Le Temps Perdu

2 Feb

When I was invited to send two small pieces to the StolenSpace Love/Hate show on somewhat tight timeline, I thought it would be a good challenge. I don’t believe that I’ve painted anything under 4 feet in height in many, many years, nor have I often tried to respond to an assigned theme.

Luckily I was told I could respond to that theme in as loose and abstract a manner as I wanted. For both 18″x18″ pieces (tiny, fergodssake!) I’ve painted mockingbirds engaged in the more ambiguous stages of the mating ritual. Love? Hate? A feathery fluster.

I was interested in further pursuing my recent practice of combining wildlife with images of the most human landscapes, overbuilt environments, decadent interiors, symbols of status and civilization. In searching about for some imagery of bars and taverns (where better to engage in ambiguous mating battles?) I came across some very interesting, poetic neon signs, and thought I should give it a shot: maybe I could paint neon.

My response to “Love” features the amorously engaged mockingbirds, double-exposed with the neon sign for Le Temps Perdu in Paris. The bar’s name translates to “The Lost Time”.

My response to “Hate” features another tussle, and the sign for a Belgian bar called A La Mort Subite… “To the Sudden Death”.

Then again, you might well switch which painting is associated with which emotion and find something more in these. Who am I to say?

I am not sure about small paintings, but I might try one again.

As for the neon, I think I can paint it! It bears another attempt.

In fact, I think I’ll go work on one right now.

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