20 January 2010

Cleaning An Entire World's Worth of Carpet...

Allen owns and operates his own one man Service Master franchise. He wanted me to portray him cleaning the many, many miles of carpeting he has traveled over the years. He speculates that it is probably equal to the circumference of the Earth. Joan is a talented pianist. All she asked for was a musical reference. Together they are my in laws (Beth's parents) and this is there Christmas present.

I truly turned this one into an an exercise in miniature painting. So much subject matter in such a small space. I maybe should have tried to simplify it but instead I made it more complicated. Joan said I could just put in a few musical note to represent her here but instead I placed Joan on a satellite serenading all of the heavens. It seemed more interesting to me.

This was a difficult painting. The subject matter here is so unusual that I felt every element had to be ridiculously clear. The carpet cleaning wand has to really look like a cleaning wand to put across that he is sucking up dirt from the stratosphere of the Earth... as if it were a carpet. Your mind doesn't just automatically go there and fill in details.

But, the color on this painting presented the most problems for me. I wanted to keep a consistent, limited color scheme but with such tiny piece I found that objects began to blend in with one another. It turned into a matter of really pushing the values and making the images very symbolic and not natural. (If you haven't noticed, the scale of human to Earth size is also slightly off.) The the fact that the entire back is space suggested a very dark background that I eventually lightened up some. (Though this would have been a great candidate for black velvet...).
This was a hard one. But I don't ask for easy, that would make this project dull. And I'm pleased with the result.

Thank You, Allen and Joan!

In other news... The Hellenic Voice interviewed me about the Panda Licking on a Light Bulb yesterday and they will run an article about me and the blog either late January or early February. I'll give more information when I get it...
...in the meantime, I have a line up of paintings so I'd better get crackin'...

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