Picture a sun-drenched Tuscan villa after a rave party thrown by Matisse and Gauguin… That's the technicolor tsunami Mary Fedden magically brought to her canvases!

Today’s In Focus artist was born in 1915 in Bristol, UK. Although her parents did not have a particular interest in art, her uncle, Romilly Fedden—a well-known English artist and watercolourist,—encouraged her to pursue painting. Following his advice, Fedden attended the Slade School of Fine Art in London from 1932 to 1936 as a scholar.

There, she was a pupil of Vladimir Polunin, a stage designer who had worked with the Ballets Russes. This experience proved valuable later during World War II when she created stage sets for the Arts Theatre in London while working for the Land Army.

After the war, she returned to easel painting and developed her unique style of still life, influenced by artists like Matisse, Braque, Ben Nicholson, Winifred Nicholson, Anne Redpath, and Henri Hayden. Her works are characterized by bold, expressive styles with vivid colors and often depict still lifes placed against a landscape background.

In 1951, she married fellow artist Julian Trevelyan, with whom she collaborated on several projects, including a mural commission for Charing Cross Hospital (she would receive numerous such commissions for murals throughout her career).

Fedden's influence extended beyond her own work; she taught notable artists like David Hockney and Allen Jones at the Royal College of Art. Her charm even won over the art establishment, leading to her election to the Royal Academy in 1992, a testament to her ability to dazzle even the most discerning of audiences.

Dismissed by some critics as “childlike” or “decorative,” Fedden transcended labels, creating a technicolor party on her canvases and drawing inspiration from extremely diverse sources—a child's crayon drawing, an ornate Moroccan tile, or a sunbeam dancing on a wall. From this eclectic mix, she crafted vibrant masterpieces that beckon you to dive in and swim in their vivid depths.

And now, let’s see how Mary Fedden, the queen of color chaos and the mistress of mischief, is seen by Midjourney, and if you can paint your images in her bold strokes!

Mary Fedden in Midjourney

Exploring Midjourney's take on Mary Fedden's art reveals a strong connection to her real-life work. It effectively captures elements like her vibrant palette, distinct brushstrokes, and the naive charm that defines her style. Notably, Midjourney also successfully translates Fedden's fondness for depicting cats, a charming trait of her work.

In Midjourney, if your prompt lacks specific details, you'll likely see simple still lifes, often with plants. These compositions typically feature either interior or landscape backgrounds. True to Fedden’s style, the Midjourney version of her is a perfect style if you are a cat person! ^_____^

Unexpected Applications

Experimenting with Mary Fedden’s distinctive style in Midjourney presents an interesting challenge. While the AI reliably mimics her vibrant color palette, the naive quality so central to her art might be somewhat inconsistent. It's crucial to experiment with your prompts, try different wording and word order, and also not forget other Midjourney models (for instance, --niji often yields particularly curious results).

Blending Styles

When mixing Mary Fedden's name with other Midjourney styles, keep in mind that her influence might often be somewhat non-dominant.  Often, the style contributes only subtle, refined details to the mix—up to the point where it might be difficult to spot them under layers of second style. To counter that, it might be best to place her name at the start of your prompt and use the medium to give MJ some artist-related context.  Also, you can specifically “ask” Midjourney to only take part of her style for the mix. For example, you can infuse Fedden's color palette into a traditionally black-and-white photographic style.

Mary Fedden's Midjourney style is quite easy to adapt to her traditional themes, like quaint still lifes and serene landscapes. On the other hand, adding her name to other Midjourney styles, genres, or unexpected subjects takes some practice in prompt refinement. Overall, Fedden's style in Midjourney offers a unique blend of spontaneity, naivety, and sincerity, alongside the undeniable charm of adorable cats.

Until next week!
—Maria

/discuss

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All samples are produced by Midlibrary team using Midjourney AI (if not stated otherwise). Naturally, they are not representative of real artists' works/real-world prototypes.

We'll be grateful for shares and backlinks!

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