I’m coming up for air after pulling a stretch in Hermit Mode — painting painting painting and staying up late (which inevitably leads to a big, bad case of the Walking Stoopids, where I plow into walls and can’t put a sentence together to save my life). Whassitallabout? I was toiling on a couple of sweet little paintings for the “Tiger Tiger Burning Bright” show at Roq La Rue in Seattle, opening this coming Friday, May 14th. If you’re in the Seattle area, swing on by because I’m gonna be there and I’d love to see you! (Yes, you.)
When I was scratching my head in that “what to paint?” phase, I was thinking about an interview I’d done recently with John Porter for Fangoria (if you missed it, you can read it right here). He asked some great questions, including some that got me thinking about some of the more raunchy, erotic stuff I’ve done. It reminded me that I have, at various times in my life, felt like it was important to me as a chick to put this kind of imagery out there, to help de-stigmatize it, but also do it with humor. ‘Cause that’s how I roll — I like a little “ha ha” with my “ooh my!” (And if you don’t like sex, erotica, whatever, that’s fine, you don’t need to write and tell me why I’m a big Abby Normal perv — save your energy and go look at some nice pictures of kittens, okay?)
So I decided to do something sort of sweet n’ saucy. I’d also just come back from NY and seen some really great little Tibetan miniature paintings at the Ruben Museum, which got me thinking about the more intimate relationship you can have with a small piece of art — something that isn’t all up in your face from across the room “look at me!”, rather something you had to get close to, have a private audience with, experience one-on-one. (These aren’t from the Ruben, I’m just impressed with the contortions.)
The other idea was that I wanted to work a little looser, like the Red Riding Hood triptych I did, because that’s fun too. (That was the original idea anyway — I ended up getting so sucked into painting tiger fur n’ wotnot that I put in way more detail than I’d originally intended. Hey, it happens.)
Did some sketches — I’d thought of doing three small pieces again, but I ended up just narrowing the “story” down to these two, and made them a little bigger than the “Red” ones….
And then paint, paint, paint. Sometimes friends will call and chat me up while I’m working — top row I’m cracking up while Michael Wertz is telling me all about Hankerchief Codes. (I had no idea….) Michael is a fantastic artist, and has illustrated some lovely childrens books. That are not about hanky codes. My friends are definitely part of my pit crew, very important to my mental health.
Then it’s off to the framer. This part feels just as important to me as anything else I do with my work, the frame is like the final brush stroke. And for over ten years now I’ve been putting my work into the capable and fabulous hands of Randy Figures at Back to the Picture on Valencia Street in San Francisco. These guys are my pit crew, and I adore them.
We look at various styles…
And then we can get to work. (Oscar builds the frames, I fit everything together and usually I’ll do the hardware too but I wanted to take pics this time, so I asked him to do it. His wires are neater than mine — bonus!)
And here’s a little taste of the finished product, all framed up in super hot, phat black bamboo n’ gold filette. This is just a tease — I know you can’t really see anything — for that you gotta come up to Seattle! Just kidding — I’ll post nice, pro-shot pics tomorrow.