Another one from the five-year plan file. It should be noted that such pictures rarely, if ever, resemble the images that were floating in my head years ago, since new work is done on them when it's their turn to be painted. In this case, I was still living in CA when this one hatched. From even the earliest days on this blog, I've made a couple of references to the feeling of floating in space. Usually it's been a musical sensation, but there does seem to be something awfully embryonic about the imagery.
The image floated around in my head for awhile, as it were, until recently. I'd been wanting to paint something in the science-fiction vein for awhile, and this image was popping up again, among others. What sealed the deal was iTunes. Once again, music. In this case, it was seeing that, without my notice, the Flaming Lips had just released a new album, entitled, strangely enough, "Embryonic," which from the beginning was the very title I had in mind for this painting. Well, I considered the deal sealed (and bought the album while I was at it). I started gathering images of embryos, and loved the reddish glow present in most of them. Nebula in the distance helped to get across the back-lit fluidity of environment present in some of the images. The pencil drawing below then was the basis for the image:
The image was then painted 18x24" in oils. Though while painting I'm often rotating the painting to work on it from different angles, I painted it originally in the horizontal aspect of the sketch. However, in the end, I actually preferred it as a vertical for some reason. I'd actually already signed it horizontally, but ever since finishing it, I have preferred showing it vertically, and it currently hangs in my house in that orientation. As well, it's being presented on my website vertically. I suppose it's a positive thing that I think it works in a couple of orientations, given the weightless no-way-is-up nature of deep space. I may change my mind again at some point, who knows?
Wide or tall, tall or wide...?