* * *
I started this painting last December, half-way through my attempt at completing a series of nine paintings for a show I was involved in last Winter. It’s among the biggest I’ve ever made, stretching nearly six feet tall, and the first sold painting from my 2013 collection. It’s hard for me to talk about these pieces, given that I don’t remember much; I made all nine of them in three and a half months, and because I was on a time-crunch, I was painting in the spare room of my house instead of my regular studio, which… meant I was also drinking a lot of bourbon, too. It hung at the gallery on and off for a few months, finally ending up in storage as the co-ordinator prepared for new shows.
Due to the size of most of these pieces, I didn’t get around to picking them up until this September, when we finally moved into our new loft down the street from the gallery. Three days after that, I rented a van and moved them to Le Papillon on the Park, a regular topic over here, it seems. Four days after hanging it, I got an email from a lovely woman who was so struck by the piece and wanted to buy it, I hated that I had to tell her it would have to hang out at the restaurant for at least a full month before I could make arrangements to pick it up. Thankfully, she didn’t mind, and so I sent her an invoice. This piece hung alongside nine others in an “actual” gallery for over three months without a single inquiry (to my knowledge). Four days hanging at a fine-dining restaurant and it’s sold. I had a few conversations with the buyer about the size of this piece, that it probably won’t fit in your average mini-van or SUV. Making arrangements to get it to its new home wasn’t exactly easy, but it eventually worked out, thanks to the lovely staff at Le Papillon. Have I mentioned before just how much I love them? Yes? Ok.
On the topic of canvas size, I’m starting to think I’m going to need to max out at the average size of a car-trunk. Moving these massive things has been such a pain, and an expensive feat, to say the least (especially when you factor in parking tickets!).
A lot of people have asked me about the name of this piece. The truth is, most of the paintings in this series were named by Adam. He’s kind of a pro at naming things, even if they don’t mean anything – and often, they don’t. I really don’t like balloons, though. I hate anything that as the potential to suddenly disappear before my eyes, anything that makes a loud POP! when it leaves. Though, the other day I watched a scene of a balloon floating around with the volume on mute, and I’d be lying if I said I didn’t jump a little. I can’t really explain it, other than that balloons just make me really uneasy. A balloon that never pops would indeed be losing a fear of mine. I’m not even sure if he was thinking of me when he named it, and there certainly isn’t meaning behind all my painting names, but there it is. He also named the painting I used to replace it, one I casually dubbed its B-side: Learning A Fear (Or: Air Brakes Hissing). Turns out I really hate walking past transport trucks, too.
* * *
SUN ON VENICE, 2013
This is an older one, and it had been hanging at the restaurant for over eight months and taken down before I received a single inquiry. The buyer, C, ended up living near my loft so she popped over with her mom one Sunday afternoon to check them out in person, promptly decided she wanted it, and within five minutes it was wrapped up and she was walking it home. It was truly the quickest in-person transaction, and I hated that I got a short glimpse of what I wish life were always like.
I painted this piece after returning from our Italian adventure last year; a ridiculously extravagant trip that Adam won us for ‘liking’ a Facebook Page. Seriously, that actually happened. We got to travel Rome, Florence & Venice* for eight days with four-star hotel accommodations, pre-booked tours & private drivers. This actually has nothing to do with the painting at all, just that when I returned from Italy, it was the first thing I painted. It got a lot of interest, but like the Quilt, took awhile to find a permanent home. This piece is one of the many ‘cursed canvases’ that plague me every so often, but now it seems like all its shortcomings have become my favourite parts.
* * *
Thanks again C & J, I hope you’re enjoying your new artwork!
* In case you’re wondering, Rome we liked the least, though it was still an insane amount of fun. Venice was incredible, and I could most see myself living in Florence.
: : : I sometimes write about paintings I’ve recently sold under the title ‘Saying Goodbye To Old Lovers’. Check out the other instalments here. : : :