variations on a theme

I've noticed some artists -- of any media -- really dig themes. Sometimes they switch themes dramatically or the themes gradually morph into something else over time. Sometimes we just seem to find a topic we want to explore and need to do so until we've worked it out of our system in a satisfactory manner. Or until we are just 'done' with it. I tend to flit about with my 'themes'. I find it hard to stick to one because there are just so many things I want to paint. Where did I travel last? What neat set-up or bit of lighting caught my eye today? I almost wonder sometimes if I have creative ADD. I've been getting better at sticking with themes in the last few years. Lately I've been working on a lot of pieces about alleyways and/or graffiti. I keep coming back to anti-portraits, even though I don't officially start on that project until the fall. My favorite theme however, is one I am reminded of daily on my commute to and from the cafe;

that darn Gateway Motel sign that I like so much.

gateway motel II, mixed media on canvas, 30x30, SOLD, 2013

gateway motel II, mixed media on canvas, 30x30, SOLD, 2013

gateway motel I, mixed media on birch panel, 8x10, SOLD, 2013

gateway motel I, mixed media on birch panel, 8x10, SOLD, 2013

gateway motel sign at sunrise, mixed media on canvas, 30x30, SOLD, 2014

gateway motel sign at sunrise, mixed media on canvas, 30x30, SOLD, 2014

the vacancy, mixed media on canvas, 30x36, $1620, 2015

the vacancy, mixed media on canvas, 30x36, $1620, 2015

I thought this was the 5th time I had painted this sign, but it's only the 4th according to my digital archive. The last photo (the vacancy) is the most recent version, and is painted from an Instax photo I took of the sign last summer. I've another instax photo of it that I would like to paint, so there will be a fifth variation in the not-so-distant future. Maybe even a sixth.

I'm excited to share the Toronto graffiti alleyway series that is emerging from the past few weeks, but that is still a few weeks away. So much color, wild brush strokes and colorful ink spatter. They've been a lot of fun to paint. Tomorrow I switch it up a bit and outline 2 oceanscapes from photos I took at Peggy's Cove and Kejimkujik Seaside Adjunct in Nova Scotia during our visit in September.

Did I tell you yet the Bearded Dude and I are planning an epic road trip this coming September to Alaska? Road side coffee stops. Pipe smoking. Wilderness wandering. Space! Kilometers and miles of it. It'll be glorious! A new theme? Maybe. Or a variation of a reoccurring theme, at the very least; the on-going painting of the archive of my memories. A life long theme.

Not a bad way to spend a life.