single and double element paintings

One avenue of exploration that runs across several of my series is the positing of women in traditionally male-dominated roles such as astronaut, pilot — and to some degree wearer of hoodie, which then resulted in there being paintings of Black women as astronauts, pioneers of aviation, and Black men and women as wearers of hoodies. There is an intention for emotions and injustices surrounding these images to be visible and understood.

Every now and then I combine themes such as “Bathing Cap” and “The Phone” which, after painting “Bathing Cap and Phone #2” (below) I realized the style of phone indicated 70s or 80s era and the bathing cap referred to a swimming pool and combining the phone (a stationary device in the home at that time) with a pool equaled opulence / wealth because who but the wealthy would have a pool in the 70s or 80s? The personality then became somewhat ominous. Who makes or takes a call during a swim? What sort of shadiness was being discussed on the phone? I believe the buyer asked this last question during the transaction!

Bathing Cap #43 800

Bathing Cap #43

The Phone #13 800 2

The Phone #13

Also, viewing a double-element painting makes it seem like previous single-element (bathing cap or phone) paintings may have been priming the viewer for a narrative yet to arrive. In this way the project feels sequential (in a strange way).

A double-element painting might also have the viewer wondering if there was meaning they didn’t catch in the single-element paintings, because the double-element paintings seem to have a more narrative nature. If there hadn’t been the single-element paintings, I doubt the double-element paintings would feel as narrative as they do.

Deducing the potential for a naturally occurring narrative to come across in my double-element paintings, I decided to paint a Black woman for “Bathing Cap and Phone #3” to see what would happen in terms of my theory that exposure to single-element paintings (“Bathing Cap” and “The Phone”) over time (many months) prepared / encouraged viewers to engage with double-element paintings differently in terms of generating or considering meaning.

Painter Kerry James Marshall talks about using existing works of art featuring white people as models for work featuring Black people in this interview from 2014 in which he refers to a painting called “The Swing” where a white person is on a swing in a tree, and he talks about his series of a Black man swinging a Black woman around in his arms, connecting the paintings, talking about how he didn’t want to do the obvious replacing one person with another.

“Black invisibility is a psychological issue,” Marshall says. “It means that people do not want to see you in the fullness of who you are.”

The paintings in the “Bathing Cap and Phone” series feels vaguely reminiscent to me of how powerful photos taken by Jacob Holdt (a young Danish guy travelling around in the US in the 70s) made me feel years ago when I discovered the book “American Pictures“. I found evidence of it online some years ago.

x Bathing Cap and Phone #2 800
Bathing Cap and Phone #2

Bathing Cap and Pone #3 800Bathing Cap and Phone #3

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Interview: The Tyee

tyee

Great interview in The Tyee this week with novelist Kevin Chong. I managed to connect the dots from playing music, through novel writing and on to painting — which is actually a return to the series a began in 1973.

“Women, I think, are happy to see other women represent them. In this case, a feminist who has used other artistic mediums to put the ideas of feminism out there. When I talk to them on Facebook, they say amazing things about what they perceive in the emotion or the nuances of a slight smile or something.”

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Recent Favourites (all sold)

All sales above my $1000 USD monthly expenses go towards opening the Free Artist Residency for Progressive Social Change.

“I’m best known as the singer in the underground rock duo Mecca Normal. I also write novels and paint. The $100 painting series all started with “The Hat” in January, 2016. I posted the first one on my FaceBook page and it sold that same day. Hours later, someone was offering me money in advance for the next one! Since then, paintings in this series have been purchased by instructors from the Yale School of Art, the University of British Columbia and the Art Institute of Chicago, painters whose work has been exhibited in the Museum of Modern Art and the Whitney Biennial, 2014 in New York City, and by art critics for Artfourm Magazine and the Winnipeg Free Press – as well as a few indie rock luminaries.” – Jean Smith, August, 2016

“Oh my word, I love these portraits so, so, so much.” – The Jealous Curator, September, 2017

These 11 x 14″ acrylics are $100 USD plus shipping ($15 USD/CAD within USA and Canada). Please contact me for shipping cost to other locations. meccanormal@hotmail.com

$100 paintings in April 2020

Paintings Currently Available

 

No Hat #705 800
No Hat #705

Bathin Cap # 800

Bathing Cap #15

Hoodie # 800
Hoodie #15

Headphones #22 800
Headphones #22

The Phone #12 800
The Phone #12

The Hat #106 800
The Hat #106

Nurse #27 800
Nurse #27

Nurse #30 800
Nurse #30

No Hat #817 800
No Hat #817

No Hat #819 800
No Hat #819

Fox #24 800
Fox #24

Bathing Cap #38 800
Bathing Cap #38

No Hat #824 800
No Hat #824

Scuba #12 800
Scuba #12

Fascinator 800
The Fascinator

No Hat #839 800
No Hat #839

No Hat #836 800
No Hat #836

No Hat #844 800
No Hat #844

No Hat #822 800
No Hat #822

No Hat #805 800

No Hat #805

Bathing Cap #18 800
Bathing Cap #18

Affirmative #33 800 NEW
Affirmative #33

Affirmative #6 by Jean Smith
Affirmative #6

Interview

LA artist Keith Dugas interviewed me for a series on his blog. Great to see his selection of my paintings!

kd

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Nurses 2018 – present

Nurse #32 800Nurse #30 800Nurse #31 800Nurse #29 800Nurse #28 800Nurse #27 800Nurse #26 800Nurse #25 800Nurse #24 800Nurse #22 800Nurse #23 800Nurse #21 800Nurse #20 800Nurse #19 800Nurse #18 800Nurse #17 800Nurse #16 800Nurse #15 800Nurse #14 800Nurse Patty 800

Nurse #12 800

Nurse #11 800

“Nurse #11″ (11 x 14” acrylic on canvas panel). $100 USD plus shipping.

Nurse #10 800

Nurse # 800

Nurse #6 800

Nurse #7 800

Nurse #6 800Nurse #5 800

Nurse #4 800

Nurse #3 800Nurse #2 800

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LARGE 16 x 20″

LARGE (16 x 20″) paintings (on stretched canvas) from this time last year. At $600 USD, these are actually still a good deal, but as long as I’m selling 11 x 14″ for $100 USD, I doubt they’ll sell. Wait! One did sell!

These would have gone into my solo show in May at Land Gallery in Portland (to be re-scheduled).

No Hat #587 16 x 20 800“No Hat #587” (16 x 20″ acrylic on canvas 1/2” profile) April 16, 2019. $600 USD plus shipping.

The Hat #85 16 x 20 800 a
“The Hat #85″ (16 x 20″ acrylic on canvas 1/2” profile) March 21, 2019. $600 USD plus shipping.

No Hat #577 16 x 20 800“No Hat #577″ (16 x 20″ acrylic on canvas 1/2” profile) March 16, 2019. $600 USD plus shipping.

Ruff Collar #27 16 x 20 800“Ruff Collar #27″ (16 x 20″ acrylic on canvas 1/2” profile) March 2019. $600 USD plus shipping.

No Hat #575 16 x 20 800“No Hat #575″ (16 x 20″ acrylic on canvas 1/2” profile) March 10, 2019. SOLD

Bathing Cap 800
“Bathing Cap #5″ (16 x 20″ acrylic on canvas 1/2” profile) March 14, 2019. $600 USD plus shipping.

No Hat #576 16 x 20 800
“No Hat #576″ (16 x 20″ acrylic on canvas 1/2” profile) March 12, 2019. $600 USD plus shipping.

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$100 USD painting sales increase significantly

From the be careful what you wish for department, sometime in January my paintings sales on FaceBook increased significantly after a regular buyer of my $100 USD paintings (and long-time Mecca Normal fan) showed her mother my work and explained both the investment potential and how sales above my monthly expenses ($1000 USD) go towards opening the Free Artist Residency for Progressive Social Change.

I have now totally lost track of how many the mother has purchased, but I’m sending them to her in packages of seven, sometimes twice a week. She is determined to make the artist residency happen!

With 78 paintings sold, February was an all-time record in the 4 years I’ve been painting daily and posting them for sale at $100 USD on FaceBook. A typical month until that point might be more like 30 paintings.

My small East Vancouver apartment is now something of a production line as I pull paintings from existing stock of 200, sign them, add a layer of gloss in batches of 10, allow that those to dry, while I package and ship others, all while maintaining my ever-evolving series including “Bathing Cap” “Headphones” “The Hat” and many others. I’ve been working 15 hours a day, 7 days a week to stay on top of things. Believe me I’m not complaining; it’s just a bit surreal.

Here’s a selection from the Oregon Collection which currently stands at 50+ paintings and counting. Literally.

Bathing Cap #24 800Bathing Cap #24 (11 x 14″ acrylic on canvas) $100 USD SOLD

Headphones #22 800Headphones #22 (11 x 14″ acrylic on canvas) $100 USD SOLD

The Hat #106 800
The Hat #106 (11 x 14″ acrylic on canvas) $100 USD SOLD

Nurse #14 800Nurse #14 (11 x 14″ acrylic on canvas) $100 USD SOLD

 

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60 $100 USD paintings SOLD so far this month!

 

The Hat #99 800

New record! 60 $100 USD paintings SOLD so far this month! That’s $6000 USD going towards opening the Free Artist Residency for Progressive Social Change! 58 paintings SOLD in January. Every month, all sales after my expenses ($1000 USD) go towards the Free Artist Residency.

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Favorite Parts

I circled my favorite parts of this painting.

Fox #20 ed

pricing evidence

art b

This is the first evidence I’ve seen of a price on a painting that was/is owned by someone who bought it from me.

With this painting (48 x 30″) being 3.5 times larger than the $100 USD series (11 x 14″) that puts the $100 USD painting value at $550 USD (by size) which is still too low, but should go towards establishing a higher value. 5.5 times higher.

This is a fairly random sale, but it is based in the reality that I did sell the painting to the person who may be using this service. $1950 USD looks like a “reduced price”. Who knows what the original price was?

All debatable depending who wants to chime in, but I’m still of the if it ain’t broke don’t fix it school of thought. Others regularly tell me to raise my prices.

“Add a zero.” – culture maker in the know

FaceBook album of $100 paintings currently available