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Showing posts from August, 2008

All That Glitters

Image
15" x 22", watercolour, 1998, private collection
This is a painting of Elaine Secord, the singer for a Toronto band called Squirm that broke up years ago. The title is taken from my second favourite song of theirs (my favourite being "Cold," the title track from their 1998 CD). They were a great high-energy band and Elaine's vocals were part of the draw for me.

The subsequent paintings she's in are all based on photos from the shoot we did for that CD. When I saw this strong profile I immediately was reminded of Alphonse Mucha's posters (he was inspiring a lot of my work at the time) and I just had to paint it with a few Mucha-esque elements (the circular motifs, the curls of her hair, the heavy outline).
Graphite sketch.
Mostly, this sketch was to experiment with the possibility of an art nouveau background, and not to assign a specific motif or pattern.

I did an abstracted version of this called Raise the Roof.



Raise The Roof

Image
30" x 40", oil on canvas, 2007

I really like the way it came out because it's super colourful.

Part of my Echoes series, this is my abstraction of my original watercolour painting All That Glitters.


Timing is Everything

Image
22" x 15", watercolour, 1998, private collection
Like Krista Mindies Gaudi, this painting is made up of two separate photos: one of the model (familiar? she's also featured here) in my studio and one of a street in Montreal during a trip I took about a year beforehand.
It's pretty unlucky to have the buckle of your shoe come undone as you're crossing a busy street...but timing is everything.
I made a second painting featuring a closer shot of the buckle situation but with one of my abstract stained glassy backgrounds. For fun. But I guess they could go together like a comic strip to heighten the drama of her peril: does she finish in time? Does that bus hit her? Or do a bunch of people just get really pissed off?
You be the judge:
Timing is Everything 2
11" x 15", watercolour, 1998, private collection


Off the Record

Image
16" x 12", oil on canvas, 2007
This one's another one that I can clearly see the original painting (Timing is Everything)...if I squint --so maybe it's not so clear after all...

wall

Image
15" x 22", watercolour, 1998, private collection

Featuring the same model (an Ashley, but not a Winning) from "A Shiver in My Bones" (and several others, as you'll eventually see) and a portion of another song lyric. This time it's Michael Penn's "Figment" from his 1997 album, Resigned. The model's defensive posture has been interpreted by some as a response to physical abuse. I intended it as someone throwing up a wall against creepy, ungrateful people in general. Judge for yourself.

Ashley's parents liked this one so much they bought it on sight.

The word "wall" is written with a regular piece of charcoal and the smaller text was done with a charcoal pencil.

Sketch.
I moved that body of text to the upper left corner in the final painting to open up the area in her line of sight (even though her eyes are closed). 

Famous Last Words

Image
30" x 40", oil on canvas, 2007

It's been said that even abstract paintings tell a story --not from the imagery itself, since it's non-figurative and non-narrative by nature, but from the viewer's knowledge of the artist. The story of the artist becomes the story of the painting.
That said, I'll reveal to you the history of these Echoes and you can piece together a story from that.

They began, like most of my paintings, as ideas of what I'd like to see paintings of. This early stage consists of a lot of sketching...and getting ispiration from watching movies, looking through art books and magazines, and listening to a lot of music. Hard work.

The paintings the Echoes are based on are figurative and the next stage for that kind of picture is finding a model. Usually, I wait until I've gathered about a dozen or so sketches of poses I'd like to paint (and there's always room for improv) before looking for somebody. This approach is why you'll…

Anywhere but Here

Image
22" x 15", watercolour, 1998, private collection
Same green sweater (and model) as "mad.", but with a different complimentary colour for the background. Also much less ribbing detail in the sweater.

This painting's title is also taken from a song title. This time it's Rush from their 1993 album, Counterparts.


Finders Keepers

Image
40" x 30" oil on canvas, 2007

Part of my Echoes series, this is my abstract version of my original watercolour painting Anywhere But Here.