New Project : Victorian Praying Mantises

Most artists I know have a few themes they revolve around. Even those that struggle with the idea that they have no ‘style’ or unifying theme to their work… they usually do. Simply put we create the things we like.

I like bugs. Huge horns on rhino beetles… fur coat wearing moths…. most have a variety of textures to play with…. and of course my favorite feature… huge eyes.

Praying mantises are my favorite and I have circled back from my previous seahorse fetish to focus on the mantises.

Enter the setting…. I have lately been consumed with all things victorian. I’ve recently bought an old victorian house that I posted about here.. Been a while… , and I’ve always been drawn to the ornateness (dare we say gaudy?) of the victorian decorating style. I also love the victorian bustle style dress, it looks like dessert to me.

If you’ve stayed with me this far we’re coming to the point…. praying mantises seem to be physiologically designed for the bustle dress…. who else’s butt sticks out that far naturally? I toyed with this idea quite sometime ago… Victorian praying manis and I think I’ve let it simmer long enough.

I propose to complete a fairly large (30 – 50 pieces at least) body of work devoted to exploring this theme. I have never undertaken a project like this and am quite excited at where it might take me.

I spent today at a local antiques mall buying up some beautiful frames….

victorian art frame
victorian painting frame

I am really loving the way these frames were works of art on their own… and if anyone wants to give the rabbi a home, sans frame, let me know… he looks kinda sad to find himself in my overly gentile home 🙂

victorian mirror frame
victorian mirror frame

Squeeeeee! look at this one!!! What can I say but I’m going to have to work long and hard to produce a work of art that can out-shine this baby!

bubble glass victorian frame
bubble frame victorian frame

I have a pair of these… simple, yes, but they have bubble glass which I’ve only recently discovered so I’m very very pleased to find them. I think they need a couple ‘cameo’ style victorian mantises painted for them.

In my next post I’ll show a few more frames, some of my preliminary sketches and insight into my brainstorming for ideas.


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