I recently created a set of paintings that tell someone’s story

In mid May I traveled to Fairfax, California for the wedding of my friend’s Russell and Nicole. This was a special and intimate occasion since I officiated the wedding. I knew making a wedding gift for Russel and Nicole would require a personal touch.

New painting set

I created a new set of paintings for a couple of friends in California. As an aside, I also officiated their wedding. I initiated some sketches based on designing/abstracting the face/creating masks. Initially I hadn’t planned on including these in a painting necessarily. However, I had a second set of sketches that were just purely abstract.

Around this time I bought a book on symbolism. The first chapter of this book used shoes in several different contexts to tell a story. The one that stuck out to me was the idea of walking in someone else’s shoes. Therefore I included a boot and a woman’s high heel shoe.

Implementing ideas

I used the color schemes of the paintings in an unconventional manner. in a sense, each mask on the lower right or upper left represent a male and female character study. Instead of exactly matching the items in the corresponding paintings with the same colors (male objects = blue or female objects = red) I did the opposite. This is intended to symbolize the concept that people tend to take on aspects of their partners lives when they join in marriage. In other words, “what’s mine is yours.”

Multi panel paintings can be moved around to adjust the narrative.

The biggest benefit of creating multiple panels for a painting can be to create a fluid narrative. The biggest reason reason I actually do this initially tends to relate to shipping. A few small panels can ship very easily.

Much like my painting “Still Waters” I saw an opportunity to reshape the way ideas were communicated in my paintings. It also forces me to break down iconography and compartmentalize where it gets included.

How I connected the symbolism with the subject matter

Beyond the shoe metaphor, I had to find a way to personalize the imagery. I decided to include the following: the state flowers of each individual and some reference to their astrological sign. The shoes also tend to relate to where they are from, somewhat. Russel being from Texas, sometimes wears boots.

In any case, I really enjoyed making these paintings. They formed fairly rapidly. I created these paintings in probably a couple weeks. I’ll be thinking on ways to use a similar thought process for future paintings. Stay tuned.

Speaking of which…

I recently ordered a t-shirt for my Father for father’s day. See the finished product below. Click the links below to order t-shirts and prints.