Portrait of a Dream Merchant

portraitofadreammerchant
Portrait of a Dream Merchant 10x8” acrylic with gouache on board

He arrives in town and soon a crowd begins to line up outside his wagon. One at a time, his signal given, his eyes met, they climb the steps and enter. The room is perceived differently by every individual. It may be cool with clouds of fog drifting up from the sea, the sound of surf soothing and deep as the warmth of a lover’s hand grasps tightly, or lit by the orange glow of a campfire, its flames merrily reaching upward towards the millions of stars twinkling in the velvet black above, or filled by a rushing breeze as arms become feathers stretching out wide while the earth passes below, or scented by the sweet aroma of an elder’s holiday baking, the air punctuated by the laughter of long missed friends.

The room is really quite empty, the walls bare. But the man is a dream merchant and proffers to each of his guests a glimpse of their deepest desires, his judgement seldom in error. A deal is struck, a bargain made. A few coins change hands, but it’s not money he seeks. Instead, tonight, as they drift down the paths he crafted for them, he will ride along, and smell the blue-green sea air, and feel the warmth of a lover’s touch, and once again hear the laughter of long missed friends.

What's That Painting All About Anyway?

ginnimoon
Ginni Moon Prepares for Takeoff 22x28” Acrylic on board.

Earlier this month I was interviewed by Did Menendez of Poets ?Artists magazine about my work in the upcoming Immortality and Vulnerability exhibition, which will open at the Zhou B Art Center April17. You can read it here.

In the interview I was asked to describe a bit about the painting I will have in the show. I don’t do that too often preferring to let viewers have their own interpretation without my input shading their opinion. But after reading one of the comments received I’m beginning to rethink some of my reluctance to explain my work.

“Excellent article!! Love to hear you describe your work. It's like a peek inside your head giving us a chance to see more depth in your paintings. I find myself going back to look again at the work you are describing and seeing a whole other layer I missed the first couple times. I wish you would explain or narrate your work all the time.”

Much of my work has a narrative quality to it, it’s something that just seems to happen when I paint. If I’m not depicting a certain person or place in their own right, I’ll often see my subjects as something like characters in a play. As I work the play unfolds and I begin to learn more about the people who inhabit it. So here are a few thoughts about another painting, “Ginni Moon Prepares for Takeoff” and its subject, Ginni Moon.

You can just barely see it now from where she’s standing. Over there, down the road to the left, at the top of the hill, (outside our view), the tired old farm house that Ginni Moon lived in. The exterior is weatherbeaten, chipped and peeling green paint giving way to dark, wet wood underneath. The roof is a patchwork of rust and black and grey shingles and the wooden screen door on the back porch creaks and bangs shut in the breeze. Ginni has lived in that house all her life, most of those years in the front bedroom at the top of the stairs. Her bedroom window overlooks the muddy driveway coming up from the blacktop road to the house, and across the road are the now empty fields that run all the way to the horizon. She’s thinking about her room right now, about its scuffed pink walls and the thrift store coverlet on her bed. On the windowsill there’s a little figure dressed in blue. He’s been standing watch there ever since she stuffed him into her pocket on one of those thrift store shopping trips. She sometimes imagines him as her dashing rescuer, her prince come to sweep her away from her drab life, and carry her to the bright, glittery world she’s certain exists out there beyond the bare trees and the stark fields. A world she’s certain is just waiting for her arrival. She wonders if he’s the only one who heard her leave that day, heard the way the wooden screen door banged shut with an odd finality. Ginni will walk a few steps down the blacktop road and when she turns and looks over her shoulder she’ll no longer be able to see the tired old farm house on top of the hill.

There you go, some of what was running through my mind as I painted this piece and came to know the subject. I wonder where Ginni is today? Maybe sometime she’ll reappear at the end of my brush.

I would very much like to hear your thoughts about the painting, so please send them along, and they may be used in a blog post down the road.

The Satyr's Eye

thesatyrseye
The Satyr’s Eye 5x3.5” (approx) acrylic on wood

The newest piece from the “Dankquart Collection” project is this artifact titled “The Satyr’s Eye”, a piece of faux fresco from an imagined, lost civilization. As with these two pieces, (scroll down) “The Satyr’s Eye” comes mounted in a black shadow box and is ready to hang on the wall or display on a desktop or shelf. Sold
satyrbox