There are some images you see as a child, that truly shape who you are. Whatever the reason for it, the minute you see the image it becomes seared into your psyche and is referenced in your decision making process for the rest of your life.
For me that image was a black refrigerator magnet with a grey/silver drawing on it. It was a poured item and the drawn lines on it were raised from the background. The image was of an owl swooping down on a mouse. The mouse held a pistol behind his back. Underneath it said, “That’s confidence.”
I have spent an unreasonable amount of time thinking about this. Not to mention the amount of time I spent trying to draw it. In my mind the pistol, and even the notion of fighting back disappeared over time.
The idea of it representing confidence even became nonsense. Seriously, no gun that a creature the size of a mouse could hold and fire would ever be able to stop, let alone kill an inbound owl with hunger on its mind.
And as I got older and became aware of philosophies like stoicism and transcendentalism… I adopted ideas like “no fear, no regrets” and chose to live my life by them. Pirate concepts like “No quarter asked, and none given” became my rallying cry.
When I look back at the directions I took philosophically. It is all rooted in that image.
Well I replaced the mouse’s gun with a middle finger, and instead of staring at the owl, he is looking off to the side, to whatever it is that he wants to look at.
His death isn’t important. The way he is choosing to live is.
“Elige Bene Mori” is latin for choose a good death. I encourage you to embrace this notion and hold it close to your heart. The original painting in gouache on watercolor paper is not currently for sale, but you can purchase prints of it through my account at Fine Art America, HERE.
Its been a few months since I posted anything here. I would like to say it is because I have been super busy and just haven’t had time to share.
The truth is that this is pretty typical for me.
I have still been making art…just not as intensely. I still have a bunch of art I want to share, talk about, and even sell… but I am revisiting how I want to go about that. And a bunch of other side thoughts that have nothing to do with this post.
What does have to do with this post is bright colors, skeletons, hallucinogens, water color brush pens, and bristol board.
It was fun to draw and even more fun to “research” having mushrooms on the brain.
Currently I do not have any prints of this being sold, but depending on how I move forward, that is likely to change.
The painting I am putting up today is one of the first ten or so oils I painted.
The style is undeveloped, and I still had not (not that I ever excelled at it) learned to show depth with color and shadow.
What I did know how to do was conceptually explore my mental state and where I was at a particular time in such a way that just a glance at the image reminds me of where I had arrived.
This painting is emblematic of part of my personality and personal philosophy that makes most people uncomfortable. It is a traditional oil on a 16×20 stretched canvas.
At an early age I figured out (by rough experience) that the people or things you idolize and/worship are not only seldom worthy of even your adoration, let alone being placed on a pedestal; no, most of them are not even worthy of being in your life.
And once you recognize that they are not, they should be removed. In this case by pushing them far away on a space bridge and then into a giant hell furnace while the moon smiles on.
So make the moon happy, analyze your idols and get rid of the ones that don’t fit. Be careful though, it is addictive and at a certain point purging gets lonely.
Pro-tip for that- there are 9 billion people on the planet, they can’t all suck, and you don’t have to idolize them.
Some of my most emotional paintings and drawings have very little and sometimes nothing to do with me. They are expressions of empathy.
Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t think I am an “empath” or some kind of weird woo woo shit. But I do believe that there is a bit of a collective energy in whatever space you are in.
During the pandemic, I think we all got caught up in a bit of an emotional feedback loop. And it was not overwhelmingly positive.
For me the key to dealing with it was expression. I found ways of burrowing into my mind and channeling whatever I found onto paper. Then end result of that was that I have been as creative in the last year as I have ever been in my life.
The mid range result of that is I created a lot of dark images.
Which brings us to todays work. I saw a lot of people pushed to the breaking point over the last year and that too found its way onto paper…
This piece is done with sharpies, brush pens, and of course a white gel pen.