So last week I talked about some of the various painting series that I’ve done that didn’t really go anywhere and as I was writing it I realized that some of them did in fact go somewhere. And that they may be ideas that I can–and probably should return to at some point. I’m looking at you, Panspermia series. I’m not so much thinking of the Pareidolia series–that one really didn’t amount to much–but no one says I can’t put that concept into some of my future work, so who the hell knows?
The fact is there are a number of other series that I started, usually based on doing a painting that really worked and thinking that maybe I could do more of them. I recently talked a little bit about one of those series after Chadwick Boseman sadly passed away last month (see Instagram or Facebook). I had this idea that it would be funny to do a painting of Hugh Jackman as Wolverine holding a cat with his “claws” out. It was kind of a silly idea, but I also think there was more to it than just plain silliness. It kind of humanized the Superhero. Full disclosure–I’m not a big fan of the genre, is Wolverine a hero or a villain? Yikes! I should know that! Anyway, people seemed to really be amused by it, so I thought Superheroes and even other characters posing with their pets could be a series of paintings.
The good thing about this is, it kept me in the studio even if I knew deep down it would kind dead end itself. But I really do like a few of them. I think one of the big flaws in the series was that I had to work off of photos, and I really felt that the photos needed to be iconic ones, like this one of Thanos (now he is a villain–I have seen a few of these movies) with his pet mouse Sweetie Pie (he told me the name, I didn’t make it up). Painting off of iconic photos of characters, which I figure is one of the ‘hooks’, (something instantly recognizable that people can relate to, and then having something unexpected happening) made this series untenable. It felt like I was kind of forcing it by the end, as in the painting of Wonder Woman and her Dog and the one of Iron Man and his turtle (see today’s Instagram or Facebook post and hit “like” while you’re at it!).
But as I say I do like some of these, such as this one of Mulder and Scully in this iconic pose in which I added their pet–which had to be an alien–so why not a Porg? So am I likely to go back to this series? Probably not. But would I paint Super Heroes in my Cubist inspired style? I probably will eventually, though I’m always surprised at how the geeky stuff I post to Instagram and Facebook seems to get less attention than some of the other stuff. Well, I suppose, it’s all pretty geeky, but I suspect most you know what I mean.
But anyway, these characters could be particularly interesting fodder for the Cubism work and that’s partly because of one aspect of these paintings that I didn’t enjoy the first time I painted them. And that is the ridiculous amount of detail that is in some of the costumes that were designed for these characters. Don’t get me wrong, the designs are impressive, but damn did they often take a long time to paint! But if you think about it, the costumes are also kind of abstract in that they have a lot of detail that is there for no actual reason other than to look cool, so I could really play with that by making parts of a costume realistic and parts purely abstract. One of these days I’m sure I’ll do it because even if I’m not a huge fan of the genre, I have enjoyed some of the movies and as I’ve said before this is all about painting great faces (among other things, like costumes) so I’d be happy to revisit some of these characters. Especially if someone were to commission me. Hint hint.