"The Discussion" - I'm Just Another Ten Percenter
Welcome to another edition of The Discussion series in which I, that is me, that is Sean Chappell, talk to you which is, the cool collector, the awesome fan about one of my paintings; its origins and its symbolism.
This time around, we're going to look at a painting in the "Truth About Cats and Pumpkins" series. This one is subtitled, "I'm Just Another Ten Percenter". I got the idea for the title from a Frank Black song. You can have a listen to it here if it tickles your fancy.
This painting came about because of a feeling...a feeling that my journey into self sufficient, entrepreneurial glory was going to come to a premature end; thank you Covid 19! Jerk! When I painted it, I was 10% sure that my journey was going to be a success. I'm happy to say, that I'm past those feelings but the painting still exists and I hope you like it :)
This painting explores interdimensionality and shows how the inside is SOOOO much bigger than the outside (but of course). I'm a huge fan of the expansiveness of the mind and our internal worlds. Our BODIES are hindered by physical constraints; trainable but limited. Our MINDS are hindered by nothing, other than that which we put in their ways and have the opportunity to be limitless. As far as I'm concerned, our minds are the real power houses of our journeys here on earth!
Sometimes you just don't know what you're gonna get until you look!
Also, on the inside is where so much of the heavy lifting happens; the processing, the debating, the growth. Nothing quite like an internal struggle to give rise to great Art!
In this painting, our cat character is lifting up his robe to reveal his internal world. Inside, we see his heart, a pumpkin, and it is in trouble. Held aloft by a pair of hands which are using balloons to keep the whole thing stable, we see that there is only one balloon left as a pin comes in from the right, deflating everything in its path.
In a cascade effect, as the balloons are popped, the pumpkin starts to slop through the fingers and actually melt into a liquid as its natural trajectory drags it to the bottom of the painting. There are a bunch of fish heads waiting for it to fall through the cloud cover. I won't tell you what they're about. You'll have to figure that out for yourself ;)
Another interesting element of this painting is the way I approached the face of the cat, especially the outside which should all be fluff and fun fur, which it isn't. I'll be honest. I was afraid to paint the cat's fur. I didn't think I had the skill to do it (I proved myself wrong in the next piece but that's another blog post). I didn't want to get into painting all the fur and fuck up the painting for lack of skill so....
Instead, I painted a surreal and designerly approximation of fur which, from another perspective, is pretty cool! I think I'm going to do this again in other paintings. I really like the organic and detailed nature of the shapes; the highlights, the shine, the impossibility of some of the forms. Welcome to Surreal Ville, population, me!
I also gave the piece a bit of a classic feel by putting some nice clouds and a muted green landscape fading away into the distance, in the background, not unlike the Mona Lisa. I'll admit, I have a problem with placing my subjects in a ground, but this time around, I think I nailed it :)