Monday, December 16, 2013

Jesus, the Mouse, and the Mission

Friday, December 6th marked the opening of 'Jesus! A December Celebration of the Christ' at R. Pela Gallery in Phoenix, AZ. With a juried show that included Arizona art notables and members of the clergy, I was told that a nun explained the significant meanings in my piece to the other jurors and touched on the mouse... When told this I was stunned as even I don't know what the mouse means. While painting I knew I had to put something in Jesus' hand and a voice kept saying, "A mouse, put a mouse." So I did.

At the very tail end (no pun intended) of the show, a gentleman approached me and pointed to my piece asking if he could tell me about it. People often do this and I'm open to hear interpretations. I obliged and we meandered to my piece where he asked, "Do you know what the mouse means?" I chuckled. When I told him that intuition guided me to simply paint a mouse he explained that on the facade of the Mission San Xavier del Bac just south of Tucson, AZ there is a cat on the right side chasing a mouse on the left. Indian legend says that if the cat ever catches the mouse it means the end of the world.

Now I don't expect a concrete form to move and catch another, but after seeing Doctor Who and the weeping angels, perhaps anything is possible. I froze, looked at the man and again at the mouse I precariously hung from Jesus' hand. On that note the evening ended and I was once again reminded why I love doing what I do.

Visit the Mission Church

'Now You Have a Choice' is available at R. Pela Gallery. Contact Robrt for painting information and to see more of my work.

Phone: 602-320-8445


Website: R. Pela Gallery

This Friday is Collectors Night. The gallery will be open from 6-9 pm. Show runs through Dec 31. R. Pela Gallery, 335 West McDowell Road, Phoenix, AZ

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

The Battle of La Mofeta vs. Lucky G.

I'm currently working on a piece for Modified Arts Gallery of an elk with a human eye - as though the human is wearing a mask. This is a recurring theme in my work - the idea of wearing a mask and taking on its persona. I thought to myself, 'Where did this come from? What was the first painting?' and I laughed when I remembered...

I can thank my mutant chihuahua, Lucky G, for the inspiration as one night two years ago he heard a noise out in the yard and went to investigate. In the desert in the pitch dark there's no telling what's outside. It could've been a javelina or coyote. Moments after he bolted outside I heard a scuffle and him yelping. Next thing I knew he scurried inside reeking of skunk along with a newly brandished large bleeding gash behind his ear. The wound healed in time. The smell however.. well, it took 6 months to completely get it out of his long hair.

I decided to commemorate the skunk's victory by depicting him as a Lucha Libre wrestler with my dog's blood on his nails and a halo above his head. I laugh every time I see this painting.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

The Heatmeister

Hot of the easel, here is a detailed photo of The Heatmeister. It all started with The Sopranos, when someone called Tony 'the grillmeister'. My ears perked up and the light bulb above my head turned on. This will be a three part series of 12x12 inch mixed media paintings. 'The Grillmeister', 'The Heatmeister' and I believe the last will be 'The Toastmeister'. Can you make the correlation between the tip of the tongue and the heart? Then you will understand 'The Heatmeister'.

Monday, September 9, 2013

The Birth of Bookworm

With collage I have two options. 1- Collage whatever pieces on the board and go with it serendipitously. This option is often rewarding and likely taxing on my nerves. Option 2- Plan the painting ahead of time as far as the objects are concerned so I know where to place them. I had to go with option #2 with Bookworm because of his glasses and the puzzle pieces in his lower 'worm' torso. I didn't paint the glasses - they're plastic and stand out from the board. Everything else was up to chance. I see him as a quasi-adult version of Harry Potter. I recently devoured the entire series of audio books and movies.

The pinecone and stag are recurring elements in my current work. I have an idea what their messages are, but quite honestly I'm not sure yet, so I'll keep painting them until they become a bore. I do remember the instant the stag creatively 'hit' me so to speak. I was living in Oregon, sitting in a Northern Exposure-like restaurant with a stag head adorning the wall. I looked up to the stag and something clicked, something shifted. He must've inserted a microchip in my head that evening. Maybe it's the Wisconsin in me that's trying to get my attention. The pinecone is new to me, and I've collected a bowl of them. It isn't something I look forward to painting - how can you replicate the perfection of Nature? You can't. But something says to 'paint the pinecone" and I just do it.