Friday, June 2, 2017

"Listening to Sweet Transvestite"
24 x 48"
Acrylic with gold leaf
I did this larger than life sized painting a few years ago for a Halloween art show at a local gallery.  The theme of the show was the Rocky Horror Picture Show.  I had very little time to complete a piece so I worked in acrylic which I knew would be quick.  I very rarely work in acrylic or oil unless I am doing a demo while teaching a class, so this is something really unusual for me. This painting eventually lead to me doing my series of music inspired pastels.  I wrote about this in a past blog on April 21, 2016.

I pulled it out of storage the other day, dusted it off and took another look at it. I wanted to enter an acrylic painting into an upcoming show at the Charles Taylor Art Center since I will be teaching oil and acrylics there this summer.  This painting came to mind and I thought perhaps I could give it a bit of a touch up and try  my luck.  It is a bit controversial for this part of  highly conservative Virginia, so I would be surprised if it got in.

I decided to tie it in with my current series, and show a figure being immersed in pattern, as if they are surrounded by music.  First I went back into the figure and tightened up a few messy spots.Once I was satisfied with my improvements I added gold leaf.  The original painting was intended to be highly textured, so I glued crinkled tissue paper to the canvas and painted over it.  I gilded the tops of the crinkles and added pattern that wrapped around the figure.

The canvas is 2 inches thick, so I wrapped the image around the edges.  Where you see the lettering cropped off, it actually is continued on the sides of the piece.

This subject, the rights of transgender people and cross dressers, is actually something that I feel very strongly about. The model for this painting is a family member who is cross dresser. He was actually just dressed in jeans, with no make up for our impromptu photo shoot.  I had great fun dressing him up in my painting.

Listen to the song that inspired this piece at "Sweet Transvestite" video