Tammy first expressed interest in one of my paintings way back in 2002, but wanted to wait until she had her own place and her own wall to hang it upon. Of course, you would think that after 4 years of knowing that eventually I would paint her something, I would have come up with a title, but they don’t always accompany a painting, or set of paintings. I guess I could technically call the set of paintings “Stupid Store” but that is a private joke between Tammy and I, and while we would think it funny, the rest of the planet would find it most odd. Then again, most of the planet finds me odd anyway, so no great loss there. Anyway, Tammy’s dream came true this pace summer when she moved into her brand new house with her partner Tyler and 5-year-old son Parker.
We started to discuss her paintings more seriously back in June 2006. We agreed on the wall we’d be using and she loved the symbols I suggested, and I went to work on the designs. It didn’t take me long. In fact, I had all three ideas drawn out in a matter of hours. However, it took me over 3 months to get them to a place I was satisfied with colour wise (granted, this past summer I was working on 9 paintings at the same time – so my focus was more challenged than normal). In fact, I painted the Whale and the Loon paintings twice. I just wasn’t satisfied I’d captured what I’d wanted after the first attempt, so I trashed them and started over. I am much happier with my second attempt.
2 Whales (Tyler)
I chose The Whale for Tyler for several reasons. As an underwriter in the insurance industry, I thought it appropriate I give Tyler the Whale. After all, the Whale is the historical record keeper of the world. It fit him perfectly! The Whale also is a Guardian and represents Creativity and Intuition. The Whale is also a Protector, which is why I have made them facing outward of the painting, as if on guard. The 2 Whales in the painting have a Yin and Yang quality to them, separated vertically.
2 Loons (Tammy)
I have known Tammy for a few years now, and since we share the same bizarre, warped, and infantile sense of humour, I decided to paint her a symbol whose characteristics we both shared. The Loon was the one that stood out most brightly (and no, not only because we are both a bit “loonie” (which of course we are)… alright alright… have your laugh and move on). I have a silver Haida ring that has the Loon etched in it that I have worn on my right hand for about 10 years now. I had to have it specially made because the Loon is not a common symbol used in rings. The Loon represents Peace, Tranquillity and Generosity, yet the Loon’s call is one of Mystique, which is what I love about the Loon. I have long admired the Loon’s mysterious mythic nature. Some people say that the Loon’s call is an invitation into another world, and it is a world only the Loon can take you to.
Similar to the 2 Whales, the 2 Loons also have a Yin and Yang quality to them, only this time separated horizontally, for the opposing sides of Tammy and Tyler’s personalities. It represents the contrast that is necessary to actually balance two people. The centre of the painting which is bordered by the 2 Loon’s beaks is what I call “The Eye”… which of course… Tammy and I know the meaning to, and I’ll just leave it at that. But remember Tammy… I’m always watching you!
Uroboros Snake (Parker)
Born in the year of the snake, I chose the Uroboros symbol for Parker. Uroboros is an ancient symbol usually in the form of a circle of a snake or dragon devouring its tail that signifies infinity, wholeness, and the connection of ultimate completeness.
Parker is the catalyst that changed Tammy, and in many ways I joke that although he is only 5, he is the parent and Tammy the child. The Uroboros snake is encircling a sun, representing Parker’s incredibly bright and vivicious spirit. The spiral Koru in the centre of the a painting is Tammy (encircled by the snake and the sun), and represents the ultimate connection between Tammy and Parker, the bonding of a mother and son, each of them forever a part of the other.
Ongoing playlist. Again, I was painting upwards of 9 paintings this summer, so all my playlists have just sort of merged into one every growing list:
- Losing Haringey – The Clientele (from Strange Geometry)
- Hymondy – Amethystium from Aphelion)
- Golden Brown – The Stranglers (from Peaches: The Very Best Of The Stranglers)
- Hope there’s someone – Antony & the Johnsons (from I Am A Bird Now)
- Bird Girl – Antony & the Johnsons (from I Am A Bird Now)
- When you were young – The Killers (from Sam’s Town)
- I can see myself alone – The Field Mice (from Snowball + Singles)
- Head Home – Midlake (from The Trials Of Van Occupanther)
- Young Bride – Midlake (from The Trials Of Van Occupanther)
- About Today – The National (from Cherry Tree)
- Anthemoessa – Amethystium (from Emblem)
Untitled (Three pieces, each 18″ x 18″)