Month of Art: Day 12 Various Works by Heather Theurer

  (Cinderella 2015, Theurer)

  (Rapunzel 2015, Theurer)

  (Mulan 2015, Theurer)

 (Beauty and the Beast 2015, Theurer)

I hate writing my blog posts on my phone. Can I just say that? 500 words gone in a single instant. Life is cruel sometimes. Oh well. If I do not start writing them like this I will never get these done. Thus begins the long, dark road with thumb typing. UGH. . .

On a happier note, I wanted to finally review a Disney related artwork. In this case, I could not choose between these four. I like them all for similar reasons so I do not think it will be much of a problem if I talk about each of them.

Heather Theurer is an independent artist who created her art style not through professional classes but by personally studying the Renaissance geniuses, Classicists from the 19th century and modern artists. From my perspective, her works truly reflect the bygone European artist in her use of lighting and design. She actually joined many notable Disney artists on and the LA times and USAtoday have recognized her for her innovative art works. Her themes include equine and nature, spiritual symbolism, and realistic fantasy. She has five children and somehow finds  the time to paint. She is really impressive considering she did not have excessive professional training.

For this post, I chose four of her renderings of Disney characters. Why are they all Disney Princesses? Well. . . I am actually surprised myself. I never joined the Disney Princess craze. No really. Never. My non- obsessive mind would not allow it. I actually find the male Disney characters more interesting. Not that I do not like characters like Belle and Mulan! I have just never been one for pretty princesses. I like romance though! (cough If it is done right) Moving on, I think these paintings intrigued me because they showed what these woman really would look like.

I will do my best to showcase the good points from all these paintings! Now, why do they stand out against other Disney interpretations? Firstly, each work matches its intended time period. Belle’s has a late 17th century feel to it with its earthy tones and lighting. Rapunzel fits snugly into the late Renaissance style in her more curvy design, posture and setting. Cinderella feels Romantic in both its chiaroscuro lighting and natural atmosphere. Finally, Mulan looks like a European interpretation of an Eastern hero both in how it incorporates the symbolic cherry blossoms and traditional clothing from the film and her active movements. I really felt, the first time I saw them, that I was glimpsing these characters in their true setting.

Secondly, I like how each character is a different kind of beauty. Let me explain. I think that culturally society tries to post an ideal model of beauty that reflects most through media. Artists also tend to stick with the same archetype only changing the looks subtlety to fit their perception of perfection except with a different picture. With these paintings, I definitely do not see that pitfall. Cinderella is thinner with sharp, gentle features. Mulan has curved eyes, a founder face and an obviously Eastern frame. Rapunzel actually looks fuller in the chest and hips with a soft cherubic face and pale complexion. Belle’s own beauty is hidden beneath her cloak and dress, pinned up hair and slumped posture but reveals itself intimately through her mature facial features which attest to her natural grace.

Finally, I love how antiquitous (think antiquity or referral to great age) these are. What do I mean by this? Well each of these I could really pit fire coming from amazing artist 200 or 300 years ago. The lighting is engaging in how it emphasizes specific features like in Rapunzel where the light focuses most directly on her face and then gracefully darkens away from her. Also, in Cinderella I love how rapturously the light dances around the backgrounds and highlights her body as she leans against the window. The backgrounds are subtle  but then again symbolic, like in Beauty and the Beast where the snow refers to her time at the castle and the yellow flowers allude to her dress later in the film. There is also a remarkable depth in character concpetion, like in Mulan where she is both gracefully wearing the feminine dress from her marriage assessment and skillfully wielding a sword.

Overall, I think these are beautiful renditions of these women and spectacular reminders of the artworks of European masters.


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