From Le Chat Noir To My Sketchbook

Art Gallery of Alberta

While in Edmonton this past fall, I had the opportunity to visit the Art Gallery Of Alberta. I was really looking forward to this chance because, at the time, they had an exhibition on titled "Toulouse-Lautrec and La Vie Moderne: Paris 1880-1910". This exhibit featured some pieces by Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, Théophile Steinlen, and Alphonse Mucha, amoungst others. Not only are these brilliant examples of avant-garde and art nouveau, but especially loved how the art comes out in practical pieces. This wasn't just art for art's sake or paintings to be sold in galleries. These were illustrated journals and books and posters and theatre programs. This was works of their trade for them, and they still managed to convey so much passion and expression through commercial work.

As I did a couple months ago, I brought along a small notebook to sketch several of the pieces. Doing so allowed me to focus on composition and details I might have otherwise not have noticed. I've included some of these sketches below, as well as sketches from other exhibits the art gallery had running (such as their wonderful "New Lines" collection). Hope you enjoy it.

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