Friday, December 12, 2008

Conan the Barbarian prop

I started painting a few years back with acrylics. Very fun when I started but the novelty wore thin in time. Not sure why. Then life happened. We moved... things came up. A year passed before I painted anything.

Then the paper I worked for folded. For the first time in nearly 15 years, I found myself without a paycheck. During this period of employment uncertainty, my friend, Nick Kokis, suggested we get together and do some painting. Oil painting. Yikes.

What the hell, I thought, it's time to get back into it and what better way than to be mentored by a friend with much painting experience. And an equal fondness for beer.

I had no great ideas for subject matter. Nick suggested the plastic skull he had in his studio.

Why not.

And so here it is... my first oil painting... a skull on a spikey stick. The actual plastic skull spent much of its modeling time on top of a Swiffer handle but that wouldn't look very cool in my first oil painting, now would it? Spikey stick it is. 

I was pretty pleased with the result. I'm sure a more experienced painter would find plenty of fault with it... but I'm not that experienced.

I tell people who I think might be shocked by the subject matter that it is important for an artist to practice recreating the human anatomy. The reality is that at 38, I still have the same fascination with skulls and skeletons that I had when I was 10 or 12 years old.


Jenne said...

The skulls you do are all so cool. The colours you chose for this oil are really unusual - oddly lively. Georgia O'keefe's (sp?) skulls are all so clearly dead. I wish you could meet my friend Kristen's husband. He runs eco-tours out of Winnipeg and has a c.r.a.z.y. collection of animal skulls in his house. Totally unrelated, my dad used to have this skeleton "tailbone" given to him by some pharmaceutical company. Made out of plastic. It's weird how de-natured it seems when it's made out of plastic. I was given a stinky rubber skeleton around halloween when I was a kid. I named it something really weird like Feringy and loved it sentimentally like a stuffed animal. :)

John Andrews said...

thanks jenne! i'm trying to resist the urge to do more skulls, bones, and other dark subjects... for a bit anyway. the two current (unfinished) linos are also morbid subjects. i think i need to throw a dose of happy-happy into the mix. i'm working on a painting of one of the kittens but it doesn't feel like it's working out.


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