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Come Fly With Me...
This was my first painting ever!
I was working on Lord of the Rings in New Zealand and had a really big apartment on the top of a building in downtown Wellington. The entire apartment was glass (which sounds great until you realize it's freezing in winter, and boiling in summer. I did not renew my lease).
The kitchen had 'real walls' which were very empty.
This was back in the days before Ikea could supply anyone with pre-fabricated and pre-framed art. So I had two options.
- Have empty walls (they were bright orange! Italian landlords...)
- Paint something!
I had studied painting for the one year I attended Art Center College of Design in Pasadena. I SUCKED at painting. Seriously, I was awful. I didn't 'get it'. But over a decade later I threw my cautions to the wind and thought 'what's the worst that can happen?'. Besides, I'd been inspired after seeing Rembrandt's studio on a previous trip to Amsterdam.
Hence a painting was in the stars.
Next up I needed a subject. At the time I had a girlfriend in Los Angeles, so my natural inspiration was to talk about my inherent loneliness. Hence I created an homage to air travel. That amazing thing that brought loved ones close to us, or ripped them away.
Being a fan of 1960's illustrations I concocted this design. Originally I wanted to paint the shapes on plywood that I'd cut out. Fortunately I didn't have access to a bandsaw so a canvas would have to do.
Not feeling too confident in my painting abilities I decided to keep this very cartoony and simple. It's very different from my other works, but the poem is one of my favorites. It's ironic and leaves a lot to the imagination!
Here was my first sketch:
I had my friend Kate pose.
And here's the sketch that was transferred to the canvas:
And here is the final painting hanging on that bright orange New Zealand wall: