Earlier this month I traveled to Albuquerque, NM for an arts festival. As I prepared my pieces for display, I tried to figure out how I could inject a little more story into my paintings. And so I decided to write a few lines that I would print on the back of the 2.5″x4.5″ title/price tags. These would be story seeds, words to stir the imagination, a few lines to trigger the mind of the viewer.
Well, they ended up inspiring me as well. These lines, written in haste, almost as an afterthought, have helped me (once again) to see that writing is not this massive and unmanageable undertaking.
And so I’m writing. I’m taking a couple weeks off painting (so my Instagram feed is going to be quiet for a time) and I’m going to get a story or two out that I can turn into a picture book. In the meantime, here are a few of my favorite story seeds and the images they accompany.
“I hope I’m not too late,” Stella whispered. “How long will it take to find your places again?” After a moment she added, “We need you, you know. Father can’t find his way home without you.”
She liked the hat because it looked good with her coat. And it was warm. And it helped her see in the dark and hear the whispers of the animals in the forest.
“I think you will find,” said the owl, “that we have gone farther than you could possibly imagine.”
“I doubt it,” said Ellen. “I have a very active imagination.”
“Tell me,” said the owl, “do you recognize these stars?”
So here’s my latest painting, The Voyage of the Peacock. It’s 20″x 20″. This isn’t really about how the idea of The Voyage came to be, but the formation of the painting itself. Basically I’m going to take you through the different stages of the painting and what went on in my mind as I was painting it. So let’s start, shall we?
The House Show was a rousing success. It really was. The house was full for most of the four hours, and people came to encourage and to buy. If that was you, you have my thanks.
I was also humbled and encouraged by friends and family who agreed to help during the entirety of the show – Vince, Maci, David, Caitlin, and Rebekah – I couldn’t have done this without them. They served and in some cases strong-armed people into buying work. Who has friends like that? I do.
One of my goals going into the show was to make it engaging to a broad audience. Art seems inaccessible to viewers so often, and so I wanted to address that. I decided to print out explanations of each painting (if there was a story behind it, or if it inspired a story, or if it explored a theme). I also included cross-references to related paintings so that viewers could see which ones went together. And finally, for those who wanted even more insight into the paintings, I printed out and stuck related stories to the wall in my studio. Continue reading november 18th, 2014 – house show aftermath and your feedback