Monday, March 20, 2017

Till The End - the reveal

So here at last - in it's entirety - is the final acrylic painting 'Till The End'. If you made it to The Artist Project art fair in Toronto, you would have gotten to see this piece in person. Of all the original works in my booth - this one was by far the most popular painting.



THE STORY: 

The idea for this painting was inspired by a documentary I saw about the ecosystem Big Cypress National Preserve ('Big Cypress Swamp: The Western Everglades', 2009, directed by Elam Stolzfus). Though I have yet to visit in person, it's visuals lingered in my mind as such a mystical place. I wanted to convey that mood as well as nod to the documentary's conservation efforts (it has been declared as a National Preserve since 1974). The painting serves as a cumulative environmental parable.



The central figure is Kermit the frog, (who most closely resembles a Green Tree Frog, a native species of the swamp) is depicted as a sage in the image who has sworn to protect his habitat. I chose a frog because according to National Park Service: "Amphibians tend to be highly sensitive to environmental changes, for that reason scientists often use them to determine the overall health of an area." He holds a book labeled 'nisi' - the Latin word for 'unless'. It is a reference to my favorite Dr. Seuss book, 'The Lorax' (the celestial character appearing in the smoke) and law. In law, a decree nisi, a ruling that will become absolute unless evidence is presented as to why it should not pass prior to a certain date. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Decree_nisi

The title is borrowed from the Yann Tiersen song of the same name from his 2010 'Dust Lane' album (listen to it while looking at the painting for best impact). 

Amazingly, the original painting is still available! Contact me if you're interested.

'Till The End'
acrylic on masonite
22.25"x19.25" (including frame)
$ for sale

Tuesday, February 07, 2017

In need of a Crazy Minute? I am.

So how are you feeling today? Superb? Or just a shade above normal? Perhaps what you need is a crazy minute! 

'Awaiting Crazy Minute', acylic on masonite, 13"x14.5" (including frame)

An aid to getting through the lesser fun parts of life is spending time being silly.

Years ago, I created such a silly break with my youngest sister (who was much younger at the time) called 'crazy minute'. Crazy minute is the last minute of every hour (9:59, 10:59, 11:59, etc...). At every crazy minute, you would do a dance, wave your arms up, do gymnastics, or some enthusiastic variation over the next 60 seconds to recuperate your energy. 

Visually, the panting is made to look tranquil with lighting based on the late afternoon sun beaming in. Typically, it is a lazy time of the day when there's still work to be done and less interesting things seem to happen. Cuckoo clocks are quiet until every minute of the new hour when the silence is abruptly broken. And that is the whole point of crazy minute - it's meant to disrupt stagnancy.


Have tickets to the art fair yet?? If not, click here or the image above to receive a discount on regular admission tickets.  


See you in  just over 2 weeks! Stay creative,
 
-Jono





Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Huckleberries

Wow! The Artist Project art fair I've been preparing for in Toronto is now less than a month away! I hope you are planning to come. (If you still don't have tickets yet, click the header image above for a discount on regular admission tickets.) 

I want to share another painting I did for the upcoming event with you:


                                           Huckleberries, acrylic on masonite,
                                    8"x10" (image) 13.5"x15.5" (including frame) 



There is a George Carlin routine where he talks about how there is no blue food that isn't naturally occurring. (And YES, he mentions blueberries aren't actually blue. Well, yes & no: they appear blue before consumption, but once you put them in a recipe they turn a distinct purple or a lavender color.) Huckleberry Hound is blue (cyan if you want to be specific), and not actually the same color as huckleberries. I think of blue food as some sort of mythical treat said to exist, but no-one has ever seen or tasted... 




You probably wouldn't have believed me, but the customized ornate frame came after I already completed the painting! 

The frame directly above was the first frame I put it in. I customized it and it did suit the job, but later on I came across the other frame with the berry motif. It was PERFECT - as if it was made for that painting! 

I removed it from the previous frame - after it had already been mounted and everything. I thought it would be cool to show you the difference. Can't wait to show you the painting in person!  


See you next month! Stay creative,

-Jono

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Taking responsibility

Here is the final painting of 'Responsibility'. (I finished it up before the end of the year, but had to wait after the holiday to get it scanned.) 

'Responsibility'acrylic on wood panel, 12"x16" (framed)


The subject matter of this painting was inspired by a quote from neurologist and psychiatrist, Dr. Viktor Frankl: 


"Freedom, however, is not the last word. Freedom is only part of the story and half of the truth. Freedom is but the negative aspect of the whole phenomenon whose positive aspect is responsibleness. In fact, freedom is in danger of degenerating into mere arbitrariness unless it is lived in terms of responsibleness. That is why I recommend that the Statue of Liberty on the East Coast be supplemented by a Statue of Responsibility on the West Coast." 

Viktor Frankl was also the founder of logotherapy - a theory holding the belief that human nature is motivated by the search for a life purpose. -

The Peter Pan statue in the painting (which mirrors the poise of the Statue of Liberty) holds a story book (instead of a tablet) that reads 'PUER AETERNUS' - Latin for 'Eternal Boy'. This is also a term in psychology to describe an individual (mostly attributed to adult males, but not necessarily gender specific) who has remained socially immature. -

The more we age, the more responsibilities we inherit. When I think about the fictional character, Peter Pan, I see him as synonymous with irresponsibly in his efforts to protest adulthood due to his residence in a fantasy land where he never ages. This disdain would also counter Frankl's logotherapy theory as one can not learn what our purpose is if we do not give ourselves an opportunity to discover what we can become. The spiraling galleon on the right has sailed from Neverland only to go out of control with the crew's inability to navigate in a world with accountability. 

The painting will be for sale next month at Toronto's 2017
The Artist Project art fair

















Sunday, January 01, 2017

Happy New Year!


Happy 2017! I hope you and your friends had a wonderful holiday.


I've had a very productive year (2016) and have made what I feel are some of my best paintings to date. (All the images above are new paintings that were made this year. Since it's 2016, I thought I'd do a recap of the best 16 images.) While I do receive a lot of enjoyment in creating art, I retain equal enjoyment in seeing the response my work has on others. Making images is a way I've chosen to communicate with individuals and I'm honored that you're one of them. 


I look forward to sharing more new art with you this year and hope you will join me in February for the 2017 The Artist Project in Toronto.

-Jono