This one is in roughly the same style as #9, largely because I made them at the same time and would switch back and forth between them until it was time to knock one out. This may be my favorite of the styles I’ve used in this series so far, partly because it looks so painterly, and perhaps more importantly because it was easier. The reason is I worked directly in color, so avoided the rather grueling process of putting something black and white into color. Of course I am sacrificing the expressive possibilities of line, but there’s nothing stopping me from incorporating line drawing into it.
I think I will try to do a couple more in this style. I love doing the modelling and shading when it works. As I’ve said repeatedly, I’m mostly just winging it. I love the little details like the reflection of the yellow claw in the wet sand, but I could have done the little bit of water lapping at the beach better if I had done some beach paintings or went and looked up how to do it. But, I want to keep at what I can do using my unaided imagination. It’s more the wet sand, which is my favorite part. I used to like to job on the wet part between the water and the sand. I already downloaded some beach paintings to maybe copy when I do my practice paintings. I didn’t look up crap claws.
As for the content, I don’t really know. I’m sure people will come up with interpretations that I will reject with gusto. In broad outline I see the big eye guy as some sort of policeman, security, or beach patrol. He’s come up upon a blubbery creature that has washed ashore, and is probably still alive, but it’s not looking good. The little white things like hands, or driftwood on his chest suggest a gesture of fear or pleading. The claws may have also washed up on the beach, or there may be something more sinister with the authority figure and them, as there’s a smaller claw under his shied (yeah, I see that as a shield). Oh yeah, the copper creature, you can see him as in profile with a sort of lizard head, and the shield as more of a carapace. I deliberately worked in that ambiguity.
I think a lot of people will dismiss this as lowbrow, except the lowbrow people who will dismiss it as insufficiently low brow. But others who are familiar with 20th century painting will recognize elements of Francis Bacon and Picasso, as well as the Surrealists in it. I come from a fine art background, but throw in the residual pop culture (and I mean good pop culture, like the original Outer Limits, not shit pop culture like the stuff snobby fine artists usually use). If I were a musician, my music might sound like rock with a heavy influence of contemporary classical and experimental music (which isn’t to say that groups like Gentle Giant, in their hey-dey, didn’t do a lot of just that).
The big creature has an injury in his fin, and sorta looks like an upside down shark or stingray, but the positioning of the eyes reads as human. [Oh no! I just realized how much he looks like the Trumpazoid. He’s got orange circles around his eyes, red hair, and is a bit portly, as he’s portrayed. I assure that wasn’t intentional, because, well, not really desirable. But, unintentionally I like it.]
And this brings me to an important point. Why do I use monsters and aliens in my art work so often. Yes, it’s partly because I like them, and it’s a throwback to my childhood and the mystery and fascination they represented to me then. In that case it’s also trying to recreate that mystery for adults, or at least an adult me. But another reason is political. I just deleted several long paragraphs explaining why it’s political, but, alas I’m so sick of politics that I don’t want to engage in it. I’m starting to think one of the most positive political actions one can take at this particular juncture is to reject it and disengage.
Here’s all 10 pieces in the series so far in a slideshow.
Or, if you prefer, you can see them in a click-through gallery:
To see other posts about other pieces in this series, go here.
Thanks for checking out my art and my blog. Check back in a few days to see what’s next. It’s going to be a good one, which I know, because it’s about 85% finished.
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