Sunday, March 29, 2009

The Product of my hiatus...

“The Inventress”
24” x 36”
Acrylic on wood

Here is what I’ve been working on for the past 5 weeks…my largest, most detailed work to date. Sorry for the size of this file, but it is very difficult to show all of it on the web—for one thing the size effect doesn’t exactly register online. It’s going for the “Overdose” Hi-Fructose group show at CoproGallery next Saturday, and will be up for the entire month of April. For those of you in the vicinity, please try to go see the show while it’s up—it really is one of the best lineups I’ve seen, and I’m hearing the work is simply breathtaking!

Here’s a little background info on mine—
This painting started off being based on the Tales of Hoffman, and in fact E.T.A. Hoffman’s literature in general. For those of you who’ve not heard of him, he is most famous for writing the Nutcracker, and most of his stories also deal with inanimate, often mechanical objects coming to life in a fantastical way. They are macabre fairy tales written in a time where Romanticism ended and the Enlightenment began, so there is always tension between the imagination and reason. There is also a fragmentary nature to the Tales of Hoffman in the many interwoven narratives, and a gothic influence through which his characters are tormented on their paths to happiness. I tried to give a sense of all this in the piece.

Interestingly for me, I noticed many parallels in these stories with the way in which my mind works during the creative process. At first glance in my mind’s eye, it appears that I have dozens of ideas vying for attention, but upon closer inspection I find that some of these are half –finished, missing an arm or a leg like some of the creatures in this piece…there are also thoughts that frighten or torment me, as well as beautiful thoughts that inspire and excite me, and these coexist side by side, creating a dynamic habitat for my new piece to be born in. Again, I wanted the objects and characters in this piece to reflect this.

Finally, it just so happens that my mind is a constant battlefield for my intellectual side and my imagination to jostle upon, much like the stuff in Hoffman’s stories…plus I couldn’t resist throwing in some of the ‘30s horror film imagery that I love so much, alongside the fanciful whimsical stuff to portray the sinister, gothic aspects of Hoffman, that lurk beneath the light-hearted magic.

As terrified as I was at first to work on so large a scale (for me), it really turned out to be a lot of fun, and I can’t wait for another chunk of time to do another. I’ve been sick this last week, but my piece is for the Roq la Rue show is all drawn out and ready to be painted starting tomorrow…and I’ve been sketching for the Corey Helford show in July. Can’t wait..!

Last but definitely not least, I have a drawing at the Hive Gallery’s 4th Year Anniversary show, which opens next Saturday as well. I didn’t get a chance to snap a shot of my drawing, but I’ll put a link to it once Nathan gets it on his site… a hearty congratulations to Nathan for the anniversary!!

For those of you who got this far, my website is now white (as of Monday in fact..) Ta!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009


"Her Lingering Shadow"
14" x 18"
Acrylic on wood.

Here is my piece for Lola’s SuperSchool Group show at Copro Nason Gallery (now/soon to be known as Copro Gallery, though I’m not sure when the transition is happening).

As I told my flickr people, this painting is based on Nancy from the Oliver Twist novel by Charles Dickens. It strikes me that people mostly remember the male characters in that story, yet she was the most interesting out of all them to me. For those of you who haven’t read the novel, it’s much darker than the 1968 film-musical. It’s set in the London slums of the 19th Century Industrial Revolution, and tells the story of the street children who are forced into lives of crime. Nancy was one such casualty, but interestingly attempts to save Oliver from this sort of life and loses her life in the process. There’s so much more to her than that, but I could write a whole essay on her if I start, haha. I’m fascinated by tragic heroines. And even though she wasn’t meant to be the heroine in the novel, I think she sort of become one. Dickens was even denounced by some for making a prostitute into a character that they could sympathize with.

So two openings this week—unfortunately I’m really backtracked on this next painting, so I won’t be able to make the San Francisco one. I’m really bummed about that, because the 4 other artists will all be there, and that was my chance to meet them all. Curses, curses. Unfortunately my sloth-like painting process rarely agrees with my intentions to leave the studio. Hopefully I’ll make up for that by attending the Superschool opening, at least that's the plan.

I’ve rambled long enough, but here are a few links...
Juxtapoz, Arrested Motion. A few of these blog sites that like posting a ton of images of each artist’s work (old work included), in no chronological order…Wicked Halo, The Chive, Taringa. Then we've got Fashion Indie, Hugo Strikes Back!, and Lis’s blog. If it weren't for the people who bring these sites to my attention, I don't know how I would have found out that these folks took the time to post some of my work for their communities. Thanks!