Wanda Gag project

Wanda Gag preliminary-preliminary drawing

   I'm getting closer on a design for the proposed Wanda Gag statue.  This drawing is based on a photo of Wanda working on a lithography stone.  I love the way her posture communicates both energy and focus.  Seeing someone really apply themselves to the task at hand is a noble sight indeed.  Notes for revisions below.

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Wanda sketches part 3

These Wanda Gag sketches are based on Renaissance and Baroque poses.  After our recent meeting, it's been agreed that Wanda will be depicted as an adult with her trademark bob haircut.  It also seems like she'll be barefoot.  Cats too...

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Wanda sketch 2

Concept for Wanda Gag Sculpture.  This drawing, based on a photo of Wanda, provides a point for discussion.  It's often easier to talk about ideas when there is an image for reference.  
I fully expect the direction of this project to grow and change.  Historical accuracy, interaction with viewers and artistic integrity will all need to be balanced by the varied voices involved.  And that's all in view of a project that may or may not actually come to fruition.  

See more artwork from Jason Jaspersen at jjjaspersen.com, and on social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

Conceptual work

   This post contains conceptual sketches for a variety of upcoming projects.  These projects are just getting started.    At this point in the process, there's a lot of "what if" and gathering of possibilities.  Anything could happen and that's frankly a little exhausting.
    You should have no illusions about me as an artist...I generally know very little about the final product when I'm starting to think about it.  It's almost as if I discover the artwork through exploration.  This is in contrast to the popular image of an artist who sees the final product in his mind's eye and charges forward with irresistible willpower.  
   Those early ideas are almost always the most cliche approaches in the history of a developing project, but without them I have nothing to climb on.  An early idea becomes something I can react against.  I can bend and adjust those feeble beginnings and start to get some traction.  Somehow, there's more brainpower available after the first ideas are on paper.  Each successive stage offers another opportunity for improvement, much like a writer submitting drafts and revising according to an editor's suggestions.  The biggest decisions seem to happen early and they seem to require the most effort.  Later on there are still exciting twists, but they are not so difficult to discover.  
    Sometimes I'm shocked when I look back at the very first concept sketches for a project after it is finished.  I tend to forget my early, often strongly felt, ideas.  The path is rarely a predictable one.  Part of the reason for posting my works in progress is to archive my meandering developments.  It's also a friendly invitation to those interested in creative processes...
    So here I am at some beginnings.  I suspect that there is much to be discovered in these projects.  However, for now I feel a little awkward, aimless, unsure of the outcome.   I'm looking into a fog.  The sureness comes later.  I suppose that's the nature of exploration.  Adventure is out there!

Baptism concept
Thoughts on Baptism.

Searching for Mary Magdalene by drawing from classic sculptures.
Geometric interpretation of "Sunrise"
Some layout ideas for
"Saint and Sinner" illustrations.
Beginnings of a "Saint and Sinner" series.
Gathering ideas for
Wanda Gag project.
Early thoughts on
Spark and Echo project.
Concepts for New Life project.

Musing on giant portraits in German Park.
Figure study for
 Wanda Gag project.
See more artwork from Jason Jaspersen at jjjaspersen.com, and on social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

Wanda Gag sculpture idea

To be an artist in New Ulm, MN is to be part of a great creative heritage.  Some obvious examples are the many monuments around this fine city.  New Ulm also has a strong musical heritage harking back to Polka Days and Heritage Fest (and now housing the Minnesota Music Hall of Fame).  
The story of Wanda Gag and her Bohemian family also resonate with New Ulmers.  I've thought for years that there should be a Wanda Gag monument to help future generations understand and remember this significant artist and illustrator.  I've recently had a discussion that may lead to just such a sculpture.  After doing a few sketches here is my favorite concept showing a teenage Wanda fulfilling her father's dying wish and becoming an artist.  She is looking intently at a cat and drawing.  The cat looks right back at her.  Later in life Wanda would become famous for her book "Millions of Cats".
I have an exciting idea that could correspond with this sculpture.  What if there were sculptures of cats all around New Ulm?  They could be in shops, on window sills, perched on lamp posts, napping on front stoops, and prowling the stacks at the library.  Each cat sculpture could be sponsored by the business where it is to be placed.  Then there could be a brochure-driven scavenger hunt for children or tourists made available at the Chamber of Commerce. It could also be run by GPS/geocaching.  New Ulm gets some new furry friends and businesses get some new traffic.  How fun!
Charis Carmichael-Braun, another New Ulm artist in NYC, gets credit for the brilliant sponsorship angle.   Thanks Charis!




See more artwork from Jason Jaspersen at jjjaspersen.com, and on social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.