October 18, 2011

Batting .750... the lanky right-hander...

'Lanky' my eye. But, I am batting with a 75% success rate. Having spent my previous post reveling in the success of the first show I entered, I shall spend the intro to this post chowing on a small wedge of crow. *chow chow chow... erp!*

This past Saturday I participated in the 'Day of the Dead vs. Dawn of the Dead' art show, hosted by Visual Art Supply. I was excited to once again be associated with the group of stellar artists who had works on display there. As a bonus, I sold one of my 2 submissions!

The piece which sold was a parody of an infamous road sign in San Diego. For those of you who have not traveled much on I-5 South in San Diego, this is the infamous sign:

This sign is posted in a couple places along the freeway near the U.S./ Mexican border. It can seem absurd, even humorous, to some, shocking to others. Whichever side of the 12-foot tall, double-fence you fall on, the fact of the matter is: people fleeing their country may run across this freeway, so be cautious!

When I considered the 'Dawn of the Dead' half of the event's theme, I really did not take long before I hit upon  the idea to spoof this sign. I found the cleanest possible image online and used that as my guide. Aside from the small size (mine is only 7.5" x 10"), I was going for a realistic representation. However, in the final moments of my creation, I tried sanding the image with a 600-grit paper. This caused the black to leech into the yellow, creating a dirty halo around the people. While I was dismayed, I was not beaten. I opted to mask the flaw by simply giving the sign a rusty 'apocolyptic' wash. It couldn't have worked any better.

For the 'Day of the Dead' half of the event theme, I was certain I would paint a skull. I was less certain about the manner in which I would paint it. My first step was to paint a white skull in semi-profile covering about 75% of a 2' x 4' sheet of 3/4" birch plywood. The background was painted pink. That is how it remained for about 2 weeks, without any detail.

Once I started in on the detail work, I realized I had no real plan for the pink background. Then I had an epic epiphany. I decided to cut the skull away from the background. I pitched the jigsaw at a 15-degree angle and went to work. Once liberated from the pink, the skull looked better, but not perfect. After trying a couple new background ideas, I settled on the flame/rays that you see in the following picture of the finished piece.

Both pieces were well received at the show. The skull in particular took more than a few folks by surprise. I think a fledgling idea of what I was capable of had been formed based upon the last show. The size of the skull was much greater than the shoe-art which had been my intro to the community.

Thanks again to Jason, curator of the event. His contribution to art in San Diego is widely appreciated.