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The Stewardess


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Come Fly With Me...

This was my first painting ever!

I was working on Lord of the Rings in New Zealand and had a really big apartment on the top of a building in downtown Wellington.  The entire apartment was glass (which sounds great until you realize it's freezing in winter, and boiling in summer.  I did not renew my lease).

The kitchen had 'real walls' which were very empty.

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This was back in the days before Ikea could supply anyone with pre-fabricated and pre-framed art.  So I had two options.

  1. Have empty walls (they were bright orange!  Italian landlords...)
  2. Paint something!

I had studied painting for the one year I attended Art Center College of Design in Pasadena.  I SUCKED at painting.  Seriously, I was awful.  I didn't 'get it'.  But over a decade later I threw my cautions to the wind and thought 'what's the worst that can happen?'.  Besides, I'd been inspired after seeing Rembrandt's studio on a previous trip to Amsterdam.

Hence a painting was in the stars.

Next up I needed a subject.  At the time I had a girlfriend in Los Angeles, so my natural inspiration was to talk about my inherent loneliness.  Hence I created an homage to air travel.  That amazing thing that brought loved ones close to us, or ripped them away.

The orange kitchen!

Being a fan of 1960's illustrations I concocted this design.  Originally I wanted to paint the shapes on plywood that I'd cut out.  Fortunately I didn't have access to a bandsaw so a canvas would have to do.

Not feeling too confident in my painting abilities I decided to keep this very cartoony and simple.  It's very different from my other works, but the poem is one of my favorites.  It's ironic and leaves a lot to the imagination!

Here was my first sketch:

Rough concept sketch.

I had my friend Kate pose.

And here's the sketch that was transferred to the canvas:

Final sketch (pre-Photoshop)!

And here is the final painting hanging on that bright orange New Zealand wall:

The canvas hanging on the orange wall. I chose the blues to compliment the wall color.

Final Painting:

The completed painting.
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