Monday, December 14, 2009
When Jane of modernemama asked if I would paint a portrait of her Andrew Gellar modern home, I decided to dive headlong into the task. It was made easier after a terrific meal (and several bottles of wine) at Crew since I had a better fix on how I was going to represent their already interesting home in a surreal painting. I knew Jane to be a cat lover and The Guy, a fan of the butterfly, but I wanted to make the images more complex than that. After looking at some works by Italian painter Georgio de Chirico and Belgian Rene Magritte, I decided to develop two different images. The top image, a symmetrical facade, became an open book, with the chimney serving as its spine. The ground started as a chess board, since The Guy soundly trounced me in a game, but the image needed something to alter the scale, hence the blue jay feather. I love blue jays, not just for their color, but for their ability to transform their call to sound just like a hawk. The second image was more straightforward, except for the topiary shrub on the right, a dog peeking around the corner to check out the cat and the luna moth. It was a great exercise to try to capture both home and homeowner in such a symbolic way.