"Greener": third in a series

I'm tentatively calling this work "Greener", as in "the grass is always..."
The focal image is a composite paint-over of my mother as a kid.
My mother was forever looking at what other people had and assuming it had to be better. Even though by the standards of mid-century Lexington's black community, she was practically born with a silver spoon in her mouth. (She's in the front row of her class picture, third from the right.)
At dinner, she used to spear bites off my dad's plate (my brother and I joked for years that her picking at his food was a major reason why my parents split up.) Same food: it just looked better on my dad's plate. I wanted to express that in the colors I used for this piece.
Her favorite color was yellow -- she painted my room that color, and I spent many teenaged hours hating it -- so I gave her a yellow dress with green shadows to comment on her envy.

Envy is a poisonous emotion, but it's also melodramatic. Envy makes you the star of the story. So I used green's direct complement -- red -- to edge the paper and caulk "crags" of her cave. One of my stamp ink colors calls it "Lava Red" and I like the barely-contained churning image that evokes.
I also designed the crags to hang like curtains in a theater, and placed the focal image in its broken-down balcony.  (My mom was still a child when African-American movie-goers were required to sit in balcony seats, furthest from the screen and the white movie-goers.) In her left hand she holds a bucket of grudges.
Her classmates stand below, just barely visible behind the mica "movie screen" showing the house in which she grew up.
In the last class I took with Michael deMeng, he suggested mixing the grungy wash right on the substrate, instead of on a palette, to make it more uneven and random. I tried that, and dry-brushed a little lava black here and there on the yellow-painted caulk.
For this piece, I decided to add metal feet. But as cute as they were in the package, I didn't want them to steal the show. I piled on caulk, then brought back some of the detail with paint washes.
So now it's baroque, but a craggy kind of baroque. And it's done before the new year!

I haven't yet looked into exhibitions to show this piece, but I'm sure something is just waiting around the corner. And that's about as far as I've planned the next year in art. Do you already have plans? Share in the comments or on Facebook.
Posted on December 28, 2011 and filed under "art shows", "commercial art".