Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Explaining "Night Flying Femlin"

This past week I puppy sat for my friend Joanie. She actually owns the original "Night Flying Femlin" so I was able to sit on her couch and look at the painting again, remembering. It is refreshing to be able to look at the painting after not seeing it for awhile. Here are some of the thoughts that I had while looking at it.

"Night Flying Femlin" 24 x 36 inches acrylic on canvas 2005.

"To Fly" 24 x 36 inches acrylic on canvas 2002.

I remembered its process. I started the painting as a progression of an earlier painting, "To Fly," before I left for Costa Rica. I was not able to finish it before I left so it sat incomplete for three months. While I was in Costa Rica I made a bunch of paintings that leaned toward even brighter colors and more childlike figures. Upon returning home I could not finish the painting as I began it, I had to rework parts especially the figure and her bird. She became more of a spirit/goddess than a real human. The bird balancing in her hand is an extension of her, the invisible part made visible. When surfing we collaborate with the wave and its energy I think the painting presents this, as well as the idea of balancing opposing and uncontrollable forces.

Sitting in front of the painting I realized how much time went into putting outlines on all the tendrils. I remembered how I did one and how the painting came together because of it and at the same time dreading the fact because of how long I knew it would take to do each one correctly. The painting was a bridge from being in Costa Rica to coming home for me so in a way the figure is me, though it could be anyone who can identify with her balancing act.

The name of the painting was originally just "Night Flying" then an Australian publication renamed it "Night Flying Femlin," probably because they could not resist or liked the word, Femlin, that they coined. I kept the change because it offered a way to explain the figure. Since then I have explored the same composition three more times; however, I think "Night Flying Femlin" is still the most poignant.

"Cloud Riding" 24 x 36 inches acrylic on canvas 2007.

"Boyfriend" 24 x 36 inches acrylic and mixed media on canvas 2009.

"Girlfriend" 24 x 36 inches acrylic and mixed media on canvas 2009.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Another collaboration in the works.

Cyrus Sutton, Director of Under the Sun, wrote me the other day. We had corresponded previously about trying to work on something together or providing artwork for an animation. Well, he wanted an image of Boyfriend, currently on display at the Oxbow store in Anglet, France, to use in an animated sequence for his latest project: Korduroy.tv

I am excited to see how he adds to the image and makes it move.

Screen printing: different substrates

I am enjoying my screen printing class so much. I pulled the design below on three different substrates, handmade Khadi Paper, hand-me-down printing paper from J and Canvas.

Khadi Paper:

Printing paper:

Canvas ( I actually have two of these. I gave them a denim jean edge and backing so that they are coasters):

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Collaboration: writing + illlustration

I asked my friend, Fabrice Le Mao, if we could collaborate on something. Since he is a writer, native language French, he sent me this small writing in English:

He hasn't shaved in two week. Out of laziness, he tends to think. Not the lonely man laziness or the "laissez aller" à la Barfly... No, it's more out of a nonchalant mix in between being curious to see my face with a lot of hair on it, having a lame razor that seems to like it when it peels my skin off and pushing the day when I'm gonna have to do it for a good reason. It's funny... He spent a little more time in front of my mirror now. He recognize those eyes but the rest is not really what he's familiar with. A lot of hair everywhere. Black hairs, grey hairs... Who's this guy? A normal guy. An everyday type of guy. He seems to look at his life's story while staring at his face, but he can't help but dreams of another story for his life. A story sans the « faux pas » and the shenanigans. A story without all the boring and tasteless episodes that life seems to throw at you if you don't care for it. « Because people usually fuck up their life from boredom », he thinks. His life has been a rollercoaster or so it seems until, for no reasons at all staring at his face in the bathroom’s mirror, he compared it to James Bond's. The very thought of this makes him smile. His eyes focus on the little riddles around his eyes now and, thanks to the extra hair, he likes them. His life seems so boring compared to Bond’s, he could die from boredom. He grins and breath and relaxes from this thought : "What if my life was much quieter… like an office clerk? What would it be working from 9 to 5 doing the same exact shit over and over?" The hair still seems powdered with salt but it's ain't that bad. The beard definitely has a "barfly" flavor but that's okay too. What about that novel he's been trying to finish about this guy who tries to save a fucked up world that’s falling apart?... Well, stepping back, the world is not falling apart. It may be the world like we used to know, like we used to think it was going to be… but Earth, that dear old planet will still hold and support life long after we'll be gone. It's up to us to figure out if we want to be a part of it or not. »
The man in the mirror seems familiar but there is a twist somewhere. « The idea behind the novel doesn't reflect who I am, what I've been becoming and all those thoughts that obsess me… There is no God. It's only the Principle of Life. Life is the only constant form in the Universe. From the molecules up to the galaxies, it is the Principle of Life in full effect. Praying God is praying life. However I'm looking at it, I can't find another explanation... and I'm not only talking about the "God gave us free will" shit! Coming down to an earthly and human point of view we have the free will to not fuck up our own life if we fight hard enough for it. And that’s the motto in the Great Principle of Life : if we screw you get screwed. Nobody gave us the directions for use. And up until our last breath we are still learning about life. Nobody said it was gonna be easy. An ironic voice somewhere inside his head says: "like love, Baby!"... Yeah right, like love... Love erected as the perfect reflection of the Principle of Life. It's been a minute and fourteen seconds since he sent her a text message and his phone vibrates.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Loveswell Set: Before and After



And the creative promotional version: