(Working in a cafe can be very amusing at times. One can get alllllll SORTS of fodder for paintings and stories. One of the many reasons I love working there.) I'm sure most of you reading this have at one point worked in customer service to some degree. A place where you get 'regulars' that you serve almost daily, if not multiple times in a day. Currently the cafe is making it's yearly shift from university crowd to summer crowd....so some regulars have left and we are starting to get some new ones. Well, we have this new regular now, who I've overheard chatting with some of my co-workers the last couple of days. This person is very nice....but is one of those people who finds deep meaning in EVERYTHING in their life right now. Maybe it's a phase, who knows....but you know the kind of person I mean. The one who asks you a question and you give them an honest and SHORT answer and BAM! They see right into your life and have all this insight and these questions; none of which are accurate OR really pertain to what you, or they were actually talking about. But you smile and nod and hide in the dish corner and REALLY scrub those dishes. Or, I do anyway. Then they ask what you do. Oh man. Here it comes. You're an ARTIST?! And then they proceed to interpret your work while you are standing right. there. Right there. Sigh.
Now I am not a painter who has deep and hidden meanings in my work. I love to paint, I love to travel and I paint from photos or other randomness because I want to see how it will turn out. I am NOT making fun of people who DO have hidden meanings in their paintings, or demeaning people who participate in OR facilitate art therapy. Not at all. I think those things are great and extremely helpful. For myself, I just love painting. I get frustrated reading some artist's statements or art history books with these long interpretations of what the artist was trying to get across. I mean really? At the end of the day, can't a person just like the way sunbeams fall on a chair and paint it?
So I thought maybe I would provide my OWN interpretation of one of the pieces I've finished for Whyte Ave Art Walk. Hang onto your socks. It's pretty out there! Ready?
title: arooo..... (as written on the painting)
medium: pencil, acrylic ink & acrylic on birch panel
size: 9" x 12"
concept: I like anthropomorphizing animals lately. I also really like painting plaid shirts. I haven't played crib in a while, but it happens to be one of my favorite card games which got me to thinking how I like the style of the face cards, with the upright and upside down image. That got me to thinking about how a 'Canadian' deck of playing cards might look like....so we have an animal you would find in Alberta (coyote) wearing an awesome plaid shirt, with 3 maple leaves (so, he would be the '3 of coyotes') and then for aesthetic reasons I thought it should be framed with red branches and include some red stripes in the plaid.
And there you have it. I hope I didn't lose you somewhere. If I did, my apologies....also it might be time for your second cup of coffee. Just sayin'.