Archives for category: Painting

I have a very talented Shaman/herbalist friend who inspired this little watercolor and ink sketch.

 

img_1675When I was in 5th grade we grew a butterfly garden in my Principal’s backyard. When choosing what to grow, we had study plants and do scientific drawings. I picked the nasturtium and since that first exposure, have been in love with them.

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Full disclosure, these are drawings I made for my friend who passed away last year. I’ve had a hard time coming to terms with the fact and the method of his passing, and have been incapable of creating anything that refers to him. 

I have been equally annoyed and ashamed of the clear morbidness of the subject matter and even had a stranger at a coffee shop ask me if I spend all day drawing skulls because, and I quote, “that’s who [I] am as a human being.” 

Strangers are funny in their ability to point out the absurd and the obvious with simultaneous coarseness, vulgarity and innocence. There is something crucial in what he said. My friend’s death has tainted my experience of living in ways I cannot express. It touches me at my very nerve endings. It makes me afraid to show my thoughts and ashamed of feelings that refuse, silently and cripplingly, to pass on themselves. 

These drawings are for Yoann because I think he would love them. I made them because the only way I know how to deal with his death is to make it beautiful. I cannot help but look, so I need to begin looking at it in a way that I can control and even manipulate. 

On top of everything else, my dear friend deserved a longer life than he had. So here, if only in the tiniest way, I am re-creating my friend, giving the world new experiences of him and doing what I can to celebrate his life while making pictures of his death. Strangers in cafes be damned, Yoann would have liked the skulls. 

Pour mes amis Francais, pardon-moi. Ce traduction sera bref. J’ai du mal a m’exprimer sur ce sujet meme en Anglais. En Francais, c’est presque impossible. 

J’ai fait ces dessins pour Yoann, parce que j’avais besoin de changer la dialogue dans ma tete. Depuis sa mort, je suis une personne differente. Ces images, oui, elles sont morbides, mais je pense que Yoann les aurais aime. J’avais honte de montrer ce sujet, mais j’ai besoin de faire quel que chose avec la mort que je trouve belle, pour donner a Yoann une nouvelle vie, meme si ce n’est pas grande chose.

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18 x 24 acrylic on canvas

18 x 24 acrylic on canvas

The series of paintings I’m currently working on is inspired by my reading of Stephen Hawking’s scientific texts on quantum theory and special relativity. Each painting is essentially my way of describing a concept such as particle entanglement or the curvature of space-time. Mr. Hawking wrote that according to our understanding of gravity, “bodies tend to fall together.” I read the sentence over numerous times and was on the point of tears as I first sketched out my own interpretation of  it.

I find these theories and postulates beautiful in their simplicity and ingenuity and recognize that much of the work being done in physics currently must be born out of the creativity of artistic minds willing to visualize the possible universe and make cognitive leaps that can, to the layman, sound like science fiction.

Science is, in our modern understanding, our way of describing the universe: it’s past, future and present. It has taken the place of religion not only in defining what the universe is, but inspiring those who follow it to have faith in theory and principle. Granted, proofs have been found for many theories, but a cutting edge understanding of physical theory requires the mind to take leaps of faith.

I am using religious symbolism, specifically Greek statue, Egyptian mythology and Catholic iconography, as artistic tools to describe my understanding of modern scientific theory in a way that I hope inspires the viewer with a sense of beauty. I am inspired by the quest to understand the origin of life, the role that the human race plays in it and our need to identify with some form of higher power, be it a god or a rational universe.

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I’ve been reading Stephen Hawking’s books lately. The Universe in a Nutshell inspired these drawings.