Showing posts from May, 2011

Adjust the Pressure

There's nothing quite like an artform to work as a metaphor for living - the need for practice, refinement and constant observation and focus brings all those qualities into life itself.... or at least, it's always a work in progress.

One of the first things you learn as an artist is how to not be intimidated by a blank start. No matter what you think you're about to create, how stable the vision, how seriously you've planned the line, content, colour and light, always start by making a mark. So that you're not facing a blank slate anymore.
The second thing you learn (and learn and learn) is how to deal with the necessary commentary and feedback that is about YOUR work. Many non-artists don't think about how connected you will be to the finished result, and they want to be honest; so you have to begin with being honest - about what you're saying through your work, the degree to which you have accomplished the translation of that vision, and really, how hard…

The Internal Portrait

When I used to paint portraits, the clients always wanted to see themselves and loved ones in a specific emotional environment or state of being. Every now and then, I'd get lucky (like the portrait left) where I got to choose how to portray them, what feeling and essence would be instilled in the work. For example, this painting 'Beautiful Beloved' was commissioned by the girlfriend as a gift for the boyfriend. I saw this as an opportunity to 'bless' their relationship, and used the most eternal bond in fantasy that there is - the vampiric mythology - to depict them as soul mates in the most potent sense of the word. Needless to say, they are now happily married with children.

In recent times, I'm not as passionate about portraiture that is about the outside - seeing one's own face in a certain way, in a certain setting, yes, we all love being able to view ourselves through a particular lens, we all want to see what everyone else sees. But what about the q…

The Oh-so Controversial Fairy

It's always amazing to me what people find "confrontational" -  possibly because I've always been taught that the truth sets you free, I look for and absorb every thing, idea and emotion that leads to personal liberation. If I find an idea distasteful, I have to ask myself what it is that I'm trying to avoid - its reality, or its illusion?

The painting here "Sprite" was in a local cafe in a solo exhibition of mine, where it was acknowledged that it had to be deemed appropriate for the location and the patronage.
Inside of a week, there were four complaints over this artwork, forcing the cafe owners to take it down. The local mothers had felt that it was far too adult for them to expose to their children.
When I posted this news on the internet, the general reaction was that the children weren't the ones troubled by the art, the mothers were - in a time when clothing catalogues, advertising on television and even on bus stops has changed the public d…