Last week I talked about how my painting career was delayed by the fact that I just didn’t know what to paint. So I picked a subject—weird things happening on the moon—and just dove in head first. As I said, this was a great strategy that I recommend to anyone who doesn’t know how to get started. It turns out that one idea, even if it isn’t great, just seems to lead to more ideas. Not that doing moon paintings wasn’t a great idea. I still like it to this day!

So believe it or not, the moon paintings lead directly to my next series, the paintings of human/animal hybrids or chimeras that I called Managerie. The first painting in the series is titled: Elizabeth II, by the Grace of God of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and of Her other Realms and Territories Queen, Head of the Commonwealth, Defender of the Faith. That’s one of her actual titles and it’s so ridiculous it just had to be the title of the painting, but that was decided after the painting was finished. That’s important, because as you’ll see, this was going in a different direction at first.

All I knew was that I had wanted to some paintings about humanity’s connection to the animal world through evolution and our general love of animals and the natural world in general. Painting the Queen with a part corgi face seemed like a great start.

So how did the moon paintings lead to that, you ask? Well, as you know, I was still working on doing strange things happening on the moon, and this seemed like an extension of that. You can see in that early in the process, the Queen was being painted as though she was on the moon! If I recall correctly, I was thinking of titling it Queen of the Moon at the time. I eventually painted over the moon hills and a new series, independent of that last one was born! Have a look at the Menagerie page in my portfolio.