22 April 2011

World Cat & World Chair

each: 40" x 30", oil on canvas, 2005, NFS (recycled)

Happy Earth Day!

I did these two paintings live in front of an audience while my friends (in their band at the time, Uncle Seth) played raucous rock music. It was part of a regular event in Kensington Market in Toronto called Pedestrian Sundays, where various streets in the neighbourhood are closed to cars so people can walk, bike, dance, skip, and/or frolic about freely (click that link for much more info).

So my friends set up their gear on the sidewalk underneath Krista's then-apartment above the then-egg-shop on Augusta Ave. and I set up my gear just off to the side. I roughed-in the pencils for these paintings beforehand so I would have some kind of guide and then went at it with the paints while the band played and people watched. It was a lot of fun.

My inspiration for these "live paintings" was the master of live painting, Denny Dent, and I hope to one day try his fantastic approach. As it was, my own live paintings were quite controlled...but still very fun, especially with the loud music right next to me, urging me on. Did I mention that it was a lot of fun?

Being Pedestrian Sunday, I wanted my paintings to reflect my interest in and concern for the global environment, so I chose two images based on sculptures from the Kensington neighbourhood that featured globes (there are other such sculptures decorating Kensington, but these two were the most appropriate).

World Cat's text is a line from the R.E.M. song Can't Get There from Here (from their album Fables of the Reconstruction), and World Chair's text is the opening line from the Midnight Oil song Warakurna (from their album Diesel and Dust).

In keeping with the theme of environmental concern, these two canvases were eventually reused and now are host to two new and different images (but I don't know which new paintings they became).

PS: Yes, Krista and I stencilled a bunch of "David Suzuki for PM" shirts and sold out that weekend.

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