|Photo of disc|
In early 2010, at a meeting of the Arts Connection in West Vancouver, I heard about a venture called the International MiniArt Exchange, which was calling for submissions of paintings featuring faces. Here was an incentive to paint my perky little bathroom friend.
The Miniart Exchange is the brainchild of a Brazilian artist called Clara Pechansky. Clara's idea was to assemble a collection of small paintings that would travel the world and give people an opportunity to see a wide variety of international art. The first Exchange took place in Brazil in 2003, and has since spread to galleries and institutions on four continents. The paintings are not put up for sale, but circulate in batches among the venues. You can read more about the project and see lots of examples at www.miniartex.org
|The Bathtub Voyeur - acrylic on board|
As I wriggled around in the bath doing my research on the winking face, I realized that the reflective chrome was also acting as a distorting mirror, and that my own face and part of my torso were visible in the disc. I decided to include these in the painting. I don't think anyone would recognize me from this nudie self-portrait, but it made my submission doubly qualified to be in a show of faces. There is even a third, very tiny face, which doubles as the nose of the Voyeur, but this one is pure fantasy: there is a little circle there, part of the manufacturer's trade mark, but in reality it doesn't resemble a face at all.
Long after I'd sent the painting to Brazil it dawned on me that if I had really painted it while reclining in a tub of soapy water as in earlier days, the little chain that drapes decoratively around the "head" and disappears off the picture plane at the top would have been heading straight south to the plughole. I'm not sure if that would have made for a better composition, but I think I'm happy with the jewellery-like effect of the chain. It also makes the context clearer. In any event, unplugged as it is, my little voyeur is seeing the world, and might even be retitled "The Bathtub Voyageur."
|A Magnificent Weed - acrylic - 40" x 30" - 2010|
Next time (around March 27): Exalting the Humble: "A Magnificent Weed"