Friday, October 19, 2018

"Frankenstein is Served", for the FRANKENSTEIN MEETS LITTLE WOMEN Art Show

"Frankenstein Meets Little Women: 
A Monster Mash"

"Frankenstein is Served", Oil on wood Oval, 18 x 24

Brand new art...! 

Frankenstein. Little Women.  Two highly beloved literary classics.  And both celebrating milestone anniversaries this year, the first having been written 200 years ago by Mary Shelley, with the second written 150 years ago, by Louisa May Alcott. Whatever would happen if you squished these two seemingly very dissimilar subject themes together....?  

Why, the 'Frankenstein Meets Little Women: A Monster Mash' art show of course!  

Event conceptualized and organized by Valerie E. Weich

The brainchild of curator and historical reenactment artist, Valerie E. Weich,  the "Frankenstein Meets Little Women" art show opens this weekend (Sat, 10/20) in South Pasadena, CA, and I was so delighted and honored to have been invited to participate.  Long standing literary fan and independent scholar, Valerie Weich had a vision for a multi-faceted art/literary experience, which, with much careful thought and planning upon her part, has come to fruition.  She has put together such a comprehensively entertaining and educational event -- complete with artist panel discussion, a living history performance, a movie screening, an educational lecture plus special opening and closing parties, all in conjunction with a fascinating art show by a fine group of hand-selected artists -- that my only regret is not being able to make the show in person myself (really sad about that!)....: 

So upon having been asked to participate, how in the world was I to tie together these two classic tomes in one painting?  All while keeping within my own particular artistic approach and style...?  

Norman Rockwell's "Freedom from Want"

One of the predominant themes running through both novels is Family.  Obviously, "Little Women" is all about Family, featuring as it does the four March sisters, and their beloved mother, Marmie.  But the story of Frankenstein is about family too -- or the lack of it in The Creature's case -- and how The Creature, isolated and apart, longs for the acceptance and belonging of a family, hurtfully rejected as he is by his own creator.  I tossed around a few concepts for my entry into the show until given a really juicy suggestion by Valerie herself that I felt I could truly run with -- that being the spoofing of Norman Rockwell's classically quintessential family-themed artwork, "Freedom from Want"....:

"Frankenstein is Served" (or, is it 'severed'...?) on a large oval plaque

And there you have it: "Frankenstein is Served", in which we have The Creature featured and meeting all the girls of 'Little Women" (Jo, Meg, Beth and Amy March), along with Mary Shelley his literary Creator), her famed poet husband, Percy Shelley, Louisa May Alcott, Marmie...,!  (Because I couldn't very well parody Mr, Rockwell's famous painting and his wee cameo without including my own little selfie now could I...?).

And if you happen to be in the L.A. area this this week, consider going to see this this amazing show....!  Click this link to read what the South Pasadean has to say about it.

Private Commission, 'Hijabi', 09/2017

"Hijabi", acrylic 4' x 4' canvas 2017

Another interesting 2017 project!  A Muslim customer was planning a large party for her daughter upon the daughter's decision to take up in the Islamic tradition of wearing the hijab.  My customer supplied for me a very large canvas -- much, MUCH bigger than I typically work (4 feet by 4 feet) -- and asked for a simplified abstracted work in particular colors, featuring a Hijabi in silhouette.  This was a fun challenge because I don't often work in abstract, and certainly not this big.

The painting as displayed at the special event....

Private Commission: "Still. Life" 04/17

"People have to do what they want to do..."

-J. Mascis

"Still. Life." Oil on Found Wood, by Private Commission 12 x 13  2017

This as a really fun privately commissioned project.  My customer had requested a painting to present as a wedding gift for two very close friends.  I was told the groom was a huge fan of the musician J. Mascis, of the band Dinosaur Jr., while the bride was a huge fan of Frida Kahlo.   The painting was to somehow feature both subjects.  And oh by the way, can the painting also include the marrying couple's two beloved pet kitties...???   But of course! 

Digging around in my stash of found wood to use, I came across this old 12 x 13 cabinet bottom that I'd grabbed off a curb many moons ago. Perfect...!

The shape of the cabinet bottom, with its little notches into the top two corners, allowed for some creative wire hangery....: 

Eye hooks placed in the notched corners for hanging wire

A fun project overall, which I heard was well received by the gift recipients (yay!).

"Still. Life", featuring J. Mascis and Frida Kahlo


Boneyard Art Festival 2017: "Medusa"

"You only have to look at the Medusa 
straight on to see her.  And she's not deadly.  
She's beautiful, and she's laughing..."

~Helen Cixous

"Medusa", for the Boneyard Art Festival, April/2017

Hello, little neglected blog.  Didn't mean to be absent quite so long!  Yet, as always happens, I will eventually find my way back in here.... 

 This time around it's been a few privately commissioned projects, including a particularly large one, that have been keeping me busy behind-the-scenes and away from my usual artistic pursuits.  Such as the Nibblefest Art Contest.  I'm missing it...!  Hoping to get back into the Nibblefest groove in the next couple of months. In the meantime I'm needing to update with a few past projects that for some reason (I guess because they were local...?) never made their way into my blog.  Since I do like to keep this little virtual space as documentation for my own reference, I'm updating now.

"Medusa", April 2017

And so here we have the Medusa. 
There's an annual art event in my locality, known as the Boneyard Arts Festival (named after a little creek that meanders through the town).  The fest runs over a weekend every April, with shows and events at multiple venues all over the city.  Last year (2017) I was invited to hang a painting with the Twin City Derby Girls, our local roller derby team, as they hosted a gallery venue at their practice space. This was my piece for their show....:

"Medusa"  7 x 9 shield-shaped plaque

I had had this old, shield-shaped wooden plaque in my stash for the longest time.   It was high time to use it, and what better subject to feature upon a shield, than Medusa...?   Not to mention what better subject to feature for a showing with the Roller Derby girls, than a Medusa on a shield....?  It all seemed entirely appropriate.

Thank you, Twin City Derby Girls...!