Saturday, November 17, 2007

The Dragon Riders of Nez Perez and a Rant

I painted this a while back...I was playing with using the monochromatic colors found in the photography of Edward S. Curtis to give this image an old timey feel. I've always been fascinated by Native American culture and am a huge fan of Mr. Curtis' work. The idea for this image came to me from a story I've been trying to crack for a long time. Sometimes roughing up some imagery provides a needed abstraction to dislodge an idea that is stuck in the creative mud. My mind wanders and this kind of stuff often helps me pin it down (rough as it is).

Speaking of stories...I have another rant to get off of my chest. As a young white kid growing up at the tail end of the eighties in rural Ontario, I was so full of hatred for the popular culture of the time I found most of my influences rooted in the music from a previous, cooler generation. AC/DC's "Long Way To The Top (If You Want To Rock and Roll)" is, and I will not back down from this, probably the greatest song with bagpipes ever written. Bon Scott is a hero (minus the drowning in a pool of vomit thing), and to the geeky anti-social dick-wad I was at the time, he was a voice of hope and a beacon of sanity for the future I prayed would some day come. I don't really know what that means, but when I hear Dirty Deeds, or Highway to Hell, there is some rush that fills all the lonely parts of my chubby self with a happy anger that throbs a confidence from within that usually lays apathetic and dormant in my pathetic shell. For some reason, when I hear "no stop signs, speed limits...nobody's gonna slow me down"...for that brief moment, my life is a little more awesome. F YA!
So, where am I going with all this and why bring it up now. Well, when I was fifteen I could not fully openly flaunt my love of this artform because of the lack of understanding from the ol' folks in my life (of course, that is what rock and roll is all about, but hey, I hate confrontation). So I always figured when I growed up, I would be able to rock out anywhere, anytime, because cool music is cool music no matter the genre (believe me, I put Cracklin' Rosie and The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald right up there with ol' Bon), but apparantly it t'ain't so boss. I was in the car with my gals and on the radio came "It's a Long Way To The Top..." and by the time the bagpipe solo landed, my two female kids were literally in tears of pain as if I were ramming grapefruits into their ears with a bal peen hammer, and my wife was looking at me with that same look she reserves for when I fart in public. I now realize...that nothing friggin changes! When I was a kid I was stuck tortured by the painful wailing of Celine and the soundtrack to that crappy movie Cocktail under the brutal regime of my parents, and now I'm yolked under the horrific weight of Hannah Montana, High School "the world needs to end soon please" f@#king Musical and of course Dora "everything I say I will YELL because that is how I will imprint my plot of world domination through mass marketing and the need for your children to consume my crappy stuff" the Explorer.
I will never be cool. Life is not like an eighties movie...nobody else likes your music, and you will never have your own dance spontaneously catch on to make you the most popular person on the planet for ten minutes. Thank the sweet baby Jeebus for headphones and Pina Colada coolers. I think tonight when everybody in my house goes to bed, instead of searching the internet for naked ladies (I've heard talk of people doing this), I will curl up in a quiet corner of the bathroom, behind the toilet where they say to go in case of tornadoes, and with the door locked, listen to Ride On and cry myself to sleep. Perhaps Mr. Bon Scott, Miss Joplin and that guy from the Beatles died for all of our sins. I wish the pop stars of today would do the same.

If this makes no sense then please accept my apology. I said at the top "my mind wanders" and it does.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

a trip to the museum

Took a trip to the museum this weekend. I had fun quick sketching with the tablet PC. Since these animals don't move much (considerin' they're dead, Earl), it's a lot of fun to slap down a quick coat of color.

Here are a couple of new paintings for the book. Things have slowed down quite a bit since work got busy. Still pushing to finish it some time before the world ends.

One last quick sketch of Coquette. Whipped this up sitting in a park at night. I like the fact that I can paint in the dark with the Tablet...Usually I'm sitting in a well lit room and I can sit outside with all the colors of night and still guess. I'm a hack but a happy hack....

With a really big dog.