Sunday, September 18, 2011

Underwater Creatures

I've started the next project, which is a skull with mutant deep sea creatures exploding out of a hole. In ancient times, trepanation, or cutting a hole in the skull, was used to release evil spirits. In conjunction with the painting, which will be 24 x 18, I'm doing small 5 x 7 studies of the critters so I can work out difficult items like wings, scales, etc.

I did a painting of a skull with deep sea creatures in its head several years ago, but the painting was not successful. The head was supposed to be like an aquarium, but getting the effect of glass was difficult and didn't work. However, the painting, which I kept, has been helpful for this new project.

I have the final drawing done, and two of the critters fairly well developed, and four others that are blocked in with body color. The background on the large painting is done, but I need to paint in the skull before I add the creatures.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Getting Ready for the next exhibit

This fall is shaping up to be a very busy season for me. I am in the midst of getting ready for a solo exhibit at Modern Eden, a very cool gallery specializing in surrealism, in North Beach, San Francisco. The show will open on Saturday, November 12. In addition, I will also be participating in San Francisco Open Studios, Weekend 3, October 15 and 16, at South Beach Artist Studios, 340 Bryant Street.

I've been pulling some long days at the studio, and have worked there for 14 days straight, in order to get several new pieces done. In late July, I finished "Elegy" which depicts a skeleton adoring some brightly colored doves. The birds are an extinct species, the passenger pigeon. The painting was very involved, and took over two months to complete.

I'm now working on two anatomical chimpanzees. One is shown holding the flayed skin of a human. The other painting in process shows a chimp contemplating a chimpanzee skull - this was inspired by a etching by the master Andreas Vesalius. The chimp paintings should be finished in a week or so, and then I'll be starting on a skull with a hole cut in it, with ghostly mutant deep sea fish emerging. The concept is based on the practice of "trepanation" or cutting holes in the skull for medicinal purposes. This practice has been around since the stone age. In the painting, however, trepanation is releasing dark forces from the skull.