Big fan of film. That’s me. From the days watching the Saturday Morning Serials at the local theater, right up to today’s endless options found on Netflix. And certainly, the excitement of sitting in that dark theater, right in front of the BIG screen, waiting for those ads to appear, telling us to “turn those phones off”. Right…..
So, that brings me to the point of today’s blog. It’s about the movies as a backdrop for choosing one’s artistic themes or subjects. Or for that matter, actual incorporating Movie Still’s into a painting.
If you had a chance to read my very first Blog, you know I began my artistic journey in 2010 with classes at the Brookhaven School of Art in Farmers Branch, TX (a suburb of Dallas). Fine Art Photography was my first venture. And I must say, turned out to be a great choice, because I learned a bit about creating interesting images, and as a result, began to gain a sense of composition, contrast and form. Super valuable as I begin to summon up the courage to actually try my hand at Painting. Next however, came the Drawing….. both Life Drawing and Basic Drawing. And finally, in 2012, my attention turned to Painting. Both with Oils and with Watercolor.
Back to the point. Using Film as a source of inspiration, and then associating it, somehow, with real life. After my first full term learning the basics of Watercolor, the assignment given us by our venerable professor, was the use of negative space. I chose a portrait. And because I wanted to challenge myself with something everyone might recognize, I picked Al Capone; the famous prohibition era gangster and Chicago mob boss whose been portrayed in so many movies and TV drams. Here’s the result……. with lots of negative space.
A successful portrait, if I do say so myself. But now, the idea of pairing this “real life” bad guy with a similar character from the Movies. And for this I chose Quinton Tarantino’s film Pulp Fiction, and the LA crime boss Marsellus Wallace, played so wonderfully by Ving Rhames.
With that idea resonating, I was able to create a number of associated diptych’s, to include Mob boss John Gotti & the Jack Nicholson character from the Departed. Billy the Kid and Robert Redford’s Sundance from Butch Cassidy & the Sundance Kid. From Scarface, Tony Montana played by Al Pacino paired with the infamous Colombian Drug Lord, Pablo Escobar. 1920’s bank robber John Dillinger and Jimmy Cagney’s similar criminal character, Cody Jarrett form White Heat. And finally, the Ponzi schemer, Bernie Madoff, with the sinister corporate raider, Gordon Gecko from Wall Street. Just did an OJ Simpson portrait, so I’m prolly not done with this theme, quite yet.
So…… I guess the moral to the story is that your subject is where you find it. And sometimes its where the Movies meet Real Life.
Until next time…