Inspired By: Nutcracker Ballet

It's again the 10th of the month and time for the "Inspired by" creation! But what is Inspired by? Every month awesome Marsha and I choose a subject to be inspired by. It can be a movie (link)an item (link)a designer (link), a painting (link) or a piece of music (link). Then we make something inspired by that theme or a piece of art and share it with you and each other on the 10th of the month.

You can read it on the title already, but this time we chose to be inspired by the Nutcracker. To me that's a sign of closing in Holiday season that the Finnish National Ballet puts up the posters for the Nutcracker. I've seen it many times and still remember the first times I saw it as a child. The music is beautiful, full of emotions and there's magic in the air.

It seems that we are right on the spot, or rather Marsha is, when she suggested this topic for December. As she found out later next year is a jubilee year for Tchaikovsky - 2015 marks the 175th birthday of the musical master! Even the cover or the December issue of Russian Vogue is shot inspired by the Nutcracker!

There's great many videos and snippets of the ballet available in the YouTube, but I fell completely in love by the one I embedded there above. Although I enjoy a finished look of the ballet with the costumes, lights and sets, this little window to the making of the show felt so in place. I loved seeing how the choreographer sees the little things and how the dancers mold to their touch. Absolutely captivating! And it's their second rehearsal!

But back to the ballet or rather the inspiration! The Nutcracker in a way is a mammoth of inspiration. It's a world of it's own. Even the music is so versatile and there's such a piece chunk of it that you really need to concentrate to some part of the piece in order to get anything done. 

My very fist idea was to go 3-D and build a nutcracker. Even though I know I would have enjoyed tremendously I decided against it as I simply don't have a space to store those 3-D creations and I hate throwing them away right after they are born. So something simpler in the way of the storage. Then I came to think of ATCs but as I have done so many sets recently to these Inspired by challenges, I wanted something new. My daughters are going to see the ballet in a week and I'm going to probably do layouts for them from the ballet but as the photo is such a key element in my pages, I could do the "basis" ready yet. 

Then a though popped into my head. An art journal spread. And I had the topic already - the opposite sites of the battle in the ballet, the Rat King and the Nutcracker. Here comes the shock: I've always preferred Rat King over Nutcracker. The character is so much more interesting than the nutcracker. So I decided to do a spread showing the main characters, the protagonist and the antagonist. 

I started by getting my Gelli Plate and did a haphazardous acrylic background without much thought. Just the sheer joy of applying the paints and taking the prints. I then added several patterns to the background using different stencils and the same acrylic paints. The side of the rat I kept in blue scheme but addede red and orange to the nutcracker side. On top I then added stamping, pieces of washitape and splashes of mist.

Pattern-wise I used "clock inspired" patterns as the last version of the Nutcracker that I have seen had a huge backdrop of a mechanical clock that really caught my eye. So there's circles, gears and all sorts of shapes that could be a part of an imaginary clock.

Then came the tricky part or drawing the actual Rat King and Nutcracker. For the background of those I used Soft Gel and adhered pieces of an old book to give me a place to draw. Then I took a leap of faith and just doodled a rat and a nutcracker in there. I'm quite happy with the rat but not happy at all with the nutcracker. I guess the dislike I have for the character and also to the actual appeal of the nutcracker shaped like a soldier shows. But he's in there anyhow!

For the drawing part I used a pencil, some Indian ink felt pens, Copic markers and a white Sharpie. I also softened the look partly with PanPastels and added them heavily around the characters.

Lastly I then took the white Sharpie and wrote some thoughts about the ballet and more over me being bias and liking the Rat more than the Cracker. 

I really liked doing the page and just more or less having fun with different media! It felt overwhelming at first to take on such a huge piece of music and stage splendor, but after having the idea to be inspired just by a small fraction of the mammoth, it all came together.

Thank you for stopping by today! Now please, head over to Marsha's and let's see what she has done this time!

Materials: Ranger, Prima Marketing, Tattered Angels, GelliArts, Design Memory Craft, Sharpie, 3rd Eye, Copic, Crafter's Workshop, Carabelle Studio, Teippitarha, PanPastel


Marsha Valk said...

Yay! I can see that you had fun! Love, love the spread. I read between the lines that this theme came too early in the holiday season for you. I had the same feeling! It did kick me into Christmas mode though and that was desperately needed. I can also relate to the Nutcracker being a mammoth to take on for just one measly project. It's something I love (because it means I can do anything I want and go into every direction I feel like), but it also means I have a ton of ideas that I didn't do because of time restraints. I'm so glad we chose to take it on!!!

Unknown said...

OMG!!! There is an awful lot of thought and work on those pages! The Rat King as a hero Riikka??? What does that say about you??? LOL Love your pages and the drawings <3
The white journaling against that background is sensational as are the orange stars!! FAB-U-LOUS!!

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