Saturday, March 31, 2007

Monkeys Galore

Monkey Wallpaper
Red-Ruffed Lemur 1894 Chromolithograph
Spider Monkey 1894 Chromolithograph
Monkey -1894 Chromolithograph
My friend sent me this great sample of monkey wallpaper and I found these antique prints here: Collectors Prints
I have been locked away for the last 5 or 6 weeks working on a new painting in my "monkey love" series. It's more ambitious than most and it is taking me forever to finish. If I owe emails to anyone, I hope they will understand that I must block out all distractions temporarily.
I start from scratch with my paintings and don't use any reference materials except perhaps my own previous works (to stay consistent). My first painting ("Banana Eater") in the "monkey love" series was researched, however. It was loosely based on the people, animals and plants of French Guiana or Devil's Island. (I needed a background setting- like a novelist would have in the opening paragraphs of a book.) That is where my squirrel monkey came from. Some people think my work is Polynesian or Hawaiian-based, and I have to admit that it has evolved now into a kind of cross-over art, but it wasn't my intention. It is all intuitive. The drawing comes first (from my imagination) and then I transfer it to canvas. I do enjoy looking at all kinds of vintage art, though, and over the years, it has become a part of me- my roots. One thing I don't do is look at contemporary art too closely. One must stay pure and create one's own unique little modern symbols and icons without straying into anyone else's territory. That's my philosophy, although I know that some current day artists tend to mimic whatever is "in" at the moment (nevermind copyrights). To me, that is not real art and defeats the whole purpose of creating something entirely new!

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