Inspired by Girard

The Nativity, Alexander Girard

 Art is only art when it is synonymous with living.               -Alexander Girard

I am going to be Alexander Girard’s red headed stepchild. I mean, I want to be Alexander Girard’s stylistic red headed stepchild. I want to be him so much, and feel that there is enough Girard (1907-1993) DNA (illustration and graphic design DNA, that is) in me, that I cannot suppress it any longer. I do not know why I have been so reluctant to be this stylistic person, but I have. Maybe because its too easy. Waaaay too easy. But others with the same coding do not have the hangups (maybe I had to get over that I can “be all that I can be” versus paint with oils and be Norman Rockwell).

But hey. Look at this angel to the left. I have been there and back. Just need to give myself permission to go more graphic. I can do more graphic. I do it every stinking day for pay. I can do simple. I can do flat planes of color. And the whole negative/positive thing I eat and drink. There is a sheer happiness with his work that has become renewed in me, and want to take inspiration from him, from similar reference and stylistic sources that he did…and see where it goes.  His collection of folk art, toys, and objects were established as part of the Girard Foundation (at the Museum of International Folk Art) which will be a new go to for me. Sanna Annukka , the wonderful English/Finnish illustrator has taken Girard’s work and embraced it and made it hers. Why can’t I?

Toys represent a microcosm of man’s world and dreams. They exhibit fantasy, imagination, humor and love. They are an invaluable record and expression of man’s ingenious unsophisticated imagination.  
-Alexander Girard

I mean, I am there, right? Erzegebirge. Dresden Scrap. Folk art. Lubok/ lubki. Fraktur. Polish Folk art. Mexican folk art. Engravings. Mexican Engravings. Indian art. Hindu folk art. Colonial art. Colonial Gravestones… world of influences. Girard is speaking my language, loves the things I love, uses a palette that I am comfortable in. He is a teacher and an inspiration. I need to go with this.