12 x 16 inches, oil on canvas board, 2017
Monday, April 10, 2017
This year sees a resurgence of music from when I started the top 100 at the most intense music fan years of my life. I guess when people get older they tend to revisit the music with which they grew up. The Residents surely falls into this category. The song Hello Skinny from Duck Stab/Buster & Glen (1978) was listed in mid-eighties, and the Top 100 had never seen a Residents song in its list since. I had never painted The Residents before and they're notoriously hard to paint because their identities are not known. As a portrait painter I could not portray any of The Residents but could possibly revert to Snakefinger, listed on the song's credits, and whose identity is known but never was an official member of the Residents. The band members have always hid behind masks, most prominently in the shape of an eyeball. Now this landscape painting, a sunset, had been sitting on my shelves for almost a year, ever since I had to fill in teaching a painting class that would only use a palette knife. I had never painted with a palette knife before and decided I would be brave and do a demo anyways. I never liked palette knife paintings and the result of my demo was horrible, even though the students seemed to like it, and, when looking at it from a distance, it wasn't quite so bad. I didn't throw it out. So now when it was time to paint The Residents I saw an opportunity to use it. Sunsets make it that everything seen in front of it turn black, silhouettes. It took me a half an hour to paint the silhouettes of the Residents, eyeballs and all.