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!


Tom said...

That is absolutely stunning and jaw dropping! I can't wait to see it up close and personal at the opening. This makes me want to go read the tales now and see what was going through your mind when you put this piece together. Your narrative pieces are so compelling to me, especially this one.

Mia said...

thank you Tom! Yes, you should read them.
I really hope to see you there! :)

zoe said...

This is my favorite of all your pieces, I think. There is so much in it. Thank you for sharing all your gorgeous artwork for those of us not lucky enough to live closeby!

Mia said...

wow, thanks zoe! i can't believe you made such an incredible post about me. <3