Tuesday, December 30, 2008

A kind of salvation

Life Savers
20 x 40, acrylic

So it would be an understatement to say that "it's been a while" since it has in fact been over a month since my last update!  The main reason is that anything I've worked on in the last month has been a commission/gift and so I had to wait until after the gift had been given to make this post.  Needless to say I was overjoyed by being asked to create two works over the holidays (and will be posting the second one shortly).  The work I have posted here, which I have informally named "Life Savers", was a request to which the only instruction was to inspire myself from a single picture.  From there I had carte blanche to create anything of my liking.  I was (obviously) thrilled by this and am ecstatic that the painting turned out exactly as I had imagined it. 

It may be my love of somewhat "straight-forward" symbolism found in Baroque art that pushes me to include objects, colors, and animals that evoke a specific meaning (in this case, specific to the particular owner of the painting).  In order to incorporate meaningful items into the painting, I felt it was important to look not to the standard list of symbols (e.g. rose = love) but to seek out elements that would resonate with Elaina, namely, the person for whom the painting was created (the one on the right).  The person on the left is Cara, who commissioned the painting and provided me with a bit of information, namely Elaina's favorite colour (dark blue) and animal (the hummingbird).  

It may seem somewhat "simple" to merely add these elements into the painting, but the reality is that animals and colours with which we relate on a deeply personal level are in fact part of our identity and should not be taken for granted.  Colors can impact our mood in a number of ways and so I wanted to make use of them in a way that evoked joy, serenity, and fantasy, as well as act as a commentary on our pre-conceived notions of color as it relates to femininity and masculinity.  Namely, here the two women are depicted with blues (typically associated with "boys") and yet are swimming/are surrounded by a sea of pinks (a color typically associated with "girls").  This is meant to represent the way both coming to understand themselves in regards to, and within a, world where socially constructed notions of masculinity and femininity are so clearly defined.  Yet note that they are enjoying themselves; having moved beyond the initial struggle of coming to terms with the fact that they do not associate themselves with these established notions of gender and can now simply float along securely, happily, and most importantly together.  

Here the notion of "life savers" comes into play.  Early on, as I was conceiving of the painting in my head, the thought of adding giant Lifesavers candy, as well as an actual life saver, kept coming up until I couldn't avoid it anymore and simply had to go through with it.  The idea of life savers kept popping into my head mainly because of my knowledge of the strength and original essence of the relationship between Cara and Elaina.  I was aware that both had found something in each other that they had never been able to find in someone before, and which allowed them to connect, grow, and learn about themselves in a new and unique way.  

Ultimately, I decided to incorporate these colorful candies with "pop qualities" in order to really emphasize the notion that one can only survive modern existence in the company of loved ones.  Whether it is a romantic relationship, or simply the love of a friend, a sibling, etc. it is those who love us (and whom we can love back) who allow us to connect deeply with one another, and ultimately with ourselves: they are our life savers they allow us to keep moving forward and to look towards the future with hope and excitement.  The hope and excitement of anticipating sharing intimate moments that are transformed into "memories": our contemplation of the past and consequently of the sum total of our presence on Earth.

A few more symbolic aspects of the work are: the Hummingbirds, the falling feather, and the color of the sky.  Namely, the Hummingbird is Elaina's spirit animal, and so is of great importance in terms of her Metis cultural background.  In the same respect, the feather (although it is a Hummingbird's and not and Eagle's) is meant to represent both the mythological and social significance of the symbol of the feather to the Aboriginal nations.  Note that the hummingbirds are of different colors, and that all are flying harmoniously and unafraid of the humans near them.  This, along with the scenic mountains and trees in the background, is meant to evoke a sense of harmony with nature and the beauty of its natural order.  

The painting comes together as a great medley of colors; the way the sky goes from dark blue and purple space all the way to an orange sunset, which moves into a pink lake is meant to mirror the color scheme of a rainbow.  Also note that the Lifesavers are painted in accordance with the dominant color of the area I have placed them.  The way this progression of color is bright and natural, where one color leads into the next, makes way for the other and where each catches the eye equally, creates a sense of warmth and fantasy, daydream and creativity, as well as being reminiscent of the rainbow - an important symbol of the GLBTQ community.   

Phew!  I think I have given an adequate overview of my ideas and intentions in regards to this painting...  And while I seek to de-mystify my art (because art doesn't necessarily have to be obscure to be effective), I do believe that the viewer's interpretation (as it relates to his or her own life experience) is just as important as any specific meaning I may have intended to share through my work.  And so, I suppose you could have skipped everything else and jumped to the part where I tell you "you don't really need to know what I was thinking when I put this there, and that here", but hey, it doesn't hurt, right?

So that is all for now!  Stay tuned for commission # 2: a family portrait of Paul Galipeau's family and their dog in this style!

Until next time..


Friday, November 14, 2008

old school old stuff

Take One For the Team/ The Antennas Split - CD cover, 2003

12 x 16, Prepare for Invasion, 2003 

It's a pretty neat coincidence that my dad just dropped off my old portfolio filled with stuff from high school.  I definitely rekindled with a few jems.. and also things that seemed a lot cooler back then.  Among the things I was glad to find again are the Take One for the Team/The Antennas split cover I did in 2003 (holy shit that's 5 years ago) and the Prepare for Invasion artwork I did the same year.  I don't think anything ever came of that band.. I barely remember who it was for??  Maybe my friend Dave, maybe Isaac was in that band?  I really can't remember.  Oh well, I still have the artwork and it's a nice souvenir of how standardized my drawings were, i.e. how everything was based on oldschool tattoo guidelines.  There's a real charm to the lack of originality in old school tattoos, and I mean that sincerely.  I still LOVE that style, when it's well done of course.
For a long time I really wanted to become a tattoo artist...  It's a cool feeling when people get things you've drawn tattooed on them (I'll try to post pictures of my friend Stefan's arm soon).  And while I haven't ruled it out, I'm definitely heading towards other pastures right now.  But hey, there's always later right?

Anyway, this will be a very short post (can you believe it??) because I have to start and end a paper tonight...  While I normally wouldn't be too excited, I think this one will be really interesting: I will be discussing the notion of fear in Luther's argument for the bondage of the Will.  I'm stoked because it's also given me some really great ideas for my next paintings!! 

So basically I leave you with a big TO BE CONTINUED...

Later gator! xo


Sunday, November 9, 2008

More Barrier stuff!

ink on paper


So I just finished the rest of the Barrier cd art.  My friend e-mailed me this week asking me for a few more things.  I'm glad I squeezed it into my schedule (i.e. crawled out from under a pile of books) to get it done because he seemed to be saying they'll be printing it all pretty soon!  Exciting!

I can't wait to see the final product and I'll make sure to post some pictures!

So if you don't remember, a few posts down is the cover art.   The tree stump is meant to be printed in the spot where the cd will be.  I love it when I lift a cd and discover a whole new piece of art under it.  I think it will look great with the tree stump.  Note that I had already mentioned (in the previous Barrier art post) how obsessed I had become with the idea of the passing of time.  The lines of a cut tree-trunk is a great symbol of this since each line represents a year gone by.
When I had finished drawing the (tedious) lines of the stump I remembered that sometimes tree stumps have these sorts of gashes in them.  I decided to add some and (in the spirit of the passing of time) give it a sort of clock-effect, with the gashes as the hands.  It's not meant to be particularly obvious, but if anything it should tap into the types of associations we make sub-consciously.  Unlike typical hands of a clock, they are crooked and multiple, which is in an effort to demonstrate the reality of time: not a singular calculated line but a much more complex and on-going interaction between past and future (which we understand as the present). 
It also seemed to me like these gashes were reminiscent of cuts- irreparable wounds caused by humans against nature... As if the single huge transversal cut wasn't enough of a reminder of the  human imprint on nature.  So basically, keeping with the theme I had discussed previously.  

The second image is for the back of the cd.  I was asked to draw a birdhouse in the corner and have the song titles laid out in the middle in the same font as the cover.  I don't know if I can call my hand-writing a font, but it was weird thinking about writing- only when I think about it does it look completely different than normally!  So let's just say it took a few tries.  I thought the idea of a birdhouse was fittingly ironic- a miniature version of human shelter- the irony kicking in when one starts to wonder why a bird would need to live in something that looks like a house when it is capable of creating its own shelter.  YET that was my initial reaction, other thoughts came to me, like the idea that maybe the birdhouse symbolizes humans seeking to live harmoniously with animals?  I'll have to ponder that one some more...  Definitely an interesting idea. 

Ok I should really get back to my European Continental Literature essay...  But first, a tomato sandwich!

Until next TIME! xo


P.S. A reminder that the art I've posted here was sloppily arranged to give the impression of cardboard- but I promise it will look much nicer when it's all done properly!  Ooooh that reminds me!  Thanks to a friend in montreal I will be getting some real 21st century art-making/fixing programs!  VERY excited!  

Sunday, November 2, 2008

post mortem/ Mosh Hard With a Vengeance

THRASH!!!!!!!! (poster)

TOFTT cd art - (old stuff)

Upfront article

First off I will start by saying that I had to crawl out from under a pile of books to get to my computer.  So my little blog: don't be mad, I didn't forget about you.. just been busy that's all.

Ok, so!  My good friend Richard's thrash band, Take One for the Team, is having their last show on December 6th.  They've been together for eight years and have decided to move on.  I hold that band dear to my heart, partly because I've seen them sooo many times over the years and partly because everyone in that band is amazing.
Richard asked me to draw the poster for their last show.  He was hoping it would have a mexican wrestling theme (to relate the poster to some previous band-art) and the "MOSH HARD ONE LAST TIME!" line to relate to their cd Mosh Hard With a Vengeance (and to their overall mosh-ness haha).  So I incorporated that theme with the theme of death, simply because this will be their very last show.. EVER!

It was actually a challenge to get everything to fit right, since I had decided to do it entirely by hand (paper + sharpie).  Buuuut in the spirit of punk rock, it works!  It's busy, but appropriate for the style (i.e. notoriously illegible punk-show flyer).  Note that the picture next to the casket is actually of Richard.  Kind of morbid, I know... It's from a show where he had played with a mask on- I thought it was so fitting for this poster I had to slip it in somehow.

The second picture is of cover art I had done for them in .  They will be making a shirt based on it--I'll post some pictures later.

I always find it kind of weird looking back on "old stuff"... I've improved so much as an artist!!  I guess that should feel more like relief than weirdness since it shows that I'm growing and getting better... But I suppose the weirdness comes from remembering how good I thought that cover was back when I drew it and now, look at it, all I see are the areas where I should have done something differently.  That being said, I really wonder what I will think of the art I'm making now, 5 years down the road.  We'll have to wait and see! 

In other news: there is a really nice (and flattering) article in November's Upfront on the show at the Wurm gallery.  You should pick it up!  After all it is FREE!  If you click on the picture, the resolution is actually good enough for you to read the article.  What a nice little gift right on time for my birthday month!
Oh other press-related interest, my friend Paul G. pointed out that China Doll (awesome local karaoke drag queen celebrity) mentioned the show in her weekly events segment.  Note how she pronounces my name (PASKWAHL). 

Still cool tho!

So the Wurm Galler show is officially over!
I'm really glad that all of the dino-popes sold!  It proves to my Humanities professor that blasphemous art is still damn cool, BOO-YA!

Even though I didn't sell all my stuff I'm still SOOOO pleased with everything.  This show has opened up some really awesome doors for me and I'm excited to be making art on a regular basis!

Ok well that's about it!
OH!  Yah, I also made a flyer for Finner's show (Black Ships, Titan and Alaskan), but there's no original art of mine other than laying things out beautifully and picking a satanic image.  Still cool though, so IF you are not easily offended by extremely evil images AND if you are not at work where your boss might walk by, then check it out!

Ok folks, it's back to the books for me! xo


P.S. If you didn't have a chance to see my works up at Wurm, I have three of them up at the CUAG as part of the HERE group show, on until Monday November 10th.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Bury your art?.. BARRIER art!

6 x 6, ink and paper

Hiya folks!

Here is the newest commissioned artwork for my friend's band Barrier.  They're from Montreal and are producing some great music so I was obviously glad to help them out.  The instructions I was given for this CD cover was: an Oven bird that looks like it's out of a 1930's natural history book, the band's name and the title of the album.

I was inspired by a photograph of an Oven bird hanging out on a branch (thank you Google image) and just went from there.  I really liked the way his head was turned... I went through a lot of images and the position of the bird in the one I picked I thought was more evocative than the tons of running Oven birds (they sure love to run around!). 

 The art will be silkscreened with black ink on a cardboard-type of paper (which is why I tinted the image using my extremely limited iPhoto - does anyone want to buy me Adobe? eh? eh?).
I was torn between two kinds of fonts for the title and showed them both to the guys... Majority rules and they went with the cursive.  Originally I had hand-drawn the "Barrier" part but now that I've used a digital font I find it really gives it a nice clean edge.

Ok so I have been pretty obsessed with the idea of the passing of time for a while now and anything that evokes looking back, contemplating the passage of time, nostalgia, etc.  These themes are typically represented by objects like clocks, hourglasses, even by scenery, from lakes to trees losing their leaves, flowers fanning, etc.  The reason I'm bringing this up is because I thought the posture of this bird was so perfect because it's not looking forward, but backwards, which I thought was ideal for the title of the LP: What to Make of a Diminished Thing.  I never asked the guys what they had in mind when they named the album but I interpreted it from an environmental, as well as political, perspective.  Namely, looking back in nostalgia at what used to be all the while contemplating how to move forward in a positive way.  Note that if the bird's head had been down, the tone would be of defeat, whereas now the tone is of optimism.   

But that's only my interpretation of the title, after all it could be about a break-up?  Either way, I think the title is powerful and can speak to many things.

So I'm really happy that people are asking me to create art for them!  The Smart Mouth shirt was an absolute hit and I got SO much good feedback!  I'm really happy people are digging my art because no matter how many times I've been complemented on my artistic abilities I still feel extremely nervous showing my stuff... Fear of rejection?  Quite possibly.

I've got a few more commissions on the way, which I'm really excited about!!  BUT that being said, I'm really getting into the crux of things with school, so we'll see how much time I can actually devote to art-making.  I'll keep you posted.

Until next time! xo


P.S. Check out Barrier: www.myspace.com/reconstructingbarrier  ... They also have a blog but it seems to be down right now.  CHECK IT!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Back to Basics/ pour Iain

12x18, ink on canvas paper

9 x 11, silkscreen on black cotton t-shirt

Ok so it's been a whole 10 days since my last post.  The reason for this being that I had neglected some readings in order to have everything ready for the show and as a result have found myself spending every spare second trying to catch up with school.  
For anyone who doesn't know me personally, I'm a third-year student at Carleton University in the Humanities program with a double major in Sociology.  You might be surprised to find out I'm not in a visual arts program of some sort.  I decided to go into a non-visual arts program in order to learn about humanity in a way that would (hopefully) inform my art.  
I had always thought I would study art in university.  But that's simply not how life has played out, and while I've been extremely busy with school and work, making it really difficult for me to actually work on my art.  I've had to repeatedly convince myself that I'm not "not doing art" I'm just doing something else for a little bit".

All this to say that the exception to this school nonsense is commissions!  That's right: friends in need of artwork for anything from flyers to album covers to t-shirts (shout out à Iain Impro flyer style).   These small "jobs" have truly been the most welcome requests, as they gave me a reason to let my creative juices flow.  (and I am aware of how lame it sounds to need a reason to make art, but that's the reality and let's face it reality can be pretty damn lame)

So anyhow, I've decided to post some of the simple drawings I've done on request.  The first one is for my friend Finner's band.  He e-mailed me last night asking me to call him (an e-mail entitled URGENT) when I called him I found out he needed a shirt design a.s.a.p.  So I got to work when I came home from school around 4:00 and just handed it to him a few hours ago.  That's pretty efficient if you ask me!  Finner knew exactly what he wanted (which I find extremely helpful when I'm asked to draw something).  The design is for his hardcore band Smart Mouth and he sought to reference some of the bands he's found most influential by means of a Halloween-inspired shirt where people are wearing masks of the emblematic logos of Gorilla Biscuits, the Misfits, Danzig and Integrity.

The second drawing was for the Carleton University chapter of the Ontario People's Interest Research Group (commonly known as O-PIRG).  They are a great bunch of radically minded folks who put on great workshops and events so I jumped on the chance to create the shirt they would be selling at Rad-Frosh (the radical alternative to the unappealing regular Frosh, namely silk-screening and bike-repair workshops instead of bar hoping).  In this case they gave me no instructions for the design other than "it should be radical and attract the eye".  So this is what I came up with.  The version of the image I have posted is actually a picture of the shirt itself.  I was pleasantly surprised at how well the smaller details showed up (namely the greedy business men/women running away).

So these are  two of the latest commissions I've done, but I will be posting more of the earlier ones soon... As well as the ones that are one the way! woohoo!

'Tis all for now!xo


Sunday, September 28, 2008

In The Name of the LORD

4.5 x 6.5, ink and Pantone Marker on canvas paper

Alrighty, first off, the vernissage went really really well!  So glad to see so many familiar (and not-so-familiar) faces.  From family to friends to strangers, the evening was spent in the company of great people.  I met some folks that I hope to hear from and am so glad I got to speak to some new and interesting people!  So all in all a success! (Oh, and of course, I managed to sell some works which is definitely a plus!)

The works I've decided to post today are the last from the show that I have yet to post on here*... My Dino-Popes and Big Baby J series.  These ink+pantone drawings were done around 1:00am out of a need to step away from my paintings just a few nights before the art show and, much to my surprise, they were some of my most popular works!  I attribute their popularity mainly to a combination of the subject matter and placement of the frames (see above photo).  

The message is fairly straight forward: papacy = prehistory.  Now for the slightly more subtle nuances: the way the works were placed had it so the popes were turned towards Jesus (who was also a dinosaur of course) in a way that emphasized their devotion to/praise of this single figure, as well as the symbol of the cross.  My main inspiration was the over-ornamentation/decoration of popes, which is in direct contradiction with one of the most basic Christian beliefs, namely humility, which is most easily exhibited externally by means of the simplicity of one's clothes.  The papacy has always been known for its extravagance, from the concentration of wealth in Rome to the mere outfits/costumes/hats of the popes.  Even though the idea that the people's money goes towards lavishly decorating a pope and his buildings in order to better praise the LORD seems like a reasonable argument to some, my feelings regarding the papal figure are not so optimistic... to say the least.

I've always felt there was something fishy about the idea of a religious institution organized and kept up in a political manner in the sense that the most "popular" participants are voted into different offices, ranked hierarchically from Pope to Cardinal, etc.  AND yet still consider themselves a source of legitimate authority by claiming divine ordination.  Maybe I lack faith in humans (or simply in general) but I have a hard time believing that that the type of charisma required to become/be elected as Pope is much different than the kind required to become a successful politician... UNLESS of course you believe that this one man's particularly appealing charisma was given to him BY GOD so that only he could possibly become the intermediary between earthlings and an all-knowing, all-being and eternally unified God existing outside of both space and time.

At this point I feel like my rant might be slowly moving down a slippery pope-bashing slope.  So in order to keep my sarcasm to a minimum and my blog somewhat intelligent, I will conclude in a quick, clean and fashionable manner.

SO, in conclusion!  While Hegel believed that history had reached its pinnacle before the end of his lifetime in 1831 (meaning human existence had achieved it's end-goal of freedom, which in turn meant that progress was no longer possible), Marx believed that until humans still participated in/contributed to oppression our existence would continue to consist of "pre-history".  It is that belief that informed my choice to portray the papacy as a group of prehistoric symbols of oppression.  And if you simply can't find a link between the papacy, the Roman Catholic Church and oppression, please, PLEASE e-mail me and we'll figure out a good time to meet up and talk about this over tea.

Ok, take care folks!xo


*Except a few more dogs.

Thursday, September 25, 2008


20 x 28, acrylic

This is the fifth work of the Monstrous Children series. I've chosen to depict none other than... Romulus and Remus! These two rascals are believed to have been saved and nurtured by a she-wolf after their uncle Amulius attempted to kill them by sending them down the river Tiber in a basket... (When will people learn?! That never works!) Anyhow, the twins survived and were kept alive by this motherly she-wolf. This story is of particular significance because historians have traced the origins of Rome--and consequently the Roman Empire--back to these twins (see The Early History of Rome by Livy).
I find that this account of the origin of Rome offers an interesting contrast between the she-wolf and the twins (along with what they stand for). On one hand, the she-wolf is a strong and ferocious animal living and subsisting in the wild; a lifestyle which is representative of the ordered freedom found in nature. While on the other hand, Romulus and Remus, who are at first completely dependent on nature/the wolf for their survival, grow up to lay the groundwork for one of the largest empires in history... An empire from which the repercussions continue to resonate in the daily lives of people all around the world, including North Americans (particularly through the ripple effect of the Roman Catholic Church). Yet whether it be from a religious or political perspective, the impact the Roman Empire has had on history is enormous. If only in terms of the imperialist tone it has set for the West as a whole. While many empires have risen and fallen prior to the Roman Empire, some greater than the Roman Empire and some not, it remains that the Roman Empire has become a symbol of an excess of power leading to a tragic yet inevitable fall.  While I'm not denying that the Akkadian, Egyptian, Assyrian, Ottoman Empires (and the list goes on) were in fact incredibly epic, the Roman Empire, its fall, and its lasting aftermath remain key components to understanding our own society in relation to the history of the  "Western mentality".

But back to the artwork! This work was inspired by an ancient Roman sculpture (The Capitoline Wolf with Romulus and Remus). I decided to dress up Romulus and Remus in modern clothes to emphasize the connection between the survival/upbringing/actions of the twins (dating back to 771 BCE) and the current affluent state of North American society. Here the twins are gorging themselves with the milk of the she-wolf to the extent that it begins to overflow from their mouths, while at the same time she appears emaciated from nourishing the twins without nourishing herself. The milk overflowing from their mouths represents a state of excessive luxury and consumption, as the twins are taking in more milk than they can handle. In other words, the twins are meant to reflect the abuse of "natural resources" by humans; as we take more than we need to satisfy a lifestyle characterised by excess.

Ok.. I've gone on for long enough I think.

I will see you all TOMORROW at Invisible Cinema!

Salve! xo

P.S. Because I know most of the people who will read this have not studied the beautiful (yet dead) language that is Latin, here is what "Romani non erant sine culpa" means: "The Romans were not without fault".  I'll let you make the connections..

Monday, September 22, 2008

Une vie de chien/ pour Paul

11x14, ink and paper 

Here are a few of the drawings I'll be showing at Invisible Cinema/ the Wurm Gallery this friday (September 26th).  These were really fun for me to do because I got to remember how enormous dogs feel when you're really young.  I played on that idea by showing little kids playing (or even sleeping) around and on the over-sized dogs, whom are at once watchful, dignified and loving.

T-minus 5 days until the show! xo

P.S. the paper is actually white.. it has this nice creamy color on here simply because I don't have any way to properly scan these images.. Such is life!

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Hell Comes Home

16 x 20, acrylic

This work was inspired by my opposition to the Biblical notion that humans have dominion over animals.  

"Let us make humankind in our image, according to our likeness; and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the wild animals of the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth."  (Genesis 1:26)

The mentality implied in this passage, namely that humans have the divinely ordained right to rule over all spheres of sentient beings, contributes to the reason why North American society has reached one of its lowest points in terms of mass animal cruelty.  Why can humans feel free to kill/eat/skin/abuse/vivisect any and all animals?..(except Police Dogs and RCMP Horses).. Because God said so? Hmm..

I don't mean to sound preachy, but this is a topic that means a lot to me.. Well two topics really: animal rights and the critical deconstruction of the Bible. 

Ok I think that's enough Bible-bashing for now, it is only 9:00 am after all..

God bless xo

Friday, September 19, 2008

Ma-doe-nna and Child

main pannel: 12 x 16, acrylic
side pannels: 6 x 12, acrylic 

This is the fourth work of the Monstrous Children series.  I will most likely be showing/selling it as a triptych in a format that is reminiscent of an altar-piece.  This work is inspired by Eastern Orthodox icons, and while I'm far from being religious, I have to give props to the Christians of Byzantium for creating some seriously aesthetically pleasing works of art.. even with all the weird proportions.. what am I talking about; especially because of the weird proportions.

This work affirms that even Christ, as a child, would have thrown a tantrum if he had dropped his ice cream (had there been such a thing as ice cream during his childhood).  It very simply humanizes a figure that has for so many decades been, not dehumanized, but super-humanized.  Here the idea of a divinely cool, calm and composed Christ (even as a child) is exchanged for a more realistic and common depiction of a young (spoiled) child.  If anything, although considered heretical/blasphemous, to depict Christ in such a way, would be in line with the original message of Jesus--back when what we now know as Christianity was merely the "New Judaism"--as it evokes egalitarianism, as opposed to an entirely hierarchical view of the Christ figure.

I chose to depict Mary as a doe firstly because of the qualities I would associate with that animal: kind, caring, and gentle, and secondly because of the expression "doe-eyed", which refers to someone who appears innocent, or even credulous/unquestioning...  Attributes commonly associated with the figure of Mary.  All the while I sought to promote the importance of non-human beings with whom we share the earth, by putting a wild animal in the place of a central figure to one of the most influential world religions.  By placing a doe in Mary's place, I  wanted to re-direct the praise, respect and reverence given to a mytho-historical character, towards the wildlife, which is taken for granted by society. 

The two side panels also speak to that effect.  By replacing the figures who would normally be depicted in side panels (John the Baptist, Adam, Eve, Saints, Apostles, etc.) I am once again emphasizing the importance of non-humans... Both of which are animals associated with "pagan" mythology and worship.

Ok I've got lots of artworks to post on here, but I will try to space them out.  Mainly since I get the feeling that after the artshow (on September 26th, at Invisible Cinema-be there!) I will have to hit the books extra hard.  Ah well, such is life.

That's all for now.

Peace be upon you xo

Thursday, September 18, 2008

baby steps

all of the above: 8x10, acrylic

The culture of over-abundance/over-consumption, which is so prominent in North America, has inspired me to create the Monstrous Children series.  It consists of a few acrylic paintings that depict the (somewhat exaggerated) behaviors of children who have been raised always getting what they want.  Each child is eating a popsicle of some kind, which happens to be dripping all over their over-the-top outfits/costumes (i.e. not the kind of clothes conducive to running around in the mud).  Here the parents are to be held responsible for presenting their children with overbearing luxury from a young age...  An environment that is bound to promote some serious brattiness.  The positive side of the inspiration for these is that I actually do love children and think they're absolutely hilarious/brilliant.. most of the time.    

These works will be shown at the Wurm Gallery/Invisible Cinema (319 Lisgar) from September 26th to October 26th, alongside the  works of Adrienne Turner and Guen Douglas. 

It will be my first official art show, which is SO exciting! 

..Ok this is my first blog and I already feel I might spend more time on here than I should.  Although this blog-thing does seem more exciting than the dense Hegel essay sitting on my bed,  only one of the two is being graded.

Until next time! xo