This painting is from photos taken of Muff and Real Musgrave's collection. The image is by Jim Christiansen, a celebrated fantasy illustrator who has been recognized as a “Utah Art Treasure,” one of Utah’sTop 100 Artists by the Springville Museum of Art and received the Governor’s Award for Art awarded by the Utah Arts Council recognizing the significance of Christensen’s artwork to Utah’s cultural communities. He was inducted intothe U.S. Art magazine’s Hall of Fame. Jim and his wife, Carole, co-chair theMormon Arts Foundation. Muff always got a painting from Christiansen for Christmas until he became fully recognized and collected--stopping that tradition.

I learned that there is a category of illustration called "Decorative Illustration". I think that is what I am....and I find it somehow reassuring that my work fits into a type--as SU promotes painters--and if you don't fit into the schema for painting, you are left hanging. I should google this to see if there is anything out there that speaks to this tradition. Hmm, let me see--Here's a nice link to a page that speaks broadly about illustration:

ILLUSTRATION. In a general sense, illustration (or the art of representing pictorially some idea which has been expressed in words) is as old as Art itself. There has never been a time since civilization began when artists were not prompted to pictorial themes from legendary, historical or literary sources. But the art of illustration, as now understood, is a comparatively modern product. The tendency of modern culture has been to make the interests of the different arts overlap. The theory of Wagner, as applied to opera, for making a combined appeal to the artistic emotions, has been also the underlying principle in the development of that great body of artistic production which in painting gives us the picture containing "literary" elements, and, in actual association with literature in its printed form, becomes what we call "illustration." The illustrator's work is the complement of expression in some other medium. A poem can hardly exist which does not awaken in the mind at some moment a suggestion either of p icture or music. The sensitive temperament of the artist or the musician is able to realize out of words some parallel idea which can only be conveyed, or can be best conveyed, through his own medium of music or painting. Similarly, music or painting may, and often does, suggest poetry. It is from this inter-relation of the emotions governing the different arts that illustration may be said to spring. The success of illustration lies, then, in the instinctive transference of an idea from one medium to another; the more spontaneous it be and the less laboured in application, the better. continue>>

I spoke to Murray and Doug Anderson about the dream project, the first project we have that could evolve into the thesis. Taking the idea of working on a series of illustrations that might be able to be used on a series of old time cds seemed to be okay as long as I didn't start working on it--the rules are to just think about it, do some reference work and (they didn't say it) relax. I figure this could evolve into a thesis. I do not want to find myself up against a thesis striking out with the topics without any shepherding like the SU thesis was. I would really like to be able to embrace it and drill into it... I just didnt have the chance to emotionally engage in the material from SU and would like to be able to do this. Murray pushed it a bit making it about the images--instead of looking at the end application, what is the imagery--and I think Americana might be the big rubberband that wraps this whole concept. Americana with a fresh look-- Time to start thinking. No sketching....maybe a thumbnail>?