"I've always been interested in turn-of-the-century art that combines dreamlike quality with a strong design. I was influenced by both Gustav Klimt and Maxfield Parrish, so I've always wanted to do their type of romantic, symbolic work. It has a lasting quality to it."
"This is a symbolic piece, and the play of light and shadow is very important. The Beast is really the dark side of man, but through Beauty's love he can be turned into someone who is filled with light," says Blackshear. The butterflies on either side of the lovers represent the metamorphosis that pure love will eventually achieve. The design of the background, especially, elicits the finest of Klimt.
"Klimt's art achieved both individuality and extreme elegance," Blackshear explains. "Those are part of my goals, too. And themes of regeneration and love can be found in much of his work, so, in a way, my interpretation of this classic tale is a homage to him."
Thomas Blackshear's delicate attention to detail gives the finished work a special radiance, realized in the print with equally precies and beautiful Greenwich Workshop Creative Impressions styling. Bronzing enhances the flowers and leaves in the background, the Beast's earring, and the detailing on the characters' garments.
"My version of the classic story about a Beauty and the Beast
shows the union of two very different people," Blackshear says, "who share only one thing — love."