20 May 2009

The Studio Plunder...A History, Part Four

The late 90's were a difficult time in my life. The personal trauma that comes up can be more than some can handle. I didn't deal with mine very well. I had started to spend most of creative energy on photography. The time spent drawing and painting had become experimentation. I wasn't sure what mediums I wanted to work in, what style, what subjects.

I let my sorrow dictate most of my work. They were dark and heavy most of the time. I stopped rendering eyes open with few exceptions.  I was searching for direction but had no idea of where I wanted to go.

This is the first of the "Sorrow" works. The morning after I painted this my life was turned upside down and inside out. All of those memories are now attached to this work. I have thought about getting rid of it, thinking that maybe if the painting were gone, the memories would go with it. I look at it and I can still feel all of the pain. 

This was on the cover of a book. I saw it and this boys face was burned into my brain. One morning I woke and had to get it out. 

I was always a fan of colored pencils. The graphic designer in me. When I was a student all design work was still done by hand.

These were my take on high contrast photographs I had taken. In case you don't see it, it's a reclining female nude.

I have always like Pop Art. Romero Britto is one of my favorites. I started following him before he was the international superstar he is today. These were done in oil pastels. A wonderful medium that I still use.

Markers are also a medium that I use quite often. More of my design background. They are great for quick studies in color. This is called "Race to Naked"

It was 1998. I had been in the gallery side of the art world for about 10 years already. It had beaten me down. My luck being what it is, I had managed to work for several of the sleaziest people in the art world. It was breaking my spirit. I was questioning my own beliefs. I need a new path. That was the year I decide to become a chef. I left the gallery world and started volunteering at a local cooking school and ended up with a job in one of San Diego's most decorated restaurants.

From the end of 98 until mid 2001 I trained and cooked, learning everything I could get our executive chef to teach me. Cooking really is counter culture. Late nights, long hot hours, lots of drinking and drugs. And I loved every minute of it. Cooking is and art after all.  It was just what I needed and it turned me around and gave me the direction I had been looking for.


Christine said...

Those reclining female nudes are gorgeous.

And, yeah, I had to chuckle at "one of the most decorated restaurants..."....because it had a young artist working there, right ;)

Don't you dare get rid of your Sorrow pieces. Maybe you can't always look at them, but they are part of you. I know, because I have a stash of Confused Misery and Need that is basically radioactive to me; I can barely go back and read it, but I'll be damned if I get rid of it---it will be one of the first things I grab if I have to evacuate...

Anonymous said...

What a fascinating post! I love the changes in style and medium. It's like an autobiography without words, (if that makes any sense?)
The reclining nudes are stunning!