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Jun 19, 2016
Astronaut for "La Lune" at Haven Gallery

Sometimes its fun to glimpse a little deeper into how a painting comes together! This piece "Astronaut" is a pretty special one for several reasons, both technically and emotionally. Lets have a peek at her, and then I'll tell you the story!

When thinking about stories of the moon for the “La Lune” theme of this show, what came to mind most strongly for me was watching science fiction movies with my dad when I was little. He’s a Physicist, and his love of space & exploration sank deep into my subconscious. Two of my favorite songs are also about lost astronauts, “Space Oddity” by Bowie and “Astronaut” by Amanda Palmer. Like two sides of the same coin, one refers to the astronaut doomed in the isolation of space, the other is from the perspective of the loved one left behind to mourn the loss. These elements make-up the core of this painting, and to me it feels like there is a story here that we are only glimpsing a small portion of. Perhaps fittingly, the piece is one of my rare self-portraits!

For many months, I've been experimenting with new media in the studio, and "Astronaut" also presents a technical breakthrough there! After a lot of trial and error, I've perfected a method where the paintings can be on acrylic panels instead of masonite wood panels. Acrylic is a stable, archival compound that doesn't warp or discolor over time, making it ideal for the work I do! But even more excitingly, it comes in a multitude of brilliant colors, and the edges don't burn when laser cut. So the edges & reverse side of this painting are midnight blue, and glimmer when the light hits them just right. This is a substrate I can't wait to use more, and this painting is the first to utilize the new technique, making it pretty special!

This painting also pushed a lot of my boundaries. As you likely know, my work is usually very opulent & floral, and features mostly nude figures. All the components that make up this subject pushed my skills, which was a refreshing challenge! While this piece is conceptually quite experimental, some of these techniques and elements will certainly find their way into future works.