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Oklahoma
posted: September 26, 2010
Oils on Strathmore...
Must be the season as I'm seeing another Oklahoma poster. I worked on one as well back in March. It was for the Arena Stage in Washington, DC advertising this fall's production of Oklahoma. The assignment was with SpotCo in New York. I know another Drawger who has done quite a bit of great work for the Arena Stage is Jody Hewgill, plus Paul Rogers has also done great looking work with SpotCo. It was interesting for me because, Nicky Lindeman, the art director chose my more traditional/older approach of working. That is my older work using a more traditional painting approach in oils. My first assignments when starting out in my career were all oils(oils with an alkyd based drier) on strathmore. It's not very often these days I illustrate entirely in oils. Most assignments for me are digital based, or with brush work scanned in for development. Nicky asked for a regionalist flavour, and a lot of area for type. The emphasis for the art was the land, and a somewhat grittier tone from the traditional Oklahoma imagery. The Arena Stage production of Oklahoma opens October 22nd, through to December 26th in DC.
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15 comments
Victor Juhasz September 26, 2010
Really beautiful. Iconic.
John Hendrix September 26, 2010
Really nice concept on this- subtle. I bet it looks great printed big.
MF September 26, 2010
Love those leaves!
Kyle T Webster September 27, 2010
This is gorgeous, Doug!
Harry September 27, 2010
This is an assignment I wouldnt get a call for, but you can go from Ford Mustangs to dancing cowboys with aplomb. Well done sir. Would like to see it wit the headline-or maybe not....
Paul Rogers September 27, 2010
I like everything about this, Nicky called the right guy.
Douglas Fraser September 27, 2010
When I received a message from my agent, that the opportunity to work on a poster for the Arena Stage, I was very excited. After learning that it was for a musical I was a little confused. Nicky Lindeman had a vision of what she was aiming for. It truly was a collaborative process of back & forth that had me look back at some of assignments of twenty years ago. For me I wanted to speak with a regionalist tone, but somewhat updated. Something like a Jack Kirby-Thomas Hart Benton americana. The traditional imagery for Oklahoma is almost utopian, and the requested direction was different. It was an interesting process, one that had me challenging a tradition, and an icon. Thanks for your comments.
Jim Paillot September 27, 2010
Absolutely terrific. Love the bold colors and tone and the witty concept. I am a huge fan of Benton and I do think you nailed the regionalism thing. Those leaves are captivating.
fuchs September 27, 2010
hate musicals. love this!
Dale Stephanos September 28, 2010
I love this Doug. Really beautiful. The old medium holds up well.
Tim OBrien September 28, 2010
Great design Doug and the surreal dress pulls it all together. Way to put your stamp on this idea.
Alex Nabaum September 28, 2010
Love how her hair echoes the leaves. And that center corn tassel looks like a hand that wants to dance with her.
Ellen Weinstein September 28, 2010
I'll second Fuchs. Strong design, love it!!
Douglas Fraser September 29, 2010
It did reconnect me with some of my early prairie influences. The strong light of the prairies, and hard shadows are from Alberta. It was discovering painters like Benton that struck such a strong feeling in me as a young painter. Many of of the American regionalists painters spoke to me very strongly even though I had grown up in Canada. I believe their work represented a voice that flowed down the middle of North America on great plains. It does possess a undeniable nostalgia, but the discovering of it for me was a revelation at the time. It was not dealt with in my art history classes in Canada. Ironically it was a field trip to New York in my third year of art college that I found myself thumbing through books at the Museum of Modern Art book store which introduced to those painters. There were similar painters in Canada, just never made the impact as the bigger named Americans. The work for me was just so... North American. It was a voice created from here, with aspirations of more, yet struggled I suppose with the strength of more contemporary painting from larger urban centers. Still I have a great respect for the work of those masters, Benton, Curry, Wood....
Mark McBride October 1, 2010
Country scenes are not my favs but I can appreciate it this. Like the way the figures jump out of the scene. Gives me some ideas.
All images copyright Douglas Fraser