I know that is not how the song goes, and I apologize to Julie Andrews fans reading this. I too am a fan. I love 'Mary Poppins'. I am not mocking you, really I'm not. Let's see, the show at the Paint Spot came down on the afternoon of Jan 31, and then 10:30am February first, Gabriel and I set up "in & out of town" at the Sugarbowl. A couple of pieces have sold and I'm getting lots of compliments from staff and patrons alike about the paintings. I love that people are excited about my work. The thrill never wears off and I still get super excited about each sale. Today's sale was particularly cute because the gentleman bought it for his wife for Valentine's day. (heart melt)
I'll be honest, I haven't been painting much lately. I've been thinking about it (and it's the thought that counts, right?), and by thinking about it I mean planning an entire show about trees for the fall, sketching out the next few in the dandelion/crow series, finishing a tattoo design for a friend and working on a tattoo design of my own....plus illustration ideas. The idea book and sketchbook have been busy places while the studio has a rest. I'm just about to get started on some artifact drawings this afternoon, but it had been awhile since I had posted anything and I wanted to talk a bit about the latest in the dandelion/crow series. They have been posted for about a week in the gallery section here, but I've been thinking about them a lot and I wanted to share my thoughts.
Gabriel said he likes the series because I'm taking two things considered by the vast majority of people to be 'pestilent' and making it into something cool. I hadn't really thought of it that way, I just liked the idea of dandelion seeds morphing into crows and coming up with different ways to convey that kind of idea on canvas. This idea is what I based the tattoos on my forearms from. But why do I like this idea so much? What is it about it that is so fun to paint?
Well, I've always liked dandelions....ever since I was a little kid. I think they are pretty when they are in bloom, I like the way they smell, I like dandelion tea, the leaves taste great in salad (when not coated in pesticides!) and I still love blowing the seeds around. Crows are interesting because they are so smart and have so much interesting mythology surrounding them in various cultures. That and they are just a pretty black bird, that has a wide variety of chortles, and I see them everywhere, much like dandelions. I don't think of these things as pests.
Now in thinking of the imagery though, I find that I'm drawn to the 'maturing' theme of the metamorphosis from dandelion to crow. The dandelion seeds are at the whim of the wind...they can't control where they go. (It reminds me of painting ideas....they are numerous, they wander in without warning and plant themselves and then turn into something very distinct.) While the seeds are in the air at the mercy of the wind, they change into the crow, who is sometimes at the mercy of the wind, but can use it to his advantage....so he doesn't need to fly so hard. He can even choose to fly against the wind if he wants. Then, when his time is up, the crow returns to the earth, up sprouts a dandelion and the cycle continues. It's like growing up....you do what you are told, go where your parents go and are at the whim mostly of those older and wiser. Then you get your own wings, and you can go where you want and take a definite direction, or make a sudden change of direction if necessary.
There are a couple of very solid parallels to go with the neat imagery, and hopefully this helps explain why I gave the titles to these little guys that I did. If not, I hope you just enjoy them as cool paintings in a continuing series that I am working on.