Looking for a Needle in a Haystack is part of my new series, Visionaries: My Tribute to the Innovators of Fine Art. In this image, I explore the work of a founder of French Impressionism, Claude Monet (1840-1926).
In this work, I re-imagine one of the paintings from Monet’s famous Haystacks series. My version features a bold abstract background coupled with a magnifying glass and needle rendered in still life realism. (The magnifying glass belonged to my stamp collector grandfather and is well over 100 years old.)
Every museum store in the world carries postcards of their most popular works. I have dozens of these cards featuring every style of painting imaginable.
In this new series, Visionaries: My Tribute to the Innovators of Fine Art, I explore the artistry of these painters - marrying their iconic images with both abstract backgrounds and ultra-realistic still life objects to create something entirely new.I hope you enjoy them.
The first challenge of Looking for a Needle in a Haystack was recreating this impressionistic painting on such a tiny scale. I used a very small brush and fine brushstrokes to get the proper effect.
But an even bigger challenge was getting the refraction from the magnifying glass, providing not only a realistic magnification of the needle, but also an accurate appearance on the abstract background. Here, I employed a bit of artistic license to make the reflection and shadow look right - the literal interpretation of what I saw in the studio didn’t look real on the canvas.
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