interesting, so being up against a deadline for an ad in workbook I chose a pineapple drawn from one my wife brought home from the store. But like most pineapples the proportions were a little outlandish for my use. So I took a little artistic license and tried to capture it’s essence rather than it’s literal shape.
The other elements in the painting were all exsisting images I had painted for past projects, and assembled in Corel Painter.