Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Russian Fairy Tales and an MFA

Well, it is done! As of July I have finished the Low Residency MFA in Illustration Program at the Hartford Art School. Although I consider myself a student for life (there's always something new to learn!) it does feel great to have this degree under my belt, and I am thankful for the wealth of knowledge and artistic leaps that I gained through the program.

 My thesis show hanging in the Joseloff Gallery

The major project that I chipped away at for the entire two years of the program was the Master's Thesis. I chose to focus on Russian Fairy Tales, combining my love of fairy tales and folklore with an exploration of my Russian heritage. I spent much of the first year reading stories (and different versions of the same stories), and researching Russian history, politics, clothing, landscape, architecture, etc. I finally settled on a selection of eight stories for which I planned a series of paintings and drawings. The stories vary quite a lot in subject matter, but I generally looked for ones with strong female characters (I'm always a fan of a gal who doesn't need to wait around for a prince to save her), or plucky children who get themselves out of sticky situations.

I ultimately completed eleven paintings and about sixteen drawings. Here I have posted a few of the pieces from the project. You can find more on my website.

Frog Princess, magic dance, Russian Fairy Tale, Frog Princess Illustration
 The Frog Princess

The Witch, Russian Fairy Tale, Swans, Russian fairy tale illustration
Swan's Rescue - from the story The Witch
Baba Yaga, Russian Fairy Tales, Baba Yaga illustration, Russian fairy tale illustration
 Baba Yaga - a character who appears in many stories

Ivan, the Firebird and the Grey Wolf, Firebird, Russian fairy tale, illustration, drawing
 Prince Ivan and the Grey Wolf

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