On My Easel: The Whole World

EaselWholeWorld2Okay, so I was all set to move into a more cutting look at social media – and I still plan to – but due to a combination of my model’s difficult schedule, and other associated delays, I have started on another project. This will be weird and wonderful (or at the very least, weird). I have decided to take the first documented drawing from my earliest years, and turn it into a painting. This is dated 1959 by my mother, and quite honestly, I have no recollection of doing this. It was a long time ago.

This will be an intensely personal project, I suspect, one that will put me back in touch with the 3 year old child. However, there will be visual compromises to help explain the images within the composition. The drawing is a complex, 360 degree look at the world. As a small child, I wasn’t burdened with perspective, physics…or even a focus point. I was free to joyfully explore my own narrative; how I indeed, saw the world.

Now, some five decades later, I will present anew this vision of life in the 1950s; all the while capturing the wide-eyed purity of the original interpretation. I have one advantage, though. I am still the little boy in many regards…I am only grown up on the outside.

Searching for a Theme

I have been back painting seriously for about 6 years. I realize now that I am committed to this for the rest of my life; this is something that I must do. I am a painter.

Winter's Home
Winter’s Home

Right now I’m having a lot of fun, and it seems that every new canvas takes me in a different direction. About a year ago, I started to look towards something more conservative in the landscape tradition, such as a winter resort in the Blue Mountain area, and a scene from a beautiful lake in the Rocky Mountains.

But soon my sense of humour prevailed, and I came up with the notion of a self portrait; representing myself as a plastic model kit. At first I thought the idea too esoteric, and I wondered how many people would understand it. I was pleasantly surprised; most people laughed, or at least, smiled, when they first saw it. Childhood memories, it seems, are very powerful.

The reaction to my self-portrait spurred me on to a series of tiny

Toy Series #3 Old Metal Cars
Toy Series #3 Old Metal Cars

paintings about vintage toys from the 1960s. Admittedly, there was a lot self indulgence involved, and I quite enjoyed these small (8″x10″) canvases. After painting number three, however, I got the urge to move on, this time into the field of social commentary. I am on a short break while I launch this site, but soon I will be shaking things up again.

The question is, do I keep searching for a specific look, category or style? Will it serve my career as an artist to find, and stick with a recognizable trademark, or do I continue to drift through whatever strikes me as engaging and fulfilling?

Maybe I will establish a stronger identity. Maybe. For now, I think, I will just drift for awhile longer…