I’m a big fan of David Hockney; always have been. That’s really why I bought the robin’s egg horned rims. However, all similarities end there, although old Hock paints a mean woodland. My current fascination continues to be with my elephant ears who will shortly leave me for winter recess. Therefore, I am excited to cross the finish line with two colocasian compositions today, although I’ve still got a couple more yet to pass the halfway point.
The Ear Whisperer
Rather than attempt to focus on technical accuracy I have endeavored to capture sheer vibrance as I interpret these fascinating, partying perennials in the chaos of my very own verdant oasis.
I took entirely different approaches to each pachyderm plant portrayal using oils, brushes and knives and I had a thoroughly great time, visiting each one from time to time, along with some outdated music, whenever I felt motivated. For both shrubbery shrines, I used the firmer, smoother Gessobord, which was a welcome break from canvas.
Although I’ll likely lose my ears to frostbite this winter, my gesso greenery will hopefully harken back to the hazy days of midsummer.
I’ve always liked elephant ears: Big rubbery, flappy happy-go-lucky heart-shaped semaphores that appear designed solely to convey optimism and joy. So rapidly do they appear in North America’s summertime that one day there is nothing, the next small packs of fine Cohibas unfurl here and there, and by the end of the week you’re in the Day of the Triffids.
And thus the quintessential English landscaped garden is transformed instantly from order, symmetry and standardization to a haphazard playful phalanx of emerald and avocado. It is perplexing how such gangly, delicate fronds endure high winds, incorrigible children, darting dogs, and inept conscripted gardeners. Nonetheless, when one is damaged irreparably it quickly and calmly makes way for a new leader, restoring order, beauty and balance to the herd.
With the dawn of a new year, I thought I’d start a new series of paintings, somewhat more novel than previously attempted. In my mind, such a bold shrub deserves to be tackled intrepidly with suitable tools and materials; more knife than brush, more board than canvas, and mixed media to boot. Since oil paint takes so long to dry, especially when mixed liberally with linseed oil I will attempt several projects simultaneously. Shown here are the first three in the series—all unfinished at this time, and I am considering various oversized print applications. I will update as I make reasonable progress.