Tuesday, May 29, 2012

05-29-12. "Jumper", a 2008 sculpture by Hans van Meeuwen.

Beefalo Beefalo (Green Shadow 4)

This painting is about the word "shadow". This is my fourth painting about this theme. This one is almost completely different from the first three. The only thing it has in common with the others is a focus on two main objects. This is the first in the series that is nearly abstract.

Monday, May 21, 2012

05-21-12. "Monumental Crutches", a 2002 sculpture by Jana Sterbak.

441 Blue Danube

"Blue Danube", oil on canvas, 16x20". For sale on Etsy.

I know that this probably looks like an ordinary flower painting, but, like all of my artworks, there is a story behind it. There is also a little additional online media connected to it. 

The piece is built around the phrase "blue danube". So, of course, I went to the library and picked up several versions of the Blue Danube Waltz by Johann Strauss II. I made an iTunes playlist of the five recordings I found, then listened to them until they earwormed me. This put me in the right state of mind to make a painting about "blue danube". The flowers in the painting are the 'Blue Danube' Stokes' aster (Stokesia laevis) and the 'Blue Danube' camassia (Camassia leichtlinii).

The online media accompanying the piece is a SoundCloud recording of me reading an excerpt from The Danube: A Cultural History by Andrew Beattie (which I found by using Google Books) with "House of the Blue Danube" from Malcolm McLaren and the Bootzilla Orchestra's 1989 album "Waltz Darling" playing in the background. You can listen to the recording from the link above (or, if that's not working, go here: http://soundcloud.com/kamilah-gill/blue-danube (sorry for no hyperlink, Blogger is borked today)).

Monday, May 14, 2012

05-14-12. Platform shoes.

Niyah & Amber & Gemstone Recitation

"Niyah & Amber & Gemstone Recitation", oil on canvas, 36x36in. (91.4x91.4 cm). For sale on eBay.
This painting is about amber and a series of related gemstones generated by a search engine algorithm. To select my subject, I did a realtime Twitter search for the word "amber". The results were mostly snapshots of girls and women named Amber. I selected the image and tweet that I liked the best on that day.

I don't know the woman and girl that I painted. I assume that the older person is named Amber, because the tweet (which is included in faint print in the upper left corner of the painting) includes the Twitter username "I_AmBurrrrr". That would mean that the young girl in her lap is named Niyah. The pair are listening to music coming from what appears to be an iPhone, iPod or other MP3 player while they sit on a bed with a polka-dotted sheet. The little girl seems to be holding earbuds to her ears, and the woman must be able to hear the music coming from them as well because she is "chair dancing" with her hands raised and eyes closed. The pair might be mother and child, or they could be aunt and niece, sisters, cousins, or unrelated.

Below the tweet in the upper left is what I've called the gemstone recitation. There are five chemical formulas and one common name for the six gemstones linked to amber by the search algorithm that I used. In order, they are turquoise, peridot, amethyst, citrine, aquamarine, and mother of pearl.