NEW WORK: "Head in the Sky"

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Group show featuring Valentines inspired by Talking Heads

Will Bryant, Kate Bingaman-Burt and Frank Chimero are putting on a killer show at Portland's Land gallery this month for Valentines Day and they were kind enough to invite me to participate!

I'll be honest, I'm not the biggest Talking Heads fan. Cat is out of the bag, but I do love what I've heard. You see I grew up in a creatively depraved home (Dad an accountant, big Phil Collins fan, Mom in corporate human resources, she loves "Disco"), and I had limited access to music. Mostly I listened to what my older brother gave me, which from what I hear is pretty common.

My brother loved gangster rap and Rn'B so I grew up on 2pac and Boyz II Men.

I am now reformed, and although I still like rap (and sometimes not-so-secretly have a Boyz II Men binge), I don't listen to it that often anymore.

Last year however, while working in NYC with Andrew Neyer on our collaborative show, Color Me _____, for the "Draw Something 2" app launch party, Andrew put on Talking Heads. He is a big fan. Actually Andrew really reminds me of what I've see from David Byrne.

Anyway I remember really liking it, and while listening back to prep for the show, the song "This Must Be The Place", from the "Speaking in Tongues" album, really stuck out to me. Just ask my wife, I've listened to it about 100 times since then.

There were a lot of bizarre, pseudo-romantic lyrics in there too, so I decided to take them the extra mile and make them really twee and gushy within this print.

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I've always played with scanned textures as far back as I can remember in my career, but I've always been afraid of using non-flat textures. I got into to design through screen printed posters, and because of this, the flat technique with color and shading has always felt comfortable.

I've always played with watercolor though. Actually in college I used a lot of these sorts of textures in my experiments, but it wasn't until last year that I started to try to integrate them into my professional work.

I decided to take this plunge on this piece and I'm really happy I did. I love the way it turned out and actually I feel like these textures helped me accomplish something I've been trying to do for ages. Usually within my work I'm trying to achieve a feeling more than a concept, and these dark watery-foggy tones really enhance the mood I'm shooting for.

Above you can see some of the water colors I scanned for this project. Call me crazy but I scanned them at 1200 dpi to insure no unwanted graininess. 

Then in Photoshop I copied and pasted sections from these and collaged them into my piece using different opacity layers.

I sort of always see my work as digital collage. I love the happy accidents that happen from the trial and error of throwing different sections of these water colors onto the piece, and being surprised by something working in a way I didn't expect.

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