David Stoupakis was late. Actually, later than late because I was late and he came in well after we began painting. "We" being Paul Booth and I. The rain was constant and effective in soaking my hat and shirt the few blocks I had to walk from the train to Last Rites Gallery. I brought a painting in progress that I hadn't touched for about a month. David showed up an hour later and it looked like an old fashion artist studio as we all started jamming on our paintings. We'd break to explore the directions one or the other of us wanted to go with the image. Then back at it. Great night!
I always liked reading about the Druids in Scotland. I took a trip to Scotland and drove all around from Glasgow to Inverness. The country side was amazing and I think I found myself stopping every few miles, er kilometers, to look at something. There were two stand outs. Three stand outs. One was a castle in the middle of a small lake that looked abandoned. It was magical and resembled some Pixar idea of an enchanted castle. Another was a rock cairn that was subtle, but just cool as shit. Just knowing how old it must have been was inspiring to me. And third was the Loch Ness monster as I almost hit as it froze on the road when it saw my headlights... Or maybe that was a squirrel? This was 20 some years ago so who knows.
The Druids had things called sacred groves. For some reason they would pick a bunch of trees that were growing on the top of a hill or some place that seemed significant for whatever reason and designate them a "sacred grove". Maybe it was for privacy so they could take a leak? I don't know. But pictures I've seen of them really do have some significance in a visual way. When I drive through Pennsylvania on route 80 I find the trees growing on top of a hill or mountain significant because the are surrounded by farmland. There is a certain intention for them to be there yet they still seem to naturally be there.
This painting for me is about looking internally to try and find that image that resonates with the part of my brain that wants to connect with nature or the universe in some way that you can't really put words to. And really, that is what a lot of my images are exploring.
Here is the evolution of the painting so far.
I made it to Spring Street studios again this past weekend. As luck would have it there were two models to draw. They looked familiar and as I began to look and draw the short poses I realized I had drawn them at least 14 years ago. From what I remember they were both from Mexico. They were both dancers by trade. Not sure if they were a couple or just dance partners but they only model separately or with each other. They had aged obviously but were as awesome to draw this time as I remembered from last. I found it more jarring this time because I only drew them that one time and hadn't seen them until this last weekend. Other models I've drawn over the years that are still doing it I've usually run across a few times here and there, so you don't really see how different they are becoming from the first time.
I added a bit of gouache in just because it's fun.
I played the "heavy" in a video by my friend Keith at Brainwomb. Now laugh at me trying to be a bad ass. Maybe I will be a thespian now.
Painting a little more frequently with Paul and David. David cancelled late so it was just Paul and I bullshitting and painting. I forgot my paint last time, brilliant me, but I remembered them this time.
One of my favorite things to do is paint. It's like instant meditation for me. When I'm in the zone, if someone innocently walks quietly in to the studio, my reaction tends to resemble the cat in one of those Warner Brothers cartoons that freaks out and jumps to the ceiling. Well, I'm not so spry that I can jump up to the ceiling but there has been coffee spilt!
I am friends with Paul Booth. When he wants company to paint with, he gives a bunch of his artist friends a call and whomever can make it shows up and painting and general art talk happens. This time David Stoupakis came by.
Chaos the cat rarely sits still long enough for a clear photo. It was also Paola's B-day.
Opening at MF Gallery
213 Bond St.
JUNE 15, 6-10pm
Please look over the Prints page and get them all.
Have a good Easter/Passover or month.
Now is a good time to commission a portrait or purchase some physical art for the winter!
If you'd like to commission me for a painting... Portraits with my surreal aesthetic only. The face you have and my paint brushes! Estimated turnaround 3 months. Shorter will cost more. Contact me now.
Last Rites Gallery 325 W. 38th Street, between 8th & 9th Ave, NYC: (212) 529.0666
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