An update on my Fox’s Wedding (working title). The first layer of foliage is complete — there will be at least two more layers, which will hopefully take place tomorrow. The first layer always takes the longest for me — not that it’s any more labour-intensive than the subsequent layers, but it’s the stage that’s filled with the most doubt (is this the right colour? Do I really want that much blue?). For the most part, I’m pleased — the final product will be much darker, and many of these colours you see now will only be hinted at in the end. But right now, I’m happy with the fact that it looks like a container of Smarties exploded all over it.
I’ve begun work on a new piece, a commission for some very dear friends. This new painting follows on the heels of “The Temptation of St. Anthony” and, like the earlier work, explores aspects of the surreal and the macabre (to see “The Temptation of St. Anthony”, click here). For this commission, I’ve used two points of departure: a painting by the British/Mexican surrealist Leonora Carrington entitled “Forbidden Fruit“, which continues to be one of the most beautiful and frightening paintings I’ve seen in a long time; and a late Kurosawa film called “Dreams”. This film consists of several vignettes, the first of which involves a little boy who stumbles across a fox’s wedding in the forest near his home. The imagery, choreography and music for this scene are so incredibly arresting — it was a real treat to come back to this film years later in preparation for this painting. As you’ll see from the photo, I’m really only in the very beginning stages of painting, but I’m anticipating a productive week, and will post more photos as the work develops.